They’re closing in on Robbie.
Carol Goodman arrived at The Gables early. It was seven thirty. She ordered a drink at the bar. Dutch courage. She was sure she would be staying the night and wanted to get slightly tipsy. Not drunk, just enough alcohol to give her confidence. She hadn’t slept with a man for almost two years. She was nervous. Paul Redford was a catch. Good looking, well dressed and most importantly he had money, and, from what she’d seen and heard, he had lots of it. She liked him and was sure that he liked her.
It suddenly dawned on her that Paul hadn’t said where to meet, only that he would book a table for eight o’clock. She finished her drink and went to the reception desk. A blonde haired girl smiled at her.
“Can I help you?”
The girl had an eastern European accent. Possibly Russian.
“I’m looking for Mister Paul Redford; can you tell me what room he’s in?”
The girl stopped smiling.
“Mister Redford? He checked out about an hour ago.”
“Are you sure? I am supposed to meet him for dinner here tonight.”
“I’m positive Madam. He left with some friends.”
“Did he say where he was going?”
“No, he just left.”
She hurriedly dialled his number. The message said that the phone was switched off. She ran along the corridor and opened the door of the ladies toilets. She felt sick. She started to cry. Paul Redford had turned out to be just another disappointment in a long line of life’s disappointments.
Ivan arrived at Gatwick just before ten o’clock. A car was waiting for him and drove him to a large detached house near Redhill in Surrey. The driveway was long and the house was set well back from the main road. He stepped out of the car and was greeted by Demetri.
“Welcome brother. It is good to see you.”
“Is he here?”
“Yes, we have him.”
“Yes, but he didn’t come easily and badly injured two of my family. I let some of the others have some fun with him. He has experienced some pain.”
“Good. Take me to him.”
The two of them walked into a grand hallway. Ivan followed Demetri into a room at the back of the house. In the middle of the room was a large wooden kitchen table. Lying face up on the table was Robbie Jackson.
Robbie’s ankles were tied together and his legs were strapped to the table. His arms however were stretched out wide like a scene from the crucifixion. Two nails had been hammered through each hand. His face was a mass of bruises and swelling. He was spitting out large amounts of blood to avoid choking.
“Ivan looked at Demetri.”
“What happened to his mouth?”
“He bit off the finger of one of my men. So we removed his teeth.”
“He will bite no more.”
Robbie was conscious but couldn’t move or speak. His body had shut down. A numbness now consumed him. He could see Ivan even though his eyes were almost shut. Ivan put his face close to Robbie’s.
“Hello Robbie. Did you really think you would be able to run from me? My family is everywhere, we would always find you.”
Robbie tried to speak but only blood came from his mouth. He knew his life would soon be over. Ivan took a small knife from his pocket. He rubbed the blade against his finger to see how sharp it was.
“Unfortunately the blade is rather blunt Robbie, so this will feel very unpleasant.”
He pushed the tip of the blade hard against Robbie’s face. It began to draw blood. He pushed harder until the blade had pierced his cheek and entered his mouth. Ivan twisted the knife, then slowly pulled it out. Robbie’s face was now a mass of blood.
Ivan whispered in Robbie’s ear.
He put the knife against Robbie’s throat and pushed hard. There was a gurgling noise as the blood began to pour out. Robbie’s body made no movement. But he was still alive.
“Leave him here tonight, then get rid of him in the morning. It may take some time for him to finally die. That is exactly how it should be.”
“As you wish Ivan.”
Ivan caught the first flight back to Malaga early the next morning and went straight to the hospital. The doctor had called and said that Bepa had come out of her coma. When he arrived the doctor was waiting for him. Ivan shook his hand.
“How is she?”
“She is awake and sitting up. She keeps asking for you.”
Ivan entered the room and saw his beloved Bepa. She looked so fragile. There were tubes in her arm and nose but she was sitting up and smiled at him. He fought back the tears. Sat down beside her and held her hand.
“Bepa, my darling. You have come back to me.”
He squeezed her hand and felt her squeeze back. She was trying to say something. He could just make out two words “Robbie Jackson.”
“Don’t try to speak now. Everything has been taken care of. Get your rest. Everything is going to be okay.”
Bepa knew she had to tell him what had happened as soon as she could. But the words wouldn’t come just yet. She knew what her father’s temper was like and didn’t want any harm to come to Robbie Jackson. It was her fault. She had seen him on her way back to her father’s house. A long lunch with friends had turned into a party. She was drunk and high. Robbie had been a perfect gentleman and took her back to his apartment to help her sober up. He knew that Ivan would have been disappointed seeing her in such a state. He went to the kitchen to make her some coffee. She stumbled and fell. That was all she could remember.
Demetri decided to call John Morgan and thank him for his help. The phone was answered, but the voice was not John Morgan’s.
“Hello, can I speak with D.I. Morgan please.”
The young detective’s voice was shaky.
“I’m afraid that’s not possible. He’s on his way to hospital. He’s had a heart attack.”
“Thank you for letting me know. Who am I speaking to?”
“My name is Stewart Reynolds. Detective Stewart Reynolds.”
Demetri hung up. It was a shame about Morgan. But not to worry. He would now make it his business to find out more about Detective Reynolds.