Check-in

Chapter 10 of my work-in-progress novel, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
Visit https://lunasonline.wordpress.com/wip-novel/ to read from the start.

From the moment the lift doors swished closed Lucy and Pierre couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Still entwined, Lucy grappled with the key and they burst into the room. Pierre kicked the door shut. Within moments they crashed onto the large double bed, leaving a trail of discarded garments behind them.

Lucy quivered feeling his hot breath on her neck as Pierre ran his hands over her nakedness. As his head moved down his long hair swept over her belly and she gasped with pleasure. Leaving her on the edge of ecstasy, he raised his head and grinned up at her, eyes glinting in the dim light from the street outside. Then his lips were on hers and Lucy tasted her saltiness on them.

Lucy reached for him, guiding him inside her. She arched her back meeting his thrusts, deeper and deeper. She wrapped her legs tightly around his hips, her fingers raking his back. At last he shuddered and relaxed against her. Lucy moaned in the ecstasy of the moment, clinging onto him as she convulsed with satisfaction. Sated, they nestled together and then, wrapped in each other’s arms they drifted, united on a sea of carnal pleasure.

***

Pierre’s eyes snapped open. Lucy, his beautiful Lucy, was there next to him, sound asleep. In the dim orange light he could see she was smiling ever so slightly. Perhaps she always looked like this when she was asleep. He rubbed his eyes replaying the events of the past few hours. They had a problem. He had a problem. It was he who’d dragged her into this mess. Not by intention, but by sheer…oh, what was the point in recrimination? He needed to get this sorted. He slid out of bed carefully so as not to wake her, crept around the bed and then silently put on his clothes. He picked up the gold envelope and slid it carefully into the bedside drawer beside Lucy.

Pierre slipped out of the room and started to pace the corridor. Albie Chan was clearly not a man to be trifled with. Maybe he’d underestimated him. What was so important about the ruby anyway? Okay, Chan had been interested in the piece, but Pierre had seen many other jewels where the ruby necklace had come from and he was confident he could still obtain something just as appealing to the him. But was it worth the risk? He would need more time and already he’d put Lucy in enough danger. He could simply return the ruby. But no, he wanted her to keep the ruby.

Pierre shook his head. He really couldn’t face telling Lucy the truth. Not yet. From the moment he had seen her, then danced with her that first night and afterwards when they had gone on…he had to admit it, he was obsessed with her. He wanted to…had to…hold onto her. Pierre stopped his pacing and stood still for a moment, then he turned on his heel and made for the stairs.

Pierre moved silently through the hotel and back down into the tunnel system. This time he took a different route. People would be amazed at what lay beneath the everyday streets of Liverpool. Not only was there a network of tunnels, there was a network of people all hidden within this shady underworld. Here there were people who lived out of the mainstream or led separate existences. These were people with secrets, people with powers. And Aurora, who many years ago had taken Pierre under her wing, was one of them.

His destination wasn’t far. Double checking that he was unobserved, Pierre climbed a narrow metal ladder which led up to a battered wooden door. He opened it and slipped through into the darkness beyond. He took the worn stone steps two at a time arriving at another door. This door was modern, made of steel plate with an electronic lock. Pierre punched a number into the key pad and the door unlocked with a loud metallic click. The door opened into a carpeted hallway which was lit by a succession of wall lamps. There was a flight of stairs to the left. Pierre hurried up to the first landing and paused in front of an imposing set of carved wooden doors.

At that moment one of the doors opened and a man appeared carrying a silver tray. If he were surprised by Pierre’s presence he didn’t show it, he merely nodded and held the door open for Pierre to enter.

Pierre stepped over the threshold, struck immediately by the heat of the roaring fire in the huge fireplace at the far end of the large, high-ceilinged room. Two tall, wing-backed chairs faced the fireplace. An arm appeared from the one on the left and a single finger beckoned him to approach.

***

It was some time later when Lucy awoke. At first she wasn’t sure where she was. Then the events and emotions of earlier came back to her: the delight at winning the dancing competition, the fear and excitement when those men were chasing them and the ensuing fight; Lucy shuddered at the memory of the man she’d struck lying on the floor, blood pooling around his head. Then those weird tunnels and…but where was Pierre? The bed was empty.

Switching on the bedside lamp and called his name softly, but there was no reply. She wrapped the top sheet around her and padded across the thick carpet to the bathroom. It was empty. Turning back towards the bed she saw that his clothes had gone. Hers were strewn across the floor where she had cast them off with such abandon. There was no sign of the gold envelope with what remained of their prize money after they’d paid for the room. She got back into bed and gathered the sheet around her. Where was he? Had he just left her? She raised her hand to her throat, feeling for her necklace.

Her fingers stroked the ruby gently. She looked down, watching as it caught the light, revealing the special star hidden in its depths. What was it that Cynth had said about it? Passionate, unbridled love? Well, that part had been right. She felt a thrill run through her body. Suddenly her heart was pumping.

But where was he? Lucy looked at the radio-alarm clock on the bedside table, 03:17.

©2018 Chris Hall

Go to Chapter 11

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