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Monica

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She turned slightly, a wistful smile pressed upon her cold lips before slowly stepping out into the garden.

‘Come with me.’

It was a command, not a request and I could only follow. Across the frosted lawn she glided leaving no footprints, casting no shadow. Her black dress trailing in the moonlight. I knew she was leading me back to the lake. It was where I had last seen her alive. I had watched then as she had struggled with Harley while he held her under the water. When it was over he had straighten up, breathless, his face red and looked over at me.

‘Well that’s that done,’ he said wadding out of the water. ‘Should have stopped when I warned her but like a typical Wentworth woman she had to keep searching for the original will. Shame though. Fine looking woman. Well, not any more eh?’ He laughed.

We walked back to the Manor.

‘Won’t they come looking for her and find the body?’ I asked.

‘Who? There’s no one here but us and she won’t be missed for a while and by that time I’ll be far away and it will be difficult to prove I was here.’

He looked at me sideways and I felt the need to tell him that other people knew where I was this weekend.

In the drawing room he handed me the case of money and left me checking it while he went to pour drinks.

‘A toast to our new fortunes before you leave. May we never meet again,’ said Harley. I appreciated the vintage brandy he handed me.

‘I couldn’t have managed it without you,’ he continued. ‘She would never have come at my request but she always had a soft spot for you.’ He looked around the room. ‘I never realised how easy this would be, and now it’s all mine.’

At first the brandy had warmed me but now I bent over as my stomach twisted into knots.

‘Oh my, you don’t look too well. Come have a seat. I’m afraid cyanide has a tendency to do that. Don’t worry it will all be over in minutes. You seriously didn’t think I was giving you the money and a hold over me.’

‘People know.’ I tried to tell him.

‘Oh yes that’s good. People know you’re here. Splendid. They will find Vivien in the lake and you dead, in the chair, and when they put two and two together, they will think you killed her and then, realising that you couldn’t live without her, took your own life. A heartbreaking murder suicide. Now I need to remove all trace of me being here…’

The rest of what he said faded away.

And so here I was, standing by the lake with Vivien.

‘You could have stopped him. I tried to make you see what he was like. Gordon left everything to me. All this should have been ours,’ she said.

‘I suppose, in a way, it is.’