Paul Weaver is in trouble! His business has failed and he now faces the possibility of prison! His beautiful wife, Lenore is not impressed but Paul is thrown a lifeline by a mysterious and very wealthy man!
However, Paul soon discovers that all is not what it first seems!
A tale over four books with many twists and turns. (22,369 words, €8.00)
Decline and Fall, Book 1 is now available.
To purchase, go here!
Preview of Book 1
Paul Weaver was sweating!
He glanced nervously at his wife as the elevator rose upwards. Lenore seemed calm to any observer but Paul knew she was anxious. He could tell by her eyes.
As the car stopped on each floor on its journey to the very top of the Oak Building and, as people moved in and out of the lift, Paul felt each stop was another step closer to hell.
Was it hell or simply death and ruin? That was close enough to a description of hell in this lifetime.
Lenore stared straight ahead and avoided his nervous, almost pleading glances. She was clearly still angry with him. In fact, she was obviously furious as well as anxious!
Paul had never seen Lenore so angry! The explosive outburst had dissolved over the past twenty four hours to a frigid silence!
Three days ago, things had been fine between them as Paul had kept up the façade, kept lying! Then, reality hit and he had to tell Lenore the truth!
Paul had been forced to be honest with his wife after avoiding the painful truth for so long. It had been a nightmarish moment when he had to explain the reality of their financial situation.
There had been anger followed by tears and then red hot fury again.
Now, there was only frigid silence.
Lenore was, Paul knew, the best thing that ever happened to him. She was beautiful, sexy and loved him.
What more could a man want?
Unfortunately, Paul wanted more out of life. He had always thought he was destined to be wealthy and his relentless goal was to strike it rich.
Sadly, he discovered too late he did not have the skills, or even the temperament, to make his fortune. Worse, there were bigger and more ruthless sharks swimming in the financial waters and they were on their way to meet one of those sharks!
Lenore smiled automatically at a young woman with a baby who stepped into the lift. His wife, Paul knew, was a sweet woman with a kind nature. She also loved babies.
Lenore was, to Paul and most other men, so beautiful! A voluptuous figure, an angelic face and curly blonde hair that made her blue eyes stand out .
They had been married for a little over two years and she was five years younger than Paul.
He could not believe his luck when she fell in love with him. Still could not believe it although, he did take it for granted now.
Paul had fallen for her the first time he set eyes upon her but to have her fall in love with him was a piece of outrageous fortune!
Any other man would have been satisfied to have Lenore love him but not Paul.
He always wanted more!
He had to have more!
And that lust for power and wealth had been the cause of his downfall!
And now he was riding the elevator up to his own private hell.
The penthouse office was all that Paul had dreamed of for himself. It made him ache for what could have been, what he had dreamed of for so long.
A tall, elegantly dressed and somewhat aloof woman directed them to wait in a corner.
Lenore smiled nervously at the woman who actually returned the smile. However, when she looked at Paul, there was coldness, a detached frigidity in her eyes that shivered through Paul.
The magazines on the coffee table, all neatly arranged in a fan so the titles were displayed, were the preferred reading matter of the rich and famous. Cars, watches and boats shimmered on the glossy covers and Paul knew they were the things he could never have.
This was his last opportunity to avoid complete bankruptcy and, possibly prison.
Paul’s company had teetered to the edge of ruin and he had confessed to Lenore the depths of their financial problems at last.
At first, Lenore had thought he was joking and then the horror of their situation sank in. For the first time in their short marriage, Paul saw his sweet and beautiful wife lose her temper.
Plates, vases and even a paperweight flew at him as he tried to shield himself from her anger and scorn.
Then, in the ruin of their living room, she had wept!
Not for the financial ruin or the shame of being destitute but because her husband had lied to her!
Paul had slept in the study while Lenore locked the bedroom door.
Both had a restless night where they separately woke many times, seized with gut wrenching fear and apprehension.
Paul was slumped at the breakfast table when Lenore appeared. She had circles under her eyes that make-up could not completely disguise while Paul was haggard, unshaven and still wearing the clothes he had slept in.
She ignored him and made tea.
Then, a miracle occurred.
Paul’s mobile had rung and when he had tentatively answered it, a coldly formal female informed him that Sebastian Jones wished to see Paul and Lenore the next morning!
Sebastian Jones! The name had recently become visible within the world of business.
Not a lot was known about Jones except he was reclusive and, some said, eccentric billionaire!
Perhaps Jones was Paul’s lifeline!
Joyfully, he told Lenore and, sipping her tea, she said coldly, ‘He may save us financially but you don’t deserve it!’
‘Deserve it or not, darling,…’ Paul had crowed, ‘…I’ll take it! I’m having a shower!’
And now, they both waited nervously to see Sebastian Jones.
Paul had researched the reclusive man but could not even find a photograph of the billionaire! He was a mystery man but Paul pictured him as probably old and even fat.
The aloof woman strode to the small waiting area and smiled at Lenore.
‘Mister Jones has been delayed, Ms Weaver. Would you like some tea or coffee? Possibly water?’
‘Water would be very nice, thank you.’
‘Not at all,’ the woman said.
‘I’ll have tea,’ Paul said, flicking through a magazine that specialised in villas in Italy.
The woman looked at him and simply sniffed before striding away. Moments later, she gave Lenore a glass of water, sniffed again at Paul and walked away. There was something about the woman that made Paul shiver.
‘She hates me,’ Paul wailed.
‘It seems,…’ Lenore said frostily, ‘…she knows about your games and does not approve.’
‘Everybody cuts corners in business,’ Paul said grumpily. He would have really enjoyed a cup of tea. ‘It’s what business is all about.’
‘Apparently not with Sebastian Jones,’ Lenore said quietly after a sip of the chilled spring water.
Paul raised his head. ‘What do you mean?’
‘I looked into him,’ Lenore said with a shrug. ‘I did some research.’
‘So did I. There are no pictures of him.’
Lenore frowned at her husband. ‘Why are you concerned about what he looks like? All the material I read said he was very ethical and supported many charitable foundations. There wasn’t much but there was that!’
Paul shrugged, immediately losing interest.
Lenore looked at her husband and sighed.
She had known of Paul’s desire for wealth and power when she had first begun dating him and even tried to ignore his obsession when she fell in love with him.
She had hoped he would grow up and realise that life was not just about power and money!
The woman returned and smiled at Lenore.
‘Mister Jones will see you now.’ The smile vanished when she looked at Paul. ‘Both of you!’
‘About time,’ Paul muttered and tossed the magazine onto the sofa.
Additional Excerpt 1 from Book 1
‘I will also provide legal support to help you defend yourself against any legal action brought by regulators. You will probably be fined but you will not go to prison.’
‘That…that is very kind of you, Mister Jones,’ Paul said.
‘Is it?’ Sebastian said mildly. ‘You may change your mind. You haven’t heard what I want in return.’
‘I suggest you listen very carefully, Weaver. This is what I want.’
Sebastian glanced at Lenore and smiled warmly as if to reassure her before turning to Paul, his eyes cold.
‘I want exclusive access to Lenore for one month, Weaver. And I do mean exclusive!’
At first, Paul thought he did not hear Jones correctly but then, he realised with a sharp jolt he had heard him!
He wants to sleep with Lenore?
‘I hope it’s clear, Weaver. You will work for me for the month as well.’
Lenore’s mouth dropped open and Sebastian took her hand lightly. ‘You are an incredibly beautiful woman, Lenore,’ he said softly. ‘I want to treat you like you should be treated! Like a Queen!’
Additional Excerpt 2 from Book 1
‘Of course. This won’t take long,’ Sebastian said. ‘You are the housekeeper and you will show Lenore respect.’
‘R…respect…Mister Jones?’ Paul mumbled.
‘Lenore and I have decided she will revert to her maiden name for the one month period. You will address her as Ms Richards, Madam or Ma’am. Is that understood, Weaver?’
Paul looked at his wife and saw Lenore was trying hard not to laugh.
‘Ah…yes…Mister Jones,’ Paul croaked. He was feeling faint.
‘Good. Glad that’s settled,’ Sebastian said. ‘There is just one more thing. Do you have it, Adele?’
‘It’s right here, Sebastian,’ Adele said, holding a white box towards Paul.
Paul looked at it, his head spinning.
‘It’s your chastity belt, Weaver,’ Sebastian said. ‘Put it on now. I have to go so hurry up!’