Ned and Eve take over.
RELAX, IT’S ONLY MURDER
Nelda Mills called her lawyer the minute she was comfortable in the rear seat of her limo. After listening to his sucking up for less than five minutes, she stopped him with an order that proved she pulled no punches with her hirelings.
“Look Barton, get this straight! I do not lose! Got it?”
Before he could do anything but bluster, she hung up and turned her phone off.
“Fernando, be a dear and take me to Rejuve-Nate. I have an appointment in twenty minutes,” she said into the speaker phone.
“Si, Senorita Nelda! Muy rapido!” she heard him say as he floored it.
Nelda smiled as she relished the rush of speed. All too soon, with squealing tires and the smell of burnt rubber, she arrived at her appointment with five minutes to spare. When her young, hunky driver opened the door and reached in to take the hand she offered, she laughed as she stepped out and patted his cheek.
“Thank you, dahlin’! Run along and go to lunch now. I’ll call you when I need you,” she drawled over her shoulder as she sashayed through the automatic doors of the glass and brass edifice known as Rejuve-Nate Spa and Couture.
“Ms. Nelda is here,” a receptionist announced into an intercom.
“Can I get you a refreshment?” the svelte young thing offered.
Nelda looked her up and down appraisingly.
“Since you’re obviously new here, my usual is Prosecco with ice and lime, little Miss Barbie Doll,” she said finally.
“My name’s Eve, ma’am.” the young woman replied evenly.
“Could have fooled me, sweetie,” answered Nelda.
The young woman bit her lip on a sharp comeback. Nelda treated her to a patented fake smile and went back to scrolling on her phone as she waited for her drink.
“Nelda, dear heart! Sorry you had to wait,” said a deep, rich voice as a tall dark-haired man bent to kiss her cheek.
“I was enormously entertained by your lackey here,” she said, pointing an elegant long finger at Eve.
Nate turned to Eve and scowled at her until she turned and rushed toward and into the staff ladies’ room.
When Nate turned back, Nelda fixed her spiteful green eyes on him.
“When we make this deal, I want her gone,” she said pointedly.
“When? We haven’t drawn up anything to agree on yet! Besides, I’m not sure I’m ready to hand the couture side of the business over to anyone else.”
Nelda marched into a private room and with the help of an attendant, changed into one of the signature plush robes of the spa. Imperiously, she waved Nate in and the attendant away. Laying face-down on the massage table, she loosened the robe and waited for Nate to drape a towel over her toned body.
As he prepared to begin her treatment, she continued talking with her head turned toward him.
“We both know you’re drowning! You need an infusion of a tremendous amount of cash before your balloon mortgage payment is due in a month.”
“I’ve got a couple of other irons in the fire,” Nate replied defensively as he began a deep tissue massage.
Nelda laughed lazily as she began to relax.
“Really? Name one!”
Nate was silent, but if Nelda had bothered to open her eyes and look at his face, she would has seen a stare of pure hatred. As it was, she never knew what hit her. When the veil of red had cleared from Nate’s vision, he found that his hands were closed around Nelda’s neck.
Her face was bloated and purple and her tongue protruded from her garishly painted lips. He let go quickly and jumped back.
“What have I done?” he whispered frantically.
“Yes, Nate. What have you done?” said a feminine voice from the doorway to the room. Eve.
“I don’t know what happened!” Nate told her in a strangled voice.
“Whatever it was, sweetheart, she deserved it and more,” Eve soothed as she took him into her arms. There was silence for a time.
“What do I do now?” Nate asked despairingly.
“I’ll take care of it. On one condition, you make me your partner in both life and business. I want the couture side, it’s much more elegant and less messy.”
Before he could say anything, she handed him what looked like a contract.
“It’s been written out in full legalese and your lawyer vetted it. Once you sign it, my share of the partnership will pay the outstanding debts you have. An accountant will be keeping an eye on your spending from then on.” Eve handed him a pen and he signed.
“That’s part one done. We can go to City Hall and get married right away, once we get rid of the trash,” Eve said as she looked at Nelda’s towel draped body.
“How?” Nate asked.
“How what? How will we get married or how will we get rid of the trash?” Eve asked.
Eve made a speed-dial call. Then she took Nate’s arm and hustled him out of the building.
“I liberated you birth certificate a while ago, then went over and got us a license. They believed my sob story about how you were too busy to come and even took the blood test results I got from your doctor.”
Nate stared as a group of tough looking guys in moving men’s coveralls passed them on the way out of the building.
“The garbage men, they are a cleaning crew too, so no one will ever know anything happened in that room,” Eve said.
Too much in fear of losing his freedom to a life sentence for murder, Nate felt trapped. Since Eve was the only witness, he reluctantly decided to go along with her plans for them. Both his business and his life were taken over rapidly by a very different Eve, who seemed to know the full extent of the hold she had over him.
Two years later, the newspapers blared in blood-red headlines:
“The majority shareholder and co-owner of Rejuve-Nate, the couture clothing and spa dynasty, Nate Williams was arrested for the brutal murder of his wife, Eve. Apparently, he walked into the nearest police station and began to maintain to anyone who would listen, that he was forced into it. According to the accused, it was that or go mad. Apparently, Mrs. Williams became a world-class nag and whined continuously about nothing.
“Nate is on suicide watch and his board of directors will be running the company in the interim. Our sources say that those directors have underworld connections brought in by the deceased.”
Nate’s twin brother and heir, Daniel, threw down the tabloid.
“Now to get to work on renaming this joint, I think I can do without any of that couture crap now that I own the business, so how about Spa DiNapoli,” he said aloud to his Italian connections. The women all nodded in agreement.
1,163 WORDS 4/11/2022