Halston Brockwood sent a silent prayer of thanks to Magda at the distinct aroma of Chicken Cordon Bleu emanating from the kitchen. He checked the hall table for mail, but only found a small, torn piece of heavy paper. He blinked at that. Magda was usually quite fastidious and he hoped the chicken wasn’t too salty.

Hearing only silence, he knew his wife had let the staff off early again. Halston was a good businessman and he hated paying people for hours spent not working. Still, Kerrington had convinced him about how hard the staff worked and they should be paid for what was finished, not for a certain amount of hours. After her impassioned speech, she kissed him and Halston hadn’t put up much of a fight.

Thinking of Kerrington, he bypassed the dining room and checked the window at the end of the hall. He could see most of her gardens from here, but of his wife, there was no sign. He smiled, considering the possibility she was in their room. Halston took the stairs two at a time.
The bed was a mess of Kerrington’s clothing, but not in the way Halston had been anticipating. A Chanel suit was still on a hanger, but crumpled near the pillows. Several other dresses were strewn about and the foot of the bed was littered with shoes. He checked the closet and saw a gap in the least used portion of her wardrobe. Her t-shirts were missing.

With unforgiving breaths coming faster and faster, he almost tripped over the upended drawer of her jewelry cabinet. Trepidation made his hand shake as he picked it up to put it back in place. The rings that had been set inside were on the carpet underneath and the fabric had been pried from the bottom of the drawer. Swallowing hard, Halston sat amongst the heap on the bed. The lids of his eyes clamped shut, trying to force the pressure building inside back to tolerable levels. It didn’t work. Kerrington may as well have shoved the spikes of her Manolos into his temples herself.

They had spoken of this only once. So many years ago, he had forgotten it was even a possibility. Halston Brockwood felt the weight of his false security crack against the cabinet holding the gifts of gold and platinum he had bestowed upon her as his fist broke the glass door.

LKT © 2015

(Other segments in the Kerrington short story series can be found here).


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