The Men In The Shadows ( Part 5 )

Jake. pic

Watching his mum and dad eat Chinese food and drink white wine gave Jake great pleasure. It was the first time he’d seen them smile in months.
At ten o’clock he kissed mum goodnight, shook dad’s hand and went up to bed.
He was awake until the early hours, thinking. He was trying to convince himself that he hadn’t done anything wrong. All he’d done was tell squashed nose about his day at work and he’d given him two grand. He couldn’t see the harm in that. They could obviously afford it and now all he had to do was give them the names of the workers for the Saturday night job. As much as he tried to reassure himself that everything was fine, somewhere deep down he knew he was involved in something that he had absolutely no control over.
It was almost two o’clock before he finally got to sleep.
He woke up fifteen minutes before his alarm went off. He hadn’t slept well. In his dreams he’d seen squashed nose ripping something apart with his hands and laughing as he did it. Jake thought it was some kind of cuddly toy but as he got closer he realised it was a ginger cat. What the fuck it meant Jake had no idea. But he had a feeling that squashed nose was capable of just about anything.
He showered, shaved and was on his way to work before seven o’clock. He kept expecting to see a Blue Bentley appear from nowhere but there was no sign of it anywhere.
Today was Thursday, he was hoping Pisshead would have some more news about the weekend. Stevie was sure to know more about it than him, he’d been with the firm for three years. Stevie would also know the names of the other lads that were working.
Stevie always spent an hour before work in the local café having a fry up. He decided to join him for a mug of tea. A few minutes later he was opening the café door. Stevie was sitting in the corner reading The Sun. He called out to him.
“Oi Stevie, stop eyeing up page three, you’ll go blind!”
Stevie smiled and put down the newspaper.
“Ahh, if it isn’t the strange Mister Roberts, what’s up mate?”
“Just the usual, any news on the weekend job?”
“Yeh, saw the list on Pissheads desk last night. It’s me, you, Lanky Lenny, Gerry and Pisshead. That’s it as far as I know. Pisshead did say he wanted only four or five of us so I guess that’s the crew.”
Jake wanted to push it to find out more.
“What do think it is, you know, this special job?”
“Could be anything mate, we did one about a year ago, same sort of thing, didn’t know what was going on until the last minute. Turned out we were making fittings for some rich bloke, all special designs. Cost him a fortune.”
“So you think this could be the same sort of thing?”
“Probably. No big deal really, we just work our machines the way we always do. Might have to change the settings a bit. Last time Pisshead was a complete waster. Sloped off through the pub about ten thirty and came back at one in the morning. Then the cunt slept till we finished. Lanky Lenny had to go and wake him up!”
The two of them went off to the warehouse. Jake turned on his machine and spent the next few hours making door hinges. At midday he turned off his machine and took off his overalls. Pisshead called him over.
“Right Jake, it’s a ten o’clock start on Saturday night, should be finished about five I reckon, still up for it?”
“Yeh sure Guv, who else is in?”
“Just a small crew Jake, me, you, Lenny, Stevie and skinny Gerry.”
Jake was keen to press for more information.
“What exactly are we going to do then?”
“Not sure Jake but it’s probably some special fittings for a toff. I should know more tomorrow. But you don’t need to worry your little brain about it. Just do your job like normal. Right I’m off down the pub, see you after lunch.”
As soon as Pisshead disappeared Stevie looked over at Jake and signalling for him to come over.
“What’s up mate?”
“You know the little blonde bird in accounts? Well she likes me. Keeps giving me the eye. She just told me that Group 4 Security are bringing the metal in on Saturday and staying on site until the job is finished, then taking it on somewhere, said that she overheard Mr Miller himself talking with some Russian guy on the phone for ages last week.”
Jake was confused.
“Why Group 4? Why do they need a security firm to bring in the metal?”
Stevie laughed.
“Because it’s silver you soppy bastard. This Russian bloke wants everything made of solid silver. Door handles, hinges, taps, the lot!”
Jake heard Stevie say the words and suddenly everything fell into place. He thought for a moment then tried to make light of it.
“Jesus Christ, no pressure then?”
“Jake don’t worry, just do what you normally do, it doesn’t matter if its copper, brass or bloody gold, it’s just metal, stay calm just do your job”
“Okay, just a bit nervous that’s all. Right I’m off to get some lunch, coming?”
The two of them walked out of the warehouse and across the road to the café. Jake just knew that his phone would ring. It did. He heard a familiar voice.
“Jake, any news for us?”
Jake got up out of his seat and walked out of the café.
“Yeh, a bit, can’t talk now, call you later?”
“Don’t fuck us about Jake. No we won’t talk later. You’ll meet us back in the arches where we first met. Six O’clock. Be there! Don’t you dare be late.”
Jake went back into the café. Stevie was looking curious.
“So you can’t talk on the phone in front of me these days, who the fuck was that, new girlfriend or something, had to tell her how much you loved her?”
“Fuck off Stevie, it was me Mum, just finding out what I wanted for tea and yes I did tell her I loved her, she’s me Mum for fucks sake!”
“All right, keep your hair on, wanker, right what you having?”
They both ordered the special, Lamb Shanks with mashed potato.
At five thirty Jake turned off his machine and left the warehouse, Stevie wanted to go for a pint but Jake gave him an excuse about having to help Dad paint the kitchen. He headed towards the arches about a fifteen minute walk away. When he arrived he saw the blue Bentley parked outside, he opened the small metal door and went inside. The three of them were there, waiting. Squashed nose did the talking as usual.
“Hello Jake, take a seat mate, let’s have a chat.”
Jake sat down on a dirty greasy looking swivel chair, the three of them stood over him. Squashed nose closed in.
“Okay, what’s the news, what can you tell us?”
Jake gave him a piece of paper, on it were the names of the five people who were working on Saturday night.
“Nice work Jake, any of these boys handy? You know what I mean, might fancy themselves a bit, want to be a hero?”
Jake knew exactly what he meant.
“No, there just kids really.” Then emphasised “Just like me.”
Squashed nose ignored it and carried on.
“Apart from Pisshead of course, but we know all about him. He’ll be no problem from now on. What else can you tell us?”
Jake blurted out the information he knew.
“We start at ten and finish about five, looks like Group 4 are bringing in the metal and staying until we finish.”
The three of them looked impressed. The one who gave Jake a thump the day before walked forward and knelt down beside him.
“You’ve been a busy boy Jake, didn’t expect you to know this much so soon, well done. Now fuck off and we’ll see you again tomorrow. We’ll meet here at the same time then we’ll tell you what you need to do. Remember Jake we’ll be watching you at all times, one slip up and poor old Dad needs a wheelchair.”
He gave Jake a slap on the side of his head, it was only a slap but Jake felt it and knew its meaning.
“Now then Jake, say the words, you know the rules!”
Jake knew what he had to say. The words tumbled from his mouth.
“I won’t say anything to anyone.”
“Good Boy.”


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