The Way We Lied

Alex wished she had worn a hat. Not a large brimmed hat, but perhaps a perky little cocktail number with a saucy, sweeping feather that would curve out from her blonde hair and tickle Nick’s shoulder, just to remind him that she was close. Her perfume was helping too. Intimate waves of Obsession exuded every time she moved in her tightly fitting silk suit. Its dusky undertones were a little powerful for a charity concert in the cathedral, but she could not resist doing everything possible to make him think of warm, secret places where musky scents linger.
She shook her head back to shift her fringe from her eyes and tried to focus. She was here to support her friends and the charity committee, not to indulge in daydreams about Nick, who seemed to be engrossed in his programme. Alex tried to concentrate and turned her attention to the printed introduction. ‘Spem in Alium, composed by the father of English church music, Thomas Tallis. A celebrated 40 part motet, sung by the Guildford Choral Society, conducted by Ryan Bowles.’
Alex thought she could grow quite fond of church music. So soothing, so calming. She would have liked to have chosen hymns for her wedding to Charles. If he had not been recently divorced and she had not been five months pregnant, she was sure he would have agreed to a more formal affair, rather than their discreet register office ceremony.
However, tonight Alex was required to listen to sacred music not from personal choice but in an official capacity. The concert was in aid of the Elham Children’s Hospice Fund and she was a key member of the events committee. Probably the most fashionable figure on the committee, if not the most industrious. Alex actually preferred the more glamorous projects, such as the minor celebrity fashion show and the Midsummer Ball held at Camptonwick House, but she knew it was wise to show interest in the highbrow events too, as they attracted the great and the good, the academics from the university and the artistic literati in the community.
She glanced around as people were settling into their seats, waiting for the programme to begin. Nick was looking about him too and Alex peered over her shoulder to see what held his attention. It was a woman. A tall handsome woman with a firm jaw and dark, bobbed hair, wearing the most awful old shabby raincoat. Alex could not recall seeing her before and wondered why Nick was staring so intently. He was mesmerised, almost willing the woman to notice him.

to be continued February 15

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