Devil’s Dyke (£2.98 | $3.72)
Harvey brought them in. Jamie gave me a hug and introduced his girlfriend to me. Harvey already knew her, and after giving her a hug, he talked to Jamie.
“It’s nice to put a face to a name, Alli. He’s ringing your praises nearly every bloody day.” She glanced back at Jamie to check he wasn’t listening. “Thank you for putting him straight about a few things. He’s been a little angel since then.”
I grinned at her. “He nearly shat himself that day, Gina.”
She giggled. “I know, he told me he called you spooky.”
I glanced at Harvey and he was listening to Jamie. “Hold that thought, Gina. I have to let Jo and Hillary in – won’t be a moment.”
By the time we joined them again, Harvey was dishing out drinks.
“That’s what I like to see, Harvey, keep pouring.” He grinned at Jo when she picked up a glass.
“Hi, Gina. I don’t think you’ve met my partner, Hillary.”
Gina smiled. “I feel I’ve known you for ages, Hillary. He’s always saying how brilliant you are.”
Hillary giggled. “Men…they talk too much, and they’re worse than us.”
“That’s bloody right. You can’t shut them up sometimes – except for football. They keep their gobs shut then, and you daren’t breathe.”
Hillary answered, “I don’t have that problem. Jo doesn’t like football, thank God.”
“Where are the other buggers?”
“Getting changed upstairs, Jo. They won’t be long. In fact, Olli and Gina are just coming in.”
“Hi, everyone!” Gina called as she dragged Olli through the door. She walked straight up to Jamie’s Gina. “I’m Gina. If Olli gets confused when someone says your name, don’t worry, he’s quite harmless.”
Olli grinned over her shoulder. “Pleased to meet you, Gina. I keep telling her I’m deaf.” She giggled at him.
Gina elbowed him. “Only when you want to be. Come and get a drink.”
Andy came in, picked up a drink, and gave Jamie’s Gina a hug. “He’s finally brought you out then; about bloody time, Gina.”
“It would be three days before we move, but I can’t really moan, Andy. His promotion means we can have kids now, and since Alli had a word with him, he’s stayed in.”
Lucas came in and stood next to Andy. “Gina, meet my partner, Lucas.”
She beamed. “About bloody time you settled down. I’m very pleased he’s got you, Lucas. I used to worry about him.”
“Boys will be boys, until something makes you settle down, Gina. It’s a pity Jamie’s had to move on, we’ll miss him. He’s seen me at the nick, but he doesn’t know me at all. I’ve been kept out of the loop for a reason, and he doesn’t even know about Andy and me.”
“He’s going to be chuffed. Can I tell him?”
Lucas smiled for a yes.
“Jamie, if you’ve finished caning Harvey’s ears, I have a surprise for you?” He came over and waited. “Andy has a partner. This is Lucas.”
Jamie put his hand out to Lucas with a grin on his face. “About fucking time, Andy. I’ve seen you at the nick, Lucas – threatened to lock the bugger up.”
Lucas laughed at him and shook his hand. “Andy’s told me you’ve been a bloody good friend to him. Thank you.”
“Someone had to keep an eye on him – reckless little bugger.”
“We’ve all been there, Jamie.”
“I suppose you have to get it out of your system before you settle down. Bloody dangerous game, though.”
“You can say that again. It’s getting worse out there.”
“Come on you buggers, no shop talk allowed.” Jo grinned at them.
“Who plays the piano?” Jamie’s Gina asked Jo.
“Alli and she’s really good. Lucas and Harvey play guitar, and the three of them are bloody brilliant. I expect they’ll play later on.”
“I hope so. Jamie wants to say a few words before he has too much to drink.” Everyone turned and looked at Jamie.
I could see by his face he knew that would happen, only I couldn’t read his mind.
“Could you all sit for a minute, please?”
Harvey held my hand as we sat down…he was worried. Jesus, Alli, I don’t like this.
Perhaps it won’t be as bad as you think, Harvey.
Jamie looked at us one at a time. “You’re probably wondering why I want to talk to you. Here goes. I had to wait until I was moving on to say this, or you’d have been worried around me.”
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He looked at Harvey and hesitated for a moment. “Please hear me out. Harvey. You’ve been a bloody good boss for me, and you’ve taught me so much.” He faltered again, then carried on. “I’ve had an idea you were a Hybrid since I came here.”
Bloody hell! flowed from Harvey’s mind and we all glanced at him.
“The strength you have, I’ve noticed, but no one else, and I’ve never talked about this with anyone, not even Gina.” He looked at her. “Sorry, Gina.” She smiled at him and he took a deep breath.
“When Jo was taken under your wing, I realised she’s one, too. It’s been the making of her, now she has you all.”
I should’ve known you’d see through all that bullshit. That hit us from Jo’s mind.
“I knew what I was thinking was right when the scar on the back of Andy’s hand disappeared, the weekend he went missing.”
Fuck! I forgot about that. Andy glanced at Harvey.
“I can see you’re shocked I’ve worked it out, all of you, and I’m sorry for that.” You’ve got that bloody right! Blasted out from Andy’s mind.
“I don’t know why those bastards don’t make it public. You’ve been the best set of people I’ve ever worked with, and I want you all at our wedding.”
Fuck. I wasn’t expecting that. Harvey was really surprised like the rest of us. Jamie ploughed on.
“You’d need special arrangements, I know that. I’ve had to sort you two out once before…remember?”
Bloody hell, Harvey, say something? He was slightly stunned for a few seconds and I had to nudge him.
Harvey got up and shook Jamie’s hand. “I’m guessing one of the bags split?” The grin on Harvey’s face would’ve been hard to miss.
Jamie laughed at him. “It’s difficult to get out of a boot. I can’t understand why they put bodies in them. It took me fucking weeks.” We all roared with laughter.
That broke the bloody ice, well and truly, and the party took on a different feel entirely.
Harvey ordered a meal and Lucas played his guitar, not too loud so that we could talk or listen.
“If you’d told us before, they might not have moved you on, Jamie.”
“I need to move on, Alli. We want kids, and I wouldn’t have been promoted as Harvey’s there forever.”
I giggled. “I forgot that.”
“We’ll be thirty miles from here. You haven’t seen the last of us, and I meant what I said about the wedding.”
“We’ll be there, Jamie, and when the other end is finished, we’ll have room to put you up on a weekend,” Harvey told him.
“What are you having done?”
“The cottage next door belongs to Alli, anyway. We’re buying the next house down and having it all knocked into one.”
“Christ, it’ll be massive. Where’s this pool I’ve heard mentioned?”
Harvey took hold of my hand. “Follow us and we’ll show you.”
On the way to the pool, Gina stopped him in the kitchen “I like this, Alli.”
Jamie pulled her after us and stepped into the pool room. “Fucking hell, I didn’t expect this. How long is it?”
“Fifty feet and we use it every day. Nick’s kids come every other weekend. His adopted daughter swims on the bottom like Alli, and she’s not allowed to at the local pool. It’s twelve foot deep for that reason.”
Fuck me, is this for real. Jamie couldn’t quite take it in.
“I love that tree; look, Jamie?” Bugger the bloody tree.
“Hang on a minute, Gina. Doesn’t Alli need to breathe air?”
Harvey giggled at him. This is going to shock you.
“Do your party trick, Alli? You’ve got time before the meal comes.”
“I’ll be skinny-dipping, Harvey.” I can’t in front of him.
Before he had a chance to say anything to me, our lot dived in from behind us.
“That’s all right then.” I slipped out of my dress and was in the pool in seconds. I came up for air and went through my whole routine of synchronised swimming with my head under water for thirty-five minutes.
I swam to the edge near them and put my hands up. Harvey pulled me out as if I weighed as little as paper. He wrapped a towel around my body and gave me another for my hair.
I looked at Jamie and Gina, who were giggling.
“Boy, are we going to have fun when we visit,” burst out of Jamie.
“You’ve no fucking idea how much, Jamie.” Jo was walking towards us from Gina’s side of the pool with just a towel around her hips. We’re used to it, as she’s got no boobs and as many muscles as Harvey.
“Where the fuck did you get those muscles, Jo?”
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“She’s as strong as me, Jamie,” Harvey enlightened him, and Jamie caught sight of Olli lifting Gina out the same way. Lucas and Andy did their party trick, now everyone was out.
They shot out of the water, twelve feet in the air…rolled into a ball and dropped back in. They did it a couple of times each and got out. Jamie’s face was funny. It was a cross between being bloody gobsmacked and disbelief.
“You lot will be unstoppable. You’re all built like fucking trucks, apart from the three girls. I guess you were dealing with rogue Hybrids last week – am I right?”
“Spot on, Jamie. We had to be very careful with the boss on the job. Andy was with him as his bodyguard. Right until the last minute, we had no idea if there were more. The Home Office has the three we caught. One was Hicks in vice, for the murder of the 'Tom'.”
“Jesus, Harvey. That was too close for comfort.”
“They’re difficult to spot, Jamie, and Alli has to read their minds to be certain.”
The doorbell rang. “That’ll be the food, I won’t be a minute.”
“Come into the dining room?” I had my dress back on and changed the towel around my head.
“Alli, this place is beautiful.” Gina looked around at everything.
“All Harvey’s doing, Gina. It was like this when I moved in. The only influence I’ve had is the pool. When Harvey saw me swimming like that, at that place we tried out, he said we’d have a bigger pool one day. We came home and he paced the garden to see how large we could have one.”
“You said bigger pool – you have two?”
I grinned at him. “No wonder you’re a good copper, you don’t miss a bloody word, Jamie.”
He giggled and still waited for me to answer.
“We have a marble plunge pool upstairs.” I pointed out of the window. “See that wall to the right of the pool room; there was another room there once. The pool goes down into the cellar. Harvey put it in.”
“Quite the little handyman,” poured out of Jamie’s mouth.
I burst out laughing. Harvey came in with the food. “She keeps calling me that, I don’t know why.”
“I’ve probably got a good idea.”
“You’ll never come close, Jamie. If I was you, I’d quit while you can.” Jo was giggling as she sat opposite him. He put his hands up in submission, still smiling.
With the meal finished and the plates piled in the kitchen, we still talked around the table.
“I nearly didn’t say anything tonight, but I didn’t want to lose your friendship. I’m bloody pleased I did.”
“So am I, Jamie,” Harvey answered. “None of us wants to keep the secret; Home Office orders, I’m afraid, and the fact they don’t want us washing their dirty linen in public.”
“What do you mean?”
“They turned Gina for an experiment. Now they know we know about it, they’re bricking it, Jamie.”
“So they fucking should be! That’s worse than rape in my book. What the fuck are they playing at?”
“You tell me. They held her down and got one of those fucking doctors we caught to bite her for privileges. He either escaped, or they let him out. I don’t suppose we’ll ever find out the truth.”
Jamie looked at Gina. “As I’m a member of the human race, I’m saying sorry, Gina.”
“Thank you, Jamie. If they hadn’t done that, though, I’d never have met Olli or these buggers. I love them all, and we have a good life here, thanks to Harvey and Alli. They took us in the day Olli was bitten. You were there that day, remember?”
“You were like drowned rats, that day, Gina. How was I supposed to recognise you, now you’re scrubbed up?” He giggled at her.
“Seeing Lazarus rising from the fucking dead could help you to forget, I suppose.” Olli was creased up.
“I should’ve bloody known that day. How thick am I, Olli?”
Harvey was giggling and unable to speak.
“You’ve been quiet today, Hillary. Are you sure you’re all right?”
“Sorry. Something on my mind – that’s all, Alli. It’ll keep.”
I had to say, “Spit it out, Hillary? A problem shared and all that.”
“It’s not something you’re going to want to hear, especially as everyone is so jolly.”
“Tell us, Hillary.” Harvey knew it wasn’t good, but she couldn’t keep it bottled up. She looked at Harvey.
I’m sorry you’ve got to hear this tonight. “I did a PM last week, on a fifteen-year-old girl. Lab results came back today, and it fucking shocked me rigid, I don’t mind admitting. She was a virgin, and I took all the usual swabs from every orifice and found out something bloody awful.” She picked up her wine and took another sip before carrying on.
Hillary looked at Jamie’s Gina. “This might shock you, Gina, I’m sorry.”
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“Go ahead. Jamie’s talked about all sorts, Hillary.”
“The swab from her rectum had the worms on it that could only come from a dead body. You’ve got a necrophiliac to deal with, I’m afraid.”
“How did she die, Hillary?” Harvey asked.
“Car accident. Whoever gave her them must have raped her anally. I’ll do another PM and find out how far inside her they are.”
Jo put her arm around her. “Keeping that to yourself, daft bugger. I think it’s time we high-jacked them for some music, don’t you.”
“It would lighten the mood, tons.” She grinned at Jo.
All the chairs moved at once as we stood up and made our way into the sitting room.
As he sat down, Jamie commented, “I like this furniture, Harvey. Where did you get it?”
“Before I joined up, I had loads of time on my hands and scoured the antique shops in London.”
“You’ve got good taste, Harvey.”
“I’m fortunate I had the money to buy it. If I tell you this, don’t be shocked, Jamie. You know we’re here forever.”
“For the last fifty years, I’ve played the stock market and made millions. They know about it because I made damn sure they did. I didn’t know they knew what I was, though, and it was only when Alli worked it out, the boss told us he knew and so did the Home Office. They’re devious bastards. I was panicking. If they realised I wasn’t ageing, what the fuck was going to happen?
“Alli told me she knew that the boss knew. We invited him to dinner and I asked him. They’d watched Alli all her life. Through all the shit she had from her parents and loads more, and they said nothing.
“The boss wanted to tell us, but his hands were tied. He’s told them now that he’s telling us everything in future – they’d just have to swivel on it.”
Jamie pushed in, “You’d think they’d bend over backwards for you.”
“They’re fucking scared of us now. We’re actually getting our own back as they can only contain them with electricity. Alli only has to look at them and they’re hypnotised. She walked Hicks out of the cells; right through the building to one of their special trucks, like a puppy. When the door slammed, he kicked off, the truck moved about a foot and they were screaming for the charge to be turned on. The boss was thrilled.”
“That’s made my fucking day, and it serves the bastards right.” Jamie looked ahead. Our Gina was on her knees with her two hands together in front of Harvey.
“Don’t worry, Jamie, she’s not gone nuts. Gina would like us to play a certain piece of music.”
Gina giggled and got up, looked at Olli and said, “See, I told you it would work.”
Harvey brought his guitar out and stood beside my piano.
“Come on, Alli, let’s get this over with or we’ll have to pretend we’re deaf for the rest of the night.”
Gina was in fits on Olli’s lap. She told Jamie, “They love playing this, really.”
Harvey looked at Lucas. “Join in if you want, Lucas.”
“I’ve never played it before, Harvey.”
“You’ve heard it – that’s enough.” He smiled when Lucas picked up his guitar. I sat at my piano and waited for Harvey to start.
He played the first few bars and then I jumped in. Lucas played in harmony with the piano, and we went through ‘Duelling Banjos’ twice, just to satisfy Gina’s passion for it. She really got a kick out of it, and if I’m honest, so do we, and we couldn’t stop laughing at the end.
Our Gina announced, “I told you and their faces show they love it.”
Jamie laughed and said, “I’m fucking speechless, Harvey. You kept that bloody quiet. We’d have had you doing gigs at the pub.”
“Now you know why I didn’t say anything. Lucas, that was bloody good.”
“I really enjoyed it, but it’s fucking shocked me. Play some more, Harvey, they’re all waiting. Look at them.”
Harvey looked at our sea of faces and laughed. “If you get some more wine flowing, I’ll play.” We all stood up like clockwork, looked at each other, and giggled.
“I’ll go.” Jo rushed out in a blur.
“What the fuck happened there?” Jamie exclaimed.
“Now you know about us, you’ll see more of that. We feel comfortable with you here and forget, sorry,” Harvey answered him.
“Don’t be sorry – it’s bloody brilliant.”
Andy told Jamie, “That’s how we shot out of the water in the pool, Jamie. It’s bloody good fun. Blood hell…I hope I don’t forget at work.”
“Christ, they’d be crapping themselves.”
Everyone fell about laughing at Jamie.
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Jo came in with two glasses of wine and said with a grin, “It’s a bit of a bugger if you do it with a full glass. You’re sort of wearing the wine as opposed to drinking it. Sorry, Jamie. I didn’t mean to startle you. I sometimes would love to do it, just to shock some of the bastards we get in work.”
“I’d be sorely tempted, too, Jo.”
Harvey played for half an hour. I sat at the piano and played the music he loves. He joined in for a while and then just watched me play. I get lost and forget anyone is there, except Harvey.
When I finished playing, Harvey picked me up and sat on the sofa with me on his lap.
“That was really beautiful, Alli. How long have you been playing?” Jamie’s Gina asked.
“Don’t be shocked, Gina – about a year now.”
“You could play in concerts and you, Harvey – you too, Lucas. I’m so pleased Jamie had the bottle to tell you tonight. We’ll get to hear more of your playing. Thank you.”
Harvey said to her, “It’s a good wind down from the shit we deal with, Gina. Once the building work has finished you can come whenever you like, at weekends. The only other place we go is the local tattoo parlour or the sex shop at Darwin’s Heath. You’ll know where to find us.”
“We know them both really well. I think all your tattoos are amazing. Jed does our tattoos. He looks very like you, Lucas.”
“He’s my twin brother, Gina, that’s why.”
“Does he know about you?”
“He was here the night I was turned. I had an accident as a kid and lost all feeling to my dick. Jed caused the accident and had persecuted himself, ever since. He’d known Harvey and Alli for a year and become good friends. I do bondage classes and came here that night to do one.
“Jed broke down and told them it was his fault. They all decided to help me. We discussed everything about it, and I asked Alli to turn me that night.
“The boss was told the next day and wanted to use me, but undercover. That’s why no one was told who I was, Jamie. He didn’t want the Home Office to know until we caught them. They know about me now.
“When we rescued Andy from that fucker, he’d already chopped his off, and we found it on the bloody floor. Alli turned him to mend him again. I’d seen Andy at the nick and knew I couldn’t go near him. I’d have killed him having sex. I live here with him now and we couldn’t be happier.”
“See, I understand that, Lucas. What they did to you, Gina was fucking criminal.”
“It’ll backfire on them one day, Jamie.”
“Doesn’t it always? They’re fucking unbelievable, Harvey.”
“Do you want us to tell the boss that you’ve known all along?”
“I think he should know some people can be trusted. Tell him, Harvey. I’ll be pleased he knows and it might be useful one day.”
Jamie looked around at us. “I’m afraid we have to go – still loads to pack, and the wagon comes early on Monday morning. We’ve had a brilliant time tonight. If those bastards weren’t such idiots, we could’ve been doing this for ages. Still, we’ll be back when we get the nod, and we’ll let you know the date of the wedding. I’ll phone a taxi.” He giggled to himself. “It would’ve looked great if I was done for drink driving tonight.” Sniggers went around the room.
He pulled his phone out and arranged it in a few seconds.
“Twenty minutes – that means half an hour.”
“We’ll miss you, Jamie. You were very kind to me when I first started work and to Gina and Olli. Keep in touch by phone. I’ll give you my number unless you want to be deaf ringing Harvey’s.”
Jamie giggled at Harvey. “He is sometimes pissed off.”
“You’ve noticed, then.” Harvey laughed at him.
“The boss told me, he hates disturbing you on a night. I’m not fucking surprised.” Jamie’s eyes were sparkling and Harvey could hardly speak for laughing.
“He must love you, Harvey, he’s got my number.” He looked up with a glint in his eyes.
Jamie threw in, “I had to have a hearing test, about a year ago – ringing in my ears. The woman said, ‘It’s tinnitus.’ I told her she’s got that wrong; they call it ‘Burgess Ear’ where I work.”
Harvey broke down in fits of laughter with the rest of us.
Andy blurted out, “At least I won’t have to ring you, Harvey. I’m pleased about that,”
“You’ll be near enough to punch if we’re at it, so you better learn how to duck, Andy,” Harvey told him through the giggles.
“No worries, I can take a hint. I’ll shout it from the street.”
“I’m sure we’re still bugged, they pick their bloody moments.”
Jamie looked at me, shocked. “You were bugged?”
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“The boss told us after they took them out,” Harvey told him. “Whoever listened to us would’ve had a fucking ear-full. We don’t hold back when we’re at it. They were probably fucking jealous, as it went on most of the night, every bloody night.”
Jamie’s eyes were out on stalks at Harvey. Lucky fuckers.
Harvey added, “They’d have had to do it in shifts with all the wanking, listening to us.”
“They probably had to seek medical attention,” I shoved in.
“I’m surprised they didn’t send in paramedics, the things we get up to. The boss knows all about it, as I’m sure he’s listened to the tapes.”
“That’s why he’s had a smile on his face, since you met Alli, Harvey.”
“The funniest thing was, we had to use some of the items we have, to contain two of the Hybrids. His eyes nearly fell out of his head. He told me he’d put it on expenses. I told him he couldn’t write that down on any bloody expense sheet. He just grinned at me.”
Jamie and Gina were doubled up in hysterics.
“That’s fucking priceless!”
A car horn blew in the street.
“Right on fucking cue!” Harvey yelled, heading for the window. He pulled the curtain to one side and held his hand up to the driver.
Everyone stood up and said goodbye to them. It was a bloody good evening with hopes for more to come. They were gone all too soon, and we all helped to clear the dishes and glasses into the dishwasher.
Harvey sat near Hillary on the sofa opposite, to talk about her findings today.
“You shouldn’t have bottled that up, Hillary. Why didn’t you ring me as soon as you found out?”
She smiled at Harvey before she spoke. “I’ve been through all that training and worked at the job for ten years now, and I’ve never come across it before, in a PM. From ten o’clock, when I looked at the fax, I thought I’d lost my marbles or I hadn’t read it properly. I even asked them to check it again. To have that on a fifteen-year-old girl’s report, bloody shocked me.”
“I can see that, Hillary.”
“I’m not even sure if you’ll get this job, Harvey.”
“Someone’s shagging cadavers, we’ll get it – I can promise you that. Fax me all the details tomorrow – bugger, it’s Saturday.”
“I’ve got them in my bag, Harvey.” She picked it up and took a wad of paperwork from it and handed it all to him. “These are copies, Harvey.”
“Thanks, Hillary. Has anyone claimed the body yet?”
“No, Uniform deal with traffic accidents, don’t they?”
“They’re supposed to. I wonder if they’ve shelved this until after Christmas. I wouldn’t put it past them.” Harvey pulled out his phone and rang Ron, our boss, the commissioner.
He talked to him for ages. I made tea and looked through some mags with Gina. The three boys went for a swim with Jo. Hillary drank her tea and waited patiently, with thoughts of her experience still going through her mind.
Before you finish your call, Harvey, invite him here for Christmas dinner?
Harvey put his thumb up and carried on talking.
When Harvey ended the call, Hillary asked, “Was he pissed at you ringing so late – it’s gone midnight?”
“He only sleeps a few hours a night since May died. He misses Jenny’s company as he could talk to her about it, so he’s glad of a distraction.”
“He must get bloody lonely. What did he say?”
“He’s livid. She must have been at the morgue a couple of days before you got her. God help who’s responsible, and I’m surprised no one’s been looking for her.”
“That crossed my mind this afternoon. It’s Christmas next Wednesday so you’d think someone would be missing a girl of that age. Her clothes were good, and she was clean and well fed. I don’t understand it.”
“Was she just the passenger or was she driving, Hillary? I know she was only fifteen, but kids’ll try anything on, these days.”
“As far as I know, and don’t quote me on it, she was in the back seat and a car hit broadside on. Her injuries are consistent with that. Her liver was ruptured and she died at the scene.”
“They’d have taken her to hospital, to pronounce her dead, Hillary. They’ll have records, so we’ll start there. Maybe the front passengers had injuries? Highly likely – the driver at least.”
“I didn’t think of that. Those results sent my head spinning today. I had to ask Derek to do my next PM.”
“I didn’t know he was still with you, Hillary. I thought they’d all gone back to London.”
“He told me last week, he was sick of London. He worked like a Trojan on that last case, and from the start, he wondered why I didn’t have enough help. We had a long chat about it, just before they left, and I asked him to be my partner.
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“We get on well; he’s not pushy and understands I’m on his level. I’ve had nothing but respect from him, and it means I can share the responsibility. He thinks you lot are great, but he doesn’t know what we are. I don’t suppose he’d care if he knew. He loved Gina’s help and couldn’t stop laughing about it. He asked me if she’d lost her sense of smell.”
Harvey grinned at her.
Gina couldn’t help giggling beside me.
“Tell her, Gina.”
She glanced at me and looked at Hillary. “That bastard doctor told me, I looked after him at that Home Office place. Apparently, I was a junior doctor there. I can’t see it myself.”
“I can, Gina. I told Harvey you’d had some medical training. You had your head so far inside that body, you probably didn’t hear us.”
Gina chuckled. “Tell Derek I could smell it, but I was too fascinated to care.”
“He’ll be pleased to hear it, and I know he looks forward to more input from you. He said he’d have missed that heroin if you hadn’t been there. Where he was based, they cut corners for monetary reasons, and said he’d X-ray the whole body in future.”
“When he told me that, I decided then to ask him. Not many people would’ve disclosed they’d made a blunder as they were just about to leave. I like him, he’s honest.”
“I think that’s great, Hillary. I suppose the day will come when you have to tell him. He’s not much older than you so it could be years away.”
“Lots can happen, you know that. He might decide to move ten years from now, I don’t know, but I’m not missing the opportunity on a ‘what if’.”
“I don’t blame you, Hillary. It might be out in the open in a few years, and the way those Home Office bastards operate, it could be sooner than you think.”
“I agree, Harvey. I thought I’d heard it all about them…they surprise me every bloody year.”
Andy came in, rubbing his hair with a towel. He sat next to Hillary. “Are you all right now, Hillary?”
“I’m fine now, Andy, thanks. Are you ready to take over the reins from Jamie?”
“Big shoes to step into. I think it’ll be okay.”
“You heard Jamie the other day. You’ve been ready for a while, Andy. You’ll have no problems with the job, and they’ve all looked up to you for a long time. You’re the only one they’d go to when Jamie wasn’t in. Simon and Craig even send them to you. Remember, I’ve got acute hearing, so I’ve heard it all.”
“I didn’t know that, Harvey. Christ, I’ll have to remember not to call you that in front of them.”
“They’d find out at some point that you live here, so call me Harvey in front of them, Andy…just act natural. You can tell Jo to do the same, Hillary. They know she’s been mates with us for over a year now. It looks bloody suspicious if she doesn’t. We’re not pussyfooting around anymore.
“They want the job done, and we’ll do it. We won’t say what we are, but they can fuck off if they think we’re keeping up their pretence any longer.
“Other nicks are a bit more relaxed than we’ve had to be, just to save their faces. Fuck them from now on. I’ll tell Ron on Monday, and we hold the trump cards after the strokes they’ve pulled, and they bloody know it.”
I gave Harvey a mug of tea. He looked up and grinned. “I have gone on a bit, sorry.”
“I think you’re bloody right, and I know Ron will back us all the way. He’s fucking distraught over Gina. The fury he felt about them, hit me when he came into that room.”
“You’re another one who bottles things up, Alli. That’s the first I’ve heard of that.” Harvey got up and gave me a cuddle. “Don’t do it, Mrs Burgess. You’ve enough shit in your head, without that.”
“That’s why he wouldn’t let you apologise to him. He wished at that minute, that foul creature wasn’t a Hybrid and had died.”
“What happened?” Hillary asked. “Jo hasn’t told me.”
Jo was at the door. “I thought it was best not to say anything, Hillary.”
Harvey told her, “I wouldn’t have minded if you’d told her, Jo.” He turned to Hillary.
“That doctor who turned Gina was goading her, so much, she changed and lashed out. Alli pulled her off.” He glanced at Gina. “I don’t blame you, Gina, so don’t ever think that.”
“He thought it was funny and goaded her again. I changed and hit him, breaking his neck. Not for bloody long, though. His head came back up, and then he opened his mouth to carry on. I’d have hit him again if it wasn’t for Lucas, forcing the hood over his head and pulling him back. While Lucas talked me down, Alli padlocked it on. Ron was in the room and saw it all – never been so ashamed in my life.”
Hillary gave him a hug. “The only reason Lucas pulled you off was that it was futile. You’d only get upset, and that deranged bastard would’ve bloody loved that. Ron wouldn’t think any less of you, Harvey, and from what Alli said, he’d pin a medal on you if he could. No more talk of feeling ashamed. You only did what we’d all like to have done.”
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“I second that.” Lucas giggled from the door. He came over and play-punched Harvey on the arm. “I told you that when it happened, daft bugger.”
Olli came strolling in. “If I thought a bomb would kill him, I’d book flying lessons tomorrow. You’d have to pay, of course, Harvey…couldn’t afford it myself.” Harvey giggled at him just as Olli carried on, “That reminds me; when do we get paid – before or after Christmas?”
End of chapter