|Your cart is currently empty|
Chapter One: Best Laid Plans
The door to the pub kitchen swung closed and an angry torrent of Portuguese spewed forth! The pretty young waitress was furious, as she was leaning over a table, clearing it, a middle aged male customer had walked past and slapped her bottom hard, saying, "Come on, love. We want some service!"
The girl had been serving them all evening. Tuesdays were quiet and she was the only one waiting tables. The pub was run by a Portuguese couple and they calmed the girl down and the manager went out to serve the two men in question. They were regulars, but were not normally here together. The smart man always paid well and Carlos didn’t want to upset him. This might be tricky! Tonight it was a meal and drinks including two bottles of Champagne, it was a large bill for his pub; Carlos would have to manage the situation very carefully!
"Gentleman?" The Portuguese stood waiting.
"Where’s the totty?" slurred the overweight man in a very crumpled suit.
"Oh, she’s needed in the kitchen," replied Carlos.
"Can’t take a joke more like. Bloody women’s lib!" The comment came from the other man, very smartly dressed, expensive suit and a large Bentley in the car park. Two large Cognacs were ordered together with the bill. When they settled the bill, Carlos was paid in cash and the well-dressed man had plenty of that!
Carlos and the waitress watched them leave through the pub window. Carlos felt uneasy, he’d seen what could happen to Gerry Morgan after a drink or two. "I’ll take you back in the van," he said.
"I can cycle," replied the girl.
"Not tonight, Lucia, come on, get your bike into the back of the van." As they pulled away from the pub car park, heading towards the school, they drove past the Bentley, parked with two wheels up on the verge. They looked at each other as they passed the two businessmen but said nothing.
Lucia hadn’t liked them from the moment they arrived and even though she spoke perfect English, chose to play ‘The foreign waitress’ part, that of not speaking much English.
It had been a wise ploy as what she overheard, particularly as they’d become more drunk, was very interesting. Lucia was still smoldering about having her bottom slapped and feeling uncomfortable as to why the car had parked up where it had. None of the reasons she came up with were pleasant! They pulled up in the drive to Royston Hall School and Carlos helped her get her bike out.
"Adieus, Luci. See you Friday then!"
The girl nodded and wheeled her bike towards her dormitory.
Royston Hall Girl's School was the most sought after school in the Country. It was also the most expensive as well as being the highest achievable. The girls were encouraged to expand their horizons beyond the ‘Traditional’ female roles in society and towards male dominated fields. They had their confidence built. They were pressed to find different ways to ‘Add value’ to situations, approaching problems from unorthodox directions, they were taught to be achievers!
The next morning, the mood in the Headmistress's office was dark. Antonia Beckett was not happy. She had arranged a breakfast meeting with the school architect, Peter Nicholson, to discuss the school’s new Functions building. A two story building that would double as a venue for school functions and also be the base for girls wanting to go into Event management. Planning permission should have been granted. The timetable was tight and already slipping. Antonia didn’t ‘Do’ tardy! She elegantly paced her office. Two piece business suit, skirt and jacket, white blouse, black stockings and shoes. Her dark hair up in a neat bun. For a woman in her late fifties, she was absolute ‘Milf’ material. She kept looking at her watch, the office clock and her inbox. As she passed, she tapped her glasses against her skirt.
"Edith! Any word from Nicholson?" she shouted to her secretary in the next office.
"I’m afraid not." Edith knew this would be a difficult day!
Antonia looked down from her window for sight of anything coming down the school drive; all she saw was Lucia Cam�es, a beautiful Brazilian girl in the upper sixth. Well, actually, Lucia Oliveira Santos Alves Cam�es, to give her full name. Strikingly beautiful, in fact. Five feet, four inches tall. Slight build. Jet black hair cut in a ‘Pixie’ style, the most flawless olive skin and brown eyes even darker than Antonia’s.
The sixth form dress code was ‘Smart Casual’. Lucia always seemed to make it ‘Stylish casual’. Today she was wearing a yellow Brazilian football shirt, light blue jeans and white trainers. What on earth was she doing, coming this way? Antonia returned to pacing her office. A couple of minutes later Edith knocked on the open door,
"Mrs. Becket, Lucia Cam�es wondered if you could spare her a few minutes?"
Under normal circumstances Antonia would have dismissed the possibility and issued an instruction to make an appointment via her head of house. In fact, she was almost on the point of issuing just such an instruction, when she paused. What if Peter Nicholson arrived now? This meeting was urgent! True, but she had been kept waiting. If Nicholson arrived now, he could do the waiting. It would serve him right!
"Send her in, Edith."
Edith was stunned and speechless, this never happened. She simply gestured towards the Head’s door. Lucia walked past her and closed the door behind her.
If ever a pupil at the school was a special case, Lucia Cam�es was it. Her IQ at 146 was ‘Very Gifted’. Her expression most of the time was one of boredom. Mostly because she could achieve any task set her with minimal effort. She was sitting for four ‘A’ levels, Maths, Physics, Geography and French. There was no question; she would achieve A* in all of them. Her father wanted her to join his vast business empire as had her older five siblings, but Lucia wanted to go into Metrology and become an ‘Eco Warrior’. Antonia’s money was on the girl. She was the star of the school’s swimming team and a Junior Ju-Jitsu champion back in Brazil. Her father insisted all of the children had to find work at the lower end of the job market. He wanted them to see how hard ordinary people worked; Wealth, he told them, was a privilege, not a right! Hence the job at the pub.
"I can only give you five minutes, Lucia. I have a meeting with the school architect about the new Events management building shortly." Antonia was expecting some sort of mundane problem, although Lucia was a girl that never bothered with the mundane. So what then?
"I don’t think so, Mrs. Beckett." Her gentle Bostonian accent resulted from her five years at school in Massachusetts.� Two minutes later, Antonia had slumped into her chair with a look of complete horror on her face. The young girl told her about the encounter the previous evening and the conversation she had overheard. Antonia rubbed her eyes, clasped her hands to her nose and exhaled very, very slowly.�