The Other Mrs Hayes - Ross Richdale - E-Book

The Other Mrs Hayes E-Book

Ross Richdale

0,0
2,99 €

oder
Beschreibung

School principal, Stacey Hayes follows the advice of private detective Doug McCann and flies from her home city of Wellington to Auckland airport on an early morning flight. Remaining unseen, she watches her husband's arrival on a later flight and receives an unpleasant surprise.
Her husband is greeted passionately by a pregnant woman. Jessica is The Other Mrs Hayes. It was Jessica's mother Chelsea who hired Doug to investigate her son-in-law. He discovers that Brendon Hayes is a bigamist with two homes and wives living in the two New Zealand cities, 650 kilometres apart.

Until now Brendon Hayes has managed to keep his two lives and wives secret from each other. However, when the pair meet they, somewhat surprisingly, become friends as they, with Doug's help, delve into Brendon's past. They find the egotistical and manipulative man's whole life is based on deceit and fraud with his accountancy company Hayes and Hayes the centre of his activities.

Stacey and Jessica cope with the unpleasant truths about their husband in different ways. Stacey recalls doubts about him over the years and decides to move on in her life while Jessica finds it more difficult to manage.

When Jessica's baby is born, Brendon who does not know his bigamy has been exposed, decides to walk away from both marriages and marry his latest mistress, a young Filipino girl, Reyna Aquin. Doug's investigations discover this and he asks an acquaintance in the police force to intervene and stop another sham marriage from happening.

This proves to be Brendon's downfall. It is not Stacey or Jessica who plan this but more ruthless enemies gather to revenge his exposed past life. He is attacked with dire consequences that affects everyone.

How does his dishonesty and possibly criminal behaviour led to Stacey and Jessica being placed in a dangerous situation? Can the two Mrs Hayes finally meld their lives and families to move forward and face their future?

All will be revealed in Ross Richdale's sixth recent contemporay novel set in his homeland of New Zealand
 

Das E-Book können Sie in Legimi-Apps oder einer beliebigen App lesen, die das folgende Format unterstützen:

EPUB
Bewertungen
0,0
0
0
0
0
0



Ross Richdale

UUID: bca74418-68af-11e9-a45e-bb9721ed696d
This ebook was created with StreetLib Writehttp://write.streetlib.com

Table of contents

THE OTHER MRS HAYES

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

THE OTHER MRS HAYES

ROSS RICHDALE

Copyright 2019 by Ross Richdale

*

School principal, Stacey Hayes follows the advice of private detective Doug McCann and flies from her home city of Wellington to Auckland airport on an early morning flight. Remaining unseen, she watches her husband's arrival on a later flight and receives an unpleasant surprise.

Her husband is greeted passionately by a pregnant woman. Jessica is the other Mrs Hayes. It was Jessica's mother Chelsea who hired Doug to investigate her son-in-law. He discovers that Brendon Hayes is a bigamist with two homes and wives living in the two New Zealand cities, 650 kilometres apart.

Until now Brendon Hayes has managed to keep his two lives and wives secret from each other. However, when the pair meet they, somewhat surprisingly, become friends as they, with Doug's help, delve into Brendon's past. They find the egotistical and manipulative man's whole life is based on deceit and fraud with his accountancy company Hayes and Hayes the centre of his activities.

Stacey and Jessica cope with the unpleasant truths about their husband in different ways. Stacey recalls doubts about him over the years and decides to move on in her life while Jessica finds it more difficult to manage.

When Jessica's baby is born, Brendon who does not know his bigamy has been exposed, decides to walk away from both marriages and marry his latest mistress, a young Filipino girl, Reyna Aquin. Doug's investigations discover this and he asks an acquaintance in the police force to intervene and stop another sham marriage from happening.

This proves to be Brendon's downfall. It is not Stacey or Jessica who plan this but more ruthless enemies gather to revenge his exposed past life. He is attacked with dire consequences that affects everyone.

How does his dishonesty and possibly criminal behaviour led to Stacey and Jessica being placed in a dangerous situation? Can the two Mrs Hayes finally meld their lives and families to move forward and face their future?

All will be revealed in Ross Richdale's sixth recent contemporay novel set in his homeland of New Zealand

*

CHAPTER 1

"The sunrise is quite beautiful," said the man sitting beside Stacey on the early morning Air New Zealand flight from Wellington.

She jerked out of her thoughts and studied him, came to the conclusion that he was a typical businessman, as were the majority of those on aircraft for it was too early for tourists or families. The view to the east was certainly as he had described with red clouds stretching across the horizon as the sun just began to rise.

"Yes it is," she replied and returned to the iPhone that was opened to an eBook page that she wasn't really reading.

"I haven't seen you on this flight to Auckland before," the man persisted. "These early morning flights are almost like a club of old regulars."

Stacey caught his eyes for a moment. "I usually take a later flight but something came up necessitating this early one."

He shrugged. "It happens." He held his hand across. "Name's Frank."

She shook his hand. "Stacey Hayes."

"Of course," Frank replied. "I thought I recognised your face. Aren't you the principal of Lexington Avenue School in the city?"

Stacey gave him a brief smile and nodded.

"My sister's children go there. Do the names Wayne and Gemma Wither's ring a bell with you?"

Stacey remembered them as two quiet children in Years Three and Five. "Yes, their mother Connie is the chairperson of my Board of Trustees."

She switched her eyes back to her iPhone and hoped he'd take the hint and stop talking. She was not in the mood for casual conversation at that moment.

He, however, continued to chat away about nothing in particular before concluding, "So you're away from school today. In-service course in Auckland is it?

Stacey pouted. "You could say that."

The man shrugged. "Sorry, it's none of my business." He continued talking for a while before a cup of coffee offered by the airhostess interrupted them.

Stacey sighed and thought back to everything that had happened. She chastised herself for feeling so guilty. If Brendon's behaviour over the last few months hadn't aroused her suspicions this clandestine flight wouldn't even be necessary.

She gazed out the window showing rolling white clouds with flashes of green hills and a remote country road below. Oh their marriage hadn't been perfect over the last decade but to date he had never been anything except a loyal husband who had stuck by her through three miscarriages before they gave up trying.

Now though! She shook away tears from her eyes and glanced across at the guy who was now reading a magazine and hadn't noticed her eyes on him. But why worry anyway? Who really cares what a stranger thinks?

She glanced at her watch. Forty-five minutes since takeoff so there were about twenty minutes to go. She switched her eyes back to the iPhone but found the story line in the novel was not really to her liking so switched off and just gazed out the Airbus window.

Luckily this Frank had started up a conversation with another passenger so she was left alone with her thoughts

*

It had begun only a week before, though in hindsight, Stacey realised that she had purposely tried to hide niggling suspicions about Brendon, his company and how it had affected really everything.

After morning break, she usually allowed herself free time from administration at Lexington Avenue School. This meant she didn't commit herself to tasks but inevitably found herself occupied with parents calling in, Board of Trustees members seeking or offering advice or Laurie Gladstone, the school secretary wanting clarification about the school newsletter, trouble with accounts and all manner of other items. He was an efficient guy about her own age but at times Stacey wished he would show more initiative. Mind you, he was far superior to Margaret who had retired not long after she arrived after twenty odd years and half a dozen principals at the school. The Dragon, as many younger staff members called her, was probably deserving of the nickname. Also, having a man in this position helped to compliment only other male on the staff. Andy, the caretaker was good at his job but was near retiring age and somewhat grumpy with the teachers.

Stacey had been principal three years now. With two long serving members on the Board of Trustees retiring in the recent election and Connie proving to be efficient and cooperative chairperson, at last it began to feel like her own school. Robert Giles, her predecessor who had been at the helm for twelve years had just drifted for the last couple. Since her arrival the school roll had increased by over a hundred pupils and the Board of Trustees had to bring in a local zone to limit the influx.

"Stacey," Laurie walked in the open door with a phone in his hand. "There's a guy calling from Auckland who wants to speak to you. I don't think he's just some salesman or insurance agent. Shall I put him off?"

"I'll take it," Stacey replied and reached for her own phone. "Stacey Hayes speaking…"

"Doug McCann from Phoenix Investigations speaking. This is a personal matter that is not connected with your highly regarded position as a school principal."

"Are you legitimate and why should a private investigation firm need to speak to me?" Stacey retorted. If this was another gimmick she would give him a short shift.

"Please hear me out," the man replied. "It is really only out of courtesy that I am speaking to you." He coughed. "I am a government licensed private and fraud investigator and I am working for a client. Due to client confidentiality I cannot disclose who the person is or the reason why my firm's assistance was asked for."

"One moment please," Stacey said and pressed the mute button before pressing another number to put her through to Laurie.

"Laurie," she said. "Use your mobile and check on a firm called Phoenix Investigations in Auckland, who they are and what they do. Now, please!"

"Shall do," he replied.

Stacey reconnected with McCann.

"It is a wise precaution to check on the legitimacy of my firm," he said. "In your situation that is exactly what I'd do."

Stacey almost flushed in embarrassment. "Please continue Mr McCann. I guess it concerns my husband or his firm."

"All I can say is that I believe the information I have does concern your private life."

"Go on." Stacey listened as the investigator spoke in a quiet and almost empathetic voice. She trembled slightly and a cold shudder passed through her body as she absorbed the information.

"And the proof?" she whispered.

"If you can be here at Auckland Airport when your husband arrives on Monday's 8:20 flight from Wellington, you will have your proof. I shall also be there to offer any help you may require."

"And how do you expect me to be there," Stacey muttered.

"There is an earlier flight from Wellington that arrives an hour earlier than your husband's plane. I have already booked a ticket for you on it."

"That is presumptuous of you." Stacey's tone was cold.

"Take it or not, Stacey," McCann said. "All I ask is that you don't tell your husband about our conversation for it is the result of several months' work. Whatever happens, my client has informed me that he or she is about to go to the police unless I can prove the accusations made are false. This has not happened."

"So you won't even tell me whether you are working for a man or woman?"

McCann gave a slight chuckle. "It's a woman actually."

"But you have called me on your own initiative?"

"You could say that."

Stacey finished the call with the promise to get back to Doug McCann before the end of the week just as Laurie walked in.

"Phoenix Investigations is a small but well respected detective agency in Auckland that appears to specialise in family law but is also into business investigations and fraud," he said.

Stacey thanked him but said no more. She knew that Laurie would maintain confidentiality as he did with all school calls.

*

After landing at Auckland International Airport, Stacey walked into the arrivals foyer and glanced at an information screen. Both her flight and Brendon's were on time so she had almost an hour to wait. Doug McCann had advised her to find a spot to see incoming passengers but added little more except to say he would be nearby and make contact when it was necessary.

His somewhat vague instructions worried her, as did everything else. Perhaps it was still some kind of elaborate hoax! After having a somewhat rushed coffee she made her way to find a position watching the entrance doors. She discretely stood behind a column so she would remain hidden if Brendon did happen to glance up.

The scene was busy with several aircraft arriving at similar times. Crowds of passengers surged through the sliding doors where passengers peeled off in several directions, some waited for their luggage but most, again people dressed in business attire just rushed off towards exit doors. The screen of incoming flights information was also in view and her heart raced when it showed that Brendon's flight had arrived. Would she even see him in the multitude of passengers surging through?

However, she did see him walk in and head for the baggage carousel where he found his blue suitcase. She'd often asked him why he didn't take a smaller backpack for these trips but he'd just grin and said he was used to his suitcase and it was easy to see amongst the mainly black or grey cases and backpacks when he collected it up.

Now what? Again, Doug's instructions were somewhat vague for he had just told her to keep an eye on her husband and that he was sure all would be revealed before he left the terminal building.

When Brendon walked away with his luggage, Stacey expected him to move through the terminal to a coffee bar. He had told her he often had breakfast there before taking the shuttle bus downtown. Their accountancy firm Hayes and Hayes had an office in Dominion Road, a few kilometres south of the high rise downtown Queen Street. By his description, it was a small office but was expanding in the competitive Auckland market by catering for a niche of small business owners with reasonable rates and that touch of personal service.

In her opinion, his frequent visits to Auckland carried that personal service too far. However, it only affected her marginally as she was busy in her principal's position. His weekends away were explained as being a good time to contact busy small business owners.

Stacey followed her husband at a discrete distance as he walked towards the exit and out the nearby doors. She increased her pace so she wouldn't lose him, as she knew the shuttle bus waited nearby. Once on the footpath outside she saw him turn away from where the bus waited and head in the opposite direction. He walked fifty metres or so before he just stood as if waiting beside a pick-up area where cars pulled in and out. Perhaps someone from the office had arranged to pick him up!

The crowd thinned and she slipped back behind another column to remain hidden. She noticed Brendon glanced at his watch and looked around. Only a few metres away, a car pulled into the kerb and a woman climbed out. When she called out Stacey was immediately on full alert.

"Brendon," the woman called out. "Over here!"

She wore a summer frock and faced away from Stacey as she shut her car door and ran towards him.

A shocked Stacey could only just stand and stare. The woman reached Brendon and flung her arms around him. Even worse than the almost bruising embrace was that the woman had turned slightly. Oh hell, her dress bulged out at the front. She was heavily pregnant!

Stacey felt cold then hot as the scene played out almost in slow motion before her. She was shaking when Brendon picked up his suitcase and hand in hand with the woman walked towards her car.

She opened the passenger door and climbed in while he walked around and climbed in the driver's seat, indicators flashed and the car drove off into a line of traffic behind the shuttle bus.

"Quite a dramatic little scene, is it not?" a male voice said from behind her.

Stacey jumped in fright, swung around and glowered at the man standing there. He looked like a typical businessman about a decade older than herself and dressed in a dark suit. There was an almost impish grin on his face.

"Relax," he continued and held out his hand. "I'm Doug McCann. I must say you look identical to the photograph that I have of you."

"Oh hell," Stacey muttered as she held his firm grip. "And that was what you expected me to see, wasn't it?"

"More or less but Jessica Hayes did arise to the occasion."

Stacey frowned. "Hayes! That's my surname."

"It's more complicated than that but come inside, I'll buy you breakfast and give you more details of this stolid little arrangement your husband has got himself into."

"But she's pregnant!" Stacey bit on her bottom lip and, without warning burst into sobbing tears.

"Here," Doug said and handed her a handkerchief. "I guess I could have just told you but would you have believed me if I had?"

Stacey took the handkerchief and wiped her eyes. "Probably not," she whispered. "But her name; is she the daughter or granddaughter of Ashley Hayes?"

Doug grimaced. "It is even more complicated than that. There is no Ashley Hayes, Stacey. Come on, we'll have that breakfast while I explain. Afterwards, I'll take you for a drive into the city and show you around."

"I'm not here as a tourist," Stacey snapped in her principal's voice as if she was talking to naughty pupil. "Sorry," she continued and flushed. "Okay Doug, let's have that breakfast and coffee though something stronger is what I really need at the moment."

"That can be arranged."

She grinned slightly and brushed the last tears from her face. "On second thoughts, just coffee will be fine. I need to be clear-headed but please, I want to know everything about Brendon and not have you hide behind that client's confidentiality excuse."

"And you shall," Doug replied. He stepped in beside her to walk back into the terminal building.

*

"So that explanation and don't spare my feelings," Stacey said after she sat down in one of the coffee bars with toast and marmalade before her, all that she felt she could manage in the circumstances. In contrast, Doug had a huge plate of bacon and scrambled eggs.

"Where does the name Hayes and Hayes come from?" Doug began.

"Me, I guess," Stacey replied. "My parents bought shares in the company to help Brendon out when he almost became bankrupt. Five years back Dad died and bequeathed me his shares. I now own thirty percent of Hayes and Hayes, another thirty percent is Brendon's and thirty percent Ashley Hayes. Small investors own the rest. I don't know why but Brendon insisted on having our shares in our own names rather than being combined." She shrugged. "Said it was a good business practice."

"Now that's interesting," Doug replied. "I never realised you were a large shareholder."

"And what difference does that make?"

"Probably the reason for his current situation." He ate several mouthfuls of his breakfast before fixing her with a firm expression. "Shall I be frank?"

"That's what I asked."

"Your husband Brendon Hayes is very clever for as far as I know, there is no Ashley Hayes. Those shares under that name are owned by somebody else or possibly a group of smaller shareholders."

"But why would he do that?" Stacey gasped.

Doug shrugged. "I'm not sure but it fits in with his somewhat devious personality."

Stacey frowned. "I don't understand. Is Brendon having an affair?"

"More than that. Usually someone having an affair just shacks up with a new partner but he had to be different. This is one of the few cases I have come across in this modern day and age. Four years back he went through a marriage ceremony with Jessica Cromble. I'm sorry but this is a bigamy case that I am investigating, Stacey."

Stacey just stared at him but was determined not to burst into tears again. She clenched her fists beneath the table as her mind raced. Somehow, it seemed to answer niggles in their marriage for years now. "The bastard," she whispered really to herself and looked up. "Go on…"

"There's more to your husband than just this. I don't know why but the person I work for has instructed me to investigate everything about Brendon further. It seems that she is not worried about my fees."

"She! So it's a woman?"

Doug nodded. "Oops a slip of the tongue but I guess it doesn't matter that you know. However, I can tell you nothing more about who she is or why she has employed me."

"But you need me to help you in this investigation? You weren't just having your conscience pricked were you?"

"You were only a name on paper until I found out about your life as a successful primary school principal who seemingly was happily married but had no luck in having children."

"Answer my question," Stacey retorted.

"Yes, I want your help and as for that conscience part, in my profession I come across many tragic innocent victims. I believe you are one."

Stacey stood up. "So we nail the bastard together, shall we Doug?" she whispered. "There's just one more thing, though."

Doug grimaced.

"Does your client know about me?"

"Your situation yes but I have not disclosed any information about who you are or your name. She now knows he's leading a double life but is leaving the finer points to me."

"And will you tell her?"

"When and if you approve. Now I have involved you I guess my conscience has pricked a little."

Stacey nodded. "So you aren't that miserable scumbag I thought you could be after that initial phone call?"

Doug smiled. "So, would you now like to visit the home of Jessica and Brendon Hayes?"

Stacey nodded. "Why not?" she replied. "You know, I almost feel sorry for this Jessica. Does she suspect anything?"

"Doubt it. I believe that in her eyes they are also a happily married couple."

*

CHAPTER 2

"Look for Number 63 on your side of the road," Doug said

Stacey recognised the car in the driveway of a modest house in a suburb of probably hundreds of similar homes a few minutes on the motorway north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It was the one Brendon had driven away from the airport.

Doug never even slowed as they drove past but did so after they turned a corner into another road. "You'd be surprised how many people notice a car driving slowly by," he said. "One going at normal speed doesn't even register as it blends into the background. I'll turn and we'll drive back."

He did so and repeated the same procedure. "He's lived here since their marriage. Usually, Brendon comes out after twenty minutes or so and drives back over the bridge to his office."

"In Dominion Road?" Stacey interrupted.

Doug nodded and pulled to the kerb. "He'll come this way so we can wait."

"And the woman?" Stacey replied.

"She has another small car and takes her daughter to Helping Hands a couple of blocks away. It's a pre-school place."

"Her daughter? She has another child."

"Yes, she's four and a half."

"Brendon's?"