Copyright© 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
I wondered about opening the envelope, but waited to see if James contacted me. He did but it was just as I was about to go to bed at half past eleven. There was tap at the back door and he showed himself at the kitchen window.
I let him in and switched the kettle on. “What the hell are you playing at?” I yelled at him.
“The children, Cathy,” he pointed to the ceiling.
“Sending me to your mother—that woman is deranged.”
“Completely barking—did you get the envelope?”
“Yes. You could have warned me.”
“How was I to know what she’d do, that’s why Dad stays abroad most of the time.”
“What does he do?”
“He’s a stockbroker, why?”
“I thought I might tell Si to bankrupt him.”
“No don’t do that, who d’you think pays for my car?”
“Well, my allowance does.”
“Geezuz, Jim, when are you going to grow up?”
“Now look here, Cathy, you only run a Jaguar because Simon pays for it all. So don’t lecture me on dependency.”
“What?” I nearly blew some of the slates off.
“You know what I mean. The kettle’s boiled,” he pointed at the counter behind me. I scowled at him and made two mugs of tea.
“Thanks,” he took a good draught of his, “Oh that is so much better. Where’s the envelope?”
“Here,” I pulled it out of a kitchen drawer and threw it onto the table in front of him.
“Thanks,” he pulled out a plastic bag from a well known supermarket and shoved the envelope inside.
“Don’t I get to see the contents?”
“Ah no, this was protection in case they searched my flat.”
“Why would they do that?”
“In case they thought I was a spy.”
“You are, aren’t you?”
“Yeah but they don’t know that do they?”
“How do I know?”
“So how come you got arrested?”
“I was in the dealer’s house when the police raided it.”
“I’ve since found out that the Hampshire constabulary are not best pleased with you and Simon. You blew their covert surveillance and they felt they had to act, so they raided the place just after I went in.”
“How was I to know?”
“If you’d told me before I could have warned to stay away.”
“You didn’t answer your phone.”
“You could have left a message, or sent an email.”
“I thought you might need help.”
“No that’s Mum.”
“So I noticed, if I find a good psychiatrist, I’ll give you their number.”
“Nah, she’s so barking, it would probably require a dog behaviourist to sort her out.”
“How come she’s like that and you’re relatively normal?”
“Yeah, it’s normal to fancy guys is it?”
“For me it is,” I smiled and sipped my tea.
“You’re female, I’m not in case you hadn’t noticed.”
“I’d noticed, what about this girl you got pregnant?”
“Pregnant? I don’t do girls, not even ones with as different a history as you.”
“Thanks very much.”
“You’re welcome. Now to business.”
For the next half an hour, Jim explained how he’d met Jeremy Kite and got bailed and offered a job.”
“Does he know who you are?”
“Not really, he thinks I’m an out of work ex-soldier who’s looking for work.”
“What sort of job?”
“He’s asked me to frighten someone.”
“Why you, of course.”
“That does genuinely frighten me, Jim.”
“It should. Now we can do this in two ways.”
“I can give you a real beating.”
“What’s the second?”
“We make it look like you had a beating.”
“You’ve lost me?”
“Makeup, as in stage.”
“Mr Kite or one of his associates needs to see you and the police need to visit and a log of an incident be made.”
“Oh he has some tame police, does he?”
“I’m not certain, but I think it’s likely.”
“How come they didn’t shop you then—when you were arrested?”
“I have no idea, but I’ll not turn my back on him, don’t you worry.”
“I don’t like this, James, I smell a set up.”
“Possibly, but this was always going to be a tricky one.”
“You can say that again.”
“This was always going to be a tricky one.”
“I didn’t mean it literally.”
“Oops,” he smirked and finished his tea. “I have to go, call the police tonight and report an incident.”
“They’ll come round.”
I glanced up and saw a face at the window, James was up and after him in moments. I ran along behind. The two men grappled with each other, when the intruder flew backwards, thrown by James catching me and knocking me down, bashing my leg, arm and face. I could taste blood and felt it running from my nose, my eye was also closing up.
James jumped up and with a bone crunching punch, dropped the man where he stood, he fell across my legs, bruising me even more. After trussing up the intruder, he helped me back to the house. I felt like I’d been hit by a train and it took several minutes to stop the nosebleed.
“I’m going to call the cops, now I have something to report.”
“Sorry, Cathy, that wasn’t in the plan.”
“Looks like they’ve got you sussed.”
“You can’t go undercover now.”
“If we keep him out of the running for a bit, I can.”
“Who is he?”
“Well, well, if I’m correct it’s an ex-copper called Arnie Ditchley.”
“That Arnie Ditchley?”
“There’s more than one?”
“I doubt it, but best keep him from Julie, she’ll have his balls off.”
“Might be an improvement?”
“Jim, behave please.”
“So what’s between him and Julie?”
“He beat her up and robbed her.”
“Now why doesn’t that surprise me?”
“It was her first time out as a girl, I found her semi-conscious on a pile of rubbish.”
“So that’s how she came to be here?”
“I thought you knew?”
“No—not that it matters; well she landed on her feet didn’t she?”
“I hope she thinks so.”
“I’m sure she does, she’s quite a looker.”
“Jim if you’re trying to make me jealous—you’re succeeding.”
“What? Oh c’mon, Cathy, you’ve got to be one of the most beautiful women round these parts.”
“Yeah, sure—what’re we going to do with, Roger Rabbit here?” I indicated the now groaning and awake intruder. “How far are we away from false imprisonment?”
“About yea far,” he held his two fingers about a nanometre apart.
“I’d best call the police then.”
“Or Julie,” he smirked.
“I’d like to think she’s above such things these days.”
“She’s a woman isn’t she?”
“She may be above them but she won’t have forgotten.”
“At the same time she might be more afraid than vengeful?”
“Okay, I’ll take him with me.”
“I’ll drop him at the cop shop, they’ll enjoy their reacquaintance with him, but I doubt he will.”
Jim hoisted Ditchley to his feet and then pulled him over his shoulder. Ditchley struggled until Jim managed to hit his head on the door frame while going out of the back door. The thump made me feel sick, I hate to think what it was actually like.
He dumped him in the boot of the hire car he had, a Vauxhall of some sort, and closed the lid. A few minutes later he was gone, and I closed the gates again. Had Ditchley followed him? Did Kite and his cronies suspect Jim was a spy? I went to bed after washing up the cups, but I didn’t expect to sleep very much—I wasn’t to be disappointed.
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