|Home > Samantha Young > On Dublin Street Series > Moonlight on Nightingale Way (Page 16)|
|Moonlight on Nightingale Way(On Dublin Street #6)(16) by Samantha Young|
Some of the light dimmed in Maia’s eyes. “Right,” she muttered, and looked away.
I turned back around and caught Logan’s annoyed look. I flushed and glanced away.
Perhaps silence was best after all.
I don’t know what I’d been expecting. Rumors of the dangers of Glasgow were just that. It was like any big city. It had its crime, its good areas, and its not-so-good areas. It was often exaggerated. I was reassured about the exaggeration as we drove through the well-kept council estates of areas that had been depicted in the media as “rough.”
Even when we drew up to the high-rise flats Maia had directed Logan to, I was filled with optimism. Part of me wanted to put Maia in the “overly dramatic teenage girl” file. Was her mum really a junkie, or was she just making stuff up because she’d had an argument with her mum and was upset about finding out who her dad was at such a fragile age?
I ignored my gut, which told me Maia wasn’t that kind of teenager.
I didn’t want anything she had said to be true.
And for Logan.
There was graffiti on the walls of the high-rises, but you got graffiti in lots of places these days. That didn’t mean anything.
When we entered one of the high-rises, the smells of garbage and urine hit my nostrils and my stomach began to sink. When we reached the first floor, I came to a complete standstill at the grim sight of the heavy-duty iron gate that had been attached over the front door of a flat.
What kind of place was this that you needed that kind of security?
Logan nudged me. “Come on.”
“Why?” I pointed at the gate before hurrying to catch up with them.
The muscle in his jaw clenched. “Either the flat of a well-known criminal, or because of their close proximity to the ground floor, they’ve suffered numerous break-ins.”
“This isn’t a nice place, is it?”
“No, it’s fucking not.” Logan’s gaze followed Maia as she led us up to the next floor, and I could see his concern mounting.
Maia stopped halfway down the long corridor of the third floor and drew in a shaky breath. “This is it.”
Although it had no metal grill over the front of it, the door had been kicked in at one point. Not only were there rubber marks from the soles of shoes, but the wood had buckled and cracked near the bottom of the door. The words “hingoot,” “junkie hoor,” and “brass monkey slut,” among others, were graffitied on the door. I didn’t understand what anything but “junkie” and “slut” meant, but I could tell by the darkening of Logan’s expression that the other stuff wasn’t good.
Reluctantly, Maia took out her keys and let us into the flat.
As soon as we walked in, I was hit by the smell.
“Holy fuck,” Logan muttered, and we shared a horrified look.
It smelled of stale sweat, cigarettes, piss, and vomit.
“I try to clean.” Maia’s complexion had paled, and there were tears of shame in her eyes. “I do. Honest.”
Tears pricked my own eyes, a lump of sympathy and anger burning in my throat. I squeezed her arm, but I had to look away from her so I could control my emotions.
“My, is that you!” a voice screeched from the back of the flat.
At that Logan stepped forward and put his hand on Maia’s shoulder. He looked like a giant next to the slender teen. I wasn’t exactly tall at five six, and she was even shorter. She was only about five three. He led her forward gently, and I followed, taking everything in.
The faded, stained carpets were so threadbare at the edges they were pulling away from the baseboard. We passed a tiny kitchen that looked like it hadn’t been modernized since the late eighties. There were stains all over the counters and even the walls, but the surfaces were wiped clean and there were no dirty dishes in the kitchen. There was evidence that Maia was trying her best here.
There were two doors on the other side of the narrow corridor, separated by yellow-stained walls. One door opened to a small, sparse but tidy and clean single room with posters of bands on the wall. Maia’s room? The other door caused Logan’s brow to furrow deeply as he passed it. Curious, I took a look inside and just managed to squelch a yelp of surprise.
There was a skinny naked man sprawled on his front across a rumpled bed. Around the bed the carpet had been swallowed up by beer cans, cigarette trays, clothes, and rubbish. There was a dresser at the bottom of the bed that had seen better days, and the bedside table closest to me was missing a drawer. It was also covered in gashes and score marks.
I felt ill at the sight of the needles scattered across the top of it.
Unfortunately, we were only greeted by worse when we walked into the small sitting room. Sprawled across what actually looked like a fairly new leather sofa was a skinny mess. The dark-haired woman was dressed in a dirty, oversized white T-shirt and skinny jeans. Her thin hair was pulled back in a disheveled ponytail. She wore no makeup, and when she opened her mouth I could see her teeth were yellow and decaying.
“My God.” Logan closed his eyes against the image of her.
Maryanne Lewis clearly no longer resembled herself. Although I had no clue what she’d looked like back when she was with Logan, I could see from her delicate features that she’d once been pretty. But now she looked ten to fifteen years older than Logan, and her sharp cheekbones stretched out her papery skin so she looked gaunt, ill. The color of her complexion was gray. Just… wrong.
There were a couple of open bottles of vodka in the room, empty beer cans, dirty ashtrays, unwrapped food, dirty plates, and more needles.