|Carruthers' Demise, chapters four & five (standard:drama, 3766 words) [3/24] show all parts|
|Author: Brian Cross||Added: Apr 23 2011||Views/Reads: 1226/793||Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|After Chelsey Carruthers' latest novel is rejected, her husband suggests a short break, which does not go according to plan...|
Chapter Four Carruthers wasted no time getting changed. He'd cut fifteen minutes down to ten, not wanting their break ruined by Chelsey's insatiable desire to flirt. He knew that Chelsey never took things further, she wouldn't do that, but her tendencies irked him just the same. Now as he returned downstairs he'd almost reached the bar before the chatting couple became aware of his presence; he felt like an uninvited arrival at a private party. Finally made aware by Noades' sideways glance Chelsey swung round, her laughter rapidly dying away. ‘Oh, Martin – you were quick.' Disappointed are you? Carruthers came so close to uttering what he was thinking but let the moment ride. Instead, he slapped his hand on the bar with a show of cheerfulness he didn't feel. ‘Right then, are we off?' And then with a flick of the head towards Noades, ‘See you later.' ‘Yeah, catch you later, Robin.' Chelsey tilted her head and gave her dazzling smile before casting eyes over Carruthers maroon vest and matching shorts. ‘Nice and sporty I see. Let's see if you match up to the gear you're wearing, shall we? Now then, where do we get the cycles from?' ‘A place called Evans' Hire, just off the High Street according to the hotel receptionist,' Carruthers replied as they descended the steep hotel steps onto the bustling village street. ‘Nice guy, that Robin, I must say,' Chelsey said glancing back at the hotel lounge windows. ‘Helpful too, and that's good. Just goes to show there's more to a decent bartender than pulling pints.' If you'd spend as much time on your writing as you do eyeing up men. But Carruthers merely gestured as they reached a junction from which the car park lay to the right. ‘There it is - that hut to the right, by all accounts.' ‘Yep. Let's go for it, hubby.' Chelsey brushed against him and he felt the pressure of her sublime figure. Carruthers responded by placing an arm around her waist and drawing her tight to him. There were times like this, all too rare these days, when they must have seemed the epitome of the perfect couple, in contented bliss. And in early days they were – before – He stopped, blinked, brought back to earth by the tug of Chelsey's arm. They were at the hut and the attendant had asked a question which Carruthers, deep in reminiscence, hadn't heard. He'd have been happy to have kept on walking, to have savoured their togetherness. They were provided with mountain bikes which were fully serviced and handed maps detailing routes through the forest ranging from undemanding to the most rigorous. But Chelsey was having none of it. She'd heard from Robin Noades about a reptile centre close by the Ornamental Drive area he'd described and it seemed to him that anything Noades recommended would take precedence over everything else. He hoped this wouldn't blight their stay. The attendant provided them with bottled water and cycle kits, and with Chelsey already abandoning the maps to the holdall he'd given them, they set out along the route Noades had suggested. His diagram, Carruthers noticed with an air of resentment, was in her hand. Despite the air of proficiency his cycling attire gave him, Carruthers would concede that Chelsey was the better cyclist, and it was he who felt the heat more, as, after not much more than ten minutes, they reached the turn-off highlighted on Noades' map. They were soon in the heart of the Forest. Carruthers was surprised how quickly it closed in on them, the foliage of the big trees seemed to rear up at them, seemed about to burst across their paths spurred on by the breeze, before they found and turned into the narrow Ornamental Drive, flagged on both sides by the giant Douglas and Redwood trees to which Noades had referred. Their height and density afforded some shade Click here to read the rest of this story (373 more lines)
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