96. What Is Life?

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A/N - Again, this chapter contains strong stuff - violence, bad language, peril, adult issues and lots and lots of melodrama! Readers of a nervous disposition, look away now! Also the format on WP's desktop version keeps getting screwed up, although mobile looks okay. There's meant to be gaps at the end. 

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What I feel, I can't say
But my love is there for you anytime of day
But if it's not love that you need
Then I'll try my best to make everything succeed

Tell me, what is my life without your love
Tell me, who am I without you, by my side

I can't breathe.

I'm in front of Bobbie in her playpen, covering her with my body to protect her. George is six feet from me, standing in the centre of the green thick pile rectangular rug in front of the desk. He's half turned towards me, half towards them. Why is he here? He shouldn't have come back. I wish he hadn't, but at the same time I am so thankful that he has.

Frank Heath blocks the exit, as tall and solid as the heavy oak door he holds open, palm flat on it. His eyes dart around the room. He seems anxious, unsure. George arriving was clearly not part of the plan. He keeps glancing towards his brother for instruction, but Dennis ignores him.

He is beside the desk, gun arm extended and hand bobbing, like it's too heavy for him to hold straight. He has one eye closed as he aims, like a child with a pop gun. He moves it from George to me and back, undecided about who to point it at.

'I think...' Dennis sweeps the gun back towards me. 'Our little party has been gatecrashed, Darlin'. We're gonna have to take it elsewhere.'

George looks at me. I try to talk to him with my eyes; Don't move, George. Don't do anything stupid. Don't do anything to make them...

He winks.

'Move it, Hannah,' Dennis says flatly, jerking the barrel of the gun towards the door. 'And you, Boss, you just stay where you are.'

Did he? Did George wink at me? Did I imagine it?

'Are you hurt?' George asks me, his voice low.

I shake my head.


I shake my head again.

'Didn't you hear me?' Dennis says. 'I said it's time to go.'

I wet my lips but my mouth is dry. 'No,' I say, hoarse.

'What's that, Darlin'?' he taunts.

'No,' I repeat, louder.

'That's your favourite word, eh?' Dennis chuckles. 'We can play this game later, Baby. Frank, get ahold of her.'

Frank steps into the room, mouth open, teeth bared like a dog. He is a dog. A guard dog, fierce and strong and dangerous, but under his master's command, following orders, grateful when he's given direction and lost if he has to think for himself. He was the same with Ronnie Kray. He did everything he told him to, never disobeying, never stepping out of line... except for once. When I saw them kill Joey.

My memory is hazy. The moments following it are a blur, but they discussed killing me too. Ronnie wanted to, and it was Frank Heath who argued with him. I can't remember exactly what was said. I just remember him, standing with his shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbow, gun still in hand... Bobby wouldn't like it... She's Rick's wife... Reg would be upset. She's his star turn, isn't she...?

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