APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM
the devil are you doing here?" Annabelle demanded as she looked at Fred
sternly. "I told you never to come here!"
"We need to talk,
Annabelle!" Fred pushed past her and into the living room, completely
disregarding her clear distress.
"We can't talk here! Charles could be here at any moment!" She quickly
followed him around the room as a sense of panic began to set it. "He
can't find us here, together! He knows you've been seeing that dowdy wife
of his. If he sees you here, he'll know that something's going on!
He's sure to suspect that I might have something to do with your pursuit of
I guess I better talk fast, huh?" Fred folded his arms across his
chest and glared at her sternly. "I need your help."
"Help? What kind of
help? With Francis?" She eyed him cautiously. What in the
world could he be up to? Whatever it was, it made her deeply
uncomfortable. As she bit her lip, she quickly glanced at the clock on the
wall. Charles could walk in at any time!
"No, not with
Francis. I'm doing very well there, on my own."
"Would you just get to
the point! What the hell are you talking about?" She began to
wring her hands as her nervousness began to take over. She'd worked too
long and hard to have things ruined like this. "You've got to get out
"It's awfully important
to you that Charles Callison not find out about the connection between us, isn't
His smugness unnerved her to no end.
"I would think it would
be important to you, as well! I'm sure dear Francis would be none too
pleased to find out that we're friends." She narrowed her eyes as she
peered at him. "I'm sure that would throw quite the monkey wrench
into your own plans!"
"I have more urgent
concerns, right now." Stone faced and rigid, he was determined not to
let Annabelle distract him from his true motives. "As I was saying,
you wouldn't want Charles to ever find out about our connection or the roll I
played in your seduction of him at that party."
"What the devil are you
"If you want me to keep
my trap shut, it's going to cost you!"
Annabelle's jaw dropped in shock as she began to gasp for air. "You
want to blackmail me? Why you dirty son of a..."
"Now, now, now, don't get
yourself all flustered," he smiled coyly. "It wouldn't do to get
yourself all worked up if lover boy's on his way."
She took a step back from him
and inhaled deeply in an attempt to calm her anger and sooth her now ragged
nerves. Her composure maintained, she stood up straight, as if prepared
for a fight, and eyed him with determination. She knew that with Charles
on the way, she had to think quickly.
"What do you want?"
"You owe me! If it
weren't for me, you'd have gotten nowhere! If it weren't for me, you'd
still be pining your pathetic little heart out over a deeply loyal and committed
man! If you want me to stay quiet, you'll do exactly what I tell you
"I will not!"
Her temper began to rise again as her face flushed a crimson red. "I
owe you nothing! As part of our deal, I'm keeping Charles away from his
beloved, pitiful Francis so that you can do whatever it is you're planning to do
"You listen to me, you
wretch," he muttered through clinched teeth as he swiftly reached out and
grabbed her by the arm. "If you don't give me what I want, I'll run
straight to Charles and tell him all about that night. I'll tell him how
you gave me certain...favors, shall we say...in exchange for a little bottle
filled with a wonderful power that you used to drug him into doing exactly what
"Oh, yes, I
would!" He dug his fingers deep into her arm and she winced from the
pain. "So, what's it gong to be, Annabelle, darling? Give me
exactly what I ask for or watch this entire scheme of yours blow up right in your