Being Followed

Delauney wove through the lunchtime crowds, dodging tourists and unimpressed locals. One more block. One more block and she’d be at David’s office building. Then she’d be safe.

She glanced at reflections in shop windows as she passed. The man was still following her. Was definitely following her. It wasn’t a coincidence, he was too focused.

The crossing light was red and she wasn’t so desperate as to jump into the mad river of traffic in front of her. He was getting closer, not in any rush to catch up with her, he seemed to be enjoying the chase. He would have to know she knew; she was too clearly freaked out.

Green, finally. She set off across the road, nearly clipping the back of a late-crossing cab. She was close to running now. She could see the doors to the building. The man was getting closer too. She gave up all pretence and broke into a sprint, veering into the foyer of the massive block housing David’s company and nearly careening into the security guard.

He frowned. “Is there a problem, Mrs Cresford?”

Delauney put a hand to her heart and scanned the people outside. The man had stopped shy of the entrance and was now glaring at the mirrored glass.

She replied. “A slightly unsettling encounter. Is my husband in?”

The guard nodded. “He is, madam, I’ll let his assistant know you’re on your way up.”

Her smile was several layers of grateful. By putting her in the lift before informing Claudia of her arrival, the guard was making it impossible for the woman to block her. Claudia had loathed her since before they’d even met. She’d clearly had designs of her own when it came to David, and she did not appreciate losing out to Delauney.

She walked out of the lift and crossed the wide reception area of the executive floor. The receptionist half-rose from her chair.

“I’m sorry, Mrs Cresford, he’s in a meeting with the Board right now.”

Delauney smiled at her, it felt brittle. “Of course he is. I’ll just wait in his office.”

She swept past without waiting for a reply. The poor girl wasn’t a patch on Claudia and the she-dragon was probably in the meeting, seething about not being able to block her from the inner sanctum.

She kept her head high and shoulders back until the office door closed behind her, and she made sure the room was empty.

Collapsing into one of the sofas in the corner, she took several shaky breaths, arms wrapped tightly around her body. She needed David.

Hunched over and starting to shake, she dared Claudia’s ire further by messaging her husband directly. In your office.

The message sent, she saw the notifications for it being received, then read.

Scant minutes later, David strode through the door, frowning. “I thought you were meant to be looking…”

He cut off when he spotted her, and crossed to sit by her, his thumb chasing the path of tears she hadn’t realised were there.

He turned towards the door. “Leave, Claudia. And see we’re not disturbed.”

The door closed with a snick that wanted to be a slam, and Delauney burrowed into his arms. Finally safe.

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