DCI Spencer was with Commander Swan in a small office on the top floor of Romford Police Station.
It was two hours since the press conference; Ray had gone home with his Dad followed by a mass of journalists and film crews. Spencer poured himself a coffee and sat down.
“Well I thought that went well. God help him now though, the press will be all over him like a rash. They won’t leave him alone till they get what they want. Poor sod. I wonder what headline they’ll come up with for tomorrow’s paper?”
Swan gave him a stern look.
“Something bizarre I’m sure. I even overheard one guy say he thought he might be a Russian spy! By the way, you shouldn’t have allowed that last question, when you say it’s over, it’s damn well over, no more question!”
Spencer was apologetic.
“Sorry sir, I didn’t think it would do any harm, I felt a bit sorry for the Spanish lady, she’d been trying to get a question in for ages.”
Swan shook his head.
“Spanish, that’s all we needed. Suddenly he can speak fluent Spanish. I’m betting he can speak bloody French, Italian and Chinese as well!”
Spencer smiled but secretly thought it possible that Ray Samuels could now speak every language known to man.
“So what’s the plan now Sir? Leave him alone and just get on with our work?”
For the first time Spencer saw the Commander smile.
“Are you mad Spencer? Now, the real work starts. We’ve got to keep our eye on Mr Samuels. Make sure he doesn’t get up to any mischief. I want Lucas to stay close to him, they seem to have bonded over the past few days, make sure that Lucas becomes his mate and then he can report back to you and then you to me. I’ve spoken to his Superintendent and we can have him for as long as we like. Tell him that he’s to stay with us for a few weeks jus to make sure Ray settles down okay. He can stay at The Travel Lodge.”
“Okay Sir, he can share my office. He’s a nice man. He’s been with the force for more than twenty years.”
Swan gave him one of his looks.
“So have I, but it doesn’t make me a nice man.”
Spencer agreed, he’d only seen Swan smile once in the past forty eight hours, never seen him eat, drink or even use the bathroom. The man was a bloody machine.
Swan stood up and put on his coat.
“Here’s my card with my work and mobile number. I’m going to put my home number on there as well. Call me every day with an update, doesn’t matter what time of day. And remember, I will also have people keeping an eye on our Mr Samuels.”
Swan brushed past Spencer and left the office.
Spencer sat down and finished his coffee. He was still trying to take it all in. A hell of a lot had happened over the past seventy two hours. He was certain there were still plenty more surprises to come.
Ray was sitting in his Dad’s house in the living room, he felt exhausted. Eddie had drawn the curtains so that they couldn’t be seen by the mass of people outside.
“It’s like a bloody circus out there son. There’s been 36 business cards put through the letterbox, everyone from the BBC to some Greek television company. It seems everyone wants a bit of you son.”
“It’s not their fault Dad; they’re just doing their job.”
“Well they should go and do it somewhere else and give us a bit of peace and quiet.”
The both laughed, comfortable in each other’s company.
Ray loved the house, he had great memories of growing up there. Nothing had changed since he left home at eighteen to go to University. There was the same furniture, carpets, curtains and Mums old nick nacks on the sideboard. It was just perfect, he felt like a kid again.
Eddie jumped out of the chair as though he was a twenty year old again.
“Tell you what Ray, I’m gonna cook us something nice for dinner. Your old favourite. Bangers, mash and onion gravy. Fancy it?”
“Thanks Dad, I’ll look forward to it, but I think we need to talk first, there are a few things that are happening to me, things I don’t understand.”
Eddie sat down on the old sofa opposite Ray.
“When I answered that last question today I was speaking Spanish. Yet I’ve never had a lesson in my life, it just happened, just like when I picked up the Bible, I just knew it. Something must have happened to me while I was away. I think there’s a lot more I can do as well. Things that will become apparent as time goes on. I’m beginning to think you’re right about one thing Dad, I am here to do something. I’m not sure what at the moment. But something important.”
“I told you son, you’re special, you’ll see, you have a purpose here, I’m sure it’ll all become clear soon.”
Eddie got up and went into the kitchen. Ray leaned back in the armchair and fell into a deep sleep. The dream came quickly.
He was running, running along a familiar road, there was rain in the air and a damp smell. He tripped on something and began to fall, he seemed to be falling a long way for a long time, then he stopped and lay still, unable to move. Something was coming, something dark and damp, closer and closer until it was over him, leaning in close. He couldn’t open his eyes but could feel hot breath on his face, then a voice, a deep and heavy voice spoke.
“They will not win this battle, it is our time, not theirs, this is our time.”
Ray opened his eyes, he was sweating and shaking, he’d done as Tom had told him. He’d let the thing speak, but now he wished he hadn’t.
Meanwhile a long way away something very dark was stirring.