This is the fouth part of a fiction serial, in 1098 words.
When Alex got home, Lucy was out. One or other of her slimming clubs she would go to straight after work, no doubt. A note on the kitchen worktop was weighted down with one of the ornamental owls she loved to collect.
‘Back by 7, dinner cooked, just have to warm it up when I get home. See you soon. X’
He went into the room annoyingly referred to as his den, and placed the protective suit under some old files in the bottom of his filing cabinet. Relaxing on the leather-upholstered captain’s chair, he pondered for a while on his favourite subject. Murder.
With the method still to be finalised, and the motive non-existent, he did need the final element, an opportunity. Some short time-window when Allan would be alone in the house, and more importantly, when Alex could be completely sure he would remain so for a while. He couldn’t even think about asking Don and Jean what their plans were, as that might be remembered later, and considered to be a clue. But he was confident that his neighbours would make at least one trip in their motor-home, before the season came to an end, and bad weather set in. He would just have to hope that they went away sometime in the next six weeks. The absence of the huge vehicle would be all the clue he needed. They never took it off the driveway unless they were going somewhere for at least one night.
Lucy chased Eduardo around the back office at work, her pendulous breasts wobbling as she ran. “Give me my bra back, come on, I have to go”, she squealed. The young veterinary nurse laughed, dangling the lacy garment just out of reach. Lucy folded her arms, and tried to look serious. She knew if she got close to him, they would end up doing it again. She couldn’t resist his passion. He had arrived just under a year earlier, fresh from his re-training in the city. He had been fully qualified in the Philippines, but had to do more to get registration here. After less than a week, his outrageous flirting had led to touching, and trying to kiss her. Lucy had been surprised, but very flattered. She was twice his age, and as far as she could see, the good-looking young man could have had anyone, but he wanted her. He really did.
She had never really felt wanted, not once. The few men before Alexander had seemed to want just one thing, then moved on as soon as she gave it to them. When her handsome boss at the Town Hall had asked her out, she couldn’t believe her luck, but deep down she hoped that he didn’t just want the same as the others. He had proposed, and she had been ecstatic. The marriage had been like a dream, and moving into the lovely house with a kind and considerate man had been more than she had ever expected from life. But he didn’t really want her, she could tell. There was no passion in his embraces, and when they had sex he seemed remote, almost clinical. Alexander always had his mind on something else, and Lucy suspected that it was his job. After the first few years, it just stopped altogether. Lucy made the best of it. After all, she would never get a better option.
So young Eduardo’s advances rekindled something in her, and made her feel attractive and desirable, perhaps for the first time in her life. She was self-deprecating, naturally. She asked him why he would fancy an overweight woman twice his age, and one who admitted to not being good-looking, by any estimation. But he seemed to really like her, overcoming her objections with genuine compliments that finally made her believe that he liked chubby older women, though part of her never believed a word of it. The first time had been in her car, after he asked for a lift home. The second time in his rented room, and after that whenever they could find an excuse to stay after work. Alexander didn’t seem to care if she came home late, and despite her excuses that she was going to diet clubs and exercise classes, he never questioned the fact that she hadn’t lost an ounce. The main thing that surprised Lucy was that she had no guilty conscience about it whatsoever. That had come as a shock.
After wrestling her bra back by giving her lover one last kiss, Lucy dressed and hurried home. Eduardo had been talking about them getting away for a weekend together, some place where the wife of the town’s highest official would never be recognised. The idea appealed to her a lot. Two nights in a proper bed, the chance to feel completely at one with the young man she was beginning to fall in love with. She had thought up various reasons why she might need to be away, and would test one out on her husband during dinner.
As usual, Alex seemed distracted, hardly looking up as he ate the pasta bake, and sipped his wine. Lucy looked at the clock on the wall, wanting to get it over with before he stopped eating. She was running through some dates in her head, realising that his birthday celebration was coming up, so it couldn’t be then. She introduced the subject casually. “Oh, I saw Jean in the supermarket the other day. She told me that her and Don are going off for two nights soon. Might be their last chance to get away in reasonable weather”. Alex nodded, then turned, suddenly interested. “When is that then? Lucy didn’t even question why he would care, she already had her next line on the tip of her tongue. “Funnily enough, it’s three weeks time, from Friday night, back Sunday evening. The same weekend that Claire asked me to travel to the big Weight-Watchers Bash with her”. We are thinking about starting up our own group in the city, and they have a seminar for people looking to franchise. Would you mind if I went with her?”
Alex had stopped listening after she told him it was three weeks away, but had caught the last line. “You and Claire, going away? Sure, why would I mind? I hope you have a great time”. As she cleared the plates away, Lucy turned and smiled. Behind her back, her husband was smiling too.
He had his window of opportunity.
To be continued…