It had been a long weekend. They had christened almost every surface in the flat, joined the Boon Army in South on the Saturday and dined out on expenses on the Sunday.
Now it was Monday and they both had to work. Rachel was looking all businesslike again. For some reason she fussed over Joe’s T shirt, pulling it straight and evening it out. “We haven’t recruited a manager for the Manchester shop yet.” she told him.
“You’re thinking of someone in particular for the job?” Joe didn’t think of himself as shop manager material.
He hadn’t considered this before. When her buying and talent scouting were over she would have moved on to another city.
“I know it’s a bit sudden. I….. When I found you I was just thinking of a quick therapy fuck. Something a bit naughty because of our, you know, our history.”
“I really thought we could just hook up as old friends and have some fun. I guess that’s just not my style.
“Plus, it has been quite intense.
“I’m scaring you aren’t I?”
“No. Not at all. Not really. No.
“Well, maybe a little bit.” Joe leaned in and kissed her nose. “And getting me all happy and excited. And other stuff too.”
Rachel smiled. “My Rabbit’s going to hate you.”
Joe had blurted out “Why would your pet….?” before he realised, “Oh, right. I see.”
They kissed. For a moment it looked like Rachel would be dodging work for another day. The intercom buzzed.
The grainy little video screen showed Kay Wood looking uncomfortable. “Can I talk to Mister Wilkinson?”
“Yeah. Come up, it’s on the top floor.” Rachel pressed the button to unlock the door.
Wood still looked uncomfortable when she reached the apartment. “There are just a few formalities.” Joe directed her to the settee and took the seat opposite. “We managed to get one of the buyers, and most of the weapons, thanks to information from the Albanian. And that they used a traceable vehicle for the pick up. The others are still at large, but we know who they are.
“The buyer’s statement, and various other factors, prove you weren’t involved. At least, to our satisfaction, anyway.”
“Try to avoid the Police from now on. He’s got you marked. He’s a good officer in most ways. It’s just that Wilson was a mentor to him. He picked up a few prejudices, I guess.”
“No disrespect, but I hope to never see any of you again. Professionally anyway.”
“There is one thing remaining. We recovered the money from your house. One million Euros.”
“So the Albanian keeps telling us. And there was a bundle that comes to one million exactly. And this.” Wood produced an envelope and placed it on the table. Tentatively, Joe took it. He slid the flap open and looked inside.
“What is this?”
“Thirty thousand Euros. There’s a note in there.”
The note turned out to be a withdrawal receipt. On the back was a message, ‘Joe. All legit. Half to Sarah.’
“We’ve followed it up. It is legitimate, as far as we can see.”
“He…. He was going to set me up again. But he had this money for me. Why didn’t he just give it to me?”
“Mind games. Would you have held the million if he’d just given you the money?”
“Hell, no. But I wouldn’t have held it for anything.”
“He probably judged you by his standards. He was appealing to your greed, the promise of a pay out. We could get a psychologist to figure it all out. If we really wanted.”
“Fuck him. It’s all finished now. Let’s call this closure cash. I’ll see she gets hers.”
“Good. We’ll return your other property as soon as possible.” Wood rose, “Stay out of trouble Joe.”
Rachel showed Wood out. Joe sat, turning the envelope over and over.
“What are you going to do with it?”
“Bank it, I guess. I’ve got to go see Sarah later.” He folded the envelope and put it in a trouser pocket. Rachel stood beside his chair and he pulled her onto his lap. “So what was this about you moving to Manchester?”
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Technorati tag: Fiction, Crime, Manchester
In the 40 years since the tradition started, the giant goat of Gavle has often gone up in flames within days.
Not quite Ian’s “Small Sheep of Stockport” but close…