Lust (The Stripped Bare Series Book 1)

BOOK: Lust (The Stripped Bare Series Book 1)
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Lust

(The Stripped Bare Series Book 1)

 

Elle McKenzie

 

 

 

Lust

(The Stripped Bare Series Book One)

Elle McKenzie

 

© Copyright 2015 Elle McKenzie

All Rights Reserved

 

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to real events, real people, and real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, organisations or places is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights are reserved. This book is intended for the purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without the express written permission of the author. All songs, song titles and lyrics contained in this book are the property of the respective songwriters and copyright holders.

 

Cover Design
©
JC Clarke.

Edited by Dedicated Ink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE TO READER

 

I’m a British author and this book has been written in British English. It contains a lot of British colloquialisms and British spellings. If you need any help with any of the words or phrases please feel free to message me on Facebook (links provided at the back of the book). I won’t bite, I promise ;-)

Dedication

 

Nanna

 

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,

Life leaves a memory no one can steal.

 

Lust

1. Excessive obsession over something
.
 
2. Being sexually attracted to one another. Often mistaken fo
r
 
love
.

Prologue

Jasmine

 

 

Death. What would it be like?

 

Would I picture my life flashing before my eyes? Would I think about my loved ones and how they will feel when they hear about my death? Would I think about trivial things, like ‘did I remember to pay those bills the other day?

Or, would I be too frightened to think about anything?

I imagine what it would be like as I watch the scene playing out before me. A single tear slips down my cheek and I try to stay as still as possible. Not moving, not breathing, just watching, listening and waiting.

The broad man in front of me, wearing the charcoal suit, with messy brown hair and fear in his eyes, begs for his life. The man holding the gun at his head stands above him. His menacing eyes trained on the task in hand, no fear, no guilt, no remorse in them, just pure evil.

My whole body starts to tremble and I try to regulate my breathing. It feels like I’m going to throw up so I take deep, steady, silent breaths. If I’m sick, I’m sure to draw attention to myself. Moving further back behind the putrid smelling industrial sized bin, I shuffle my feet gently so as not to make a sound. I can no longer see the men but I can hear their voices.

“Where’s ma money?” a strong Irish voice says, which I assume is the man with the gun.

“I..I..I don’t have it. Please, please, just give me a day or two and I’ll get it for ya. I..I..I swear.” His voice is breaking and in turn it’s breaking my heart. I want to help him, but my phone is in my locker inside. I can’t move. If I’m seen then he will surely kill me too.

“It’s not fecking good enough, Mike. You’ve had two ‘n half weeks to get the money. Johnny wants ya gone.” I wonder who Johnny is?

“I’ll get it,” the man sobs. I can’t see his face but I can hear the fear in his shaky words.

My legs almost give way from my crouching position, the tingling sensation becoming a burning pain. Moving my legs gently to try to get some relief, a loud clang rings out as I knock over an empty beer bottle. I hold my breath, praying that they haven’t heard. It goes silent as they stop talking and my heart thuds loudly in my chest. I swear they can probably hear my heart beating. Luckily, a cat jumps out from around the side of the bin, spooked by the noise. Breathing a sigh of relief, I wipe the sweat from my forehead. I try to listen again to the men, but all I can hear are mumbled noises and sobs. His sobs are so loud that his fear resonates throughout the dark alleyway.

Silence fills the air, and just when I think the men are retreating and it’s safe to go back inside, a loud bang resonates through my ears. Fear radiates through me like the chill of an icy wind. I have to cover my mouth with my hands as a sob escapes my lips. I stay as still as a statue and wait, desperate to flee but afraid of the consequences. I’m not sure how long I sit there, on the cold, unwelcoming floor, but it feels like a lifetime. I wait, and wait, until I can’t wait any more.

Eventually, I peek my head around the side of my protector. He’s lying on the floor. His name was Mike, but now he’s just an empty vessel, covered in blood. Scanning my surroundings, I try to look for the other man but I see no one. In the distance, the sound of voices invades my ears. A car door slams and then speeds away.

Slowly, I get up, my legs like jelly barely holding my slight weight. I walk carefully around the side of the building and back through the fire exit, removing the box that was holding it open. I shut the door behind me and cry, not just a small sob, a real ugly cry. Sliding down, I place my head in my lap, covering my face with my hands.

“Jazz, what’s wrong?” I hear his voice, but I don’t look up. I can’t control the tears that are pouring out of my body. “Jazz, talk to me, are you okay? Did something happen to you?” I try to tell him but the words won’t come out. Shifting my body, I wipe the tears from my eyes as I point to the door outside. Jason stands and goes to open the door.

“Don’t go outside,” I scream. The sound of my own voice frightens me. “Ca…cal…call the police,” I manage to say. Standing on shaky legs, I make my way to the bathroom, just managing to get to the sink before I hurl the remnants of my supper into it. I feel Jason’s warm hands grab my hair.

“I’ve called the cops, but I didn’t know what I was meant to tell ‘em. They’re on their way.” He looks at me with sympathetic eyes. He must think I’m a real nut job.

Sitting me down on a stool in the kitchen, he stands to the side of me and strokes my hair as we wait for the police to arrive. I don’t say a word. Instead, I think. What if the man realises that I witnessed it all? What if he comes after me? What do I say to the police? Panic rushes through me at the thought of being in danger again.

The police arrive quickly. Jason speaks to them first while I sit in silence, thinking. He directs them towards the back door and I watch his horrified reaction when he realises what I’ve seen. Soon, there are hundreds of cops all over the place. They try to talk to me but I just shake my head. A paramedic tries to get me to go to the hospital for shock, but I refuse. I know what I need to do, and it doesn’t involve the police or the hospital.

A policewoman comes towards me, pulling up a stool to sit next to me. Her gentle tone encourages me to talk. I tell her that I didn’t see anything except for the body. I tell her that there was no one else in the alley when I arrived. I lie about what happened to protect my family and myself. I can’t put us in danger. Even if I told them what happened, I wouldn’t be able to go through a court case. What if they’re gangsters? I’ve seen films where the witness gets killed before they even make it to court. I just can’t do it. When she tells me I can leave, I grab my bag and my coat and I get the hell out of that place. Jumping in a cab, I give the driver the directions of my soon-to-be vacant apartment, and never look back.

BOOK: Lust (The Stripped Bare Series Book 1)
12.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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