Her Disappearance Part I

Picnic in the Park

Mina was swamped with work and It was a warm day, clear with puffy white clouds passing by her window. She was daydreaming instead of doing her work. She was thinking about her life. She was the owner of La Ultimate spa and cafe, one of the places to be seen when in L.A, She worked hard making it the best. When she started out in business it was her senior year in collage when she started her gourmet sandwich delivery service. To help she recruited her cousin Kyra who attended the same university.When they graduated, Mina and Kyra had enough money to lease a small cafe in a strip mall.

The little cafe grew from one shop to two, when Mina had the Idea to have a gift shop/ deli. She sold her sandwiches, ready made fruit and cheese trays and wine. She also added picnic items like, wine glasses plates eating utensils and complete picnic baskets. When she saw how well those items sold she added things for bath and beauty. Within months of adding the gift shop/ deli they needed more space because they were doing so much business. Mina had the idea to open a spa in the new location along with the gift shop/deli.

Kyra went on a vacation with some friends to the Bahamas and met the love of her life, Tad. She was ready to get married and have kids and she wanted to get out of the business so Mina bought her out. After Kyra left, it was difficult for Mina to get a loan to expand the business.

She found a small office building sitting on top of hill at the intersection of La Brea and Overhill. It was isolated from the neighbors, convent parking and a garden in the back. The owner was willing to build to suit her needs. This was an ideal location for her expanding business. One night she had a dreamed about her new location, above the door the sign was written in pink neon La Ultimate, this to Mina was a sign that the business would be a success.

Mina had been going to every bank that she knew looking for a loan. She had showed them she had been a responsible business woman for five years not having any defaults or late payments with any of her creditors but no one would give her a loan. Mina had walked into the last bank that she was going to try for that day. The walk into this bank would change her life this was when she met her husband Nigel.

She slumped into a chair in the waiting area of the loan department and took off her shoes, closed her eyes and started to rub her feet were sore from all of the walking and rubbed each foot trying to rub out the frustration she was feeling about getting turned down for a loan all day long.

"May I help you?" A deep voice said over her head.

Mina jumped, opened her eyes and found a handsome man standing above her "I came to apply for a loan." she said as she put back on her shoes.

The man waited on her to stand up then said " Well let's see what we can do for you young lady." and showed Mina over to his desk.

When she sat down across from him she read his name "Nigel Page assistant loan officer"

He walked around the desk and took his seat across from her. Mina noticed how handsome he was. He had medium brown skin and dark eyes. Mina liked men with dark eyes,they were so mysterious to her.

Mina watched Nigel's lips move as he talked "Do you have a portfolio with you?"

Mina was just staring at his lips not answering his question so he repeated "Miss... ah... I didn't get your name."

"Mina Jacobs, what did you say?" Mina said snapping out of her trance. "Did you say something?"

"Ms. Jacobs, I asked if you had a portfolio?"

Mina fumbled with her briefcase to get her portfolio of up to date bills and credit reports. "I'm sorry Mr. Page, I'm so unorganized, I'm just tired."

"That's ok, take your time, I understand that you're tired from running all day. How many banks have you been to for a loan?" Nigel asked sensing her frustration.

Mina looked at him as if he had read her mind and she laughed "Too many, this was going the be the last one."

He opened the folder and looked at the documents "Maybe I can help you out."

"Well that's the first good news that I've heard all day long." she smiled

"Here fill out the application and bring it back with the documentation and I'll see what we can do for you." Nigel shook her hand as she was getting up to leave.

"Thank you, I think that you've just made my day."

Mina went home that evening with Nigel on her mind. She woke with a smile the next morning because she had the most sensual dream about him.

It took Mina a week to complete the paperwork Nigel requested and took it down to the bank. She sat in the same seat as she did the first day that she met Nigel and expected him to walk up to greet her. Instead an older blond woman with glasses perched on her nose, took the paperwork then peered over her half glasses "You'll hear something in a week." The woman turned on her heel, walked to her desk shoes clicking on the floor.

Mina felt like she would get a rejection phone call in a week. She stood up, took a deep breath, clearing the negative thoughts from her mind, picked up her briefcase and left. She wanted to put on a good face so the woman who took the paperwork wouldn't think that her cold attitude got her down.

Across the street from the bank was a coffee shop, Mina headed over there because she could use a hot drink. It was too early in the morning for a shot of brandy, she would settle for a cup of steaming coffee. While she waited in line, Mina looked in the pastry display and decided that she would have a coffee cake with her coffee.

She took a seat by the window and held her head in her hand. If the loan doesn't go through then she would have to wait longer to realize her dream. She smelled the steaming beverage and then she felt a tap on the shoulder "Ms Jacobs?"

Mina looked in the direction of the smooth, sexy male voice and there stood Nigel Paige. He was looking good enough to eat and she was ready to melt. She was in love.

"Yes" she stared into his eyes.

" I was on the phone when you came in. I'm sorry that I missed you. Ms. Pinkerton, gave me your loan papers. I just need one more signature and then we can process your loan." Nigel sat across from her and opened his briefcase to get the paperwork.

She could tell that he was nervous by the way he fumbled with the papers until he found the page that she needed to sign.

"I need you to sign here" he handed her the papers.

"I need a pen" she smiled

He fumbled through his briefcase again for a pen. He was different then when they met last week not as self assured. Mina liked that.

"I'm sorry, you can't sign without a pen." he handed her a pen.

Nigel watched as she signed the page that he needed " Would you have lunch with me?"

"Yes." she handed him back the papers.

"My pen."

"I'm sorry" she handed him the pen, he touched her hand and that touch made her quiver. "When?"

"When?" Nigel had forgotten that he had just invited her to lunch.

"You asked me to lunch so when do you want to go?"

"Today if you like or whenever it is convent for you. I know that you're busy running your business."

Mina didn't want to sound as desperate as she felt. After Kyra got married, she began to feel like she needed someone in her life. " Well today I do have some appointments but how about tomorrow, if that is good for you?"

"Good, should I meet you at work."

"Yes then you can see my little shop."

"Then it's a date."

Her daydream about her life was broken when she received a text message alert. She picked up the cell phone, read the message then closed it. The message was from Nigel. He wanted her to call him as soon as possible.

Mina pushed the number "2" her speed dial location on her cell phone for Nigel.

The phone rang long enough for the call to go to voice mail but on the last ring, Nigel answered "I'm glad that you returned my call right away."

"I'm busy Nigel. What do you want?" annoyed that Nigel had called interrupting her daydream about when they first met.

"I think that we should talk. I know that we haven't been on the best terms lately."

Mina thought about their relationship. She wondered, how people go from being in love to living like strangers sharing a house, in five years. "What do we have to talk about. I thought that we said everything last night." she snapped.

"I heard what you said but you didn't hear what I had to say."

"I heard you say that you wanted to amend our prenuptial agreement." Mina huffed "I don't think that we should discuss this over the phone."

"I don't either. I have an idea. Let's get some sandwiches, wine, cheese and crackers and go up to the park by the lake."

Mina hesitated "I don't know I've got lots of work to do. You know, it's Thursday, maybe we should do this over the weekend."

"On the weekend, you'll find another excuse Mina."

She tapped on her desk and surveyed the desk for the pile of work that was not getting done.

"Mina did you hang up on me?"

"No, I was thinking about all of the work I have to do. Speaking of work, did you talk to the Concerto people?"

"I didn't talk to anyone I left a message with Bob Smith's assistant."

"I don't want to lose this contract, Nigel. You know that HEART is my biggest project. If I do well then I can maybe open in Las Vegas."

Nigel was frustrated with Mina's lack of giving him any credit with helping her with the business. He felt like arguing with Mina about his role in making the business what it was. Without him, she wouldn't have gotten the loan to expand from the little strip mall store.

"Well Mina, do you want to go or not? It's a beautiful day."

Mina looked out the window saw the clouds passing by gave her answer to Nigel " Ok, you've talked me into going."

"Good. I'll pick you up in about forty-five minutes."

Mina flipped her phone shut. She called her assistant Melody In her office.

Within a few seconds Melody walked into the office "Yes Ms. Page."

"Reschedule my appointments that I have this afternoon."

"Oh, Ms. Page, Carmona Richards is giving a cocktail party this afternoon at the Watergarden Hotel."

Mina knew that she she should go to Carmona's party because she was a good friend and business partner "Send Ms. Richards an e-mail with my regrets and a nice flower arrangement to her office. Say something like ' Much success on your new venture or something like that."

"Yes, Ms.Page. Is there anything else?"

"No, I don't think so. I'll be leaving the office for the rest of the day in about an hour. Please send all of my calls to voice mail."

"What about the Concerto people?"

"That is the only phone call I will take and all the rest to voice mail."

"Ok." Then Melody walked out of the office closing the door behind her.

Mina went into her closet and closed the door. She took out a pair of jeans and tennis shoes and laid them out on a chair in the dressing room. Walking she short distance from the dressing room to the bathroom, turned on the shower. As the water was getting warm she looked through a cabinet of bath products. Most of the bath products in her cabinet were given to her by the makers of the product to be considered for her boutique. She got a pink bottle out of the cabinet, took off the top and smelled it. Mina decided that she would use it for her shower.

Mina stripped off her business attire feeling free and stepped into the steam of the shower. She let the hot water cascade down her back. The mussels in her neck and back relaxed but still could use a massage. Mina knew that she didn't have long to shower before Nigel would be there. She cut the shower short and got dressed and was waiting in her office when he came.

The was a soft tap on her office door "Come in."

Nigel walked in " I see you're ready to go for a change."

Mina ignored his comment, got up from her desk walked over to the closet to get a jacket when she asked "Is it warm or cool outside?"

"You're cold natured so take your jacket."

Mina went into the closet and got her leather jacket, picked up her cell phone and put it in her pocket "Let's go." she headed for the door with Nigel following.

They walked past Melody's desk and simultaneously said "Good bye and have a good afternoon."

When they got to the parking lot Mina asked Nigel "Should I follow you?"

"No, leave your car here and ride with me we can pick it up later."

When they got to Nigel's car he unlocked the doors and opened the passenger side for Mina. Mina slid in the seat of his black Audi. She sank into the plush leather. She thought as she ran her hand over the cool leather " He has a better car than I have!" then she let out a snort and rolled her eyes as Nigel was getting into the car.

"Where did you say that we were going again?" Mina said as she slipped on her sunglasses.

"To Roycroft Lake."

"Don't you think that's far for a picnic?"

"No, it's a beautiful day. " Nigel turned up the radio from the steering wheel "Sit back and listen to some music, relax and enjoy the ride. We'll have a good time."

Mina reclined the seat back and stared at the sky until she fell asleep.

When they arrived at the park, Nigel shook Mina's knee "Wake up we're here."

Mina stretched and yawned "Were here already?"

"Yes."

Nigel got out if the car he didn't come around to open the door for her. Well Mina guessed that he only does that when they go out on special occasions to pretend he's a gentleman. She got out of the car and stood next to the car until he got the food out of the trunk.

Nigel stood frustrated, hands full and the trunk open "If you're not going to help me, you could at least close the trunk."

Mina walked to the trunk and slammed as hard as she could then followed behind him to the picnic area.

"Mina help me carry one of these bags."

She slowly caught up with him and took one of the bags and silently walked next to him.

"What's wrong with you today. Mina?

"Nothing, Nigel."

"Hell I wish we could be civil. Here I'm trying to be nice and have lunch outside on such a beautiful day and you're trying to spoil it. Damn!"

"How far is it to the picnic area?'

"Not far, just over the hill."

They walked the rest of the way in silence. Mina and Nigel were both absorbed in their thoughts. When they arrived to the spot where they were going to have their picnic in the park. Nigel was the first to speak "Mina, what is wrong? Your not your normal argumentative self."

Mina ignored him and began to unpack the bags. Nigel grabbed her arm and spun her around to face him "Goddammit, Mina I'm talking to you answer me!" he yelled.

Mina snatched her arm from his grasp and turned her back "I'm not in the mood for arguing with you. Let's just get through this, okay?"

This time he reached for her it was with less anger. He took her hand and held it while Mina stood with her back to him. "C'mon baby, let's stop all of this bickering. It's a beautiful afternoon, everything is green the flowers are in bloom." Nigel took a deep breath "Smell the air, no pollution, just the sweet smell of the flowers." he kissed her on her cheek "C'mon give me a kiss."

As Nigel nuzzled Mina's cheek, she could smell his aftershave and she remembered why she loved him. He could be such a romantic and he was handsome. She turned around and looked into his eyes and gave him a kiss.

"That's better. Not the kind of kiss I wanted, but it will do."

"I haven't felt like kissing you much lately."

"Well I guess that I haven't been in a romantic mood lately either. Maybe this picnic will change that."

"You think that this will add a spark to our marriage?"

"I'm going to think positive about it."

They continued to set up their picnic table. Mina took the wine and the glasses out of one of the bags. She read the label "Carmona Richards Private Reserve White Zinfandel" She poured two glasses then unwrapped a sandwich her and Nigel.

She took a sip of wine "Carmona out did her self this time."

"Yes she did." Nigel looked around the table.

"What are you looking for?"

"The mustard." He said rummaging through one of the bags they brought the food in. "I guess I must have left it in the car."

"I need to go to the bathroom, so I will go out to the car and get it on the way back."

"How do you know it's a bathroom near the parking lot?"

"I saw it as we were pulling up. It's always good for a lady to know where the bathroom is since we can't just go anywhere like you guys."

" I don't know Mina if it is safe for you to go by yourself."

Mina laughed "Nigel I'm a big girl I can make it to the bathroom, to the car and find the mustard all by myself."

"Ok."

Nigel watched Mina disappear down the trail. He was glad she had gone to get the mustard, now he could start his plan. He took a small bottle liquid which he dissolved some pills which would sedate her and poured it into her glass. He downed his glass of wine and poured him another then put the rest of the drug in the bottle of wine. It seemed like it didn't take Mina long to return with condiments in hand.

She held up two jars "Not only did I find the mustard but I also found the mayo."

"I was hopin' you'd bring back the mayo too. No sandwich is complete with out the mustard and mayo."

Mina took a swallow of the wine " It's a little hike from the car to here, and the walk made me thirsty."

Nigel smiled as he ate his sandwich and watched Mina drink the wine, and he thought the drug should take effect soon.

Mina kept eating and drinking. She was begun to feel more relaxed and didn't know if it was the wine or she was overly tired, exhausted from working so hard.

Nigel was pleased with the effects that the drug was having on her. He watched as she was nodding her head in between sips of wine, bites of sandwich and cheese. " I know what will wake you up."

Mina dragged head upright "What?"

"A walk will do you good. The blood rushing through your veins will do you a lot of good."

"You think so."

Nigel swallowed the rest of his wine and cheese "Yes c'mon and get up and let's go."

"I can barely move my legs they feel so heavy. I don't know Nigel if this a good Idea."

He got up and took Mina's hand to help her off of the bench "C'mon baby let's go."Nigel was able to get Mina too her feet and held her around her waist to steady her balance. " I got you."

Mina held on to Nigel. She felt her knees buckle but she struggled to stay on her feet.

"I don't know what's wrong with me. I've never felt this tired after a glass of wine."

"Take the first step and then you'll be fine. You're just a little tired. Once you start moving you'll be fine." Nigel helped her walk. He was thinking that he had put too much of the drug in her wine. What he didn't need was someone to come by and see her drugged up. After Mina took the first couple of steps she was able to walk better.

They walked along the trail with Nigel holding Mina up most of the way. He was glad the trail was deserted. He had found the spot where he wanted Mina to look over the edge at the view and manipulated her over there.

"C'mon baby let's go home. I feel like I'm going to faint." Mina was supporting herself on a tree.

"Come and look at this view of the canyon." he held her hand trying to get her over to the edge of the cliff.

"No, I can't move from this spot. I feel like I'm going to faint." Mina was feeling her body going limp quickly.

Mina was resisting. Nigel was sweating, and his hands were getting clammy. He had to make his move so in a swift motion, Nigel grabbed Mina's arms before she could faint completely he threw her over the edge of the cliff.

There was no scream from Mina only the rustle of bushes as she made her way down to the bottom of the canyon. Nigel stood on the edge to see if he could see her body or hear her scream. No scream nor a body that he could see. Nigel was relived because his mission was complete. Now he could start his new life.

Up a Tree

Mina's alcohol and drug haze was clearing as she was tumbling down the mountainside. All she could think about was doing something fast or else she was going to die. She was grabbing for any tree, branch or shrub which could break her fall before she got to the ground. Mina got a hold of a root and held on dangling in mid-air for less than a minute and then snap she was falling again.

The few minutes that it took for her to land in a small tree was like hours had gone by. She lay in the tree dazed for a few moments until she could get her bearings and get herself out of the tree. Mina didn't want to scream for help because Nigel might still be around and she wanted him to think that she was dead. That was what Nigel wanted wasn't it.

This tree was sturdy enough for her to sit up and look around. She saw that she wasn't very high off the ground. She didn't feel like she had injured herself when she fell, no thrown off the edge, like a piece of trash.

Scooting herself carefully to the edge of the tree where she could see the ground, Mina jumped. She landed on what looked like another hiking trail. As far a she could tell, she had just suffered a few minor scratches and her jacket was torn. There was a bolder not far from where she was standing and she walked over and sat on it.

She unzipped her jacket and found her cell phone, flipped it open and saw it was still working. "Good"

Then she thought not so good after all because what would a dead woman be doing using a cell phone. Mina started to throw her phone away but decided not to because her contact numbers and right now she needed a friend she could trust to help her out without Nigel finding out. Mina powered down her phone. The last thing she needed was unwanted phone calls.

While Mina was sitting on the bolder trying to get herself together a white woman with a hat on with white hair sticking out from under it approached her "Hi dereie, are you ok?"

"Huh."

"I see that you must have taken a spill." pointing to the debris that was still in Mina's hair.

Mina felt her head and felt some leaves and other plant matter in her hair "Yes. I fell. I think I drank too much and fell."

"Oh my. Man troubles? Don't answer that dereie. The only reason a woman would come alone to the woods and drink is because of man troubles."

Mina didn't reply.

"I think that you should come with me to the ranger station so he can send you to the hospital to make sure you're ok."

"I think that I'm ok but I will come with you so I could use the telephone." Mina struggled to her feet still feeling the effects of the alcohol and the drug. She felt dizzy and sat down on the bolder again. "I guess I'm a little light headed."

The white haired woman helped her stand "Ok dereie hold on the ranger's station isn't far."

The women walked down the trail. The only thing that Mina could think about was why would Nigel do this to her and how could she not let him get away with trying to kill her.

It didn't take long for them to reach the ranger station. The white haired lady opened the door and called in "Floyd, I have someone here that needs a doctor."

Floyd came out of the back office quickly to help with Mina. He held on to Mina's waist and guided her over to a cot "Ok little lady lay back her and I'm going to call an ambulance and help will be here soon.  I'll need to know your name, you know, if someone comes looking for you, I can tell them you're in the hospital."

Mina heard Floyd but she was absorbed in her thoughts and the feeling that she was going to pass out.

"Miss, I need to know your name."

Mina quickly thought of an alias before she got any more dizzier "Nora Cooper." then she laid on the cot and everything went black.

The Clean Up

Nigel stood over the spot where he threw Mina off of the cliff. The only noise that he heard was the sound of his breathing. The sun was almost down,and he felt a chill, and he pulled his jacket together and zipped it. Lingering atop the hill looking down for any sign of life from Mina. What if she was alive, then what? How was he going to finish her off? He stood for a moment longer then he trotted up the hill back to the picnic table.

When he got back to their picnic table, he began to clean up. He put the sandwich wrapper and the condiments jars in the wastebasket. He took the wine glasses, the left over wine and the bottle which he had put the drug in and put them in a doubled plastic bag. He took the bag to the car where he put the bag under the rear wheel of the car. He got into the car and started it, and ran over the bag several times. Nigel got out of the car and retrieved the flattened bag from underneath. He was sure the contents were thoroughly crushed. He took the bag, placed it in another bag and then put it in the trunk. He would dispose of it later.

The sun was completely down when Nigel got in the car. He took a deep breath and speed off into the approaching darkness. While driving along the road to the freeway, Nigel saw an ambulance and wondered if it were coming for Mina. He shook his head to remove the thought of them finding Mina so quick.

"The ambulance is not for her. She is lying dead in the bushes. It will take them days to find her." he tried to reassure himself that Mina is really dead and to calm his nerves.

The thought about what he did to Mina kept invading his mind and to quiet those nagging thoughts of murder, he turned on the radio. The song that came on was the last one they had listened to before they had gotten out of the car. He pushed the pre-select buttons on the radio to find another station, and when that station came on, another song which reminded him of Mina came on. Pushing button after button didn't shut off the thoughts of what he had done.

Nigel could drive no longer, and when he saw a convenience store he pulled in got out of the car and went into the store. He walked down the isles of the store in a daze. In the back of the store was the refrigerators, and Nigel walked down the row of doors until he stopped at the door with the wine and the beer. He stared at the shelves of wine and beer.

"Excuse me." a female voice said from behind Nigel he jumped because he thought that Mina was behind him.

"Oh I'm sorry." Nigel moved so the woman could get a beer. He looked at her closely, she reminded him of Mina. "She's dead." He reminded himself and reached for two forty ounce bottles of beer.

He stood behind the woman who reminded him of Mina and she made him nervous. He was glad that she didn't take a lot of time to pay so he didn't have to be reminded of Mina.

He paid for his beers with cash. Didn't want to leave a paper trail in case the police have found her already. He hurried out of the store and into the car. He started the car quickly and left. He opened one of the beers and drank half of it in one gulp.

When Nigel reached the freeway he threw the bottle out, pulled out the bag with the other bottle of beer, opened it and took a long swallow. It was a big enough swallow that he drank half the bottle. He could feel the alcohol taking effect, and he knew that he would have to drive like he wasn't drunk. He didn't drink any more until he got off the freeway.

The ride from the freeway to Nigel's house went along a narrow, winding, two-lane road. There weren't any street lights and it was thickly wooded. This Nigel thought was the best place to get rid of the evidence of the crime. He knew a place where he could pull over and get rid of the crushed wine glasses and bottle. He saw it up ahead and wondered if there was anyone there because teenagers liked to park there and neck.

The place was empty, and Nigel was relived. He turned off the lights and pulled the car as far off of the road as he could. The last thing that he wanted was a nosy cop sniffing around. Downing the rest of the second bottle of beer, Nigel got the bag that the beers were in and put the empty beer bottle and the bag with the crushed wine glasses and bottle. As he walked to the edge of the parking area, he began to sweat which increased as he got closer to the edge. Using the back of his hand he wiped the sweat from his forehead. When he got to the edge where the trees started Nigel hesitated for a minute and then he threw the bag into the deep dark of the forest and the night.

Ghosts

The dreams of Mina being dead, tortured Nigel all through the night. Dreams about Mina's mangled, bloody body laying dead in the bushes, and Nigel would wake him up every few minutes in a cold sweat. He would try to go back to sleep but the dreams kept coming. He drank a fifth of whiskey and took four of the sleeping pills he used to drug Mina and he still couldn't numb his mind.

When the sun rose, Nigel felt free of his tortures and he needed to be with someone. He thought of Lydia, Bob Smith's assistant over at Concerto. Lydia and Nigel met when he presented the HEART project to Bob Smith the president of the Concerto project. The Concerto was the newest addition to the L;.A. skyline. It was a multi purpose building offering condominiums, office and retail space. Mina was going to open her newest spa/ boutique there and that was the ideal location because it was in the middle of downtown and that is why Mina was going to call the new place HEART.

One week after they met Nigel and Lydia started having sex. It was not like anything that he and Mina were doing because him and Mina weren't doing anything at all. Lydia made him feel alive, wanted and needed. All of the things that he wasn't getting at home. Mina treated him more like an employee than a husband.

Nigel wanted to leave Mina many times but he just couldn't leave the lifestyle that he help create. She had made him sign a prenuptial agreement where she kept most of the money. He would only get half of the money that they made during the marriage. Anything that she had before the marriage he wasn't entitled to. This was what made him mad enough to kill. If it wasn't for him, she would still be selling sandwiches out of the strip mall.

Now Nigel was in charge, and he had everything. The prenuptial agreement said that if one spouse dies then the other would get everything. The money, houses, cars and the business to do what he pleased without Mina's interference. That was the first ray of hope since he tossed Mina over the cliff. He'd finally be the king of the castle and the master of his destiny.

As master, Nigel needed the comfort of a queen. He looked at the clock and saw that it was eight-fifteen and he called Lydia.

The phone rang a long time and then remembered that it was Friday and Lydia didn't work on Fridays. He wondered if she were taking a shower, and smiled when he thought about the water cascading over her nude body. He wished he was there with her, soaping up all over while arousing her for a session of sex. He was aroused, and all thoughts of Mina disappeared.

"Hola." Lydia answered.

"Hey sweet and sexy did you just get out of the shower." Nigel used his most sexy voice which wasn't hard since he was already aroused.

She laughed "How did you know; you must be psychic?"

"I am especially when it comes to your sexy self." Nigel smiled.

"I'm sorry I'm finished . I would have loved for you to join me."

"I can still join you. I'll be there in a few unless you have other plans."

"No, no other plans come on by. I'd love to see you Popi"

"I was hoping that you would say that. I will see you soon."

"Love you."

"Ok."

Nigel took a shower and got dressed it didn't matter if he took two showers the first so he'd wash away the memory of last night and the second because he needed some sexual healing and Lydia was the perfect prescription.

It didn't take a long time for Nigel to get dressed but the ride was long. It was warmer today than it was yesterday and Nigel was getting warm. He reached to turn on the air conditioner and the traffic on the freeway suddenly stopped and he stopped hard. When he stopped, Mina's purse came from under the passenger seat. When he saw her purse, Nigel froze. His heart began beating hard and rapidly at the same time sweat began to run down his face causing him not to be able to drive. The blaring of the car horns, stopped his panic and then he kept driving.

When Mina's purse came from under the seat he didn't remember that she had brought one. Maybe she put it under there from the last time she rode in his car. He'd look in it later to see if left her wallet in it. Traffic slowed down and stopped again before he could get to Lydia's house, and he slid the purse back under the seat.

Nigel was relived when he got to Lydia's duplex. He had to sit in the car for a moment to get himself together before he saw her. Lydia lived on the second floor of the duplex it was enough time so he could pull himself together. He took a deep breath and got out of the car.

He quickly trotted up the stairs, took another deep breath and ran the door bell wiping the remnants of sweat off with his hand. It always took Lydia awhile to answer the doorbell.

Nigel was getting impatient because Lydia was taking too long. He wondered if she were showing a man out of the back door when he was coming in the front. Then he heard the click of the three locks that she had on her door begin to click.

The door opened and Lydia greeted Nigel with kiss on the cheek and then he walked in.

"Damn baby you gonna' have me wait on the porch forever?" he returned the kiss on her cheek.

"No Popi. You didn't want me to come to the door naked did you?"

"Who's going to see but me?"

"The neighbors."

"How there's no door across from you and this is a hallway."

"Well I'm not like that." she turned and started walking toward the bedroom with Nigel following her.

Nigel grabbed her around her waist pulling her close to him when they got to the doorway of the bedroom "What are you like?"

"Umm...I'm like many things for example sweet Carmel." she licked her lips

"Go on." he backed her into the bedroom toward the bed.

"Whipped cream with Carmel on top."

He smiled when he thought about her Carmel colored body with whipped cream on top "With a cherry" he took of her over-sized tee-shirt to reveal her nude body.

Lydia moaned while he nuzzled her neck and started to move further down her body with lustful kisses "Do you still want to take that shower?"

He didn't answer. Nigel was not going to waste time to undress completely before he laid Lydia on the bed. He needed her badly. . Nigel didn't make love to Lydia he had pure animal sex with her. He was using Lydia to exercise the ghost of Mina.

They laid in exhausted silence both encased in thought.

Lydia took her finger and with a feather touch stroked his thigh. Nigel stirred slightly but didn't say anything, Lydia moved her hand since Nigel didn't respond to her touch.

Nigel didn't respond because he was thinking about the police. He wondered how long would it take them to catch up to him, and then he thought about Mina's purse in the car. He needed to go through it and find out what was in it, He.was having an affair maybe Mina was too. If she was then maybe his number might be in her purse.

"Hey Popi, what are you thinking about?" Lydia stroked his thigh.

"I've got the HEART project on my mind."

"Well Popi, there's nothing to worry about. Everything will go well Monday at the meeting." Lydia smiled and sat on top of ;him.

Nigel was looking at Lydia's sexy body perched on top of him, he put the thoughts of Mina out of his mind and he was aroused.

"What makes you so sure?"

"I had a dream about it.:

Nigel put his hands on her cheeks pulled her toward him and gave her a long kiss on the lips. "So now you're psychic?"

She responded to his kiss with a quick peck on the cheek "And you know what else I know?"

"What?"

"You're going to spend the weekend with me."

"Are you sure?" He smiled and pulled her in again for a longer kiss this time as he caressed her breast.

Lydia moaned "Oh yes... Popi." as he moved from her mouth to her neck and then down to the breast he was caressing.

That was the beginning of their next sex session.

Awake and Alert

"Goood Morning, Ms Cooper." the chipper nurse said as she walked into the room and slid the curtain that surrounded her bed back.

Mina woke up and rubbed her eyes as the sun came in after the nurse pulled back the curtain that was around her bed. She sat up in bed as the nurse walked in. Mina didn't remember the trip to the hospital nor anything that happened.

"I see that you're more awake now Ms. Cooper. The doctor will be in to talk to you soon, and while you're waiting would you like some breakfast?"

Mina rubbed her eyes and shook head in reply. The last thing she remembered before she passed out was the fake name she gave to the park ranger . If Nigel thought that she survived the fall and was to ask the park ranger about her. He hadn't seen her.. Right now, she was not as concerned with breakfast as she was getting out of the hospital. Revenge was on her mind. Nigel, that bastard threw her off of a cliff, and she was going to get her satisfaction of seeing him rot in jail.

Before the nurse left the room Mina asked "Where are my clothes?"

"Your clothes are in a 'patients belongings' bag in your closet." the nurse slid open the door of the closet so Mina could see where her clothes were.

"Thank you, and when did you say that the doctor was coming in?"

"He'll be in soon." the nurse left closing the door behind her.

When the nurse left, Mina attempted to get out of bed and go to the closet where her clothes were but she felt dizzy when she tried to stand up. She sat on the edge of the bed until the dizziness stopped, found a pitcher of water by the bed she took a sip and then she attempted to stand up. She was able to stand but was wobbly on her feet. The reason that she was so wobbly because whatever drug Nigel had given her made her this way.

Holding on to the walls to balance herself on the way to the closet to get her clothes, she slowly made her way to the closet. When she got her clothes, she immediately got her leather jacket and looked for her cell phone and her stash of emergency cash. The cell phone and money were in her inside pocket where she had put them, and she was relived.

When she got her cell phone she powered it on. When the phone came on the message indicator was showing, she ignored it and went to the contacts section to look for someone who could help her. When she scrolled down to Trevor Jones, she knew that he was the one who could help her.

Mina met Trevor when her business associate Carmona Richards, took her to the Green Door social club. Mina and Carmona had been talking during lunch a year ago about her and Nigel's problems. Carmona suggested that she accompany her one evening to the Green Door.

The Green Door was a wonderful place. It was a club who's members were affluent business women of all colors and the men were handsome and intelligent. At the Green Door, a woman could indulge in most if not all of her fantasies. Mina went to the Green Door with no expectations but was pleasantly surprised when she left.

Carmona told Mina out of all of the men at the Green Door, her favorite was Trevor Jones. Mina could see that Trevor was special from the moment they met. It was not love at first sight but it was definitely lust.

At the Green Door, every evening started out with cocktails and dinner, and at this time is when the men went to the tables where the ladies were having diner to introduce themselves. Carmona didn't wait for Trevor to come to their table, she went and got him. When they arrived back at the table, Mina could see why Carmona was so bedazzled by Trevor. He was tall and very dark skinned. With out touching him, Mina could see that his skin was smooth and soft. His eyes were dark brown and very sexy. When Mina shook his hand, it was soft, she could tell he had not done hard work. When he smiled, Trevor's teeth were perfect white and strait. Damn that man was fine Mina thought when she met Trevor.

Later on that night, Mina and Trevor were sexually intimate in one of the private rooms of the Green Door. Trevor made her feel like a complete woman. She and Nigel hadn't had sex for months and she was starved for naked male company.

Whenever Mina and Nigel had a vicious fight, Mina would find herself at the Green Door in Trevor's arms. Soon Mina and Trevor's relationship moved from the private rooms of the Green Door to the Huntington Hotel by the beach. For the last several months Trevor has been her only confidant on what has been going on with her and Nigel. Trevor was the only one she could trust.

Mina thought about calling Kyra her cousin but she would confront Nigel immediately and she didn't want that. Mina needed surprise on her side, and she needed for Nigel to think that she was dead.

The door opened and Mina quickly turned off her cell phone, put it back in her jacket pocket and put on her jacket.

"Good Morning." another cheerful person on the hospital staff came in with a tray "Here's your breakfast." he moved the tray table in position so she could eat.

"Do you have a phone I could use?"

He smiled "We'll get you a phone but eat your breakfast now." and pulled the metal cover off the plate.

Mina looked at the plate of scrambled eggs, dry toast and one piece of over cooked bacon and placed the napkin over it. The coffee was cold and the milk was warm but she drank it. Once Mina got out of the hospital she would go and get her something decent to eat.

After Mina finished her coffee, she pushed away the over bed table, took off her jacket went in the pocket and took out her emergency money. She began to count it because she didn't know how much was in there. Mina counted one thousand dollars. It would be enough money so she could get by for a few days.

There was another knock at the door "Good Morning." another friendly greeting this time from the doctor.

"Good Morning, Ms Cooper."

"I see you didn't enjoy your breakfast this morning."

Mina politely smiled but didn't answer.

The doctor flipped through her chart " Ms Cooper, I see you took a little spill. Well I see that you had a lot of alcohol and sleeping pills in your system. Young lady, don't you know that alcohol and sleeping pills don't mix?"

"I had heard that somewhere. I guess me and my boyfriend had a fight and I accidentally took too much."

"So, you weren't trying to kill yourself?" he eyed her with disbelief.

"No, I wasn't. I had taken some pills before I left home to calm me down and before I got to the park, I stopped at the liquor store on the way to the park, and bought a bottle of wine and a sandwich. I guess I was a little to buzzed,and I lost my balance and fell ." Mina partially lied.

The doctor eyed Mina still not quite believing her story "I don't know if that is the truth or not, Ms Cooper. I'm reluctant to discharge you because in situations like this we usually like to observe the patient for seventy-two hours to make sure."

Mina was getting upset because the doctor was thinking that she was trying to kill herself. Her husband gave her sleeping pills so she wouldn't fight when he was trying to kill her.

"Doctor, I swear if you let me go I will not do it again. I've learned my lesson." Mina tried to convince the doctor to discharge her from the hospital. "Alcohol and sleeping pills don't mix."

"I still would like to keep you here for a couple more days to talk to our social worker, just to make sure you're all right."

"I'm all right. I'm going to call a friend to come and pick me up."

"Ok Ms Cooper, I'll discharge you only if someone comes to pick you up." he scribbled in her chart "I"ll tell the nurse to bring you the phone. he left closing the door behind him.

One of the nursing attendants brought Mina a phone and plugged it into the wall besides her bed. "All set just dial nine to call out."

Mina nodded waited until the nurse left then got her cell phone, turned it on, found Trevor's name and phone numbers. She found the Green Door number, and called it on the hospital phone. Mina hoped that Trevor was there.

The automated receptionist answered the phone requesting that she push 1 if a member and 0 if not. Mina pushed 1. After she pushed 1, Mina inputted her PIN number as requested by the prompt then the phone was answered immediately.

"Hello" a male voice answered that Mina recognized as Mitch one of the guys that works with Trevor.

"Hey, Mitch, is Trevor around?"

"Who's this?"

"Mina Page." she whispered

"Oh Mina, I didn't recognize your voice. You're in luck, Trevor is standing right here."

"Hi Ms. Mina what's up on you're agenda?"

"I need your help."

"What's going on?"

"I can't talk to you about it on the phone. I need you to meet me at the Lido Bar at the Huntington at two o'clock. Can you meet me?"

There was a pause before Trevor answered "I can do that. The Lido Bar at the Huntington at two, I'll be there."

"Thank you Trevor. I really appreciate this."

"No worries and I'll see you at two."

After Mina talked to Trevor she got dressed and called for a taxi to meet her in front of the hospital.

The Man of the Hour

Mina was released from the hospital with the same torn clothes that she went into the hospital with. She had called a cab before she left the room and she was waiting in front of the hospital for it. Mina was glad that she followed her grandmother;s advice and always keep some money hidden for emergencies and she had hidden fifteen hundred dollars in her inside jacket pocket where she thought it would be safe.

Fifteen hundred dollars was all the money she had and she needed to hide for a while until they caught Nigel. That money would only last for a few days, maybe she could stay with Trevor until this mess was over.

"Where is that cab?" Mina said out loud looking at her watch. It was already ten o'clock it would take a while to drive from here to where she was going to meet Trevor at two.

Soon the cab pulled up, and the driver got out and opened the door for her "Sorry Miss I'm late, traffic ya' know."

Mina nodded and hurried in the back of the cab.

"Where to lady?" he asked as he pulled from the curb.

Mina needed some more clothes "Is there a Wal-Mart around here?"

"Yea, not far."

"Take me there first."

"You got it."

Mina sat in the back consumed in her thoughts. She wondered how could Nigel be so cold to try and kill her. She shook her her head and tried to fight back the tears. The cab driver saw her through the rear view mirror and handed her a tissue.

Mina murmured "Thank you." then dabbed the tissue to her eyes hoping that would stop the tears.Most of the ride, Mina sniffed in silence.

Mina managed to pull herself together when they arrived at the Wal-mart. "We're here." the driver announced as he got out of the cab to open the door for her.

Before she got out of the cab, Mina fished in her pocket and got a twenty dollar bill out and handed to him as he held the door open for her "Take this and wait on me. I'm not going to take long."

The cab driver smiled and got back in the cab "I'll be here waiting."

Mina hurried in the store. She knew exactly what she wanted, a pair of jeans, tee-shirt, wig, baseball cap, backpack and a pair of sunglasses. She needed a disguise and she needed it fast because the last thing she needed was someone who knows Nigel will spot her. Once he knows she's alive he will no doubt finish the job he started. Mina had to get Nigel before he gets her.

Mina was in and out quickly. She got in the cab with her large Walmart bag in her hand.

"You want me to put that in the trunk for you?" the cab driver asked after seeing her large bag.

"No thanks." Mina replied while she was fidgeting with the bag.

"Where to now?"

"Do you know where the Huntington is?"

"Yea, over by the beach."

"That's where I want to go."

"Ok."

Mina looked at the time and saw and asked "How long to you think it will take to get there?"

"About an hour or so, if there's no traffic."

"Good."

The rest of the ride, Mina rode in silence. She was making her game plan as she rode. There was plenty of time for her to get to the hotel and she decided not to let Trevor meet her in the bar, instead she would write a note telling him to get them a room. That would be more private and she would not fear people who knew Nigel seeing her. As far as she was concerned, Nigel could continue to think that he had killed her.

It didn't seem to Mina that it took an hour to get to the hotel. She gave the driver two hundred dollars for his trouble even though the cab fare was only one hundred dollars.

"Thank you." Mina said as she closed the cab door.

"Thank you lady. If you need a cab again, you know where to find me.

"I'll keep you in mind."

The driver pulled off from the curb and Mina watched him disappear down the street.

Mina walked into the hotel and looked for a bathroom where she could change clothes, she knew that Trevor would be there in an hour. Mina wanted to get a seat in the bar where she could see him when he came in.

The bathroom appeared empty when Mina walked in. She walked to the back of the bathroom to the last stall while looking under the door of the other stalls to make sure that the bathroom was empty. She got dressed quickly and packed her torn clothes except for her jacket in the backpack and threw the 'patent belongings' bag away. She looked at the wig. It was different style and color from her own hair that no one would know it was her. Mina adjusted the wig and baseball cap in the mirror. When she was satisfied, Mina finished her look with the sunglasses and walked out of the bathroom.

The Lido bar was near the check-in desk and it was a good place to watch people coming in and out of the hotel without being seen because the lighting was so low. Mina found a table which was concealed enough where she wouldn't be seen but she could see him when he walked into the hotel bar.

After she had sat down, a server came over to take her order "May I get you something?"

Mina wanted a drink, white zinfandel wouldn't do, she wanted something much stronger "I like a double brandy with an orange juice back."

" Do you want the house brandy or do you want a particular brand, ice or no in your orange juice?"

" Yes I want the CR Private Reserve and no ice in the orange juice."

The server left to get Mina's order and she looked in the backpack for the pad and pen that she bought. Mina composed a note to Trevor while she was waiting on her drink. She looked at her watch and it was one thirty, Trevor should be there soon.

Mina found the pen and pad that she had bought when the server brought her drink. She gave the server a thirty dollars and told her to keep the change. The heat of the brandy made her frown as she swallowed it.

She quickly wrote the note reading it over she folded it, looked at her watch and waited for Trevor to come.

When Trevor walked into the bar, Mina saw him and called her sever over. "I want you to give this to the gentleman who just walked in." Mina gave her the note and an extra fifty dollars "If he asks who sent him the note tell him the sender said to read it and give him whatever he wants to drink. Keep the change."

The server smiled at Mina and went to deliver the note to Trevor.

Mina downed the rest of her drink then moved to the back of the bar where she could still see the interaction between Trevor and the server. She watched him take the note from her read it and order a drink as she had instructed him to do. Mina didn't wait on Trevor to get his drink before she eased out of the back door of the bar.

Mina wanted to position herself near a house phone to hear the page after Trevor gets a room. She also wanted to see when he went up to the check-in desk. The wait was not long, Mina heard the page with her new alas Ann Cohen.

"Hello." Mina answered.

"Suite 720." Trevor replied.

Mina hung up and went to the elevator bank off of the main lobby. As she approached the elevator she pulled down her baseball cap as much over her face as she could so she wouldn't be noticed. Mina was relived to see that the elevator lobby was empty and an elevator had arrived and the direction arrow changed from down to up without her pushing the button.

Quickly Mina got on the elevator and hoped that it wouldn't make any stops up to the seventh floor. When she thought that she had a non-stop to the seventh floor it stopped on the sixth floor. Her heart started pounding in her chest so hard that she heard it. No one got in and she was relived. When the doors closed she pushed the seventh floor button. When the elevator stopped on the seventh floor, Mina got out and looked down the hallway to see if she was alone and she was.

Mina was glad when she got to the door marked seven twenty.Before she knocked, Mina took off her wig and put it in her backpack. She lightly knocked on the door. Trevor opened the door and she rushed pass him "Shut the door Trevor." Mina plopped down on the near by couch.

"What's with the Secret Squirrel stuff?" Trevor asked.

"I needed not to talk to you down in the bar in case someone would see us."

"Why?"

Mina took a deep breath and announced "My husband tried to kill me yesterday."

Trevor couldn't believe what he was hearing and paraphrased what she had just said to him "Your husband tried to kill you yesterday?!"

"Yes."Mina sighed.

Trevor sat couch next to her "What happened?"

"He suggested that we go on a picnic at Roycroft park yesterday afternoon." Mina started out calm and then she couldn't control herself to finish and started crying and fell into Trevor's arms.

"Mina, calm down you're here with me. No one is going to hurt you." he said holding her rubbing her back and kissed her forehead. "Shh baby calm down and tell me what happened."

Mina began to control her sobbing and continued with telling Trevor what happened "It started out ok, I thought we had called a truce but it was a trick instead." Mina began to sob again "You know when you get married your supposed to trust the other person right? For better or worse, right?"

"I guess so Mina."

"You just don't kill someone you say, you love, right Trevor?" Mina wait for an answer and Trevor just nods.

Mina continues through her sobs " He drugged me and then her threw me off of a cliff, like I was just a piece of trash." now her tears came full throttle. All Trevor could do is let her cry.

When her crying calmed to a slow trickle, Trevor asked "How did you survive falling off a cliff when you were drugged?"

"I just knew if I didn't do something I'd be dead. I had to make myself think and I grabbed for any root or branch to stop my fall. I grabbed something then it broke and I continued to fall." Mina tried to tell the story all in one breath.

"Ok, baby slow down. I'm going to get you some tissue." Trevor said walking to the vanity next to the bathroom.

After Trevor came back and handed her the tissue, Mina wiped her eyes, blew her nose then started from where she left off " I landed in a small tree that is what broke my fall. I jumped out of the tree, walked over to a near by bolder, sat down to get myself together. An older woman took me to the rangers station and that was where I passed out. I woke up this morning in the hospital."

":Wow! Baby that is a lot to go through in twenty-four hours."

"Tell me about it. I think I'm stuck in a nightmare and I can't get out."

"I think I know someone who can help you."

"I hope their part of the police department." Mina laughed nervously.

"Yes, she is and one of the best. If my sister can't help, I don't know who can."

Mina looked at Trevor skeptical of how good his sister was " I don't know Trevor."

"You called me because you said I was the only one you could trust, so trust me. Do you trust me?"

"Yes."

"Ok, I'm calling my sister."

Trevor called his sister. Mina felt relived now that she was with Trevor. Her hunger was catching up with her so she found the room service menu and began to flip through it while Trevor talked to his sister.

"My sister will be here in an hour."

"Good while we're waiting, let's order lunch, I'm starved. Someone trying to kill you can work up your appetite."

"I'm glad to see you have your sense of humor." Trevor smiled

"Well I'm glad to be alive. Now let's order I'm starved." Mina said getting the room phone to order room service.

Trevor took the phone from her " Dead women don't order room service. I'm here alone so, I'll order."

Mina smiled "Whatever you say I'm in your hands."

A half hour had gone by since Trevor had called room service then there was a knock on the door "Mina go in the bedroom while I see who this is." Trevor told her.

"I hope it's room service, I'm starved. It's been a half hour since you called" she said as she was going into the bedroom.

Trevor waited on Mina to go into the bedroom and shut the door before he looked to see who was at the door. He looked through the peephole, it was his sister.

His sister was dressed in a blue leather biker outfit and in her hand she had the matching metallic blue helmet.

Trevor opened the door "Kat, you got here quick."

"Yes, the traffic was not bad as I thought it would be because it is such a nice day to be at the beach."

"It's not the weekend yet Kat."

"Ok, where's your friend?"

Trevor walked over to the bedroom door "C'mon out Mina. Kat is here."

Mina walked out of the room and saw Mina sitting at the table with pencil and pad in hand. Trevor introduced them "Mina this is my sister Kat."

The women shook hands and Mina sat across from her. Trevor went into the bedroom "Let me know if someone knocks. We're waiting on room service. Do you want anything Kat?"

"A coke or something."

"There's a bar with a refrigerator get one out of there if all you want is something to drink. If you want something to eat let me know."

"Ok." Kat replied as Trevor closed the bedroom door.

Kat turned her attention to Mina "Trevor says that you have something to talk to me about?"

"Yes, I'm not going to beat around the bush, my husband tried to kill me yesterday afternoon."

"Tell me what led up to him trying to kill you."

"Should I start from the beginning?"

"That's always best."

"My husband and I have been married for five years. We were happy for the first three but the last two not so well." Mina started to cry but maintained her composure " We had been sleeping in separate rooms for the last year."

"Was there something that happened two years ago to make things go bad? Like were either of you having an affair or money problems?"

"No but my husband had quit his job and started working for me."

"Why?"

"I can't answer that. He just announced one day he had quit his job so he could work for me because it was the family business. He wanted an adjustment to our prenuptial agreement."

"Did he help you with any money to start your business?"

"No, helped me get a bank loan so I could expand my business." Mina talked while Kat took notes "I started the business with my cousin, Kyra. When Kyra wanted to get married, she asked for her share of the business and I paid her."

"Did you pay her in a lump sum or over time?"

"I split the cash assets in half and we still have business deals where she gets a percentage."

Kat taps her pencil on the table "Ok, you have a business which your husband thinks that he should have half of because he is married to you and feels cheated by the pre-nuptial agreement if he should decide to divorce you. In addition you have a business partner that he doesn't like and shouldn't be in the business period. Do I have the picture so far?"

"That sounds like that is an accurate picture."

"Now on the night before he tried to kill you did you argue about anything?"

"Yes we argued about the pre-nuptial agreement. He wanted me to go to a lawyer and revoke it. Then the next day he wanted to 'call a truce' by going on a picnic."

"So you agree to go on the picnic and then what?"

"After we get there were talking and laughing something we haven't done in a long time."

"Did you have anything to drink?"

"A glass of wine."

"How much did you drink?"

"One glass." Mina paused "I didn't feel right after drinking that glass of wine. I was so tired and I thought that was unusual for me. I found out at the hospital later that I was drugged."

"Do you remember anything after that?"

"I remember us walking up the hill. He said it would wake me up but I was getting groggier by the minute and I was telling him I wanted to go back. I leaned against a tree and felt like I was going to faint and I told him so. He insisted that I go to the edge and look at the view then over I went."

Kat looked at Mina amazed that she survived a fall after being drugged. Kat was unable to speak for a few seconds. "How did you survive?"

"I landed in a tree. When I climbed down a woman took me to the ranger station and the ranger called an ambulance."

"Wow!" Kat said very impressed on how Mina survived the fall "Amazing."

"I think so too. I guess I was just lucky."

"I think that it was more than just luck. I think that you were blessed."

There was a moment of silence and then Kat said "I think that I have all of the information that I need, so we can call Trevor back in now."

There was a knock at the door. Mina went into the bedroom to get Trevor and Kat waited at the table.

Mina knocked on the door then walked in "Trevor, I think that room service is here."

"Ok, I'll go and answer the door, you wait here."

Trevor walked to the door and Kat quietly moved into the bathroom and cracked the door so she could hear.

Once Kat was out of sight, Trevor opened the door for room service.

Good afternoon sir, I"m sorry that your order took so long. I'll put this on the table for you" the room service attendant said as he walked past Trevor to put the tray on the table where Mina and Kat were sitting.

After the server said he was late, Trevor looked at his watch "It took almost an hour for you to get here."

"Things get backed up when they are changing shifts."

Trevor didn't reply but fished in his pocket and got a five dollar bill and gave it to him. The server took it and walked out of the door. Trevor waited until he thought that the server was down the hall before he called for the women to come into the living room area.

"Mina and Kat, come out he's gone now."

The women came into the living room area of the suite. " The food is here, good I'm starved." Mina said as she spied the food on the table. "Kat, would you like to have some." she offered.

Kat was tempted by the spread "It looks good but I ate not too long before I came."

Trevor was uncovering his plate and said to Kat "It looks good girl, you better get some of this."

Kat smiled "You go help yourselves. You that Mina need to get out of town."

"Get out of town?" Mina was surprised.

"Yes, get out of town. We don't want anyone spotting you before we break the case." Kat said answering Mina then she asked Trevor " Do you know any places that she can hide."

"Yes, my friend Roland has a place in Desert City. It's nice and secluded on a golf course."

Mina looked at Trevor " How can a golf course be secluded?"

"The way that it is built, the golf course is below the homes on the hill and the homes are built for privacy, high walls."

"That sounds like it would be perfect." Mina said " I don't know anyone in Desert City."

"You'd have to stay on the complex, that means that Trevor would have to run all of your errands for you."

"Even getting my tampons?"

"I don't know about that, Mina" Trevor replied

"Even a box of tampons, Trevor." Kat said smiling and then continued. "You'll need to leave here as soon as possible. I wouldn't wait until the morning."

"I have a wig. I can't go out with a wig?"

"Don't want to take any chances. The longer you stay out of sight the better it is for our case against Nigel."

"We can leave tonight. I have a key and Roland is in England with his wife and kids. They won't be back for three weeks. Will that be enough time Kat?"

"If everything goes well that should be more than enough time."

"What about my family, they'll be worried about me?"

"I don't want you to get in contact with them. I want to wait for them to declare you missing then I'll let them know that you're ok."

"My cousin Kyra, will be the one to miss me the most. We're close like sisters. We were raised together by our grandmother."

"When she contacts us then we'll let you know."

"Ok, Kat I trust you and Trevor."

"Trevor, when you get there, call me and let me know where you are. Mina don't make any attempt to contact anyone. I don't want them to alert Nigel about your survival because it could make the case hard to prove, especially if he finds out that you're with Trevor."

Mina and Trevor nodded.

"One last question; do you think that your husband knows that you go to the Green Door?"

"No, only one person knows and that's my friend and business associate Carmona Richards."

"Do you think that she would tell Nigel?"

"I don't think so. Carmona is good at keeping secrets."

"Well I hope so for your sake."

"Me too."

Kat went to the refrigerator to get a Coke and then she went over to the couch to get her belongings. "I be in touch with you guys. If you need me Mina, Trevor knows how to get in touch with me."

Kat kissed Trevor on the cheek and shook Mina's hand. "See ya' later." then Kat left.

Mina and Trevor continued eating after Kat left.

Monday Morning

Nigel had spent the weekend with Lydia. They had made love all weekend and Nigel was happy. Now it was early Monday morning and he had to face the reality of Mina's death. There were bound to be a lot of questions on why Mina was not in the office. There's a meeting with the HEART people, Mina didn't tell him about it and he was mad. Just another example of how Mina tries to keep him out of the business. Well she is gone and he has the business all to himself to run as he pleases. He thought about just going strait to the office from Lydia's house but he needed to go home and get ready for his day.

Nigel arrived home as the sun was rising. He was glad there were no neighbors around to see him come in so early in the morning. When he opened the door, he expected for Mina to be waiting for him. As he walked through house he expected for Mina to be there nagging him about where he had been for the last two days. All he was greeted with was silence.

When he got to his room, Nigel stripped off his clothes and headed for the shower. The echos in the shower made him think that Mina was there. After his shower, he laid across the bed naked and he stared at the ceiling. His thoughts went to Mina's purse which was still in the car. He needed to find out what is in the purse. He hoped that a man's name and phone number would be in it somewhere. This mysterious man could be the blame for Mina's disappearance. She was so in love with the man she was having an affair with that she went to the park and killed herself. That is what he would tell the police when they came to ask him about Mina.

Nigel laid down but couldn't sleep. His thoughts were constantly on the contents of Mina's purse in the car. He went to the garage barefoot and in his pajamas. When he got to the car and pulled the door handle the door was locked "Damn!" he cursed.

When Nigel came in the house the phone was ringing he looked at the clock in the kitchen it was 7 am and wondered who would be calling this early in the morning. Nigel recognized that it was Kyra, Mina's cousin "Mina, Nigel is anyone at home? Mina I hope that you haven't forgotten our meeting today with the HEART people, It is at eleven o'clock. We'll meet in front of Bob Smith's office. Call me if you can't make it."

Nigel didn't pick up the phone but he was glad that he heard the message. He planned to meet Kyra at the meeting. After hearing the message, Nigel went to look for the car keys and found them on the floor next to the bed. He put on a robe but not any shoes and went back outside to retrieve Mina's purse.

After getting the purse, Nigel hurried in the bedroom to empty the contents of the purse and find what could exonerate him of Mina's murder. He stood over the bed and emptied the contents of the purse. The purse contained make-up, tampons, a couple of business cards of people that he and Mina knew. No names of strangers he cursed again "Damn!"

Nigel left the things he dumped out of Mina's purse on the bed and went to take a shower. He had to be ready for the eleven o'clock meeting with the HEART people. He had to stop by the office first and look through Mina's desk drawer. He might can find what he is looking for there.

"Aha, just what the doctor ordered." Nigel said as he stretched and walked out of the shower and into the bedroom. He sat on the side of the bed which didn't have Mina's belongings spread across it and looked at the pile "I know you're hiding something and I'm going to find out what it is." then he with the sweep of his hand, sent the things flying off of the bed and laughed as he went to get dressed.

It didn't take him long to get to the office. He saw Mina's car in the lot and would have someone pick up for him and take it to the house. Nigel made a mental note to search the car in case he didn't find what he was looking for at the office.

Nigel flipped down the vanity mirror in the car then smiled "Showtime."

When Nigel got out of the car he straitened his suit then walked into the office. He smiled at the receptionist and gave her a wave. The he headed for Mina's office.

Nigel hurried past Mandy, Mina's assistant "Good Morning, Mandy. I have to get some files for the meeting this morning."

Mandy followed him into the office "Mr. Page, Ms.Kyra Stephens, had been calling looking for Mrs. Page this morning. Is she coming in?"

Temporarily distracted from his main purpose for going into Mina's office "I don't know. I'm sure she will call if she's not coming in."

Mandy stood in the doorway for a moment.

Nigel was about to go into Mina's desk, when he noticed Mandy still lingering "Is there anything else?"

"No." Mandy answered and turned and went back to her desk. Nigel got up and shut the door.

In the first drawer he opened he found what he was searching for a card or anything which could be interesting. Nigel rifled through papers, pens, cards, rubber bands and paper clips. Then he found an interesting card in the pile of stuff that Mina kept in her desk. It was black with a green door and underneath was a phone number written in green.

Nigel smiled and slipped the card in his pocket. He wound call the number later. This is just the break he could be looking for. He looked at the time and it was just nine thirty. He had plenty of time before the meeting.

He walked out of Mina's office and past Mindy.

"Did you find the file that you were looking for?"

"No she must have it at the house." Nigel continued to his office.

Nigel's assistant was no where around and he was glad. Nigel got the card out of his pocket and studied it. "I wonder what kind of place this was. A green door and a phone number."

Turning the card in his hand, Nigel wondered who he could get to call the number. He thought that if he called, whoever answered would hang up on a man's voice. He thought about having Lydia call for him but she'd ask too many questions. He smiled because he thought of the perfect person to do the job. Denice would be the perfect person for the job because she wouldn't ask any questions. He'd have sex with her and she would be willing to do whatever he asked. He'd call and see if she were available for a massage.

"Hello La Ultimate Marty speaking. May I help you?" The receptionist said when she answered the phone for the spa.

"Hi this is Nigel Paige and I would like to book a massage with Denice."

"Good afternoon, Mr. Paige. Would you like your massage for this evening?"

"Yes if she has any openings."

Nigel herd pages turning and then Marty came back on the phone "Denice has one opening for this afternoon but it will be after five if that is okay?"

"After five is perfect. I'll be there."

"Denice will be expecting you."

"Thank you, Marty."

Nigel smiled as he hung up the phone with the thought that he wound soon be with Denice and will have an alibi.

Just as Nigel hung up the phone with the receptionist at the La Ultimate, his assistant called " Mr. Paige, Kyra Stephens is calling. She says that it is urgent that she speak to you."

Nigel looked at his watch, it was one o'clock and the meeting was over.  He was so consumed with finding an alibi, he forgot about it.

Kyra had been calling all day looking for Mina.  She had called his cell phone, Mina's assistant and his office. He decided to take her call.

"Put her through, Malik."

Nigel hesitated before he answered the blinking light "Good afternoon, Kyra. Did the meeting go well?"

"Where the hell is Mina?!" Kyra screamed into the phone.

"I don't know what you're talking about Kyra. She didn't show to your meeting this morning?"

"No, she didn't call or come in to the office today. So what's going on Nigel?"

"I don't know. I haven't seen her since Thursday."

"Since Thursday and you haven't called the police?!" Kyra exclaimed and Nigel held the phone away from his ear.

"Mina has done this before, Kyra, if you remember." Nigel replied calmly.

"Yes she has but..." Nigel cut her off.

"And she hasn't called you either. So my conclusion is that she must be having an affair."

Kyra was silent.

"What's a matter, Kyra, cat got your tongue? Maybe Mina isn't as perfect as you thought that she was."

"Nigel screw you!" Kyra screamed " If Mina doesn't call me by this evening, I'm calling the police!" she exclaimed and slammed down the phone.

Nigel replaced the phone in the cradle softly and laughed "Mina is long gone and I'm a free man.

Nigel's Alibi

Nigel decided to go home and take a shower before his spa appointment. He wanted to look his best if Denice was going to help him. Denice wanted to be the next Mrs. Nigel Page. Her dream was to take Mina's place. Nigel knew that she didn't have the class or the style to take Mina's place but she was useful for one thing, his booty call.

The drive from the office to home was long with the heavy traffic. Nigel reached for a cigarette. Nigel had started smoking again after quiting for years since he threw Mina off the cliff. He hated that cars didn't have cigarette lighters. He fumbled around the car for a lighter and almost ran into the car ahead of him. He managed to get the cigarette lit.

When Nigel turned on his street, he had the uneasy feeling that the police was waiting on him. He drove slowly down the street to see if there were any cars that looked like unmarked police cars. If he saw a strange car he would just go past his house, park around the corner then walk back through the alley which was behind his house and go through the back gate, through the yard to the back door and he wouldn't be seen.

Nigel didn't see any strange cars so he pulled into his driveway, opened the garage door and drove in. He looked at the clock on the kitchen stove and it was already 3 o'clock. He had to hurry if he was going to make his 5 o'clock appointment at the spa.

After his shower, Nigel made himself a drink, smoked a cigarette and called the spa to tell Denice that he was going to be late. When he was finished with his drink and cigarette, he got dressed. He decided to dress casual but sexy. He wanted Denice to be pliable. The more sexy Denice thought that he was the more cooperative she would be. He finished dressing, looked in the mirror and smiled " Showtime."

Nigel opened the garage door and gate and quickly backed down the driveway. He stopped a the stop sign at the corner, lit a cigarette then proceeded. The traffic was going in the opposite direction than he was so it didn't take him long to get to the freeway. When he got on the freeway, Nigel was in the mood for some music, turned on the radio, flipped through the stations until he found the music he wanted to listen to. The sun was setting, Nigel smiled thinking " The beginnings of a wonderful evening."

The thought crossed his mind that he would call Lydia after he was finished with Denice. He smiled "Two women in one night, could he handle it? Yes he could!" With that thought, Nigel gunned his car into the sunset.

The last remnants of light were in the sky when Nigel pulled into the parking lot of the spa. He came in just as Marty the receptionist was leaving.

"You're leaving early Marty?" Nigel questioned her.

"No, I usually leave at 5 or a little after. If a therapist has a late call then she usually takes care of the client herself." Marty said as she gathered the rest of her belongings "See ya' later Mr. Page."

"Bye, Marty." Nigel said as he sat in the waiting area waiting for Denice.

He looked at the magazines on the table. Nigel picked up a copy of O magazine then commented "Not many men come here." tossed it on the table sat back, closed his eyes and crossed his legs.

"Hey sexy." Denice said with a silky, sexy voice.

Nigel opened his eyes and saw Denice standing at the door of the spa. "I didn't hear you sneak past."

"I know. You looked like you were concentrating." Denice said as she straddled his out stretched legs.and then sat on his lap.

"Concentrating on you my love."

She put her arms around his neck " Oh, how I love the way that you talk."

"Are we alone, or is some of the help still around."

"No were alone. Monday slow day no one wants to hang a round. Better for us."

"Let's go occupy a room."

"Let's do."

Denice got off of Nigel, took him by the hand and led him through a frosted carved glass door to the back.

When the door closed Nigel swept up Denice in his arms " Let's not waste time with formalities. Which one of these rooms is the big room that we always use?"

"Last door to the left." Denice pointed with her foot.

When they got into the room, Nigel put down Denice "Are we going to start with a massage, sir?

"What did I tell you before we came in, I said skip the formalities." Nigel said with a hint of annoyance.

Denice and Nigel promptly took off their clothes. Nigel had forgotten how aggressive Denice was when they were having sex. That is one of the reasons that he enjoyed having sex with her.

When they were finished, he and Denice laid back on the double futon bed which was in the couples suite and shared a cigarette.

"That was wonderful Nigel." Denice said as she took a drag off of the cigarette and passed it to him "I don't see why you don't come around more often?

He took the cigarette back and took a drag and held it "I told you. It's the new HEART project. It takes up most of my time, baby. This project means everything to me and if I loose it then we won't be able to be together like we want."

She pouted " Well if it means a better life for us then I guess you have to do what you have to."

"Yes, that's what it means."

They lay in silence for a few minutes and then Nigel gets up.

"You're not going so soon. You just got here."

"I'm not going any where and I've been here for over 2 hours." Nigel pulled the card with the green door out of his pocket and walked back over to Denice.

He sat on the bed and showed her the card "Have you ever seen a card like this?"

Denice took the card and looked at the front and the back "No, I've never seen one but I have heard of people who have."

He looked at her and waited for an answer " Well?"

"I guess that it is a card for the Green Door Social Club."

"Green Door Social Club?"

"It's a club where women go to socialize with other women."

"A club where women go to socialize with other women, so it is a Lesbian club?"

"No, but there might be some there. I think that there are men who provide services to the women who belong to the club."

"Services? What kind of services?"

"Nigel I don't want to talk about that. Let's talk about us." Denice said as she pulled the sheet around her body.

"Baby I need to know what you know about that club, if we're going to be together. So tell me what else you know." Nigel said taking the sheet down from her breast.

Falling under the caress of his hand Denice started telling Nigel all she knew about the club.

"So what you're telling me is this is a club for rich women to pay to have sex with young men. Is that what you're telling me." Nigel said with a smile and pinched her breast.

"Nigel not so rough. Yes. That's what what my clients say." Denice squirmed

Nigel kissed her mouth and then her breast " See you've just made our day."

"Does this mean that we can be together now?"

"It means that we're on the road, baby, it means we're on the road." Nigel rolled over on top of her and began kissing her " I would like to do something more pleasurable than talking about divorces"

Denice didn't answer, just responded with her body to his touch.

When Nigel and Denice left the spa it was late. Nigel followed Denice home to make sure that she was safe. After all she had provided him with his alibi. He watched her as she went up the stairs to her apartment, He waited until he saw a light come on in her apartment before he left.

Nigel drove over to Lydia's house before he decided to call her. He wound just drop by sometimes but he felt that it was late so he'd call and see if she was up to company. The news about the Green Door Club and thoughts of a naked Lydia aroused him. He pushed the speed dial button reserved for her. He put the phone on speaker and listened for her to pick up.

Nigel could hear Lydia stumbling with the phone trying to answer. "Hola, Hello."

"Hey girl, were you sleep"

"Yes, no I dosed off while watching a movie. Hey Popi, what you doin' callin' this late." she said recognizing Nigel's voice.

"I was in the neighborhood, thought I'd stop by"

Lydia paused with her response "It's almost 11 o'clock and you were just in the neighborhood."

"In the neighborhood thinking of you. Can I come up?"

Lydia hesitated again and then answered " Yea come on up Popi."

"Let me park this car and I'll be up with bells on."

Nigel got out of the car and made the short sprint up to Lydia's apartment. He knocked on the door instead of ringing the door bell.

"That was quick." Lydia opened the door.

"Couldn't wait babe." he kissed her on the mouth and slipped his hand down the tee shirt that she had on.

She shut the door "Let's not give the neighbors a show

"You don't have any neighbors across the hall, we're upstairs and this is a duplex." he smiled pushed her back in the door, closed it and led her to the bedroom.

As they fell on the bed she said "You're impossible Popi, what am I going to do with you?"

"Make sweet, sweet love to me." He said kissing her.

She complied.

Hide-a-way in the Desert

Mina and Trevor spent the weekend at the Huntington. Trevor had made arrangements for them to stay at his friend Roland's villa in Desert City. He had a home at the Desert Sands Country Club. He loved this of all of the projects he had designed. He had taken an old country club and remodeled it. Roland liked the adobe / pueblo style of building and built homes that blended into the surrounding hills above the golf course. From a distance it didn't look like there were any buildings in the hills.

It was a two hour ride from the sea to the desert. Trevor had the top down on his retro-Beetle and Mina was asleep in the back seat. He could feel the difference between the two climates as he was riding. He liked the desert because it was pure. He went hiking in the mountains that surround the desert frequently. Juanita would say when he would come back from the desert that he looked invigorated and he felt that way too.

As the sun was setting they were nearing the country club, Trevor pulled off the side of the road and gently shook Mina and gave her instructions "Mina, I'm going to put this blanket over your head so that the guard doesn't see you. Don't want anyone to know that you're here. So be quiet until we get past the guard gate but keep your head covered on the way up to the house."

"Um..um" Mina said as she rolled over and let Trevor put the blanket over her head along with his jacket.

Trevor approached the guard shack. The guard recognized him "Mr Jones, I'm glad that you are back. Here for a week or for a day or two?"

"I don't know..." Trevor paused not remembering the guards name.

"Les."

"Les. I don't know. I came to prepare myself for a photo shoot."

Les looked puzzled.

"You know, workout catch some of those desert rays." Trevor said flexing an arm.

"Gotta look good for those beautiful models. What a life you lead, wish it were me."

"Be careful of wish for." Trevor replied as he drove off.

Mina sat up and pulled the blanket off of her head "It was getting hot under that blanket. I didn't know you were going to hold a conversation."

"Get back down."

Mina laid back down " How long is it before we get to the house."

"Short ride up the hill. When we drive into the garage you can get out but stay down until then. I'll tell you when to get up."

"I didn't know that you were this bossy."

"It is a whole lot that you don't know about me."

"You know with me under this blanket and the top down, people are going to think that you are crazy because it looks like you're talking to yourself."

"I'd rather people think that I'm crazy than for someone to recognize you and tell Nigel."

Mina laughed "Wake me when we get there."

Trevor turned off of the main street that went through the main entrance and split. He took the fork that went toward the villas. Roland's villa was at the top of the hill. Trevor drove into the garage, closed the door and announced " We have arrived."

"I'm free to come out from under this hot blanket. Well I must say that he has a nice garage." Mina looked around the very neat garage.

Trevor opened the door and extended his hand so she could get out of the car "Wait until you see the rest of the house."

"Well if it is as nice as the garage, I can't hardly wait."

"I think that you'll be pleasantly surprised. Wait here while I turn on the lights.

"Ok." Mina said looking around the the very neat garage while waiting on Trevor. She didn't see and oil stain on the floor and she was impressed.

Trevor stuck his head in the doorway at the top of the steps which lead into the garage and extended his hand "Come on Mina, it's time to see the rest of the house."

Mina took his hand "I'm ready."

Trevor guided her up the steps and into the house. The first room they entered was the kitchen "Wow, this is a really nice kitchen, for a vacation home."

":Raymond always gets the best."

"I can see that."

"This is the best part of the house." Trevor walked through the living room holding Mina's hand as they walked toward the curtains. "Stand here." he positioned her and then went to open the curtain.

Mina stood where he had placed her and waited with anticipation.

"Ready" Trevor flicked switch which opened the curtains and turned on the lights to a patio garden complete with small swimming pool and jacuzzi.

Mina went to the sliding glass doors and looked out " This, Trevor is amazing."

He unlocked the sliding glass door "Come on and check it out."

She hesitated before going out on the patio " Do you think that people will see me."

"No, Raymond built the place for privacy. He didn't want anyone to see what he was doing so he made it very private. All of the villas have very private patios." He reassured her.

She dipped her hand into the jacuzzi "Ooh, the water is nice.We should come in and relax, what ya' think?"

"Sounds good to me, but don't you want to see the rest of the house."

"No, I think for right now I want to see me and you in the splendid warm water of this jacuzzi." Mina took off her shoes, rolled up her jeans and put her feet in the water "Aha, that feels good. C'mon Trev come and join me."

He smiled " Well my lady, if you insist."

"I do."

Trevor took off his shoes and rolled up his jeans leg before he went out on the patio. He went and sat on the edge of the jacuzzi with Mina.

"This is nice." he put his arm around her and she scooted closer to him.

"Um, Um real nice" she laid her head on his chest. " i feel safe here with you." she kissed his chest.

Trevor kissed Mina on her head and smelled the perfume in her hair. It was beginning to arouse him. She lifted her head and gave him a kiss on his lips. He returned her kiss with a more passionate kiss.

Soon they were kissing while undressing each other. They made their way back to the jacuzzi now they were nude and started to know the pleasure of sexual healing. After they pleasured each other, they laid in each others arms in silence on the edge of the jacuzzi.

Mina broke the silence "That Trevor is exactly what the doctor ordered."

" I know what you mean. I feel better now."

" I couldn't properly satisfy you until we got out of town. I was so nervous."

"Why?"

"I don't know. I guess it was because I was afraid of Nigel finding me...us."

He squeezed her tighter. "You have nothing to fear because Trevor is here."

"Nothing to fear as long as Trevor is here." She smiled and pulled him over to her so hard that they both fell into the jacuzzi and they started to be intimate again. Mina loved the feel of Trevor on her body. His touch melted away all of her fears about Nigel.

After this sensual sexual encounter, Mina fell asleep and Trevor carried her to the bedroom and placed her in bed. He pulled the covers up over her and stood for a minute watching her breathe. As he watched her sleep, he knew that he mighty be falling in love.

 

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