“Well, aren’t you beautiful tonight,” Alec exclaimed, as Holly strutted through his office door. “I have a few things to wrap up before I have my car brought around so I took the liberty of chilling one of my finest Sauternes. Shall I pour you a glass to enjoy while you wait?”
“That’s one of the things I love about you, Alec, you think of everything. That would be wonderful,” Holly purred, eyeing the back of Alec like the cat that had the canary in its sights. “Take your time,” she said as he turned back to see her settling herself in his plush leather chair so not much about what she wasn’t wearing would be left to his imagination.
“I’ll try to hurry.” He fought hard to hide his glee a few minutes later when he looked up from his desk to see she’d not only noticed the plate of chocolates on the table beside her, but had devoured half the plate from the look of things. Time to set the stage for the finale, he thought.
“It’s wonderful to see a woman feel comfortable enough to eat in my presence. It gets so tiring to take a woman to dinner only to have her order salad like it was the most expensive item on the menu and then just pick away at it. And I’m positive Philomena will be thrilled to know the remainder of her chocolates didn’t go to waste.”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, Phil, being the giving person that she is, wanted to share her gift with the other Associates and our clients. Why, whatever is the matter, Holly?” Alec responded calmly as he watched her control start to waver. “Are you alright? I know they were a gift from you to her, but surely you don’t mind her sharing.”
“Oh my God, no,” Holly cried as she reached in her purse for her cell phone call and frantically dialled. “Kenneth?” When all she reached was his answering service she hung up in a panic. “I need to get to Kenneth,” she mumbled to herself, “He’s the only one with the antidote.”
“Kenneth? Antidote? What are you talking about?” Alec knew she was referring to Senator Platz, but he wasn’t through playing with her just yet. Not only was he thoroughly enjoying her discomfiture, but there was still the little matter of learning how and why Judge Wright fit into their game. He wanted to draw this out long enough for her to hang herself and her cohorts along with her.
“Kenneth...rrr...Senator Platz. He’s a friend of mine.” At least she had the decency to blush a little when she said the last part.
“Hmmm. Okay, but what do you need him for? And what’s this about an antidote? Antidote for what?” he inquired.
“Umm, I mean medication. He has my medication,” she lied.
“Why on earth would my golfing buddy have your medication?” he asked. Completely enjoying this, Alec prepared to reel them both in. “Oh, you’re not looking so great, Holly. Let me try to reach him on his private line. If I can’t, we’re heading straight to the emergency room,” he said as he pulled out his cell.
“Kenneth, Alec here. Listen, I have an Associate here who is in urgent need of your help,” he said as he wandered down the hall to carry on his conversation in private.
Holly knew with the amount of chocolate she’d eaten, she had less than an hour before the belladonna would take over. Standing as close to the doorway as possible without being seen, she tried to make out what she could of Alec’s end of the conversation. Holly. Holly Ryan? You don’t know a Holly Ryan? Surely Kenneth wouldn’t play games at a time like this, Kenneth wouldn’t let her die.
“Strange. I’m sorry Holly, you must be mistaken,” Alec said as he walked toward where she'd quickly re-seated herself. “Kenneth says he doesn’t know you.” He used the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy, knowing these two would sell each other out in a heartbeat. And like playing dominoes, all it takes is to tip one for the others to fall. “Maybe if you tell me...”
“Doesn’t know me? Doesn’t know me? We’ll see about that!” Playing into his hands, Holly made the call that would bring the others out of hiding.