Little men - the e book

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Little Men

The E Book

Copyright©Ronnie Yax 2011 www.the-e-book.co.uk

The right of Ronnie Yax to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with 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 prior permission of the copyright owner.

All the characters in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Part One

Prologue - January 2002

Kyla Andretti inched the curtain aside and peered out of her bedroom window. Journalists and photographers were gathering. She wondered how they knew.

It was a dank and miserable afternoon at the end of January. Frequently, a camera would flash, the bright yellow light momentarily illuminating the dismal grey surroundings. Kyla felt cold and numb as she watched the throng gathering at the front gates of her home.

Suddenly someone below spotted her at the window. A quick succession of cameras flashed in unison. She quickly moved away from the curtain as the police had told her to.

“Keep out of sight,” the young PC had instructed her just over an hour ago. He and his colleague were first on the scene after Kyla had called 999 when she’d discovered the body. The dead body of her ex-boyfriend, Simon Owen.

It was clear he’d been murdered. Kyla had walked into the dining room of the house to find him tied to a chair, head slumped forward. A huge dark pool of blood surrounded the corpse, discolouring the cream carpet beyond all recognition.

Kyla shivered as she sat back down on the bed. She looked around her luxury bedroom. Here there was no evidence that anything untoward had happened in the house, it all looked normal. She glanced at the door of the en-suite bathroom. Again she shuddered, staring at the white door, slightly ajar. It was eerie. She could hear a lot of noise downstairs, vehicles pulling up outside, doors slamming. And voices. Again she stared at the door. She stood up, walked across the room and entered the bathroom. It was completely silent, spotless and empty, just as she’d left it the previous evening. She shut the door and sat back down awkwardly on the bed, listening. But it was hard to hear anything at all very clearly.

The young policeman, Graham Quinton, had told her she would have to give a statement and wouldn’t be able to leave the house for a bit. They would have to wait for scenes of crime officers and CID to arrive, then forensics and the pathologist. It would all take a while.

It sounded like all hell was breaking loose downstairs. Kyla thought of Simon. The relationship had been over, although not officially, and they still lived together. It had lasted less than a year. Maybe it went tits-up because they’d rushed things, she thought. She shouldn’t have moved in so quickly. But she’d had nowhere else to go at the time, other than back to her parents.

It was a ‘showbiz’ relationship, they’d met at a wrap party for a reality TV show Kyla was starring in. It had always been doomed to failure, maybe, as so many are. The house was huge but there still was not enough room for both of their egos, and that had been a problem.

Simon had been a well known record producer, not quite a household name but revered like a god in dance music circles, at least as popular as any of the big-name DJs.

It wasn’t difficult to see why he’d fallen for Kyla. Half-Italian and stunningly attractive, with her jet black hair and dark, flawless skin and as perfect a body as it was possible to possess. She was confident, streetwise and savvy, although she felt none of those things today, just cold and vulnerable.

Simon had been fourteen years her senior, and Kyla genuinely believed she’d hit the jackpot when she hooked up with him. He was famous but in a cool way, it was mainly people under the age of thirty who knew about him. He was certainly flamboyant, as one might expect him to be as boss of the UK’s biggest underground dance label and artist-booking agency.

He’d been involved in the club scene from the start and had been instrumental in shaping it into what it is today, a multi-billion pound global franchise. The biggest music movement since rock ’n’ roll. He’d been there at the very beginning, the shores of Ibiza in the late ’eighties, to the rave scene in and around London in the ’nineties, to the superclub era of the new millennium, to the present day, early 2002.

Simon had been involved in projects around the world. He was on first-name terms with anyone that mattered within the music industry, from avant-garde techno DJs to the head of music at the BBC and Hollywood film producers. His agency, NMA, looked after the interests of some of the biggest dance acts and DJs in the world, whose appeal was now truly global, thanks in no small part to the work of Simon Owen and his company.

 

Predictably, there was a media feeding frenzy at the news of Simon’s death. It ‘sent shockwaves around the celebrity world’ as one tabloid screamed. ‘Murdered in his mansion’ was the sensational headline of another.

Simon had worked the media to his own advantage over the years, but recently he’d found it more and more difficult. They had become increasingly cunning. He realised he needed them less and less, but this only made them seemingly take a greater interest in him. They became ever more prying and intrusive. The last few years had seen the advent of the ‘weekly celebrity gossip magazine’, and for some reason they took a keen interest in Simon and his antics.

Maybe it was his good looks, maybe they wanted to appeal to a young demographic. He didn’t know, but he could’ve done without their persistent incursion in the months leading up to his death.

Kyla knew why, but she had a different agenda. She loved the media attention. It was what she craved. It had increased ten-fold when they became an item. They were portrayed as one of the country’s ‘golden couples’. How hollow that sounded now as Simon’s cold body lay in a morgue and almost the entire press was offering up theories about who could have possibly done such a thing.

Chapter One - February 2001

Charlie Caxton stood at the back of the DJ booth. It was almost his time. 2 a.m., the peak slot. He waited patiently for the guy up front to finish his set. Charlie knew him vaguely, Mark Wheeler. He was little more than a warm-up really. Mark turned and gestured to Charlie that his final record had started. He now had about three minutes to get in position and cue up his first track.

Charlie took his first proper look at the dance floor. It was jumping. The warehouse-like room was dark, smoky, and the music deafening, but he instinctively knew how spangled the clubbers were, what stage they’d reached as the little white pills took their intensely magical effect on their collective brains.

Charlie didn’t like big entrances. He was too cool for that. He was past it. He was pleased that this was one of the venues where they didn’t stop the music to introduce the DJ. A name like his needed no introduction. Word would soon get round who was on the decks and he would change style anyway. Mark had whipped the crowd into a frenzy, almost everyone would have dropped their pills by now, some would be on their second, third or fourth.

Charlie carefully and expertly faded Mark’s record out and brought his own one in. It wasn’t a huge tune, but the change in tempo got the clubbers on the stage and at the front of the dance floor to turn and look.

A few of the slightly less mullered realised who it was. The biggest name in dance music was on the decks, a few feet away from where they stood.

Charlie was the main reason tonight was such a biggy, why such a huge crowd had turned up on this freezing Saturday night.

Clubbers were excitedly tapping their friends and pointing at Charlie, but he was used to it. He wasn’t looking but he knew what was going on. He was a man at the absolute top of his profession and in some ways it really didn’t matter what he played tonight. Just the nameCharlie Caxtonmeant the punters would go home happy in the morning. That and a lot of drugs.

Sam Bradley stood at the edge of the dance floor. He was buzzing. He had double-dropped a couple of mitzis and they were having the desired effect. He felt someone grab his arm. It was Amanda.

“Guess who’s just started! Charlie Caxton! Can you see him? I was on the stage. You come up yet? Come on, let’s go!”

Amanda was wide-eyed and a sheen of sweat covered her exposed shoulders. She was chattering but trying to chew gum at the same time, her jaw not fully under control. Sam tried to focus on her, but he couldn’t hear what she was saying as lights and images flashed wildly in front of his eyes which flickered in their sockets. They were both very messy.

Sam and Amanda were joined by the rest of their group, Chris, Ian and Susie.

 

Sam’s evening of debauchery had begun approximately five hours ago. He and Chris were sitting in The Crown having a quiet drink, when Sam started getting restless.

“It’s just so fucking boring… bollocks. I want some pills, you up for it?

“Sam, you know I don’t…”

Sam and Chris had been friends for a long time, and although Sam had been away for a few years at university, they were now living near each other and had resumed their former close friendship. Although they were different in many ways, Chris really admired Sam, and Sam secretly admired Chris. However, this sort of evening tested the bond.

“Come on! All we ever seem to do is sit in this crappy pub.”

“Well…” Chris knew what was coming next.

“It’s Saturday night, for God’s sake. Wecan’tstay in this shithole.”

Chris had to admit Sam had a point about the pub. It was full of old men dribbling into their beer. Chris knew Sam wouldn’t be dissuaded now.

“I’ll call Sean, we’ll score some pills then go to a club up town. The world’s our onion. Come on, I’m driving.”

Chris reluctantly finished his drink and followed his friend out into the car park.

“Sean? Hello, mate… it’s Sam.”

Sam spoke on his mobile as they stood in the cold, trying to stop his teeth chattering.

“Listen, you got any pills? Sorry to be a pain. You have? Great. Er… fifteen? Okay, I’ll be about ten minutes.” Sam snapped his mobile shut, tucked it into his jeans pocket and pulled out his wallet.

“Got a score, Chris?”

“No. Look, I don’t want any, okay?”

Chris was going to stand his ground on this one. Sam didn’t bother pushing any further.

“Okay, fair enough.”

The two men made the journey across Dartford to the council estate where Sean lived, stopping only at a cashpoint for Sam to withdraw the rest of the money. Sean had a fearsome reputation among his customers and it was never advisable to owe him money, so Sam made doubly sure he had the right amount.

“Come on! Come on!” Sam hated this part of it. Picking up. Strangely, others seemed to enjoy the slightly sordid risqué aspect of hanging around grotty flats waiting for the local dealer to get his act together in order to sort them out with a few cheekies.

“Don’t be so impatient,” said Chris, although he wasn’t enjoying it any more than Sam. In fact Chris didn’t want to be there at all. He didn’t even like drugs, he was only there out of loyalty to his friend. And dealers always did this, he thought, they leave you hanging around for ages. Probably to make you think they’ve much more important things to do than faff about with a couple of idiots with nothing better to do on a Saturday night.

Eventually the rear door opened, and Sean let himself into the car.

“Alright, boys?”

“Sean.”

Sean was a few years older but they’d known each other as kids, which meant he was friendlier with them than his other customers. He had been in prison several times since he left school, and a lot of this time was spent body-building. He was now huge and his T-shirt strained against his enormous tattooed chest. His hair was cropped short, revealing various scars on his head where hair didn’t grow. He smelt strongly of cigarettes.

“What you boys been up to?”

“Oh, nothing much. We were up The Crown. You know what it’s like, dull as pisswater. We thought, it’s Saturday night, we should be out toeing it!”

“Well, whatever floats yer boat,” said Sean. “Yeah, I was up The Crown the other night. Kyla was there.”

Both Sam and Chris turned to look at Sean. Just the name was guaranteed to grab attention. The younger lads knew there was history between Kyla and Sean, but they would never dare to bring up her name within his earshot.

“Kyla? I heard she was in America.”

“She was, but she’s back. Her story is she’s got a singing contract in the States but she’s recording in London. Some poncey record label or something.” Sam and Chris listened intently. She was a year younger than them and they remembered her from school, although all the boys knew who she was. Glamorous and stunning to look at, the coolest girl around, she had taken her kudos into adulthood.

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