The Men In The Shadows ( Part 22 )

Jake. pic

Jake arrived at his Uncle Tom’s just after three. Tom was pleased to see him.
“Jake, great to see you mate, come on in. Shall I put the kettle on, or do you fancy something a bit stronger?”
Jake smiled.
“The strong option sounds good Tom.”
Tom opened the top draw of the filing cabinet in his office and pulled out a bottle of Teachers Whiskey. He took two glasses from another drawer and poured two large measures. He started to laugh.
“Reminds me of a scene out of the bloody Sweeney!”
Jake was confused.
“What was that Tom?”
“Never mind Jake, before your time son, anyway cheers.”
The two of them drank their scotch and Tom refilled the glasses.
“So what brings you to me then Jake, want that bit of work I promised?”
“Not yet Tom, thanks anyway. It’s about the place in Spain, just wondered if I could have it for a few days, for me and Stevie.”
“No worries Jake, we won’t get out there now for another three months so just let me know when and I’ll give you the keys. It’s a lovely place Jake, Benalmadena, half way between Malaga and Marbella, right on the front overlooking the Marina, you’ll love it.”
“Thanks Tom, I’m filling in my passport application today and they reckon it might be back within the week so maybe in a couple of weeks?”
“As I said Jake, now worries, you need some cash?”
“No, no, it’s fine Tom, it’s Stevie’s treat. You know what he’s like, he wants to get away from the screaming nights and nappy changes for a few days.”
They both laughed out loud. Jake finished his scotch and went to shake Tom’s hand. Tom pulled him close and gave him a hug. For the first time since he’d been released Jake suddenly felt emotional.
“Thanks for everything Tom.”
“Now don’t start, just fuck off and have a good time and don’t forget to get your leg over a few times. It’ll do you the world of good.”
As old as he was, Jake still blushed as he walked out of Tom’s office.
He got home at six. Mum and Dad were where they always were, in the kitchen. Mum stood up as soon as Jake walked in.
“Now Jake, you’ve been out all day and I guarantee you’ve had nothing to eat and if you’ve been with your Uncle Tom, I also guarantee you’ve had alcohol.”
She gave Jake’s Dad a side glance. He gave Jake a wink.
“No good you laughing, the pair of you, I know what your Dad’s brother’s like, always been the same, bit of a rascal is your Uncle Tom, now sit down and I’ll get your dinner for you, homemade pie and chips”
“Sounds great Mum, let me just go upstairs and change, back in five minutes.”
Jake bounded up the stairs, two at a time, then into his bedroom. Every pocket in his jacket and jeans were bulging with pound notes. He emptied out everything onto his bed. It was all twenties and fifties. After a few minutes he had it all neatly bundled together, there was exactly twelve thousand pounds.
He called Stevie.
“Hi mate, beer tonight about eight, my treat, just for an hour?”
“Okay Jake, but must be home by nine. Steph wants to watch some stupid programme about a woman with three arms or something and I promised to look after the little man. Any chance we can make it a bit earlier. About seven?”
“You’re on!”
Jake went downstairs and tucked into the best steak and kidney pie the world had ever seen, with proper fried chips not those oven bake things, boy his Mum could cook.
He was in the pub at six forty five, usual seat and sipping his ice cold Stella. Stevie, as usual, arrived dead on time. He was amazed to see Jake already there.
“Jesus Jake, what, Mum and Dad kick you out or something? You’ve never been early in your life.”
“Shut up and sit down, I’ll get the beers.”
“Fuck me he’s won the lottery as well”
Jake returned with two pints.
“Bloody hell Stevie, that bird behind the bar is a right sort.”
“Yep that’s definitely one for the wank bank Jake.”
They both cracked up laughing.
“Okay, I’ve been to see Uncle Tom. We’re all set, couple of weeks’ time, still up for it?”
“Yep, I’m in, haven’t told Steph yet, might tell her at the last minute, when will you know for sure?”
“As soon as I get the passport. I’m sending it off first thing tomorrow. I got the form and photos today, according to the guy in the Post Office, should only take a week. Then we’ll go ASAP.”
As Jake was talking he was aware of someone staring in their direction, he put down his beer and stared back. He didn’t know the guy from Adam. Stevie noticed Jake staring.
“What’s up Jake?”
“There’s a guy over by the bar keeps staring at us. You know him?”
Stevie looked over.
“Fuck. He’s not staring at you Jake. It’s me. That’s Gary Hamilton, don’t you remember him Jake, from school, couple of years older than us, right bully boy. He went out with Steph years ago. She dumped him for me. Ever since then he just sort of stares and makes stupid remarks when I’m around. I just ignore him. I think he deals drugs as well. He a real nutter Jake so I just keep well clear.”
Jake looked away and carried on telling Stevie about Uncle Tom and the apartment in Benalmadena. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed Gary was heading for the toilets. He stood up.
“Fuck me that Stella’s working its way through the old system, I need a slash.”
Stevie laughed and Jake headed for the toilets. Once inside he saw Gary Hamilton standing at one of the urinals. Jake stood next to him.
“Gary isn’t it?”
Gary looked at Jake.
“Yeh, and you’re the guy that shot that Russian all those years ago and you’re also the guy sitting with that wanker Stevie, he’s a fucking….”
Gary never said another word. He simply crumpled in a heap to the ground, hitting his head on the urinal as he did so. Jake had made a swift kick with his right leg that took Gary off his feet. Jake grabbed him by his hair and lifted his head.
“No you listen to me you piece of shit, leave me and my pal alone or next time I won’t stop, understand.”
Gary shook his head. He had no idea where he was or what had just happened. He heard himself say “Okay.”
Jake left and went back to Stevie.
“Right, my shout again, two Stella’s please gorgeous.”

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