|Lady M signing a book|
Have you heard the news?
Lady M has actually completed the final book in the 'Sofia' trilogy. It weighs in at 92,000+words. She has put it a way for a few weeks in the hope that when she re-reads it, it will be in a fresh light and mistakes will just leap off the page. She lives in hopes. You may contact her to pre-order your copy simply by leaving a reply below. She expects it to be available in the autumn.
To celebrate she's changed the ink colour and decided to write in italics and she's giving you a special treat and privilege...a taster(or teaser if you're in America)... the beginning of Chapter 1.
“This is definitely my favorite place.” Sofia said, as she sipped champagne. “Let’s do it again. Just one more time. Please, pretty please.”
“You’re insatiable.” Donald laughed as he splashed the water in her direction. “And you know I can never refuse when you imitate your daughter.”
“I have learned how Sophie manages to twist her father round her little finger. She uses that phrase and dilates her pupils to get her own way. I never realized how clever she was when I was downstairs.” She splashed him back and the water, with far too much bubble bath, foamed its way over the side of the enormous bath. Neither of them cared.
“Sure do. You planned everything so carefully, pretending to have won first prize in a competition, a weekend in New York for one. My brother was adamant that you would not travel alone. Miranda, almost ruined it by saying she had never heard of the company offering the prize and wasn’t it more usual for such prizes to be for two people. I almost died...” they both laughed and drank more champagne before he continued, “... at that Sunday brunch when she commented that the weekend was the same one as the stag do I was going to in Amsterdam. I really never meant to hurt her. We were playing a childish and foolish game but it was fun.”
“I remember it as if it was yesterday.” She laughed and splashed more water at him. “That weekend was really special. Time ceased to exist for just a few hours, flying first class, visiting the casino before we came up here, to our beautiful room in the Manhattan skies. Just how many times have we been back?”
“No idea. I’ve lost count, now that time does not exist.” He looked across at her, “just one more time.”
“Wow, yippee.” They gulped the last of the champagne and then carelessly tossed their champagne flutes onto the floor knowing that there was no danger of broken glass. They both moved toward the middle of the bath causing more water to cascade over the side. They made love; it was beautiful and passionate. After, as they slowly each moved back to their end of the bath, he said, “After three . . . one . . .two . . .three.”
“It’s to die for!” They chorused in unison before leaping out of the bath. He picked up two fluffy white bath towels and threw one across to her.
Donald, still naked but dry, opened the door and walked into the bedroom. He loved this room. It was on the thirty-second floor of The Waldorf Towers and above The Astoria Hotel. He remembered his first impressions of the antique mahogany furniture, king-size bed, rich deep-green velvet fabric, carpet and curtains. He thought he was in a time warp, a dream, another world far removed from reality and his life as a builder living in a bijou home, with a wife, on the outskirts of Nottingham. But then, he was alive and totally unaware of how things were going to pan out. He had no idea that within four months he would be dead leaving his beloved Miranda, a widow.
He picked up a bathrobe from the chair, put it on, walked over to the television and changed the channel from CBS to the Movie Channel and Love Me Tender. They always watched that movie when they repeated their New York experience. He walked over to the window and looked across at the people who had booked the room.
She came into the room, dressed as usual, in the black teddy, stockings and stilettos. Normally, he would have ogled and salivated for her but today they were both shocked. Those on the bed had not even noticed the channel change.
“We’ll make room. It’s not as much fun when they’re not aware of our presence. No wonder the telly was so loud.” There were not two but four people on the bed. It looked like two middle-aged couples, but the men appeared to be engaged in sexual activity as were the two women. “Guess, this is a new form of swinging and it doesn’t look like they put their car keys in a dish. Both women are wearing wedding rings. My guess is they’re two married couples who really have a preference for their own gender.”
They climbed onto the bed in between the four adults. Sofia was on his left with the women on her side. Donald had the two men on his right. He put his arm around Sofia’s shoulder and they lay back on the pillows. His eyes, despite the activity on both sides of them, were firmly fixed on Sofia. One of the great advantages of dying early is that you never grow old. Sofia had died five years earlier but she still looked the same, dark shoulder-length hair and beautiful brown eyes. She wore make-up even though with her natural beauty she did not need it. She was one of England’s and Nottingham’s finest; a true example or proof that Nottingham is well known for three things - Robin Hood, lace and beautiful, attractive women. She always wore the same color lipstick, a copper/bronze color. He had asked her about it once and her reply was that it was her ‘confidence’ lipstick. It had been the first item she bought in her rebellion and fight back against her husband, Derek. Although Derek was his twin brother, Donald had never approved of the way he had isolated Sofia from her friends and colleagues after she had given birth to the twins and become a housewife and mother. He had only allowed her to wear clothes which completely covered her flesh, rather like the Muslim women and he had forbidden her to wear any make-up. The purchase of this one lipstick had been Sofia’s first step in changing her life from being the down-trodden victim of a control-freak husband. Donald was proud of her and he loved her body shell, every inch of it. He noticed passports on the table.
“You sound like Victor Meldrew. Let’s see who we’re sharing our room with this time.” She handed them to him. “Well, two couples from Liverpool. They’re British. Our initial guess was right. They’re married but prefer to be with their own gender. Joanna and Jason Chadwick, Penelope and Henry Salter. Joanna’s the short, dumpy one with short black hair. Penelope’s the fat, tall, blonde one.”
“I’ve never seen two women ‘in action’ with a dildo before. Guess, this is one of those occasions when death is better than life, well certainly more interesting and exciting. Sounds like they’re both getting satisfaction. Do you think if we start eating our usual steak and French fries they’ll notice the aroma?”
“There are those who say that no one knows what a woman needs better than another woman. Joanna and Penelope must agree with that. They’re rather posh names and they’re definitely NOT Chavs.” She was looking at their suitcases and clothes lying on the chairs; those trouser suits are definitely not from the supermarket, more like Designer. Shall I look at the label?”
“No, it doesn’t matter. What’s going on here is well . . . like you, I’ve never actually seen two men in action before.”
“Passports don’t give much information anymore, just name, date and place of birth, Sofia. They may not live in Liverpool now. If they ever get round to talking, we might detect something from their accent, like Scouse or posh. It’s rather reminiscent of our first clandestine visit here. We were just committing common old adultery.”
They both giggled hysterically and started moving around on the bed. Dear Elvis, on the television, had been forgotten.
“Just a minute.” Joanna pulled away from her partner, sat upright, holding the dildo in her right hand, “did you hear that giggling and I’m sure I felt someone touch me.”
“At last, they’ve realized they are not alone. Oh dear, we may have spoiled their fun. What a shame. You torment the men, Donald, and I’ll tease the women. If we’ve spoilt their fun we had better make up for it. Definitely, posh! The men on your side are probably public school brethren. Well-educated and with a secret.”
Penelope sat up and looked, someone was definitely tickling her right leg but it clearly was not Joanna.
“Horsey, Pensey . . . what adorable nicknames, Sofia.” They both laughed at the four ashen-faced people sharing their bed.
“Let’s give them a little more entertainment, Donald. Remember our night in the haunted house when we did the haunting? You do the blinds and I’ll do the lights.”
“Okay.” They jumped off the bed causing it to vibrate slightly. All four of them felt it and looked at each other.
“I have no idea, honey bunch, but it certainly feels like there’s going to be an earthquake. This is the second tremor I have felt.”
The paying guests moved together on the bed, open-mouthed, speechless and terrified as they watched the blinds moving by themselves and all the room lights suddenly come on and off, on and off, on and flicker and off.
The four on the bed huddled even closer together and held on to each other as they watched in disbelief.
Donald moved to the alarm clock on the bedside table, next to the passports, and although it was set for 3.00 a.m. and the local time was 6.00 a.m. the alarm started ringing. They all looked at it, but no one dared touch it or switch it off. After 30 seconds, Donald stopped it. He could feel the relief of the previously happy band on the bed. The room was silent apart from the television.
“Well, it’s much quieter now, Donald. Let’s enjoy the rest of the film while we eat our steak and French fries. Shall we have rosé wine?”
“I can feel something on top of me and why is Elvis Presley singing Love Me Tender on CBS?” Jason asked, he was still scared but somehow managed to find his voice.
“Nice butt, Donald! Look at the way he swaggered. Definitely, bats for the other side. I bet they were all childhood friends of posh people; they’ll have had nannies, educated at public schools and married out of respectability, tradition and producing heirs to family fortunes and all that palaver. They speak as if they have plums in their mouths. I almost feel sorry for them, with their guilty secret. Yep, they probably planned it this way before their respective marriages. Maybe, they even tossed a coin to decide on who was going to marry who.”
“Do you suppose they have children, Donald?” Sofia continued, “I expect they have with posh names like Arrabella, Camilla, Prudence, Tarquin, Pereguin or something. They will be at boarding school while their parents play silly games. Maybe, they’re titled people. It doesn’t tell you that on passports now. Do they look familiar? Have we seen them on the television?”
Their food had arrived, as mysteriously as food always arrives in the upstairs life, and Donald was enjoying his French fries and wafting it under Jason’s nose. That was a game he enjoyed playing with their roommates.
Henry changed the channel back and walked back to the bed. “Yes, I do detect, in fact, I can almost taste steak and chips. Shall we dress and go to the restaurant?” Henry was a typical British gentleman who always showed ‘the stiff upper lip’. Whatever happened, one just carried on.
“This is freaking me out. Poltergeist activity. Never mind the restaurant. Horsey, phone the pilots and tell them to get the jet ready. Let’s go to Beverly Hills, instead.” Penelope said.
“Oh, I say, ‘phone the pilots’, ‘let’s go to Beverly Hills’, posh or what? Private jet, not even first class.” Sofia was imitating Penelope.
They all nodded, anywhere was better than this room. Within minutes, they had packed; they did not even wait for the bellboy. They carried their own bags to reception and Sofia and Donald had their little haven in the Manhattan skies to themselves again. They were enjoying the movie and their food.
“What shall we do next, Donald? Pop across to Staten Island, stroll in Central Park? What do you fancy?” She fed him a chip, put her plate down and drank some wine.
“Of course I do. That accident is just something I choose to forget. You know what it’s like to be killed by a lorry. You don’t enjoy remembering it either. The pain, the shock. I was so excited at really seeing Dad on the other side of the road again, I just rushed across, and through the light without even realizing. I thought it was the sunshine. I didn’t believe I was dead. After my reading I’d worked the date out as March 5th and then I thought I’d got the wrong year and had another ten months of life. I was really happy that day. I took a lot of convincing that it was my time and that he had come to collect me and take me home. Then I walked over to the body and saw myself; my face covered in blood, my inert body resembling a rag doll and the paramedics trying to revive me, but it was too late. I told Dad I had to go back for the twins; I needed to vote, it was Election Day and I had too many things to do. Death was not an option.”
“Nevertheless, it is May 5th and you have been dead for five years. It’s morning downstairs now, but you know where they’ll all be this afternoon and we must join them.”
“Yes, I know, but we don’t have to go just yet and anyway Dad would not let me miss the event. We’ve still time to take the plane part of the way back and enjoy the Mile High experience again. Do you remember all the people we’ve shared this room with?”
“See, we’re doing the hotel a big favor by returning here so frequently.” She laughed and stroked his face. “My favorites were Mary Beth and Walt, that couple celebrating their thirtieth wedding anniversary. They were such fun. Weren’t they from Tennessee? He, even, thought the television was haunted because we kept changing the channel. I put a chip under his nose and he told Mary Beth he could smell French fries. She was far more concerned about getting to the theatre on time. Chicago at the Ambassador was an important part of the trip for her. Later, he could hear running water when we had our bath. He thought there was something strange here and she thought he needed to see the doc! It was such fun.”
Within seconds they were in the first class restroom on a plane and renewing their membership of the Mile High Club. They had no idea where the plane was going, neither did they care. They always deliberately press the call button, wait for a flight attendant to come in and look perplexed at finding the toilet empty. On their first trip home, when they were still downstairs, pressing the call button had been accidental, but now it gave them a thrill and added to the excitement.
They missed the commotion they caused at The Waldorf Towers reception when Lord and Lady Chadwick and Sir Henry and Lady Salter checked out.
“Our experience here is one I have no desire to repeat,” Lord Chadwick said to the receptionist. “My wife and our friends were absolutely terrified. You can see that Lady Chadwick is still shaking. Please call for our limousine, immediately.”
“A problem? That room is the problem. We were not alone. Someone was changing the television channels; we were shaken so violently I thought there was an earthquake. There was a presence and strong poltergeist activity. The lights were flicking, on and off, the blinds moving by themselves. . .” He trailed off before completing the entire events; he was beginning to feel an idiot.
“Your limousine is on its way sir, we are sorry for your inconvenience. The manager will give it his personal attention.”
Five minutes later, they were out of the hotel and on their way to Beverly Hills but the experience stayed with them. Even, the idle rich are not immune from the effects of being haunted. Unknown to them, the manager took their complaint seriously. It was the third one in the year and always the same room on the 32nd floor. At first, he had ignored it, but three times were two too many. On that Wednesday afternoon, he was in the room with a priest, who could feel no evidence of supernatural activity but gave the room a special blessing. This was the reassurance the manager needed. Well, until the next time Sofia and Donald decided to visit.
Are you getting excited? Still time to purchase the first two books in the trilogy. Just scroll down to the end of the blog.
Next week, a second taster. Have a great week and don't forget 'make every moment count'. Sofia sends her love from the 'fridge'.