Login   Sign Up 


Best Served Cold

by Opal 

Posted: 30 September 2003
Word Count: 1278
Summary: Lighthearted story of revenge

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

Josh had issued a final warning.' I'm sorry, Beth, but this one is from head office, and I'm afraid it's the last. Why do you let him do it? You know you're worth more than this.' He'd looked at me and I could see his heart in his eyes.
Josh was the area manager of a small chain of hotels across the West Country. The one I ran with Luke was in the heart of Exeter. Nothing very grand, our guests were mainly businessmen and women. Which was where the problem lay.
Most women found Luke incredibly attractive, and with his dark hair and deep blue eyes, looking – according to one besotted female – as if they had been put in with a smutty finger. I could understand why. After all I still found him attractive and I'd been married to the man for two years. However, it seemed that one woman had not taken kindly to Luke's overtures, she had written to the big bosses who had sent Josh down to tell us to 'shape up or ship out'.
I was furious. I loved working in the hotel. Life with Luke hadn't exactly been easy, but I thought that working together would bring us closer. I guess I'd been fooling myself. Luke saw himself as the answer to every woman's fantasy.
This time however, he'd overstepped the mark. According to Josh there had been four complaints.
'I know he's your husband, Beth,' Josh said,' and I suppose you must love him or you couldn't put up it, but please try to think about yourself once in a while. I must go now, I'll see you next month, which, by the way will be my last visit. I'm moving to Tenerife. I've bought a lovely little hotel there. Oh, Beth I wish….'

At that moment Luke called from the reception desk. 'Can you come here a minute, Beth?'
I looked at Josh who gave a rueful smile and then sighed.' It sounds as if he's in trouble. Again'.
'I wish you weren't going. How on earth am I going to manage without you?'
'You wouldn't have to if only…'
'Beth'. Luke's plaintive voice echoed through the lobby. Josh bent and kissed me.
'Goodbye, my love.' Then he was gone.
'I need a drink, Beth long and cold. With lots of ice.'
'For heaven's sake, Luke couldn't you have gone to the bar yourself? I'm not here to wait on you. Oh and by the way, it seems that you have managed to upset one of our female guests. Not for the first time by all accounts, and Josh told me, this is our last warning. When will you grow up, Luke?'
'Stop worrying, sweetheart. Josh is nothing but an old fusspot. I daresay the woman in question was that tight-assed female from that computer convention. You remember them. They were here last month. I rather think she fancied me, but I …'
'Please shut up, Luke. I'm sick of hearing about all these women who think you're irresistible. One more chance, that's all we've got, I love this job, and if you do anything to get us thrown out of here, then you and I are through. Do you understand? Through'.
'I can't help it if some of them think that I'm on the menu,' Luke said petulantly.
'I don't encourage them.'
I stared at him in disbelief. 'Don't encourage them? My God, Luke, sometimes it seems as if you can hardly keep your hands off them. Josh is right. I have put up with a lot from you. But that's about to change.'
'Josh this. Josh that. Are you sure you haven't got the hots for him?' Luke sneered. 'The words pot and kettle spring to mind'.
'Don't be so damn ridiculous, Luke. There's nothing going on.' It was with a feeling of guilt, that I suddenly realised I wouldn't mind if there was.
I was going to miss Josh.
Just then the lobby door opened. Luke's eyes widened, he straightened up, and began fiddling with his tie. I turned to see who was having such an effect on him.
She was everything I'm not. Blonde, willowy, a bust you could stand a saucepan on and a pert bottom that could qualify as 'rear of the year.' Luke gave his heart-breaking lopsided smile as she sashayed up to the desk. Ignoring me, she leaned towards Luke. 'I believe you have a reservation for me,' she said in a low, husky voice.' The name's Jarvis. Miss Annabelle Jarvis.'
'Yes, Miss Jarvis,' Luke said to her cleavage.' We've been expecting you. If you will sign the register, I'll show you to your room.' Neither of them took the slightest notice of me.
'That's all right, Luke, ' I said, 'I'll show our guest to her room.'
Miss Annabelle Jarvis's eyes flashed, and she waved me away.
'I'm sure this charming gentleman doesn't mind escorting me.' She studied me from head to foot. 'I wouldn't want to take you away from your work I expect you have lots of cleaning you'd like to be getting on with.'
I stood speechless as Luke came round from behind the desk, picked up her case and without a backward glance, walked towards the lift. I heard her say breathily, 'Luke, you must call me Annabelle. I'm sure I'm going to …' Then they were gone.
Miss-call me Annabelle-Jarvis stayed for a week, during which time, Luke spent more hours entertaining her at the bar than he did behind the desk, or anywhere else for that matter. Once or twice he came to bed to the dawn chorus, which was when I decided enough was enough.
When Josh called on what was to be his last visit, he and I spent a long time closeted in my tiny office. When he finally left, he was wearing, what I can only describe as a beatific smile.
I had finally made up my mind.
Annabelle returned, and it was as if she had never left. The same pattern re-emerged, but this time there was less subtlety.
It seemed that Luke had left an order at the bar that as soon as she arrived, a large ice bucket was to be sent straight to her room.
As I said Luke did like lots of ice in his drink.
I told the girl behind the bar not to worry about it. I would see that the ice was delivered.
True to my word, ice was delivered. Lots of it. If I felt a slight pang of guilt, it didn't last long.
As I stood outside her door, I heard the unmistakable sound of Luke being extremely familiar with the bosomy one.
It occurred to me then, that at one time I would have crept away to cry in secret while I wondered where I had failed Luke. This time however, I stood and listened to the resounding tinkle of ice cubes as they crackled beneath the liquid, and if I suppressed a shudder, it was only at the thought of the vast quantity of laxatives they would be consuming.
A few words into the ear of our local pharmacist had put me on the trail of an almost tasteless, colourless liquid that was thin enough to freeze.

I hope it does the trick, but I won't wait around to find out.
By the time they are able to tear themselves away from the loo. I shall be on my way to Tenerife, and a new life with Josh.
Oh Yes! Luke always loved lots of ice, and they do say:
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

Anna Reynolds at 13:20 on 03 October 2003  Report this post
Christine, this is very enjoyable- it made me laugh in quite a few places, particularly 'a bust you could stand a saucepan on', 'Luke said to her cleavage' and Annabell'e tart comment about having some cleaning to get on with. because these are rather delicious, I wondered if you might relook at some other references that aren't as original- you could have more fun with them I think, for example 'rear of the year' and 'sometimes it seems as if you can hardly keep your hands off them.' What makes this work as tight little story of revenge is the originality in the little throwaway comments and of course in the twist. One thing- have a look at the exercise I've set for this group, in the Forum at the top of this group page.

Opal at 16:49 on 03 October 2003  Report this post
Thank you Anna for your constuctive comments, I will certainly take on board the changes you recommend. As a matter of fact I wasn't too happy with either 'the rear' or the other one. I will change it.
Thanks again

halfwayharry at 20:19 on 18 April 2004  Report this post
This story made me laugh out loud. It is well structured and humourous with a good 'pay off'.

I hope that you will take this as constructive criticism. I found the first part (up till Oh, Beth I wish........)a little confusing and had to read it again. I was a little unclear who everyone was. It might just be me being thick.

Anyway, an excellent little piece.

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .