A quiet looking house neatly tucked away within the comfy confines of a sought after Belgravia mews, hid a secret operation behind its nondescript glossy black door.
Gathered within the cluttered art clad walls of the drawing room, three middle aged women, known as The Sisters, carefully adjusted their immaculate candyfloss coiffures and took their regular positions on three ornate Georgian thrones, as if to hold court.
Having blended, divided, bagged and sealed their precious commodity into tiny gilded wax paper envelopes for their select clients, whilst their poorer quality packages for their wholesale buyers hid amongst their classical interior decorated rented accommodation, one of The Sisters followed the weekly ritual, lit a small Kelly Hoppen scented candle on the window ledge and closed the sumptuous damask curtains behind it, sending out the secret signal.
As the flickering beacon shone silently onto the bright street, inconspicuously indicating that their shop was now open and they were ready for business, The Sisters patiently waited for their first customer.
With afternoon tea meticulously placed to precision on a small antique occasional table and the delicate chimes of the 3.30pm bell echoing from the gold carriage clock that sat upon the crowed mantelpiece behind them, The Sisters heard a sharp knock on the door.
They looked at each other and smiled.
It was time to make some money.
It was time to sell their drugs.
Listening to the hushed voices of her abductor’s under the veil of darkness, Crimson Lake twitched about in a rickety chair trying to get comfortable as the restraints of the rancid ropes restricted her every move.
‘I’ve called her, a man’s gruff voice boomed as he entered the room.
‘Good,’ another man’s thick East End accent replied. ‘The boss will be pleased.’
‘I’m sure she will.’
She? Crimson thought, unintentionally turning her blindfolded head toward the conversation.
‘Whad’ya think you’re doing?’ the first voice barked at her.
‘Nothing,’ she gasped as she suddenly felt the sting of a cold metal barrel of a gun digging deep into her botox temple.
‘Good. Keep it that way. We don’t want any accidents or anything else to happen now, do we?’ He laughed as his gun slid over her face, down her neck and across her heaving chest.
Not wanting to be slapped around the face again or anything worse for that matter, Crimson Lake shook her head as to obey her kidnapper’s orders.
‘Leave her alone. You’ve got plenty of time for that,’ the second man said.
‘Aw come on. I was just having some fun,’ the first man moaned as he pulled away his gun and stuffed it down his jeans.
‘Yeah. I know what fun you want, you dirty bastard. Let’s get out of here and grab something to eat. I’m starving. I fancy a burger. What do you want?’
‘I fancy some beef curtains,’ he retorted, looking down Crimson’s cleavage.
The second man chuckled as the man with the gun bent down to Crimson’s ear and whispered, ‘And I’m starving for some pussy too. Wanna help me out and share some of your juices as well?’
Her heart sank as he put his stubbly hand on her trembling thigh.
‘Come on,’ the second man pulled the fondling letch off of her. ‘You can do her when we get back.’
Both men laughed as they left the room.
As the jangle of keys locked her in her temporary prison and the sound of the men’s clumpy footsteps retreated, Crimson knew she would have to escape that night or otherwise her life would be in danger.
But for that moment, she just sat there and silently prayed for help as tears escaped from her covered eyes and landed in her lap.
‘Please, give me strength,’ she cried, hoping for divine inspiration. ‘Please let me get out of here alive.’
Switching off the conversation on her borrowed Samsung Galaxy s10 phone after scheduling a photo shoot and an exclusive interview with Bitzy Green at VIP! Magazine for one of their major clients, soap star and teen idol Paul Sawyer, the new personal assistant to Serena du Bois at London’s top PR agency BAD, brushed some lint from her fake glasses, leant back in the stifling taxi and wiped her dripping brow with a crumpled tissue.
Stuck in traffic halfway across Knightsbridge, Daisy Wakefield, a stunning, slender beauty at the tender age of 25, with her jet black hair twisted neatly under a hair clamp and dressed head to toe in black from Donna Karan, fanned her soggy face with a handful of press releases from Melody Starr’s publicity camp as Serena excitedly chatted about an up and coming high profile charity fashion show that she had been invited to as a VIP guest, and had immediately accepted. Naturally!
But even though they were on schedule as Daisy detested being late for anything and that included her periods, Daisy fidgeted about on the black leather seat as their first appointment of the day was with the heart broken David Normanski, the CEO of Majestic Television.
With his wife, Crimson Lake still missing, David Normanski still had to keep up with appearances and had invited over a select team of creative people for an informal breakfast meeting to finalize details for the extravagant launch party for the new winter TV schedules before lavishing them all with a magnum of champagne.
‘Stop fidgeting,’ Serena said as Harrods passed them by on the left.
‘Sorry. It’s just that I’m so nervous.’
‘Relax. There’s nothing to worry about.’
‘That’s alright for you. You’re used to this high life stuff. ‘I shouldn’t be here. I should be back in the office doing my research and paperwork,’ Daisy protested.
‘Nonsense. There’s plenty of time for that. Besides, you’ll find it more useful and informative with me than filling in silly forms. I need a PA as mine has been given a long holiday. Where I go, you go.’
‘No, yes buts! I can understand how frustrated you must be, but you need to be seen hovering around me. And anyway, being at my side is the perfect place to get to know his family and everyone else within his business. No one else has been given this opportunity. Consider yourself the lucky one. Or would you rather be back in your stuffy office pushing papers about and not get that promotion you’ve been working so hard to achieve?’
There were no comparisons. Daisy knew Serena was right.
‘Yeah I suppose you’re right,’ Daisy sighed.
‘Good. Now don’t worry. After our breakfast meeting, we’ll do some light shopping in Harvey Nics as I need a new outfit for the fashion show and then we’ll go back to the office and do a crash course on public relations. I know you hate our business,’ Serena air quoted the word ‘business’, ‘but things, people and events would never be promoted and kept in the public eye without us. You see Daisy,’ Serena continued as she wiped the corner of her Estée Lauder covered lips with one of her multi-coloured nail extensions, ‘people need the likes of us to keep the wheels of business in motion. And without us, the good names of all our household products, celebrities and other types of commodities would fall by the wayside.’
‘Oh I see. I never thought of looking at it like that.’
‘Now stop worrying,’ Serena affectionately tapped Daisy’s knee. ‘Enjoy this morning’s free food, keep an eye on everyone you meet and just be yourself.’
I can’t be myself. I would never were this sort of gear in the first place. Daisy looked down at her smart suit. And I should be back at the office. Not making small talk over eggs and bacon.
Annoyed for not being in control of her surroundings as she hadn’t taken to the PR game, not one bit, Daisy wanted to be inconspicuous, to blend in as a mere subservient within the fawning, arse licking industry. But that wasn’t going to happen.
And not knowing anything about the PR world, even with the total backing from the two bosses that spear headed BAD, Michael Bond and Serena du Bois, ‘BAD’ constructed from their initials of their surnames, Bond And du Bois, Daisy hated feeling incompetent.
With a Master’s degree up her sleeve, countless of work related certificates that hung proudly on her other office wall and was capable of handling an array of dangerous machinery that the general public would never get to know about, Daisy was unsure of what was expected of her. For the first time in her demanding career, Daisy felt vulnerable and completely out of her league.
And with no way out, as so much work had gone into this job, not just by her but by a whole team of people behind the scenes, Daisy sighed again as she looked out of the window and watched a flurry of expensive super cars flash by, still with a small tinge of guilt burning away inside of her.
True, she had a mission to complete.
True, her whole career depended on this work placement.
And true, there were a lot at stake and the risks were high.
But then again, the PR coup did have its advantages. And she was going to receive and some champagne for doing practically nothing, except jotting down some notes and taping the conversations. So being a PA for a few weeks wasn’t that bad, after all.
Resigning to the fact that she would have to sacrifice her inpatient ways and play along with the game, Daisy turned to Serena, a glamourous, exuberant, high maintenance woman with high society connections, a never-ending business charge account and designer clothes to die for, gave in.
‘OK. You win.’
‘Good. Now just go with the flow.’ A bang of blonde hair suddenly dripped out from Serena’s diamanté clip and landed across her perfectly made up face. ‘After all. I’ll be doing all the work and you’ll be there taking all the notes. Simple isn’t it?’
Daisy nodded as she watched Serena swiftly replace the rogue hair back into place and then resumed her gaze out of the window.
She wished it was that simple. But it wasn’t.
Nothing was ever that simple for Daisy.
And she had a feeling that she was in for a bumpy ride!