A Pawn for Malice(8)

By: Cynthia Roberts

“I’d think twice, if I were you. Take another step closer and I swear you’ll regret it.”

She barely took a breath, watching him closely, as he sized up the situation. His hand froze briefly and he stared her down. She knew he was taking in the very sight of her. She could feel droplets of water fall from her wet hair and slowly slide down her skin and disappear between her firm breasts. She could not help but notice the bulge in his pants and how his tongue slowly grazed along his lower lip.

“God, you make me hard,” he groaned.

She raised the scissors higher and he took a step forward. “I mean it, Hal!”

Their eyes locked, chests heaving with shallow breaths, each summing up the other, wondering who would buckle first. Seconds passed and minutes hung heavy in the air like a fog.

Hal crossed his arms and leaned against her four-poster.

“Haven’t I taken care of you” He huffed, changing his tactic. “It pains me that you feel this way, Jessica. I mean … I’ve provided this beautiful cottage for you to live in, made sure my son had a generous income to keep you in the lap of luxury …”

Jessica shrieked.

“The lap ... are you kidding me!” She turned to her left and flung open the closet door. Dozens of empty hangars hung in a perfect row, accept for a few slacks, blouses, one skirt, a day dress and denim shift. A pair of worn sneakers sat on the floor beneath the hangars, along with two pairs of black flats, dressy black pumps, and a light tan pair of winter boots.

“Do you see furs hanging here or an array of designer outfits?” She moved to her jewelry chest and dumped it atop her coverlet. “No precious gems, diamonds there either,” she spat. “The only luxury you ever afforded was catering to your son’s vices!”

Hal raised an eyebrow and smiled.

“Oh! Don’t be so smug,” she spewed. “The whores didn’t bother me. I was glad he sated his sadistic hungers elsewhere.”

“He wouldn’t have looked elsewhere, if he got what was expected of you …”

“You son of a bitch,” she interrupted, as she lifted the edge of her towel to expose her upper thigh. “This is what he liked,” she pointed with the scissors still in her hand. “Recognize them, Hal? Cigarette burns. Do you do that to those high-priced whores you bed? Did he learn that from you too?”

She was surprised by the horrified look on his face. She let the towel drop back into place and crossed her arms over her chest.

“I may have pulled the trigger, but you’re the one, who killed him. You pampered and nurtured him to expect those less fortunate than him cater to his every whim. He drowned himself in alcohol, because he wanted to be like you. He had affairs with your leftovers. He was your carbon copy,” she shook her head with a disgusted laugh. “The pitiful thing is, it made him a weak, ugly, vile little man just like you. I am so done. I don’t need you, or this house,” she waved. “Now get the hell out!”

Hal snickered. “What makes you think you’ve got a choice? You’re still a Wilton, sweetheart.”

“Don’t threaten me, old man.”

Hal pounced forward and Jessica swiped the scissors upward, grazing his left cheek and drawing blood. He fell backwards and growled between clenched teeth, as he glared at the scissors still held between her hands, threatening contact again. He wiped away the blood running down his cheek with the back of his hand, then raised his palms in compliance, as if to calm her.

“Oh please. When are, you going to realize, I have a more positive force in my life ... the Newcombe Empire. That, is my inheritance. I don’t need you and despise everything you stand for.”

The corner of her mouth lifted victoriously, as she watched the color drain from his face. She had struck a chord, a wonderfully, splendorous chord.

“I know that’s why you sought out my grandmother … for a contract of marriage with your son. Did you really expect to control me, to gain access to my inheritance one day? Guess again.”

The look of contempt he sent her confirmed her suspicions all along. Now she was more than certain, why he wanted her to stay on in Wilton, so he could control the empire her Aunt Florence would one day will to her.

“I’m bored with this little exchange,” she waved. “I told you to leave, and I won’t tell you again.” She didn’t want him privy to her plans to flee. “When my Aunt returns from Europe in a couple of weeks, I’m out of here.”

She hoped she sounded convincing enough. She could not tell from the look on his face whether, or not, he believed her.

Hal scrunched his lips and nodded. “You’re not the little mouse I thought my son married. I quite like that in you. Makes you more appealing … more worthy of the challenge.”