TEN - The Quiet Ones

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Despite Angelina complaining it was distasteful, Hobson called the hospital pretending to be Jacq's father to ask if she'd been discharged yet. Thanks to the high profile nature of the case, several journalists already tried that one. The nurse hung up.

Not easily discouraged, Hobson instead phoned a couple of reporters, pretending to be one of their colleagues. They coughed up the information soon enough: Jacqueline Miller sent home mid-morning, a few stitches but nothing more serious, no brain damage, quite upset.

Hobson grinned at Angelina over his mobile. "And released into the care of one Emily Allen. I'm guessing they went to Emily's place, she'd definitely fake being too hopeless to look after herself. Slots right into her pissweak persona."

"You still think she's hiding something?"

"You bet."

"Surely she couldn't hurt anyone, though? I mean, she's just too nice?"

"Have to wait and see, won't we?"

"So we're going over there?"

"Obviously."

Before she could argue any more, a skinny man in a baggy shirt and small glasses came over to their table. He'd been sitting nearby, and Angelina thought she'd spotted a couple of looks over. She'd liked how self-assured and cool he seemed, even if about ten years older than her. Disappointing to discover he'd only been after one thing: "Mister Hobson? Ross Watts, Evening Star. Any comment on the arrest of your employer?"

"None."

"Any comment on the rumour that the real reason you've been hired is to clean up after Edward Lyne's crimes?"

"No."

"Any comment on what's with the tiny Asian girl?"

Both Hobson and Watts looked at Angelina for a moment, and she did her best to glower with authority. Hobson turned back to the journalist, not smiling at all.

"No comment at all, you four-eyed beanpole fuckwit. Choi," he pointed to the exit, "let's go see these girls."

*****

They snuck into Emily's building when someone else left the door swinging a little too long. Angelina wanted to ring the doorbell like a normal person, but Hobson wasn't doing that. "If we only went where we were wanted, Choi," he said, smug as ever, "we'd be sitting in my office doing the fuckin' crossword."

They swept into the foyer, past the notice board and up the stairs for the flat number Lyne had given them: number twenty-two. As they marched up the grey, stained stairwell, Angelina shivered at the thought of poor Matt, dying alone in a similar boring column. Ridiculous, of course, she'd barely seen it happen.

Whereas Hobson splashed through Matt's blood with his own two boots, yet bounced up these stairs without a care in the world.

They reached the second floor and there were two flats: twenty-one and twenty-two. Not missing a step, nor consulting with his assistant about how to approach this sensitive conversation, Hobson pounded on the door.

After no-one responded, Angelina piped up. "Hobson, maybe we should leave them be. They might be at Jacq's place."

"Nah. Wouldn't fit the cover story." He hammered the door some more, adding a yell. "Emily, it's John Hobson! Open up!"

The lock crunched, door shot a few degrees open, revealing an angry Emily standing in the gap. "What do you two want?"

"Hi, Emily." Angelina waved, remembering she was the one with connections.

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