About the Book
I’ll kill yours, if you kill mine.
Maddie’s 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…
The box was heavy in her arms as Maddie Lowe slid the key into the front door and pushed it open. The door swung back hard against the wall, leaving a dirty mark on the crisp white paint that she would only notice later. A bruise on the wall marking the day she moved in. She could hear Greg huffing and puffing behind her as he struggled into the main entrance hall of the small block of flats with more boxes. Maddie hesitated in front of the open door, despite the weighty box in her arms. ‘Are you waiting for me to carry you over the threshold or something?’ Greg said behind her with a chuckle. She flinched at the inappropriate joke. Maddie stepped into the flat and dropped the box at her feet, her back aching as she straightened up. ‘Thank God it’s not on the next floor up. Looks like the lift is broken.’ Sweat had broken out on Greg’s forehead. ‘Where do you want this?’
‘Um…’ Maddie looked around the empty open-plan living space. It looked deceptively spacious with very little furniture in it. Everything clean and sparse, a blank canvas on which to start anew. ‘Anywhere, I guess,’ she replied around the stone lodged in her throat. Greg headed towards the kitchen area and thumped the box down in the corner. ‘Look, Maddie, I…’ He rubbed at his hair and she wanted to reach out and still his hand, tell him not to do that, that it was thinning there and he would only make it worse.
Instead, she said nothing. His thinning hair was Gemma’s problem now.
An awkwardness filled the space between them, hanging off the end of his unfinished sentence as he pained over what to say next. In the end, she bailed him out again, saying, ‘It’ll be lovely with some plants and bright curtains. Some furniture is being delivered on Monday. A few nice cushions…’ She looked around at her new home. The first place she would have lived in entirely on her own.
‘I hate bloody cushions, but you can have as many as you like now.’ This time he didn’t laugh at his own joke.
‘Right. Well, the next time you come, it will be much more homely, I’m sure.’
He chewed at the inside of his lip. ‘That little garden out there is nice,’ he said,nodding towards the sliding doors on the far side of the room. ‘Could be a bit of a sun trap. You could grow herbs or vegetables maybe.’ Maddie remained rooted to the spot. ‘Right, well, let me get the rest of these boxes in.’ He scurried out and she sighed, looking at the postage stamp of grass outside, so different to the large, landscaped
garden she had left behind.
She followed Greg back into the corridor. A few more trips to the van Greg had hired and Maddie’s meagre belongings and bags of clothes were stashed in the flat, taking up a depressingly small amount of
space. Greg looked around, hands on hips and his legs firmly planted. ‘There we go, all done. Do you need a hand moving these boxes around?’ His eyes darted to the door.
‘No, thanks. I’ve got it from here.’
‘Right, well, I’d better— oh, I nearly forgot!’ He disappeared out to the van again and returned with a glittery gold gift bag, which he held out to Maddie awkwardly.
‘Um, Gemma sent you a housewarming gift, something for your first night in your
new home.’ His eyes didn’t quite meet hers as he handed it over.
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.
Instagram: @ariafictionThe Pact, Dawn Goodwin