August 30, 2006

TSOTF, Part 12

Joseph took a sip of wine and grimaced, not knowing if the bitter taste in his mouth was from the fruit or the phone call he’d just received. He hated violence, and condoned it only as a last resort, and only in the pursuit of the greater good. So much was at stake, that one innocent life was irrelevant, he supposed. Stepping to the window he looked out at his beloved city.

The maid had served the cause well. She hadn’t hesitated to tell her new friend all about her suspicions about her employer’s young wife and his son. Her invitation for her friend to join her one afternoon for coffee had given XAres the ‘in’ that they needed to not only learn just what Martin McKay was planning, but to return in the dead of the night to make certain rooms of the house, and the guest house accessible to them both visually, and for sound.

Learning of Jack McKay’s financial maneuverings to destroy his father and his affair with his step-mother, Joseph had been certain the gods had been smiling upon him. Jack was a perfect pawn, easily manipulated. His hatred of his father ran so deep, that he was willing to accept all possible outcomes, even if that meant that Martin McKay would to be eliminated if he became a threat. Surprisingly, Jack hadn’t even seemed interested in possessing the formula, unlike his father, who foolishly believed that the others would allow him a partnership of sorts. The elder McKay may be busy savvy, Joseph thought, but he didn’t understand the depths to which man sank in his quest for power.

Joseph had taken it upon himself to see that no harm came to Jack McKay, knowing there was only so much he could control. From the moment Jack landed in Rome he would be shadowed and protected. It was no longer simply a precaution, but necessary. To hear that Coleman’s man had paid a visit to the maid the moment Jack’s limo had left for the airport had been unexpected news. He had thought he had been so careful, but had obviously underestimated the reach of Coleman’s organization, and wondered just how deeply the tentacle of betrayal had snaked into XAres.

He had no idea how much information had been extracted from the maid before she was killed. Nor did he know at this moment whom Coleman‘s deep pockets had bought off, leaving him to dangerously assume that he had not been betrayed by someone in the inner circle, if the maid had been seen as a viable source of information. He sighed deeply, reminding himself that he’d been left with no choice. Within the hour, all threats outside the inner sanctum would be eliminated as a precaution. They had come too close to lose now.

Still, the younger McKay was no longer an anonymous bidder, of that Joseph was certain. Coleman could do much with that information, but with time as his enemy, he would simply take the path of least resistance. Joseph drained the wine from his glass, wishing there was more he could do to protect the woman, as Jack had requested. He wondered if she had told him yet that she was with child. Such knowledge could prove dangerous if Jack were facing a choice between the formula and the woman. Yet, Joseph had not given the order to remove the threat. There was something about the young man that gave him hope that he could not only bring XAres the formula, but protect the woman he hadn’t yet realized he loved.

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August 29, 2006

TSOTF, Part 11

Jack inhaled deeply. He’d tried to prepare himself for that possibility from the moment he’d seen that she had not been taking the contraceptives. He’d even seen it in her eyes only minutes earlier, and had been desperately hoping to postpone the inevitable. Hearing the words carried much more weight than he could ever have known. In his world of plots and possibilities, there had been only one reality his mind would allow. This was not it. This hit him hard.

He pulled her away from him, so he could look into her eyes. He knew the words he was supposed to say, but was unable to form them. With three words, she had managed to send him into a tailspin. He slowly exhaled, no longer able to look her in the eye.

“You’re pregnant,” he heard himself say, as he forced himself to look at her again. Her shoulders had slumped, and tears were forming in her beautiful eyes. He realized that the annoying feeling stabbing him was guilt. Her actions were of little consequence to him. He had done this. He had toyed with her for his own satisfaction, and he had allowed her to love him. He pulled her close, let his face bury deep in her fragrant hair and fought his own tears. How had things gone so wrong?

His only goal had been to ruin his father. Kate had been nothing more than a forbidden fuck in the beginning, a secret blow to his father that had left Jack feeling powerful. He’d allowed that feeling, that need to keep betraying his father on such a personal level take over. She’d been so willing to continue sleeping with him, her body so responsive to him, that he’d made bedding her at every opportunity a secondary goal. When his plan had fallen into place, his affair with her had meant nothing more than another thing to throw in his father’s face.

He hadn’t wanted to like her, to grow comfortable with her, to enjoy her laugh or think about the way she smelled when he was away from her. He hadn’t want to feel obligated to her beyond her sexual needs, and realized that even that had been a sign that he was too involved. He shut his eyes tightly, and acknowledged that he had feelings for the woman who’d taken his mother’s place in his father’s heart. Is that what love feels like? He wasn't sure. Still, to know that she was pregnant with his child?

“We’ll make it work,” he whispered in her ear. “We’ll find a way.”

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August 25, 2006

TSOTF, Part 10

“That is not the sort of news I was expecting to bring to my employers,” Coleman said calmly, staring out at the view from the bank of windows.

“There was no way to anticipate the funds available to this second bidder.” Martin swallowed the last of his scotch and glanced at the others. They seemed disinterested, as if they were merely spectators with nothing to lose. Employers? Martin looked briefly at Coleman. Had the man said his employers? What the hell was he talking about?

“You need to understand something. I have been trying to secure this formula for the last three years. I have no intention of allowing another party to interfere.” Coleman turned and stared at Martin.

“Then we will need to out-bid him,” Martin said quietly, suddenly aware that the others had rose from their seats.

“There will be no more money, Martin,” Coleman said, his voice equally low and threatening. “Call Vincenzo and tell him your bid is final. I will take care of the other problem.”

“How?” Martin asked, regretting it the moment the word left his mouth. Coleman walked to his side, and paused.

“Don’t ask questions, Martin.” Martin turned to face Coleman. The man was staring right at him, his onyx eyes cold and challenging.

“Who are these employers of yours, and why am I only now learning of them?” Martin asked angrily, not about to let Coleman intimidate him. He hadn’t risked his financial future lightly and unknowns were unacceptable. “Who the hell are you?”

Coleman smiled slightly. He patted Martin’s shoulder. “You’ll want to read and sign the documents I brought. The fee for your services is more than fair, and you will be compensated for your costs, including a generous bonus for securing the pharmaceutical company so cheaply.” Coleman leaned his mouth close to Martin’s ear.

“Don’t become a problem, Martin. Just think of what you stand to lose…starting with your pretty young wife, and your son, and it can happen with one call.” Coleman laughed and left the hotel room, slamming the door behind him.

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August 24, 2006

TSOTF, Part 9

Kate finally relaxed, grateful for the end of the frightening turbulence shortly after take-off which nearly made her ill. Her stomach had been bothering her for several days now, prompting the purchase of the pregnancy test to begin with. She’d clung to Jack’s hand at one point, grateful when he’d squeezed back and reassured her. Now, she took in his strong profile, searching for the words to tell him she was pregnant.

She’d considered waiting until their return from Rome, afraid that perhaps he had only claimed to love her during their earlier love making to manipulate her. When he‘d squeezed her hand only moments before, he’d leaned close to her, his lips grazing her cheek, and told her again that he loved her. She’d searched his eyes for any signs of deception, finally allowing herself to believe his words.

He glanced her way and smiled again. Her heart pounded in her chest, and for a terrifying moment she imagined Jack angrily accusing her of entrapping him with her pregnancy. Not that he would be wrong. She had been so desperate for him, for a connection to him that went beyond their frantic coupling when Martin was not around, that she had made a decision knowing she risked losing everything…her marriage and her lover.

“Jack,” she began, shifting in her seat to face him. She waited for him to drop the folders into his briefcase and turn to face her. He smiled broadly and leaned over to kiss her lips gently. His kiss was sweet, but became desperate and needy.

“It’s just us,” he whispered against her lips. “I want you.” His hands went to her breasts and he caressed her through her silk blouse, grinning to feel the lacy bra beneath and her reaction to his touch. He knew. He didn’t need to hear her say it.

He pulled her onto his lap, quickly unbuttoning her blouse as he nipped at the soft skin on her neck, and pulling it down her arms and letting it drop at his feet. She’s carrying my child, he thought as his fingers expertly unhooked her bra and freed her full breasts. His lips went to her right breast. Her moan excited him. The mother of my child, Jack told himself as his lips moved to hers.

“I love you, Kate,” he said, his voice low and breathy. “I never wanted to fall in love with you, but I did. God, you are so beautiful,” he told her as his fingers moved between her legs. Kate pulled her lips from his, and let her hand stop his from moving further up her thigh.

“Jack, I need to tell you…”

“Tell me that you love me, Kate,” he said, pulling her close again.

“I do, Jack. I love you,” Kate replied, her breath catching when his fingers found their target. “Jack,” she called, moaning as her breath quickened and then ceased as he brought her to a quick climax.

She buried her face in his cheek, fighting her urgent needs, cursing and loving him for knowing her body so well. “Jack, I’m pregnant.”

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August 23, 2006

TSOTF, Part 8

Martin angrily slammed the door shut and stalked to the bar in his room. Damn that expensive whore for suggesting that perhaps his inability to perform was due to his age! He poured three fingers of scotch into a glass and downed it. He set the glass on the bar briefly before picking it up and hurling it across the room, where it shattered against the wall into hundreds of pieces.

Running his fingers through his dark hair, he thought of his competitor, and the new bid, a full five percent above his last offer. He’d already told Jack to sell off several of his holdings, at deep losses if need be, to come up with the funds for the three percent increase, and now this? He hoped Jack got his latest voicemail before he did too much damage.

“Who the fuck are you?” he asked aloud, pacing the floor. When he’d questioned Vincenzo about the identity of the second bidder, the man had told him only that he had until morning to counter the offer. How the hell was he supposed to come up with that kind of money overnight?

He had no access to the substantial trust fund Jack’s maternal grandparents had set up for their only grandchild, a fund to which Jack had no access until his twenty-fifth birthday to begin with. His own personal account had been steadily bled by Kate’s daily shopping excursions, and he had been engaging in some rather creative and not necessarily legal financial wizardry in order to afford both the mining rights and the pharmaceutical company, the latter most relevant to this deal.

Martin sat on the stiff, beige sofa, his head hanging in his hands. Coleman and the others would be here in less than thirty minutes, expecting reassurances he couldn’t give. He was going to have to ask for more funding. There was no other way around it. He sighed and shook his head angrily.

Jack settled into his seat aboard McKay Enterprises small jet and withdrew the file on his father’s collaborators. His private investigator had encountered little difficulty in confirming that Richard Coleman had indeed spent the last ten years working under government military contract, although which government had yet to be established. He frowned, thinking back to the first time he had met Coleman.

His father had sent him to negotiate the price of a relatively small and obscure pharmaceutical company that had recently lost a government contract for producing a tainted vaccine linked to hundreds of deaths. It had seemed an unwise investment to him, but his father had been adamant that he possess the company, at any cost. Coleman had been his behind the scenes contact, despite the fact that the man had no obvious connection to the company.

Jack reached into his briefcase and withdrew the file on Bejamin Richardson. Dr. Richardson had once worked as a researcher for the CDC in Atlanta, until it was suspected that he was involved with the disappearance of a sample of Ebola. He disappeared from the states shortly after, surfacing only a few years ago at a medical convention in Venice, announcing that he had created not only a reliable method for spreading the virus through aerosols in a real-world setting, an ability only reproduced under the strictest laboratory settings to that point, but had successfully altered the virus itself and created a vaccine against it. His colleagues had called him a demented fool, looking only for attention.

It had all sounded mad to Jack, when a representative of XAres Inc. had contacted him during his first trip to Rome. All his father wanted him to do was to hand deliver an offer to a private courier and wait for a response. After he had checked into his hotel, a fragile old man had joined him in the elevator, and promptly pressed the stop button. While the alarm signaled, the old man wasted no time in trying to convince Jack to help him obtain the formula Richardson was selling. He‘d launched into a speech about the dangerous possibility of the virus being in an aerosol form and the mutation‘s ability to avoid detection through the standard ELISA and PCR testing.

Joseph Fermi had done his research. He knew everything there was to know about the McKays, including Jack’s rift with his father, and his secret maneuverings to ruin the man. He told Jack that Coleman wanted the formula for war, and XAres intended to destroy it. When Jack had laughed at the old man, thinking it all a joke, Fermi had cemented his credibility by revealing his pedigree. Joseph Fermi was the eldest son of Enrico Fermi, the man responsible for the first controlled nuclear chain reaction in Chicago on December 2, 1942. Fermi subsequently played an important part in solving the problems connected with the development of the first atomic bomb, and was one of the leaders of the team of physicists on the Manhattan Project for the development of nuclear energy and the atomic bomb.

“I will fight,” Fermi had said, his English impeccable, “Fino alla fine…to the bitter end.” He handed a plain business card to Jack, the only print a phone number, hit the run button, and exited the elevator at the next floor.

Less than an hour after his encounter in the elevator, Jack had spotted Coleman exiting a taxi in front of his hotel. If he’d had any doubts about what Fermi had said, they vanished when the bald-headed Coleman had showed up in Rome and shadowed Jack‘s every move.

His stay in Rome had been brief, and within hours of his return to the states and researching XAres Inc., he had contacted Fermi for more information. Fermi and XAres were prepared to pay handsomely for the formula, and were offering Jack a five percent fee if he could secure them the winning bid as their representative. It had been perfect timing, and he had readily agreed. So why was he having doubts now?

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August 22, 2006

TSOTF, Part 7

Kate walked sleepily into her husband’s office, initially confused by the sound of his angry voice echoing throughout the house while he was supposedly in Rome. Jack was sitting in Martin’s chair, his legs crossed at the ankle, bare feet on the desk. It was obvious he had already taken his run along the beach, despite the obscenely early hour, by the rivulets of sweat dripping down his face and bare chest. He was calmly listening for a break in the loud string of cursing through the speakerphone.

“You told me to finalize things with Apex and they demanded their initial payment yesterday! I had to take the funds from my personal account to cover it. There’s barely enough in the business account to cover this month’s operating expenses. That left me with less than half of the amount you need. You’re going to have to liquidate -”

“Don’t fucking tell me what I am going to have to do, damn it!” Martin yelled back.

Jack sighed. “I thought the offer was exclusive,” he said, motioning Kate to his side of the desk. "Have you discussed that with them?"

“It was! I can’t reach anyone but Vincenzo, and he only wants to know if I am prepared to bid higher! My meeting with Coleman and the others is in two hours!” Martin growled. Jack raised a brow, picturing the look on Coleman’s face when he learned that Martin McKay’s sloppiness was about to cost him the greatest medical discovery since penicillin.

“Tell me which holdings to dump and the acceptable losses, and I’ll do my best to secure the funds by Thursday,” Jack said calmly, his right hand caressing Kate’s bare bottom. He looked up at her, amused it seemed, and it was then that she realized just how deeply his hatred for his father ran, and how powerful her lover really was.

That was one of the things that had drawn her to Martin to begin with. Not that he hadn’t been physically attractive to her the night she’d first seen him in Nicko’s, or that she hadn’t been impressed with the way he had worked the guests at his table, clearly in charge of every aspect of their evening. But when she’d overheard the unflappable chef fretting over the happiness of his powerful guest, she’d known Martin McKay deserved a second look.

She hadn’t thought the man would be interested in her at all, given that she was a skinny, pale, eighteen year old who lacked the social decorum and grace a man of his class would find appealing. When she’d managed to catch his eye, between the lobster and his appreciation of his date’s large bosom, she’d smiled weakly, feeling the heat of her nervousness in her cheeks, and then promptly knocked over his water glass, drenching his lap.

She’d been grateful that he had convinced Nicko that he had been the one who had been responsible for the mishap. He‘d literally saved her job, keeping her one small step from living on the streets, and she’d told him so as she graciously accepted his ridiculously generous tip.

That night, when she exited the rear of Nicko’s just after one in the morning, thrilled by the prospect of actually being able to pay her rent on time that month, Martin was waiting for her. He was leaning against his BMW, a sexy grin on his face, and an offer for coffee and a slice of pie at the first open diner they came across. They never made it to a diner.

Four days later, Martin moved her into a luxurious condo and gave her spending money, so she would be available to him whenever the mood struck. When he offered to have her privately schooled in proper manners and dress, she swallowed her pride and learned to be the type of woman he wanted, determined to one day marry the man that had rescued her from her circumstances. His mentally fragile and sexually unappealing wife proved to be of little consequence.

Jack moved his fingers between her legs, and she pushed her thoughts aside and focused on the man she was in love with. She hadn’t been aware that the call from Martin had ended. All thoughts of her husband fled her mind with Jack’s touch, and she moaned her approval before he pulled her into his lap.

She briefly thought of the two lines that had appeared on the test stick this morning, her concern over how to tell him forgotten when she felt the first wave of pleasure.

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August 21, 2006

TSOTF, Part 6

Jack pulled back the sheet and sat on the edge of the bed. It was nearly three in the morning, and sleep was evading him. Kate stirred next to him, and he waited, perfectly still, not wanting her to wake. Last night he’d lied to her. He had known all along that she was the only loose end in his plan, and that if she doubted his sincerity, it was entirely possible she could make trouble.

It wasn’t that he didn’t care for her. Despite his best efforts, he had developed feelings for her, surprisingly strong feelings, although nothing close to the love he had professed for her as he spilled his seed in her belly. His declaration had been forced, the result of seeing the untouched packages of contraceptives in the drawer of her bedside table earlier as he searched for her diary, hoping she’d written about their affair and he would have that to hold over her head should it come to it.

That she hadn’t taken the birth control pills the last several months as she had promised him had only cemented his belief that she could not be trusted. His manipulations of her were no longer enough, so he resorted to the sorts of lies his father told so easily. He told her that he loved her, that when the dust settled, he wanted to marry her and start a family.

She’d cried, professing her undying love through her tears. He’d hated lying to her like that. While he still believed she shared in the responsibility for his mother’s death, he had come to accept that her role was smaller, that her actions were the result of immaturity and naiveté, perhaps even desperation to leave her squalid living conditions behind. Over time, he had actually come to admire her in a way, for taking advantage of the opportunity presented to her. But he would never love her.

He looked back at her sleeping form, at the way her hip curved, and wondered if she had been successful. Had they indeed created a life during one of their forbidden fornications right under his father‘s nose? He stood and walked to the open door leading to the patio overlooking the gardens. It was a complication he had not foreseen. A child. His child.

Until he knew for certain, he would have to continue this charade with her. While plans would need to be changed to accommodate this unforeseen problem, he reminded himself that the situation could only serve to further humiliate his father.

Checking to see that she was still asleep, he pulled on his pants and made his way through the garden path to the small guest house that had served as his full time residence the last eighteen months. The house had been used as servant’s quarters before it’s transformation several years ago. While it was uncomfortably cramped for the most part, it offered him the privacy he had needed.

He grabbed the phone from its perch on the charger and sat on the plush sofa, tossing to the floor the delicate lace thong Laura must have forgotten from her last visit. Her degree from MIT did nothing to improve her dull personality, but her daddy’s money had bought her a skilled personal trainer and a body that was hard to ignore. A shame, he thought, that he would have to break things off with her so soon after gaining access to what lied beneath her sexy underthings.

As he waited patiently for the phone to be answered by his contact in Rome, his eyes scanned the claustrophobic quarters for the last time, settling on the two bags he had placed near the door. For a few seconds, he was filled with incredible sadness. It wasn’t that he felt guilt for what he was about to do, or regret, rather that the fulfillment of his promise would leave him facing the empty void he had yet to fill with acceptance of his mother’s suicide.

The voice on the other end of the connection pulled him from his thoughts. “Change of plan. Mrs. McKay is no longer expendable. No harm should come to her, is that understood?” After a few moments of silence, he responded, “Of course. The moment the deposit is verified, you are free to do with the formula what you wish, as promised.”

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August 17, 2006

TSOTF, Part 5

(Posted early, because I am going out of town tomorrow for the weekend. Enjoy!)

Martin McKay leaned his seat back and contemplated his current dilemma. He hadn’t anticipated the appearance of a second potential buyer, and his investors were more than nervous at the development. He looked again at the current bid and frowned. There was no way he could raise the extra cash by the close of business Thursday without tapping his investors for more, and that would certainly result in at least several of them pulling out altogether.

He wondered how long it would take to liquidate some assets if he agreed to take a loss. Certainly Jack could handle…Jack. Grinning, Martin reached for the phone. His son had managed to accumulate considerable wealth the last few years as the result of his ruthless negotiations. As incentive, each time Jack negotiated the price of an acquisition below Martin’s bottom line figure, he had received fifty percent of the difference in addition to his generous salary. By Martin’s rough calculations, Jack had more than enough money for Martin to outbid the other interested buyer.

Voicemail. Damn it! Martin sighed, and left a message for Jack to call him immediately. Frustrated, he downed his scotch and water, and signaled his assistant for another. He loosened his tie, and silently cursed his son for making him wait. He swallowed the second drink in one long gulp, and stifled a burp. Shaking his head, he couldn’t help but frown.

He was letting this deal get to him, and that bothered him. He’d watched his father make the same mistake, let business become personal. Of course his father had never been so close to attaining anything so great. Nor had he ever had to rely so heavily on outside investors the way Martin had. Where the senior McKay had been conservative in his business, Martin had taken chances that most would consider foolhardy. How odd, he thought, that the only time the old man took a real risk, he nearly lost it all.

He closed his eyes, and pulled up the memory of his father sitting in his office that night and calmly loading his handgun. For a moment, he wondered if he should have stopped him, should have confessed that it was he who had set him up in order to gain control of the business. He swallowed hard, remembering the sound of the shot, and his mother’s pathetic wail echoing across the foyer’s Italian marble floors as he stood in the library waiting to see if the old man had the balls to follow through.

Sighing deeply, he glanced at the figure he’d hastily written across the file. Where the hell was Jack? Exhaling slowly, he again shook his head in frustration, this time with himself for his impatience. Jack had more than proven himself. He imagined Jack was merely engaged in matters of the flesh with that little brunette of his. Hell, when he was twenty-three, he’d fucked every woman who’d spread her legs for him, despite his pregnant young bride waiting at home for him, so he certainly couldn‘t blame the boy, now could he? No, he had plenty of time.

Martin called Vincenzo in Rome. “Tell the client I am prepared to offer three percent over the other bid.” He disconnected, and let his eyes shut. In a few short days, he would be the most powerful man on the planet.

Jack glanced at his ringing cell phone. He’d ignored a call twenty minutes ago. He hadn’t needed to answer it to know why his father was calling. The man was predictable. Everything was going according to his plan.

“Jack McKay,” he said on the third ring. He listened silently for a few moments, his face betraying nothing. “Naturally. Five percent above the offer, as before.”

He dialed the number for the Swiss Bank in Zurich. It was time.

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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.”

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August 16, 2006

TSOTF, Part 3

His thoughts of his son and his own father changed his mood considerably. He was no longer appreciative of his young wife’s playful invitation for sex. Rather he was driven by his need to prove his masculinity and virility. When she tugged his hand, leading him to the bedroom, he grasped her wrist tightly, and pulled her from the hallway, deciding that his office was the perfect place for a morning fuck.

His office was his domain, where he was omnipotent in business and women. He couldn’t count all of the women he’d taken on the supple leather sofa across from his desk when Ellen had still shared his bed. His marriage to Kate had left him little time or energy for such extracurricular activities beyond an occasional indulgence in the seventeen year old granddaughter of the gardener, and the high-priced call girls his assistant arranged for him when traveling on business.

Kate followed him into his office, surprised that he would allow her entrance to the room that had been off-limits to her their entire marriage. Only once had he permitted her inside, and even then it was for a quick sexual favor while he was on hold with an associate in London. He’d been holed up in his office for early two full days, and had sent Lena, the maid, to find his wife. The maid had more access to her husband than she had.

Martin closed the door behind him, and slipped out of his dark gray suit coat, tossing it across one of the stiff chairs opposite the enormous mahogany desk that sat to his right. Martin had always believed that whomever sat across from him needed to feel as physically uncomfortable as he intended to make them feel mentally. He’d often bragged that he enjoyed seeing their discomfort.

That half of his office dedicated to business was darkly furnished, with tall bookcases, numerous matching file cabinets and his computer and a fax machine, which was currently spitting out the pages of a thick document that would undoubtedly be the focus of his attention the remainder of the day. By contrast, the rest of his office was softer. A long leather sofa figured prominently in a casual seating arrangement anchored by an antique rug in deep reds and browns. The walls featured dozens of framed photos from his travels, a curious mixture of beautiful landscapes and stark photos of the poverty he had encountered.

She turned her attention to the man she’d married three years ago tomorrow. As he unbuttoned his crisp white shirt, her eyes watched his hands. She’d always loved his hands, strong, soft and knowing when it came to her pleasure. She smiled slightly, and let her silk robe fall to the floor.

Martin focused on Kate as he draped his shirt atop his coat. She enjoyed teasing him, so he indulged her. Had she simply been another sexual conquest, he would never have tolerated such adolescent behavior, but he truly loved her, despite the vast differences between them that went beyond their ages.

He leaned back against his desk, pulling his belt from his slacks as she pushed the tiny straps off her shoulders, and the silky gown slipped below her full breasts, stopping its descent over her hips when she bent her arms, catching the straps in her inner elbows. He smiled with appreciation, and raised a brow indicating he wished to see more of her. She complied, and let the gown fall to her feet, watching as desire twisted his smile, hardening his features while bringing life to his eyes.

“Touch yourself,” he said, his voice low and breathy. Her fingertips glided across her sun-kissed skin to her sex. He was so intently focused on watching her fingers that he didn’t hear his cell phone ringing until she hesitated, and stopped. He reached into his coat pocket, withdrew his sleek phone, and flipped it open.

“McKay,” he said, unable to hide his irritation. His eyes shifted to the clock above the sofa, and he nodded his head. “Five minutes.” He flipped shut his phone, and returned it to his pocket.

“I have a flight to catch. An urgent business meeting I cannot postpone.” When he saw her face, he quickly added, “I’m sorry Katherine, but I promise to make it up to you when I return.”

“You promised you would be here tomorrow,” she snapped angrily, not caring if she upset him. He glared at her as he pulled his shirt on, irritated with her childish tantrum.

“It cannot be helped,” he offered, adjusting the uncomfortable stiffness in his slacks. “The investors in Rome are demanding a meeting. Perhaps when I return we can go to the islands for a few weeks.”

“How long will you be gone?” she asked, slipping her arms into the silk robe and snatching her gown from the floor with a pout. He smiled, knowing he’d be forgiven before he left for the jet. Adjusting his sleeves in his coat, he walked to his beautiful wife, and pulled her into his arms.

“I am so sorry, darling,” he cooed to her. “No more than a week. I promise. I love you, Katherine.” He took her face in his hands, and kissed her sweetly before walking out of his office. She stood still, listening to the sound of his shoes against the slate floor fading.

“He was wrong about you. That was a convincing performance.” Kate turned to see Jack standing between the open French doors. She knew he would be waiting for his father to leave, but hadn‘t thought he‘d be watching them so closely. She wondered if he had been as aroused by her as Martin had. Lips parted seductively, she dropped her robe to the floor again, and continued what she had started.

Posted by *Theresa* at 06:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 15, 2006

TSOTF, Part 2

Martin glanced up from his paper as Kate joined him at the table, a small frown playing at the corners of his lips. “Breakfast is always at six-thirty, Katherine,” he reminded her, irritated that she had not dressed before joining them.

“I’m sorry,” she offered, reaching for the carafe of orange juice and awaiting his lecture on self-discipline and proper breakfast attire. When her husband’s face did not reappear from behind the paper, she cast at a glance at her step-son. Jack was seemingly engrossed in one of the discarded sections of his father’s paper.

“What are your plans for today?” Martin asked. Kate sighed. She hated talking to him through his newspaper, but knew better than to complain. Sipping the fresh-squeezed juice, she considered her day. She supposed she could meet with the decorator and finalize the plans for the dining room, now that Martin had given his approval. Still, the gardens were in full bloom, and she would love nothing more than to set her easel in the midst of the riot of colors and textures and capture their spirit on canvas.

Martin lowered the paper, awaiting her answer. His eyes went to the show of her cleavage flanked by the lace of her pink silk gown, and he thought back to her reluctance at submitting to the surgery. Her new breasts were exquisite, and he decided that he rather liked seeing so much of them first thing in the morning, at least this morning.

“I imagine I should meet with Raul today,” Kate began, aware that Martin was engrossed in the view south of her face. When his eyes finally met hers, she smiled and raised a brow in invitation.

“What a wonderful idea,” he responded, the intensity of his stare telling her he wasn’t talking about Raul and the redecorating. He set the paper on the table and rose, adjusting his tie, and looking over at his son. Jack had surprised him. The boy had never held much interest in the family business before his mother’s suicide. Hell, at eighteen, he hadn’t a clue what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. When he announced after Ellen’s funeral that he wanted to follow in his old man’s footsteps, Martin had been shocked, and most pleased. He’d spent the last five years handing his son the best education money could buy, and teaching him about the business world and finances what even the best universities could not.

Jack had proven to be a worthy pupil, loyal without question, and cut-throat when it served him well. Martin had even allowed Jack to take over the negotiations on the last two deals, impressed when Jack managed to acquire both the pharmaceutical company and the mining rights for far less than he himself had thought possible.

Removed from the family business, Jack had also acquired his father’s taste for fast cars and beautiful women. Martin thought of the petite brunette Jack had been sleeping with as of late, and for a moment envied his son his youth. Not that he wasn’t a handsome man himself. Both time and genetics had been generous to him. He required little exercise to maintain his lean frame, and had yet to show his forty-seven years in his features, unlike his own father, who was a soft, balding old man by his fiftieth birthday.

“Martin?” Kate’s voice pulled him from his thoughts, and he focused on Jack, who was looking at him inquisitively. Martin nodded to his son, surprised by the spark of resentment he felt towards him, that remote thought that one day his own son would betray him the way he had his own father.

Posted by *Theresa* at 08:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 14, 2006

The Sins Of The Father

He crawled into bed next to her, and spooned against her bare backside, his face at her ear, his hardness pressing urgently against her butt. "I love you," he whispered. It had been a long week, and he had neglected her needs. Each and every time she had approached him to discuss her day, he'd had to wave her off, or cut her short. It wasn't that he hadn't wanted to talk to her, to share in her day, because he had. Business was business, and it would always come first.

She knew that going into their relationship. She reaped the benefits of that every day, from the sprawling house, to her daily shopping excursions, to the three carat diamond that sat on her delicate finger. Without him, she would still be waiting tables and struggling to pay rent on that roach-infested apartment. She had been a pretty girl, but he had made her the beautiful woman she is today.

He kissed her ear softly, nibbled on her shoulder, knowing she would soften to him eventually, that her tense muscles would relax, and he would be forgiven, at least until tomorrow, when she discovered he had booked that trip to Rome. He’d promised her they would spend their third anniversary together, having spent the previous two closing deals on another continent, but this deal was too important to take a back seat to frivolous sentimentality.

His fingers went from her arm to her breast, and he smiled when he heard her breath quickening. Leaving her breast, his fingers glided across her stomach and hip, to the full roundness of her butt, and between her thighs. If there were two things he knew best, it was his business, and how to please the woman who shared his bed. Under normal circumstance, he would take his time, but not tonight. Tonight he needed to satisfy his urges and return to his desk to check on the progress of things in Rome. Everything hinged on it.

Finished with her, his needs satiated, he kissed her ear softly, told her he loved her, and left the room without remorse, confident he could once again sweet talk his way into her graces when he returned with the right combination of diamonds and wine.

She rolled, and watched him leave the room. She should have known he would have wanted it that way. When his mind was on business, he only took her that way, knowing it would be quick. She turned to the open french doors, where her lover waited on the veranda in the shadows. She knew the moment he saw the office lights he would join her, and she laid back on the bed, touching herself in anticipation, her eyes closed.

She felt his weight on the bed and smiled. He kissed her stomach before eagerly slipping between her legs. She moaned, and entwined her delicate fingers in his jet black hair, pulling his lips to her own. He has hair like his father, she thought as she let herself enjoy the way he made her feel.

He'd never been with such a beautiful woman, and he was obsessed with her, would do anything to please her, especially if that meant taking from his father. He hated the man, despised him for the way he tossed his mother to the curb when her figure was no longer suitable for a trophy wife and her addiction to drugs and alcohol was more of a burden than keeping her quiet was worth.

He'd promised her five years ago, as he stood at her grave, that he would do everything within his power to ruin the man who'd driven her to her death. Now, as a grown man, fully immersed in his father's business dealings and fucking his father's pretty young wife, he was on the verge of fulfilling that promise.

“Tomorrow,” he whispered in her ear, “it happens tomorrow.”

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