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Authors: Charley Dee

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A Secret Schemer

BOOK: A Secret Schemer
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A SECRET SCHEMER

 

By

 

 

 

CHARLEY DEE

 

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2014 Dee Brown

All Rights Reserved

 

ISBN 978-0-9563190-4-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Secret Schemer
By
Charley Dee

 

 

After experiencing several dubious
relationships, at thirty six Lucy Ross decides to explore internet
dating. Having just accepted the tenancy of a London pub called The
Frog and Toad, she needs someone who will be supportive of her
career.

Eventually Lucy meets Tim Carter an IT
consultant, and she is soon captivated by his magnetic charm. His
ambition is to become a millionaire by the time he is forty, Lucy
finds this amusing as he only has a year to go.

Within a few weeks of Tim moving into
the pub, Lucy realised he was a total computer hotshot who spent
hours alone on his laptop. As she was always busy it took time for
her to accept things were not unfolding quite as she had hoped.

Lucy convinced herself that Tim had met
someone else on line and was having an affair…was this the case, or
was something far more sinister taking place…which could lead to
inconceivable circumstances….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

‘Are you up Jena? I’ve just
received the official notice of our opening day.’ I shout noisily
up the stairs.

‘Great I’m on my way down.’
Jena calls back.

I’ve recently taken the tenancy
of a pub in South West London, which is still undergoing a total
refurbishment, and has been renamed The Frog and Toad; to say I’m
thrilled would be an understatement.

‘Spill, when do we open?’ Jena
asks eagerly as she appears in the kitchen doorway.

‘24
th
of September,
that gives us a whole two weeks to ourselves, well the evenings
anyway as the bar fitters won’t be working all night.’

‘That gives you time to explore
internet dating, and find a level headed guy.’

‘I don’t know about that,
although it should be fun trying.’ I respond.

‘It worked for me, Andy is
great the only problem he lives in Portsmouth, but we’re working on
that.’

‘Good luck with that Hun, time
for coffee and toast before the workman descend on us.’

‘Sounds good, have the brewery
sent you an agenda?’ Jena asks.

‘Yes very explicit, in fact a
daily schedule until we open, which works to our advantage. I start
the interviews tomorrow; I’d like you to sit in…two heads and all
that.’

‘Have you had many applicants
for the bar?’ Jena enquires.

‘Surprisingly enough quite a
few guys have applied, Oh and by the way did I mention I’ve already
got a cook?’

‘No, how did that come
about?’

‘Kate Marshall, we were at
school together although I haven’t seen her for years until a
chance meeting yesterday. She’s divorced with twin teenagers and
has moved in with her parents. They bought one of those old
Victorian properties in Pimlico when houses in London were still
affordable. Her dad’s evidently modernised the property making it
into two flats, as her mum is now retired she’ll be able to look
out for the kids. Kate has all the necessary qualifications plus
she’s a fun person.’

‘Sounds ideal, does she have a
man in her life?’ Jena asks.

‘No, her marriage to the kids’
father was a complete car crash, since then and rather like me
she’s had several dubious relationships.’

‘Mm sounds like another
potential internet dater, can’t wait to meet her.’

‘You won’t have to wait long
Hun she’s calling in tomorrow and I’m sure you two will get along
just great.’

‘Look forward to it, so Lucy
what’s on our agenda for today?’

‘Mostly working with the
fitters, showing them where we want equipment placed behind the bar
and in the cellar.’

‘Cool, think I’ll head upstairs
for a shower before they turn up.’ Jena says as she makes a hasty
exit from the kitchen.

Jena Wright worked with me in
my last pub. She has become my closest friend and is now my
assistant manager, we work well together even though we are
absolute opposites. I’m organised, methodical and optimistic where
Jena is laid back, intuitive and creative; however it works for us
in the pub trade. Perhaps enhanced by the fact we both have a
brilliant sense of humour, and we seem to be able to support each
other through our little perplexities. Jena was ‘Made in Chelsea’
as in the TV programme, I jest of course, although she does
originate from the very area. I come from St Johns Wood, where all
of my father’s family stem from. Jena is a pretty blonde with blue
eyes and a curvaceous figure, whereby I’m a five foot ten inch
willowy red head with green eyes….I prefer to call my hair flame
colour (not that anyone gives a jot), it’s rather long and curly
and I spend hours attempting to straighten it, usually to no avail.
Jena’s parents divorced years ago and have both moved away from
London, she’s an only child. My parents moved to Spain when they
took early retirement, my older brother lives in New Zealand, well
he did the last time I heard from him. This is my third pub
although only my first tenancy, I started working for the City Ales
Brewery as a manager. Being ambitious I enquired about taking a
tenancy at an early stage and after passing all the necessary exams
I worked hard to prove myself capable. When I was offered this pub
I was truly elated, as this is my chance to fulfil my dream. The
sound of knocking on the back door stops my musing, as the fitters
have arrived.

‘Hi.’ I offer, as the three
guys trundle into the kitchen armed with tool boxes.

‘Hello Lucy.’ They say in
unison, ‘any chance of that kettle going on?’

‘No sooner said than done.’ I
laugh.

‘We need you girls around today
Lucy as we’re fitting a lot of the equipment.’ Len says as they
move into the bar area with their tool boxes.

‘No problem we’ll be here all
day, I’ll bring your tea in and you may even get a biscuit if
there’s any left.’

‘Did I hear biscuits?’ Jena
re-appears in the kitchen.

‘If someone nips over to the
bakers we may even have cakes as well.’ I add.

‘I’ll do that Lucy, how do jam
doughnuts sound?’

‘Whatever you fancy Hun.’

Ten minutes later Jena rushes
through the back door dripping wet explaining,’ I think we’ve just
had a cloud burst, don’t worry I think the cakes are dry, I stuffed
the bag under my top.’

‘Good job it was a baggy top.’
I laugh.

While Jena dries out I put the
kettle on again, the guys are attempting to unload equipment in the
rain, luckily their van is parked right outside the back door of
the pub. I can foresee a wet tea shirt competition coming on which
makes me grin.

‘I’m glad you think it’s
funny.’ Len laughs as he struggles in with a huge box.

‘Yes but you don’t know what I
was thinking.’ I reply.

At last the back doors close
and we all stop for tea and doughnuts.

‘OK girls where would you like
the glass washer for starters.’ Len asks.

‘We’ve drawn a rough sketch of
bar, cellar and kitchen if that will help.’ I spread our drawings
out across the bar.

‘Mm that’s quite impressive
ladies; if we have any problems we’ll call you.’

‘No problem we’ll either be in
the kitchen or restaurant, don’t forget shout out if you want
another cuppa.’

 

‘Shall we look through these
job applications Hun, I made half hour intervals between each one,
as the guys will be working I think the restaurant’s the best place
for the interviews, what do you think?

‘Definitely, what times the
first one?’ Jena asks.

‘Nine o’clock with a Lucas Carr
he’s thirty eight.’

‘Sounds interesting can’t wait
to give him the once over.’ Jena grins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

 

 

I got up early to sort the
restaurant out for the interviews and to my surprise Jena had
beaten me to it.

‘Good morning early bird, that
looks very organised.’ I remark.

‘Hi Lucy I thought I’d make it
look as professional as possible in a building site.’

‘Good thinking honey, fancy
coffee and toast before we start? I ask.

‘Cool, I think I’ll bring my
lap top down as well, always good to have Google at the ready.’

‘Why not, I’ll do breakfast
we’ve still got over half an hour, by the way the fitters won’t be
here until about ten as they’re picking up kitchen equipment.’

‘I wondered why they were
late.’ Jena adds.

Lucas Carr arrived on the dot
of nine o’clock, he was about six foot tall, and a slim though fit
build, with dark blonde hair.

‘Hi you must be Lucas.’ I say
as I proffered my hand.’ I’m Lucy Ross.’

‘Hi Lucy it’s good to meet
you.’

‘Come through to the
restaurant, as you can see we’re still a work in progress, this is
Jena Wright my assistant manager.’

‘Hello Jena.’ He shakes her
hand.

‘Can I offer you a tea or
coffee?’ Jena asks.

‘Coffee would be good thanks,
white no sugar.

‘I’ve read through your CV
Lucas and I take it you’re interested in full time bar/cellar
man.’

‘Yes definitely I enjoy the
cellar work as much as the bar.’

‘Do you have references?’

Jena comes in with coffee for
us all.

‘Yes I’ve one written reference
from my previous employer and I can give you two phone
numbers.’

‘Can I ask why you left your
last position?’

‘Moving home, I’ve only
recently moved into London.’

‘How far would you have to
travel?’

‘Actually I only live in
Pimlico so I could walk.’

‘Obviously you realise there
will be some evening work involved.’

‘That’s no problem I’m happy to
work what ever hours are necessary.’

‘Do you have a phone number I
can reach you on?’

‘I’ll write my mobile number
down if that’s OK I don’t have a land line yet.’

‘I’ll be in touch within the
next twenty four hours; by the way we open on Tuesday the
24
th
of the month.’

‘Thanks Lucy I look forward to
hearing from you.’

‘I’ll show you out Lucas.’ Jena
offered.

 

‘Well what did you think of him
Lucy?’ Jena asked.

‘He seems ideal, I could tell
by his CV he was well qualified, I was going to show him round but
everywhere is such a mess. What did you think?’

‘He’s pretty hot reminds me of
Tom Lister who used to be in Emmerdale, has he got the job?’

‘If references are good which
I’m sure they will be he’s a cert.’

‘I think maybe he’s on his own
and moved to London to start again.’

‘Yeah I had the same feeling, I
won’t ask though maybe things are a bit fragile.’

‘By the way what time’s Kate
calling in?’ Jena asks.

‘About lunchtime I think about
half past twelve, we can grab a sandwich then.’

By the time Kate arrived we’d
interviewed another six people and drank equal amounts of tea and
coffee.

‘Hi Kate come in and join us
for a much needed sandwich, this is Jena my assistant manager.’

‘Hello Kate, it’s good to meet
you.’ Jena says. ‘Would you prefer cheese and pickle or ham, sorry
they’re not very exciting fillings.

‘Good to meet you to Jena, the
cheese and pickle sounds yummy.’ Kate replies.

‘I’d forgotten how tiring
interviewing was.’ I added.

‘Mm there’s another six this
afternoon as well.’ Jena adds.

‘Sounds promising, any fit guys
yet?’ Kate asks.

‘A couple, not sure which ones
I’ll settle on though there could be more this afternoon.’ I
jest.

‘Kate you really don’t look old
enough to have teenage twins, you must have started at school.’
Jena teases.

‘Not quite that young but I was
only twenty, Jodie and Josh will be sixteen next month which makes
me feel ancient.’

‘There’s a girl coming in for
an interview this afternoon at half one, she’s looking for kitchen
work, why don’t you stay and meet her Kate, she’s going to be
working with you after all.’

BOOK: A Secret Schemer
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