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Excerpt From Almost Enough

Chapter One



Stella Keen was half walking, half running along the poorly lit street. She had left work far later than she had intended, but she knew that her boss, well not her real boss, was in a bit of a bind and had willingly stayed behind to help him. The contract that he had seemed to be having difficulty in formulating, was the biggest that his personally owned company had ever had a chance to bid for, and Stella knew that it was vital for the company’s continued operation. Not to mention of course the fact that it would mean promotion for her and certainly more money, even if not from this company.

There were some aspects of the contract that concerned her, in particular his seeming reluctance to talk to her about its progress, or about the overall direction that the software was supposed to take. Her current position meant that she really needed to keep on top of it, but the whole thing was too compartmentalised, with over a dozen people each responsible for a small part of the coding. But as she trusted him absolutely, which she accepted was more to do with her sexual desires than actual facts, it was inconceivable that he could be doing anything illegal, so she put her unease down to cynicism or imagination.

She felt as if she was betraying him, which was weird given her purpose here, but in all conscience she needed to get to the bottom of her disquiet. It had taken several days, mostly out-of-hours, but she had managed to gather together most of the various projects. That collated information she had passed on to a friend for safekeeping, until she could find the opportunity to study it in depth.

She hated to admit it, but most of her working hours were spent fantasising about feeling his hands inside her underwear, so it hadn’t taken much for him to persuade her to stay.

Every time he leaned over her to check information that she was collating for him, her heart almost stopped because he was so close. Her shoulders straightened and her breasts pushed against his arm in an involuntary reaction, but she groaned inwardly when he didn’t seem to notice. God how she wished he would rip her dress off and take her there and then across the desk.

But it was not to be, and almost on the verge of tears, with that terrible longing tearing through her body and culminating in that special place that had never felt a man, she was hurrying home.

It was so late that she was virtually alone as she stumbled along, torn between her desires for the man and her eagerness to get home. No taxis, no busses, and not even on a tube line, so there was nothing for it but to walk the one and a half miles to her flat. She kept pausing to listen, but there was no sound of any following footsteps, so she began to feel less nervous as she walked.

She had no chance to avoid the hooded figure, as it stepped from the shadows in front of her, and ran into it quite heavily. A sharp pain in her abdomen made her look down, as the figure withdrew the knife and thrust it in again. She gasped as the agony hit her, and her legs folded, causing the knife handle to be released, dropping her to the ground at her killer’s feet.

She looked up, but still could not see any features below the hood. The figure didn’t speak but just reached down for the knife, pulled it from her, and then stepped over her to walk leisurely away.

The pain was ripping through her body, washing away her previous sexual desires. It came in waves, forcing the screams that she had been trying so hard to hold back. The little light that there was from the street lamps was fading, and a brighter light from somewhere else was pushing its way forward.

Scrabbling for her handbag, she reached inside for her mobile phone, and her finger hovered briefly over the nine, before she switched and shakily pushed the ‘one’. It was fortunate that she kept the phone set for speed dial when she was out late at night, because she had nothing left, and could not have pressed another key anyway. The phone slipped from her grasp, clattering to the ground next to her. Angrily she tried to yell after the departing figure, but all that came out was a shuddering sigh and softly the one word she could manage, “why?”

“Hello,” she heard faintly from the phone and rolled over sideways from her knees, her head coming to rest beside it, “Penny... ” she gasped, but then her eyes closed, the light took over and there was nothing else.

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