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“Hi, Mrs Stane,” Emma greeted Lady Stane whilst they waited for Kate in the foyer of Lady Stane’s luxurious mansion house.
“Lady Stane!” she corrected.
Emma and Ellie had arrived to pick Kate up for the spa weekend, Emma had planned earlier in the week.
“I don’t know why you girls need to go away for a spa weekend, we have some perfectly good day spas here. Too spoilt these days, that’s what it is!” Lady Stane began, “and Kate, not working, just hanging around the house, she can’t look after herself, even after all these years!”
Ellie looked at Emma and raised an eyebrow as Lady Stane walked away, continuing to mutter to herself.
“Well if she’d made an effort to be a parent to Kate, perhaps she would be looking after herself!” Ellie stage whispered to Emma.
“Hey, I’m ready, almost!” Kate called down from the top of the circular staircase, her voice echoed in the marble entrance foyer as she disappeared again.
“I wouldn’t mind hanging around this house for a while,” Ellie commented to Emma.
“Hmm, not with a mother like that, I don’t think!!”
“Yeah, but she’s gone for most of the year! I wouldn’t mind trying!” Ellie responded.
“Don’t think the grass is always greener on the other side!” Emma said as Kate re-emerged and came down the stairs.
“Wow, you guys look good, well, not you Ellie, you look shagged,” Kate said as she gave them a hug and kiss. “Let’s get out of this place, it’s driving me insane. Bye, bye!” Kate said to no-on in particular as they exited the double doors into the front garden.
“Good evening, Miss Kate.” A voice from the top of the stairs called, Ellie turned to see a short man dressed in a butler’s outfit. She waved as the door closed behind her.
* * *
“Now this is the life!” Emma said, sitting in a bubbling jacuzzi with champagne glass in her hand, “no kids to watch out for, no meal to organise.”
“Mmmm, I really need this after the week I have had!” Ellie added, she thought back on the whirlwind week, it all went very well, even if Gregory James was a stuck up, loner. She was still wondering how to broach the Noni conversation, she knew it would come up over the weekend.
“Are you sure this water is sanitised?” Kate asked, making sure her face stayed above the water.
“Yes!” both Ellie and Emma responded immediately.
“Well you know I have just had surgery!” Kate pouts.
“You wouldn’t have thought so last Saturday when you were out on the town!” Ellie commented.
“Hmmm, tell us about that.” Emma said, encouragingly.
“You know, I wanted to celebrate getting out of hospital and Troy was giving me the pips, I just wanted to be out, like an adult!” Kate defended.
“Hey, Emma, I’m here!” it was Susi.
“Oh my, I can’t believe it!” Ellie yelled, jumping up from the jacuzzi, “it’s been ages since we saw you!”
“And now we’re all here, let the fun begin!” Emma said giving Susi a little hug as she sat in the jacuzzi.
“It took ages to get here, I thought it was in London, as the name implies!” Susi began, “so I got a black cab! But now I’m here, it’s great! I love our suite we’re all sharing, that should be interesting!”
“Hmm, yeah like a pyjama party, do you remember when we used to go to Kate’s place when her mum and step dad were out of the country?” Emma recollected.
“Which was every other week!” Kate added.
“Mmmm, that’s why I said it should get interesting, later!” Susi added.
Ellie leaned back in the jacuzzi and let the warm water and bubbles relax her muscles while the effects of the champagne relaxed her mind. She looked at her friends from school, they were all successful in their own right, Emma who had finished her degree in marketing and had made her way to the top of a small marketing company before she met Robert, her husband ,who happened to own the company.
She turned her attention to Susi, a small bundle of high energy, she was animatedly talking to Kate, asking about her wound and how she was feeling. Susi would light up any room she entered. Despite being under five and a half feet she was larger than life. At school Susi was able to imitate any one of their teachers, with comic effect added in. It was no surprise she went into acting after completing her degree in literature going on to complete a year at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, it certainly paid off. She looked as good as ever, her long blonde locks loosely tied on the top of her head.
And then Kate, always stunning but she never quite made it despite having the best background, and being wealthy. Her family life was pretty poor, she was brought up by nannies and staff mostly, Troy her older brother allowed to roam around the streets as he was uncontrollable. It was such a shame that they didn’t have a better start. Some people didn’t deserve to have children, she thought,shaking her head slightly. She watched Kate explaining to Susi what had happened, why did it have to happen now, as she was getting herself on her feet with some modelling?
“Ok, enough of this lets get ready for dinner, I hear the food is amazing and I’m starved,” Emma ordered, always the organiser.
* * *
The suite Emma had booked, comfortably slept six adults with three large bedrooms, each with their own ensuite, a large lounge area and kitchenette and a patio with views over the golf course.Their suite was spread across half the floor of the low built hotel, it was on the top floor which but there were only three floors in total. The decor was a little dated with browns and reds, but the rooms were extremely comfortable.
“Hey, can someone pass me a towel? I forgot to bring one in with me!” Kate yelled from her ensuite bathroom.
“Yeah, hang on!” Ellie called as she made her way into their shared bedroom. “Here you are,” Ellie said handing Kate the towel as she stepped out of the shower.
“I’m so pleased we’re sharing,” Kate said, accepting the towel from her.
“God, look at that scar!” Ellie said running her finger over the red, raised lump of skin than ran from Kate’s lower rib almost to her belly button.
“Yeah, there goes my bikini modelling days!”
“Oh, I don’t know, I’m sure it will fade, and make up is pretty good these days,” Ellie offered.
“Hmmm, are you going in now?”
“Yeah, I’ll just get my gear together.”
Kate turned and began to dry her hair vigorously with the towel as Ellie left the bathroom.
* * *
“Have you seen Kate’s scar?” Ellie asked Emma, when she caught a sight of her dashing past her bedroom door.
“Umm, yeah, when she was in hospital. It’s a beauty isn’t it?”
“Well, whoever did that to to her, didn’t want her to survive it!” Ellie said, still shocked from he sight of it a few moments earlier. “We really need to talk to her about this, it’s serious. I for one don’t want her going out until this mad man or woman has been caught.”
“Well the police say they have a couple of suspects, one of which is your mate you work with, Nina?”
“Noni! I seriously don’t think it’s her, she’s a bit of a kook, but she is not a murderer and what would be her motive??” Ellie replied, defensively.
“Hey, has anyone got some deodorant?” Kate called from the bedroom, “I forgot to pack mine.”
Ellie rolled her eyes at Emma before calling out, “Yeah, I’ll get it!” Ellie turned to head back into the bedroom.
“Come on, we’re booked in for 7:30pm, that’s ten minutes for everyone to be ready and out the door,” Emma called as she plonked herself on the overstuffed lounge, “I’m starving!”
A collective yell came from the two bedrooms, “OK!”
* * *
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