thousand miles west across the Atlantic Ocean was America and he wondered if he might get the chance to see it from the stratosphere in the space balloon.
Simon Matthews was Brad Sutcliffe’s business partner. He was also Claris Faraday’s older cousin at thirty seven, and today was a crucial turning point in the space flight expedition after the failed attempts of the past few years.
He read his watch, deciding it was time to go and started his engine.
The clock struck right on three when Matthews rocked up at the Moorland Links Hotel, entering the complex with a long wheelie all the way up the driveway to the entrance. Every space in the car park was full, so Matthews parked on a segment of lawn, kicked down the stand on his motorbike, took off his leatherwear and locked them inside the bike’s panniers. Dressed in his suit, he strolled confidently into the hotel to find that everyone had taken their seats in the Chandelier Ballroom. Plenty of time, he thought, as he strolled into the bathroom. He doused his face with cold water and in the mirror saw a short man glide into the bathroom with a cool, smooth rhythm. The small man gave him a polite nod. “Awful day,” he said, slipping down the zip on his jeans at the urinal.
“Yeah,” Matthews replied bluntly.
Shaking water off his hands, he moved to the dryer and was feeding his palms beneath it when he felt someone tap his hip. Turning sharply, he saw the small man standing close by, too close, with an unreadable expression on his face and his hand lingering at the inside pocket of his leather jacket.
“Simon Matthews, right?”
Matthews froze with terror, his heart pumping so hard it felt as though it might put a hole in his chest, conscious to the fact that his life was about to end.
“I don’t want it…to end,” shouted Naomi Millington.
Trousers at his ankles and underpants at his knees, Matthews smiled as he continued to screw this girl over the dishwasher in his kitchen, loving every minute.
“Don’t stop!” she was screaming.
Matthews had enjoyed his fair share of flings with hundreds of women, had even been accused of being a sex addict, but no one quite touched his heart like Naomi. In spite of that, she only went for men with money, serious money, and it had him financially worried. He had already wiped out his savings account and his credit card was in serious trouble. The bank had been leaving him messages.
After sex, Naomi talked about going away for the weekend, but Matthews told her that he couldn’t afford it.
“I understand, we had a good run though, didn’t we?” she said cold-heartedly.
Two days later, the bank approved a thirty - thousand - pound bank loan in his name. Affording the monthly repayments on an Aerodynamics Data Engineering salary would be easy. But from there on his debt only increased; it was the only way he could keep up with Naomi’s expensive lifestyle and ensure that she stayed loyal to him.
Matthews started sleeping with other women to try and get her out of his mind. She was no good for him and he couldn’t go on living so lavishly just to keep her satisfied. But all the other women were nothing compared with Naomi. She was his addiction, his purpose, his queen. Killing her crossed his mind, just to force her out of his life. But he knew he didn’t have it in him. He could pay someone? No, it was getting out of control. She was costing him enough. Maybe he needed help. Murder? What was he thinking?
Determined to put an end to their relationship, Matthews went to visit Naomi, and he arrived just as a man was leaving her house. Before she could close the door, Mathews went straight up to her, honked up a hunk of phlegm and launched it in her face, the venom of his saliva stinging her eyes, like vinegar. Blinded, she tried to slap him but he arched back, turned and hurriedly left fitting his helmet to his head, crossing the road to his motorbike. A brick rebounded off his plastic windshield,