Authors: Nhys Glover
SCORPIO SONS 2:
This novel is entirely a work of fiction. With the exception of historical events and people used as background for the story, and those in the public domain, the names, characters and incidents portrayed in this work come wholly from the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental
Published by Belisama Press 2014
© Nhys Glover 2014
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please delete it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Thank you for your great advice,
especially as you had to give it twice
OTHER BOOKS BY NHYS GLOVER
ANCIENT ROMAN HISTORICAL ROMANCES:
The Barbarian’s Mistress
White Raven’s Lover
The Gladiator’s Bride
WEREWOLF KEEP TRILOGY:
Guardian of Werewolf Keep
Imprisoned at Werewolf Keep
Defiance at Werewolf Keep
Insane (A novella)
NEW ATLANTIS TIME TRAVEL SERIES:
Nine Lives (Cara/ Jac)
The Dreamer’s Prince (Jane/ Julio)
Savage (Faith/ Luke)
Shared Soul (Maggie/ Travis)
Bitter Oath (Liv/ Rene)
The Titan Drowns (Eilish/Max, Karl/Lizzie, Pia/Marco)
The Key (Kat/Bart)
Second Chance (Bree/Hakon)
Vision of You (Ellen/Duke)
SCORPIO SONS SF/SHIFTER ROMANCE SERIES:
The Way Home (Ghost Romance)
Caught in a Dream (SF Romance)
Labyrinth of Light (New Age Inspirational Non-Romance)
Early February, London ENGLAND
Alice Wunderlund leaned in so her elbows were more firmly anchored on the icy ledge. From where she sat at the open window of her second-floor room in the B & B, she could clearly see across the small, dark, recreational area to the London residence of Cameron Haversham Smythe. She'd had the upper-class Georgian townhouse staked out, watching the comings and goings, for over three weeks now, and it made for interesting viewing. Far more entertaining than her usual infidelity and fraud cases.
Unfortunately, the open window was a contentious issue with her landlady. The central heating in the room couldn't compete with the winter weather she let in, and though bundling up was okay with Allie, the owner of the B & B said the cold air seeped out under the door to chill the rest of the establishment. So she only opened the window when she knew she had a chance at capturing good pictures of her target. The rest of the time her digital video camera, set up on a tripod with a glass pane between it and the house, automatically captured the comings and goings at the house. Thank god for digital cameras that allowed for massive storage of data.
At first it had seemed a pretty tame assignment. Follow an upper-class young businessman around, recording where he went and who he saw. Allie knew from her files that the well-dressed blonde who regularly appeared at his door was his fiancé, Meredith Hall, the daughter of billionaire Randolph Hall. If she had to guess who was picking up the bill for this little surveillance gig her money would be on Hall. Who wouldn't want to know that their beloved daughter was marrying someone on the up-and-up?
And squeaky clean seemed to be the image H S was going for. The man lived his life by a carefully regulated schedule, and rarely deviated from a daily regimen that would have driven Allie mad with boredom in a very short time. Just watching him follow it for a few days had threatened to send her comatose. Until she started seeing the discrepancies – or maybe
was a better word for what she witnessed.
H S woke at 6 am every day, including weekends. He then spent an hour in his home gym, as he was doing now. The gym was located on the second floor at the front, so she was well-placed to capture some of his fitness routine. (Why did the English insist on calling the second floor the first floor? Seriously, calling the first floor the ground floor put all your calculations out when you were counting the number of storeys in a building.)
Allie could see the treadmill he ran on from her perch at the window, and had taken many excellent close-up shots of his more-than-impressive physique using her telephoto lens, even though the light in the gym wasn't good. It was unlikely her employer required such detail, but a bit of eye-candy made her job more interesting. Most of the eye-candy she usually got on-the-job was of lovers caught with unfaithful wives. It was much more fun looking at a great body that wasn't wrapped around some other woman.
Did that make her sleazy? If she'd been an overweight, middle-aged guy watching the show, it certainly would have. But she was a twenty-one-year-old hot babe, or so she'd been told by guys she'd picked up in bars over the last three years. No one called a hot babe a perv for spying, did they? And it
her job, after all. Job satisfaction was important, wasn't it? There sure weren't too many perks in this line of work. Didn't she deserve this little one?
She turned her mind away from the troubling moral dilemma to focus once more on H S. This was where the first anomaly always appeared. Once H S started on this machine he would ramp it up to a phenomenal speed. Far faster than a treadmill should have been able to go. And for fifteen minutes he would run like that, never raising a sweat. He would then move on to other equipment, out of her line of vision for the rest of the hour, leaving her to wonder how someone who made only a token effort at a healthy lifestyle could run like that.
At 8 am six days a week, H S left for his office; this was when she left her vid on record and followed him on her motorcycle with what she called her
. It was a hell of a lot easier to keep tabs on a target in traffic when you could weave in and out of it freely on a bike. But nobody had warned her that sleet and driving on the wrong side of the road could be so hazardous to her health. She'd been lucky to escape several serious accidents trying to keep track of the black limo H S favoured for his daily commutes.
Only a good work ethic kept her following him when she knew, after a few days, where he would be going. He was CEO of a multi-national electronics company that had its head office in London. From her background-check she'd discovered that H S had taken over the position as head of the company when his father retired a year ago. Only a few years out of Oxford, with little experience at the corporate level, H S had thrown himself into gaining the experience he needed in advance of that decision to step down. It was almost like he fast-forwarded his career in the same way as he fast-forwarded his treadmill. From everything she'd heard, H S was a brilliant replacement CEO and their billion dollar enterprise was doing even better under his leadership than it had under his father.
Once at the office, he kept his head down all day, ordering in lunch and taking all his meetings either in-situ or by satellite link-up. She'd discovered this, and a great deal more about his work day, by passing herself off as a courier who made regular stops at his offices. It was amazing what desk-jockeys would tell a hot babe in black leather when she batted her long eyelashes at them.
Some lunchtimes Meredith brought in a meal and dragged him away from his desk to share it with her. She was an odd-looking creature, and definitely not in H S's league. Her figure was fine, if a little fake in the breast department. It was her horsey mouth, backwards sloping forehead and odd-shaped skull, almost as if it had been intentionally elongated, like some of the tribes in Africa did to their children. Those unfortunate skeletal features made her plain. She disguised her weird skull by wearing her blonde hair in a French roll. That, combined with her expensive, sophisticated, and demure clothing, made her look like the naughty school teacher popular in porn vids,
she let her hair down to
naughty. The only thing missing was the dark-rimmed glasses.
H S and Meredith had been dating for a year and had recently become engaged. The gossip-mill in the office claimed H S was a closet-gay and kept a boyfriend on the side, because no one had ever seen him with a woman before Meredith. And though she'd followed that lead for a while she could find no hint of a lover of either sex in his past or present life. He seemed to be just what his image presented: a workaholic marrying for love.
Meredith was certainly madly in love with him, if her hairdresser was to be believed. And that was another anomaly. Sure, men like H S married women like Meredith for strategic reasons. They'd been doing it for millennia. But they never went out of their way to
in love with those women. Didn't they always have a discrete mistress on the side?
H S had no lovers before Meredith. He was seemingly enthralled by her, if the few shots she'd taken of them making energetic love in the home gym were any indication. In fact, the night he bent her over the treadmill and fucked her stupid was still emblazoned on Allie's retinas. It had almost spoiled him as eye-candy for her, seeing him with that woman. But the way he took Meredith like an enraged animal, so out of character with the metrosexual image he projected, had left Allie hot and sweaty for him ever since.
That's when she was caught in yet another dilemma: She wanted to see him repeat his impressive performance on the treadmill, yet she didn't want to see him with Meredith. When his fiancé's hair came down that weird skull was only too apparent. And her hair did come down when she was being energetically rammed from behind. It just made Allie feel icky, watching that woman. Like he was engaged in bestiality.
And she was well-aware of how mean-spirited that made her. Instead of admiring him for loving a woman for herself, rather than her appearance, she was bitching about his poor taste, as if she was in competition with Meredith. Which was just wrong. How could Meredith be competition when Allie didn't even know the man? And everything she did know, except his body and sexual prowess, turned her off.
She was all wrong. This whole case was all wrong. But it was still incredibly fascinating.
Their schedule had Meredith at H S's place two nights a week: Tuesday and Thursday. Monday and Wednesday nights H S worked late at the office and came home only to sleep. Friday nights they'd go out, usually to a work function. Saturday night should have been date night too, if
was what they were aiming for, but H S always spent Saturday night alone at home and rose to follow his regular routine the next morning.
Sunday was where the next anomaly played out. He left at 8 am, as always, but instead of going to the office, he was driven to Covent Garden where he had brunch alone at an up-market bistro/coffee shop while reading the
Everyone needed to break their patterns sometime, she'd conceded. Having this down-time alone, away from all his usual stimuli, made perfect sense. But then she noticed that the same man sat two tables across from him every Sunday. And though they never seemed to talk, given the distance between them, or exchanged notes or eye-contact, there was something decidedly odd about their connection.
The fact that the guy looked a lot like H S increased the anomaly. Oh, the similarities weren't overt. The other guy had long, dark-brown hair and a scruffy beard, and looked like a penniless artist from Paris' West Bank. In contrast, H S sported a trendy, straight, bleached-blonde lock that fell into his eyes. The rest of his light-brown hair was cut severely short.
But they were both of a similar age and had the same brow-line and deep set eyes. Even the hawk-like nose was the same. And their physiques? They could have been identical beneath the layers of winter clothing.
A long-lost brother? The lover she'd been unable to discover? Or were they just two men who shared certain physical similarities who liked to brunch at the same tables every Sunday morning? Another anomaly that on its own meant nothing. Combined with the other hints of dissonance… it was unsettling.
Then last night three people had arrived at H S's residence: two tall men, who looked like bodyguards and one much shorter woman with long, honey-blonde hair that she wore in a braid down her back. The outside light was off when they arrived, as were most of the internals. H S's staff had all gone home hours ago. So it wasn't surprising to see H S open the door to his visitors and usher them in himself.
What was a surprise was the lack of lighting. It smacked of intrigue and yet another anomaly. Just having visitors to his home was an anomaly for this man. Except for visits from Meredith, the man's home was his fortress, shared only with non-resident domestic staff.
Unfortunately, the living room or parlour, or whatever these Brits called it, was not at the front of the house, so she hadn't been able to see what was going on with the visitors. If Allie had known things would get this interesting, she would have put in some bugs to overhear their conversation. But that had seemed too intrusive for what was, on the surface, a simple
Observe and Record
. No matter how much she felt like a spook sometimes, she wasn't one. She was simply a PI doing run-of-the-mill surveillance for ordinary people suspicious of other ordinary people.
The three visitors had stayed for an hour and then left. That was Saturday night. This was Sunday morning, and if H S followed his schedule he'd leave for his brunch at 8 am. It was bitterly cold this morning and everything inside her wanted to curl up in bed and keep warm and comfortable. She'd stayed up late last night going through the shots of the day, especially those of the three mysterious visitors, and she was bone weary. And in the last half hour with the window open, her nose had become blocked, her head foggy, and every muscle in her body had begun to ache.
She never got really sick. It was like she had a super-powered immune system or something. Usually, she'd start feeling crap, like she did now, and within a few hours she'd recover, even when everyone else was going down hard with whatever bug that was going around.
But for now she felt like crap. Didn't she deserve some down-time? Did she
to follow her target to yet another boring brunch?
All of her complaints and self-justifications were forgotten in the next moment when Allie heard a key turn in her bedroom door lock.