WHO’D HAVE THOUGHT IT?
Ben lay on his bed in Koh Samui. It was a beautiful island, he thought, the best in Thailand. The beaches were made of powder- puff sand, the sea crystal clear. He could retire here, he mused. Dylan had already decided to do so. He had the room next door in the Central Samui Resort, and Ben could hear the unmistakable sound of early morning love-making emanating through the walls. He wondered who the lucky girl had been last night? The Green Mango disco had been full of gorgeous blonde haired Scandanavians, and Dylan was soon wooing them with tales of temples and millions. Good luck to him, he thought.
The Government had agreed the firm’s costs in a matter of weeks. Ben and Dylan had agreed to take a slightly lower sum to avoid another year or so of arguing over the bill. After paying off the Bank of East Asia, they had about US$1 million each. Enough to retire upon in Thailand, without a doubt. Yet, after three weeks in Samui, Ben yearned for the excitement of Hong Kong, the rush of the lunchtime crowds, and his mates. He even missed Jacob and Wai, and he never thought he would say that. He decided though to give it another month in Thailand. There was no hurry. Luigi was looking after the firm, having been given a rise in his commission rate. There was no need to hurry back, if at all.
Ben lay in his bed in Samui recalling Mandy’s confession in his conference room as though it were only yesterday. He yawned. The story had been hard to believe, but Mandy was so convincing, he eventually did so. He lent across the bed and stroked her head. She was lying naked on top of the bedclothes, asleep. She was so beautiful, he thought, he was a lucky man. He shook her slightly.
“Wake up, sleepy head”, he said. “It’s breakfast time, and since we’ve paid in advance, we’re going to eat it.” She raised her head and looked at him, sleepily.
“Don’t you know you’re a millionaire?” she said. “You can have a thousand breakfasts every day, if you want.”
“That won’t be very good for my figure, will it?” He had lost thirty pounds over the past few weeks, a mixture of exercise, diet and worry, and he was proud of his new physique. “Come on, get up, your evil partner is already in the shower.”
“What, already? Jesus, it’s only nine o’clock!” The bathroom door opened.
“Yes, time to get up!” said Peachey, dripping wet and completely naked, throwing herself onto both Ben and Mandy, loud screams coming from the girls.
“You’re wet”, said Mandy, “get off!”
“Get up, I’m hungry”, giggled Peachey. Ben looked at them both. Entwined naked together, he felt the luckiest man in the world.
“You’re not going to stay with this murderer, are you Ben?” screamed Peachey, as Mandy poured a cup of cold water over her head.
“Look who’s talking”, laughed Mandy, “you’re the one who told me about Tyler going to that party!”
“It wasn’t my fault! Sebastian thought it was only a laugh. And I was drunk when I told you! How was I to know you were sleeping with him and would send someone to kill the senile old git! I’ve felt terrible about that for months!” said Peachey.
“Anyway”, said Mandy, with her arm around Ben’s shoulder, “Ben’s mine, right, bitch?”
“Not in a million years!” shrieked Peachey, jumping on Mandy’s head. There then followed a pillow fight, leaving both girls in fits of laughter.
“OK”, said Mandy, breathing heavily, “we’ll share.”
“Fair enough”, said Peachey.
“Don’t I get a say in this?” asked Ben, highly amused.
“No!” cried the girls in unison. Ah well, thought Ben, things could be worse. He could be Tyler for instance. The thought made him crease his brow. He was also troubled by the fact that they had made no official report to the authorities about the Government conspiracy. He wanted to see those responsible spending time in jail, but that would inevitably have included Mandy. If no report was made, then those responsible for Judge Chang’s murder would go free. He had argued for days with Dylan over this. They had finally reached the conclusion that they personally had nothing to gain from spilling the beans. So long as they could get Tyler out of jail, let sleeping dogs lie.
“It’s Tyler’s appeal today, isn’t it” asked Mandy, as if reading his thoughts.
“Yes”, said Peachey, “Richard says he has a good chance. Of course, he would have had a far better chance if bitch here would spill the beans.” She hit Mandy on the head again with a pillow.
“Don’t worry about Tyler” said Mandy. “I told you, I’ve spoken to the powers that be at the Government. He’s going to be acquitted. The judges want promotion to the Court of Final Appeal. They’re in our pockets. Tyler will be on the beach with us in a couple of days.”
“I hope so”, said Ben. “You both realize I’m turning you both in if he doesn’t get out”, he grinned. “I’d feel awful if he had to spend the next twenty years in prison.”
“Ah, Ben”, said Peachey, “you’re such a good friend!” She shrieked as Ben poured a glass of cold water on her head. Another general free-for-all developed. There was then a sudden knock on the door, and Dylan came in. He stared at all three naked bodies on the bed.
“Excellent!” he said. “May I join in?”
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