The yacht had been moored for a few days at Port de Cannes near the helipad. Many of the guests would be flying in by helicopter so this was the best place - close enough to the amenities and far enough to hide all the comings and goings.
The French Riviera is a favourite playground of the rich, famous and not-so-famous. The latter, due to their dodgy business dealings, needed to be under-the-radar.
Gordon had always loved older women and marrying June Dixon had been the best move of his life. June hated traffic jams, queues or any kind of delay, so she went almost everywhere by helicopter. Most hotels, or at least the ones she frequented, had a helipad on the roof and attendant staff.
Gordon loved this luxurious lifestyle but slowly, as June had aged, Gordon felt the pull of Saskia, a much younger and totally stunning Ukrainian model. As time went on he started to spend more time with her and had to come up with more and more reasons to be away from June. June had been fooled for a while but eventually got suspicious when she called one of his regular drinking buddies only to be told he hadn't seen Gordon for some time.
Saskia had moved to the UK in the hope of a better life as many in the Eastern block had done. She had been walking past many large cruisers and yachts moored in Southampton, dreaming of the lifestyles enjoyed by the occupants, when she saw Gordon leaning on a handrail attached to one of the larger cruisers. She smiled at him and he smiled back. She struck up a conversation with him assuming he was the owner and he allowed her to believe it. His deepest, darkest wish was to inherit June's vast wealth and bring Saskia into his new luxurious life.
June had amassed her vast wealth in various stages. Initially she inherited £50 million from her late husband and spent a large chunk of it on long holidays and luxury items, but later on she invested wisely in many areas of business and was worth at least a hundred times that amount.
She met her second husband, Gordon, about twenty years ago at a party when she was in her 40s and still stunning. Even though Gordon had his pick of the younger women at the party, he was mesmerised by June's amazing looks and cool intelligence. But, that was two decades ago and keeping her looks was getting harder and harder. She was delighted that Gordon stuck around so long but deep down she knew he would start to wander and quietly started preparing for that eventuality.
"How do you fancy a party plus mini-cruise around the Mediterranean aboard a luxury cruiser ?" enquired June. Gordon looked up from his iPad.
"Aren't we already on one ?" said Gordon a bit confused looking around the Italian-designed lounge of the WIDER 165 foot cruiser, that was so huge it even had a helipad on the front.
"Yes, but this is being hosted by a friend on a much larger craft and there will be many interesting people for us to meet." June replied dropping a very fancy invitation on to his lap. When he read it he saw an opportunity.
"How long is this mini-cruise ?" he asked.
"About a week." replied June "I'm just going for a sauna, back soon" she added. She walked to the master bedroom, got undressed, went to the sauna and cried because she knew what Gordon would do next. On cue Gordon pulled out his mobile and scrolled through his WhatsApp messages until he got to "Simon".
"Hey gorgeous, u at work " typed Gordon. Simon was a fake name in case June saw it, but was actually Saskia.
"Hiya, yeah kinda" she replied "doing a photo shoot" she added. She didn't really class photo shoots as "work"
"Oh with that poncy bloke with the pony-tail ?" asked Gordon masking a hint of jealousy.
"Thats the 1" replied Saskia "When are u going to show me around your cruiser ?" she added, a bit miffed that this hadn't happened yet.
"Soon, just got to sort a few things 1st" he lied, hoping he could dispose of June and inherit her wealth before Saskia lost interest.
"OK speak soon gotta go" she replied.
Gordon went on to the web and tried various searches to see how long it would take to inherit June's wealth after she died. After a few attempts he got a rough idea and realised it would probably take a while. He then searched how long would it take for a human body to decompose in the sea. Unknown to him the entire conversation and web searches had been intercepted, and sent on to the TSDS team and to June, who read it through teary eyes.
Her phone buzzed and she read the new message "Don't worry June, we have this under control - TSDS" she put her phone back on the side table, lay back on her bed and thought for a while.
"June Dixon and her giggalo are coming by helicopter" joked the second man.
"You mean her husband !" corrected the first man.
"Yes, him ... they should be arriving in a few minutes" said the second man.
"Is every thing prepared for her ... and him ?" asked the first man.
"Yes ... should be quite a party" replied the second man.
The various guests arrived, some by private jet into Mandelieu Airport, some by taxi, some walked, but June and Gordon flew by helicopter from her cruiser moored near a small island and landed on the helipad at the end of Port de Cannes. They walked onto the massive Drettmann cruiser moored near by.
The staff took the various bags and suitcases from the guests and stowed them in the allotted bedrooms below deck. The guests took drinks from passing waiters and got stuck in while the crew prepared to cast off. Gordon detached himself from the party on the upper deck and wondered around the huge boat. He was trying to find a place where June could mysteriously fall overboard without making any noise. The Drettmann has four decks: the sun deck with it's elevated views, the upper deck which was currently hosting most of the party, main deck (and swimming pool) and the lower deck which has sea-level platforms. This seemed to be the perfect place to lure June to. He re-joined the party and waited for an opportunity.
"Jean-Pierre, I would like to introduce you to my husband." said June turning to Gordon.
"Hi Jean-Pierre, It's lovely to meet you." said Gordon shaking his hand.
"It's a pleasure to meet you too." said Jean-Pierre. Gordon finished his drink.
"Would you like another drink, dear ?" asked June.
"Yes please" replied Gordon. June pointed to a waiter with one drink on his tray. He came over, Gordon took the drink and started to chat with Jean-Pierre. Their conversation was interrupted by someone tapping a glass.
"Can I have everyone's attention please" said the ship's captain. Everyone stopped talking. The captain explained that they were heading for the open sea and explained the various safety measures. Jean-Pierre moved away to a position where he could hear the captain.
"Shit - I've heard all this before." said Gordon to June "Lets go somewhere quieter" she linked her arm with his and went with him.
"Lead the way" she replied. Gordon led her down to the lower deck and on to the rear platform. Everyone would be looking towards the front of the boat at the captain, and would not see June fall into the sea or hear her faint cries for help.
"Look, you can see a few fish !" exclaimed Gordon pointing at an imaginary creature, hoping June would move closer to the edge so he could push her in.
"I'm fine just here. " said June.
"Look ! is that a manta ray ?" Said Gordon pointing at another imaginary creature. He also noticed he was feeling a bit wobbly and put it down to the drinks.
"I doubt it's a manta ray" said June sitting down.
"How do you know, if you come here you can see it, it's beautifu...." Gordon collapsed onto the deck now regretting that last drink.
"I'm sure it is ... and soon you will be joining it !" said June coldly.
"What do you mean ?" said a very limp Gordon.
"I've known about Saskia and your idiotic plan to push me into the sea." explained June "Saskia works for me, I hired her quite some time ago !"
"What !" said a very confused and frightened Gordon. A man appeared carrying some heavy-looking chains.
"Here's what's going to happen." explained June "This man is going to tie you up with these chains and push you over-board. When you hit the sea, the chains will pull you under and you will be dead in about 30 seconds ... and quite frankly - good riddance. The time, money and love I've wasted on you !!"
"But ... " said Gordon, with his eyes white with fear.
"Obviously we need to create cover-story for your disappearance." explained June "but it just so happens that the owners of this boat are experts at that."
The man with the chains tied them around Gordon's limp legs and went through his pockets. Gordon's wallet and mobile phone were removed and handed to June. Gordon then noticed Saskia standing by the door way.
"Saskia ... help me" mumbled Gordon finding it harder and harder to speak.
"It's been fun !" said Saskia "But, as they say, all good things ..." she added. Gordon felt his legs being pulled around to the rear of the boat, he heard a splash as the chains were thrown into the sea, then shock as he was thrown in, then coldness and darkness as he sank to the depths below.
June and Saskia went to June's bedroom and shut the door. June took a case from the safe, opened it and showed Saskia the contents.
"£1 million in bearer bonds and diamonds, as agreed." said June.
"Thanks, pleasure doing business with you." said Saskia " ... until the next time !" She closed the case and picked it up "Lets party !" she added.
"Yes. Lets." said June opening her door. The two women walked out into the corridor. Saskia returned to her room, put the case with her other cases and re-joined June.
"Won't the other guests wonder where Gordon is ?" asked Saskia.
"The only person to get a good look at him was Jean-Pierre, and he organised this." explained June "He also arranged a Gordon look-a-like for the duration of the cruise, that should hold-off any awkward questions." she added.
"How are you going to explain Gordon's disappearance ?" asked Saskia.
"People saw Gordon and myself walk onto this boat, in a few days they will see us walk off, get into my chopper and fly off." explained June "A few days after that the Gordon look-a-like will be seen getting into a bar-fight with some local hoods - staged of course, he will be seen getting dragged into a van, his mobile phone will register with cell-towers heading north and then stop. The van will be untraceable as will the occupants."
"WOW !" exclaimed Saskia "The guys have thought of every thing !"
"It's what they do." said June. The two women went upstairs and joined the party.
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