Coming Soon – Book Two
In the Deep End – Book Two
A work in progress. This is the Book Two of the popular, In the Deep End Series. This captivating family saga continues with Hawke, exploring his love relationships.
This romantic suspense deepens when Hawke and Sacha return to their native Los Angeles after a year in New Zealand.
Their affair sets up a chain reaction that threatens their bond and exposes the family’s darkest secrets. Was it a mistake to include Fred in Hawke’s fraudulent plan and will Amira tolerate the level of deceit they all share in maintaining appearances?
The fine line between them defines the emergence and reversals of this delicate tale with unexpected love and loss exposed in the intriguing narrative. The cleverly drawn characters could comfortably live next door, as they bring you into their private real-life struggle to resolve the emotional web they have woven. This fast-paced story is unstoppable as the plot twists and turns, making for an unforgettable study in the complexities of modern relationships.
Book Excerpt, Chapter 1 – Book 2
Hawke slammed his foot down as he sped out of the corner, swinging the steering wheel to the right, the wheels barely gripping the winding road along the treacherous precipice. The second-hand black Corvette hugged the tarred surface, its rear back tires almost fishtailed in the night, flicking loose gravel across the snaking road.
He didn’t care. Nothing mattered anymore. His fury out-matched his racing heart as he grit his jaw, shoving the gear-stick backward into fourth and thrusting the accelerator to the floor. The engine roared as he spun the overheated vehicle into the next steep bend. The headlights scanned back and forth as he swerved from one side to the other, powering up the vertical climb. They were the only car lights for miles as he drove to the pinnacle of the mountain. He slowed, skidding to an abrupt stop in a rest area on the cliff-side of the road.
He checked his cell phone; 2.23am.
Hawke wished he hadn’t given up smoking. This was the time to light up and calm down. Clutching the steering wheel with both hands, his muscular forearms tensed, he threw back his head and unleashed a loud groan. He could’ve killed himself driving like a maniac, he thought. That would’ve been a solution. He gripped and let go of the leather-clad steering wheel a few times, attempting to slow his agitated breathing.
After several minutes, he pushed himself back into the leather seat and glanced outside towards the deep valley below. The dark shapes of the rugged, sharp surfaces of the cliff-side seemed pitted against his will. Small silhouettes of low shrub and tussock grasses formed ominous shadows clinging to the cliff face as they teased him about driving over the edge into the narrow gorge below. Within seconds he raised his tormented gaze upwards, focusing on the dark horizon.
He reached for the door handle and let himself out of the car. He squinted over the roof of the Corvette at the vast horizon before slamming the door shut and walking to the cliff edge. He stood for a few moments, his dark eyes scanning the view. A low metal barrier with an obscure warning sign to his right didn’t stop him from stepping over onto the open cliff edge. He took another small step and leaned forward, into the oncoming breeze. Looking down into the rocky gorge he could see the occasional glint of the river slithering its way over hard-edged boulders, and flashes of white reminded him of the overpowering force that lay below, waiting for him only a few steps away. He could feel the pull, the yearning just to step out over the edge.
He exhaled and stepped back, feeling the low metal barrier against the back of his knees. The rising breeze blew his fringe across his face as he felt his cellphone vibrate in his jeans pocket. The sound seemed to shake him back from the brink of insanity. Had he lost his mind? Lost his sense of reality? He shoved his hand into his pocket, withdrawing the phone. It was Tracy. He hesitated before thrusting it back in his pocket before stepping over the barrier and walking back to the waiting car.
He slumped into the comfort of the warm leather driver’s seat and blew out a deep breath. Pressing the palms of his hands over his eyes, Hawke pushed his fingers through his hair and gave a loud sigh of relief. The escaping breath seemed to ease the tension, and he started the ignition. He recalled how Tracy had argued with him as he turned the steering wheel back to the mountain road.
It was only the previous day that Hawke Davis had sat among the dry tussock grass, undulating like ocean waves along the California coastline. His gaze drifted along the exposed sand dunes embracing the shore. It had struck him that it was time to extricate himself from the relationship with his long-term girlfriend.
With slightly bronzed skin after basking in the last days of the summer sun, his soft white cotton t-shirt pulled tightly across his chest and hung down past his hips, exposing baggy khaki shorts. Hawke’s blue eyes were partly obscured by his hair, ruffled by the gentle off-shore breeze. Staring at the rolling surf as waves reached out and grasped the beach, Hawke felt the rhythm of the thrashing ocean mirroring the beat of his pounding heart. He re-lived the argument with Tracy. She seemed immovable in her defiance. He pulled the fresh salt sea air through his nostrils and blew it out through his open mouth, attempting to ease his deep sense of remorse.
Her words still rung in his ears as he tried to talk with her in their shared apartment. They were both seated on the pale grey, designer sofa opposite a low flat chrome and glass coffee table. Their contemporary living room was minimalist, open and uncluttered, with a compact modern kitchen at one end. They were both drinking a mid-morning coffee before heading out to the local shopping mall. Hawke hardened himself and initiated the conversation about the end of their shared living arrangement.
‘But we have so much together.’ Tracy’s plaintive voice pleaded with him not to leave her. ‘How can you just throw me away like this?’
‘I’ve tried to explain,’ Hawke said, brushing both hands through his dark hair. ‘There’s no one else Tracy, it’s me. I want out. I don’t know what else I can say?’ Hawke’s voice overflowed with frustration. He only had imperfect words to explain his need to be rid of her. The more he tried to avoid hurting her, the more she pleaded. He decided to keep his reasons to himself. Yes, he agreed, she had helped him recover and supported him over the past year into full remission from lymphoma. Back then, he had clung onto her, sobbed with her, clutched onto every scrap of attention along with her calm, healing words of reassurance. But now, a survivor, he didn’t need to be mothered and checked on constantly. He wanted to live a new kind of life. His perspective had shifted dramatically. Marriage, white picket fences and children seemed like someone else’s dream. He came to realize it was her fantasy and not his. ‘Life is terminal Tracy,’ he stated, watching her shoulders slump back and her sandy brown hair fall forward, partly obscuring her face. ‘I want to live life, every moment, and I want to be free from all restraints. I’m sorry but, like I said, I don’t want any relationship.’
‘Why? What’s wrong?’ Tracy asked again. ‘I’ve looked after you all this time. I nursed you when you were so ill. I did everything I could to make you better.’
‘I know you did,’ he replied. ‘I’ll be thankful to you for the rest of my life, but I just can’t handle being with anyone. It’s changed for me. I realize I need something different. I’ve had a wake-up call, and I’ve got places to go and a life to experience.’ He shook his head, looking down at his feet as she stared at him, not comprehending. ‘It’s over Tracy,’ he mumbled as an after-thought.
‘But can’t we share your new life? Can’t I be with you?’ she asked, her question tinged with bitterness and rising tension.
Hawke held her gaze in silence.
Unexpectedly, she shouted. ‘You’re unbelievable!’ Tracy’s face contorted with the fear of reality. ‘I hate you! You’re a pig! After everything I’ve done.’
He reached his hand out to her waving arm, wanting to calm her rising anger.
‘Don’t you dare touch me,’ she screamed, stepping away from him. ‘You talked of love, but you don’t know what love is!’ She swung around about to storm out of the lounge. ‘I’m not an idiot. I know there’s someone else. There must be!’ Tracy’s voice grew cold and calculating as she spat the last words she would ever say to him. ‘You were a useless lay anyway!’
He looked taken aback by her abrupt change of heart. He could feel the sharp edge of her pain but was unable to resist stabbing her back. ‘Why don’t you try being a lesbian? I think you’d enjoy yourself a whole more!’ he shot back.
She gasped, turned and stormed from the room, slamming the door so hard the windows shuddered.
Hawke shook his head in shock, his eyes wide with surprise as her words knifed him through the heart. There was no point in arguing. He was leaving California and announced he was returning to New Zealand to stay with his Uncle Alex’s good friends who had a vacant bach outside Whangamata. It was a small self-contained log cabin, surrounded by native and exotic forest. Dense bush divided by dirt tracks, isolated the remote property from the tourist centre of the small seaside town. A holiday haven of sea, sand and solace was enjoyed by happy throngs of locals and foreigners alike during the long summer months. This was another gold-plated escape-hatch, a lifeline thrown to him by his uncle. After Tracy’s bitter exchange, it was only a few days later that Hawke was due to leave the country. It was no surprise that she decided not to see him off at the airport …