Read Neighbourhood Watch Online

Authors: Lisette Ashton

Neighbourhood Watch (9 page)

‘You know everyone on the damned street,’ Max hissed impatiently. ‘And you clean for half of them. You’ve got a potential excuse to visit each person on Cedar View and try to find out where Megan might be.’

Tanya scoffed. ‘What? You’re expecting me to knock on everyone’s door and say, “Excuse me, have you got Megan here?”’

‘I’m sure you can do it more subtly than that.’

‘What’s in it for me?’

‘You can forget about next week’s rent if you find her.’

The words made her stomach lurch with excitement. She glanced at her notepad and then looked around the room, wondering if Max had some way of seeing what she had been writing. She had been glumly calculating her finances. Money was tight but she didn’t want to continue cleaning for Joanne Jackson. She had worked out that a week’s reprieve from her rent would give her the opportunity to leave that job and look for a different cleaning position. Max’s offer was a chance to attain her most heartfelt desire.

Tanya considered it for an instant before saying, ‘No.’

Max said nothing.

She wondered if she might have pushed him too far. When it came to negotiating finances, Tanya didn’t think she had ever misjudged her mark. Max clearly needed this favour from her and, if he needed it so badly that he was willing to forgo a week’s rent, he could be urged to part with more if she negotiated properly.

‘If I go and look for her I’ll get the next week rent-free,’ Tanya told him. ‘If I find her I’ll get the next month rent-free.’

There was silence at the other end of the telephone. Tanya heard a crop slicing through the air and then the muffled gasp of someone in pain. She crushed her thighs together, silently envying the victim of Max’s anger. Obviously it wasn’t Megan who had just suffered the blow – Max had told her that Megan wasn’t there – but the punished woman sounded very much like her. She guessed Aliceon was looking after Max. Images of the woman’s striped backside and wet pussy lips made Tanya’s crotch grow damp.

‘You drive a hard bargain,’ Max growled.

‘You can always get the View’s other resident cleaner to search for your missing wife,’ Tanya suggested. She paused, grinned and said, ‘Oh! Wait! The View doesn’t have another resident cleaner, does it?’

‘One month rent-free if you find her,’ Max hissed. ‘One week if you look. But just hurry up and damned well do it. I don’t have all night.’

The connection was severed.

Tanya was quietly pleased that she had managed to negotiate such a good deal and proud that she had annoyed Max so much. If she annoyed him sufficiently, the next time she was cleaning his home Max might take it upon himself to treat her to the spanking she clearly craved.

She walked through to the kitchen and found a tin of lager in the fridge. The thought that she might be able to stop working for Joanne Jackson was enough to make her smile big and broad. Flopping lazily down on the settee she decided she might go out and look for Megan McMurray later. Even if she simply sat on the settee she could still pretend she had been looking for her and claim a week’s free rent. But the idea of taking Max for a month’s rent, knowing the money would provide a very comfortable safety net once she quit working for Joanne, was far more tempting. And, because she had seen Megan McMurray crossing the road earlier in the evening and going into the Graftons’ house, Tanya didn’t think she would have to search very hard.

Eight

3 Cedar View

THEY WAITED AT
the front of Denise’s house, watching the street to make sure it was empty. Tom had vacated his spot outside Tanya Maxwell’s, walked past the McMurrays’ and disappeared into the front garden of Ted and Linda’s. Twilight had darkened into early evening. A spattering of stars twinkled in the dark blue canopy above them and the View’s two streetlamps already blazed bright. Denise took a moment to lead Jane into the garage and show the huge scar she had accidentally inflicted on the door panel of Derek’s Rover. In the dim light it looked like a gaping wound in the otherwise unblemished polish of the white paintwork.

‘He’s going to go ballistic,’ Jane muttered.

‘He’s going to make me pay for it,’ Denise sighed. ‘And I can’t afford to cover the cost of a respray. Not even a partial.’ Her frown lines deepened as she added, ‘And I’m not looking forward to coming home from Ted and Linda’s to face an argument with Derek about his stupid car. That’s really going to spoil my night.’

Jane looked away, not really concerned about Denise’s carelessness, Derek’s milquetoast tyranny or the inevitable conflict the pair would endure. It seemed obvious to Jane that the main source of Denise and
Derek’s
problems was Denise’s desire to have a baby and Derek’s reluctance to address or even acknowledge it. In previous conversations Denise had admitted that Derek showed no sexual interest in her and, while Denise’s lifestyle compensated for the frustration of being in a sexless marriage, Jane could see that her friend’s strong desire to have a child was eventually going to split the couple apart. But she didn’t think this was the time for such a gloomy, if honest, observation. It certainly wouldn’t make Denise feel any better about the damage she had inflicted to Derek’s car.

She studied the rest of the street and puzzled over a less contentious part of Denise’s statement. ‘Do you mean Derek would make you pay for it
with money
?’

‘He’s let the last couple of incidents pass.’ Denise’s tone trembled with distress. ‘But he said I’ve got to cover the full cost if it happens again.’

Jane chose not to notice that Denise was close to tears. She would never have let John dictate how she was supposed to spend her money, but she didn’t think Denise wanted to hear her thoughts on successful husband control. Denise was clearly content to be subjugated by Derek, even if his authority didn’t include the sexual domination she would have appreciated.

But then, Jane reflected, not all marriages were the same.

‘When I grazed the damned thing last week, he said the next time it happens, I’m going to have to pay for the respray out of my own money,’ Denise babbled. ‘And I just can’t afford to do that. I’m going to have to sell my bike to cover the cost. And I don’t want to sell my bike. It’s my baby.’

Jane was about to make some sort of sympathetic noise, a clucking sound or a ‘there, there’, when she
remembered
something more important. Silencing Denise with a hand on her arm, she asked, ‘Did I just see Tom going into Ted and Linda’s?’

Denise nodded. She sniffed back the threat of tears and said, ‘Linda lets him watch their parties. You know what Linda’s like about older blokes. She has a real soft spot for geriatrics. It’s the same soft spot she keeps in the crotch of her knickers.’

Jane didn’t know Linda well enough to be aware that she had a soft spot for older men or that she kept it in her knickers. In fact, earlier in the evening she hadn’t been able to remember the woman’s name. Now, hearing Denise talk about Linda’s interest in Tom, she didn’t know whether to think of it as decadent, daring or depraved. Realising this wasn’t the time to consider it, and aware that the diversion she had suggested might put an end to Denise’s plan for the rest of the evening and make all this conversation about Linda, Ted and Tom immaterial, Jane waited as another car swept into Cedar View.

The Audi parked outside Ted and Linda’s and the occupants climbed unhurriedly out and walked towards number six. They were a smartly dressed couple: attractive, from the little Jane could see, and affluent enough to make them desirable. His jeans had a designer label. The twinkle of eighteen-carat gold sparked from his knuckles and his ear. She was wearing a micro-mini, too small to accommodate even the most succinct of designer labels. But her top was obviously Chanel and her four-inch heels were clearly Prada. Jane didn’t know if that made them genuinely affluent but she was sufficiently impressed to conclude they had enough money to be classy. Her stomach tightened with conflicting thrills of twisted excitement.

The classy couple were visiting Ted and Linda’s for the sex party. If events panned out the way Denise
wanted
, Jane realised there would be a chance to have sex with them. The prospect made her wet between her thighs. She wondered if she should just go along with Denise’s plan and head straight to the party. Her own idea, to take Denise home with her, hopefully encounter John and then have an argument, seemed unlikely to end the day with an orgiastic climax. And, while the satisfaction of a blazing row had earlier held a lot of appeal, Jane now wondered if Denise’s plan might ultimately prove more satisfying.

For an instant she was torn between equally tempting options. Denise and a sex party sounded as much fun as John and an argument and she was held in the sway of uncharacteristic indecision. Battle or bonk? Row or rut? Fight or fuck? It was, she thought, the toughest of tough calls.

But Jane made her choice as soon as the classy couple were safely behind Ted and Linda’s front door. She placed a hand on Denise’s arm and said, ‘Let’s go.’

Denise grinned and nodded. The lilt of her smile made Jane hungry for them to kiss again. She knew there would be a chance to do that, and maybe more, if they went to the party. But that wasn’t where Jane was leading them. She had told Denise she wanted to go home and get clothes that were appropriate for Ted and Linda’s. She had said she would collect them without disturbing John – without letting him know she was there or where they were going for the evening – but she knew John wouldn’t allow her to steal through the house so effortlessly. Knowing that the evening was certain to end with a huge argument made the heat surge in her loins. She pulled on Denise’s hand and they ran quickly together down Cedar View, their heels clicking loudly against the paving stones.

‘That’s strange,’ Denise murmured.

‘What’s strange?’

Denise nodded at number seven. ‘Charlie and Rhona. Their lights are still on. I thought they would have been at Ted and Linda’s by now.’

Jane glanced at the house. ‘Maybe they’ve left a light on to deter burglars?’

‘They do that,’ Denise agreed. ‘But they leave the front room light and the hall light on, like everyone else on this street. That’s just the kitchen light you can see. It means Charlie and Rhona are still at home.’

Jane shrugged and urged Denise to hurry with her. Whatever anomaly was happening at the Grafton house, it had nothing to do with her plans for the evening. Urging Denise to run by her side, anxious to get home, Jane rushed past Joanne’s house and up the path of number three.

‘There are no lights on,’ Denise observed.

Jane shrugged. Either John had gone to bed early or he was sulking with the lights off. She hoped it was the former because the thought of John being asleep in bed gave her a wicked idea. Trying not to splutter with laughter at her own deviousness, she quickly shushed Denise as she opened the door and let them both inside.

‘Where is he?’ Denise asked. ‘Are we alone?’

Her voice was lowered to a whisper that was deliciously conspiratorial. The inner muscles of Jane’s sex trembled as she heard the undercurrent of naughtiness in Denise’s tone. She had planned to spend the evening arguing with John but, hearing the suggestive-ness in Denise’s voice, Jane wondered if there would be a chance to do something more.

‘He’ll be in bed,’ Jane hissed. In the darkness of the unlit hall she pulled Denise closer. Ordinarily she insisted that guests remove their shoes when they came into her home but, with her thoughts distracted by licentious ideas, she was beyond telling Denise to take
off
her shoes or bothering to remove her own. It was much easier to insist on having Denise’s arms round her so they could share the passion of a daring embrace.

Their lips met. In the darkness of the hall, sure John was somewhere in the house and that she was going to be caught in the arms of her lesbian lover, Jane felt her arousal shifting into overdrive. Denise was an eager partner. Her slender body was firm against Jane’s, her hands inquisitive. Fingers slipped over Jane’s waist and hips. Their breasts squashed together. As Denise hungrily explored Jane’s mouth with her tongue, she daringly wrapped one leg around Jane’s thigh.

‘Are you sure he’s in bed?’ Denise asked. ‘Are you sure he’s asleep?’

‘I guess,’ Jane shrugged, trying to sound as though she didn’t care.

‘Isn’t there a danger of him finding us?’

The thought sent a shiver down Jane’s spine. Denise’s kisses and caresses were exciting, but they were nowhere near as thrilling as the prospect of being caught by her husband as she boldly embraced Denise. She could picture the raw excitement of telling John that Denise was a far more proficient lover than he had ever proved. She could imagine his humiliation as she told him that he was incompetent in bed and that she visited Denise to satisfy the urges he had never been able to satiate. Imagining the conversation, Jane felt her labia grow dewy.

‘Tongue me,’ she murmured.

‘Now?’

‘Yes.’

‘Here?’

‘On the stairs.’ Jane dragged Denise with her as she climbed the first couple of stairs and then sat down. Stretching herself over the treads, burying her heels into the bottom riser, she opened the belt on her coat
and
urged her pelvis up to meet Denise’s face. ‘Tongue my pussy,’ she hissed. ‘Make me come.’

Denise’s grin was visible even in the darkness of the unlit hall. Jane watched her smile grow closer as Denise lowered herself between her legs.

It had always been exciting visiting her friend and enjoying an hour or two of naked intimacy. From the moment they had first become lovers Jane had discovered a new facet to her sexuality and had shared it fully with Denise. Starting off with exploratory kisses, moving on to undressing each other and then discovering the joys of another woman’s body, Jane had been thrilled to realise her sex life had not died as a result of marrying the unexciting John Smith. But, although she and Denise had indulged a few unusual fantasies, Jane had never expected the sex could be as arousing as what she was now enjoying in her own home. The growing danger that John might see what she was doing, the certainty that he would be upset and angry, her confidence that she would still be able to control him – they all added to the mounting thrill.

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