The Cold Night of Dreams A novel

Brian Thomas is a businessman from New York who arrives at The Battersea Vacation Hotel, a place where several deaths have occurred in the past. When he meets Sara Young, a woman who is hiding a dark secret of her own, their lives are connected by fate that could destroy them in the process, especially by people whose own plans could ruin them.

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1. The Battersea Vacation Hotel

~~~~

Brian Thomas ​stared at the ocean off Raleigh Heights Beach. He was thinking too hard about the last time a woman came into his life...and broke his heart. It wasn't that he didn't have a social life. New York was full of dreamers who thought that making millions of dollars would keep them in their huge mansions forever. He was pushing forty years old...and single. Brian shook his head. The night time fishermen were busy catching fish. He focused on the oceans, as he saw the darkened sky above his head. Brian grabbed his grey coat. He walked towards the parking area. His blue 2001 Mazda was near several other cars. By eight o'clock pm, he stared at the moon, and saw the lamps illuminating the wharfs. As he grabbed his keys in his right hand, he saw a young couple holding hands. He ignored the sad look on his tired face. Then he opened the driver's-side door. Then he closed the door, put his seat belt on, and drove down the road towards any place to get away.

~~~~

The old sign read: ​The Battersea Vacation Hotel​. It was a grand place that was established in 1907. Brian stared at it and shivered in the 63 degree weather. By October 14, 2017, the modern, 21st century was fast-paced...and hectic; by the time Brian knew what was going on, his idea of a future with a wife and three children, was a dream; a dream that was sadly distant. He parked his car in the carpark. He took off his seatbelt. Then he opened the driver's-side door, and closed it. Then he grabbed his luggage out of the boot, and put it on the ashy ground. Then he closed it, and dragged it into the front door of the hotel where his own way forward was as dangerous as he would've thought of.

~~~~

Sara Young was nervous. 

She looked at the waiter. Then she stared at the group of diners in the Dining Room. She wasn't used to eating late; she was determined not to think that Mark Thorpe, her ex-boyfriend, would come after her. He was in a cell in New York for several bank robberies. She wore a black dress, brown pantyhose, and black high-heeled shoes. Her fingernails were painted a red colour; her watch was on her right. Her face was youthful. At thirty-four, she thought that love had failed her. Sara stared at the menu.

"I'll have the steak, and garlic bread, please. ​And red wine" The male waiter nodded, and wrote down the order as she sat down on table 43. Sara relaxed. The chandelier was above her head; it didn't sway. She was petite. None of the guys she dated in the past were into commitment; none of them were marriage-worthy. Mark was the only man in her life who treated her nicely. That was until the robberies ended their relationship three years' ago in the winter of 2014. Mark, who was thirty-six, had connections in the Mafia. She had watched ​The Godfather ​too many times. She headed to the Ladies' Restroom. Afterwards, she washed her hands, dried her hands on a black towel, and opened the door. She headed to her table...and waited for her meal and wine to arrive.

~~~~

Brian saw a male waiter.

"Good evening Sir, Dinner is until 11:00 PM". He nodded. 

"Thank you. I'll have pasta and some coffee, please. Is there a room free for the evening?", he asked him. The waiter nodded.

"Yes, you can talk to Mabel about that. Table 36 is available", he answered him.

"Right, thank you". 

And he sat down, and rested his feet.

~~~~

Tim Ives-Smyth, the British millionaire, gazed at Sara Young. He was drinking an Heineken beer while he ate his Mexican pizza. He savoured the taste of the beer, as he had his own orders. He finished drinking, then headed to the Men's Restroom. As he did so, two men dressed in grey coats, walked through the doors. They held daggers in their right hand; they didn't want to cause a scene. The woman was wanted alive. Her death would cost them ten million dollars to the New York Mafia. Tim, who was six foot tall, was working in the city that never sleeps for a decade as a diamond trader. Suddenly he saw the assassins. 

"Who are you two?", he asked them.

"Be quiet!", one of the assassins answered. 

And, as the second assassin used the dagger to attack him, Tim Ives-Smyth's young life in the fast lane drained away on the grey ground, and the long history of mysterious deaths continued to plague the Hotel,

~~~~

Brian smiled as his meal and drinks arrived, He looked around to see the other diners. One of the diner's tables were empty. He frowned as he loved pizza and beer. He saw a woman alone. She was beautiful. None of the other men got her attention. Brian didn't know her. He didn't want to impose himself on her because he didn't know her at all. Seconds later, he saw the Men's Restroom door was open. And two shady looking men came out. Brian thought they looked like mobsters. Alarm bells rang in his brain. ​Don't do anything; don't do anything; don't...​, he thought to himself. Then he focused on the dinner. And he knew, deep down, that something was going to happen. Then he heard the sound of loud screaming coming from the door. 

"​He's dead! Call 9-1-1!  He's dead!", a man yelled. 

And Brian knew that, as he ate, that the Hotel was going to be the worst place to spend the evening tonight. Sara Young turned to run, But Brian got up out of his chair.

"Stay where you are, lady. The police will be swarming this Hotel like flies".

"Oh! No!", she uttered.

"I'm Brian. There's nothing to worry about-yet".

"But he was killed by the Mafia's assassins:.

"How do you know that?", Brian asked her.

"Be quiet, Brian. Stay where you are, or you'll die too. I'm Sara Young".

"I heard about you in the newspapers on-line".

"Look, don't do anything, if you want to survive".

And Brian followed her orders.

~~~~

The detective stared at the glass windows of the expensive Hotel. He wore a tan hat, grey coat, black trousers, a black belt, light brown socks, black shoes on his feet, and a inexpensive watch on his right hand. The furore over the dead body didn't thrill him; the body was still lying on the ground in the Men's Restroom. He showed his ID to Jules Xavier, the Manager. 

"Detective Hal Grahame. Let me through. Another dead body at the Hotel. Maybe the crime is up these days". He gazed at the hundreds of diners. He looked at the bar. "Can I have some coffee? And a pizza please. A Mexican one?", he asked him. He paid a fifty dollar bill to give to the Manager. He took the money. 

"You can sit down to eat in the Dining Room, Detective", Jules Xavier said. 

"Fine, and I'd like a room for the evening once everyone's accounted for". Jules wiped his greasy black hair with his fingers; he shook his head, as he pondered on the guests. Brian and Sara shook their heads. They assassins were gone from view. 

"The dead man is Tim Ives-Smyth, the British millionaire", Jules said.

"I've heard about him via his Facebook page", Detective Grahame stated. He didn't have time to look at the social media accounts of victims. Everyone wanted to be a star. He was old enough to formulate an idea that you don't have to be rich to die; you don't have to think that death was instantaneous. In some cases, death was the result of an accident. But, in the scheme of things, death was something that caused a lot of problems for everyone. He sat down on table 42 and ate his late dinner before he went to work.

~~~~

Brian shuddered. 

He was concerned about the detective. Sara shook her head. The assassins were keeping low. Suddenly Detective Grahame finished his dinner. Once he did so, he saw them. He gripped his cell phone. "Yes, I want back-up at The Battersea Vacation Hotel. There's two suspects. There's a victim in the Men's Restroom. The place is shut-down until my investigation has ended. Good bye!". And he waited until more police officers arrived, as the crime scene tape was erected, and everyone was deemed to be guilty in the eyes of the law.

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