The Men In The Shadows ( Part 4 )

Jake. pic

Jake spent the rest of the day at his machine. Ten hours straight with no lunch hour. He didn’t want to get into conversations with anyone. Especially Stevie, in case he let something slip.
It was hard to concentrate. He kept going over things in his mind. Nothing made sense. What could these guys possibly want with him? They obviously had money. The Bentley would be worth a hundred grand at least. So if it wasn’t money, then what the fuck was it?
At six o’clock he turned off his machine. Pisshead walked over to him.
“You were a busy little beaver today Jake. We don’t pay you for working through your breaks, you do realise that don’t you? Trying to get into my good books for going to the “DOCTORS” yesterday?”
His voice was full of sarcasm. Jake hated Pisshead with every fibre of his body.
“Just trying to do the right thing guv. You let me have an hour yesterday so just thought it was fair if I repaid the compliment.”
Jake knew that Pisshead loved this sort of shit. He was right. Pisshead smiled and put his arm round Jake. The smell of beer and cheese and onion crisps was overpowering.
“Listen Jake, you up for a bit of overtime, a bit of out of hours work?”
Jake tried not to breathe in.
“Yeh sure, could always do with a bit more money.”
Pisshead spoke quietly as though it was a big secret.
“Great. We’re gonna open up the factory Saturday night for an emergency job. Don’t know much about it myself at the moment it’s all a bit hush hush, but the bosses have asked me to get four of five good lads in to work through the night, up for it?”
“Yeh great.”
“Good I’ll put your name down. I’ll let you know more in a couple of days.”
Pisshead walked off. Jake wasn’t sure if this was normal or not, he’d only been there a couple of months. He called out to Stevie.
“You been asked to work this Saturday?”
Steve walked over.
“Yeh pisshead just asked me this morning. It’s all a bit cloak and dagger stuff, but it’s at time and a half plus a day off in lieu so I’m definitely in. You coming for a pint?”
As much as Jake wanted to. He knew he daren’t.
“No, got to get home, see you tomorrow.”
Jake left Stevie and headed home with two grand tucked firmly in his coat pocket. He wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Should he hide it or give it to mum and dad. God knows they could do with it. He knew they were two months behind with the mortgage, he’d heard them arguing about it a few days ago. Fuck it, he’d give it to them tonight. Say he’d had a win on the horses. They knew he had a small bet from time to time, which his mum most definitely disapproved, but he was sure he would win them round once they saw how much he’d won. He’d take out a couple of hundred for himself and give them the rest. That should put a smile on their faces.
Just a few yards from his front door his phone rang. It was an unknown number. He answered it. It was a familiar voice.
“Hello Jake. We need to meet up and get an update. Go indoors, have your tea then meet us at the top of the road in half an hour.”
Jake didn’t have a chance to answer. The voice hung up.
He turned round expecting to see at least one of them or the Bentley, but there was nothing in sight. The way the voice had said “go indoors” made him certain that he was being watched. But from where? Once again, nothing made sense.
Mum and Dad were in the kitchen when he got in. Jake decided to tell them straightaway.
“Guess what? You’ll never believe it, I had a win on the horses today, a Yankee, four winners!”
Jakes Dads face lit up.
“Well done son, good prices?”
“Err yeh, couple of massive outsiders, came to a few bob.”
Jakes Mum wasn’t so impressed, she hated any form of gambling.
“Now Jake, what have I told you about gambling? It’s a mugs game, only one winner and that’s the bookmaker, you never see a skint one.”
“Mum, it was only a couple of quid, and I won big. Guess how much?”
“I don’t care. You shouldn’t be putting your hard earned cash on bloody horses.”
Jakes Dad was more enthusiastic.
“Hundred pounds?”
“Nope, more, much more!”
“Two fifty?”
“Higher.”
Now Jakes Mum suddenly became very interested. She sat back down at the table her mouth wide open.
“More than two hundred and fifty pounds?”
“Yep Mum, much more.”
Jake took the envelope from his pocket. He’d already taken some cash out for himself. He put the envelope on the table and emptied it. Scottish twenty pounds notes spilled out everywhere.
“One thousand, seven hundred and twenty pounds!”
Both parents jumped up at the same time, their faces beaming, they hadn’t seen that much money in years.
Jake took hold of his mum’s hand.
“Right, this is the plan. Tomorrow you go to the Building Society and you pay up the mortgage arrears, don’t ask me how I know, I just know. Then, what’s left over I want you to book a holiday for you and Dad, somewhere nice and warm for a week, my treat. No arguments, that’s what’s going to happen.”
Jakes Mum started to cry. She turned and wrapped her arms around him so tight that he thought his chest might just cave in. Dad was also close to tears. He gave Jake a wink and whispered “Thanks son.”
Jake was pleased with himself. For a brief moment it didn’t matter where the money came from and what he had to do for it. It was worth it just to see the smiles on his parent’s faces. He picked up one of the twenty pound notes off the table.
“Right then, I’m going out to get us a Chinese takeaway and a bottle of wine to celebrate.”
He left the kitchen and opened the front door. He quickly walked to the top of the road where he could see a blue Bentley parked. As he got close the back door opened and he got in. Two of them where in the front and squashed nose was in the back.
“Good to see you Jake. Got any information for us?”
Jake was confused.
“Like what?”
“Work Jake. Work. Anything happening at work. Anything out of the ordinary?”
“Look guys, I’m not sure I understand, I just work in a warehouse making door fittings and stuff. It’s all pretty boring.”
“Let us be the judge of that Jake. Now think boy. Did anything happen at work today?”
Squashed nose’s voice had changed tone. It was now slightly aggressive. Jake took a moment to think.
“Well I started early, didn’t take a break, not even for a slash, then came home, and that’s it.”
“You sure Jake? You sure nothing else happened. Nothing unusual?”
“Oh yeh. The guvnor asked me if I could work some overtime this weekend. Seems they’ve got a big job coming up.”
Squashed nose put his face close up to Jakes.
“When? Exactly.”
“This Saturday night. Wants a few of us to work through the night.”
“Did he say anything else Jake. Think carefully cos this is very important.”
“Just that it was all a bit hush hush and that he’d let me know more as soon as he knew anything.”
Squashed nose sat back into the leather upholstery, he smiled for the first time.
“Excellent work Jake. Excellent. We’ll call you again tomorrow. In the meantime you find out as much as you can about Saturday night. We’ll want to know who else will be working overtime, their names, what job they do and where they’re positioned in the warehouse. Also, what can you tell us about your guvnor?”
“Well we all call him Pisshead, cos he likes a pint or three and is always pissed after lunch.”
Squashed nose started to laugh.
“Fabulous news, just fabulous. Now fuck off Jake and we’ll talk tomorrow.”
Jake got out of the car and continued his journey to the Chinese take away.

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