Chapter 166

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James stared at Air and recalled his only attempt at murder. It hadn’t worked out at all. He had held the woman down, tied to her bed and laughed nervously as he tried to choke her. As her eyes bulged and she passed out, he didn’t have the guts to do that final act. He was a lover not a murderer. There were people you hired to do that. Unfortunately, the person turned and now he wasn’t sure what to do.

He had brought Arianrhod here to talk but at the same time to make him visible to his old crowd as well. Glancing casually to his left he noticed that Big Brother was in his usual spot; a lopsided grin, paper and pen in his hand, as he scribbled all he saw and heard. The name was apt.

Standing behind the counter, the manager, Little Mike, was there doing his job and handing out drugs with the orders. It was a clever way to do business as no one ever suspected they weren’t fries in the bag. The girls at the register were pimped out by Little Mike and worked at the hotel next door, run by the owner of the establishment, Gary. Gary turned a blind eye to the proceedings. He knew that things were going on but he ignored them as he sipped his pina colada on a beach somewhere, far, far away. Gary supplied the drugs to Little Mike, so he was not exactly clean.

The boys out the back were handy to have around. They worked flipping burgers and doubled as security in one. Not much happened that they couldn’t take care of. Big boys; mostly illegal immigrants. Some of them could be hired out privately for jobs but their asking price was out of this world. Maybe he should have asked them instead of Paul. Paul had been recommended by one of the guys, Daniel. Hmmm.. He should have a chat to him.

James slunk out of the booth and looked down at Arianrhod, “Going to piss.”

He weaved through the crowds and walked up to Mike, “Hey buddy. How’s it going?” They shook hands and Mike winked; the toothpick he always had dangled in between his lips moved up and down as he snorted a laugh. He raised an eyebrow and let James through as he realised that the talk was not for him. James walked into the kitchen and slapped Daniel on the back.

“Passed me onto a dud,” he joked.

Daniel twisted so quickly and grabbed James by the throat, holding his head inches above the hot oil of the fryers.

“I hear you aren’t good at making good on your payments. Makes me look bad when I vouch for you to a friend.”

James shuddered and tried to remain calm, saying, “I paid him Daniel. He wanted double payment and changed the price twice, without completing the assignment.”

Daniel released him and grunted, returning to grab another bag of fries. He pulled out a plastic bag containing a gun and a phone number and handed it to James.

“Call this person. They’ll sort everything out. My fee is half his. Good luck.”

James nodded his head and took the bag from Daniel, smiling as he said, “Thanks. At least there’s one person I can count on.”

Daniel snorted and got back to work as James tried to hide the bag on his body discreetly. Cops always lurked outside but could never prove a thing. Better safe than sorry.

James returned to the table and grabbed Arianrhod by the wrist, yanking her out from behind the table and dragged her to the car. Their conversation was best for home after all, it seemed.

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