Serialized Fiction: Love Him to Death Part 4

The last episode of Love Him to Death follows. I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

LOVE HIM TO DEATH PART 4

Love Him to Death Cover 2Claudia walked to the window, her back rigid as a poker. The cell-phone dropped from her hand and fell to the wooden floor with a clatter. The sun had long disappeared behind gathering black clouds. She watched dry, golden leaves tumble from the branches of the giant plane tree and settle on the ground below. Thunder rumbled in the distance. The rains would come soon and turn the fallen leaves into rotting, black sludge.

Claudia’s body felt light as a bird’s. She unlatched the window and pushed it open. The breeze had turned freezing, but she shrugged off her coat and climbed onto the window-sill. “Nobody was allowed to get hurt!” she shouted into the wind, gripping the side of the window as she teetered and swayed.

Her cell-phone shrilled.

She turned. Wilson’s photograph flashed onto the screen. Wilson? Calling her? Did that mean he’d changed his mind?

A sudden gust nearly made her lose her footing. She steadied herself.

The ringing stopped and the ‘phone beeped.

“Claudia?”

It wasn’t Wilson’s voice.

“It’s Helmut.”

Claudia’s mouth fell open. Wilson’s lover… the elegant, blonde man who drove the Aston Martin DB5. Why was he ringing her?

His voice was urgent. “Wilson’s dead… I killed him… for you, Claudia. When Wilson found out about you and Dominic, he showed me your photograph. I… I fell in love with you. I had to have you for myself. I pretended to love Wilson… God, how I hated what I had to do with that man… but it’s all been worth it. Wilson was crazy in love with me—he left me everything. I’ve waited a long time, dearest Claudia, but now we can finally be together. They’ll never find his body, I promise. We’re safe now. I hope this doesn’t come as too much of a shock. Please ring me as soon as you get this message. We’ll meet and I’ll explain everything.”

Warmth radiated throughout Claudia’s body. How incredible! Until today, Helmut had been a shadow, an anonymous benefactor who’d provided two lovers with French wine and a place to meet. Now he was her knight in shining armour, her rescuer, her soon-to-be new lover and best of all, they were rich! They could go anywhere and do anything they wanted! Claudia laughed, happy tears coursing down her face.

She felt a lightness in her chest; her breath came in short, fast bursts. Claudia lowered herself to a crouch and prepared to jump back inside. Where was Helmut waiting for her? She couldn’t wait to see him again and start their new life together.

Lightning split the sky. There was a deafening crack followed by the sound of fracturing wood. A branch from the plane tree hurtled towards the ground, striking Claudia’s shoulder and throwing her off balance. Her fingers scrabbled at the window frame before curling around a narrow band of wooden beading. Claudia gasped with relief as she planted her feet on the sill and used all the strength in her arms to pull her body towards safety.

She was nearly there when the beading splintered and tore away from window frame. Claudia fought desperately, the rotten wood ripping her nails and slicing her fingertips into bloody shreds. Like a pair of invisible hands, a blast of freezing air shoved Claudia out of the window.

Claudia lay on her back on the ground below feeling nothing except the seeping warmth of her blood surrounding her head like a halo.

“Nobody was allowed to get hurt,” she repeated.

But her words were lost in the sound of the swirling leaves and the wind carried them all away.

THE END

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