Revenge Ritual

‘What’s it like to be good at everything you do?’

She rolled over and kissed him, ‘Am I?’

‘You’re amazing. I knew it from the moment you were rude to me at your interview. You’re popular with everyone, you never miss a deadline and however difficult a research contract seems you always get a result …’ She closed her eyes to enjoy his caress as he carried on, ‘and you’ve got a beautiful body.’

But whatever he was going to say next was interrupted by someone knocking on the door. Jake ignored it and started to massage her feet.

The knocking continued, ‘Sir, we need to come in to make up the room.’

Jake reached for his iPhone, ‘Shit, is that the time?’

They grabbed their clothes, which were strewn all over the bedroom after last night’s antics, and started to dress, but Kate was having a hard time keeping her balance to pull her hold ups on for laughing.

*

Kate slept for most of the drive down to Devon. When they stopped at Stonehenge for a coffee Jake asked her how she was settling in at the Sidmouth office.

‘Great,’ she told him although it wasn’t really. She felt like an outsider and the rest of the research team seemed suspicious of her London connections.

Jake didn’t seem to notice her lack of enthusiasm. ‘Not only will you be acting team leader and be paid more, but you will be able to spend more time with your father. There’s very little crime on the Jurassic Coast so you can spend your afternoons enjoying Devon cream teas together.’

That would be nice occasionally, but so far she was finding it a bit of a strain after nearly ten years of continual absence and she missed the buzz of working in London. On the way back to Jake’s Porsche she caught a glimpse of her reflection in his wing mirror. Her hair was sticking up at strange angles and, even worse, her mascara had run. The bastard hadn’t even told her.

‘Can you drop me at my father’s?’ Now she’d seen how she looked, she was desperate for a shower. There was no way she was going into the office looking like that. What she really needed was a hug from someone sympathetic and some home cooking.

‘No,’ Jake snapped back.

She glanced across and saw he wasn’t smiling. ‘Look, I know we’re late already but …’ Then she noticed he was laughing at her.

‘I’m not dropping you at your father’s because there’s some correspondence waiting for you back at the office. You’ve been invited to speak at the American Society of Criminology, and then stay on at the University of Chicago to work on their gang prevention programme. It’s an all expenses trip to the USA and I was thinking of joining you as your bag carrier.’

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