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Excerpt from 'The Seventh Tower'

Chapter One



The last few months have been hard, not physically you understand, but emotionally. Jenny did her best, but it just simply was not enough. Don’t get me wrong, I love her dearly, but I did not realise how difficult it would be not to see Penny every day. I recognised that I was becoming difficult, not only with Jenny, but with everyone else in the house, and if I was not careful I would end up alienating them all.

I was in more turmoil now than I had been while my emotions were running riot when I was a teenager. Of the two, Jenny would probably have been more desirable to most men, and I had to admit that she really was stunning. But for me there was only one, and she had gone away. Not because she had fallen out of love with me, but because she still was, and could not face the prospect of losing me while she was still young.

You are probably wondering what I am talking about, so let me explain.

My name is Sir Lawrence Dexxman, more commonly know just as Larry Dexxman. I am a seventy-six, going on seventy-seven year old private detective. After some very high profile cases, which brought me fame and fortune quite literally, more work than I could handle came my way. But that was several months ago, and as they do, peoples’ memories tend to be short lived, and the fame quickly faded away and along with it, so did the work.

But as I was saying, Penny was so much younger than me that she, probably rightly, came to the conclusion that she could not face the possibility of me departing this world and leaving her alone. It was the suddenness with which this might happen that concerned her most, so in her mind she reasoned that to gradually pull away was the better option.

It was the arrival of Jenny, as our housekeeper, that was the catalyst. Knowing that Jenny had feelings for me, and I would not be alone if she left, Penny had decided that now was the right time to make the break. Jenny was about ten years older than Penny, though you would not have believed it if you had seen them together. And because I had helped her and her daughter when they had needed it, she had developed an attachment that, for her, had turned into love. I shall never understand why, because it didn’t make sense to me that such a young and vibrant woman would want to attach herself to an old goat who was hanging on to life by a thread.

Yeh! Sure I loved Jenny, who wouldn’t? But given a set of emotional scales, it would be in Penny’s direction that they tipped the most.

I was about to swing my legs out of bed, when I realised that a completely naked Jenny had been sitting up looking at me for the last few minutes. She was so beautiful that it hurt, but despite the fact that she was incredible and I loved her, my heart cried out for Penny to be in her place.

Then I noticed the single tear that was trickling down one side of her face.

“What’s the matter Jen?” I asked as gently as I could.

“I can see how much this hurts you,” she gulped, “Sure I know you love me, but I also know that it is really Penny that you want, and nothing that I can do will change that. I’m just glad that we had as long as we did.”

“I’m sorry...” I started to say.

“Don’t be sorry,” she said, “just kiss me, and then I’ll move back into my old room. It will hurt for a while, but I’m young enough that I’ll get over it eventually.”

She was right of course. Having her in my bed had been nice, but with the feelings that I had for Penny, there was no way that it could last. I leaned over and our lips met. It was different, and did not contain the passion that it had over the past five months that she had been sleeping in my room, and I knew that whatever happened, somehow, I had to get Penny back.

I finished dressing and then wandered through to the kitchen and the inevitable tea. It was only just approaching seven-fifteen, but soon the place would be a hive of activity as the kids surfaced to get ready for school. I was not sure that I could face it this morning, so I shoved a couple of pieces of bread into the toaster with the intention of taking them to the office as soon as they were ready. I had only just grabbed them as they popped up, when the battering on the front door eventually seeped its way into my consciousness.

Toast and tea in hand, I made my way as quickly as I could to the office, and the computer that monitored the front door. One glance showed me a fairly dishevelled lad of fifteen or sixteen battering on the door as if his life depended on it. I hit the release, the door swung open and he fell in.

“Cool!” he said as he clambered to his feet. “That would be awesome on Youtube.”

He brushed himself down, which frankly didn’t make a lot of difference, and then looked at me. Wishing that I knew what a Youtube was, I waited for him to speak.

“Are you Mr Dexxman the detective?” he eventually asked.

He looked hungry, so I looked at my toast sadly, and then held it out to him.

“Yes I am, want some toast?” I asked.

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