My Sexy Books Corner. Part 2.

THE TROUBLE WITH KATE

Here are the first 3 chapters of The Trouble With Kate, Book 3 of The Trouble series of erotic thrillers. I hope to publish it and Book 4, Troubled, on Amazon in late 2020. I’d be interested to hear your valuable feedback on these chapters in the comment box at the bottom of my home page on this site.

 Chapter 1. Past and Present

A dark cloud hovered over the Sheffield crematorium, only partly due to the biting November weather. Liam O’Sullivan’s funeral was always going to be an awkward affair. Wayne was five when his father disappeared behind a mysterious curtain to be cremated. Even though the child only had a vague idea what was going on, the tension and solemnity in the air made him cry. His ten-year-old brother, Conor, squeezed Wayne’s hand to comfort him, despite Conor holding back his own tears.

As a murderer who’d taken his own life as well as Tiyanna Powell’s, nobody in the congregation had the appetite to stand up and speak on Liam’s behalf. A month before, the Irishman had hung himself inside his cell where he’d been waiting to be sentenced for murdering the friendless Jamaican girl who he’d targetted for destruction. Liam had been hating and controlling women for years, mainly as a reaction to how atrociously his mother, Scarlett, had treated him throughout his childhood.

Nobody except Liam knew why he’d really hung himself. Only Liam knew why he’d felt he had no option. The secret truth was, he’d cut short his life out of fear the spirit of the girl he’d murdered under trees on a hot, summer evening in the Peak District of Sheffield would carry out her threat to kill him. Liam had always needed to be the one in control, so he’d beaten her to it. Taking a leaf out of his father’s book, he’d  hung himself in his prison cell, not in the family shed in Dublin like his father, Aidan O’Sullivan, had been driven to do.

Wayne and Conor’s grandfather, Aidan, had never been introduced to the boys because he’d hung himself when Liam was a troubled teenager. Liam had been traumatised by this tragedy, particularly as he’d been the unfortunate person to find his father’s lifeless body. Liam’s weak and ineffectual father had been unable to live with the knowledge his wife, Scarlett, had deserted him and Liam to live with a glorious redhead called Lorna Markham. Liam had never been able to forgive his mother for causing his father’s death. His hatred of his mother instilled a life-long hatred of women in Liam. If Aidan had lived, maybe Tiyanna might still be alive. The innocent Jamaican girl had suffered and died horribly for the perceived sins of the two main women in Liam’s life; his mother and his wife, Jessie.

At Liam’s funeral, Wayne’s brother, Conor, was ten, but he was as equally confused and upset as his younger brother. Jessie had been in two minds whether to attend her husband’s funeral at all. Their relationship had been in tatters for years, and she’d begun divorce proceedings to escape his controlling, abusive ways. On that winter’s day, she looked even more like a pale, blonde ghost as she stood, silent and dry-eyed while the coffin containing the body of the man who’d made her life a misery disappeared behind the curtains to be burnt.

Watching the bully’s coffin travel on its final journey, Jessie thought, Good riddance to bad rubbish. She had good reason. Ever since Conor’s birth, her handsome, errant Irish husband had physically, verbally, and emotionally abused his shy, quietly-spoken, easily manipulated wife. She’d been aware of Liam’s cheating throughout their disastrous marriage, but he’d been too violent for her to challenge his betrayal. 

Sitting next to Jessie on the hard pew was Russell Bell, the new love in her life. The tall, handsome Jamaican worked as an illustrator. To give her much-needed comfort and support, Russell clasped her delicate hand in his as they listened to the celebrant’s coldly impersonal eulogy drone on. Her pale hand looked even paler set against Russell’s almost blue-black skin.

Jessie struggled not to stand up and shout, ‘Bullshit!’ in the middle of the eulogy; the portrait of Liam which the stranger facing them was painting sounded laughably inaccurate. She told herself the celebrant was struggling to speak well of the dead. It was his duty to gloss over Liam’s true character.

Russell Bell had seamlessly become integrated into the lives of Jessie and her two boys. When Jessie had met Russell beside a hotel’s pool during a luxury Jamaican holiday with her children, Russell had acted in a more paternal, caring way to her sons than Liam had ever done.

Throughout the funeral, Jessie’s attractive new man tried to comfort both her boys equally as they sat wide-eyed with fear and anxiety during the grim proceedings. From their first meeting in Jamaica, Russell had always been more drawn to Conor because of the Jamaican blood flowing through their veins. It was a happy coincidence that Russell looked like he could have been Conor’s father, even though he had nothing to do with the boy’s conception. He looked more like Conor’s father than Liam ever could have done.

Dwight Reid was Conor’s biological father. The irresponsible Jamaican wastrel had vanished after his drunken dalliance with Jessie while she’d been married to Liam. Their brief liaison had taken place up a dark Sheffield alley while she’d been on a rare girls’ night out.

In his defence, Dwight had been clueless Jessie had given birth to his child; she’d never informed him he’d impregnated her. She’d hoped Liam had fathered the baby growing in her belly, but luck had worked against her. Misogynistic Liam had turned against Jessie completely when, to everyone’s surprise, his wife had given birth to a baby the colour of burnt toffee. As soon as Conor was born, Liam had made Jessie’s and Conor’s life a living hell.

Five years later, when Wayne followed Conor into the world, Liam had treated him better than his older brother, but that’s not saying much. When he’d not been ignoring Conor’s existence, Liam had frequently called him a “little black bastard”. Although Liam had never emotionally warmed to Wayne, at least he’d acknowledged Wayne as his son and treated him more humanely than he’d treated Conor.

A few years after Wayne’s birth, the impoverished O’Sullivan’s family’s luck had changed to the tune of over five million pounds, courtesy of the National Lottery. Six numbers had changed their lives forever, although Liam had selfishly been the main beneficiary of the win. He would probably have frittered away the entire fortune if he’d not hung himself in prison a couple of years after becoming a multi-millionaire.

Liam had bought a sprawling luxury mansion in Sheffield for over two million pounds without consulting his downtrodden wife. When Liam was arrested for Tiyanna’s murder, Jessie and her young boys had fled the luxury property in Sheffield to start a new life in Cornwall. Finding a courage she’d not felt before, Jessie had syphoned off half a million pounds while Liam was incarcerated. With the money, she’d bought a more modest family home in Cornwall, where she’d planned to live frugally, expecting Liam to claim the rest of the lottery fortune. She’d thought losing her hold on four and a half million pounds would be worth it just to be able to escape from living with such a controlling, abusive husband.

As it turned out, Liam committed suicide in jail, so she’d inherited the entire fortune. When the solicitors had sorted out the boring paperwork, Jessie’s humdrum life of penury had changed forever. The five million pound fortune had soon started causing tension in Jessie and Russell’s previously harmonious relationship. Despite having known each other for a only few months, they were living together in Jessie’s new Cornish property. Jessie felt giddy with love for him and couldn’t stand to be separated from him, so had spontaneously convinced Russell to up sticks from his small, rented flat in London and move into her new Liam-free home.

The couple could have managed perfectly well living on the half a million pounds, but a five-million-pound fortune was an entirely different matter; it was serious money. Although she never spoke the words out loud, Jessie began to suspect Russell might be more interested in her fortune than in loving her. There was no evidence for her suspicion. Russell never put a foot wrong, but Liam had whittled her self-esteem down to almost nothing over the years, so Jessie was struggling to believe anyone could love her just for who she was.

The more Russell told Jessie he loved her, the more her annoying inner voice chipped in with, Oh, yeah? You’re only saying that to get your hands on my money. Even though she never said it out loud, Russell read it in her eyes. Despite her concerns, she couldn’t bear to lose him. She believed being alone would have been a worse option. Let him stay in your home, whispered her inner voice, but never take your eyes off him. You owe it to your boys’ futures to be wary.

Chapter 2. Con Artist

Russell’s cynical plan to infiltrate Jessie’s life to con her out of her winnings had been formulated on holiday in Jamaica. He’d learned from his cousin, Shanice, that Jessie and Liam had recently won over five million pounds on the UK’s National Lottery. Shanice was the receptionist at the same five-star hotel in Jamaica where Jessie and Russell had stayed the previous year. Russell could never have afforded to stay there normally, but Shanice had managed to wangle a generous discount for him by pulling a few strings. Her regular clandestine sex with the hotel’s married manager had helped procure the discount.

When Russell had met Shanice one evening after her shift, she’d innocently told him about her day. It had involved a meeting with Jessie when Shanice had asked her to phone DCI Cosgrove who worked in a Sheffield police headquarters back in England. He’d needed to speak to Jessie about Liam’s arrest as chief suspect for the murders of his mother Scarlett, Lorna Markham and her daughter, Amy. In the midst of Jessie’s conversation with Shanice, she’d let slip about her life-changing lottery win.

When Shanice mentioned Jessie’s massive win, Russell’s ears had pricked up. The cogs in his brain immediately started whiring. Lottery win? I wonder how much she’s won, Russell thought as he sipped his mojito beside the pool and watched Jessie rubbing sun lotion onto her pale, English-rose skin. He’d already been drawn to Jessie’s lithe body and long, white-blonde hair when he’d spotted her and her children at the hotel’s breakfast buffet. His attraction to her subtle yet undeniable good looks made him sound convincing to Jessie when he began to court her.

Russell instinctively knew within seconds that Jessie would be his easiest path to a cushy life. She was the solution to his serious financial problems if he played his cards right. Over the past four years, Russell had found himself in a financial downward spiral. He’d been losing money hand over fist. If he’d stayed clear of lavishing money on several high-maintenance women, gambling in casinos, and taking recreational drugs, Russell might still have held onto his delightful house in Swiss Cottage. Two years before meeting Jessie, his financial situation had forced him to move into a depressing rental property in Brixton.

The morning after Shanice had unintentionally set Russell’s plans for his financial salvation into action, he’d ensured he’d be basking on a sun lounger next to Jessie and her two boys. As luck would have it, he’d not had to introduce himself in a cheesy, suspicious way. Conor innocently helped launch Russell’s charm offensive on Jessie by accidentally kicking his beachball into Russell’s lap. Russell had shrieked when the icy mojito tipped over his well-oiled dark skin. Jessie was mortified her unruly child had accidentally drenched the handsome stranger’s well-defined, ebony torso.

Russell let the slim blonde fuss around him mopping up the Mojito as best she could with her beach towel. In her awkwardness, she occasionally brushed his groin with her hand and towel. He lay still, grinning as he let her wipe him dry, hoping she noticed and appreciated the bulge in his damp swimming trunks. He thought, Her blushes aren’t only due to embarrassment over her son making me spill my drink. Yeah, she fancies me. It’s obvious from my hard-on that the feeling’s mutual. I can see her sizing up my package. She’s not to know the bulge happened while watching that hot brunette in the micro bikini over there oiling herself up. 

When her towel tellingly gravitated back to his impressive groin, he looked up, still grinning at her. He leant forward on his sun lounger and whispered in her ear so her sons couldn’t hear, ‘It’s not every day that area gets such attention from such an attractive woman.’

Jessie blushed an even deeper shade of red and snatched her hand away from his body as if she’d been scalded. Russell thought, It might not be every day my dick gets attention, but it’s pretty darned close. That double-jointed redhead, Lexie, who I picked up in a beach bar four days ago was exceptionally talented in the bedroom. Hope I don’t bump into that hottie again, or any of the other women I’ve been screwing this holiday. They could seriously mess up my plans for sweet, shy, mega-rich Jessie.

‘You must let me replace your mojito, at the very least.’ Jessie picked up her beach bag in readiness to dash off to the pool bar to buy him a replacement drink.

‘Accidents happen, so you really don’t have to bother. But, if it’ll stop you feeling so guilty, then be my guest,’ said Russell.

Jessie looked determined to have her way. ‘I insist.’

He laughed and shrugged. ‘Only if you allow me to take you and the boys to lunch. You’d be doing me a favour. I’m tired of eating alone.’

Jessie jumped at the chance of having some attractive male company. Russell inwardly rubbed his hands with glee at how well his plan was working. To fill the time before lunch, the couple chatted easily on their respective sun loungers as they watched her children play. When he offered to rub more sun lotion onto her back, he was delighted when Jessie took him up on his offer. After gently smoothing the lotion into her back, he rubbed plenty on the back of her legs, noticing how she didn’t object when he gently parted them so he could rub some of the milky lotion on them. He saw her buttocks tense with delicious anticipation as his powerful fingers worked their way up her white inner thighs.

Feeling her tremble, Russell smiled, remembering how he’d brought Lexie to a shuddering orgasm on her sun lounger by brazenly inserting two fingers deep inside her bikini bottoms while applying sun lotion. It had been late afternoon when he and the redhead had been flirting on the almost deserted beach. Nobody had noticed his bold act.

As he teased Jessie’s upper thighs, Russell knew he’d not get away with fingering the skinny blonde. Much as I’d love to, I’d better resist invading Jessie’s bikini bottoms like I did to Lexie’s, especially with Wayne and Conor playing nearby. Judging by her body language and the speed she’s breathing, I’m certain Jessie wants me to go much further. She never closed her legs when I parted them. Big giveaway.

Jessie wriggled onto her back, hot and flustered. Seeing she was unable to look him in the eye, Russell thought, Oh, yes, she wants it, and she knows I know she wants it. Job done. The sparks of attraction crackling between them were intense and undeniable. The buffet lunch couldn’t have gone better, although young Wayne was whingeing after feeling neglected by his mother. He resented her showing more interest in the dark-skinned stranger than in him.

After sharing a bottle of wine with the attentive Jamaican, Jessie’s tongue was loosened. Without her realising, he’d taken care to pour more wine into her glass than his. Jessie was glowing, her face wreathed in smiles, a rare sight for her sons to see, thanks to their miserable existence with Liam in Sheffield.

As lunch drew to a close, Russell ensured Jessie knew he’d be lounging by the pool the following day. He felt confident she’d want to join him. During lunch, he’d decided not to spend the rest of the day with them. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, he thought. Don’t want to appear too keen so early in the game.

Following an afternoon and night of scheming, Russell began taking every opportunity to show up wherever Jessie and the boys were. He took great care to subtly ingratiate himself with Conor and Wayne, aware his heartless plan would be doomed if they felt wary of him. Their mother was oblivious of Russell’s ultimate intentions. If she’d had any concerns about his character, she’d have brushed them under the carpet because her desire for him was too powerful. After the traumatic years she’d spent being controlled and bullied by Liam, Russell felt like a breath of fresh air. Little did Jessie suspect she was being controlled again.

The handsome Jamaican made his move on Jessie sooner than he’d expected. When he walked over to the trio by the pool the day after their first meeting, she looked up at him from her sun lounger and quietly said, so her children wouldn’t hear, ‘Don’t get settled, Russell. I was just about to take the boys to play at Kids’ Club for a few hours before lunch. I’d planned to hang around and watch them, but I’ve decided they’ll be fine to leave with the supervisors, so we can enjoy some peace and quiet.’

‘Sounds perfect to me,’ he said, shooting her one of his wide, winning smiles.

He helped her off the sun lounger and watched her slide a sarong around her slim hips, gather up the scattered belongings and stuff them into her over-sized beach bag.

Russell gently took the bag from her. ‘Here, let me take that. It looks heavy.’

Jessie didn’t resist, neither did she resist his suggestion to drop the bag off at her hotel room so they didn’t have to lug it about with them. They both knew it was a ruse to gain him access to her bedroom and body, but she agreed to go up in the lift with him anyway. An elderly couple were in the lift when Russell and Jessie stepped in, so Russell had to abort his plan to kiss and seduce Jessie in the lift. Jessie’s heart was beating so loud, she feared the old couple might hear and suspect what they were planning.

After Jessie clicked the hotel door behind them, Russell wasted no time. He pulled her close and kissed her, confident his embrace was exactly what she’d been yearning for since they’d met. ‘We only have limited time before the boys must be collected. Let’s make the most of it … only if you want to, of course,’ he said.

Russell was less forward than he’d been with any other woman. Jessie was valuable cargo, so he felt he needed to treat her with more respect than his usual conquests. Even so, they were rolling around naked on the bed only fifteen minutes after entering the luxury suite.

‘That was the best sex I’ve ever had,’ lied Russell. He watched her grin with pride and almost felt moved. His inner voice said, Looks like the daft mare believes me. Lexie could run rings around her. Now, that was what I call sex! But, Lexie isn’t a multimillionaire, so Jessie wins.

‘Ditto,’ said Jessie, still gasping for breath after Russell’s impressive performance. She picked up her mobile phone to check the time. ‘Oh, no! We’d better get dressed pronto. I must pick the boys up in ten minutes!’

‘Shame. I was ready for round three,’ said Russell.

Jessie looked wide-eyed with disbelief at his fully loaded manhood. ‘So I see.’

‘Let me give you the best five minutes of your life. You won’t regret it,’ he joked, flipping her over and taking her doggie-style before she could object, not that she would have.

True to his word, he finished five minutes later. Jessie was ecstatic she hadn’t stopped him. ‘I’m dripping with sweat but there’s no time for a shower. I’ll definitely be taking a dip in the pool after we collect the boys,’ she said.

Jessie pulled on her bikini and threw a scanty cover-up over her tousled head. Bending over the sink, she splashed cold water on her face to freshen up.

Russell still looked immaculate. He handed Jessie her hairbrush. ‘That’s spectacular bedhead hair you’ve got there.’

‘You’re lucky your hair’s in dreadlocks. It’s stayed in place, unlike mine,’ she said.

She tingled as she remembered how the beads attached to the ends of his hair had just tickled her bare skin. Russell was used to dressing at speed having made several rapid retreats from various married women’s bedrooms over the years.

On their race to collect Wayne and Conor from the hotel’s children’s club, Russell said, ‘Is there a Kids’ Club every day?’

‘There is, actually,’ said Jessie with a giggle. ‘Let’s hope my boys enjoyed today’s session and fancy returning. Ah, there they are, sitting on that wall.’

She scooped Wayne up in her arms as he raced towards them with a huge smile almost as big as his mother’s. Wanting to appear cooler than Wayne, Conor walked casually over to them.

Being five years older than Wayne, Conor could sense a change in the relationship between Jessie and Russell. The soppy way his mother was looking at Russell made it clear she was besotted with the black stranger. Something had occurred during the couple of hours her children had been having fun with the hotel’s entertainments staff.

‘Who’s for ice cream?’ said Russell. He knew the way to a child’s heart as easily as he’d found his way into Jessie’s.

‘Me! Me! Me!’ yelled Wayne. Conor politely nodded.

After her steamy session in the bedroom, Jessie would have preferred a swim in the pool rather than an ice cream but she didn’t want to be a killjoy. Admiring the colourful exotic plants, they strolled through the sun-drenched hotel grounds to buy four ice creams. Russell made sure he paid for them, despite Jessie’s wealth.

Anyone who saw them thought they were a family, albeit a blended one. Conor looked so much like russell, he could have been his son. I’m going to do my damndest to ensure Conor and Wayne are playing at Kids’ Club every day of this holiday. That soppy look in Jessie’s eyes tells me she wants me, thought Russell,

Confident his magic had worked on the boys and their mother, Russell inwardly rubbed his hands together as he pictured glittering mountains of pound coins.

Chapter 3. Settling In

Five days had passed since their first meeting by the pool. Sprawling naked with Jessie on the bed in her hotel bedroom, Russell was smug. I’ve played it just right with Jessie; not too keen, not too cool. She’s well and truly tangled up in my web. After what she’s told me about the identity of Conor’s biological father, she seems to have a thing for Jamaican men. Stroke of luck for me. With me being based in London, we’ve every chance of continuing this relationship beyond a mere holiday romance. She’s fallen so hard for me. Look at the doting fool gazing up at me like she’s completely besotted.

It was hard for Russell to hide his contempt for her. During the remainder of their self-indulgent holiday, Russell’s close attention to fulfilling Jessie’s every whim, especially her sexual desires, made her believe she was once again an attractive, worthwhile woman. No longer was she the inadequate drudge Liam had always painted her.

Russell also took pains to make Jessie’s boys believe the sun shone out of his backside. He bought them treats and played boisterously with them at every opportunity. He never came close to disciplining them despite secretly believing Jessie sometimes let them get away with murder. If he’d spoken his mind and commented on the tantrums and squabbles which cropped up between the siblings, Jessie might have taken umbrage and ended it with him, which would never do.

When Shanice was on duty behind the reception desk, she often saw Russell and the O’Sullivan family walk by. It was clear her cousin was enjoying his holiday with them. His seemingly close relationship with them puzzled the receptionist. Jessie was attractive, but not the overtly sexual, borderline trashy women Russell usually went for. Shanice couldn’t recall him ever being involved with a mother. She’d even heard him vow he’d never take on another man’s child.

Shanice’s curiosity eventually got the better of her. Shortly before Russell was due to fly home to London, she sent him a text asking him to meet her for a quick drink and catch-up in Roots Reggae Bar situated along the road from the hotel. He wasn’t thrilled to receive the text; it would cut into his bonding time with Jessie, Wayne, and Conor. He reluctantly agreed to meet up with Shanice when Jessie would be bathing the boys and putting them to bed.

When Russell breezed into the bar, Shanice was already sitting at a table sipping a Caribbean rum punch. The beads at the end of her cousin’s dreadlocks clanged as he sat opposite her. He removed his trendy sunglasses to acclimatise his eyes to the dimly lit bar.

‘Thanks for deigning to join me, cuz,’ said Shanice. ‘Good of you to spare me the time, considering how busy you are with your new lady friend and her kiddies. I thought if I didn’t ask you flat out to meet up, you’d fly home before we had a chance to chat.’

‘Hey, don’t get your knickers in a twist, Shanice,’ said Russell. ‘If you’re going to be sarcastic, I’ll fuck off back to the hotel.’

Shanice laughed. ‘I’ve just been missing the chats we usually have during your visits to Jamaica. Who knows when you’ll be back again, especially now you seem so loved up?’

Russell thought, Mustn’t piss Shanice off. It’ll go against me in future when I fancy another cheap Jamaican holiday. I’ve also missed my usual chats with Shanice, but I needed to devote all my time to wooing Jessie for my plans to work.

He said, ‘Thanks for doing as I asked in that text I sent you the other day. I appreciate you not chatting to me and Jessie whenever we’ve walked past your reception desk.’

‘No problem,’ said Shanice. ‘I still don’t understand why it was such a big deal for me to keep quiet about arranging a discount for your stay at the hotel, unless you’re trying to impress Mrs. O’Sullivan, of course.’

Infuriated by her smug expression, Russell thought, Damn her for hitting the nail on the head. He took a sip of his drink and said, ‘Actually, Shanice, I didn’t want Jessie to know about my discount. Didn’t fancy being embarrassed in front of her. I could scarcely afford the flights to and from Jamaica. I’ve fallen for Jessie and her children are great, too, so I don’t want her to know about my money problems. She might run a mile.’

‘So, Russell, what was it that first attracted you to multimillionaire Jessie O’Sullivan?’ Shanice quipped with a rye grin.

Russell scowled. ‘Oh, ha bloody ha. I was attracted to Jessie before I’d even heard about her lottery win. Is the poor woman destined never to have a man in her life just because she’s rich?’

Shanice’s laugh was laced with mockery. ‘Poor woman? Lousy choice of adjectives, Russell. She has a husband, anyway. Yes, he might have just been arrested for murder, but she’s still married to him.’

Russell stood up, eager to leave. ‘For your information, Jessie told me she’d already made up her mind to divorce him before meeting me. She’s happy with me, so stop pissing on my bonfire. I’m in no mood for any more chat with your cynical self. I’m walking back to the hotel to see Jessie now the kids are in bed.’

Shanice also wasn’t in any mood to argue. ‘Don’t let me stop you. You’ll be pleased to know I’m off work for the next few days, so this is goodbye until your next flight over here. You won’t have to worry about me dropping you in it with Mrs. Moneybags. Can’t promise I’ll be in the mood to wangle a discounted holiday for you when you return to Jamaica, though.’  

‘Bye, then,’ snapped Russell.

He stomped out of the bar with his dreadlock beads in his jangling to the sound of Bob Marley’s Jammin which was wafting through the hot evening air. He dived into another bar solely to snort a line of coke in the toilet to prepare himself for performing at his sexual peak with Jessie. As the bitter-tasting powder hit the back of his throat, Russell thought, I can’t afford to give a lacklustre performance in bed tonight, not with so much depending on me convincing Jess I’m the man for her. He made his way along the palm tree-lined, dusty road back to the hotel. It’s lucky Shanice won’t be back working at the hotel before the end of our holidays. I’m sure she’s on to my plan. My cousin knows me too well. She’s kidding herself if she thinks I’ve not noticed her knowing little smirks when she’s seen me in reception with Jessie and her brood. Shanice might not have said anything to her to give my game away, but her body language spoke volumes. Miss Smartarse could’ve dropped me right in it. She’ll regret it when I’m living in luxury courtesy of Jessie O’Sullivan.

While Russell had been meeting his sassy cousin, Jessie had been busy making an extra special effort to look less like the mother of two children and more like a seductive vamp. She was glad she’d packed her sexiest lingerie but annoyed not to have brought a racy dress with her. Holding up one disappointing dress after another, she thought, How was I to know I’d meet someone like Russell Bell on this holiday?

For that evening’s rendezvous, she eventually opted to wear her black satin bathrobe over her most seductive black lacy lingerie. That afternoon, she’d arranged with Russell that they’d risk him staying a few hours in her hotel room that night.

Jessie had said, ‘It’ll be risky. We’ll keep the door to the boys’ room firmly locked while you’re with me tonight. Wayne in particular might wake up and try to enter my room.’

Russell shrugged. ‘If that happens, I’ll leg it before you unlock the boys’ door. Luckily, my room’s on the same floor as yours. I’ll wear my bathrobe to protect my modesty in case I need to escape.’

‘You’ve really thought this out,’ she’d said.

He’d smiled and nodded, thinking, Oh yes, I’ve really been doing a lot of thinking where you’re concerned, Mrs. Moneybags.

That night, Jessie’s stomach lurched with anticipation on hearing the tentative knock on her hotel door. She rushed barefoot to let Russell in before he knocked again and awoken the boys. Jessie’s pale-blue eyes looked up adoringly into his almost black ones and she melted into his embrace. They were soon naked and moving in unison in their favourite sex position. After less than twenty minutes of clandestine coupling, the door handle to the adjoining room rattled, accompanied by the pitiful whineing of Jessie’s youngest child.

‘Quick! It’s Wayne. Probably had another nightmare. Execute escape plan!’ whispered Jessie.

She muffled a giggle at the sight of Russell’s powerful buttocks as he leapt from the bed. During their all too brief steamy session, she’d giggled like a schoolgirl with nerves fearing being discovered naked in bed with Russell. It had irritated him, but he’d hidden his annoyance. He knew he must act the epitome of  a caring, chivalrous man until he’d wormed his way into her life on a permanent basis and claimed his financial reward.

Such considerate behaviour was not how Russell usually treated his lovers. He’d left a trail of broken hearts and crushed dreams in his wake. Burying his natural selfish traits was challenging, but the chance of gaining a large share in a fortune made his struggle to appear loving worthwhile.

Swallowing his disappointment over Wayne’s interruption, Russell put on his bathrobe, kissed Jessie goodnight, and exited her room. He’d have much preferred to stay the night with her to continue working his magic. Lying alone in his bed in his hotel room, he thought, Damn Wayne for interrupting my limited time with his mother. There are only a few days of this holiday left for me to convince Jessie she can’t live without me. Don’t want her thinking this is a mere holiday romance. So, no pressure.

His secret cocaine habit had led to increased anxiety levels in Russell, smothering his previous laid-back attitude, one more typical among Jamaicans. He needn’t have worried about Jessie wanting Russell in her life. Four doors down the corridor, she was lying in bed drumming up the courage to invite him to stay with her and her sons in their newly purchased, luxurious Cornish home. Basking in the afterglow of her sexual liaison with Russell, she dreamed of enjoying a wonderful life with him in Cornwall. Blinded by love and lust, she believed living with Russell Bell would be such a blessing following her nightmare existence with Liam O’Sullivan.