Monday 2 – Tuesday 3 September 2013
The police tape had been removed from the front of her home; the police constable guarding the house had also gone. Finally, Audrey Boyd could relax, alone and in her own space. At least until DCI Foley and DC Knight decided to interrogate her again. She sunk down into the puffy sofa, put her feet up on the coffee table and closed her eyes. A moment of stillness, just one, was what she really wanted right now. It would probably be her last for some time once the police met with the Connor Ryan that she had constructed with the forced assistance of her long-time friend, Harry Morley.
Audrey tried to put everything out of her mind: the death, the police, the questions, Jean Pettiford’s attempt to blackmail her, the Harry/Connor deception, her own lies. It was the stillness that she missed the most. Her ability to shut out the world had ended the day she met Connor Ryan.
* * * * *
‘Six feet two, and gorgeous,’ the girl said. Audrey giggled. She wasn’t sure that he could be described as gorgeous exactly, but he was ruggedly handsome. Audrey had read that term many times in the romance novels that she found in her mother’s bookcase, and she had wondered what someone who was ruggedly handsome looked like. In her mind, there had been images of cowboys, labourers, men who worked outdoors and with their hands, and then Eileen had introduced her to Connor Ryan, and she had decided that the term may have been created specifically to describe the Irishman.
‘Eileen, please. What makes you think that he’s my type? Or, for that matter, that I’m his type? Gorgeous? Really?’ Audrey asked. And then she saw him walk into the café.
‘That’s him,’ said Eileen, pointing towards the door. She waved her arm around in an attempt to gain his attention. He saw the two women, smiled and waved back, but hesitated to join them. Eileen answered Audrey’s question before it was asked.
‘He’s probably waiting for Harry . . . you know what Harry’s like. He’d be late for his own funeral. Look, there he is. Now, smile and be on your best behaviour. Connor Ryan’s quite a catch.’
The night progressed smoothly, and by the end of the date, Audrey Boyd was smitten with the Irishman. A second date was planned, and a third and fourth after that. Soon enough, Audrey Boyd and Connor Ryan had become inseparable and, as such, were invited everywhere as a couple. In three short years, they had met, courted, and married.
Eight years into the marriage, the cracks had started to appear, and after thirteen years, Audrey and Connor had divorced, less than amicably.
* * * * *
Audrey slept through the night, despite the bad dreams. At eight-twenty the next morning, she woke screaming in terror, and drenched in sweat.
‘Shit, I hope Harry keeps up his end of the bargain.’ She rolled out of bed and headed straight into the shower, leaving a line of her clothing from the bedroom to the shower stall. She needed to take her time and compose herself. In a couple of hours, Harry would arrive at the local police station and tell Foley and Knight that he was in fact Audrey’s ex-husband, Connor. If Harry was convincing, both he and Audrey would be out of the station, out of the village, and on the way to the south of France.
. . . To be continued . . .