Sunday, 16 December 2012


  "You knew Lauren Tanner?"
  "Oh I'd met her at a couple of parties. Rich brat who thought she owned the world." He rolled his eyes. "But damn, she was a fine piece of ass", he added with a wink.
  It was the beeping of his phone, demanding his immediate attention, which spared him from the cold look that flashed in her steely grey eyes. If looks could kill...
   Not that she wasn't used to it. Snooty, stuck up, full of herself - those were words people had thrown at her all her life. Behind her back of course. No one was foolish enough to call Lauren Tanner an arrogant bitch to her face. It bothered her at times, she would admit grudgingly, but it was a small price to pay for being one among the most succesful women in American history.
  He turned his attention back to the demure brunette occupying the chair across him. She was attractive, undoubtedly, but not much of a talker. "Right so where were we? ...Aah, Lauren. Sad story that - multimillionaire goes broke overnight. Tsk tsk."
   Turned out to the streets by her own brother, she thought bitterly.
  Quite a dull evening, he thought, watching her toying around with her salad. The hint of fire that had crept into her eyes at the mention of Lauren Tanner had died out. Clearly no amount of stimulating conversation could be expected from the meek creature. Maybe she'd be a little more spirited once in the seclusion of his room.
  The meal dragged on punctuated with half - hearted attempts at making small talk. He was glad when Jenkins handed him the cheque with a sympathetic smile. Even the waiter had noticed that their favourite customer's date hadn't been among his best.
  "Would you like to join me for a drink at my place?" He asked, putting on his most charming smile, as they made their way to his Bugatti.
  She shrugged. Why bother asking? Not like she had a choice.
  Lauren had been anything but easy-to-get. Men were drawn to the dazzling blond beauty like moths to a flame, but her frigid countenance kept them at bay. A young American pilot with a captivating boyish charm was the only one who had ever managed to make it past the impregnable walls she had built around herself.
  The ride to his flat was as monotonous as the evening had been. She seemed oddly detached, he noted, glancing at the pretty face staring out the window listlessly. It'll be a quick one, he thought, mentally advising himself to be more selective next time.
  Couple of minutes later they drew up outside the flat he'd purchased especially for his nightly escapades. A father of two, the gorgeous apartment he owned on Wilshire Boulevard was definitely out of the question.
  "Make yourself at home", he said, smiling, once they were in his living room. She kicked off her cheap stilletos and sat gingerly on his couch, her feet sinking into the lush carpet.
  She had had everything planned out, even the interiors of their new home - "...carpets from Egypt, paintings from Italy - " he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her close. "Jason!" She mock-pouted at the interruption to her tirade. He laughed, "it doesn't matter, we'll have whatever you want! ...all I want is you." And then they'd made love. Sweet and tender, Jason Moore was the only man she trusted enough to shed her ice-princess avatar around. He made her feel alive, like a carefree young girl. He loved her blindly, she knew. He'd never hurt her, she was sure of it. Her eyes stung as memories of happier days filled her mind. But one never knows the worth of water till the well runs dry, she sighed.
  "Martini?" He held out a glass to her.
  "No thank you." She blinked her tears away hurriedly. "I'd like to be done with this as soon as possible, please", she added calmly.
  "Of course", he said, throwing her empty face a puzzled look. Setting down the drink on a nearby table, he guided her to his room, his hand caressing her back.
  As he excused himself and disappeared into the bathroom, her eyes wandered around the room. Her eyes alighted on the king-sized bed draped with velvet covers. She shuddered and looked away.
  What had she become?
  Very little remained of her former self, she thought, as her gaze caught a guilded mirror. Dispassionate grey eyes stared back at her, her gaudy evening gown outlining her lean figure. The hunger for success which had burnt bright in her eyes, lending her the strange magnetism which made heads turn the second she walked into a room, had vanished leaving no trace. She was still pretty though, something she had learned to wield to her advantage over the past year. She was ashamed of her current lifestyle. The thought of putting an end to her life had crossed her mind several times but a desire to hold on took over each time she had tried to do so. Her stubborn refusal to give up had been the only remaining vestige of the old Lauren Tanner, but this too was fading fast. The woman in the mirror had no one to mourn her death, no reason to live - she realised, the thought crushing her.
  The bathroom door clicked open, and her client emerged, his shirt unbuttoned. "Ready?" He asked with a perverse smile.
  Maybe this will be the last time, she thought to herself, as she shut out her feelings and began unzipping her dress.

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