Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 -

For All Eternity

by Geraldine Hillis
Published: May 23, 2013
Words: 23,695
Category: romance
Orientation: M/F
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For All Eternity

He stepped out into the chill night just as the day was dying. The sun touched the landscape with blood-red fingers before slipping below the horizon to give light to a new dawn in another place. It had taken many years, but now he knew where he would find her - and this time he would not let her escape. His senses tingled with anticipation as he hailed a cab and directed it to the Hotel Royale.

His dark good looks and aristocratic bearing earned him a salute and a courteous greeting from the Commissionaire on the steps. Many female heads turned to watch him as he strode purposefully through the lobby and into the lavishly appointed lounge-bar, but he had eyes for none of them; his interest was in one person and one person only. He scanned the room. She was not yet among them, but she would come soon - he was as certain of that as he was that the sun would rise in the morning. He ordered a brandy and sat at a corner table near the restaurant door, commanding a clear view of the main door. Soon - very soon.

"You ok, Ellie?"

Ellen Marks started, and swore as the mascara she was applying smeared across her cheek. She grabbed a tissue to repair the damage, and tried to pull herself together to answer her flat-mate. "I - yes, thanks, Jenny. I'm fine - just a little nervous, I suppose."

"Oh, it'll be fine. It's just dinner with the boss - not an interview with God!"

Ellie forced a smile. "I know - I'm being silly. I just want to make a good impression, but to be honest I don't think I like him very much. He has clammy hands!"

"Well, tell him to keep his clammy hands to himself. This is a business dinner, and don't let him forget it," grinned Jenny. "Now go - your taxi's waiting. And good luck!"

But Ellie had told her friend only half the truth. Yes, she was a little nervous of Al Meredith with his clammy - and potentially wandering - hands, but there was something more. For days now, she'd had the feeling she was being watched. There was nothing she could put her finger on, nothing she could take to the police; she'd seen no-one and heard no-one. It was just - a feeling. A powerful, frightening feeling.

Pure paranoia, she admonished herself sternly, as the car pulled up outside the Hotel Royale. Resolutely, she tried to put it out of her mind and concentrate on the business at hand. This dinner could help her on the way up the career ladder, and she could not afford to spoil it by being nervous and abstracted. She paid the driver, took a deep breath, and marched up the steps.

And the moment she entered the lobby, the fear came flooding back. He - whoever it was - was here - closer than he'd ever been before.