Synopsis : The book centres around two characters called Casey Alder and Jodie Flynn. Casey is a mid-twenties cycle courier in London and lives in the area of Finsbury Park which is in the North end of London. She rents a first floor flat from an older lady, who lives in the ground floor of the house. The lady insists that Casey calls her Aunt Essie and she treats her like another grand-daughter. Casey is known as a player though out the gay scene, and is happy with that. That way it is easier to be safe. A childhood in care can make you uneasy of relationships.
Aunt Essie, though feels that Casey could do with being in a relationship, and would love for her to meet her grand-daughter Jodie. This proves harder than she thought and the two girls keep missing each other. Then Casey is shot and sees another person killed as she does a late night pick up for her job.
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Casey woke up with a start. She raised her head and let out a groan. Unable to hold her head up due to the thumping pain she let it fall back down onto the pillow. With a sigh, she opened one eye. When that didn't feel too bad, she opened the other. Moving her head slowly she checked to see if the girl she had picked up the night before was still there. But the rest of the bed was empty. She wondered is she had actually said goodbye to her, or just collapsed. Gingerly she moved her body to an upright position and swung her legs out of bed. As she surveyed the wreckage of her bedroom, she frowned and pushed her dark hair out of her eyes as she tried to spy some clothes to put on. As she looked around, she became aware that someone was banging on the door with great urgency. She found a faded tank top and a pair of loose boxer shorts, and taking a look to see if they were clean, she quickly got dressed. Her head began to clear a bit as she walked out into the hallway to see who was banging on her door so loudly. Making her way to the door she looked through the peephole and saw Aunt Essie the lady she rented the top floor flat from dressed in a very pink dressing gown. She sighed as she opened the door as she knew from past experience that the landlady would not go away until she did.
Aunt Essie looked very angry, Casey braced herself and her ears for a scolding.
“Casey Alder” she bawled, “What time do you call this? I told you, my girl, that I would make your life hell if I had to wake you for work one more time”. Staggering backwards at the force with which the elderly lady came towards her. Casey groaned and uttered the first words to enter her head. “Who bought you that god awful dressing gown?” As the words left her mouth she looked up at Aunt Essie and muttered “Oh shit” It was the last thing she said as the next moment she was being grabbed by the arm and swung into her bathroom down the hallway. Casey was confused as to why they were both there and stood mute as Aunt Essie began to fill the sink with cold water. Just as she opened her mouth to ask why, Aunt Essie plunged her head into the water. She pulled back and spluttered, “What the hell?” And again, she was plunged into the water. This time when she was let up, Casey sat down on the side of the bath and looked up at the old lady who had just nearly drowned her. “Why did you just try to kill your best tenant?” She gasped between bouts of coughing. Aunt Essie laughed , “My best tenant. Ha, you are my only tenant. You are enough trouble as it is, All I am trying to do is keep you gainfully employed”. Casey groaned as she rubbed her face with her hands. “How late am I this time?” she asked. Aunt Essie sighed and sat beside Casey “Not late, but Casey you need to slow down on the drinking and dancing on a school night. It's not good for your health or mine. I almost had a heart attack this morning as some girl bumped into me as she was sneaking out of the house. There I was picking up the newspaper and then all of a sudden there was this young girl beside me trying to get past.” Casey looked at the women who for some reason thought that she was worth her time and energy, and felt so tired of everything going on in her life. “I know Aunt Essie. I'm sorry. I promise I'll try to cut down.” She dropped her head and looked up at the old lady through her fringe. Aunt Essie shook her head but her eyes twinkled, “Don't you be using those puppy dog eyes on me. You know the one” She said as Casey tried to interrupt. “I have been on this earth far too long to be falling for that. Now if I was forty years younger things might be different.” She winked. Aunt Essie then gave Casey a hug. She walked into the hallway but turned back and looked straight at Casey. “I mean it Casey. You need to sort it out, But for now I will settle for getting you to work”. Left alone, Casey sunk to the floor and rested her back against the bath. She raised her eyes to the ceiling. Well that was another eventful night , she thought, what was the girls name….Emma? Jay? She shook her head. Nope, no good. My brain has gone blank, yet again. She stood up and stripped of her wet tank top and looked down her body . I might not remember her name but she definitely left her mark on me. She thought as she examined her breasts and nipples, which were red and puffy. Obviously a biter. Casey rolled her neck and stood up. Oh well onwards and upwards. Shower then work for me. On time for the first time this week maybe, thanks to my landlady.
Casey let out a laugh, stepped out of her boxers then stepped into the shower, and turned it onto full power. All thoughts of the previous night disappeared from her head as she contemplated what she was going to do that evening.
Just to the west in Camden, Jodie Flynn had been up for past two hours. Already, she had run her usual 5 miles along the canal side, cleaned her flat and was now going to her favourite haunt for breakfast; The Bean ‘n' Cup. As she entered the café, she noticed Nicky sprawled on one of the sofas holding an iced coffee to her head. 'Oh great', Jodie thought. 'What has she been up to now? Jodie was sure that when she had left the bar last night that Nicky had said she would be leaving just after her. Now at that point of the night, Nicky had had only a couple of beers, not enough to be feeling as she looked this morning. Saying Hi to Peter behind the counter, she ordered a pot of tea and a muffin, then headed over to Nicky. Grabbing a newspaper on the way, she playfully smacked Nicky on the head with it as she sat down. “What's up with you this morning?” She asked. Nicky looked up with eyes that had not seen much sleep the night before. “Well I was just putting on my coat when this gorgeous creature who I've not seen in the pub before come in the door.” Jodie laughed “And of course you had to stay and make sure she was welcome, didn't you. Well I hope she and the hangover were worth it as I have a busy day planned for you at work.” Jodie had an evil grin on her face as she thanked Peter for her tea. “First, I need you to install two alarm systems this morning. Ooh, that will involve drills won't it? Nice and noisy” Nicky glared at Jodie. “You have a really nasty bone in that body. Sean wouldn't make me do those jobs” Jody replied “I know. Sean would take pity on you, but only if you told him all the gory details of what happened last night. Whereas I will get the details when you come round for dinner tonight after doing a hard day's work” She softened and gave Nicky a hug. “I will come and help you today as I will probably be bored in the office.”
A couple of miles away, Casey has just parked her bike outside Ace Couriers. The owner and a couple of the other riders stood up as she entered the office and gave her a round of applause. Blushing, Casey gave a little bow. “Oh you are all sooooo funny. Not!! . Cliff , the owner, slung his arm around her shoulders and handed her a hot cup of black coffee. “Let me guess, a late night, another girl, and then your work guardian angel got you up” “Completely right, Cliff” Laughed Casey. “Although there are many words at this precise moment in time I could call Aunt Essie, an angel isn't one of them. She is one cruel woman when the mood takes her.”
Cliff sat back down behind his desk and gave Casey her work for the day. “I need you to do a split shift today. A few hours this morning then back in around six pm if you can?” Casey lifted her head from the paperwork, pen in mouth she mumbled “Of course, but why is that?” Cliff replied “Well, you're doing a pick up from one old lady later, and she doesn't want any males coming to her door. So I said I had one female rider and she wanted you. Though if I was her, I'd be more scared of you with your reputation!” He said laughing and ducked as Casey threw her pen at him. “Cheeky git. Yeah that's not a problem, gives me a chance to get home and catch a nap.”
As Jodie and Nicky arrived at the last job of the morning, Nicky suddenly gasped and grabbed the paperwork “What house are we installing at?” She asked. Jodie replied “Number 12 the one over there with the red door and the lady waving at us” Jodie smiled and waved back at her.
“Oh thank god” Nicky collapsed back in her seat, “ I thought you were going to say the one with the blue and yellow door. That is where I spent last night. Not too sure if I am ready to run into Casey again. I kinda sneaked out on her this morning and then to make it even more embarrassing, I nearly knocked over an older lady on the stairs who was on her way up!” Jodie turned in her seat to get a better look at Nicky. She took a deep breath, composed herself then as calmly as she could said “So Nicky what you are telling me is, that you were in number 8 last night, you slept with a girl called Casey and then you nearly knocked my great Aunt Essie down the stairs. Is that about right?” Nicky blanched and felt like she was going to be sick. “Yep. I, uh, I think that is about right. But I swear your Aunt was in one piece when I left the house. Honest!”
“You know what Nicky?” Jodie said. “You have managed to do something that I have been trying to do for at least a year” “What? Try to shag Casey?” Nicky muttered “You don't do things like that. In fact, when was the last time you actually had sex?”
“Now that is none of your business. What I meant was, I have been trying to get a look at Aunt Essie's elusive lodger, every time I visit. She is either out or sleeping. Aunt Essie thinks…” Jodie shook her head and stopped mid-sentence. “Never mind. Let's get on with the job”. Nicky grabbed Jodie's arm as she tried to leave the van “Oh no. You don't get away that easy, Aunt Essie thinks what Jodie?” Jodie wrestled her arm free, and jumped out of the van. She looked back at Nicky and said. “Aunt Essie thinks too much for her own good and you don't need to know anything that she thinks. Now get you and your arse out of the van and let's get to work.”
To be continued in Part 2.
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