Her name was Lauren and she was an ugly woman. Not in the conventional sense. In fact, quite the opposite, she was a physically remarkable specimen. All the right features in all the right places, a perfect figure. Her ugliness came from who she was, how she thought, and how she acted.
Life was like snakes and ladders to her. Anyone would do what was within their powers to climb over the next person, and as Lauren saw it, she was no different. She was in the business of climbing. Lauren saw a hierarchy, a system surrounding people, in its most basic sense, a ladder, to be used abused and gratified in one's personal ascent towards the top. She was repulsed by 'inferior' people and would only engage with them if she could launch off them to a higher position in life. However, since they held little power they were more often ridiculed and avoided by her.
Lauren knew she had a definite number of years to extract wealth using the looks she had been born with, therefore advancing her status. She intended to maximise her time in the sun, so to speak. For Lauren, marriage was by no means an end to such encounters, it was a foundation from which advantageous extra marital encounters could take place. One mantra that Lauren carried with her was, why work hard when you can marry someone who does. She would seduce to succeed.
She was secretary to the CEO of Buildcorp, after seducing him during the interview. She offered him the promise of realising his fantasies of her, and in return for the promise which she waved in front of his eyes, he gave her the job.
She had accumulated much in her years of conducting affairs and relationships, her apartment was a present from a particular man who had fallen for her beauty and wanted to keep her for himself. She hadn't seen him for two years, but she still lived in luxury in a modern mid city apartment.
Lauren had recently heard from a girlfriend about a dating site on the internet called Fatcats.com. Men had to have a certain net worth to become a member of the site. This was the perfect hunting ground for Lauren, big game was all around. Having set up a profile some weeks ago she had received a lot of interest. She was used to that. But, there was one man who she had a particular interest in. A rich Arabian man named Abdullah, with interests in oil, gas, and property. Lauren was taken with the photo of him, he was extremely handsome, and his introductory letter to her spoke of a naivety that Lauren knew she could exploit to the fullest.
As well as this excellent foundation to a lucrative relationship, Lauren had a feeling this Abdullah may be royalty. Arabian men with such business interests often were, and Lauren knew these families were enormous, often with thousands of members. Yet, she hadn't bagged one, she'd only heard of such thing's from friends, or friends of friends. 'Abdullah look out' thought Lauren, 'when I get to you, you won't know what hit you'.
She began typing him a message which came from the template in her mind she had used so many times before. As she typed away at her keyboard the familiar sound of the cleaner came near her desk. A cleaner was a 'low life'. Someone so far down life's ladder they were beyond redemption. One shouldn't waste ones energy on them since they would never improve your own standing in life. Only losers got caught wasting their energy on such low-lifes.
"Any rubbish?" came the predictable voice of the cleaner asking to empty the contents of Lauren's bin. She never bothered to answer, let alone to grace the cleaner by turning her head to acknowledge him, she just kept typing her template message as invariably the cleaner came and emptied her bin for her.
Lauren finished her message, packed her things, and walked down to the car park to her Mercedes. The car had been the fruit of a previous relationship she had worked on with a married merchant backer. 'Thank's Glenn' she laughed to herself as she got into the leather interior, and drove herself home.
The next morning Lauren was at her desk logging into Fatcats.com. Lauren's message to Abdullah had worked a treat. He came back to her with a wide eyed reply that gave her confidence she could fleece this man as she had done to so many others. She had developed a keen sense of when a man was ready to be stripped, both physically and economically, and Abdullah, whom she now felt sure had royal links, Abdullah was ripe for the picking. This could be her best man yet.
She replied to his message suggesting to meet at Lumley's, the new 'it' spot in the middle of the city. She then got back onto Fatcats.com to hunt for new game. 'I love this site', she thought to herself as she browsed the profiles lying on the site.
Soon, the time came for Lauren to meet with Abdullah. Lauren knew how to act and what to say in order to get what she wanted from the man. She wore a scintillating dress that revealed her enticing figure in various evocative ways. Lauren arrived at the bar, saw Abdullah across the room and got ready to put her plan into action. She marched up to his table, they exchanged pleasantries, he bought them both a cocktail, and then they started to talk.
He was a very attractive man, and there was more than that, he was earnest, sincere, and he radiated a distinct warmth that Lauren found deeply pleasing. What's more, he didn't drone on and on about the size of his business. Lauren had been through that countless times, and now took it as par for the course. They had a wonderful time together, he was enthralled by her and she found herself letting down her guard, forgetting her strategy for the evening, and melting into the conversation.
As the evening progressed, Abdullah mentioned that he had been put up in a hotel for a conference, and invited Lauren back for a drink. Lauren normally metered out sexual gratification under strict rules of trade. On this one evening though, something had shifted deep within her, and the prospect of joining Abdullah in his hotel room seemed desirable.
And so, that was where they went. They talked and drank further into the night, until Abdullah leaned in to kiss Lauren, and she happily reciprocated. The kiss, led to touching, and more kissing, and pretty soon they were both naked in each others embrace. The sex was blissful, ecstatic, cathartic. Lauren had never experienced anything close to it. She had had feelings with other men before, but it was always in keeping with Lauren's climbing framework. With Abdullah however, she had lost track of her ambition completely, and was lost in his presence. As she left in a taxi she was dazzled by what had transpired, and floated home on a cloud of ecstasy.
The next morning Lauren came to work late. She had tried to compose herself after the night before, shocked at how she had availed herself so readily to Abdullah. Shocked about a lot of things from the night before actually. But what was perhaps most disconcerting, was that in the pit of her stomach, she felt something for this Arabian man she had met last night. And, while her best judgement told her to cut all ties with him, her emotions screamed out to see him again. She messaged him but heard nothing back. For the whole day, he would not respond to her. She was devastated. She'd never felt for a man like she did him. Never.
As the day drew to a close, Lauren was in a bad state. None of her messages had garnered a reply from Abdullah, even her 'emergency messages' which always got a reaction brought her nothing. This was not a position that Lauren was accustomed to being in at all. She was normally the puppeteer, pulling the heartstrings of the men she mixed with. Now, she felt like a puppet collapsed on the floor. Whilst the mess of this situation took place in her head and her heart, the predictable shuffling of the cleaner came closer towards her. She knew what he was going to say, and today, she would turn around for him. Everyone else had left the office by this stage. She would turn around and let him have it. Lauren had a ferocious temper when it was stirred, and this cleaner was about to face a tsunami of anger.
"Rubbish please" came the voice, and as Lauren wheeled around to deliver her oratory of hate, a nerve was struck, a tender nerve. Something about that voice, it instantly resonated with her, and when Lauren turned to see the man, she saw no other than Abdullah! Shock wouldn't do justice to the rip cord that was pulled from Lauren's soul.
"My darling I am so sorry." Said the cleaner. "Please forgive me for what I have done. I am a good man, really I am. I could not help myself. For 10 months I have watched you as I clean, it has been like a spell. I am a good man. I do not lie, I do not cheat, I am fair and honest. But, when I fell in love with you, my integrity left me. After enough time, I forgot myself and put all my thoughts to pursuing you. I couldn't think of a way to meet you for so long, until I saw your website when I emptied your rubbish. That was when I got my idea, I knew you like powerful men, so I could pretend to be one, and we could finally meet. I used all my savings to book the hotel. Tell me you liked our night together, tell me it meant something to you."
All Lauren could do was slowly shake her head in denial. She was an intelligent woman, and the irony of what was taking place before her eyes was not lost on her either. This man had abandoned his integrity, which incidentally Lauren had used as a weapon against the victim, this man had abandoned his integrity to join Lauren in her approach to relationships. An approach where deception was a cornerstone of proceedings.
The cleaner continued, "I had planned to start a relationship with you, for you to love me, or at least to love Abdullah, but after that night we had, my insides were torn apart with grief and loathing at what I was doing. I was not raised that way by my father, and it was impossible for me to continue. My integrity wouldn't allow me to go through with this ridiculous plan I had made."
"But now", he continued, "you know what I do. I am so very sorry for lying to you, but dear Lauren, could we not try to see if the flames of our hearts can burn together once more. What do you say?"
Here was Lauren, a woman of luxury, of status, of snakes and ladders, looking a worthless snake in the eye, yet torn, torn deep inside. Because, deep inside, Lauren knew she had fallen for a snake posing as royalty. She couldn't deny it. Her feelings did not lie to her. She wanted more time with Abdullah, the cleaner. A decade of thinking about human relationships was taking a heaving battering from her feelings which hankered for Abdullah.
Barely believing what she was doing as she did it, Lauren uttered the words "Let's see where this goes".