I did a creative writing course through FutureLearn, a free service offered by the Open University. The following was the piece that I submitted at the end of the six week course.
Sitting in the backseat, Jason shifted uneasily, the cool metal of the handcuffs biting into the skin of his wrists. He was very aware of the police officer’s stare, as the man’s slate grey eyes swept over his face through the rear view mirror. He was well used to people staring though, after the last eighteen months. First had come the pitying looks as the relationship between Lily and Adam had become public knowledge and then…
He shook away the bad memories, and then realised that the police officer was talking to him “So you must be innocent,”
“What makes you say that?” the manners his parents had instilled in him, hadn’t waned even though everything else from the past was gone.
“I’ve had loads of prisoners in my car. Right about now is when they all say that they are innocent.”
Jason struggled to hold back the snort of derision. “Well you ain’t gonna hear that from me.” The stream of traffic heading back into the city, caught his attention when three police cars with their sirens blaring, sped past on the other side of the motorway. The police officer carried on talking, and Jason forced himself to listen. He didn’t really care but it did distract him from his darker thoughts. “Stop!!” Jason shouted when he spotted the figure in the middle of the road, just ahead of the car.
The officer pulled the steering wheel as hard as he could to the left. The car skewed across the outer lane, plunging down the grassy verge and crashed into a thick tree.
Jason lost consciousness, when his head collided with the head rest at a tremendous pace. The last thing that he saw before everything went black, was Lily’s bright eyes shining with love, like they had, the day after their wedding.
Jason strode into Salmon Enterprises with a broad smile on his face. “Good morning Stacey,” the receptionist looked astounded to see him there so early.
“Morning sir,” her face lit up. “I thought that you were taking the day off,”
“I have a urgent meeting with Miss Reed, show her up the moment that she gets here would you?”
“Of course sir,” he grabbed one of the mints sitting in the bowl on the desk, and ate it before he moved to the elevator. The memories of the previous night flooded through him, the way her lips felt against his, the touch of her hand, and the way that it had felt to hold her. It had been years since he had felt that good, and that content within his own skin.
The good feeling ebbed away when the doors slid open in his penthouse office and he saw that Marcus Miller was waiting for him. “I know that the Millers have a loose sense of business ethnics but I didn’t think even you would stoop to breaking and entering.” Jason circled the desk to stand behind it, he was unwilling to concede control to Marcus anywhere but especially in his own office.
“The secretary let me in, she was very obliging,” a hint of sarcastic pleasure crept into his tone as he surveyed Jason.
Jason was relieved when the phone sprang into life, and the receptionist said “Mr Salmon, Miss Reed is here,”
“Let her come up.” He tried to hide his delight, as he knew Marcus would probably use the relationship against him. The Millers had hated the Salmons for generations, but it had sunk to new depths of loathing when Jason was a toddler.
The door opened and Lily walked through. She looked fresh faced and completely rejuvenated despite their very late night. “Lily! I didn’t realise that you were back in town,”
Lily smiled as she hugged Marcus “I got back last week. I’ve left a couple of messages for Adam but he must be busy. I’ve not heard back. How is he?”
“Oh he’s fine. He’s having a costume party on Halloween. You should come. I know he’d be pleased to see you again,” Marcus felt a tingle of pleasure as he looked at Jason. Jason couldn’t hide his confusion and disbelief at Liliana’s evident connection with the Millers.
“That sounds great. I have a few ideas of costumes Jason and I can wear,” Lily glanced at Jason, reaching out to take his hand. The touch of her skin against his own, drove away some of the anger he felt towards Marcus. He didn’t understand how she managed to do that, calm him down with just one touch, but it had been something that he had felt since the first time she held his hand.
“I’ll see you there then.” Marcus picked up his briefcase and exited after pressing a kiss to Lily’s forehead.
“How do you know the Millers?” Jason let go of Lily’s hand the instant he heard the lift descending.
Lily’s hand came to rest at the small of his back, hearing the angry tone. “Marcus was a old friend of my dad’s. There were a lot of shared family holidays.”
“So there was never anything…”
“Romantic?” she laughed “You’ve met Adam right? Besides I’m not the type to cheat on my husband,” Jason couldn’t hold back the smile as he saw the thin band decorating her left hand.
He leaned down to kiss her, breathing out “I can’t believe that Miller didn’t notice my ring,” against her soft lips.
“Do you really want to talk about him?” she pulled him tighter against her. The warmth of her sank into him, through his shirt and he was unable to stop the moan from escaping. “We could continue where we left off this morning…” her lips brushed against his jaw, and he was powerless to resist.
One of his hands slipped to the intercom “Mr Salmon?”
“Hold my calls for the next two hours.” He managed to say, while Lily unfastened his shirt, giving her access to the expanse of his chest.
Jason’s eyes flickered open, and he had to suck in a breath to suppress the pain surging through his head. Blood trickled into his eyes, making it hard to see. “Officer?” there was no response from the front seat, and then he heard the sound of gunshots echoing outside the car.
Acting on autopilot, he kicked out at the window of the police car. It took several moments before the glass shattered, enough for him to be able to crawl free. The thick grass was soft against his knees, but he still landed with a thump. The impact sent shockwaves vibrating through his spine, and he barely managed to retain his balance. Stumbling along, the blood from the wound at his crown, dripped onto his hands.
The sight of the crimson droplets sent his brain skittering back to the night of the Halloween party.
“Jason! Are you coming?” Lily’s voice came through the open door of their bedroom, and he readjusted the sash of his costume with a frown.
“Do we really have to?”
“Yes.” Her voice was firm but tinged with laughter, and he peered around the jamb into the bathroom. The sight that met his eyes didn’t exactly make him want to leave the flat, and head to Adam’s party. Lily wore a sheer cream outfit, the top was short enough to expose a wide expanse of toned stomach muscles to his eyes, and the trousers revealed her slender legs through the diaphanous fabric. She leaned over, finishing off her eye makeup, the thick line of kohl making her deep blue eyes stand out even more in her heart shaped face.
He caught hold of her hand as she reached out for the veil “Are you sure that we have to go? We could have fun all on our own,” his other hand caressed the skin of her back, the look in his eyes leaving her with no doubt what kind of fun he was offering.
“We’ve had fun all on our own for the last ten weeks.” She wasn’t opposed to further exploration of Jason’s seemingly insatiable taste for her, but she did want to feel like she was still connected to the world. “It’s time to act like a ordinary couple,” She placed the slippers that she had brought on her feet, using Jason as a balancing post. “It’s only for a couple of hours, that you have to put up with Adam, and the party will probably be so packed that you won’t even see him,”
“Promise?” he caught hold of her around the waist, pulling her closer as she straightened up once more.
“I promise.” She pressed a kiss to his nose, just as her phone vibrated. “That’s the taxi,”
They had only been at the party for twenty minutes, before Lily was engulfed by her old friends, led by her college roommate Julie, all eager to catch up with her. “Do you mind?” the look in her eyes, made him say no, even though he wished that she would stay at his side.He didn’t see anyone else that he wanted to talk to, but allowed his wife’s friends to pull her to the other side of the room.
Sighing Jason wound his way through the milling crowds, making his way to the makeshift bar. “Double whiskey,” he ordered from the bartender, a pretty redhead. She brought the drink over within seconds, despite the fact that several people had been waiting for longer than he had.
“Something bothering you?”
“No I’m just not good with crowds.” Sipping his drink, he turned back to watch the dance floor, laughing when he spotted Lily. His wife was luminous, her features shining with the love of life that had attracted him to her first. She danced alongside the gaggle of girlfriends that had commandeered her, all of them singing along to the pop song currently playing.
Her smile widened even further when they locked eyes, and she gestured for him to join her. The lack of confidence he had in his dancing ability was not shared by Adam. Jason’s fists clenched, when he saw the other man shimmying between Lily and one of her friends, Adam’s hand coming to rest on her hip.
The sight of another man, let alone Adam touching Lily in such a way made Jason set the glass down on the bar. He was in motion almost before he knew what he was doing, reaching them within a minute. “Miller,” Lily shifted away from Adam’s fingers, leaning against her husband’s frame with a relieved sigh.
“Salmon,” Adam returned the curt greeting, “I didn’t think that you were here,”
“I told you that he was at the bar,” Lily interjected before Jason could snarl something back “He was just getting us some drinks, right Jase?”
“Yeah they’re waiting back at the bar,” his fingers tightened around hers, needing the calming effect as Adam’s smug smile didn’t ease. “Are you coming?” she nodded, allowing Jason to lead the way through the crowds in that direction.
“I’ll see you later Lily,” Adam called out, before the couple had gone more than a few paces. “Nice to see that you still fit into the outfit that I brought you.”
“What?” Jason stopped dead at those words.
“She didn’t tell you?” I brought her that for her twenty first, while we were dating,”
“You and Lily were never dating, Adam.” Julie said, before Lily had recovered her composure. “I was there remember? You kept trying to get in her knickers but she wasn’t interested. Even after all the expensive stuff you gave her.”
“That’s not true,” Adam grabbed hold of Lily’s arm as she and Jason started to move again. The impact of his fingers against her skin made her wince, the look of pain on her features springing a protective urge to life within Jason. Without thinking, he balled up one fist, letting loose a blow to Adam’s nose that sent the thinner man falling backwards.