“Ignore it,” Elizabeth grabbed Kev’s arm.
“What if it’s important?”
He reached over to get to the phone. Elizabeth dragged him back, kissing his shoulder gently.
“They’ll ring back. I thought you didn’t use your home phone for business anyway.”
She climbed on top of Kev, pinning his shoulders to the bed. He liked it when she was in control.
Kev and Elizabeth had been having an affair for nearly two years now. They both knew how dangerous it was. If Joe, her husband, ever found out they would both be dead. Kev suspected that Claire knew but she had never said anything, he could take care of her anyway. He had been a bit wary when Elizabeth and him first got together; thinking that she might have been spying on him for her old man. For this reason he kept pillow talk to a minimum, except when he wanted to know something about Joe’s business. No matter how hard she tried, Elizabeth just couldn’t help talking. Kev had acted on the information sometimes, leading her husband to think he had a mole in his organisation; not for one moment thinking it was his wife.
Kev looked at the tattoo on her back; Joe was convinced that the Chinese writing was his name; Elizabeth swore that it was Kev’s. He thought he loved her.
Kev climbed out of bed and headed for the bathroom, he left the door open as he urinated. He knew they had been taking more risks recently. Once they would never have dreamed of meeting at Kev’s house but Claire was out shopping for something to wear to the reunion. Joe was always busy on a Friday in the club. He came back to the bedroom without washing his hands.
“Joe got much on tonight?”
“He wouldn’t say. It’s all very hush-hush.”
“Must be something big going down.”
The phone rang again as he was about to get back into bed. He unplugged it from the wall.
“Come on, we’ve got another hour before Claire gets back.”
He jumped onto the bed and crawled under the covers as he went down on her.
Elvis and Bumper got away with being on report for two weeks and they were grounded for the same period. I soon came to realise that it took quite a while for the teachers to fill in the report after each lesson and it took even longer for us to wait for Mr Swinbank after school. This meant less time for Davison and his gang to wreak revenge on us. Lunchtime, however, was always a problem and there was no way we could avoid them all day.
Football hooliganism was becoming the big thing now and Kev and his mates wanted to be part of it. Every Monday morning was awash with tales of beatings handed out on a Saturday. Whether they were an active part of it or just eager onlookers was unsure but it certainly guaranteed them an audience. They had moved up a level now and if any of the stories were true, which I’m sure some of them were, they were now capable of levels of unbelievable violence against complete strangers; a worrying development.
“When we got to Middlesborough Station they were all waiting for us.”
Kev had a crowd around his desk and they were lapping up every word. While Elvis and me were disgusted by his stories we were still as interested as everybody else and listened from a distance.
“It all kicked off and we were right in the middle of it. I took a couple of them out and then I saw Tomma go down.”
Tomma was sitting beside him proudly sporting a particularly painful looking black eye.
“I waded into them with my Stanley,” continued Kev, “nearly took some cunt’s ear off.”
Claire walked away from his desk in disgust. “You’re an animal.”
“They soon fucked off after that. We walked down to Ayresome Park and nobody touched us. They knew who we were and they were scared shitless.” He then went into his pocket and produced a red handled Stanley knife. “Look, it’s still got the blood on it.”
Everybody was in awe of him. I turned away and started to talk to Elvis. We tried to ignore him but he seemed to get louder.
“Look how sharp it is.”
Everybody started laughing, except Claire who screamed at him.
“Pack it in, Kev. You’re not funny.”
I turned round to see what was happening and realised he was stood right behind me. I didn’t hear him come up behind me and hadn’t felt a thing as he had sliced straight through my blazer with his knife. It was indeed as sharp as he had said. Not only had it sliced through my blazer but it gone through my jumper as well. A couple more centimetres and I would have been sporting a twelve-inch gash across my back. As it was I was now going to have to think of an excuse to tell my mother as to why my uniform was ruined.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many photos in one place, on the walls, on the coffee table, even on the chairs, piles of them everywhere. So much for him having no film. Black and white photos are somehow so much more revealing than colour, more dramatic.
“Bit of a hobby you have here, Tim,” I shouted through to the kitchen.
It was more than a hobby it was an obsession. This was the second house I’d been in this week that was full of photos. Maybe this was the new craze in Sunderland. It’s funny but even the most familiar places look completely different when presented like this. The school, the pub, even the bus stop at the end of the street. He must have photographed nearly every spot in the city. There were some familiar faces as well, Big Dave, Kev, all of the lads in fact. Ingham was even in the pictures, he wouldn’t be happy about that. Then I saw it, Nick Couzens, lying dying on the floor with Kev stood above him with a knife.
Jesus Christ, Tim has known all along who killed Nick and he hasn’t said a word.
“They make interesting viewing don’t they?”
I jumped. I hadn’t realised that Tim was in the doorway.
“Christ you gave me a fright there. I read about this in the paper the other night. They said it was a pub brawl but they had no leads. How come you haven’t handed these into the Police?”
“Because I know of your involvement with Davison and Ingham. I know all about you, every move you’ve made since you moved away. I thought I’d keep an eye on you and you’re beginning to get out of your depth aren’t you?”
“You don’t say anything for years. When you do decide to open your mouth it’s to tell me you’ve been stalking me for the past fifteen years. What sort of a freak are you?”
“Take a look at this.”
Tim threw a photo on to the table. It was a picture of me carrying Ingham’s kids out of the burning house, very dramatic.
“I didn’t know you were there. How come I never saw you?”
“Take a look at this, five minutes earlier.”
There I was staring straight into the camera, lighter fuel in hand. I never saw him.
Shit if these ever end up in the hands of the police, or worse still, Ingham, I might as well kiss my arse goodbye.
“What do you want Tim? Is it money? I’ll give you money, buy as many cameras as you like.”
Another installment to follow same time next week.
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