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?


2. The Weak

“Katie you will come to absolutely nothing if you continue to live your life this way”

Katie cared very little for her mother, Julia’s, tedious and repetitive moaning regarding the way in which she lived her life. Since she was as young as 15 nothing she did, it appeared, was ever good enough to impress her. She could not, however, feel any hatred towards her. It pained her greatly to think that her mother was disappointed with her and all that she did and several times she had attempted to impress her. Such attempts often failed. In many ways, she ought to have been furious that someone would sit across from her in her own home and criticise her so carelessly, but Katie was now such a weak and vulnerable young girl after a long and difficult life that she had no energy to be angry. If it was not for her son, she regularly told herself, she would not choose to live another moment on this earth. He was the apple of her eye and since giving birth to him at just 16; they had been through thick and thin. If Katie was sure of anything, it was that she would do anything to keep him safe and healthy. She had worked tirelessly for years in a number of jobs, not all of which appealing, in order to improve their lives. Despite this, she still found herself living in one of the roughest areas of London in a very unattractive and old bedsit. The bedsit in which she sat with her mother had nothing but the bare necessities to live, but Katie would never complain, after all, it guaranteed her and her 3 year old son life.

“For goodness sake Katie, answer me” Julia snapped, slamming her finished tea mug onto the chipped and rickety table in front of her.

Katie lifted her head from the deep thoughts she had been pondering and stared blankly at the woman In front of her. She was certainly not a typical grandmother, only just finding herself in her 50’s. Julia was everything Katie was not, rich, classy and extremely influential. Out of place in the depressing bedsit, she sat in an expensive and luxurious designer suit, her greying hair tied neatly in a bun upon her head all finished with a small application of makeup.

“I am listening mum” Katie said timidly, breaking the silence which loomed over them. “But I don’t see what you want me to do”

“I want you to embrace life.” Julia replied, waving her hands enthusiastically in the air. “Make a good impression for your son”

Katie nodded her head lightly, and took a glance at her son, who sat a couple of centimetres away from the couch on which she was sitting, playing quietly with a set of cars. Having only being just woken up from his nap, he sat in a pair of pyjamas, his blonde hair wild and messy upon his head.

Spotting his mother and Nan looking at him, he grinned happily and held up the red car he was playing with into the air.

“Ca” he said loudly.

Katie smiled affectionately at her son, ruffling his hair with her hand as Julia addressed him in a significantly less serious tone than she used with her daughter.

“Yes Tyler, that’s a car. What sound do cars make?”

Tyler sat quietly for a moment, considering the answer to this question.

“Vroom” he shouted enthusiastically.

Julia chuckled quietly and clapped her hands together.

“Good boy!” She said, smiling lovingly at him. “Granddad has one of those cars”

Katie’s mood changed almost in an instant. She shot a look of annoyance at her mother, which was duly noted.

“I’ve told you before, don’t talk about him” Katie said through gritted teeth. “I don’t want his name spoken in front of Tyler”

Julia nodded unhappily, and silence descended around the room once more. She hated the constant battle which waged on between her husband and daughter. For many years, the two had not seen each other and that was the way they liked it to stay. Julia knew well that Reginald was a difficult man to deal with, especially on matters which he disliked. Unfortunately for her, their nineteen year old daughter was one of these dislikes and Katie’s feelings appeared to be very much mutual. Seeing Katie was a big risk for her also. If her husband knew of her regular visits to see “the common whore”, as he had so often called her, their marriage would come under immense strain and she dreaded to think of the events which would unfold.

Julia reached forward and placed her hand on her daughters shoulder.

“Darling, could we not sort out this mess with your father?” She whispered with caution. “It’s so difficult for me to live like this.”

Katie stood up abruptly and Julia’s hand slipped off her shoulder.

“No. We are not sorting out my relationship with that man. He’s made his feelings quite clear. Now, I’m sorry mum, but I have things to do.”

“Ok then Katie” Julia replied sadly, rising out of her seat.

Katie walked her mother to the door and held it open for her. After a short and awkward hug, Julia left with a great sense of sadness and disappointment.

Katie did not feel much better herself. Taking a seat on the couch her mother had occupied little less than a minute ago, she placed her hands together and tried to hold back tears.

She stayed in this position for what felt like several minutes when she felt a hand upon her leg.

“What is Ty?” she muttered.


Katie lifted her head and studied her son. He really did tear at her heartstrings. Before he was born she had been scared and unprepared for the journey ahead of her. Many times she had considered whether she was making a mistake in going through with the pregnancy. Looking at him now, however, she knew she had made the right decision. Without him, she would be nothing. She would be living a bad life, built up of drugs and likely prostitution. She knew this was not the way she wanted to live her life. For as long as she had Tyler, she didn’t care what crossed her path. Her father did not concern her any longer; he had made his choice and stuck to it and this she could never forgive.

Her sad mood evaporated almost instantly as she smiled at her son and watched his excitable face.

“What would you like Mr?” she chuckled. “Toast? Coco Pops?”

“Rather bowl of copops” he shouted, attempting to copy the recent advertisement.

“Shh. Calm down, I’ll get you some now. Go and play with your toys a second.”

As Katie stood up and prepared to walk to the kitchen, the doorbell rang.

She sighed irritably. Who now?

Initially she would have quite liked to have ignored it; however she was expecting a drop in from the social worker checking that she was coping with caring for Tyler, so decided against it.

As she opened the door, however, she wished she hadn’t have changed her mind.

“Rite” the man at the door muttered roughly.

He appeared scruffy and very unclean. Everything from his untidy hair and badly shaven face to his old and creased full tracksuit was detestable to her. Regrettably for her, however, she knew this man well. He puffed on a roll up which reeked of Weed as he waited for her to answer.

“What the fuck do you want now?” she growled, glaring hatefully at him.

“Wanna see ma son” he replied dumbly.

Katie rolled her eyes and resisted the temptation to slam the front door in his face. The smirk she gave him suggested that this request was not going to be granted.

“That a no then?” he said angrily, throwing his roll up to the ground and treading on it with his old and peeling trainers.

“Hm, what do you think?” she said sarcastically. “Do you think I’m likely to say yes? You can’t just pick and choose when you want to see him Jason, he’s your son.”

Jason appeared unconcerned by this. As though he had almost forgotten what he had come for, he leaned forward and placed his hands on the door frame, putting his face up against her. Katie almost gagged at the smell of his stinking breath.

“Fancy some pills?”

This was almost too much for Katie.

“I have a son to think of you absolute bum!” she exclaimed, pushing him away from her. “Why on earth would I want to buy drugs from you?”

He chuckled with amusement, aggravating Katie further. “You never used to mind”

Katie was feeling angrier and angrier by the minute. To this day she knew little of what she used to see in the man that stood in front of her. He was vile in so many ways. The only good which came from him was that he had given her most prized possession, her son. Two to three years ago, young and naïve, she had been drawn in by his behaviour and had took on a very unhealthy lifestyle, dealing and taking drugs, alcohol and everything in life which was certain to do her harm. In many ways, it was likely a way of rebelling against her parents, whom she spent a lot of time arguing and fighting with by the time she came to her GCSE’s. These days, however, she knew very well that Jason was bad news and chose to keep herself and her son well away from him.

“That was a long time ago” she muttered, a dark feeling rising in her stomach. “I don’t live that kind of life anymore.”

“Bet ya still fuck everythin that moves though innit” he snapped, spitting on the ground in front of her.

“Get lost” Katie shrieked, slamming the door in his face.

She heard several choices of disgusting words being muttered as Jason walked away, but paid little attention to them these days. Despite this, he still had the effect of making her feel awful inside.

Trying her best to think positively she looked across at her son, who sat playing with his cars once more, staring at her thoughtfully.

“So” she said, ducking down to face him. “Coco Pops right?”


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