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Andrew Harding








Copyright Andrew Harding The right of Andrew Harding to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. Any person who commits any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library. ISBN 978 1 84963 085 6 First Published (2012) Austin &Macauley Publishers Ltd. 25 Canada Square Canary Wharf London E14 5LB Printed & Bound in Great Britain

This book contains descriptions of scenes of an explicit sexual nature which are suitable for adults only. The contents are not suitable for readers under eighteen years of age.

First and foremost Austin &Macauley for believing in me and making a writers dream come true. My sister, Gerry, who has patiently listened to all my thoughts and read some of the hairy bits. I had her toes curling most of the time. Also for the original drawing, for the book cover. [] Finally to you John, for listening to my rampage about my book and being so supportive and enthusiastic. The knowledge you imparted was invaluable. Thank you.

Chapter 1
Can I sit here please? a deep but smooth voice asked. I looked up from my notepad into the face of a very good looking guy and felt embarrassed straight away. Why on earth does he want to sit here? I looked around and couldnt see any other empty seats. Yes, and watched him slide along the bench seat, until his body was against the wall. Whats he going to think of me, I look a fuckin mess. He glanced at the pad under my hand. Have I interrupted your train of thought? Sorry. Its alright. Im stuck on something anyway. Im Harvey, Harvey Burgess. He waited for me to introduce myself. Alison Grey, I said quite timidly. He smiled and his face lit up. God hes confident. What are you writing? He looked at the pad again, covered in my terrible scrawl. I moved my arm to cover it up. Nothing really, Im just doodling. I picked up my cup and finished the tea, started to gather my things together and his hand covered mine. Im sorry, Ive disturbed you. Ill stop talking, dont go. He took his hand off mine quicker than it went on and looked embarrassed. I have to go; Ive finished the tea I came in for. I continued to put my things into a pile I could carry, tucked under one arm. Can I get you another drink? Why are you interested in me? Im nobody. I started to get up. Can I get you another drink please, Alison? I slumped down into the seat, resigned to have another drink. I cant afford another one, so Ill make the most of this; hell get fed up before I

do. Ill have a tea please. His smile was there again and it seemed genuine. He flagged the waitress and ordered two teas. While we waited for it to arrive, he looked at my face until I looked down. I could feel my neck getting hot and didnt want to blush in front of him. The teas came, delivered by a miserable looking teenager, who wouldve preferred to be somewhere else. It was that obvious as she banged the mugs down on the table between us. The seating in this cafe is so cramped; I was only separated by about eighteen inches of table, from him. Thank you, he said to her. I think to make a point for her to be civilised. I pulled my mug towards me and started to add sugar, Thank you for this. Its a pleasure. Ive seen you in here before, you always have a pad with you. Are you a writer? Just starting out as a writer really. Ive written one of those Mills and Boon stories and got that published but Im trying to write something with a bit more meat in it. The constraints put on you, for one of their books, make anything boring. He perked up, on hearing that and looked interested. What sort of book are you writing now? I thought a Horror would be something I could get my teeth into; not literally. I giggled at the thought; he smiled at my little joke. Sounds interesting. Are you writing it in longhand? Thats going to take an absolute age. He actually looks concerned. No; I have my dads old computer to type it out on, at home. These are just thoughts about the story. Do you live around here? Why does he want to know that? Quite close, I told him and drank some tea. I kept the mug in my hands with my elbows on the table, more of a barrier to him than anything else. Hi. I looked up. Adey, my long term boyfriend. I call him that in the loosest possible term, stood next to me, staring at the guy sitting opposite. Hi, I didnt think you were coming today. Thats obvious. His voice was sarcastic, so I ignored it.

Adey, this is Harvey. Harvey, Adey. Hes bought me a tea. Do you have a problem with that? I stared at him. He knows Im livid when I speak in that way and backs down immediately; today is no exception. Sorry Alison. He nodded to Harvey. I need to speak to you in private. Youll have to wait Adey; Harveys only just got me this. Sit down, youre making the place look untidy. Harvey smiled; it was so subtle I hardly noticed it. Ill come back later, I have a few errands to run for mum. He knew that would go down like a lead brick; I could see he wished he hadnt told me. Go on then, do your mummys shopping, I blurted out. He left the cafe with his shoulders hunched. You probably think Im a first class bitch. I kept my eyes on Harvey, as he answered. It all depends why you said it, surely. God, youre understanding. His mum is a lush and sends him to get her booze. Ive had enough of those in my life already. I thought about it, Sorry Ive said too much; you dont want to hear all this. Im a good listener, dont worry about it, really. It hasnt put me off you. Why would he say that? Is he trying to pick me up? He can think again. Adey is my boyfriend, Harvey; Im not on the market. Do you understand that? He smiled at me again and said nothing else on the subject. He drank his tea with a smile on his face. Why, I have no idea. I finished my tea, thanked him for his company and left him sitting at the table. I stepped out of the cafe and into the door of the boarding house I live in, next door. Adey rang my bell about an hour later. I reluctantly went down to answer it and before I looked into his face, I said, What kept you? I looked up into Harveys face on my doorstep, What are you doing here? I told you, Im not interested. Ive not come about that. Alison, Im a police officer and Adey has been in an accident. My hand went up to my mouth. I went back to work and got called out, to an incident in town. I recognised Adey, straight away. Can I come in?

I nodded to him and led him up to my bed-sit; a tiny room at the top of the house. You cant stand up straight in most of the room because the ceiling follows the shape of the roof above and slants almost everywhere, in different directions. Sit down Alison please. I looked for clues in his face but he was so serious. Whats happened? Is he in hospital, Harvey? Sorry, I shouldnt call you that, if youre a policeman. Harvey is fine; its okay. Alison, Im afraid Adey died at the scene. What scene? He only went to the off licence? I started to cry. I may not have loved him but wed known each other for quite a while. Harvey sat on his haunches in front of me, Do you know his mothers address, Alison? We have to inform her and he didnt have any ID on him. Im sorry to ask you this Alison; I really am. She lives in Mason Terrace; number seventeen, I think. How did he die? Im not supposed to tell you before we inform his mother. Im sorry. He was very gentle, when he said that. Its okay. Ive waited forever for most things; one more wont make any difference. Ill come and see you after Ive informed her; is that alright with you? Yes thats fine with me. Thank you. Ill see myself out, Alison. Ill be about an hour. He stood up and left me to think about everything I knew for certain. Adey is dead. True to his word, he rang the doorbell an hour later. I opened the door for him with swollen red eyes and he followed me up to my room. I offered him my only chair and I sat on the edge of my bed. Ive spoken to his mother and shes shocked; you can imagine. I told her I was coming to inform you, as you were his girlfriend and had given me her address. She doesnt like you very much she made certain I knew that. Its because I kept telling him to leave home; it came out in

one of their arguments and shes never spoken to me since. Alison, Adey was hit by a four wheel drive car. It was backing up, after a raid on the off licence he was going to. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Im so sorry for your loss, Alison. Thank you, Harvey. Wed knocked about together for the last two years, nothing heavy. We were both just part of the furniture and it seemed wed go on like that forever, muddling along. Neither of us looked for anything else, it was easier to let it just carry on. I can understand that: you get comfortable with each other. Are you going to be alright, Alison? He waited for me to answer him. Ill be fine, dont worry about me. Ive had to get over worse things than this. Now Ive said too much. Really what sort of things? What the hell, Im just going to tell him. Ive had to live with a couple of drunks most of my life. My dad finally left but my mother continued with the abuse so I left home as soon as it was legal. I wanted to go to college or university but that wasnt going to happen, so I started writing. I keep looking for a normal job but you need a degree to get a job as a toilet attendant these days. He smiled. Youve had it rough Alli. I smiled at him. What did I say? No ones called me that for years. Adey insisted on calling me Alison from the word go. I prefer Alli. Alli it is, from now on. What does he mean by that? Im going to actually see him again? How long have you been in the police? Three years; I was fast tracked up to Inspector, after a year. Blimey; you must have a brain on you. He just smiled. He might as well have said yes. Come on, tell me about your new book. What subject is it on? He forgets nothing, bloody hell. Youll think its stupid. Try me; Im interested. Ive never met anyone who writes. He waited. Mr Persistent.

Im going to write about a woman whos a vampire. He didnt say anything; now hes going to think Im thick. I stood up and headed for the sink to get some water, Do you want some? I asked as I held a glass up. He smiled at me and shook his head and when I sat down he still had that same smile. Find that funny, do you? Im annoyed now; him being such a clever dick. Sorry, I was thinking about what you said in the cafe: something to get your teeth into. I sniggered, remembering it again. You dont forget much; I suppose thats why youre an Inspector? I relaxed a bit. I have a photographic memory Alli; thats how I learned the job so fast. I wish I did, I have a memory like a colander: full of holes. You cant be that bad if you hold a story in your head to the end of a book. Book things, I remember; its the day-to-day things I forget. I definitely have something missing up there, Ive been like it all my life. I could see he didnt believe me and didnt elaborate. I have to go Alli. Im still on duty and have to report back before I finish. Maybe Ill see you in the cafe again? Maybe. Thanks for telling me about Adey. If you hear when his funeral is, can you let me know please? I added, His mother wont. Of course I will. We usually hear, the investigation isnt finished Alli. Will you be okay? Ill be fine, dont worry about me. Ill see myself out. He smiled at me and left my room. I sat thinking about the last few hours. How your life can change, completely out of your control.

The Vampires Revenge Chapter 1 Standing about twenty yards away are three tarty looking women wearing hardly any clothes: short skirts, almost covering nothing, tops so low, leaving nothing to the imagination at all and hair, mainly bleached. A type that films re-create without much thought. They keep eying me up, looking pissed off. This must be where they stand; on this spot. Just let them say something, God help them, if they do. In fact I look forward to it. That miserable fat cow on the right wont stop staring.

Blimey, my mouth feels dry. I got up to get some water and drank the whole glass. I dont usually like it that much, strange. I scraped the corners of my mouth with my fingernail and dragged the crap from it. I didnt look to see what it was. I washed my hands under the cold tap. I dont know why I made that distinction both taps are cold. Hot water here would be a luxury. No a miracle. I have to go swimming twice a week to get a proper shower. The one here doesnt have a curtain and the water goes everywhere. Im sick and fed up of the woman, two floors down, having a go at me for trying to stay clean. Its easier to go swimming. I looked at my face in the minute mirror stuck on the wall over the sink and stared at my eyes. The dark circles under them are worse today. I looked for the concealer in my handbag and opened it, hoping I still had even a bit, to try and disguise my hollow eyes. Chance would be a fine thing. I threw the empty bottle in the bin, promising to buy some the next time I passed a chemist. My jacket and a mountain of clothes were on the floor. How did they get there? They were in the drawer yesterday. My memory is getting worse. I picked up my jacket and put it on. The rest of the clothes I scooped up and threw on the bed, to be put away later. I wish I had a kettle, I need a hot drink. My bag was in a mess but I picked it up, made sure I had my key and left my room to go to the cafe.

Harveys head shot up as the door opened and looked me right in the eye. I couldnt even pretend I hadnt seen him so I went to sit at his table. Well, why not. Hello Alli. He looked more concerned the nearer I got. Hi, I didnt sleep well, before you ask. At all, would probably be nearer the truth. Sorry, I shouldnt have said that. No you shouldnt, I know I look rough, and Ive run out of concealer. Let me buy you a tea, please? He didnt wait for an answer and got up to nab the waitress, before she scuttled back to the kitchen. When he came back he smiled at me across the table. Ive been worried about you; you havent been in here for a few days. I shot him a look of dont talk rubbish but that didnt work. Maybe hes right. I told you, I have a head like a sieve. The tea came via the delightful waitress we had the last time. I would have known, even if I hadnt looked. I think its the way the mugs hit the table and slopping out tea, that was the clue. Harvey gave her a dirty look but he neednt have bothered: she was oblivious. Thank you Harvey. I picked up the mug, put two sugars in and stirred, cradled it in my hands and blew gently over the tea to cool it. Harvey watched me, but I couldnt read what was going on behind his eyes. I sipped the tea and asked, Are you still on duty? No, I was in early today; I started at four this morning. You dont even look tired. Blimey, I was dead to the world at that time. I smiled at him. Your eyes dont tell that story Alli. You look like you havent slept for a month. Do you want me to drink this, or go; Im easy either way, I snapped at him. Dont go Alli, Im sorry. He leaned back against the seat and watched me drink my tea.

Have you found out when the funeral is? His mother hasnt claimed his body yet; in fact, she has to identify him and she wont make the effort to even do that. His voice hasnt changed but hes angry with her, I can feel it. Could I identify him, if she wont? The poor sod, lying there. You wouldnt want to do that Alli, if you dont have to, he said gently. Ill do it Harvey and then go and see her. She has to organise his funeral; she cant let him stay in a fridge forever. Harvey put his hand over mine. Alli, it wont be very pleasant. Have you ever done it before? No; its the least I can do for him. He withdrew his hand and pulled out a phone. Ill arrange it and come with you; you shouldnt be on your own. I nodded and he dialled. The appointment is for three thirty today. I got up to leave. Im going to get changed, I look a mess. You look fine to me Alli, were only going to the hospital morgue, not the Ritz. I sat down again. Come on, he said with a smile. Well have a walk to pick up my car. Its parked behind the station. The railway station is miles away. That tickled him. Police Station. I giggled and we left the cafe. I walked beside him, through the streets, to the back of the Police Station. He pulled keys from his pocket and pressed a button. Lights flashed on a black car at the end of a line of cars and I followed him over to it. He opened the passenger door for me and I got in and waited for him. Before he got in, I heard someone call his name. He walked away from the car and talked to another man, across the yard. He didnt talk for long and hurried back to join me in his car. Sorry about that, work things. He started the engine and drove out of the car park. I didnt recognise anywhere he took me. Ive never been to the hospital before, I suppose Im lucky.

He drove to the back of the hospital and parked near a building, without windows, that seemed to be stuck onto the main building. It protruded at an awkward angle but the sign over the only door stopped me daydreaming. I stared at it and heard my door being opened. Harvey stood there, waiting for me to get out. You can change your mind Alli, its okay. I got out. Im changing nothing, Harvey. He turned from me, after locking the car and headed for the sign. Morgue. We walked under it, through the door. Harvey spoke to a woman behind a desk. I saw her point to chairs behind us, so I sat on one. Harvey joined me. They wont take long; they always wait until people arrive before they get them out. Just in case people change their minds. It must happen often. I didnt answer him; he took that to mean that I was scared and asked, Are you sure Alli? Give it a rest Harvey; if I was scared, I wouldnt be here at all. Youd never have got me in your car. I heard him trying not to laugh and elbowed him, Remember where you are. He straightened himself out. Theyre ready. The woman behind the desk said to Harvey, Im sure you know the way? She smiled at him and he turned to me and said, Lets go. I followed him through some double doors and he knocked on the first door on his right. He didnt wait for an answer and opened it. I followed him into a room with a very narrow bed in the middle. The bed was draped to the floor with a white cloth and the shape of a body was obvious beneath it. A man in white stood beside the bed on one side and Harvey guided me to stand near the bed beside him. Are you ready Alli? I nodded. The man in white put his arm across the top of the bed and took hold of the white cloth in both hands. He pulled it back and Adey lay there, looking very pale and very still. Its Adey. Am I allowed to touch him? The man in white nodded. I glanced at Harvey, Ill give you a minute. He moved to the other side of the room with the man in white and waited. I studied his face for a few minutes; his eyes look like mine, dark rings.

Adey, youre a bit of an idiot; I always said shed be the death of you and look where youve landed. Youve got a long wait for me. Youd better wait or Ill hunt you down, remember it. I kissed his lips and his forehead. Come and see me some time; it wont freak me out, you know that. Im going to see your drunken mother and get her to bury you. Perhaps you could haunt her for a bit, get your own back. Ive got to go, come and see me soon. I kissed his lips again and turned towards the two men. Thank you, I said to the man in white. He nodded with a smile hovering on his lips. Harvey didnt say a word and led me out of the building. On the way to Adeys mums house, I caught him glancing at me a couple of times. You might as well say what youre thinking, and dont lie. I was thinking; theyll be talking about that for years to come. I bet theyve never had anyone talk to someone dead like that, ever. I started laughing and he joined in. I suppose it must have looked odd to you both, but its never bothered me: I see dead people all the time. Harvey pulled up at a curb and stopped the engine. Youll have to explain that to me properly, Alli and I dont want to be driving while you do it. He waited. Ive seen dead people, since I can remember. I think thats why I had all those beatings; they didnt believe me. My parents used to stand outside my bedroom door, listening to me talking to the dead. Theyd come in and beat me, until I promised not to do it again. The dead used to talk to me; I was hardly going to ignore them. Now, youre going to keep clear of me? Harvey smiled. You couldnt be further from the truth; I think its fascinating. You dont realise what you have, do you? I looked at him, puzzled. I expect youre going to tell me. Alli, you have a special gift; I know a lot of people who would give their right arm for it. I smirked at him. Im deadly serious. Its my day off tomorrow; would you let me take you to see someone? Who? Im not going to see some crackpot psychiatrist. Ive seen too many of them. They really did a number on you, didnt they? God, he

actually believes me. Where are we going and what time are you picking me up? He laughed and said, Im so pleased, youre going to trust me. Were going to see an old lady who runs a church near your digs. I go every week, unless work gets in the way. Ill pick you up at eleven, if thats okay? Its fine. Could we possibly leave Adeys mother until tomorrow; shell be rat arsed now and wont hear a word I say. He tried to hide the smile on his face and agreed. Fuck off; this is our patch. The girl with the short skirt snapped at me. I looked at her as if she wasnt there, listening to her thoughts.

She must be mad, taking no notice of me. Ill show her.

I wouldnt, if I were you. What wouldnt I do? she answered back with more confidence. I wouldnt try anything, if you know whats good for you. The girl started laughing. I got hold of her arm and turned on the pressure, until she started yelling for me to stop. She looked at her friends, for help; they werent about to do anything for her, they had their eyes riveted on me. We dont want any trouble, the fat cow whimpered. Nor do I now fuck off; I dont want to see your snivelling faces near me again. Is that clear? Crystal; can I have my arm back. I let her arm go and they moved away in a huddle, talking about me. I couldnt give a toss what they said; I didnt want them near me, thats all.

Harvey knocked on my door at exactly eleven oclock. I hurried down with my jacket, bag and keys, opened the door to a lovely day and Harveys smile. Hi, I said as I slammed my door. He had the passenger door open for me; parked on double yellow lines. Your carriage awaits, Maam, I giggled as I got in. He had a happy face on today. When he got settled in his seat, he handed me a tiny paper carrier bag.

Whats this, bribery? I could see that amused him. Take a look, it wont bite you. He watched as I looked inside. I put my hand in and pulled out a bottle of concealer. When I looked at the label for the colour I was amazed; its the same colour I use. Thank you Harvey; I keep forgetting to get any. How did you know what colour to get? Im good at that sort of thing. I pulled down the visor and looked in the mirror. Do you mind waiting until Ive put some on; my eyes look as bad as Adeys did, yesterday. He gestured with his hand and I started to work on the dark circles, below my eyes. It took a few minutes but he waited patiently, watching me. There. I look almost human again? He laughed at the words I used but didnt comment and started the engine. We didnt go far, we could have walked it in a couple of minutes. Why have a dog and bark yourself, I suppose. He pulled the car to a halt in front of a large house beside a tiny cottage, got out and opened my door. We went up the path to the front door of the cottage and it opened, before he got his hand to the bell. Come in Harvey, an elderly lady asked. Who have you got with you? Hello dear, Im pleased hes brought a friend to see me. Come in, Ive just made some tea. Harvey walked down the hall and opened a kitchen door; he knows his way around. He certainly does, dear. I looked at her, shocked; someone else can do the same as me. Come and have some tea with me dear, we have a lot to talk about. I followed her to the kitchen. Harvey was already parked on one of the chairs at the small table. He looked up at me, before I pulled a chair to sit on and pushed a cup of tea towards me, then the sugar bowl. Thanks Harvey. Alli, this is Jenny. I smiled at her and said, Hello Jenny. She smiled back and said, Im very pleased Harvey brought you to see me, Alli. Jenny, Ive only known Alli a short time, but its evident she has special gifts. She doesnt realise how special they are. Jenny

looked at me over her cup. Ive already seen one of them Harvey and I know theres more. I balked at her answer. Please tell me, what you can do, Alli; I sense its quite a list? I looked at Harvey his face was serious. I see dead people; I cant remember when I couldnt. They come to me to talk mostly; some come and ask me to do things for them. It varies. I read minds and know when someones lying to me. I lose track of time a lot, days go missing. When I sleep, which is not often, I wake in the strangest places. I could see a smile, growing on Harveys face and Jenny matched him. Why am I here? It seems to me Alli, youve had to deal with this on your own, most of your life. Am I correct? Jenny waited for my reply. Ive never known anything different. I was aware when I got to school I was the only one there who could do it. It didnt gain me any friends. It never does dear, most people are scared of it, Jenny said gently. Can I ask you a question Jenny? She smiled, Go ahead child. What is it? I picked up my cup and waited for her to reply. She was working out whether to tell me everything, or not. I want to know it all Jenny, I turned to Harvey, Are you the same as me? Do you want business? How dumb is that. Of course you do; you wouldnt have pulled up, if you didnt. The punter behind the wheel started weighing his options.

She looks alright, maybe shell do.

Come on, I havent got all day. Youre costing me money.

God, shes pushy.

Alright, get in. he blurted out. I got in the passenger seat. The engine was already running. He rammed the car into gear and started to pull away from the curb. I put my hand over his on the steering wheel. As I yelled, Stop, my hand crushed his hand, until he screamed. The car glided to a stop and jolted, as the front tyre hit the curb.

What do you want exactly; were going nowhere until I know. Now hes