Robbie has gone. But Ivan has a much bigger problem.
In Marbella, Ivan was sitting next to Bepa at the hospital. She had regained her speech and was telling him the full story. He dismissed Robbie Jackson as an unfortunate misunderstanding. But there was something else in Bepa’s story, something that troubled him. He didn’t want Bepa to know the truth. Not yet anyway.
“Don’t worry my angel. Robbie panicked and returned to England. I have some of the family looking for him and when they find him we will explain that all is well. I may even ask him to stay in England and look after a few of my interests there.”
“Thank you daddy.”
Bepa was relieved about Robbie. She knew her father well enough to know what he was capable of and wanted no harm to come to someone who she considered to be a close friend.
“So tell me once again about the two strangers in the bar.”
Ivan was anxious to hear that part of Bepa’s story again.
“I was with Nicole and Aurelie, we were having a few drinks at Bar Eduardo’s and suddenly a bottle of Grey Goose vodka was put in front of us by the waiter. I looked up and saw two men standing at the bar. They smiled and raised their glasses.”
Ivan raided his eyebrows. Bepa guessed how her father’s mind was working.
“They didn’t try to muscle in on us or chat us up daddy. Honestly. They were just being nice.”
“The bottle, was it open?”
“Err, yes. Why?”
“And these men. You had never seen them before?”
“What did they look like? How old were they? Were they Russian, Spanish, English?”
Bepa was getting flustered. She was trying hard to remember. Her head was pounding.
Ivan realised that he was pressing to hard. He took hold of her hand.
“I’m sorry my darling. We’ll talk some more later when you are feeling better. Get some rest now.”
He kissed her gently on the forehead and left the room. He saw the hospital Chief of Staff waiting nervously for him outside.
“She is much better Mister Andonivski. We doubt there will be any long term damage. She just needs rest and then should be able to go home in a few days.”
Ivan should no signs of relief or gratitude. He looked the man straight in the eyes.
“Did you take blood when she was admitted?”
“Yes of course. It’s routine.”
“Have you had that blood analysed yet?”
“No sir we were concentrating on the head injury.”
“I want that blood tested. NOW. Get me the results by the end of the day. I want to know if there was anything unusual in her bloodstream. You understand me?”
Ivan dismissed him with a hand gesture. Then rang Nikor.
“Go to Bar Eduardo’s. Find out what waiter served Bepa and her friends on Monday afternoon. Look at the CCTV tapes for that day. Find out about two strangers who bought them a bottle of Grey Goose vodka. Do it now Nikor.”
For the first time in five days he wished Robbie Jackson was still alive. He may have been able to provide some answers.
The drive to the pig farm had taken longer than expected. Lev drove slowly, careful not to break the speed limit at any stage. They were met by a member of the family who directed them to a small building where the pigs were slaughtered.
Robbie Jackson’s body was lifted out of the boot and carried into the slaughterhouse.
It took less than thirty minutes to dispose of.
On the return journey Kirill noticed that Lev was wearing Robbie Jacksons watch.
“I see you took it after all.”
“I liked it. Besides, he had no further use for it.”
He turned up the radio and pressed down hard on the accelerator. They should be back at the house before midday.
Nikor had the information that Ivan required. It wasn’t good news. He dialled the number nervously. Ivan answered quickly.
“You have news for me?”
“Yes sir. The bar has no CCTV. But I spoke with the waiter. He remembered the men well. They had markings sir. On their hands. A five dot tattoo.”
Nikor waited for a reaction from his boss. There was a long pause before Ivan spoke.
“He is certain of this?”
Ivan hung up the phone, walked over to the bar and poured himself a large glass of Chivas Regal. He had controlled this region for many years. The English had been easy to control, but now there was a new threat. Much harder and ruthless than even his family. The Romanians had arrived.