Authors: Viveca Benoir
Tags: #glamour, #Novel, #best seller, #Saga, #Romance, #Passion, #sexy, #To Murder Matt, #murder mystery
To Murder Matt
Published by Viveca Benoir, 2014.
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
TO MURDER MATT
First edition. May 11, 2014.
Copyright © 2014 Viveca Benoir.
Written by Viveca Benoir.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
For my Mum, Christine Knights,
whose many lofty dreams for me, never came true, except this one.
I will love you forever.
’ thought Ellen as she sat in the hospital waiting room. The fluorescent lighting flickered and hummed. In the distance unanswered phones rang. Footsteps sounded on the shiny grey linoleum signalling the arrival of a woman wearing high heels. The rhythmic
of her metal heel tips grew louder as she approached the reception desk down the hall.
Ellen looked up more out of habit than curiosity. Her eyes met those of Veronique and she stood up stiffly. They embraced briefly, then stood apart, and regarded each other silently.
“Thank you for coming, it can’t have been easy...” Veronique nodded and smiled warily. She moved passed Ellen and took a seat by her. They both sat in silence, both wanting to talk, but neither knowing what to say, so whole conversations of unspoken words hung in the air between them; conversations of regret, of anger, of hurt, and of past misunderstandings.
Ellen looked down at her lap. Her hands trembled slightly and she searched inside her handbag for a cigarette. She pressed the side of the gold lighter and a small yellow flame flickered, she lifted it to the cigarette between her lips, then she remembered where she was, and flicked it shut. She replaced it in her handbag. Leaning back in the uncomfortable plastic chair of the French hospital, she let her thoughts wander to the hospital room, and its occupant.
Her husband Matt was lying in the room fighting for his life, his body covered with eighty percent burns. The doctors wouldn’t let anyone see him, not yet anyway.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone else arriving, the footsteps echoing against the plain grey walls.
“Ellen,” a deep male voice spoke softly, almost a whisper, lips were brushed lightly against her face. She looked up into his eyes.
“Dean,” her voice, normally vibrant with life and laughter, sounded dull and lifeless. “Thank you for coming.”
Dean sat down and held her trembling hand in his. He glanced briefly across at Veronique and they nodded polite hellos. His eyes returned to Ellen. He was about to speak, to tell her everything, but he stopped when he saw Nico walking quietly towards them. Veronique jumped up into his arms, and sobbed, nobody knew, not even her, whether the tears were for her, or Matt.
he nurse moved around in the semi-darkness of the room. Monitors were bleeping in various corners of the hospital room, and tubes were attached to the unconscious form lying on the bed. His condition was presently stable, but he was still on the critical list. The sound of the ventilator pulsed with each electronic breath, the pumps forcing air into the patient, causing his chest to rise, and after a pause, to fall as the air exhaled.
The nurse’s legs were aching, and her mouth was dry. She moved hair out of her eyes as she worked, checking the monitor, reading the cardiograph, and then back to her watch as she wrote down her observations. Her hair had fallen across her face again, and so she moved wisps away with the back of her hand. After checking the machines and tubes once more, she bent over the patient, and whispered in French.
“I’m just popping out for a quick pee. I’m desperate, and no-one has come to relieve me.” She giggled as she realized her pun. “Now, you call out if you want anything, ok?” She knew there was no chance of her patient responding, but she liked to have an almost, albeit one-sided, conversation with her comatose patients.
Outside the room, the light of the corridor seemed almost cheery in comparison. Opposite the door, four people were sitting in silence. She debated whether to ignore them, her rubber soles squeaking on the floor covering as she went to walk past them. Instead, the nurse turned to speak to them.
“Would you like a coffee or something to drink?”
Blank eyes looked up at her, one by one. A stunningly attractive girl with long blonde hair shook her head slowly, as though to answer for them all.
“Okay then, but if you need anything...” Her words trailed on the air like slowly fading cigarette smoke, slowly disappearing. She shrugged her shoulders, turned around quietly, and walked away. The squeaks of her soles on the floor, fading down the corridor with her footsteps.
The four people waiting seemed unaware of each other; occasionally their eyes would meet, and linger briefly, before looking away.
“Ahem.” they all looked up at the man clearing his throat. None of them had noticed or heard him approaching, they had all been too deep and lost in their own thoughts.
Standing before them, was a short balding man with grey wiry hair at his temples. He held a crumpled raincoat over his arm. It looked as though he had modelled himself on the 1980’s TV detective Columbo. He regarded each of them wearily. He gestured vaguely with his hands before he even spoke.
“We believe zat zis is an attempt on ’is life. ’Is car may have been tampered wiz, and we are carrying out a full investigation.” He looked at each of them, before continuing. “I 'ave also received news zat each of you 'ave visited ze man prior to 'is accident, and ze police have been called to 'is property on several occasions. It may be an obvious attempt on ’is life.” He started to flick through his tattered notebook for more information when a loud alarm sounded through the corridor. Above Matt’s door a large red light flashed on and off, in time with the alarm. Loud voices shouted urgently, and running footsteps approached. Several nurses pushed a trolley with squeaky wheels into the room behind the doctors and the door was suddenly shut.
Michel Le Sime, the French detective, watched the group, he watched for reactions, for signs. He believed that one of them had tried to kill Matt Mellor. Who, and why? When the alarm had sounded they had all suddenly come to life, and in that instant, they had all exchanged looks, hope in their eyes. Ellen shut her eyes tightly, and prayed fervently.
‘God, please... please... let him die.’
ack to the very, very beginning, and how it all started.
The screech of the tyres echoed through the streets, and the sound of metal crunching on impact disturbed the air. The throng of people rushing to and fro, stopped only for an instant, and after briefly identifying the source of the noise, they continued on their journey, oblivious to the disturbance. Ellen made her way through the moving crowd. She darted to the left to avoid a man walking towards her with an umbrella.
“Let me through please, I’m a reporter.” This statement was something that gave her great pride to say, and it always had the desired effect. As if by magic, a small opening appeared in the mass of people, it could have been likened to the parting of the waves of biblical times, and seizing the opportunity, Ellen moved through the gap to where the noise had originated.
In the road, in front of her, were two vehicles. An expensive sports car had gone into the back of a London black cab, which was now enveloped in a cloud of spurting steam that escaped from the damaged sports car.
The drivers, exchanging details, were unaware of the traffic jam that was increasing with every passing moment. Several cars beeped their horns. The cab driver looked up, and raised a clenched fist. Several colourful expletives filled the air, and the car stopped its beeping.
Ellen, who hadn’t worked as a reporter for long, started to search her large handbag for her notepad, and her dictaphone. She moved closer, and made hurried notes regarding the scene before her.
“Oh no you don’t!” Strong hands grabbed her shoulder, and span her round. She faced a man with eyes black as coal that glinted angrily.
Matt regarded the woman before him. She looked like a little girl, a waif and stray, her long hair, which had been drawn up into a ponytail, had wisps of hair framing her face, and as he had spun her around, more, longer wisps escaped, and fell to her shoulders. Her bright green eyes, rimmed with long dark lashes, showed her momentary fright, and then, her voice spoke with a strength that surprised him.
“I’m on my way to an assignment. I’m a reporter. This could be news.”
“Take it from me, it isn’t!” he retorted.
, is for my editor to decide, not you!”
His eyes, black as a bottomless pit, flashed angrily before her as he snatched her notepad from her hand, and began to tear out the notes she had just written.
Ellen was both dumbfounded and furious. Her mouth gaped in disbelief, and then, as if prodded into action, blind rage filled her, and she lashed out at him. There was a loud crack as her shoe met his shin through the thin material of his suit. He yelled out and squeezed her shoulder, just as her hand raised up to slap him. She was about to hit him when there was a flash from someone with a camera who just took a picture. Someone, an unknown paparazzi, turned and ran into the crowd. Matt instinctively let go of Ellen, and ran after him. Ellen, still angry, ran in the opposite direction. When Matt turned back towards his car, Ellen was nowhere to be seen.
Back at the office and later in the week, Ellen was typing into her computer frantically. She had copy to prepare and she was running behind. Her deadline was fast approaching. Around her, other reporters were either typing or shouting into phones. Several phones just rang, awaiting an answer that sometimes came. Jim, the editor, came over to her desk.
“Have you seen this?” He held up a rival newspaper. On the front page was a large photo of two people who appeared to be embracing. The woman held her hand up to the man’s face, the emotion appeared to be intense passion; his lips were pursed as though he was about to kiss her upturned face. Underneath the image was the caption that read
Ellen gasped, and looked at the rest of the text. The story went on to say that a roving reporter had spotted the romantic pair, the famous racing driver Matt Mellor and his very secret mistress, on a London street having a romantic parting, a bittersweet goodbye after an afternoon of unbridled passion. The previously unknown beauty had been identified as a wealthy heiress.
“It’s not true! This...this is ridiculous!”
Ellen looked closely at the photo. It had been taken at the precise moment that she had been about to slap him, and his hand was on her shoulder as she had just kicked him. His eyes were intense, but it was not passion he felt, but hopefully pain. Whoever had written the story, had no idea of the true events. Jim bent over and spoke to her sotto voce.
“One word of advice...if you are a reporter, try and stay on this side of the headlines. You’re supposed to write them, not be them.” He turned and walked back into his office, leaving the newspaper on her desk. She picked it up, screwed it up into a ball, and threw it in to her already overflowing waste paper bin.
inally, Ellen had been invited to ‘
evening. It was the first major event since her promotion to Editor. The event was only for the most successful in the media industry. She had spent years working hard for her success. Every year, she had seen others around her being invited, but not her, and so she had worked even harder, and this year, it was her turn. Now, she knew she had made it. When the invitation had arrived on her doorstep, she felt she was finally, a successful member of the industry.