Authors: Leigh K. Hunt
Dawn to Dusk Novella of the Nights Series
LEIGH K. HUNT
London Dusk copyright © 2014 by Leigh K. Hunt
Edited by J.C. Hart
Cover design copyright © by Dwell Design & Press
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The is a work of fiction. Names, places, businesses, characters and incident are either the product of the author's imagination or are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, actual events or locales is purely coincidental.
London Dusk, a Dawn to Dusk Novella of the Nights Series by Leigh K. Hunt
Published by Dwell Press
, New Zealand
Find out more about Leigh K. Hunt at
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For my Mother
You have been one of my biggest writing supporters from the word
'go'. Thank you for always reading… thank you for always being there.
Drum and Bass pounded the air in my Mini
, as I wove my way through the London streets. Friday's rush hour traffic wasn't due to hit for another few hours, and I couldn't wait to get home to start wrapping up my latest history project.
I had just spent the day at the London Library
, tucked away in their writer's room, enjoying the focused atmosphere while doing research. The London Library is one of the places I have come to seriously love while doing my job. While most days I work from home, I've been known to just go to the Library for no apparent reason whenever I'm in the city centre.
Today was an excellent day in terms of productivity. I wasn't far away from wrapping up this research report and sending it to my client. There is nothing quite like the high of finishing something you're really proud of
The heavens opened just as I pulled into my street. In my head I had already walked in to the house
, started the fire, changed into my slippers, and pulled something out of the freezer for dinner for Luke and me, before starting my work in front of the roaring fire.
I pulled into the driveway of my house and a smile lit my face as my eyes fell upon Luke's car parked in the garage.
He was home early. I grinned.
He worked so hard
, all of the time. I often found that because he was so drained whenever he got home from work, or being away on the multiple business trips that he had to take all of the time, there was never much time for just him and I. He'd supported me so much in my career as a Historian, and I loved it when he took a little time out just for himself. It made for a happier him, and a happier relationship between us.
I pulled my car in beside his
, and walked inside, dumping my keys on the bench and kicking off my shoes. A flash of irritation went through me momentarily when I realised the fire wasn't lit yet, so I spent a minute preparing that. Luke still hadn't come to greet me, which wasn't like him. In fact… I usually found him watching sport in front of the TV if he ever came home early.
I went through to my office and grabbed a few papers and my laptop
, taking them back to the living room to my favourite armchair where, later, I would park myself for the night and write. The fire was starting to crackle, and I forgot my irritation with Luke. He was probably exhausted and had gone up to bed for a nap or something after his trip.
I took the steps two at a time as I made my way upstairs. The bedroom door was closed when I reached the landing. I paused
, wondering if I should wake him up or not. As I pondered my decision, my eyes fell on a photo taken of me and Aunt Elsie down on the Dover Coast a few years back. My Aunt had signed this house over to us when she went into a care unit providing we pay for her care costs. She'd spent so much on my education, that I thought it was a very fair trade.
Elsie was my mother in almost every sense. Nearly twenty years ago
, my parents were taking me to Wales for the weekend. While we were on the road, my dad fell asleep at the wheel, and we had a horrific head on collision. I survived it with minimal injuries. But they didn't. Elsie took me in and raised me as her own. She's a beautiful woman with a heart of gold. She's now in her sixties, and has had early onset of dementia for a few years. She's not that bad yet, but she can be a bit doddery sometimes, which makes her feel older to me.
A noise bought me back to the present and I looked to the door with confusion. I took a step towards the bedroom and paused again
, my hand resting on the door handle. Distinct sounds met my senses, and my breath hitched. I silently turned the knob and pushed the door open.
, my heart raced. Luke was in bed all right. A woman was facing away from the door, her pert arse pointed right at Luke's bulging cock, and she was tied up to the headboard of my bed.
Come on bitch – tell me how you like it." Luke grunted as he pushed himself into her roughly before slowly withdrawing, causing her to moan in appreciation.
Harder", she moaned into the pillow. Disbelief washed over me. I would recognise that voice anywhere. It was my best friend, Nicole.
What? I didn't hear you," Luke commented, as he slapped her arse hard.
HARDER!" she screamed. That seemed to appeal to him, and he pummelled himself even harder into her.
My heart raced
, and I had the biggest moment of ‘I don't know how to approach this' I'd ever had in my life. I just stood there, watching them, disgusted. I was never going to sleep in this room again. Or in that bed.
Clothing was scattered about the floor
, so I started picking it up. They still had no idea I was in the room. But I quietly and calmly picked it all up, and silently walked over to the window. I unlatched the window, and threw it out on my front lawn. Then I turned to Luke, my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest, and I could feel the blood pumping in full force around my system.
I reached out
, and grabbed his sweat-slicked shoulder, and wrenched him off her, with all my might. "WHAT THE FUCK!?" I screamed, fury finally ripping through me.
's wild eyes swung toward me in confusion. "McKenna." He just stood there, his eyes flicking between me and Nicole. Guilt was written all over his features as I searched his face. "Wh…what… what are you doing here?"
I put my hands on my hips and drew in a deep breath
, "What do you mean what am I doing here? I LIVE here. This is my house. What are you doing with her?" I pointed at Nicole who was still tied to the headboard; she visibly shrank under my accusing glare. I turned back to Luke. "Get out."
Mack." His eyes pleaded with me. "Please."
PLEASE WHAT?" I sneered. "Please Mack let me stay after I've been caught fucking your best friend?" I turned to Nicole, "What the hell were you thinking?"
I…" she said quietly, and then shut her mouth. She was speechless. I was furious.
How could you? How could you do this to me? You're my best friend! I trusted you with EVERYTHING." I could tell she was about to cry, but I no longer cared. I wanted to throttle her. Instead I clenched my hands as I turned back to Luke. I saw him trying to cover himself up with the sheet. "Take your shit, and go. And don't fucking come back."
Mack…" he repeated. "Please don't do this."
I rolled my eyes and snorted with disbelief.
"Do what, Luke? I haven't done anything here. NOTHING. You have done this. You did this to us." I pointed towards the door. "Now go." I waved my hand to dismiss him, and gave him a cold smile.
"I'm…" Nicole said, jiggling her arms. She was stuck. She couldn't go anywhere of her own free will right now, no matter what she wanted.
For fuck's sake," I said darkly as I crossed over to her to help untie her.
McKenna," she whispered to me, tears rolling down her face. "I'm so sorry."
I shook my head
, and gave a disbelieving laugh. "You're sorry? You've got to be kidding me, right? You're sorry you're caught," I spat as I worked on the ropes, anger simmering within every tug.
I never meant to hurt you."
With a final pull the rope came free
, and her arms dropped. I turned to her, my stomach rolling with contempt. "Then you should never have done it." I swallowed, and I knew I was close to crying. "Now go."
She got up off the bed
, and went to look for her clothes. When she couldn't see them, she turned to me in confusion. "I don't know where my clothes are." Luke walked over to her, wrapping her in the sheet from the bed. He was dressed, and ready to walk out the door. Obviously he'd found some other clothes to put on.
I pointed to the window.
"They're on the front lawn. Now GO!"
McKenna, stop," Luke said, holding his hand up. "We don't need to do this."
, tears threatening to fall. "Yes we do. I don't want you in my house. I want you to go right now."
JUST GIVE ME SOME FUCKING SPACE, LUKE!" I screamed at him, "GET OUT. NOW!"
He visibly swallowed
, and turned Nicole towards the door, throwing me a look of regret. When I heard their footfalls on the staircase, I stood there in a stunned silence, still staring at the bedroom door. The front door banged shut downstairs, and I crossed to the window, my arms folded across my chest as if they could stop my heart from breaking, and watched Nicole run around the lawn, picking up her various items.
, and my lip wobbled. I watched her run towards the garage, and moments later, Luke's car reversed out, turned around on the driveway, and I watched them disappear down the street. Tears openly flowed as grief consumed me and I sank to my knees.
How could you," I whispered. "How could you." I curled up in the foetal position on the floor, staring at the ribs in the carpet feeling numb, tears pouring down my face.
I stayed on the floor like that for hours, getting colder and colder as the night closed in around London. I simply couldn't believe the betrayal of both Luke and Nicole. Two people I infinitely trusted with all my heart had broken me.
I had never once considered the possibility that there could ever be something between them. My brain replayed multiple dinner parties
, coffee dates, and drinks, and not once had they ever given me cause to second guess the relationship between them. It made me seriously question my powers of observation. It was either me with a lack of perception, or they were just that good at deceiving me.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that I needed to move. Stiffly
, I began to get up. I was cold, and when I moved, shivers ran through me. I knew I couldn't stay on the bedroom floor for the rest of my days. My nose was clogged up from crying. My eyes felt hot and puffy. To be quite frank, I was a bloody mess. I stood in the dark room, leaning against my reflection in the mirror, and questioned where the hell I had gone wrong. How could I have judged two people that badly and got myself into this situation. I was exhausted. Drained. And I didn't know what to do.
, I managed to find the liquor cabinet, and stare blankly at the bottles in front of me. My body was numb, but my mind wasn't. They had betrayed me. I needed to quieten my thoughts. Another shiver bought me back to reality, and I picked up a bottle of whiskey, my common sense telling me that would warm me up.
Tipping a good measure into a tumbler
, I crossed the room to the now cold fireplace. I knelt down, my knees aching, and heaved a sigh as I bunched up more paper, stuffing it in, and laying the kindling. I took my time, concentrating on the task at hand, and lit it carefully. It helped me lose the immediate and invasive thoughts of Nicole being tied to the headboard and Luke enjoying her.
I swallowed back more of the whiskey as I absently watched the flames spread in the hearth
I was tired. I didn
't want to sleep upstairs by myself… not tonight. I wanted to be down here with the warmth of the fire for company. I walked to the linen cupboard, and pulled the winter featherweight duvet from its storage place, dragging it over to my favourite armchair.
I thought that Luke and I would be together forever. We
'd never had the hottest or steamiest whirlwind romance – not like the ones you read in books. But it had been comfortable. He supported me in living my dreams, and in return, he got a wife-like figure to share his life with. Obviously that wasn't enough for him. We had discussed marriage once or twice, but I really didn't see the point in getting married. It was more his thing, based on his upbringing with a happy family.
When I thought about it more
, we had never really even discussed having children. Children were not something I could see myself having in any foreseeable future with Luke, or ever really. Tears slipped down my face as I retrieved the whiskey bottle from the cabinet, taking it over to my chair. I glanced down at the research paperwork on my side table, and dismissed it. The happy thoughts I'd had earlier about writing my way through the night were long gone. There was no way I could possibly focus on work now.