The first book of 2011!
Synopsis: Faith had been quite young when her parents died in an accident, leaving her a very wealthy young woman. Alistair comforted and advised her before marrying Faith so he could enjoy access to her vast wealth.
But everyone matures and Faith lost affection for her older husband. With the help of her friend Natasha, she evolved into a confident and somewhat arrogant woman.
One night, at a dinner party, Faith made a fateful announcement, one that would change Alistair’s world entirely!
Faith– Available now! (25,330 words)
Alistair tied the bowtie carefully and then folded the collar of his bespoke formal shirt downwards, so the collar wings sat perfectly. Carefully and critically, he studied the collar closely in the mirror.
He liked to take extra time dressing, making sure his appearance was perfect.
What’s the point of having good things if one doesn’t present them properly?
The diamond cufflinks shone in the muted light as he carefully inspected the pleated formal shirt for any stains or marks. Even though he paid a premium for extra care and service, the laundry he used would make a mistake someday.
Alistair inspected himself again in the mirror and smiled at the result.
Faint voices through the shared wall told him that Faith, Alistair’s wife, was in her dressing room and was talking to someone.
As the other voice belonged to a woman, Alistair assumed the other female was probably Natasha, the quasi housekeeper/secretary who was, in reality, Faith’s friend. They had, Alistair learned, attended school together and were old school friends.
Natasha now lived in the house and Alistair had only raised the subject of her residence with his wife once. The reaction had been swift and sharp so Alistair knew no rational discussion could be had about the matter.
Faith and Alistair basically lived separate lives within the house so, in the end, Natasha’s residence did not really matter.
Accordingly, the two women were as thick as thieves and Alistair often found them in deep conversations. Sometimes, on those occasions he came across them talking, they would stop and wait for him to pass.
One of the women in the other room laughed. The sound carried easily through the wall that separated the Alistair’s dressing room from his wife’s dressing area.
Alistair carefully slid into the Italian dinner jacket and shot his cuffs so the cufflinks glinted. The material of the jacket was sleek and silky.
Running his finger slightly through his steel grey hair, Alistair peered at his face in the mirror.
He was nine years older than Faith was. Women his age were plainly irritated by his relationship with the younger Faith but most managed to hide their disapproval. The older man- younger wife cliché which made him the envy of many men including their friends and acquaintances.
Not only was Faith beautiful but she had inherited a great deal of money from her parents when she turned twenty-one. Both parents had died in a plane crash in Peru when Faith was just seventeen. Until she came of age, as far as the inheritance was concerned, she had received a small retainer, which enabled Faith to live while she studied at University.
Alistair had worked for the financial advisory firm employed by the family solicitors to assist the young woman with her sudden wealth.
Of course, Alistair had been charming and very efficient. He planned to charm her, seduce the young woman and then marry her so he could gain access to the huge wealth Faith now owned.
His plan was faultless. Perhaps Faith, in her own mind, confused Alistair with the memory of her father. It did not matter to Alistair and he focused on the young and impressionable young woman. He pulled out every romantic trick in the books!
In time, they did marry and Alistair did not have to work or worry about money again.
Or, so he thought!
Signs that life would not be perfect came quickly. The honeymoon period was not as long as Alistair had hoped!
It was sometime after the second year of marriage that Faith discovered that Alistair was human and had substantial feet of clay.
Particularly, his small gambling habit irritated Faith, as it was, after all, her money! What hurt her even more was his affair with Lois Mawson who was, astoundingly, the same age as Alistair!
That was, in Faith’s mind, a cruel insult!
She could not believe he chose to make love to an older woman instead of Faith!
Faith held her disappointment in check but even Alistair noticed a slow chilling of the relationship until they were barely speaking to each other when they were alone.
In social circumstances, they played the loving couple. Most people were sycophantic and did not notice anything significant about the famous couple.
Only a rather astute observer would notice that, although Faith and Alistair smiled at each other, their eyes were bleak and cold. Faith’s affection for Alistair had evaporated and, as is often the case, was replaced by a slow burning and building dislike.
As invitations to the dinners, balls and soirees at Welby Manor were much sought after social events, people focused on pleasing Faith and Alistair.
Many of them did not like Alistair all that much, and they focused all of their attention and adoration on Faith.
Alistair stepped from his bedroom and saw Natasha walking towards him. She was the same age as Faith and he suspected she despised him. Sometimes, Alistair thought he saw scorn and hatred residing in the young woman’s eyes.
‘Ms Garcia will be down to greet the guests shortly,’ Natasha said formally. ‘Perhaps you should go down and perform the duties of a host?’
Natasha was a little too close to Faith and disliked Alistair so much she took great joy in always referring to Faith by her maiden name of Garcia instead of as “Mrs Watson”.
Alistair ignored her and walked down the sweeping staircase to the foyer and then through to the living room.
One of the young women from the caterers offered him a glass of wine and he took it with a smile and a flourish as he greeted the silently watching group.
‘Good evening all! Thank you for coming!’
The group all looked at him with varied expressions. Some smiled, others frowned while most managed to keep their thoughts completely to themselves and, therefore, remained expressionless.
Alistair knew they did not like him very much but did not care. He despised most of them and enjoyed the power his wife’s money gave him over every person in the room.
Tonight he would, once again, play the lord and master of the Manor.
It would be a good night!