Mendacii Key

When Teneta uncover Samuel Watford’s lost will, they discover that he never destroyed the Mendacii Key, the key to bring them down: he has hidden it, passed it on to the one person who can finish his work. Now Teneta have a plan, a plan to bring down the Mendacii key and Watford’s daughter, Aliona. Aliona must race against time and fate, to discover the power of the Mendacii Key and fight against the biggest force on the planet. She is given a choice to run, fight, or die. Surrounded by betrayal and lies, there is no room for her to make the wrong decision.


3. Two

Tony Savage watched Aliona and Jonas leave the building. His office had a large window on three of the four walls, as the room took up the whole end of one floor. Savage could see every single person that entered or left the Teneta HQ. Savage loved to feel powerful. Although there was a whole department monitoring just that, he liked to see it for himself; it gave him that extra knowledge.

Savage had been studying his son. He had seen Jonas flirting with Aliona; he had seen Jonas pull Aliona off of the path and out of sight. He had noticed that every day, Jonas would escape as soon as possible, usually accompanied by Aliona. It intrigued Savage. Savage did not understand his own son. Savage did not like this; there were several things Savage did not understand, but when it came to Jonas, he would be expected to at least care about him. Savage told himself that it was not his fault, as Jonas had grown up with his mother. Up until Jonas started working in Teneta, Savage had hardly known him, he had no need to. Now Jonas was working, Savage was his boss. It was an excuse for them to not show any public affection or interest. Their relationship was a lie.

“You would think,” Savage said to himself, “that I would be proud to have a son so distant, so strong. Have I got this wrong? Have I stopped him from being the person he wants to be?”

Savage shook his head clear,                                   

“No,” he thought, “I don’t care and neither does he. I can work with him. He chose to come here for a job. Maybe he just wants to get to know me better?”

Savage pulled away from the window and collapsed into his chair, placing his head in his hands. What Jonas had shown him earlier had shaken Savage. Thinking of Jonas, he concluded, must be a side effect. Savage knew his thoughts were not yet clear.

Jonas had chosen to bring his findings to Savage, he had been worried. Jonas hadn’t even known what it meant. Therefore Savage knew he had a duty to tell Jonas what he had uncovered, what must happen next.

Running through the events in his mind, Savage could hear Jonas enter his office, he could see him walk purposefully up to his desk and slide the document swiftly across the surface to catch Savage’s attention. Savage remembered looking up at his boy and laughing, confused,

“What do you call this?”

“I found this” said Jonas, “I don’t know what it means; I thought Samuel Watford was dead.”

Savage cautiously swept up the piece of paper and held it to his eyes, scanning quickly across the front. The document was obviously important, the paper had been crafted carefully and the contents written out by hand. Opening it up, the words had seemed to shout out at him. ‘Last Will and Testament’, it read.

“Where did you find this?” snapped Savage,

“In a filing cabinet, it had been slipped into an old pile of receipts. I wondered why it was there.” Jonas shuffled nervously, “What does it mean about Aliona?”

“Go, boy!” shouted Savage. His eyes tore through the document, freezing in the middle. Jonas hadn’t moved,

“What’s the Mendacii Key?” he retorted, “What does it have to do with Aliona? I thought you would know!”

Savage slammed his fist down on the desk, shaking,

“The Mendacii Key was destroyed 14 years ago, what does this mean?” Savage said to himself, distressed,

“What?” said Jonas, trying to get his father to listen, “Tell me!”

“Go!” bellowed Savage, standing up and pointing towards the door. Jonas had stared into Savage’s face, shook his head slowly and spun on his heels. Savage sighed,

“Forget this happened, and don’t mention it to anyone,” Savage said, his voice still hoarse from shouting. Without acknowledging his father, Jonas pulled open the door and strode out. Savage remained standing for a few moments before sinking into his chair again, feeling sick.

Jonas had left the building, 10 minutes after the standoff, accompanied by Aliona. Savage felt a fire beginning to burn inside him as he pictured Jonas with Aliona, the daughter of Samuel Watford. Had Savage made a mistake in being so harsh to his own son? There was no other way, concluded Savage; Jonas must know what the will meant and what it had to do with Aliona. Otherwise, Savage feared his own son could turn on him, just as his old friend Samuel Watford had done.





“I am so jealous!” moaned Suzie, passing Aliona the mascara, “What did I do wrong?”

“It’s nothing!” shrugged Aliona, “Jonas, being the son of the executive had to take someone to the party! It is the proper thing to take a girl! Anyway, I am the daughter of Samuel Watford.”

Suzie pulled Aliona’s chair back, frowning,

“What do you mean?”

Aliona finished off her mascara and threw the tube back to Suzie,

“I’ve been researching my Dad. I realised I didn’t know anything about him.”

“What did you find?” asked Suzie, excitedly,

“He used to be the president of Teneta!”

Suzie laughed and pulled out the lipstick,

“Don’t be so stupid! Now shut up so I can do your lips!”

“I’m not joking!” said Aliona, pulling the lipstick out of Suzie’s hand, “And I can do my own makeup!”

“Where did you find that?” said Suzie, raising her eyebrows,

“First I looked him up on the internet but couldn’t even find one mention of his name.”

“That’s strange!” cried Suzie, “even I can be found by the internet!”

“I know!” agreed Aliona, “I have a theory, though.”

“Spill!” giggled Suzie. Aliona lowered her voice,

“I know that my Dad was killed for political reasons. I think Teneta killed him. Maybe they completely erased him from all the databases?”

“I don’t know…” grimaced Suzie, “Is that legal?”

“Teneta can do whatever they want!” said Aliona, “They’ll make it legal.”

Suzie squirmed uncomfortably. She grabbed the nail file and started attacking her forefinger,

“Then how did you find Samuel Watford?” she continued,

“I know that he died when I was eight. So, fourteen years ago he was working here. I already know he was communications executive.” Aliona reached over to the dressing table and grabbed the bright red nail varnish, “I spoke to Alan”

“You did what?” gasped Suzie,

“It turns out that Alan got the job as communications manager about the time my father was killed. He said Samuel Watford had only been at that post for a couple of years.”

“So you think before that, he was the president of the whole company?”

“Certain. I went to the archives.”

“Aliona!” cried Suzie, “How much nosing about have you done? You could get into serious trouble! Have you told anyone else?”

“No!” said Aliona, defiantly, “Not even Jonas,”

“Good, I don’t trust Jonas.” Suzie pointed to Aliona’s left hand, “You’re about to smudge your nails.”

Aliona quickly moved her hand away from the dressing table and started flapping it, encouraging the paint to dry,

“Jonas,” she said, anger in her voice, “is one of us, I don’t care who his father is!”

Suzie looked at Aliona, exasperated,

“You said yourself, he’s been sneaking around!”

“So have I!” snapped Aliona, “Jonas would only do things like that for the right reasons, like I’ve been doing.”

Suzie rolled her eyes,

“I saw him snooping around in Alan’s office,”

“Who didn’t?” She paused, thinking, “When did you see that?”

“The day before yesterday, just after lunch”

“That’s funny…”


“I saw Jonas in Alan’s office yesterday. Do you think Jonas has been spying on him?”

Suzie looked worried,

“I don’t know! You don’t suppose Jonas heard your conversation with Alan?”

“Why would it matter to him anyway?”

“You say your father was the president. That means he must have worked with Jonas’ father. There must be a reason why your Dad changed position and then got murdered!”

Aliona shook her head,

“This is stupid,” she said, “We’re getting carried away. What’s it to us if Jonas has been keeping an eye on Alan for some reason?”

Suzie’s eyes lit up,

“Maybe,” she said, “Jonas wants Alan’s job!”

“Come on!” said Aliona, disapprovingly, “My hair won’t do itself. You promised to do that thing with the ringlets,”

Suzie sighed and picked up the hairbrush. She stepped behind Aliona and pulled the straighteners off the mantelpiece.  With Aliona’s head of hazel waves, it was easy to tame them into beautiful curls. Suzie was well practiced at it,

“Well,” said Suzie, “you still haven’t told me how you found out about your Dad!”

Aliona started applying a clear cover to her crimson nails,

“I looked through the dates in the archive and found all the receipts from 16 years ago. That was when I guessed he’d been working elsewhere.”

“And?” cried Suzie, expectantly,

“It was staring at me on each receipt I found. He’d signed them all. It was the signature of the president!”

Suzie placed down the straighteners and held up the can of hairspray,

“Eyes!” she commanded,

Aliona scrunched her eyes up tightly as Suzie coated her head in the first layer. Suzie threw the bottle back down to Aliona and continued shaping her hair,

“So,” Suzie continued, “Why do you think he moved to communications executive?”

“Your guess is as good as mine.”

“Did he get thrown out of the top spot?”

“I don’t know, Suzie!” Aliona handed the hairspray back to Suzie, “That’s why I’m going to ask Jonas, tonight.”

Suzie spun round Aliona’s chair and waved the straighteners in her face,

“Don’t!” she said, “I don’t like it, there’s something about Jonas I can’t quite put my finger on.”

“What do you mean?”

“He’s hiding a lot more than we think!”

 “He’s not the only one hiding things.”

Suzie nervously looked away,

“Is this about Alan?” she asked,

“And the fact that he didn’t tell me about my father?”

“OK, now you’re confusing me!” exclaimed Suzie,

“He knew Samuel Watford was the president!”

“How can you know that?”

“My Dad gave Alan his first job in Teneta.” Aliona sighed, “16 years ago, just before he became communications executive. Alan started working in communications when he was 20. He was doing what we’re doing now! My father didn’t know Alan personally, but Alan must have known him, my Dad was in charge of Teneta! Anyway, two years later, Alan was promoted to communications manager, just before my father died.”

Suzie started spraying Aliona’s hair again,

“That still doesn’t explain-“

“I was in the archives from that year! It all got recorded on paper.”

Suzie rummaged around in the mess on the dressing table. She produced some hair grips and started pinning Aliona’s hair down. The doorbell rang. Aliona groaned,

“Jonas is early! I told him not to come until eight!”

Suzie slid the last grip into place,

“Do you want me to answer it?”

“No, it’s OK,” sighed Aliona, “I’m just about ready anyway,” she grabbed her shoes and slipped them on, hopping out of the chair,

“But I was going to give you a pedicure!” cried Suzie,

“Oh, it doesn’t matter!” Aliona grinned and headed for the front door, Suzie walking cautiously behind her. Aliona turned to look back at Suzie, gesturing nervously at herself. Suzie beamed and gave her the thumbs up. Aliona undid the catch and pulled open the door. To her surprise, it was not Jonas standing there expectantly; it was Connor.

“Connor?” asked Aliona as he stepped through the door,

“Hey!” Suzie called up the hall, “Princess getting ready for the ball here!”

“Oh, and you’ll be the fairy godmother?” retorted Connor,

“Connor!” repeated Aliona, “I told you, I’m going to the party!”

“It’s Jonas!” he said, now talking directly to Aliona,


“I saw him sneaking around in Alan’s office today.”

Suzie groaned,

“Tell us something we didn’t know!”

“Wait!” said Aliona, holding her hand out to Suzie, “Suzie saw him the day before yesterday, I saw him yesterday and you saw him today! What is he doing?”

Suzie shook her head in exasperation,

“What did I tell you?”

Connor ignored Suzie and spoke to Aliona, again,

“I don’t think you should go to the party with him.”

“What?” exclaimed Aliona, “You think that should affect his relationship with me? You’re as bad as Suzie!”

“You’re in a relationship?” Connor was getting angry,

“God, no!” cried Aliona, “I meant…”

“I only came here,” shouted Connor, “to warn you. I didn’t mean to look like an idiot! I just don’t want him breaking your heart!”

There was a silence. Aliona took a step back,

“Connor?” she asked quietly, “What do you mean?”

“I would never lie to you!” said Connor. He started to fidget,

“Connor,” sighed Aliona, “you’re not him.”

“This isn’t about Jonas, it’s about you!” cried Connor, “I wouldn’t do that to you. I would give anything to be going to this party with you! I don’t see why you’re giving him this chance to hurt you.”

Aliona froze. She stared at Connor, her thoughts buzzing,

“You didn’t mean that?” she murmured, “I trust Jonas.”

“Well I don’t!” spat Connor as he turned to leave, “Enjoy your evening.”

“Connor!” begged Aliona, “Please-“

“And don’t come crying to me when he hurts you. I’m not good enough, am I?”

The tears started splashing down Aliona’s face as Connor stormed down the path and out of sight.

“Bloody hell!” whispered Suzie, still at the bottom of the hall. Aliona turned to Suzie, looking lost,

“What do I do now?” she sobbed. Suzie strode up to Aliona and took her arm, steering her back to towards the dressing room,

“You can stop crying so I can fix your makeup!” she said,

“But, Connor?” sniffed Aliona,

“Don’t!” said Suzie, “This is your evening with Jonas. I want you to temporarily forget Connor.”

Aliona exhaled,

“Suzie!” she said, “We’ve left the front door open!”

“Which means Jonas can come and collect you with no hassle at all!”

Aliona dried her eyes,

“No, Suzie, what do I do about Connor?”

Suzie grimaced,

“I’m afraid he loves you,”

Aliona let her head fall into her hands. She could feel her temple throbbing,

“I don’t love him!” cried Aliona, “Jonas…”

“Put your chin up!” Suzie said. Aliona scowled up at her, “No, really,” continued Suzie, “I need to re-do your eyeliner. You’ve smudged it.”

It only took a few minutes for Suzie to put Aliona’s face back to how it had been, which resulted in slightly cheering Aliona up. Aliona had taken the time to think things through about Connor and Jonas,

“Right!” announced Suzie, giving Aliona’s hair a final tweak, “Jonas should be here any minute!”

Aliona was only half listening,

“You know, he was only trying to make it up to me.” she said. Suzie raised her eyebrows, not quite understanding what Aliona was trying to say, “Jonas.” Continued Aliona, on seeing Suzie’s expression, “He had refused to tell me what he was up to, he was only trying to put things right by inviting me to this party. Maybe he simply can’t tell us what he’s doing!” she paused, “I want to trust him.”

“You don’t trust him?”

“I keep telling myself I do, but it doesn’t seem right!” Aliona looked defeated, “I’ll talk to him tonight. I’ll tell him what I found out about my Dad. I can see if he knows anything, anything he hasn’t already told me.”

“Fine,” agreed Suzie, “But make sure you do enjoy the evening. You’re going to an official Teneta party! Think of all the media!”

Aliona winced at that thought. She was only half listening, though; her head was still with Connor,

“Suzie?” she asked. Suzie clipped a small diamond necklace around Aliona’s neck in reply, “You knew about Connor.” It wasn’t a question. Neither was it an accusation. Aliona was merely stating a fact. Suzie sighed,

“Yes, I did.” she replied,

“I’ve been so stupid!” cried Aliona, “How could I hurt him so much? I didn’t see it until it was too late,”

“No use crying over spilt milk!” Suzie was trying to sound wise, “The best thing is to find Connor, tomorrow and tell him how you feel.”

“I’ll hurt him even more! Think of how he must feel right now.”

“You can’t put things right by being a coward.” said Suzie, sounding firm, “You have to be brave: face up to your mistakes. You know he’s done things wrong, too.” She looked reassuringly at Aliona and smiled, “For Gods’ sake, just go with Jonas now, and think things over in the morning. I’ll be there if you need me.”

“Thanks,” Aliona sighed as she stood up, “It’s my evening with Jonas!” she told herself, brushing down her dress. It was dark navy with one shoulder and a pretty ruched neck. Aliona had borrowed it hastily from Suzie the evening before.

“You look gorgeous!” exclaimed Suzie, fussing over Aliona, “Jonas won’t be able to keep his hands off you!”

Aliona gave Suzie a disapproving look, still thinking of Connor,

“There’s nothing wrong with Connor you know, I just don’t like him in that-”

“Jonas!” interrupted Suzie, ordering Aliona through into the sitting room, “We shall wait here for your coach to arrive!”

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