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The Pact by Dawn Goodwin
About The Book
I’ll kill yours, if you kill mine.
life has come crashing down around her. Her husband has left
her and moved on with a new woman and baby. No longer can she run from the past that’s been haunting her. The past has destroyed her future.
In a new flat, trying to start a new life, Maddie meets Jade and her young son, Ben. All too swiftly Maddie finds the dark thoughts whirring through her brain. But Jade’s different, she loves Ben, doesn’t she?
As the two women begin to open up about their exes over a few glasses of wine, Jade conjures a plan, a pact. She’ll kill Maddie’s if Maddie kills hers. Laughing it off, Maddie returns to her normal life. But what if it wasn’t a joke at all…
It was too quiet. The air sat heavy around her, expectant, like it was waiting for her to do something. Then a siren wailed in the distance, building in crescendo before fading. She sipped unenthusiastically at the champagne and took a bite from one of the chocolates. Turkish Delight. It tasted like soap in her mouth. She spat the half eaten chocolate back into the box, washed the taste down with the champagne and picked the next chocolate along. Before long, she had taken just one bite from every chocolate in the box. Maddie snatched up the box and threw it hard across the room where it hit the bare white wall with a slap.She stared at the spilled chocolates, willing herself to leave them, let them squish into the carpet. She didn’t care. But in the end, she got up, cleaned up the mess and climbed back into bed.Her phone chirruped next to her, making her jump. A text from Greg.
Hope you settled in ok. Enjoy your first evening in your new home. Let me know if you need anything. Greg x
If his girlfriend thought it strange that he was still so much a part of Maddie’s life, she had never let on to Maddie in so many words, but Maddie could imagine the conversations that went on behind closed doors. It wasn’t that Gemma resented Maddie or felt threatened as such. After all, what was there to feel threatened by exactly? No, it was pity Maddie saw in Gemma’s face when she looked at her. And annoyance–like she was the stubborn five pounds in weight you couldn’t shake after the summer holidays.There for now, but you were hopeful it would eventually disappear without too much of a struggle.Maddie couldn’t blame Gemma really. She’d be annoyed too. For her part, Maddie was well aware that a lot of the attention from Greg was firmly rooted in guilt.Maddie sighed into the quiet, drained what little was left in the mug, then reached over and turned out the light, even though it was only eight thirty.She tossed and turned but must’ve eventually fallen asleep because she woke with a start and sat bolt upright in bed. She started to say to Greg in the dark, ‘Did you hear that?’, then remembered she was alone, the other side of the bed still neat and cold.A door slammed. Voices were raised. A woman, shrill and piercing, shouting at a man, who repliedin low rumbles like thunder.Maddie’s heart hammered in her chest. Did she lock the front door? Put the chain on?The woman was swearing loud, crass words. Maddie crept out of bed and along the hallway towards the front door. The light from the entrance hall outside shone through the gap below her front door and she could see shadows cutting into the light as someone danced around. She approached timidly, could feel the draft of cold air blowing under the door onto her bare toes as she peered through the peephole. She could make out bodies, hands waving, a man’s broad shoulders. She reached over to check the chain was on, then put her eye back to the peephole. A woman was standing with her back to Maddie’s door, her peroxide blonde ponytail swinging as she accused the man mountain of being a ‘lying, dickless lowlife’. His response was muffled before he stormed from the building, the walls reverberating as the door to the outside slammed behind him. The woman stood still, her back stiff.The woman then moved over to the door opposite Maddie’s, almost out of sight of the peephole, and began to hammer on it with closed fists. ‘Did you hear all that, Peggy? You nosy bitch! Did you get every word?’ She kicked at the door with heavy black boots, leaving dark scuff marks on the paintwork. ‘You can go back to bed now,Peggy!’ Her voice was noxious.Maddie felt like she had stopped breathing as she watched. The kicking stopped and the woman looked like she was going to leave. Then, quick as a flash, she spun around and launched at Maddie’s door. A glassy blue eye filled the peephole as she peered in from the outside. Maddie gasped and ducked, keeping perfectly still and silent. After a moment, she felt foolish. Surely no one could see in from the other side. Maddie took a breath and peeked again, but the corridor was now empty.
She double checked the lock and chain, then padded quietly into the kitchen, her hand trembling as she filled a mug with water and gulped it down.She headed back to bed, then retraced her steps and turned the hallway light on.She crept back into her still warm bed and pulled the covers up to her chin, feeling small and childish as she sank down into the warmth and watched the shadows in the bedroom dancing in the light from the hallway.Her heart was still hammering and she didn’t expect to fall back asleep. A check of her phone showed that it was 3.30 a.m. She lay on her back so that she could see the whole room in front of her, her eyes flitting around with every creak and groan of the unfamiliar building.Was this what it was going to be like every night?Surprisingly, before long, her eyes felt heavy again and began to droop.Then music started upstairs, thumping and insistent through the ceiling, the bass thick and weighted, and Maddie was fully awake once more.
About The Author
Dawn’s career has spanned PR, advertising and publishing. Now, she loves to write about the personalities hiding behind the masks, whether beautiful or ugly. Married, she lives in London with her two daughters and a British bulldog called Geoffrey.