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At 'Luxury Homes For Less,' Tarquin Dubois locked his office door, picked up his briefcase and went over to his secretary Cathy Jackson's desk. 'Don't work too hard, darling,' he smiled as he caressed her neck, 'but remember, I must have those e-mails sent before you leave. See you in the morning.' He blew her a kiss, checked his hair in the wall-mirror and opened the outer door.

'Tarquin,' she called, 'you promised to discuss our trip to Bali tonight over dinner, I was going to bring a Chinese and some wine.'

Tarquin hesitated, 'We'll have to do it some other time sweetie; I'm meeting someone for business tonight.'

Cathy stood up, 'That's not good enough, Tarquin, and this is the third time you've put me off. I'm leaving. Find yourself another dogsbody to do your dirty work and share your bed when it suits you.'

Tarquin close the door and walk slowly back to Cathy's desk, 'listen, Babe, I don't want you to leave, you know I value your work and we don't want anyone else knowing our business do we? It isn't as if I don't pay you well enough to keep that pretty little mouth of yours shut.'

Cathy snatched her handbag off the chair and began to put her jacket on. Tarquin sighed, 'Ok, I'll be home about 9:30, come round then and we'll talk about Bali and if you're a good girl, how about staying for breakfast? Here,' he threw a key at her, 'let yourself in and get the wine ready.' Before Cathy had time to rush round her desk to embrace him, he slipped through the door and hurried to his car.

On the outskirts of town, detective Mohammed Ali was standing in his dining room with his friend Larry Spiggot, a well-known structural engineer. The plasterboard had been removed from the ceiling and they were staring into the roof space. 'Look at the huge gaps in those roof trusses.' Larry exclaimed, 'It's a wonder the whole lot hasn't come down.'

Ali turned to face him, 'That's not the only thing though is it? What about the lack of any under-pinning under the house? I may as well get this whole rotten, sub-standard catastrophe demolished.'

'Well,' Larry put his hands on his hips, 'It might be your cheapest option; believe me, I know that crook Tarquin Dubois, he gets away with it every time. I wish I'd known who you were getting to build your house.'

Ali slapped the building inspector's report on the table. 'I'm going to confront this bogan Tarquin almighty Dubois, tonight. He won't be so cocky when I turn up at his house.'

'I'll come with you for support.' said Larry, 'Two men are better than one.'

At nine o'clock that evening, wearing expensive French perfume and lingerie, Cathy use Tarquin's key to his apartment. The curtains were closed, table lamps cast an intimate glow in the lounge and bedroom, soft piano music played and there was the scent of a musky perfume in the air. Cathy went into the kitchen to put her bottle of Chardonnay in the fridge and found a bottle of champagne and two glasses already there. She assumed Tarquin had found time to get home before his meeting, to make it apartment welcoming for her. How thoughtful he was.

At 9:15, Cathy heard a key unlock the front door and she quickly draped herself along the sofa, closing eyes as she waited for his kiss. A female voice yelled, 'And who the hell are you?'

Cathy swung her feet to the floor and pulled her skirt down, 'I am Tarquin's girlfriend; Who the hell are you?'

'I'm Marda, Tarquin's wife.'

They heard the front door open and close. Marda strode into the entrance hall. Cathy heard Tarquin's voice, 'what are you doing here? You told me your your precious Daddy had persuaded you to stay on in Paris for another week.'

'Well, I changed my mind, so Daddy gave me a cheque to go to Italy next week instead.' They both moved into the lounge, ignoring Cathy, who was quickly buttoning up her blouse. The doorbell rang. 'This must be another of your floozies,' Marda shrieked, 'or was it going to be a menagerie for three?'

Tarquin sighed, 'You mean, ménage à trois, darling.'

Marda scowled, 'Whatever.'

Someone pounded on the door as Marda ran to answer it. Tarquin was pushing Cathy's discarded 5-inch-heeled shoes into her hands as Mohammed Ali and Larry Spiggot pushed past Cathy and walked into the lounge.

When Marda's Daddy returned from Paris the next morning, he helped her to hide the bloodstained carpet under the heavy sofa.

'Oh, Daddy,' she cooed, 'you are so clever. You take care of everything.'

'Not clever,' he replied, 'just rich enough to take care of my little girl's mistakes.'