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First pages

Singapore Jones woke up in his familiar, luxurious surroundings of his bedroom. Solely white, it was clean, bright and comfortable and as large as a tennis court. Of course, he was used to such luxury; in his line of work this was a staple, a basic. His work had afforded him the very best in everything, without having to endure the daily monotony of commuting, clock-watching and general job dissatisfaction, no depressing realisation that his brain was losing cells by the second, no risk of boredom setting in. Thankfully he had left all of that behind him, and he barely even remembered what it even felt like. This life was his and he enjoyed every last detail of it. His was an idyllic and completely perfect life. A life without stress or limits.

Singapore Jones was a story teller, and a very accomplished one at that. His was a unique trade. He was a visionary, and saw things that everyone else needed pointing out to them. His ability to tell stories through film and pictures was so much more than any average skill; they were works of art and took the viewer's breath away, capturing every watcher's attention completely. He was the most successful film director of the present day. Singapore Jones had the Midas touch when it came to films - he ideas were pure gold and everything he turned his hand to just worked. The accolades dotted about his overly-luxurious bedroom where evidence of his success, the pinnacle being three statues all by the name of Oscar. Sing was afforded the ability to choose whichever film script he took his fancy, and add his magic touch, spending his days leisurely picking through the select few that made it to his inbox. He loved the ability to sift through the imaginations of writers and their minds to see if there was a gap or seam through which he could penetrate and touch it with his magic to develop the story to its maximum potential. This made him happy, extremely so.

The photo of the cover of the magazine that was framed on his bedroom wall, it always embarrassed him. It had been the fastest selling issue of GQ magazine in history, bearing his face. His reclusive lifestyle invaded and highlighted for one single, exclusive interview giving an insight to his idyllic, secretive life. It sent the world into overdrive and the global public were hungry for anything about this handsome, gracious, gentlemanly intellectual with a creative inner streak and an eye for absolute perfection. Constantly shrouded in his secrecy that only true wealth could afford, this little interview went viral and made his fans all over the world hungry for any little scrap of information about him. It catapulted him further into the stratosphere of celebrity-dom. He was wanted in any capacity that could be obtained; any photo, any message, absolutely anything was welcomed. He however, respectfully retreated to his sanctity and impenetrable fortress of wealth and luxury. His home and his bedroom. He turned in his bed of opulence and comfort. His life was complete.

Born to radical parents with the most common surname, they decided to think out of the box with his first name, and decided that no other Jones would be a Singapore. They were right - no-one ever had been called Singapore before, but it wasn't as unique and clever as his parents had wished for him. He had been the butt of all jokes and mockery at school, but instead of fighting the bullies, he questioned them and they gave him off-the-cuff remarks, revealing their way of thinking. His reaction was then to think ahead of the sly boys and bitchy girls and try to get them to see things through different eyes, give them a different take on the world. He regularly took beatings from kids who didn’t understand him, who were feared of him even. He just wanted them to leave him alone. He observed them and listened to them. They fascinated him with their way of thinking, so simple yet so wrong. It hadn't been easy but eventually they left him alone as the laid-back geek type who they couldn't get any kind of reaction from despite his silly name. He was a freak.

This insight into other people's way of thinking allowed him to break through barriers. He watched and listened to people and saw other sides to life than his own, different perspectives and different interpretations of the same things. He started taking photos, and challenged himself to interpret certain things from stories to see if he could create the same with his pictures. Cameras eventually turned in to videos and his pictures became popular within his college and he got recognised. He created wedding videos to fund his passion, taking unstaged, candid photos (sometimes in black and white which was a new idea at the time) and managed to capture the real moments and sentiments of the day. His college work was taking a back seat and after a while he decided to venture into the film industry. His work progressed and he took an old author's new take on the classic Cinderella fairytale. The main character was a man instead of a woman. Singapore made it comical and fresh and modern. It was welcomed and made massive and it shot Singapore to instant fame. He smashed it. Singapore's 'Cinderella' was a modern-day man. The crowds loved it, the rom-com twist got everyone excited and was followed by the obvious heart-warming ending. Everyone wanted a piece of him. He was rewarded with an infinitely wealthy contract and the pick of anything he wished for. He was set.

The premier afterparty was fantastic and totally overwhelming, and he met one young lady who was absolutely mesmerising. She chatted to him coyly and didn’t realise who he was, which he liked. He had begun to tire of the overly-fake gold diggers throwing themselves at him, laughing at unfunny jokes and without conversation of their own. This lady was different entirely... she seemed disinterested in him and spoke over him. She was very different to the 'yes' people that had become all about him. She had disappeared after that night just like Cinderella as Sing had remembered. He could not find anyone at the party who knew who she was. No name on lists, nothing. The guest list had been scoured but not one of the pictures where hers. After realising that he may never find her again he was so down and disheartened. Lottie Bibby re appeared in a little coffee shop. Just like that. Skinny latte, small. This coffee shop which he went into daily and she was just there. It was amazing. Sing was smitten.

After chasing this young lady hard, she eventually let her barriers down and agreed to be with him. The whirlwind romance was documented and was published daily on social media. The public went wild, they loved this couple. Lottie wanted to stay out of the limelight, but reluctantly agreed to have a magazine cover wedding. The wedding cost an obscene amount of money but it was a drop in the ocean to Sing. The day was perfection and Lottie was finally his. Singapore loved that day, he had the perfect life. Lottie was by his side and they both agreed that they should take a step out of the lime light to allow Sing to concentrate on his next big thing. They both wanted the same out of life. The ability to be reclusive. In the spotlight only on their terms. Only true wealth could afford this optimum luxury and if that’s what Lottie wanted the Sing would happily provide it for her. She had been so right when she pointed out to him the horrors of the press and the intrusion, the dangers of being famous and that it wouldn't do him any harm in staying off the party scene and aim for the reclusive paradise life away from the masses, the ultimate privacy. He was now in his Mecca and one that he aimed for in everything that he did. Lottie became his everything: his PA, his confidante, his go between for his inner sanctuary and the world outside. Life hummed along nicely. They bought the biggest house and remodelled it inside and out. Three years into their marriage and the house was completed. A palatial fortress, their palatial fortress - house sufficient for a small country’s worth of people. Lottie had suggested she sleep in her own room in her own wing of the house. Singapore was initially gutted, but realised that Lottie was right - he needed his own space to concentrate on his work. Their sex life was still amazing and it freshened up their marriage as they didn’t enter the monotony of the usual sexless marriage. Lottie was so clever, and he adored her for that.

Many pictures came and went and Singapore never failed to disappoint. This was largely down to Lottie taking over his social calendar and his contract negotiations and she was absolutely brilliant at it. He did not do the openings of restaurants, or any kind of social invitation that might compromise him as the artist and person that she had helped to create. He was happy at his home, his castle, his impenetrable sanctuary, his safety. People were the enemy to Singapore Jones.

He thought about his Lottie a lot, as every morning he woke alone. She called in to see him of course every morning, and it excited him that her appearance into his bedroom was still as welcoming as it had been the first time.

Today, she arrived after her morning workout in those oh-so-sweet and sexy workout clothes that revealed her taut and toned body. The material stretched just enough to show the sheen as she moved towards him, such a glorious sight. The shiny leggings and vest top, although very plain, made her look a million dollars. His million dollars.

"Hey baby" she said softly as she kissed his forehead. Singapore held her tightly, he wanted her so bad! He kissed her passionately, deeply. She drew away slowly. "Now, now easy tiger you won't want to get my dirty sweat all over you, do you?" She untangled herself from him elegantly and kissed his forehead again.

"I wouldn't mind" he grinned his massive trademark kilowatt smile. She put her finger upon his lips provocatively and delicately and turned to exit his bedroom. Sing thought she was so lovely and so gorgeous, but it irked him just a bit that they didn't have anywhere near as much sex as he would like to have. She always gave him the brush off very gracefully and very demurely, so that he could never get angry with her. He knew that, at their age, sex had to wind down, Lottie had always said that. He still adored her and was still heavily attracted to her, she knew it and she maintained that this was what had kept their marriage rock solid, the needing and the yearning and he ran with it. He just wished he could get a break every now and then to show her how much he still loved and wanted her.

He laid back in his bed and wondered happily what he would do with the rest of the day. Perhaps he would treat her to lunch or dinner at their favourite restaurant, although eating was never usually an option to her unless it was a very special occasion. He remembered the last time they attended the highly popular and very high-brow restaurant on their wedding anniversary. They had reservations for 7.30pm and by the time Lottie was ready it was fast approaching 8.30pm. She was worth waiting for though; she looked stunning, and he was more in love with her than ever before. He chuckled to himself about how she'd had the nerve to complain when they had been nearly two hours late for their reservation and managed to get the staff apologising to her and eating out of her hand! She had also adopted a little game of sending her food back at least three times before she would eat it. As most restaurants served up little more than a tiny plate of food after the third attempt had arrived she would heavily praise the serving staff and then eat only the tiniest of the food anyway! She watched every morsel of food that entered through her mouth - it was more important to her to have the size zero designer dress and killer body. God, her killer body. It was truly amazing. Everyone in their game was like that, she told him. Singapore was amused by her; he ignored the stares and the tuts and the guffaws from the staff and other customers; he only saw his beautiful wife complaining about what she thought was right and it excited him. She was such a character...

Maxine Raymond Wilkinson was in her favourite place, at her favourite time in the whole world: fast asleep. It was from this non-reality state that she would soon awake, and get back to the daily grind, her monotonous lifestyle that had somehow taken over from her hopes and dreams she had planned as a little girl. This reality was far from her childhood images. She hadn’t paid attention to the word 'responsibility', or 'limitation' and certainly not 'finances'. But, her family needed her. She still lived at home with her mum and dad and siblings.

Maxine had wanted the family and home life that her mother and father has created for them all as a child. Sadly Maxine’s partner choices never seemed to fit in with her life plan. She believed that her partners loved her as they say they did. All three long-term partners had loved the chase and affairs of others more so. Every one of them had cheated on her, and so Maxine had retreated to writing stories about lives that weren’t hers. She couldn’t understand why people would lie. She accepted that sometimes relationships didn’t work out and came to an end but why did it always have to be because she’d walked in on partners having sex with someone else or realising the signs of cheating? It was horrible. Luckily, her brother usually got involved and sorted the cheaters out which wasn’t ideal, but it helped Maxine cope. Back at her mum and dad’s house behind their family business she was welcomed with open arms once again to the nest.

Her and her siblings all had the same middle name after their father, Raymond, both the boys and the girls. Locally known endearingly as the Rays, their family chip shop was the heart of the community, the hub. Founded by their mum and dad, Raymond and Shirley Wilkinson, the long and tiresome hours had taken their toll on Raymond and he was poorly. Leukaemia was slowly taking him away from them all. Maxine and her siblings all worked and helped in the chip shop, taking regular shifts to keep the money coming in. They also had shifts to care for their father. Maxine loved her parents and siblings deeply, and the shock of her father’s illness had thrown them all completely. None of her siblings had ever complained about caring for him or taking their turn in the chippy, they knew it meant the world to their mum and it took her mind off the potential early departure from this world of her beloved husband.

Maxine's day began so hectically, being dragged from her beloved sleep, evolving in to a time-poor, chore-rich jigsaw puzzle of caring for her father, walking the dog, going to her own job and then a busy evening shift at the chippy, finally ending in restful sleep. She had no way out of it and it meant more to her to help her family than to enjoy time that she wouldn't know what to do with. When she did have any time she enjoyed writing stories and escaping from her life?

Her eyes flickered and her heart slumped. The daylight had penetrated through her eye lids and she knew it was sleep over time, the morning sun light had won again. She eventually stretched open her weight laden lids and checked her bedroom. A tiny, comfortable room full of memories. Little cards dotted about giving thanks, bright colours of mismatched lamps and rugs and pillows. Rag dolls and decades-old teddy bears. It was homely and smelled of soft scented candles, relaxing and secure. She hauled herself up from her squashy, comfortable bed and began to wash and dress. Time for the day to begin. Bring on the work. The dog first, then her dad, then her paid employment, then the tea time chippy shift, the clean down then the sanctity of bed and sleep oblivion. Pretty much the same routine day after day. Maxine would love just once to take herself to the luxurious coffee shop in town and treat herself to a hot, tasty coffee and a couple of hours of reading. Pure luxury.

Maxine was bone tired. She immediately pushed the tantalising thoughts of relaxing and resting and what that would look like from her mind; her tendency to daydream was always an easy distraction from her mundane life. The clock showed 6am, time to walk the dog. She pulled on her gym leggings and a hoodie. The dog sprang awake as she entered the kitchen quietly.

"Come on Ray, let's go. You know the drill." Yes, even the dog was called Ray. He wagged his tail and assumed the put-on-lead position. He was so lovely, a large ball of grey and black fluff, his big black eyes always so happy to see Maxine. She was happy that she made his mornings. He was a lovely dog, so calm and patient. He didn’t ask for much but he loved his morning walks and so did she. Maxine closed the door behind her. She liked this part of the day, when she could recalibrate her mind and plan her day. Then, she would allow herself to daydream of her own little storyland. Usually, it was to create a better world than the one she was in but sometimes it was of fantasy and far out reality of love and riches, the usual Cinderella script. If nothing else, it gave her hope for a better life from the one she was in. She loved writing stories but only had chance every now and again to fire up her old, almost stone-age laptop and let her fingers bring her daydreams to life. She would love to become a published author, to know that she had it and that this life she was in was just for now, that bigger and better things were on the way. Those thoughts kept her warm and sparkly on the inside.

She waited for the dog to finish his business and collected it in a small bag, the warm sparkly niceness literally turned to shit. She walked briskly for another fifteen minutes and played fetch with Ray, and thought about her dad. It saddened Maxine how her dad has been reduced from a hulking mountain of a man, large as life with a humour to match his massive personality, to a vulnerable ageing man who looked like he'd had the life plug pulled out of him, a sort of standby mode of her father. All brought on by leukaemia. They all lived and embraced the day to day living in hopes that they could all provide a decent life for their dad as he had afforded them in his younger days. It was what was necessary, no question - they simply had to do it.

Dog walk done and back inside the kitchen, Maxine fed and watered him, filled the kettle for a cup of tea. Next, to care for her beloved dad. She crept into his bedroom as usual, and he was waiting with a smile. It brightened Maxine's morning instantly.

"Morning Dad," she whispered and kissed his forehead.

'Good morning lover, how are you?'

'Can't complain dad, can I?!' She helped him from his bed and to the bathroom then washed and dressed him. He had pleaded many times that he hated what he'd become and that he didn't like what his children had to do. They had all dismissed him immediately - this was their duty and they would have it no other way. She helped him down to the kitchen and placed his usual breakfast of porridge and honey on the table, along with a cup of tea. Maxine favoured a mountain of granola this morning.

"So how about I open the chippy this dinner after I've been to the cash and carry hey?" Her dad smiled wickedly.

"Oh yeah, after you've cleared away this lot and took mum shopping? You know, the gardens could do with a mow?!" They both laughed. If only he could do those things again. Those had been his previous everyday doings and he had never moaned or complained once.

"Have you heard anything about this book yet, missy?"

"Nothing yet, Dad but you know JK Row-"

"- Rowling got 12 rejections, yes I know she did! And look at her now! You have to keep trying Max, I keep telling you! Don't end up like me, lover. Live your life and see the world. You have a talent, I'm telling you." Her dad’s eyes were sparkling and it surprised Maxine. She would love nothing more than to tell her father that he had a daughter with a talent for writing and that someone was interested in printing it.

"Well, if I have a talent dad they'll discover it and let me know won't they? Until then, I've got stuff to do!" She clapped her hand on his knee and kissed his forehead. She collected her mum's breakfast things on a tray and headed up to get ready for work. Her mum was awake, no doubt sleep had evaded her thanks to the constant worrying of her beloved husband.

"You don't have to do that, girl, you've enough on your plate as it is!" Shirley said, tutting. "But thank you, lover. You're a gem."

"Oh mum, it's no bother, honestly. You're worrying about dad, so we've got to worry about you!" Maxine put the tray down and smiled.

"Looking after all of us isn't getting you a nice man and kids, is it?" Maxine rolled her eyes.

"Mum, as I'm usually only attracted to dickheads who want someone else and who treat me like shit and expect me to become their main carer, I'll give it a miss. To be honest, there's time enough for that and if it happens, it happens. If not, then I'm alright about it." She kissed her mum and left her. As she made her way to the bathroom, she heard her shout.

"I do worry about you, you know! Perhaps it's right under your nose at work, you never know..." her mum's usual spiel.

Work. Yeah right. Meeting someone at work! Who could that be? Maxine worked in an estate agents' office. This too had never been in her life plan for the ultimate desirable career, but she had initially enjoyed helping people into new houses. She liked seeing how different people lived. Sadly, after a while, she had been sent to the lettings side of the business, and that was the most challenging. The non-payments of rent, screaming landlords and ladies, and the state that some of the tenants left the properties in was disgusting. The men available in her office that her mother continually alluded to where the dregs of society; narcissistic and misogynistic were the personality traits required to work in Home Move Residential. Maxine would be happier single, given the choices she had. The slimy, slippery sales manager Johnny, who considered every woman who breathed fair game, a massive bonus if she had a house to sell and he can get the commission on the back of it? Or Ronald, the lettings manager, the highly inappropriate misogynist who was equally narcissistic, his ego even bigger than Johnny’s? Or Clive, the ex-branch manager who was not too old to retire but was too nice to be sacked... he was lovely. What a choice! Throw in a few power-crazed women also thinking that they're more powerful than they are. Finally, at the bottom of the tree, Maxine and Jude, the work doers. They did viewings and everything else, all the jobs everyone else thought themselves far too important to do.

That was Maxine's job: general dogsbody for Home Move Residential sales and lettings. There is never a dull day in that place. Fat chance, if any, of Maxine meeting her Mr right in the office. And the customers? They're just as bad! The landlords (or slumlords, most of them) spoke to Maxine and Jude dreadfully, in exchange for them handing over massive sums of money in rent for squalid houses. The tenants? They were usually in receipt of housing benefits, and Maxine and Jude spent their days chasing them for their suspended benefit claims, receiving shitty attitudes and volleys of abuse for their troubles. Everything, literally everything, was their fault, from both the landlord's or tenant's point of view. Sometimes, it was tiresome. But usually, it felt like they were helping people and making a difference in their lives, particularly the ones from the local housing shelter. Maxine helped in the homeless shelter during busy times with feeding and fundraising for the shelter house. She would have loved to help more, if only she had more time.

Time.

If time were a person, Maxine would be the poorest beggar girl. She didn't ever have any time ever, not even for herself, but she knew that she would one day. Sadly, and that moment, that would only come with the passing of her father and she would never dare let that enter in to her head. For now, she would concentrate on what was necessary and park her dreams until she could do something about them.

After arriving at work and making light of the usual slimy comments she was met with daily, Maxine sat at her desk. She smirked as she opened her locked work desk drawer and saw her completed book manuscripts. She dared to fantasise about what she would do if she were to receive an email telling her that whichever literary agent wanted to work with her and her books! Ha! Who was she kidding? Daydreamer! A girl like her didn't ever get chances like that, it was too harsh and cut throat a business for her to survive in. She didn't even have a degree! She was happy in the knowledge that it might not happen for her; during all the sadness in her life, writing helped her escape and allowed her some release from her mundane existence. She'd sent her recent manuscripts to twenty three different literary agents, and had received generic responses from some of them. The usual 'sorry' and 'wish you well' 'it's not for me but could be for someone else' letters. She had been happy to get some acknowledgement, but deep down she knew tha that's all it would ever be...

"Hey Maxie….. Earth to Maxie!" she snapped out of her thoughts as Ronald, who'd appeared far too close to her as usual and was looking directly at her boobs, called out to her.

"What do you want Ronald?"

"Can you do me a favour?" he asked, and then proceeded to pass most of his days’ work on to her with his lecherous grin. She actually didn’t mind; at least she'd be out of the office most of the day. She smiled brightly.

“Of course Ronald, you know I would like nothing better.”

Singapore Jones was milling around his house, bored out of his own mind. He'd checked his emails and his many requests from the studios for mediocre films that just weren't him. He'd read and re-read manuscript after manuscript of samey storylines, and declined every single one of them. His wife had come down with one of her headaches again, and taken to her bed, so he thought it would be a good idea to surprise her, wake her with a nice refreshing drink... he might even get some sex too! He prepared her an elderflower spritzer with some fresh lime much to his housekeeper Mrs Chan's, protests that Mrs Lottie would be extremely angry at being disturbed. But Sing laughed it off and headed up to his wife's bedroom with his wicked grin.

It had been a while since he'd visited this wing of the house and it had far more luxurious furnishings than his side. As he approached silently he was happy to hear his wife had woken and was chatting animatedly on her phone. He opened the high and heavy bedroom door and turned on his one-thousand kilowatt smile.

"Hey baby -" He froze.

The smile tightened immediately on his face.

His wife was happily chatting, and was enjoying herself immensely, but it wasn't down to some person on the other end of the phone. It was down to her personal trainer, and his erection disappearing in and out of her.

Lottie's eyes met Singapore's, and widened. She froze. She screamed and the scene developed before him in slow motion. He gradually and slowly took in what was happening.

His.

Wife.

Was.

Having.

Sex.

With.

Her.

Personal.

Trainer.

The elderflower spritzer hit the ornate mirror behind the bed and shattered into tiny shards, exploding everywhere in carnage and chaotic fallout.

"SIINNNGGGG!" Lottie screamed, kicking her trainer off her.

"Sir-ah, dis eez not what it-ah looks li-" the personal trainer tried to protest, but Sing was on him and smashed his smart mouth through the floor, following it up by kneeing him while he was still erect. The scream was higher pitched than anything any woman could make... Sing smirked. Lottie jumped up with her whiter than white Egyptian cotton sheet around her.

"Sing! Please - please, Sing!" She tried to put her arms around him, but he shrugged her off with so much force that she was thrown to the floor. Sing could only see red mist, realising exactly how much of an idiot she had taken him for.

"How long Lottie?" Sing shouted.

"Sing....." She sobbed

"DON'T LOTTIE! HOW LONG? IS THIS PRICK THE ONLY ONE OR HAVE YOU BEEN FUCKING ALL OF THEM?" She was inconsolable, she was crying uncontrollably. "NO FUCKING DRAMAS, LOTTIE! NOT ONLY HAVE YOU FUCKED HIM, YOU'VE FUCKED YOURSELF! YOU'RE OUT OF HERE, YOU FUCKING BITCH!"

He felt trapped and claustrophobic. He stumbled to the door and ran downstairs and out to the garden, running as fast as he physically could. His mind awash with images of her and him, then her and the other trainers, about one every month or so, younger, fitter specimens all usually Italian, Spanish or French. He stopped and put his head in his hands, sinking to the floor. He'd run a few kilometres away from the house and he looked back at it in its full glory. He didn't have any breath left in him, the sweat pouring down his face and body. He cried and collapsed looking at the house, the stupid house and gardens, the fortress. He had everything and nothing in one second. How could she? He'd given her everything and she didn't want him, thrown it back in his face for a simple personal trainer. He sobbed violently as realisation dawned on him. Exactly how long he had been taken for a ride? How much she must be laughing at him! How many times had she taken to her bed? How many times had she cheated on him right under his nose? She had shunned him on an almost daily basis from having sex.

In his house.

With someone else.

Sex.

SEX!.

SEX WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

SEX! THE ULTIMATE INTAMACY BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE AND SHE’S GIVEN IT TO SOMEONE ELSE!

IN HIS HOUSE!

His tears dried and he was suddenly angry and started punching the floor. He was madder than hell.

Then he cried again and collapsed. Why? How could she do that to him? Why didn’t she want him? Why wasn’t he enough? He looked at the house again. He felt so sorry for himself, felt pity because she was his world, everything he did was to please her and he'd stupidly thought she had felt the same way. His mind was a whirr, going over every tiny detail: no sex, no touching, the keeping the marriage alive by not succumbing, the time she spent apart from him, constantly avoided him under the guise of organising his affairs, his finances.

All a lie.

A LIE! A COMPLETE LIE!

He breathed deeply. He sat propped against a small ornamental wall, not quite sure how he got there. Clarity sparked through him suddenly, creating a train of thought that he was used to seeing in his work.

She was dealing with all his personal finances. She would surely be swindling him there too. She would take everything he had if she hadn't already.

That's what it was about. The money. Every conversation they ever had was about infinite wealth, how he could achieve it.

For her.

Now his blinkers had been forcibly removed he saw their marriage and life through different eyes. She had shielded him from the outside world for his benefit. What about for her benefit? What if she had been shielding something about them from him? Or her from him? His head opened up to even more possibilities. He had to get on line. 

He ran back to the house, speed thinking and planning as he pushed his legs hard. He went to his office. Lottie burst through his door. 

"Sing, we have to talk" she said very matter of factly. Sing didn't say one word, picked up his phone and spoke as though she wasn't there.

"Yes, Rhinestone... please come and collect Mrs Jones immediately, and get me Johnson on the phone". He tapped on his computer. 

"Sing, what the hell? You can't do this!" He didn't even look up. "SING! I swear to god you'll regret this!" 

"Mrs Jones, please come this way." The large security guards arrived in the study with their no-nonsense approach and politely escorted her from the office. As the door closed, he couldn't quite believe the disgusting language and comments coming from his wife's vile mouth.

Ironically, Lottie had insisted that they employ a security company with a no-nonsense and immediate extraction procedure, irrespective of if it was to extract Mr or Mrs in the event of either party growing aggressive, or for their own personal security against intruders. Lottie had also insisted they be included in the plan, and the password ‘Rhinestone’ was to be used in any event so both new what was happening. Sing initially protested, as he never thought he would ever have had to use it. Lottie must have planned it for his extraction rather than her own. Johnson was the solicitor to be instructed, who had power to freeze assets and bank accounts in light of foul play by either party - again, a suggestion by Lottie made as a casual remark but obviously meant for her sole protection. He now had his house and assets covered, but he was more interested in what he had been missing elsewhere...

"I am so sorry, Mrs Connelly, I really don't know what to say…" Maxine was yet again placed in a highly embarrassing situation by her fellow work colleagues. No wonder Ronald was keen to pass on this complaint from Mrs Connelly, a landlady. Mrs Connelly was bright red, shouting and screaming at Maxine, as she led her into her fully furnished penthouse apartment and showed her directly to the bedroom.


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Hello, I'm Jay Con, and I'm a British writer from the North-West of England. Throughout my life, I'd read books and written my own little stories, including a soap-opera style story which I had a lot of fun with. Writing, for me, is an escape from the usual hum-drum life of a full-time job, children to care for a house to run, and very little time to do much else. I hope you enjoy my stories as much as I've enjoyed writing them!

Q. Why do you write?
A.
I write because it gives me a distraction from the daily toils ordinary life has to offer. I love getting to know my characters and seeing where they'll take me next.
Q. What is the inspiration for the story?
A.
This story has been knocking around in my mind for a while, now, and getting onto paper was quite tough. It's reflective of my own dreams, and it's a story I feel I can relate to on a more personal level.
Q. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A.
Writing it! Actually sitting down to write was the hardest part! I knew my story,my characters, and where I wanted it to go, and most of the time I had to sit in my car and write while waiting for work to start, or on my lunch, or waiting for the kids to finish their sports...

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