Marie (Chapter Three)

I awaken the next morning feeling lighter than usual. The annoyance from yesterday is gone. No one will interrupt my mornings by the pool for a while. Brad will never be back. I perform my usual skin care regime, put on a white slip dress, and style my hair in a quick updo. I go downstairs for my first cup of coffee of the day. Corey is sitting at the table reading a paper. He greets me with a nod and a smile. 

“Good morning, my dear.”

“Good morning,” I reply. 

I find a seat on a comfortable chair and slowly sip my coffee. 

“No sunning by the pool today?” asks Corey, looking at my dress. 

I usually don’t wear anything but swimsuits these days. Today I want a change. 

“Maybe later,” I say.

“Hm.”

“Late night at the office?” I ask, watching how his expression switches from content to conflicted. 

It is no matter. He will be dead soon. I just have to wait a little while after the shock of Brad’s disappearance settles. After my fruit salad breakfast, I go to the pool and stare at the water. Someone died in its depths because of me. I am like a fierce queen who protects her castle from unworthy intruders. I can’t help but smile at that. Everything I want is almost in my grasp. All I need to do is rid myself of Corey. I can’t be a true queen until I kill the king.

I look forward to seeing what sort of home Steve lives in. I want to criticize everything about his house in front of him just because I can. I grin at the thought. If he annoys me, I might kill him, too. First, I go to the mall to buy a few new outfits for the upcoming week. I need a dress for a Wednesday breakfast with the pilots’ wives that I agreed to go to and a little black dress for the gala on Saturday night. I can’t say I have ever felt happy about anything. I am not like most fools who exist in this world. I rarely feel things other than anger or annoyance, but when I try on beautiful clothes, I feel an air of whimsy. I take a turn about the room and admire myself in the mirrors. After the mall, I stop by a trendy lounge close to Steve’s house to order a drink before going over. I want to feel a buzz that will take the edge off any disappointments that the visit may bring. 

Steve’s home is a bungalow with heated floors, chandeliers, an elevator, modern décor, and pure white paint on the walls. He’s had his cook prepare us a delicious meal of lemon chicken with a side of beets sprinkled with goat cheese. We sit down at the table and the conversation is mediocre, but not murder-inducing. I am not surprised that he takes little interest in my daily routine. We exist in life to get what we want. He has his way. I have mine. 

After dinner comes the alcohol. We sit on his comfortable leather couch sipping on dessert wine. His disposition is quiet like mine. We talk about a documentary that we both watched about wild animals behaving out of character. It is one of the more interesting conversations I’ve had this month. We don’t talk about anything to do with murder.

“You have a nice place,” I admit.

I’ll give credit when it’s due. He has relatively decent taste.

“Sometimes complex minds prefer simpler designs,” he says.

“Indeed.”

After the third glass, I slide my dress’s straps down my shoulders. I inch toward him as I play with my rose gold necklace. Gazing at my neck, he licks his lips. Steve is a neck and collarbones guy. I know this, because that is where he tends to look the most when he is with a pretty woman at a party.

“You’re stunning,” he says.

I stand and slowly take off my dress, watching his attention go to my black padded bra. He sets his glass down and takes off his shirt. He has a lean physique that has been naturally tanned by the sun. My body has craved the touch of someone else since settling down with boring, passionless Corey.

After he takes off his pants, I straddle him. I can see his arousal beneath his black Calvin Klein boxers. He grabs my round derriere with both hands as I slowly pull his underwear down. He grins wickedly at me and I don’t hate the playfulness in his expression. It has been a while since I have genuinely had fun with someone else.

“I want to see you,” he says, unclasping my bra.

He stares at my bare breasts.

“Beautiful,” he says, grasping them gently.

Being small and firm, they are very sensitive to his touch. I moan as a slow burning arousal comes over me. He pinches my hard nipples then sucks on them. Before I lose my mind, I take his hard member into my hand and stroke him. I bite his neck, determined not to be fully taken by him.

He suddenly pushes me back on the couch and gets on top of me. I grit my teeth and remind myself that I am the one who is paying him for doing me a favour. I will do his bidding this time, but if this were my house, I would take the top position.

“You bit me,” he rasps in my hear. “Now I will have to make you pay for that.”

“Then do it,” I taunt.

We have hot, rough sex then I leave.

I step through the front door of my own house just before midnight. Corey will probably be asleep. I am grateful that I demanded to have separate rooms. I like having things a certain way and his snoring is obnoxious at times. I don’t want to kill him out of psychotic anger. I need to do it cleanly and with a clear head. There is no point in ruining quality sheets with his blood. Of course, he was hurt that I didn’t want to sleep in the same bed as him unless we have sex, but he complied. I always get what I want from him.

I take a quick shower, change into a night gown, and slide beneath the silk sheets of my bed. I turn off the lamp and relax. The darkness is where I feel the most comfortable. I am home there. 

The moment I fall asleep, all I see is water. I hear tiny waves lapping against the light blue pool liner. It is gently rippling as something struggles in it. Darkness quickly blots out the day and the water glows beneath a silvery moon. The peaceful setting is disturbed when a body is pushed into the pool, creating a loud splash and waves. I don’t want to look at the scene all over again. I don’t care about it. It’s over and done with. I want the black to take this annoying sight away and allow me to sleep.

I am suddenly in the dark waters. Something glows beneath me. I don’t want to look, but I do. I am entrapped by this dream and I might as well swim to whatever it is that is glowing. I move my limbs so I can swim deeper, intrigued until I come face to face with Brad’s ghost. His skin glows the same as it did beneath the moon after I drowned him. His eyes aren’t lifeless like they were that night. The intelligent brown orbs stare at me as we both sink to the bottom of the pool. My feet feel like they are filled with lead.

“You murdered me, but I’m not dead,” he says.

His voice sounds exactly like it should under water. Muffed and strange.

“Yes, you are. I killed you.”

I hate him even more than I did before. How dare he enter my dreams?

“I am not dead,” he snarls, pushing me away from him. 

“This is just a stupid dream!” I shout. 

His angered expression softens for a moment before a wicked smirk lifts the corners of his mouth. He floats away while staring at me. 

“I don’t care about you, Brad!” I shout after him. 

I push my feet off the bottom of the pool and swim for the water’s surface. My lungs feels heavy as I pump my legs and arms. I reach desperately for the air, but I do not break through the water’s barrier. I flail as my lungs begin to burn. I scream in anger, in pain. Is this how it feels to drown? 

“Let me out!” I cry.

I awaken in a cold sweat surrounded by darkness. I am back in my soft bed gasping for air. I rarely have such vivid dreams. It doesn’t matter. Brad is dead.  

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