Despite the pain in his shins, the burns on his wrists and arms; and despite the cuts, bruises; and despite his bones aching; and despite his bum being numb from sitting in the same position for hours, Graeme wasn’t going to give in. I’m not going to let the buggers get me down. I’m going to escape, Graeme thought.
Jonah had left to go to his meeting at the dock, and that meant Lenny was in charge of keeping Graeme tied up. Lenny was a man of few words so once Jonah had left he knocked Graeme about for a while and then said, ‘Be quiet so I can get some sleep.’
Graeme smiled once he heard Lenny snoring in the shadows. Still tied to the chair, Graeme swung himself backwards and forwards, continuing to put pressure on the chair’s metal frame. He kept time with Lenny’s snoring. Suddenly the metal frame snapped, and Graeme fell to the floor with a thud. The pain was excruciating. Graeme cried out.
‘I thought I told you to shut up,’ a sleepy sounding Lenny said as he walked out of the shadows, rubbing his eyes and yawning.
Despite his intolerable pain, Graeme got up off the floor and rushed at Lenny. Although he was still tied to the chair, Graeme tried to use his weakness to his advantage by employing a sharp edge of the metal frame to stab and slash at Lenny. One thing was certain, Graeme would have to fight dirty to get out of this. Very few people could defeat a man like Lenny in a fair fight.
‘Too feeble little man,’ Lenny said as he sidestepped Graeme’s attack. Lenny walked towards Graeme with a malevolent grin on his face and his right hand balled into a fist which was hitting his own left hand in anticipation of doing the same to Graeme’s face.
Think dammit, Graeme said to himself. Graeme began to mock Lenny. ‘Run, fatboy, run.’ Graeme said as he ran around the room and kept his distance from the lumbering thug.
‘Come here you weasel,’ Lenny said as anger erupted across his face and his fists flew through the air like molten rock.
Graeme dodged Lenny’s blows and continued to taunt him.‘You missed.’ Graeme sniggered and continued to keep out of reach of Lenny by outpacing him and by stabbing at Lenny with the serrated edges of the metal frame of the chair.
Fortunately for Graeme, Lenny was a big man, and he was getting tired very quickly. It gave Graeme some leeway in what was a seemingly unfair fight. Graeme saw the floor around them was covered in mud and grime, so he tried to move as carefully as possible. He didn’t want to slip and give Lenny the upper hand. Lenny was starting to breathe heavily now. All the running around was making Lenny exhausted. The desire Lenny had to wring Graeme’s neck was getting the better of him. Lenny was not looking where he was going, and suddenly he lost his footing and fell to the ground with a thud
‘Arrgh,’ Lenny said as he clutched his ankle.
Graeme didn’t waste any time. He rushed at Lenny and pinned him to the ground with the chair. The sharp edges of the chair cut into Lenny’s flesh.
‘Do you have a knife?’ Graeme asked as he looked over his shoulder at the lumbering giant.
‘Get off me, now,’ Lenny, said. But no matter what he tried it was useless. Lenny was stuck.
‘Do you have a knife>’ Graeme asked a second time as if he was talking to an imbecile.
‘Take it out of your pocket and throw it as far as you can towards the exit door.’
‘Just do it, Lenny,’ Graeme said as he jerked the metal frame of the chair so that it pinched into Lenny’s body.
Lenny squeezed his meaty hand into his pocket and pulled out the knife
Graeme’s eyes narrowed as he stared at his opponent. ‘Don’t try anything, Lenny.’
Lenny threw the knife towards the exit door, but because of the way he was pinned down the knife did not land far from where they were.
Graeme took a deep breath. He knew what he had to do next was going to hurt. ‘Don’t get up, Lenny.’ Graeme said as he grunted with pain and ran towards the knife, picked it up and tried to cut his bindings. Graeme kept an eye on Lenny who seemed to be struggling to get to his feet. Graeme knew Lenny wouldn’t want to let him get away, so he was anxious to get moving fast. ‘Free at last, Lenny. I’m free at last?’ Graeme said as he cut away his bindings. Lenny charged at Graeme. Free from the constraints of the chair, Graeme smiled at Lenny as the burly thug charged at him. Graeme moved out the way just in time and watched as Lenny slid across the floor and banged up against a wall.
‘See ya, Lenny,’ Graeme said as he put his thumb on his nose, waved his hand about, and then ran for the exit door and towards his freedom.
Jasmine Cochrane felt foolish being out in the countryside trying to pick up Jack Ledger and bring him back to her boss, Malcolm Turner. Is Uncle Jack, going to be okay? Sam’s innocent question echoed in Jasmine Cochrane’s mind as she continued to drive on in search of Jack. Jasmine knew that Jack couldn’t be that far as he was on foot and she had left the surveillance unit a few minutes after Jack left Jonah Burns’ building which was now coming into view. Jasmine was unaware that inside the building, Graeme, Jack’s brother, was in a fight of his own with Jonah’s henchman, Lenny. Even if she had known, Jasmine had her orders. And I always follow orders, don’t I? No matter how stupid they are. Jasmine sighed. A bloody needle in a haystack thought Jasmine as she drove past the building in which Graeme and Lenny were fighting and down a deserted road. Jasmine scanned the fields, and then looked towards the woodland. She saw a figure in the distance
‘Got you,’ Jasmine said to herself. I hope she thought.
As Jasmine drove on in an attempt to intercept Jack, the man himself was deep in thought. See if anything happens to our gran because of you, Graeme, I’m going to kill you, you wee…A raven walking along the forest floor was started by Jack’s presence and shrieked, then flew off into the branches of a nearby tree. As Jack looked ahead he saw the faint outline of a car, and then a motorbike whizzed past, and he knew he was approaching the main road that would take him to his gran’s flat and the diamonds. But Jasmine Cochrane had other plans for Jack and she put them into immediate effect with a high kick through the air at Jack’s head.
As Doris’s opened the door, she noticed Derek held a small china cup in his hand. Doris raised an eyebrow
‘Can you spare some sugar?’ Derek asked.
‘I thought you were a diabetic?’
‘I’ve decided to live on the wild side,’ he said, cocking a grin, then wiggled his eyebrows.
Doris shook her head and smiled. ‘Oh, come in then, if you must.’
‘So that very big man that came to your door was he your—’
‘Grandson, yes.’ Doris said as they walked into her small kitchen. Derek put his cup down next to the kettle.
‘Sorry about all the noise, Derek.’
‘It was okay.’ Derek smiled as he switched on the kettle. ‘You’re grandson, he’s very—’
‘Yes, he is, Doris said. ‘He’s got a good heart, though.’
‘Yes, like a caged gorilla,’ Derek said, under his breath. ‘It’s the first time I’ve seen your grandson around here. I mean–’
Doris heard Derek’s comment and smiled. ‘Oh, I only ever see Jack on high days and holidays. He never stays long.’
‘Is it to do with… you know—’
‘Yes, Doreen.’ Doris sighed. ‘It’s always about Doreen.’ Doris sighed again.
Derek looked over at Doris as he lifted up two cups from the drainer and put a tea bag in each. ‘You can’t choose your fam—’
‘But you can choose your friends,’ Doris said, chuckling as she gave Derek a gentle pat on the back.
Although they had only known each other for a short time, Derek and Doris had become close friends over the last few months. It was Derek that Doris turned to whenever Doreen’s behaviour got too much, not Jack. It was to Derek that Doris turned to for a sympathetic ear, not Jack. And it was Derek with his gentle and unassuming manner which made Doris smile most, not her family.
Doris chuckled to herself as she washed the last few remaining dirty dishes.
It wasn’t long before both of them were sitting comfortably in Doris’s living room and drinking their tea. There was a knock at Doris’s door
‘Is that Doreen?’ Derek asked, already on his feet and ready to bolt from the flat.
‘Calm down, son,’ Doris said. ‘It could just be the man who reads the electricity meter.’
Doris’s went to the door; the knocking got louder and more insistent. ‘I’m coming,’ Doris said. ‘Hold your horses,’ she added, under her breath.
Derek poked his head out from behind the living room door.
Doris opened her front door.
‘Hello, Gran.’ Graeme said ‘It’s good to see you.’
Just as Jack stepped out of the forest trail and onto the pavement that would take him into the town centre, a foot flew through the air and almost hit him in the face. Luckily, Jack was agiler than his lumbering bulk implied. Jack dodged the kick and blocked the sudden, quick and thunderous blows coming from Jasmine Cochrane’s fists and feet. To Jack, it felt like being stuck in the middle of a monsoon of pain and agony. Her blows pelted Jack and left him bloodied and drowning in his own sweat. She’s fast, Jack thought. Maybe too fast.
‘Lady, why are you hitting me?’ Jack asked, trying to keep his cool as the pain in his body increased from every blow she landed. God, she’s good, he thought. Don’t get beat, don’t get beat, he kept telling himself.
After landing one brutal blow after another on Jack’s body, Jasmine Cochrane saw an opening and tried to trip him up, but she failed.
I don’t have time for this, Jasmine Cochrane thought. ‘Mr Ledger, you must come with me now.’ Jasmine hit Jack again. He staggered backwards.
Jack let out a hollow laugh as he wiped blood from his mouth. ‘Not bloody likely.’
Jack tried to kick Jasmine, but she was too fast for him. Give as good as you get, Jack thought as he tried to punch Jasmine as hard as he could.
The truth was Jack just wasn’t in Jasmine’s league. Sure, he had strength and bulk on his side, but he was a brawler. She was a highly trained government agent who knew martial art moves that Jack probably couldn’t pronounce. Jack Ledger was no match for Jasmine Cochrane. The only thing that saved Jack from inevitable defeat was the bullet that whizzed by above their heads.
‘Get down, now, Mr Ledger,’ Jasmine said as another bullet came their way.
‘It’s Connelly,’ Jack said. ‘Jonah must have sent him to kill me.’ Jack hated Jonah’s scrawny thug and wanted nothing more than to punch his head in.
‘He’s not after you, Mr Ledger.’
‘Then why is he firing a gun at me,’ Jack said, unnaturally calm.
‘He’s firing at me, Mr Ledger,’ Jasmine said with anger evident in her voice.
Another bullet missed Jasmine but this one got closer to its mark and exploded just inches from her head. Now she really was pissed.