Ross turned round slowly. He kept the whisky glass in his hand in case it was needed. As he turned he made a mental note of who was where, if it all kicked off he’d need to know where to start throwing the punches.
In front of him was a short but stocky middle aged man, cropped hair, big smile, mad eyes and a large scar that went from mouth to ear. It was Terry Murphy. Ross was six foot five and towered over the man in front of him.
“I thought there was a smell of shit in here. Well, well, well, Terry Murphy, I thought you were still banged up sucking some screws cock.”
“You thought wrong old son, I’m out and having a little drink with some old friends. You still taking it up the arse from Paul Fletcher?”
Ross was used to this kind of banter. It didn’t faze him, in fact he quite enjoyed it. It was a game and eventually he would win. He leaned across and whispered to Terry.
“Better than taking a few bullets from him Terry, like you did.”
Terry Murphy went to move forward but was held back by his brother and two other guys that Ross didn’t know.
“Touch a nerve did I Terry, that’s if you’ve got any left after they took all the shrapnel out.”
Once again Terry Murphy wanted to get at him. His brother stepped in and stood between them.
“Not now Terry, not here. Another day.”
Ross was in control, he knew Terry couldn’t do anything, not today, not in this pub. He drank down his large scotch and very slowly put his empty glass on the bar.
“Come on Dave, let’s go, don’t want to spoil the gay boy’s party. Bye Terry, speak soon yeh?”
Terry Murphy composed himself and shook off his brother.
“Look forward to it Ross, give my regards to Paul won’t you, tell him I’ll be in touch.”
Once again Ross couldn’t wait to get a final dig at Terry.
“What. Just like you touched all the boy’s in prison, not sure Paul would like that, he’s straight didn’t you know?”
Ross heard the commotion as he left the pub. He could imagine the scene. Murphy was now foaming at the mouth, he wanted to get to Ross but couldn’t. Ross smiled, round one to him.
He told Dave to wait, then follow Terry Murphy once he left, keep his distance and don’t do anything silly. Ross drove off to see Paul.
It was about forty five minutes to Paul’s house out in Essex. Paul lived in Emerson Park, the poshest area in the county. It was where millionaires lived, each house was detached and different from the others, you couldn’t buy anything here for under £1.5m. Ross always dreamed of a house here, he lived in Upminster a few miles away, still very nice, but not on the same scale as Paul.
He saw Tony and John parked outside in the Range Rover; he flashed his lights in sequence to let them know it was him and everything was okay. They had a signal, three flashes were okay, anymore and there was something wrong. The more flashes the bigger the threat.
Paul’s electronic gates opened slowly and Ross pulled into the large sweeping drive way.
There was no sign of Paul, but he knew that Tony would have rung and told him that he was here. Paul would be looking at his CCTV, paranoid bastard that he was.
Ross walked round to the back of the house, the diggers had stopped and the garden was empty, the large patio doors were open and Ross made his way in and through the hallway into the snooker room. Paul was there exactly as Ross had thought, staring at his CCTV screens. Without turning round Paul spoke.
“Well, what’s the story?”
Ross smiled and picked up one of the snooker cues and started to chalk the tip.
“Just made Mister Murphy almost have a heart attack.”
Now Paul was interested, he turned round on his swivel chair with a grin as big as a house.
“Go on, tell me, what the fuck happened?”
Ross told him everything, word for word, from the time he and Dave walked into the Oporto till the time they left. Paul’s face was full of excitement.
“That, my old son is why I fucking employ you, good with the brain you are, quick witted, I’d have just smashed the glass in his face and kept on digging till I hit bone. But you, you did something better, you embarrassed him, in front of his family, that’s fucking mustard that is.”
Ross potted two balls then stood up.
“He’s coming after you Paul, no doubt about it, he’s definitely coming, I could see it in his eyes, we’ve gotta be careful. There were two guys with him that I didn’t know, new faces, not from round here and then there’s his brother.”
“His brother’s a fucking lightweight, he’s got no bottle. If he was gonna do something he would have done it in by now. No, it’s the other two we have to worry about, we need to know who they are and where they come from. We could buy them, can’t be too expensive, Murphy won’t have too much dosh stashed away, everyone can be bought.”
Ross knew exactly what was coming next.
“Tell you what, you find out who they are and offer them a deal, we’ll beat any offer that Murphy has given them, they can work for me.”
Ross smiled at Paul.
“Okay, you’re the guvnor, I’ll make some enquiries and see what I can find out, in the meantime, make sure John and Tony are on their game, they’re your boys not mine I just do the gear!”
“Yeh yeh yeh, now fuck off and get this sorted. Let me know what’s happening, update every four hours Okay?”
Ross left Paul in a better mood than he had found him, which was rare these days.
As soon as Ross left, Paul called Tom Marks. Tom answered after just one ring.
“Hi Paul, any news?”
“Yeh we found him, he’s in the Oporto in Limehouse getting pissed.”
“Okay that’s good. The pub will be full of Police so best keep clear, while he’s there he can’t do any harm can he. I’ve spoken to his Solicitor and he thinks we can broker a deal, best for both parties.”
“Too late for that Tom, Ross has just been in the Oporto and caused havoc, made Murphy look silly in front of all his family, deal my arse, no deal Mister Edmonds, no fucking deal”
“Paul, listen to me, everything is going fine at the moment, all the businesses are earning money, everyone is happy. Let’s do a deal with Murphy, give him something, something small, maybe one of the launderettes or something as a gesture of goodwill, we don’t want a war, not now.”
“I pay you for advice you cunt, I do not pay you to tell me to give away my business for free!”
Paul was now screaming down the phone. Tom let him have his rant then spoke quietly but precisely.
“Paul, I’m not saying that, think about it, if you give him something, he’ll end up working for you, what better way of keeping an eye on him.”
There was a silence. Paul was thinking about it, it did make sense.
“Phone his brief, set up a meet, just the two of you, see if you can work out a deal, then get back to me.”
Paul hung up. He would tackle Terry Murphy from two angles, the sensible way through Tom and the other way through Ross.


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