Act of Exposure

Act of Exposure
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ISBN:  9781780801780
Author:  Cathryn Cooper
Word Count:  77,725
Format:  eBook



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She's beautiful - blue-eyed, blonde-haired and utterly aloof. Her colleagues think barrister Abigail Corrigan is frigid. But at night frosty Abigail turns into raven-haired, coal-eyed Carmel whose sensual needs burn like fire.

Then comes a case in which her two worlds collide. The case of MP Stephen Sigmund, a man with his own sexual secrets, now facing exposure and ruin. A man for whom Abigail - and Carmel - are prepared to go to any lengths to prove his innocence.

The next night, she was back at the Red Devil Club.
   Through the slits in her pale mauve mask, she regarded her audience. Half-hidden in darkness, they were gathered around small tables. Their glazed eyes, furrowed flesh, and wet, slack mouths were made all the more exaggerated, all the more monstrous by virtue of the meagre glow of small lamps set in the middle of each table. Blue smoke curled from cigars and cigarettes and red embers waxed and waned like flitting fireflies in the darkness.
   Behind those eyes that watched her were minds surmising what she might do for them, and what they might do for and to her.
   Wet tongues snaked over flaccid lips. Hard eyes, weak eyes, brown eyes and blue eyes, peered at her, lusted after her. Some squinted, some were wide, some blinked with amazement, and others never blinked at all, but just stared and stared as she swayed and danced across the stage.
   Behind the anonymity of her mask, she could see those eyes. Some she recognized, others she did not. Her gaze did not linger. All eyes, no matter what their colour, were full of her body, and all eyes were unexceptional. All were easily readable.
   Suddenly, she saw a different pair of eyes. She skirted over them, frowned, wondered if her imagination was playing tricks. Had some predatory cat got in by mistake, or was that really a pair of slanting gold eyes glowing in the darkness?
   As her hips moved in time with the music, her gaze went back to those pools of yellow. Tiger's eyes, she thought, frightening as well as alluring. She was drawn to them. They were hypnotic. They reminded her of Stephen and their first night at the Railway Hotel when the gilded glow of a street light had touched a mean room with gold. It seemed an age ago now. So much had happened since then, and so much about her had changed. She did not feel the same way about the club and the world it represented. In the past, this place had meant excitement and she had thrilled to its erotic rhythm, its dark excesses. In the past, she had wanted to be here. Now she was here for Stephen's sake, because she had to be here. Please God, she prayed, let this be the last time.
   Unknown to her, the man with the yellow eyes was toying with the idea that it might be just that. But first, he thought to himself, I will have you. I will lay you down, strip your clothes from your body, and invade your sex with my own.
   Applause rang to the ceiling as Jezebel Justice, the woman known as Carmel, the lawyer known as Abigail, faded into the shadows.
   In the privacy of her shower, Abby closed her eyes and let the warm water drift over her, white spumes of soap running unchecked over her breasts to fall in pearl-like droplets from her nipples.
   For a brief moment a hint of concern entered her mind. Just this once, she had forgotten to bolt the door.
   Give it no mind, she told herself, and recalled Archie's assurances that his "boys" would deal with any unwanted attention from stage door Johnnies. Such thoughts reassured her - until she felt a chill draught waft in beneath the bathroom door. She shivered. Just a draught, she told herself. Even if someone had opened the outer door, at least the bathroom door was locked. She adjusted the heat control on the shower.
   The doorknob rattled. Her eyes opened wide. She reached for the thermostat and turned off the shower so she could hear that much better; just in case she was mistaken. Hardly daring to breathe, she gently pulled back the shower curtain and stepped out onto the bright blue tumbletwist mat. She stood perfectly still and stared at the doorknob which was made of brass and was now misted with steam. It did not move or make a sound. Had she been mistaken?
   All was silent. Too silent. Too tense. Small creaks and groans from pipework and the other odd noises buildings make, seemed louder than usual. Even the water gurgling down the plughole seemed too noisy.
   Slowly, the doorknob began to turn.
   What do I do? She bit her lip. A variety of choices came to her mind. The first was to shout, so she did. 'Go away. This room is private and I wish to be left alone.' Loud as it was, her voice was still authoritative, not terrified.
   The doorknob rattled again. The bolt held.
   'Let me in, Miss Jezebel.'
   She did not recognize the voice.
   'I will do no such thing!' She should scream. She told herself she should scream, but her pride plugged her throat.
   The doorknob rattled again. The door itself shook. Could he get in? And what would she do if he did?
   She looked for something she could use as a weapon. Attack, she decided, was the best form of defence. There was little to choose from as regards a defensive weapon. A stool? A toilet brush? God, but she was getting desperate. The long black rod that she used in her act was on the other side of the bathroom door, propped tidily against a marble-topped washstand that doubled as a dressing table.
   She reached for a towel. Her eyes stayed firmly fixed on the doorknob. It turned one way, then the other.
   'Let me in, Miss Carmel.'
   She shivered. What a voice. Like ice. She swallowed her fear and put as much professional authority as she could muster into her voice.
   'I said go away. I don't let anyone in here! Now get lost!'
   The door rattled again.
   She screamed as loudly as she could. Someone must be around. Where were Archie's precious "boys"?
   The cold voice laughed. His laugh, like his voice, was as cold as ice. It reminded her of icicles, long, thin as the blade of a razor-sharp stiletto knife.
   'Let me in, Miss Jezebel, Miss Carmel. Miss Abigail Corrigan.' The last name was stressed.
   Now those icicles stabbed into her heart. She froze. He knew her name. The creep knew her real name!
   'Who are you?' Her voice was hushed.
   'Someone who knows your secret, Miss Corrigan. Someone who wants to know you better. Now why don't you let me in?'
   'No! No chance! Get lost!'
   Now the whole door seemed to bend and buckle as whoever it was slammed his body against it. Abby wrapped her arms around herself and shivered inside the thickness of the towel. She leaned against the wall as though she were trying to melt into it. But of course she couldn't. Cold tiles, wet with condensation, were solid against her back. Adventure on the wild side of life was now decidedly unattractive. She thought of Stephen, longed for him, for his bed, his arms, for a more ordered structure to her life. These thoughts flew through her mind in a matter of seconds. They gave extra strength to the long-drawn-out scream that followed...

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Sexual Story
Friday, 3 August 2012  | 

It's been a long time since I last read Act of Exposure and was quite surprised how engrossing it is. The story starts with an evangelistic journalist taking his mother breakfast in bed and a newspaper containing his latest 'sexual expose' - obviously News of the World. It's his mother who spurs him on to expose sexual sinners - even on a Sunday! It then occurs to this guy that those he's exposing are enjoying something he's never tried - so he's off to pop his cherry.
It's sex with a storyline involving celebrities and professionals in high places leading double lives - some of them downright sleazy ones. But fun.

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