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Jilted Kerri Saunders

Novel By: Grigor McGregor
Romance



After being questioned by police as the chief suspect after her former fiancé is hospitalized following a savage beating, Kerri Saunders is picked up in a bar by a pleasant young man intent on seducing her. So what does an abandoned woman do? She takes a chance... View table of contents...


Chapters:

1 2 3

Submitted:Jul 14, 2008    Reads: 190    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


CHAPTER 1
It had been assumed Kerri Saunders would succeed her mother, in time, as the social queen of Falcon City. The Saunders' money was old money, made from pelts and timber and then farm machinery, chemicals, cosmetics and then the money gouging machine seemed to run out of puff, or was it steam, diesel or swamp water?
It didn't much matter because the multi-millions had been prudently invested in securities in seventeen different countries where corruption was genteel and taxation was considered an embarrassing impost so was applied lightly. And thus the money tree prospered. Successive generations of principal family siphoned off their entitlements but were unable to touch the base funds at source and so the cash flow continued unabated, almost untouched by human hand.
Thelma Saunders had come home from France to help prepared for her elder daughter's wedding, entranced by the thought that Kerri after having two children would be ready to become her protégé to preside over Falcon's social circuit, just as her mother had groomed her as successive mothers in the family had done for generations.
But days later it was catastrophe. Kerri was left standing at the altar. Well not quite. Kevin Close called her two nights before wedding day and said, "Kerri, I'm sorry I cannot proceed with the wedding. I love another. Daniel and I leave this country tomorrow tonight to find our destiny together. It's been lovely knowing you. Goodbye."
"What, what did you say Kevin? Oh god, he's dropped me. MOTHER!"
Mother Thelma answered the scream and found it strange she really didn't have to calm her daughter. Kerri snarled, "I sensed he was a fucking gay. All the whispering with Daniel when those two were out with us dinning. You made a poor choice of chauffer mommy. He's stolen the man you insisted I should marry."
"Well these things happen darling. You have time to have one more shot before I'd find it necessary to replace you with your younger sister."
"Well, why don't you go that right now mother. I'm off."
"Off where?"
"Off to release anger and then get a job."
"A job? No one would hire you. You don't know how to work darling. It's not something our family does."
"Goodbye mother. Please get your social secretary to send out cancellation notices. She may say I'm heartbroken, and after picking out the wedding gifts you'd like to keep, get Helen to return the remainder."
"Yes dear. So this is goodbye?"
"Indeed it is mother. Kiss-kiss."
"Kiss-kiss darling. You have been a wonderful daughter. If you return you will be placed close by on the perimeter along with my sisters and your father's sisters and the two surviving grandmothers."
"Understood mother. Say goodbye to daddy for me."
"Yes of course although you could take him with you if you wish?"
"No mother. My repositioning in life will go better if I regard myself as socially adrift. I'll then not be tied by social precepts."
And so Kerri Saunders, aged twenty-five, went to her room and packed her trousseau and left the Saunders' Estate.
* * *
Next morning Kerri Saunders awoke in her room in a dingy rooming house to face reality. She had been dreaming although it was true Kevin Close had dropped her two days out from the wedding.
Kerri's parents were far from being wealthy. Her father Archie, a drunkard, was secretary of the Town & Country Club where his addiction was not noticed because he fitted the scene so well. The club was unable to attract sober members.
Her mother taught French at the nearby high school and the family lived in a 30-year-old unstylish suburban home that looked like most others in their neighborhood: nondescript.
Kerri possessed a master's in business management and had resigned recently to prepare for her marriage. She broke down and cried when receiving Kevin's call of rejection and her mother Thelma simply said something sensible: "You'll have to just get on with your life darling." And then added in her typically practical manner, "You go off and mope. There are only twenty-five guests to call and I'll do that and I'll ask them to call to retrieve their presents and to have coffee with your father and me."
Soon after that Kerri left dragging just the one suitcase on rollers.
Late that next evening Kevin Close was staggering home from the bar a short distance from his parents' home when he was clouted over the head with a baseball bat. He shot up an arm to protect his head from receiving a second blow and had that arm broken. As he fell a blow across his knee shattered his patella.
It was terrible for him. He was left on the pavement unable to move and the baseball bat had rattled on to the sidewalk beside him and he was kicked in the balls. Although in agony he watched gloved hands pick up the bat and heard his assailant walk away chuckling. It was perhaps as bad for him as for a girl being humiliated at being dumped two days out from her wedding. Nay, it would be worse, much worse.
Not unexpectedly the police went after the chief suspects. Kerri's parents had alibis, hosting four friends at home at a dinner party and the friends confirmed their hosts had been in the room with them for the past three hours. Like all parents, Thelma and Archie didn't know where their daughter was.
"Try rooming houses downtown," Thelma suggested helpfully.
Two cops in a patrol car spotted Kerri walking away from a cinema and she was taken in for questioning. The driver's female partner would report that the suspect expressed 'absolutely delight' that her 'absconded bridegroom' had been beaten up and left incapacitated on a sidewalk with broken bones and severe bruising. The suspect then added, "It serves the skunk right."
After intensive questioning Kerri was allowed to leave but ordered not to leave the city and to supply the police with a forwarding address if she left the rooming house. No one appeared to have witnessed the attack. The victim did not see or even hear his assailant and Kerri didn't own a baseball bat and she'd denied being anywhere else in the past four hours prior to questioning apart from Benny's Seafood Restaurant and watching the film, "Gay Girls in Paris." It was noted in the police report that Kerri gave 'a speedy, lengthy and accurate summary' of the film that one of the interviewing offices had seen earlier that afternoon and confirmed the accuracy of Kerri's résumé. A waitress confirmed serving Kerri in that restaurant.
An outgoing police patrol cooperatively dropped Kerri off near her rooming house. She walked into a bar and ordered a martini.
"Hi babe," said a guy sitting down from her. "What's up?"
"The cops pulled me in for questioning and have just let me go."
"Soliciting?"
Kerri glared at the guy and said get fucked.
"I'm sorry miss. That just came out. I'm addicted to enunciating terrible humor."
Kerri had to smile and thought enunciating was a big word to hear from a barfly.
"I've popped in for a drink on my way home."
Kerri said, "What four hours ago?"
The guy looked hurt and said no, half an hour ago and asked why did she have it in for him.
In need of company, Kerri said, "Come closer and I'll tell you my story."
"Can we listen in?" asked one of two tough-looking women sitting on the other side of her.
"Yeah, why not. And you too miss behind the bar and your colleague when he's finished loading the dishwasher."
Kerri began the story, telling how eighteen months ago she met this guy Kevin Close who seduced her on their third date.
"What was wrong with him honey?" asked one of the older women. "Did he forget to ask on the first and second nights?"
Everyone laughed and Kerri lost her smile when she talked about being jilted two days before the wedding and how a few hours ago her ex-bridegroom had been savagely beaten with a baseball bat and hospitalized.
"So I was picked up by the cops a minute after leaving a movie house and taken in for questioning and have just been let go."
"Did you do it?" the guy who'd first spoken to her asked.
"No, and I repeated that denial to the cops three times."
"Have you been told you are the chief suspect?" asked the woman behind the bar.
"I was told I was the only suspect."
"What evidence is there against you?" asked the barman.
"So far none, only circumstantial. The baseball bat has not been found."
"Did you wear gloves?" asked the other older woman deceptively.
"Very funny" Kerri glared. Everyone who understood the loaded question laughed.
Kerri was asked about her alibi and describing it as flimsy she detailed it.
The man who'd first spoken to her said it was all very well claiming she'd been at that cinema but she could have been there earlier in the day and recited her convincing summary from that earlier attendance.
Most of Kerri's listeners agreed that was a possibility.
The man asked, "Did the cops try that theory on you?"
"No."
"God, small wonder we are at the mercy of criminals."
The bar staff went back to work and the two women resumed chatting in whispers. The guy stood and approached Kerri. "The name is Cassidy Cohen. May I walk you home?"
"What for?"
"For your safety. Then again you might need a cuddle tonight after your experiences of recent days."
Kerri thought about that and found his reference to 'a cuddle' appealing.
"How do I know I'm safe with you?"
Cassidy said she didn't. "Look, I'll just walk you to your door if it's close by, as I think it's likely to be, and then will continue on my way."
They stood outside the rooming house. Cassidy said it was one of the better ones around.
She asked was he married and was told no.
It was winter and the night was cold. "Look," he said, talking off his hat presumably so she could see him clearly. "Are you looking for a job?"
"Could be."
"And I would like to see more of you, a great deal more. Perhaps we can come to terms. Say I spend a couple of hours with you and I'll guarantee you two week's work. More if you are good."
"Okay."
Cassidy looked surprised. "Aren't you going to try to bargain?"
"No. I really would appreciate some company tonight. I'll do it with you without any condition other than you use a condom."
"Done deal. We better proceed quietly because the notice says no guests in rooms after 10:00 pm and its gone 10:00."
"Providing you don't fuck me too hard I won't make too much noise."
"Good girl," Cassidy grinned, taking Kerri by the arm softly, making no attempt to drag her through the entrance in indecent haste.
Kerri sat on the bed after removing her hat and thick coat.
"Oh my, you have real…um…breasts."
"Don't all women?"
Revealing his experience Cassidy said, "Not like those ones."
He paused, hands on the top of her front-buttoned shirt. "You act like a hooker but you don't appear to be one."
"I wonder why?"
"And you are so clever you almost confuse me."
"I wonder why?"
They looked at his fingers on the top button, twitching.
"Go on or go and I'll cry myself to sleep in loneliness."
Cassidy almost ripped the buttons open.
"You smell fresh and these clothes look new."
"Of course they are. They're from my trousseau."
"Then everything you've said tonight is true?"
With a faraway look in her eyes Kerri said, "All except one thing but don't expect me to identify which one."
"Oh god, am I safe being with you?"
She smiled and curled the curl hanging over his forehead. "Get between my legs and you'll be very safe."
Cassidy finished with fondling the breasts and undressed. Kerri gasped when she saw his erection. She'd learned from limited experience that cocks could be very ugly but this one was a cut above. She observed it had been cut and felt the desire to suck that knob, so did so, and soon had Cassidy as her temporary slave.
As Kerri wiped her dripping mouth and chin Cassidy said, as his soaring blood pressure began to subside, "You don't have to continue if you wish."
"I know."
"I am willing…"
"Cassidy, put the fucking thing in me. I'm desperate to have someone's arms around me and to whisper sweet nothings into my ear. Kevin Close taught me to expect this almost every night and I seek continuation."
Agog, Cassidy said, "You mean I can do this to you every night?"
'PUT THE FUCKING THING INTO ME CASSIDY!"
"Shhhhh. You'll upset the sleeping equilibrium of this establishment, bringing the house manager running. Here we go. Oh it feels like beautiful velvet and is so tight around me. You are a fool Kevin Close."
"If you want to fuck me ever night never mention that name again," hissed Kerri Madeline Saunders, whose eyes rolled back and she groaned as Cassidy completely docked and he leaned down and stretched her left nipple to a ridiculous length with his teeth.
"Bang me Cassidy."
Cassidy Cohen left during the night.
Kerri awoke in the morning to find he'd stuffed a towel between her legs that must have been oozing heaps. People were moving about, doors banging, some folk shouting. She yawned and then saw the note on the dresser.
'Hi, you were great. If you wake up to find this in time meet me across the road at 8:00 at Helen's Diner. We need to be at the office by 8.30 but it's only two minutes from Helen's'. The note included a phone number. Kerri looked at the clock and dashed for the bathroom and then dressed and reached the diner by 8:15 in time for coffee and her customary two pieces of lightly done toast with a skim of marmalade.
The rude Helen looked at her and said, "This one is classier than your usual broad Cass."
As Helen waddled off Kerri lost her class and poked her tongue as the retreating mass. Cassidy laughed and Kerri asked could she call him Cass. He said yes and looked very pleased. She felt more than pleased and hoped she wasn't in love with him, knowing the danger of a brainless off-the-wall rebound that any girl faced just after being jilted.
Kerri boggled when she saw the name of the substantial four-level building was 'Cohen Building Est. 1966'.
Cass saw what Kerri was looking at. "Established by my late grandfather. Mom and dad were a mixed marriage. We buy packaged damaged product, over-runs, product requiring packaging and on-sell it to bulk distributors."
"What sort of product?"
"Any thing that takes dad's fancy. He must approve every proposed buying deal."
"What is your business plan?" asked the business graduate.
"To make money, lots of it."
Kerri marveled at the simplicity of that and thought the business department at her college could learn a thing or two from real-world business people like the Cohens. So much bullshit surrounded academic learning, probably to keep the little empires of professors expanding to increase their salaries.
They rode to the top floor in a creaky elevator and arrived safely. Kerri thought the whole place could do with a good clean.
"Your cleaners do a lousy job."
"We don't have cleaners. Everyone is responsible for their own work center and everyone from dad down picks up paper and other debris and occasionally clean the inside of a window and women run a roster to clean the toilets and hand basins.
Oh so simple, so incredibly simple although undoubtedly not approved by teaching institutes and health and safety authorities, Kerri thought.
"Who was the genius who thought up that system?"
"Grandma. She and granddad were Jewish immigrants. The tradition has continued. If newly hired people don't like it they are invited to look elsewhere for a job."
A traditional Jewish face appraised Kerri as Cass introduced his father to her.
"Welcome to our family business Kerri. Call me by my name which is Matt."
"Thank you Matt."
"And call me Vienna which is my name," said a plump woman who swept into the room and Kerri could tell by the way she looked at Cass she was her mother. When Cass had said his parents were a mixed marriage Kerri had automatically assumed his mother would be Afro-American, French or perhaps a woman of South American origin. But the accent was perhaps Texan.
"What a lovely name," Kerri said, anxious to impress, and the mother said the same could be said of Kerri.
"And the reason for Kerri being here?" Matt asked, cocking an ear.
"She needs a job. I said I would give her one for two weeks and if she proved any good she could be offered permanent work."
"You should make Kerri your girlfriend. She is far classier than most of the women you walk out with," sniffed his mother.
"That could happen. Cass slept with me last night."
Vienna beamed and Matt stared studiously out the window. Kerri saw Cass was standing with a hand under an elbow that that other hand was over his eyes. Why was he embarrassed?
"Miss Saunders," Matt intoned. "I do not accept promiscuity. It is…"
"Spare me the lecture Mr Cohen. If you don't wish me to work here or to associate with your son then instruct him. Otherwise just accept this is me and my right to choose."
"Now look here young lady…"
"Shut up Matt. Go through and sign Kerri on and try to find her something that doesn't demean her or do who know what you'd like to do Kerri, although I guess you haven't toured our operation yet."
"Something in management please."
"Kerri," Vienna began, "I don't think you understand. You won't have a clue about management."
"Oh but I do Vienna but will need intense on-job tuition. I have just competed a master's in business management and I have gained limited experience in a range of management positions between semesters and I have worked in my father's factory since I was six years old. His plant makes golf accessories."
The three Cohen's looked quite stunned.
Then Matt said, "This is a traditional business Kerri. I don't want anything around here changed. Do you understand?"
"Shut up Matt," said Vienna. "After you sign Kerri on bring her to me Matt and I'll take her on tour. Then the four of us will meet together at 1:30 at Lucy's for lunch where Kerri will report to us."
Kerri looked anxiously at Matt. "I don't want to change anything, I really don't. It's not my responsibility."
"All I'm asking is you report impressions Kerri."
"Oh. Thank you Vienna."
In his office with the nameplate of administration manager, Cass smiled and kissed and hugged Kerri. "You enterprising thing - you've really split my parents apart."
"Oh!" Kerri wailed.
"No, stop it. You don't understand. Those two were born to scrap. They thrive on conflict and after all these years remain deeply in love but not on the surface, if you get what I mean. Dad's father forbade him to marry a non-Jew and there was a terrible fight and dad was hospitalized. His father refused to visit him in hospital. The day dad returned to work he went into grandfather's office, locked the door, took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves, saying, 'We have unfinished business to attend to.' Granddad flicked ash off his cigar, studied dad for a moment, and then said, "If you love her that much you'd better marry her. You are entitled to make one major mistake in your life."
Wiping at tears, Kerri sniffed, "Oh what a fabulously romantic story."
"What? Granddad was twice the size of dad. Had they traded blows again he could have killed dad."
"But he wouldn't have and didn't Cass. Don't you see? That is what romance is all about. It's about the unseen energies that bind people and the poetry that emanates from that."
"What?"
"Oh god Cass, do I have some work to do on you."
Cass groaned. "This place will never be the same again when you team up with my mother and stimulate her."
"Stop it Cass. That's naughty and disrespectful of your mother. She is entitled to have passion and ideas. It's no longer a man's world."
Cass sniffed. "I don't know why I allow you to talk to me like this?"
"Well that's a promising start. Will you walk out with me at evenings Cass?"
He grinned.




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