“Haven’t you noticed how much money he’s spending? How do you think he could afford that jacket? Four hundred quid, he has to be taking the piss,” Tomma lent across Kev’s desk. “Look at the amount of Charlie he’s getting through as well. Something has got to be done and quickly.”
“You’re right Tomma but he’s been one of my best mates since we were at school, how could he do this?” Kev sat back in his leather chair and sighed.
Tomma sat uneasily in his seat and looked around the office. There were numerous pictures on the wall of Kevin with various B- List celebrities. These were only outnumbered by the amount of photos of Claire. Kev sat behind an oversized mahogany desk in a luxurious leather swivel chair. In the corner of the room sat a life size porcelain tiger. No doubt as expensive as it was tasteless.
“People get greedy, they’re not satisfied with what you’re offering so they choose to help themselves. It could happen to any one of us but he’s your mate you’re going to have to sort it out. It’s him or the business Kev, you decide.”
“Who’d have thought one of your mates would do that to you? I suppose it’s the game we’re in and I’m going to have to deal with it.” Kev was devastated at being ripped off however he was not going to let it get the better of him. “Ok, I’ll sort it. I’ll make sure the thieving bastard never gets caught with his fingers in the till again. Promise me this doesn’t go any further, I don’t want it to look like any little Johnny Fuckwit can come and have a go.”
Kev went to the drinks cabinet and took out a bottle of Jack Daniels. “Fancy a quick one before you go?”
“No thanks. I have to be off.” Spending this long with Kev was beginning to make Tomma feel uncomfortable. He knew he wasn’t too good with a drink inside him and didn’t fancy slipping up.
I looked back reluctantly and saw the Alsatian stood on it’s hind legs with it’s front paws pinning Elvis to the Skip. The dog was licking his face, he wasn’t dead.
“Elvis is alive,” I shouted. “The dog’s harmless.”
Neither Bumper nor Gilbert stopped running but they slowed and glanced back. I walked back towards Elvis laughing. He saw me coming and managed to push the dog away. It ran off into the car park and started to chase it’s tail.
“Some guard dog eh?” He was laughing as well. He used his sleeve to wipe away the snot and tears that the dog hadn’t already licked off.
“I’m sorry we left you like that.”
“So you should be, I was nearly licked to death.”
We walked back along the bank of the car park towards where the other two had stopped running and were lying on the grass waiting for us.
“We all have to agree,” I said, “what happened today stays between us, nobody has to know about the tears.”
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Jesus that was some day wasn’t it?” Said Bumper.
We were all now lying on the grass slope leading onto the car park. We stared up into the cloudless sky.
“All for some bloody football programmes,” laughed Elvis.
“The programmes.” Bumper and me shouted. “Come on let’s see if it was worthwhile. Get your programmes out.” I started pulling the programmes from up my jumper and down my pants. I laid them out on the grass. Bumper and Elvis did the same.
“We’ve got hundred’s of them.” It had been some trip but it had been worth it.
“Come on Gilbert how many have you got?” He pulled them from under his jumper; I think he was going to have the most. Then he pulled them from his pants.
“Jesus Gilbert, they’re soaking. How did you get them so wet?” He didn’t need to answer. The poor lad had peed himself.
“Quick, phone for the Fire Brigade.” I threw my mobile at the old woman walking her Yorkshire terrier. She was oblivious to the smoke coming from beneath the front door of the large house that we were passing. Two faces peered out helplessly from the upstairs window. They were young girls; I had to act quickly. I ran round the side of the house where a pair of ladders were standing against the half-built extension. Awkwardly I carried them back round to the front of the house and placed them against the main wall.
“Open the window!” The girls were either unable to hear me or too scared to take anything in.
Flames were now licking at the front door and had spread to the curtains at the downstairs window. I banged furiously on the window but still got no response from the girls who just stared back blankly. I was going to have to break the window but had nothing to smash the glass. I heard the window below me crack as the flames took hold. I was heading down the ladder to get a rock from the garden when the upstairs window opened. A woman in her late twenties whom I assumed to be the girls’ mother was standing there.
“Take the kids. Quickly, the fire’s spreading.”
The older of the girls who appeared to be about four, climbed onto my back whilst I took the younger one in my right arm. Steadying myself with my left hand, I carried them both down to safety, returning for the mother just as the fire engines arrived.
“Step back please. We’ll take over from here.”
The two children cuddled into their mother as I gave her my jacket.
“How did it start?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I was on the phone. The first I knew of it was when I heard the girls screaming. I ran through from my bedroom to find you at the window. Thank God you were passing.”
A silver Range Rover pulled into the drive behind the fire engines.
“What the Fuck is happening here?” A shaven headed hulk climbed down from the car. “Who are you?”
“I was just passing when I saw the smoke,” I replied.
“He saved us, Joe. He got the bairns out. They would have been dead.”
He shook my hand. “Joe Ingham. Looks like I owe you a big thank you. I don’t know what I’d do without Elizabeth or the kids.” He picked up the youngest, kissed her and put her back down. “Can I have a quick word, mate? What did you say your name was?”
“Hi, Pete,” he led me away from his family and the crowd that had started to gather. “If there’s anything I can ever do for you, just let me know. I’ve got a lot of contacts in this city.” He handed me his card.
“There’s no need. I just did what anybody would have done.”
“Just the same, let me know. Did you notice any cars or anybody acting suspiciously when you were passing?”
I thought back to before the fire. “I don’t think so….no.”
“Bastards!” He kicked a plant pot over and it smashed against the ground. A few people looked over. “I’ll fucking kill whoever did this.”
I backed off a few paces as he seemed ready to kill right now.
“Do me a favour. If you remember anything, let me know before the police. I need to take care of this myself.”
“No problem.” His family had just been attacked and I wasn’t about to interfere.
“Someone’s going to pay for this.”
Another installment to follow same time next week.
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