Time Changes

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Part Twenty Five

The next weeks really dragged by, Alexis lived for the phone conversations with Peter that occurred every night, or early morning to him. Inevitably each one ended in some form of mutual pleasure, and Alexis was amazed at how much he taught her just by phone. Her desire and need for him just grew say by day. She was desperate to see her sister and Oscar, but she was more desperate to see Peter. Her final day was approaching slowly, nothing ever came quick enough.

Peter was hating his last few days in Australia. Not because of the work, the job, the people, the country, it was his desire to see Alexis again. Phone calls were never enough. He walked home from work in his usual daydream, crossing the campus with an inane smile on his face, but he didn’t care. As he got close to his building he sensed rather than saw something in his peripheral vision. Glancing to his left he saw a person coming towards him and in a few moments realised it was Megan. He couldn’t help the groan that escaped his lips. Why the hell had he ever fallen into bed with her?

                “Peter!” she called out rushing over to him. “I wondered if you wanted to come out for a few beers. Have some fun, you know?”

It wasn’t until she added the last phrase that he realised she was still intent in her plans. She had no idea that he had over heard her conversation, so he had that in his favour. But she seemed single minded in her thoughts.

                “I’m sorry, I’ve got a lot of work to do tonight...” he gestured to the pile under his arm, “you know how it is. Another time?”

He hoped he’d be gone before the time arose, cowardice again! He should front this out, but he had a feeling Megan could make things difficult for him, and getting home to Alexis was his priority now.

He’d climbed the stairs at a rate of knots and was unlocking the door to his room when he once again felt eyes on him, looking up he saw Megan again stood there.

                “What’s changed Peter? I thought we had a good thing going on?”

He sighed, “Megan, you have someone else, what we had was fun, but I’m not one for stepping on toes. I enjoyed the time with you, I really did...”

She placed a hand on his chest, “there’s no one else, no one serious anyway, and I would love a repeat with you.”

Peter suddenly realised they were alone, she was a conniving woman looking to trap him with a pregnancy, there was no saying what else she was capable of. Alexis would kill him for letting this situation arise.

                “Look, let me get on with this work, maybe I’ll join you for a drink in an hour or so?” He knew if he agreed she’d not manipulate the situation, but if he resisted?

She smiled in a ‘cat-got-the-cream’ kind of way, “ok. I’ll see you then.”

In his room Peter felt sick, he had a tremendous sense of foreboding, he had no idea why, but he knew that he wasn’t going to leave the country without her making some sort of problem for him. And leaving the country was something he had to do in just a couple of weeks.

                “What would Alexis do?” he asked the empty room. And there was no answer. So he called her.

A sexy sleepy voice answered the phone, “Peter?”

He gulped, how could one word have such an effect on him? “Hi darling. Sorry to wake you.”

                “There are a lot of worse things to wake up to!”

He laughed, then started to tell her his fears.

                “Does she know you’re leaving soon?”

                “I don’t think so.”

She sighed, “if she wants money from you, you leaving will stop that. Don’t let her know!” It was quiet as she thought for a moment, “you aren’t going to like this.”

He hated that, “what?”

                “Don’t be alone with her; tell someone you trust that she’s being awkward.”

                “Why?”

Alexis sighed, “what is guaranteed to make you give her money? Blackmail! What can she blackmail you about? Rape? Sexual assault? She puts herself in a compromising position with you, you’re screwed! And you can’t leave the country if you’re arrested...that’s enough to force you to pay up!”

Peter felt sick, “you think she’d do that?”

                “You think she’s capable of it, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Your best plan is to never be alone with her, in fact never be alone!”

After she hung up Peter was even more anxious. The only friend he had that he could trust in Sydney was an old colleague Maria. He’d met her more than ten years ago when he was a student, she a lecturer, and now she was head of faculty and an integral part of recruiting her. It was embarrassing to go to her, but he had to do something.

She listened, and took his comments very seriously.

                “If this is what she plans, then she can make claims against you even when you’re back home, worse things have happened. We have to put a full stop on this Peter.”

He stared at the older woman, who merely smiled, “she’s done this before Peter. Accused another lecturer of sexual assault. Charges were dropped, he disappeared...”

He shook his head in disbelief, “no one said...”

                “No one is allowed to. And to be honest she’s a nice girl. I’d not have thought that she was capable of this, but...look you can’t be alone with her, and you have to get proof that she’s not scared of you, threatened by you...then you get the hell out of here, ok?”

Nodding he agreed to anything she planned, and then headed for the pub he’d agreed to see Megan at.

She was perched on a stool near the bar, sipping on a drink when he walked in. If it wasn’t for Maria’s assurances he was doing the right thing, then he’d be running scared with his tail between his legs. He could barely believe that he’s gone willingly into a relationship with this woman, as the warning signs were so glaringly obvious. But then he’d been so desperate to get over Alexis, to forget about her, that he’d dived headlong into something horrendous.

He bought them both a drink then sat beside her making small talk, he literally ducked and dived from her as she tried to schmooze him, sidle up to him. But it wasn’t until he went to the bathroom that she made her move. As he exited the toilet she was in the corridor lounging against the wall.

                “Let’s get out of here Peter, go somewhere more comfortable!”

He sighed, “Megan...this can’t happen again. What we had was fun...but it’s over.”

Megan’s smile faltered for a moment, then she broke into an exaggerated smile, “Peter! There’s no commitment, what we had was fun...”

He sighed, “what we had is you trying to manipulate me so that you can get money out of me! I heard your phone call Megan, I heard ALL of it. I’m not about to get ensnared by you. I don’t know your game, but you are one dangerous woman.”

She had paled at his revelations, but now as she stared at him she grew flushed with rage, “what...you!”

He sighed, “you heard what I said.”

                “You can’t do this.” She had suddenly found her voice, “you can’t!”

                “Do what?” He asked.

                “End this. It’s not over, you owe me!”

Peter could see the change in her, and knew that he was starting to see the real Megan, “owe you? Owe you what?”

                “I need money, and YOU have to give it to me.”

She named a ridiculous amount of money, and he laughed, “if I had that sort of cash why would I give it to you? You are dreaming.”

She reached out and snatched at his arm, venom erupting from her in gallons, “you owe me! And if you don’t pay me, I’ll make you pay.”

If he hadn’t been prepared for this, suspicious of this, then he’d be stunned, but he’d feared this, “Megan, this is ridiculous.”

                “Really? You think it’s ridiculous. I spent all that time, and what I want, hell what I NEED is money. And I will get it.” She reached up and tore at her shirt she wore, buttons popping as she did. “Let’s see who the police believe...and the residents of this bar...and let’s see how expensive getting off an assault charge is, shall we?” She laughed then, an ugly sound, “and it will keep you in the country whilst you go on fighting a long winded charge.”

                “Really? You’d fake this to make things difficult for me?”

She shook her head, “I’ll do anything to get the money from you!”

                “You are a disgrace! All those women who really are attacked, raped or worse! People like you devalue everything they go through.”

Megan gave an uncaring shrug, then reaching for her blouse, she tore it further, dragging the tie from her hair, letting it fall chaotically around her, and mustering a few tears, she gave him a sly smile before bursting through the door back into the bar.

Peter leaned against the wall, hoping he’d been the other side of the door to see her face. Maria, two police officers and the university principle all stood there listening to the argument. He opened his shirt to reveal the microphone attached to his chest. Every word caught on tape to use against the woman who had preceded him into the room. He thought about the other lecturer who’d obviously given in to her demands a few years earlier. A less than favourable outcome for him.

With a sigh he pulled his phone from his pocket and called Alexis, to tell him it was sorted, that her suspicions were right, that she’d saved him from hell.

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