The Murder Suite - Book One
C H A P T E R 1
Audrey tilted her glass and sucked the last few drops of wine as she reached for the bottle. At times she felt as though she had entered a hormonal fog that clung to every corner of her mind. The only clarity of thought was accompanied by a deep-seated anger. Everything made her angry.
Today she had plans. She had bookings in both chalets. One made by a man who enquired about local fishing spots and the other from a young couple on their honeymoon.
Remembering that she had work to do she gulped the last of the wine, picked up the pile of freshly ironed linens and headed out into the bright sunshine.
Suite C was her favorite suite even though it was the smallest. It had a wonderful view across the rolling green farmland and out to the glistening blue waters of the bay. The room was spacious and airy. Marble tiles in the bathroom and terracotta tiles in the main room made it easy to keep clean. Audrey put fresh towels in the bathroom and stripped off the soiled bed linens replacing them with crisp clean sheets and covers. The morning sun soaked the native wood kitchen in a golden glow. Audrey polished the thick kauri bench top with concentrated dedication. She had created everything from the tropical gardens to the beautiful furnishings and transformed the old chalet style building into four-star plus luxury accommodation. Her guests came from every corner of the world. New Zealand was a tourist’s dream vacation and her chalets sat perched on a Maori pa overlooking one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Audrey kept busy. Busy stopped the dark from forming in her mind. Plenty of time for that, she thought as she placed fresh flowers in the chalets, a bottle of local wine in each fridge and a welcome note neatly on the native, wood crafted tables. When all her work was done Audrey went back to her suite and waited for the guests to arrive.
It wasn’t long before she heard a car heading up to Suite A. It was the honeymoon couple. She made her way up the stairs to welcome them. They were so young. Audrey looked enviously as the young girl in short, shorts and small t-shirt. Her skin was bronzed and taut. Perfect red lips widened over white, straight teeth. The boy was obviously smitten by her. He carried the luggage from the car and they made their way inside. Audrey waited for the usual gasp of wonderment. She was not disappointed. There were not many suites like this one. ‘Three levels of pure luxury” she called it on the website and it was. Audrey showed them how to work the fifty-inch widescreen TV and operate the hot tub on the deck. She wished them happiness during their stay and made her way back downstairs.
Then she saw him. He was pulling into the parking space in front of Suite C.
She immediately put him into balding, boring and bumptious category. He would be an easy target.
She waited until he had carried his luggage into the suite and made her way over to greet him.
C H A P T E R 2
Doug had decided at the last minute to drive the four and a half hour drive from Auckland to Whangaroa. His recent separation from wife number three had been expensive and painful. She had taken the house and he had taken a vacation. “Not fair” he mumbled under his breath. He had worked hard for that house and now he had to decide where he was going to live for the rest of his miserable life. All his belongings from his eight-year marriage fit into eight cardboard boxes. His golf clubs and his fishing poles now lived in the back of his truck along with everything else he owned.
His thoughts were drawn back to his first wife. That marriage had been his most successful only he hadn’t realized it at the time. Work, work, work. That was all he thought about when he wasn’t thinking about getting into some young girl’s pants.
Those were the days. He visualized the evenings spent naked in their hot tub with neighbors and friends. They had even joined a nudist club but Doug didn’t like the flabby old sods walking around eying his pretty wife. Wife swapping was the norm and hard liquor was preferred over wine. Maybe he would get lucky on this fishing trip and he didn’t mean fish. He looked down at his protruding stomach and ran his hand over his balding head. “I could lose a few pounds,” he mumbled to himself. “This trip will do me good. A little exercise, fresh air, and freedom!”
Doug looked at the old map he kept in his side pocket of the door. He had already Googled the directions to the Three Suites but preferred the comfort of a real map. Only a few miles to go. He turned on the radio but there was too much static. Who lives out here in the wop wops? He wondered.
He saw the sign at the entrance and made a quick right turn up the long gravel driveway. Nice, he thought. Great view. He followed the sign to “Suite C” and pulled up at the “parking” sign. He stretched as he got out the car. His bones seemed to seize up when he sat for a long time and he had not taken a break since leaving Auckland. He made his way to the back of the truck and removed his bag.
It said on his reservation confirmation the key would be in the door. It was. He walked inside and was pleasantly surprised by the luxurious décor. He opened the glass doors and walked out onto the deck.
A hot tub sat in the corner making a welcoming hum. He sat at the small round wood table and took a deep breath. This is just what I need, he thought. Then he heard her. The cheery “welcome” was followed by the sight of a buxom, blonde woman in huge sunglasses and the biggest breasts he had ever set eyes on. “Hello,” he replied.
“Just wanted to welcome you and show you how to use the spa,” she said as she lifted up the spa cover and pointed to the controls. “If it makes too much noise when you go to bed, just turn it off and restart it in the morning. There is a complimentary bottle of wine in the fridge for your enjoyment,” she added with a smile.
“Wonderful. Say, would you like to join me for a glass?” he asked wondering what the hell he was doing.
“That would be nice,” she beamed. He made a move. “Don’t get up, I’ll get it,” she said as she made her way inside to collect the wine and a couple of glasses.
They sat outside and admired the view and chatted aimlessly about the area. Audrey gave directions on where to find the best fishing spots, where the nearest shop was located and what local restaurants served the best food.
“Have you been here before?”
“No, never,” he replied. “I have always wanted to see the far north and decided it was time to take some time off and check out the fishing. I might even play a round of golf while I am here”.
“Do you know anyone up this way?” Audrey enquired.
“Not a soul. In fact, everything I own is in the back of my truck and I might just decide to stay a while up here. Find a house to rent and spend the summer.” Doug looked out into the distance at the sparkling waters and began to like what this place was doing to him. Deep in thought he didn’t notice the strange flicker of a smile that wiped curiously across Audrey’s red lips.
The Murder Suite
Copyright © 2013 by Leonie Mateer. All rights reserved