August 17, 2006

TSOTF, Part 4

“You should come with me tomorrow,” he said, pushing a lock of her long blonde hair away from her face with a smile. Her cheeks were still flushed from their sex.

“Are you serious?” she asked, sitting upright on him.

“Why not?” he asked, pulling at her hardened nipples with his fingers. “He doesn’t expect me until Thursday morning. By Friday night, he’ll be in ruins, and I will hold all the cards.” Jack searched Kate’s eyes. “You haven’t changed your mind, have you?”

Kate leaned close to him, and ran her fingers across his cheek. “I love you, Jack.” She kissed his lips softly. “Take me with you,” she whispered against them, smiling when she felt him grow hard beneath her.

As expected, Lena returned from her trip to the market by eleven-thirty. Kate was in the dining room with Raul. She would have loved nothing more than to have changed the dark and formal redecorating Martin had approved, but she knew that she had to be very careful now. She trusted Jack, knew that he was as shrewd a businessman as his father, but she wasn’t foolish enough to believe that Martin McKay would not find a way to land on his feet and destroy his son in the process.

She’d grown accustomed to her lifestyle, and knew, no matter how painful it was to admit, that Jack saw her as little more than a pawn in his game. Certainly he felt something for her. It was evident in the way he touched her. But she knew that he didn’t love her. Given that knowledge, she had decided to play both men to her advantage. If Jack emerged victorious over his father, she would have the added bonus of being with the man she loved. If he failed, she would stand beside her husband, the man who loved her. Either way, Kate McKay was never going back to living in a tiny, roach infested apartment, and living on macaroni and cheese.

Kate left Raul to his final measurements, and walked into the kitchen, where Lena busily readied lunch while pulling out the ingredients for tonight’s dinner. Monday…that meant some sort of vegetarian pasta dish and one of Lena’s fresh loaves of whole grain bread. Martin was very adamant that there be a pattern to the main course of their rather simple dinners, and Lena was equally determined to follow it even when Martin was away on business, despite Kate’s requests otherwise.

She hadn’t been surprised when Lena had refused her. Lena had worked for Martin’s parents, and had been inherited by Martin as a young man when his father ate the business end of a revolver after a large deal fell through and the old man lost millions. Martin’s first wife had actually been fond of Lena, according to him, and when she found out that Kate was the young woman Martin had divorced poor Ellen for…well, Kate hadn’t expected Lena to like her.

As a matter-of-fact, she had been surprised that Jack hadn’t hated and blamed her as well. After all, less than six months after Martin had divorced his wife, she had drowned her pain with a bottle of pills and a vodka chaser, after discovering that she had been replaced by an eighteen year old girl. But Jack had always treated Kate well, and had insisted to her that he blamed only his father, that she was an innocent victim of the man. He was even best man at their wedding nearly three years ago.

“Mr. Jack requested lunch poolside,” Lena said stiffly. “If that is acceptable to you…”

“Of course,” Kate said with a smile, knowing that Lena watched her like a hawk and reported back to Martin on his wife’s goings-on while he was away. No matter what happens, Kate thought, I am going to insist this woman leave my house when it’s all over.

Kate walked through the kitchen door and onto the expansive patio, squinting against the bright afternoon sun. Jack was reclining on one of the soft chaise lounges, his bent knees propping up the thick tome of material that had arrived by fax earlier, a pen dangling from his lips as he flipped the pages down one at a time. Kate sat on the chaise next to him, admiring his shirtless chest and broad shoulders.

The first time she’d seen Jack without a shirt, Martin was out of town on one of his many business meetings. They’d been married only a few short months, and then twenty year old Kate didn’t know what to do with herself without Martin’s direction. She’d wandered over to the tennis court from the pool, hoping her step-son would keep her company, at least for a while.

She’d stood silently at the fence, watching him hit the balls, her attention gradually shifting from his practice to his own form, and the way his muscles moved beneath his glistening skin. He had essentially ignored her, like his father did when he was busy with other things, but when she’d turned to leave, he had called out to her, and asked her if she played.

She’d never even held a tennis racquet before, but he had simply shrugged and told her he’d teach her. The moment he had taken up position behind her, to show her the proper way to swing the racquet, his arms around hers, his breath on her neck, she’d known.

Anticipating Lena with their lunch, Kate sat back in the chaise, and stretched her long legs. She shut her eyes against the sun, and relaxed, enjoying the slight breeze from the north. She decided that after lunch she would send Lena to run errands, so she could sunbathe topless, and perhaps distract Jack from his work.

“What time do we leave tomorrow?” she asked, slipping the straps of her sundress off her shoulders.

“Ten a.m.,” he said, glancing over at her. “It’s a twelve hour flight. When we arrive, it will be Tuesday morning there,” he reminded her with a grin after she groaned about the length of the flight. “By noon, everything will be in place, and we can sit back and watch the fall of McKay Enterprises.”

“You’re so confident…” she said, her eyes locking on his. He turned away from her, his jaw stiff, his eyes focused on the papers in his lap.

“Unlike my father, I keep my promises.”

Posted by *Theresa* at August 17, 2006 05:55 AM

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Absolutely captivating serial.

Posted by: oddybobo at August 17, 2006 12:04 PM

Keep it coming lady! :)

Posted by: Karin at August 17, 2006 01:06 PM

Oh, boy...two in one day! On to the next.

Posted by: Wanda at August 17, 2006 08:17 PM

Why do I care so much about what happens to three people I don't even like? Because I'm dying to find out what happens! Great story.

Posted by: Miss Cellania at August 18, 2006 10:48 AM

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