Chapter 5

Written by: Ant Gavin Smits
Lucy surveyed her closet and half-opened dresser drawers. One suitcase? She cursed. He had no idea. But it was after ten and they had to go at midday. A second chance? She’d lost an hour’s sleep. It had better be a damn good one.
Lucy didn’t recall many of Toby's words from the previous night, but he’d promised to provide everything she needed. Just as well. She’d have to go shopping immediately they arrived.
There was, of course, hours to kill after check-in, and Lucy teased herself trying to guess which of the high-end restaurants they would lunch in. She wondered why he hadn’t booked first class and looked away from his worn leather jacket that had clearly seen better days.
“Wait here,” Toby said, as she found a place to rest. But he only went as far as a snack stand and returned within moments. His hands held two bottles of water.
Lucy scowled. “What about lunch?”
“There will be food on the plane,” Toby replied as he sat on the hard steel bench beside her, eyes looking straight into hers, lips twitching, amused, like a child with ringside seats at a show.
“I’m hungry now, Toby,” she said, giving him her number-one smile. “Why don’t you show me the best place they have.”
“Do you have money, Lucy?” Toby asked, emphasising each word. “When we get to LA, you’ll start to learn the value of a dollar. I hope it’s not too late,” he added, almost to himself, taking out his phone again.
Lucy petulantly unscrewed the bottle cap and took a drink. He’d come round. Men always did.
But a long time later, after too long in cramped seats, encounters with disgusting toilets and revolting food and miles of walking – he might have warned her not to wear heels – she surveyed her new room. It wasn’t a room. It was surely a cupboard. And in his basement. His basement.
It was very late. He’d carried her case down, and his wife had shown her where to find things. Lucy couldn’t recall her name She hadn’t smiled once. Lucy sat on the bed and pulled off her shoes. Breakfast is at seven, he’d told her.
Lucy hadn’t had to get up at seven since she was a PA. She’d had big dreams then, though it was all hard work. Before Scott had promised the world and told her she was too good for that nine to five.
Bastard. Lucy felt her cheek. Her left side had never healed quite right. Of course, she went right back home after that. But hadn’t Toby said she was beautiful and talented? Maybe her injuries really didn’t show any more. Yea, her mum had been saying it for three years. But she just wanted her out of the house.
Lucy shrugged, as she got ready for bed. Since Toby apparently wanted to do so much for her, he could start by replacing the things he hadn’t let her bring.


I really liked this chapter. It injects a little bit of mystery without being seeming obvious, and leaves some juicy leads for the next writer to follow up.
Yes, a very mature chapter that does exactly what Donna says. Your dialogue and Lucy's thought process are excellent, I thought and that is why there is a feeling of mystery that is not obvious until you finish reading it. Smashing stuff, old boy. Well done.
I agree with Donna and Ray. It was pure pleasure to read. Seemed effortless and when something feels like that, a lot of work, thinking and talent lies behind it. Fantastic.