No Welcome Home Ch. 02byThe Wanderer©
Chapter 02: Andrew's Story
As always my thanks go to LadyCibelle and Techsan for their patience, proof reading, editing skills and of course encouragement
This is the second short story of the "No Welcome Home" mystery. At this time I have no idea how many stories there will be in the series, or when I will get around to writing them. Sometimes getting the idea for a tale is one thing, writing it in a manner that does give the game away too early is a whole different ball game. But I can say that all the tales will be written from a different character's perspective.
She certainly was a good-looking woman. A bit dumb, but then aren't most women pretty thick when you get down to basics. But then in her favour was the fact that she had one hell of a figure on her and, boy... was she good in bed! To be honest though, the most important point that Sandra had going for her was that her old man was bloody loaded; I'd kind-a sussed that out before I ever approached her in the first place.
You see, that's how I used to operate at the time. I suppose some people would describe me as a kind of gigolo and con man all rolled into one. My usual MO was to pick up rich women - preferably widows - and make them believe that I loved them, sometimes even marrying the bitches. But beggars - and clever con men - can't always be choosers. So if there was a husband around, then providing he didn't catch on to what I was up to, who gave a shit; I know I didn't. Anyway the way it worked, I'd relieve the ladies of all their ready cash as quickly and efficiently as I could, and then move on to pastures new.
Yeah, all right, one or two of the widows I'd married regrettably had to meet with untimely deaths, much to my good fortune. But -- not just by my good fortune, if you understand me - every one of them had to be put down to natural causes or as unfortunate accidents. To be honest, by that time in my life, I was of the opinion that it was far better if they did die, because at least I didn't have the authorities chasing me around looking for a con man when I did my runner bit. Changing my identity all the time was becoming a bit of a pain in the arse by then.
Anyway, I'd just established myself as Andrew Swingfield again, after making a hasty exit from the States, my usual hunting ground. The USA is a big place, and it is pretty easy to disappear over there if you know what you're doing. But it stands to reason that eventually I was going to run out of new places to hide in the country, so I'd returned to England for a while to lie low.
Back in the UK again, I'd become Andrew Swingfield and set about living a respectable life and just maybe looking for my next target. I was actually beginning to think about retiring, you know, settling down and maybe even going straight; well for a few years at least. The Dallas police had nearly caught me after my last wife's accident, so I figured it was time to lay low, for a while.
I found myself a cushy number working in the sales department of a pretty big company. I've always had the gift of the gab and the money wasn't bad; not that I needed the cash, but I needed a good cover story for how I managed to survive.
I'd only been with the firm for a few months when I ran into Sandra Laurence for the first time at a sales seminar. Sandra was lot younger than my usual targets, but she was one good-looking bird. Married yeah, but my first intention was to have nothing more than a little fling with her. Well, yeah I had become aware that cash wasn't a problem to her, so I figured I'd milk her for all I could whilst I was at it; old habits die-hard.
Of course I didn't know at the time that she was married to a quite successful author, who was pretty well rolling in dough, what with all those royalty cheques coming in every couple of months. I found that out after I bedded her for the first time.
Getting Sandra into bed was a walkover next to some of my previous conquests. God, she was as naive as they come. I worked on her -- very subtly - for most of the seminar, pretending to be the nice guy and then I only had to slip her something to loosen up her inhibitions a little on the last night; then later in the evening I added a tab of E to really get her turned on. Well, then it was bingo - I had her just where I wanted her.
Of course I was all apologies when we woke up in bed together the following morning; she was more than a little upset that she'd cheated on her old man. But a little more of my magic brew in the coffee I made her, and she quietened down a little. I knew that she'd enjoyed herself in bed that night - no matter how much she claimed otherwise - and I knew that it would be a few months before we got together again. Experience had taught me that by then, the old "I wasn't caught last time" mindset would have cut in.
Sure enough three months later I ran into her at one of the trade shows. We were on the company stand together most of the day and, well... I made sure that Sandra got all the coffee she could drink during the afternoon. By the time we'd had dinner - and a couple of glasses of wine - with the rest of the group that evening, Sandy was feeling no pain.
When we woke up in bed the next morning her inhibitions were almost completely gone. Although she did say, "We must never let this happen again. I'm a happily married woman."
Well, they all say that, but she didn't stop me from shagging her again before breakfast. Funny how some women react when you go down on them, especially if no one's ever gone down on them before.
For the rest of the trade show we shared the same bed every night. Although Sandra did keep going on about her husband Dave. That's really when I found out about the bugger; I'm not into reading novels so I'd never heard of him before. But once Sandra started talking about him, maybe her conscience was bugging her some, because she kept talking about the bugger. Anyway my ears pricked up when she told me about those bleeding great royalty cheques that came rolling in every month or so.
The months went past and every time I ran into Sandra at a trade show or company seminar etc., we got together. By that time she could hardly wait to get to my room, or hers. Anyway by the time eighteen months had passed, I had the bitch hooked good and proper... and maybe because she couldn't seem to get enough of me, an idea crept into my head.
I had to admit that Sandra was a bleeding good lay. She was good looking and about the right age. She also -- if hubby was no longer around -- had the potential of a very good regular income, long into the future from his book royalties.
The plan was simple: dispose of Sandra's old man! Then when a suitable period of time had passed, marry the silly tart. The money she would have coming in from her deceased hubby's books would quite nicely hide the cash I had stashed away from my previous wives, etc.
I was not really envisaging disposing of Sandra in a hurry. I think I was thinking along the lines of really settling down and maybe even having a family. You know, the idea of having a couple of sprogs' kind of tickled my fancy.
I'm not daft though. Before I could do anything I had to research Dave Laurence and his family; I needed to know if anyone was going to ask too many stupid questions or get nosy if he did meet with an untimely end.
Somewhat surprisingly I found that Dave Laurence appeared to have appeared out of thin air about eight years previous. Whether the guy had spent all of his youth abroad or what, I could not find out. As far as I could make out, there seemed to be no record of him living in the UK before he bought the house that he now shared with Sandra. That really should have been a warning to me, for if anyone tried to research my past they would find the same brick wall.
However I'd had a very successful life as a con artist by then, maybe too successful and I must have gotten overconfident. I stupidly assumed that as I couldn't find any of Dave Laurence's family, then there was no one around to ask those questions; I didn't ask myself why.
Hearsay I know, but I picked up that he'd met Sandra soon after moving into the village and after a whirlwind romance they'd got married nine months later. The general opinion around the village they lived in was that they were a devoted couple. But as I said, no one seemed to have any information about Dave Laurence's past.
It didn't take long after I stood next to him in his local pub one night to discover - from the faint trace of an accent he had that he still had - that he originally had to have come from the London area somewhere. London is a big city; I come from there myself. So big in fact, and with a pretty diverse population, that if you've grown up there, you can learn a hell of a lot from the way people speak, the actual words and references they use.
I had to fall into casual conversation with the guy to discover that he most likely came from the Lambeth area. His referring to the Elephant in conversation, instead of the Elephant and Castle, informed that he most likely had grown up in the area. My gentle hints about Canada, Australia and New Zealand didn't draw any reaction from him, so I figured he hadn't been living abroad as I'd first surmised.
You know at that time I really should have walked away, but thoughts of shagging that beautiful wife of his every night instead of just now and again got the better of my judgement. And, okay, maybe his cash had a hand in things.
I hunted around the Lambeth area, but I couldn't find anyone who ever claimed to have known the guy, or any of his relatives. I'd managed to take a snapshot of Dave Laurence -- he seemed to shun overt publicity, his books only ever carrying a silhouette of him on their back cover -- anyway I showed it around the Lambeth area but no bugger appeared to recognise him.
I even searched their house one time, whilst he and Sandra were off on a trip somewhere, but I couldn't find anything that pointed to his history at all. Maybe that's why I got so careless; he'd hidden his history so well, no bugger from way back when was ever going to miss him. Well, that's how my mind was working at the time.
I'd begun to make some plans on bumping the bugger off. A road accident I thought, he did have a habit of driving pretty fast. Sandra was always complaining about how quickly he dashed around the country lanes in his car; and on that motorbike of his.
I did a lot of scouting around during that summer, keeping well out of Sandra's sight by the way. The silly bitch might have been happy to let me bed her, but she loved the guy; well, she claimed she did. Whatever I'm pretty sure she would never have gone for the idea of bumping her old man off.
Anyway, I even got as far as working out exactly how I was going to dispose of Dave Laurence. Early on Sunday mornings during the summer, he was in the habit of taking a ride on his Norton motorcycle. It didn't matter where he went on any particular Sunday, because he always finished up at his golf club where he played a round. Usually alone, but sometimes with a neighbour of his who was a policeman; they started early and then usually took a drink or two in the bar, before Laurence rode the bike home to have lunch with Sandra.
Now Dave Laurence's route to the golf club on his motorbike, almost without exception took in Cold Harbour hill. The road over which was quite steep and had many twists and turns, I gather motorcyclists enjoy taking those bends as fast as they can. More importantly from my perspective, one section of the road took a very sharp turn as it ran beside a disused and flooded quarry. There were crash barriers beside the road where it overlooked the quarry but they weren't in the best of condition. And what's more Laurence was in the habit of taking that particular bend pretty fast on his motorbike.
My plan was simple. A gallon of water mixed with a generous quantity of diesel oil; liberally spread over the road surface just on the bend, should suffice to cause Dave Laurence to skid into the crash barrier at speed. With just a smidgen of luck, he'd finish up at the bottom of the water filled Quarry. With a little further luck the early morning sun should dry the water from the road, long before anyone else came across the scene and just leave a thin film of diesel on the road, which would be mistaken for an accidental spillage. Job done, an unfortunate accident would have put pay to Dave Laurence for good.
I even had the date of Dave Laurence's accident planned; I figured for two weeks after our company's autumn seminar that was always held in late August. Yeah, of course that's still in the summer but it was the seminar where the company's winter lines were rolled out to us mugs, who were supposed to sell them to the retailers.
I figured that Sandra might not attend the seminar if her husband met with a tragic accident a couple of weeks before it.
Anyway I thought everything went swimmingly. Sandra shared my bed every night; boy when I got that girl going, nothing seemed to stop her. She'd developed into a right kinky little bitch by then.
That was until the Thursday evening when something went awry; Sandra usually arrived at my hotel room door about seven. Her husband would call her religiously at six thirty so they could have a chat before she theoretically went down for dinner. Of course in the last couple of years Sandra would come to my room after he'd called, for hors d'oeuvres, before we went down to eat together.
But that Thursday evening, Sandra had not arrived at my room by half seven. So I went down to her room to investigate why, and she told me that Dave hadn't called. What's more, she had not been able to get an answer from the house, or his mobile phone, which appeared to be switched off. Sandra appeared to be very worried about him and to be honest the rest of the evening was pretty much a disaster as far as nooky went.
Sandra spent most of the evening trying to call her husband either on her mobile or the telephone in her room. You know, that was the first night we'd spent together, since I'd first laid the bitch, that I didn't get any from her. Bit of a let down, I can tell you.
To say our relationship was a bit rocky by the time I dropped her at the station on the Friday morning would have been putting it mildly. All night I was telling her that she shouldn't worry; Dave was probably out on the town or something, but she insisted that something serious must be wrong. Sandra had gone as far as to order me from her room just after midnight.
I was to discover during the following week that Sandra had been right and something was wrong; exactly how wrong, I could never have imagined.
It was the Sunday afternoon when a policeman knocked on my door and questioned me at length about Sandra and my relationship with her. I thought that I had nothing to hide, so after at first denying that there was any kind of a relationship between us, I let on that we'd had a thing going when we were at the seminars.
Then the officer shook me completely and told me that they'd been tipped off that Dave Laurence was dead and that his wife and her lover were responsible.
Now that was a complete shock to the system. I had planned to bump the guy off, but I hadn't had the chance to put my plan into motion. To be honest I wondered whether Sandra had another guy tucked away somewhere and she'd planned to murder her husband with him. Worse still, had Sandra and her other guy somehow set me up as the patsy? Shit, that would have been irony, wouldn't it?
Whatever someone had done a really great job of stitching Sandra and me up, good and proper. I won't go into all the evidence the cops turned up that put not only me, but also Sandra well and truly in the frame. Stuff like the garden shovel from the shed at my house was found in hers, along with my prints and DNA. Yeah, well, I might have left the prints behind when I searched the place, but I'm pretty sure that I never took off my gloves whist I was in the house.
Ah, shit, whatever, the two of us went down for manslaughter. Sandra and I got sixteen years each; with luck I'll be out in half that time though. Because of the way the bastards had us stitched up, in the end I had no choice but to plead guilty. The cops wanted to know where I buried the guy's body though, but I told them I couldn't remember. You've got to understand how these legal buggers' minds work; by pleading guilty I got a shorter sentence and they'll be much more likely to parole me early.
Sandra, who has insisted that she is innocent to this day, probably would have got away with about ten years and most likely have been out in five or six, had she pleaded guilty. Because she's still insisting that she's innocent she'll be lucky if she doesn't have to do the full whack.
There's only one question on my mind now, who the fuck did kill the bastard and why did they set Sandra and me up to take the fall. Sandy seems to think that the guy ain't even dead, but I can't see that somehow. After all, you need money to live and my legal eagles tell me that he hasn't touched one of his bank accounts or a penny of the money he had stashed in the Cayman Islands.
I wonder if there's anyway I can get my hands on some of that cash, when I eventually get out of here?
Life Goes On.