Read Neighbourhood Watch Online

Authors: Lisette Ashton

Neighbourhood Watch (27 page)

The idea of returning to the party didn’t hold any interest. Sore, satisfied and still charged from the climactic experience of suffering Max’s domination, Linda only wanted to find someone with whom she could relive the whole experience.

A figure emerged from the shadows, picked up her coat and gallantly draped it over her shoulders. ‘Let me walk you back home,’ Tom murmured.

She fell gratefully against him. A giddy smile split her lips when she realised Tom had seen everything that happened. She privately wondered if it had given him as much pleasure as she had experienced. Taking him in a light embrace, telling herself she was only using him for support as she staggered down the path away from Max and Megan’s, Linda let her hand brush against the front of Tom’s trousers. She smiled with satisfaction, sure that he had enjoyed the evening.

Twenty-one

2 Cedar View

‘TWO EVENINGS A
week,’ Tanya muttered into the telephone. ‘And will you be wanting the same sort of services from me that you got tonight?’ She paused, swigged from the night’s last can of lager and tried not to laugh when she heard the hurried refusal. ‘That was just a one-off for this evening, was it? Oh! Well, you never know what we might get up to next time. I’ll leave it open as a potential alternative for future nights.’ She paused for a beat, struggling to suppress her smile and taking a bitter satisfaction from hearing Rhona Grafton trying not to show distaste in her voice.

‘The money’s going to be the same as it was tonight, yeah?’ Again, another pause, but only a brief one. She didn’t give Rhona a chance to respond properly. ‘Then that’s settled. I’ll see you in a couple of days.’

She severed the call before Rhona could think of an argument against employing her. Still riding high from the conversation, Tanya picked up the phone and dialled Joanne’s number. The telephone rang more than a dozen times before Joanne picked it up. Her voice was slurred with tiredness, but she still sounded angry.

‘I don’t know who this is, but it had better be important.’

‘It’s your former cleaner,’ Tanya spat. ‘You fired me earlier this evening and I’m just calling to say, you can’t fire me, cos I quit.’

‘Thank you, Tanya.’ Joanne’s voice dripped with cool disdain. ‘I’m glad we’ve got that cleared up. Now could you please fuck off and never call me again?’

‘Do you know why I quit?’ Tanya asked.

‘I neither know nor care,’ Joanne sneered. ‘I’m hanging up now. I’ll be changing my telephone number tomorrow. And I’ll be leaving the telephone off the hook for the remainder of the night. Goodnight, Tanya, and –’

‘I’m not just quitting because I’ve got another job,’ Tanya broke in. ‘I’m quitting because your house stinks of piss.’

‘You were the one cleaning the house, Tanya,’ Joanne drawled. ‘What does that say about your abilities?’

Tanya winced, stung by the blow to her professional pride. ‘You threatened me with the police earlier this evening,’ she remembered. ‘They’d better not come here. I’m warning you of that now.’

‘And if the police do turn up at your house,’ Joanne asked smugly, ‘what do you propose to do by way of retaliation?’

Tanya glanced across the room to the open door of the kitchen. The sink was black with the sooty remains of the photographs she had burnt. ‘If the police turn up here, I’ll show them the Polaroids I stole from your drawer.’

‘You bitch!’

Sensing she had struck a nerve, and wanting to make sure she caused the maximum upset with this last phone call to her former employer, Tanya said quickly, ‘And I won’t be feeding Mister Tiddles again until he’s eaten your fucking koi carp.’ She slammed the receiver
back
into its cradle, only to pick it up again and dial Max’s number.

‘Megan got back OK?’

‘Yes.’

‘I told her you were looking for her.’

‘I know.’

‘So that means you won’t be wanting any rent for the next five weeks.’

‘Five weeks!’

‘Like we agreed,’ Tanya said patiently. She lifted her can of beer and drained the last of its contents. ‘One week’s rent in exchange for me going to look for her. One month’s rent as my finder’s fee. I looked and I found, therefore I get five weeks rent-free.’

‘You’re pushing this too far,’ Max growled.

Behind him, Tanya could hear Megan’s voice.

‘Is that Tanya?’

‘Yeah.’ Max’s voice became muffled as he placed his hand over the mouthpiece but Tanya could still hear his words. ‘The cheeky bitch is trying to squirm out of her rent for the next five weeks.’

‘Pay her what you owe her,’ Megan told him. ‘And then come back to the dungeon so you can finish my punishment.’

There was a long, sullen pause before Max said, ‘You and Aliceon are getting six extra stripes each for this.’ Then he took his hand away from the mouthpiece and resumed speaking to Tanya. She heard excited giggles tinkling in the background. ‘I’ll let you off five weeks’ rent,’ he agreed. ‘But I’ll be watching you while you’re cleaning our house and, if there’s one thing done wrong, I’ll stripe your arse until it glows in the dark.’

Tanya laughed and listened to him seethe in silence for a moment. Remembering the way Max had seemed so capable of pleasing Linda with his cruel discipline,
and
hearing the eager laughter of Megan and Aliceon, she reminded herself that he was far better at administering punishment than Joanne had been. ‘I’ll look forward to seeing you tomorrow,’ she said sweetly, and wished him goodnight.

Epilogue

Like I said before, an aerial photograph of Cedar View would show that the cul-de-sac looks like an enormous keyhole. The short, straight entrance to the road is lined by two houses on either side. The curve at the road’s bulbous end looks like the hole where the barrel of the key would be inserted. And maybe now you understand why I enjoy looking through keyholes
.

Especially this keyhole
.

Of course, I’ve just been relating the events of one evening on Cedar View, and I could only show you the things I saw. No doubt a lot more went on that I missed completely. But, whatever might have happened that I didn’t get to see, I expect there’ll be a repeat performance for me to catch tomorrow night. And the night after that
.

Are you wondering what I get out of watching these antics?

I’m a people-person by nature. I love watching people. I particularly love watching my neighbours when they’re playing together. But that’s not all I get out of it. I’d tell you more but Linda’s still with me. She’s been back home and retrieved that clever little pussy pump of hers. And, now that she’s fully pumped up and looking ripe, swollen and wet, it looks like she wants to do more than talk
.

Like I said before, my neighbours on Cedar View are a set of immoral, amoral bastards. They’re constantly hopping in and out of each other’s beds and they’re at it like rabbits all the time. Tonight, because I think it’s what Linda wants, I’m going to stop watching. I might just participate
.

But only for tonight
.

This ebook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author’s and publisher’s rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

Version 1.0

Epub ISBN 9780753516041

www.randomhouse.co.uk

This book is a work of fiction.
In real life, make sure you practise safe, sane and consensual sex.

First published in 2008 by
Nexus
Thames Wharf Studios
Rainville Rd
London W6 9HA

Copyright © Lisette Ashton 2008

The right of Lisette Ashton to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

www.nexus-books.com

Distributed in the USA by Macmillan, 175 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10010, USA

ISBN 978 0 352 34190 7

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental
.

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