Master Manipulator

Struggling young mother Katie Smith’s life is made even worse when she meets manipulative and misogynistic banker Thomas Langley. Thomas is a clever and evil man who gets what he wants when he wants it. Can Katie break away from the trouble she finds herself in when he begins to control her life in a variety of sick and harmful ways?

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1. The Strong

Thomas Langley was barely paying attention to a word his wife was saying. His bright blue eyes stared blankly at the wall opposite as he sat at the kitchen counter of his luxurious mansion. It had been a long and tiresome day at work and, far from wishing to hear his wife talk irritably about her day, he longed for a peaceful nap in bed. Despite his long day, he still looked as smart and charming as he did before he left the house at 8am that morning. His curtained hair was gelled in the exact place it was when he had first styled it and his charcoal designer suit remained shiny and untouched by creases and stains. Appearance was something which he had prided himself on for many years. In his eyes, a true man of business worth any amount of money looked smart and preferably handsome. He knew well that his good looks and formal appearance drew a large amount of attention from female friends and colleagues alike, and he loved every moment of it. Once upon a time he had once loved the attention his wife gave him over his looks and flirtatious nature, but now, however, he found her tedious to express it lightly. She had, over the years, become too big for her boots with the money and gifts he had given her: The beautiful house, expensive clothes, jewellery and fast cars. It seemed as though she had almost forgotten her place as a woman and had no fear in irritating him senseless. In an ideal world, Thomas would quite easily have loved to remove her from his life and live alone, however the absence of food, sex and a companion for business nights out would not be quite as ideal.

“For goodness sake Tom are you even listening to me?!” Rachel said loudly.

Thomas shook quickly out of his trance and glanced over to his wife. She was stood next to the sink, her hand placed fiercely on her hip.  

“Of course.” he replied quickly. “Something about Julia right?”

Rachel rolled her eyes impatiently before turning around and continuing to wash up the dirty dishes left from dinner.

Thomas gripped the whiskey glass in front of him tightly. He hated her habit of eye rolling whenever he did something she did not approve of. Forcing himself to respond politely, he placed his hands instead on the counter. “What is it love? What has she done this time?”

She waited until the last dish found itself on the draining board before answering through gritted teeth. “If you were listening, you would know what she has done”

Thomas shot a look of loathing at her behind her back and proceeded to take a sip out of his glass. Julia was one of his wife’s nauseating and highly pompous friends from the local country club which she attended. Their friendship resembled that of a Yo-Yo. Whereas one day they would be the best of friends, the other they would be at each other’s throats. It was yet another boring and repetitive part of his wife’s life that he had very little care about.

Rachel dried her hands on a tea towel and took a seat opposite him on the counter. Despite her irritating personality, Thomas could not for the life of him find her ugly. Her face was radiant and clear of spots and wrinkles. She wore her usual bright red lipstick and her beautiful long brown hair rested on her shoulders as she stared across the counter at him sadly.

“What have I done?” she said, breaking the silence.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, these past couple of days you’ve been very distant, I can’t help but wonder what I’m supposed to have done for you to act like this.”

Would you like a fucking list? Thomas thought irritably.

“No.” Thomas replied. “It’s just been a very busy and hard week at the bank hon.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” she said with sympathy. “It’s been a hard week for me too, what with Julia being a bitch and all.”

Are you fucking serious?

“So what has she done now?” Thomas asked, forcing himself to take some interest.

Rachel paused for a moment, placing her hands together in front of her.  “She uh…said that you were a waste of space and that I could do much better.”

Far from being bothered by this statement, Thomas felt a surge of amusement spread through his body. It was not the first time that Julia had said such a think behind his back in the past. When stood in front of him, she was a pleasant woman with many compliments to give him, when hidden behind others; however, her true opinions were very easily expressed from her large mouth.

He took another sip from his whiskey glass and grinned. “Tell me, has her husband’s business picked itself off the ground yet?”

He watched as his wife cracked her first smile of the evening.

“You know it hasn’t.” She replied, examining her false red nails. “Frank is only just about managing to keep up with the monthly fees for her to attend the country club.”

“Of course I bloody know” Thomas said, tapping his fingers against his glass. “I know everything about that man and his endeavours. Do you not remember the tale I told you about his draw of surprises in his office? Lovely collection of vibrating-

“Please don’t.” Rachel interrupted, shaking her head in disgust. “We have just eaten.”

Fighting back the urge to continue, Thomas nodded and downed the rest of his glass in one.

“Well then.” He said, stifling a yawn. “I would love to stay and chat about the charming Julia, but there is some stuff I have to attend to in the study”

Rachel glanced at him with disappointment.

“I thought you said that we were going to have a relaxed night?”

“Sorry hun.” He said, raising his voice as he walked out of the kitchen. “Business calls”

Rachel sighed disappointedly and rose out of her chair. This was the 2nd time this week her husband had let her down after making her a promise. She walked over to the fridge and threw open the doors, searching for something to supress her feeling of sadness. Settling for a bottle of white wine, she collected a glass from the cupboard and sat once more at the counter, pouring a large quantity of the bottle into the tall glass. 

As she took a large gulp from the glass, only one thought passed through her mind.

You complete arse Thomas Langley. 

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