HWSNBN (He Who Shall Not Be Named)

Chapter 6

Once we were in the car, Gavin phoned the nick to tell Phil he wanted the parents locked in cells. Gavin listened to Phil’s answer for a few moments. “The shit’s about to hit the fan. Confiscate their mobiles, Phil – I want them checked. Brooks must have tipped the others off, for them to show up at the nick and not here. Beth’s staying until the bodies have been shipped and we’ll be half an hour. Something we have to do on our way back – won’t take us long.” Gavin closed his phone.

I had to ask, “What colour are you choosing?”

“Has to be black, Jane. No other colour will do for me. Hell, if it’s not dried off properly, after the carwash – shows every mark.” Glad you’re doing it. Gavin turned to me and smiled. “A company will do it now, Jane – better things to do with my time.”

“Pleased to hear it.” Gavin smirked at my sarcasm. I turned and smiled so sweetly. A couple of minutes later he pulled onto a very posh garage forecourt. I stared at the cars lined up in the showroom. Bloody hell.

“Are you coming?” I hadn’t heard his door open. I hurried to take off my seatbelt and was by his side a few seconds later. I’m not missing this.

Gavin squeezed my hand gently and took me inside the huge showroom. A man looked up from paperwork on his desk and came across to speak to us.

“Could I help you with anything, sir?” Bit out of their bloody league.

“Yes, please. Do you have anything that’s taxed? I’d like to buy one now. Perhaps a demo; preferably a Freelander 2, if you have one?” We’d heard his thoughts and I was furious.

Don’t worry, Jane. He has what I want.

“Would you like to follow me, sir?” We followed the little squirt to the other end of the showroom where one of the massive windows, well…half the wall was open beside a large black car. On the roof stood a frame that stated the price, which shocked the hell out of me, and every detail about the car it was sat upon.

I felt Gavin’s excitement as we approached the monster. He put his hand on the bonnet and ran it along the length to the driver’s door. Shotgun didn’t like the fact Gavin had touched it, though he buried it fast.

Gavin opened the door and climbed in; put his hand down between his knees to adjust the seat, as he had long legs, and looked to see if a key was in the ignition. He poked his head out of the door, “Could I have the keys, please?” You’d have thought Gavin had asked him to chop his leg off, the look he received. “I haven’t got time for this. Come on, Jane – we’ll find somewhere else.” He began to get out.

The guy turned purple and almost bowed, “I’m sorry, sir – I’ll get them now.” He almost ran back to a wall cupboard near his desk. He searched along the rows of keys hanging in there.

An older man came into the showroom and saw us standing next to the car. He glanced at shot-gun panicking to find the keys; walked over to the cupboard, put his hand in, above ‘fanatics’’ shoulder and plucked a set from a hook. He left him and came over to us. “Families; who’d have them? I had to nip out, I’m sorry.” He offered the keys to Gavin, who raised his eyes in agreement. Now we have the engineer, not the oil-rag, Jane.

I smiled and stood back for him to get in again and start it. While he did that, the oil-rag noticed who was with us and crept back over.

Gavin started the engine and it was quite loud, “Is this diesel?” he asked the man next to me.

“Yes, sir. We’ve used it for test-drives. Would you need finance?”

“Cash sale,” Gavin told him.

“We can come to some arrangement on the price.” Gavin stopped the engine, got out and closed the door. “Could I get you both a coffee?”

“We haven’t the time to spare, I’m afraid – we’re due back at the nick. Let me know how much it is and could you deliver it when we’ve knocked off? I’ll have the money ready for you.” Gavin took out his wallet and gave the proprietor his card.

He glanced at it, “Absolutely Inspector Wells. Could you come over to my desk please and I’ll work out the discount?” He turned to his family member and glared at him. You won’t be here for much longer.

All that hassle had made us late and everyone had gone to lunch by the time we got back. We headed up to the canteen and found them all eating and talking about the kids. Once we’d chosen something to eat, and thank God they served curry, we sat near Beth and Phil on the next table.

“We’ve been dealing with a moron on the high street. I could have rung his bloody neck.”

Phil laughed at him, “What the hell were you buying?”

“A demo Freelander. Managed to get six grand knocked off the price. That bloody road nearly totalled my car. What’s gone on here in our absence?”

“They’re banged up separately. SOCO have sent through photos of the crime scene. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

“You should have actually seen them, Phil – poor little buggers,” Beth pushed in.

I asked, “Did you go in there, Beth?”

“I had to see it for myself, after listening to your talk with them. I couldn’t get over their ages, Jane.”

“You’ve got some guts, Beth,” Gavin said to her.

She looked a bit embarrassed, “I asked one of the pathologists, Luke, I think it was. Talk of the devil.” I looked up at the smiling faces of Charlie and Luke.

“We’re on the cadge for some food – anything left?” Charlie asked.

Gavin laughed, “Plenty of curry and it’s not bad. Someone must have tipped them the wink.” The two lads made a bee-line for the serverie and were tucking in, a couple of minutes later, on our table.

By the time we left the canteen, the two lads had been invited to our house for drinks, later. They were a good laugh and we seemed to hit it off with them. Maybe because they were hybrids, made it easier – like we’d known them for years, instead of hours.

Now there was only one thing on my mind – the interviews with the parents.

“Who are we talking to first, Gavin?” I asked when I sat at my desk.

“Mike Brooks would be my choice, Jane. Why?” Does it matter?

“I think Peter’s mum would be mine, Gavin.” He was baffled. “Mike Brooks is a bully and I don’t think it stopped with Peter. Does anyone know if they have other kids?”

“Christ, I never even gave that a thought.” Could you come in, please, Beth?

She came straight in and waited for Gavin to speak.

“Beth, get onto Social Services…check if any of the kids were on the ‘at risk’ register, and if they were, ask if they had siblings?”

“Okay, Gavin. If they did, where the bloody hell are they?”

“Good point, Beth. The quicker we get these interviews underway, the better. Do you know if the duty solicitor has arrived, yet?”

“He phoned to say he’d be here in a couple of minutes, Gavin. He did say he wanted a word with you, before the interviews.”

“That’s strange – wonder what he wants.” Beth shrugged her shoulders and left to ring Social Services.

“Why’s that strange, Gavin?” I had to ask as I knew nothing about police protocol.

“They don’t normally have anything to do with us, Jane – only their clients.”

“Oh! What’s this?” I pointed to the flat oblong thing on my desktop.

“Your PC, Jane.” He came over and opened it up, “It’s a laptop – top of the range, by the looks of it. They haven’t spared a penny, rigging us out, I’m pleased to say.” Gavin pressed a button and the screen lit up. “Type your name into that bar and check it out, until the solicitor arrives.”

Yeah, right! I’ll break the bugger in two minutes. He giggled and left me to wreck it.

I typed my name in with two fingers and tonnes of things filled the whole screen. What the fuck do I do now? I moved my finger across a small box under all the keys, without realising it. A tiny white arrow tracked across the screen and stopped on top of one of those weird looking pictures with the word ‘profile’ emblazoned under it. Who-hoo! Now, what does it do?

I looked down at the box and under it were two narrow things. I pressed the left hand one and the screen lit up like a bloody Christmas tree.

Gavin felt my emotions soar, “You’re enjoying that, Jane – thought you would.”

I looked over to him, “This is the best toy, ever!”

He came over to me and took over for a few minutes to show me. “Click on that cross, on the top right of the screen – that will take you back to where you began.” He moved the arrow to something else that said ‘word’ and a different page popped up. “Type the whole alphabet, including the numbers, and then press this, to use all those characters above the numbers. You’ll be typing in no time, Jane. It took me minutes to learn and I could type really fast.”

“You have a brain, Gavin – there’s no hope for me.”

You’ll surprise yourself – you’ll see, Jane.

I smirked at him and he burst out laughing, “Give it a go, please?”

You’re bloody funeral.

I giggled at my thoughts with Gavin, looked down at my PC, to see where everything was and went through it all. Now what? Gavin pulled a book from some shelves behind him, opened it and laid it flat on the desk beside me. “Try typing some of that, Jane.”

“Now you’ll see how thick I am.” Instead of waiting for the reply, inside his head, I began to read the right-hand page of the book. I heard tapping and looked at my hands and then to the screen. “Oh, My God! Did I do that?”

Gavin cuddled me from behind and kissed my head, “Now tell me you’re thick?”

The door was knocked and a smart young guy came in, carrying a briefcase, “Sorry to disturb you - they said, go straight in.”

Gavin stood up, “I take it you’re the duty solicitor?” Gavin put his hand out to him.

As he strode over, he said, “Rod Miller and before Jane tells you, I’m a hybrid, Gavin.”

We both laughed and a smile grew on Rod’s face. “I’m guessing they didn’t tell you.”

“Not a bloody hint, Rod,” Gavin answered and shook his hand. “I doubt if they thought we’d need you, on our first day.”

“Maybe not.” He came over to me and shook my hand, “Privilege to be working with you, Jane, and you Gavin. I’ve been well briefed about you both. MI5 paid me a visit yesterday and don’t waste bloody time. They moved me in the middle of the night.”

I couldn’t help laughing. Beth, we need tea, please – three mugs.

Okay, Jane – won’t be a tick.

“Wouldn’t you be a conflict of interest, in interviews, Rod?” Sorry, I had to ask.

“They thought you might, Gavin. They have a solicitor at the other cell who reads minds. He knew exactly what they were, long before he divulged it. He does his job as the client’s solicitor and doesn’t cross the boundary unless they’ve had hybrids to contend with.”

“Christ, it’s come to that, has it?”

“Good and bad in us, as well as humans, Gavin. You’ll hear all about it, in due course, I’m bloody sure.”

Beth came in with the tea and smiled at our newcomer. She gave him a mug, “I’m Beth – first of our rabble to read minds. Two sugars…just how you like it, Rod.”

I cracked up at the look on Rod’s face. Floored, covered it and then he began to laugh.

Beth gave us ours. Pity he’s a bloody hybrid; no offence!

Pity you’re a bloody human! Blasted out of Rod’s mind.

“We’ll have to watch you buggers.” I couldn’t stop it.

Rod answered me, “All joking aside, Jane. I know I couldn’t, no matter how much I fancied a human. Sorry, Beth, I shouldn’t have even gone there.”

“It’s okay, Rod. I’m taking it as a compliment; nothing more. It doesn’t mean we can’t have a laugh though, as you’re moving into one of the offices, upstairs.”

“Rod hasn’t told us, Beth. Things have really advanced with you, I’m impressed,” Gavin said, elated.

Her hand shot up to her mouth – she was worried. I held her hand, “Beth, don’t be scared. You’ll be a great help to us and it won’t be long before Phil’s the same.”

“Thanks, Jane. I feel better about it. I’ve taken up enough time, you have interviews to do.”

“I’ll take this with me. Who are you interviewing first, Gavin?” Rod asked.

“Tracey Brooks, Rod – then her husband. Beth, could you show Rod to an interview room and ask Phil to get her up from the cells, please?”

“Pleasure. Come on Rod, it’s really posh…” Their conversation dwindled when the door shut on them.

“He’s here, just to work for you, Gavin – that’s why he’s using one of the offices upstairs.”

“That’s unheard of, Jane. Whoever this Reece character is from MI5, he’s certainly making sure we have everything to make this work, not like that last bloody attempt.”

“You’ll be able to tell him to his face, soon. He’s coming, but I don’t know when, yet.”

“We better make sure we don’t cock this up.” I laughed and gave him a cuddle.

The top of the door was glass, the type that had wire mesh in it – like we had at school. Tracey Brooks had been crying, her face was red and the eye make-up she’d been wearing made her look more like a panda than human.

“Wait a second, Gavin.” I vanished to get my bag and was back beside him a second later. He smiled at me and opened the door.

We sat opposite Tracey and Rod. She looked terrified and tears filled her eyes. I opened my bag to find a wipe, to take her make-up off, and a mirror.

I gave them to her and said, “Tracey, you’ll feel better if you sort your make-up out. Gavin’s drowned in mine, the last few days.” I heard him giggle in my head and Rod nodded with the faintest smile.

“Thanks. I feel a right mess.” She didn’t take long to clean her face up and handed them back to me. “Thank you,” she said, timidly. She couldn’t understand why I was so kind to her and she knew the questions were about to start.

Gavin turned the machine on and gave his name and rank. Your turn, Jane.

“Psychic and PC Jane Hanson.” Rod gave his name and the interview had now started, although, this wouldn’t be a normal interview as I’d already seen what her husband had done to her.

Now I had to coax it out of her for the tape recording. Thank God, Gavin had explained, in detail, how things were run in an interview before we were told they were ready. Without that, I’d never have known and would’ve floundered, like a fish out of water.

“Tracey, I’m Jane, this is Gavin and you know your solicitor’s name. When I say I’m here to help you, I’m not talking bull-shit. You heard me say psychic in my title and that’s why I work with Gavin.” She nodded her head.

“I think you know what’s happened to Peter, and Gavin’s sure Steve Mullins rang you after they found the kids. Am I right, Tracey?”

She nodded her head again. “Could you answer, Tracy? We need to hear it for the tape?”

“Yes, Steve rang Mike and told him to contact the others.”

“Thank you, Tracey. Now, I’d like you to tell me who organised the trips you go on?”

“Mike does, but I hate them.” She was almost in tears. I found some tissues in my bag and gave her a few. She’ll bloody need them in a minute. I said to Gavin and Rod picked it up.

Gavin’s voice filled my head: You’re doing okay, Jane - stick with it. I glanced at him, smiled and turned my attention to Tracey again.

“I spoke to the kids on the lawn, outside the house.” She was shocked. “I told you, Tracey, that’s why I work for the police. I see the dead everywhere; in fact, they’re a pain in the butt most of the time, but not this morning. You see; the person, who came to collect Peter, was his brother, Stephen.” Her hand covered her mouth and tears trickled down her face. I put my hand across the table and held hers.

“I know it wasn’t you, it’s okay.”

“He’s still dead because of me!” She bellowed.

“He watched you being beaten and stuck up for you. That wasn’t your fault, Tracey. He loved you and wanted it to stop. He only knew one way and that was to use his fists, only Mike was practised at using his, wasn’t he?”

“Nearly every day.” Her chin quivered when she spoke and I could feel her hand trembling. Beth, could you organise some tea, please?

I’m on a phone call so I’ll send Jenny in with it, Jane.

“I have to ask you this, Tracey – I’m so sorry. Could you tell us what happened with Stephen?”

“Will he know I’ve told you?” She looked terrified.

“No, he won’t. I only want you to tell us for the tape. I don’t need you to tell me, I’ve seen it. I told you earlier, Tracey, and we don’t lie. He won’t know you’ve said anything to us and that’s a promise. And another thing, he won’t be sleeping under your roof, for a very long time, if ever.” We could physically see her relax.

The door was tapped and a blonde girl came in carrying a tray, laden with mugs of tea, and sugar. She smiled, sat it on the table and turned to leave the room.

“Thanks, Jenny,” Gavin said and pulled the tray into the middle. “Help yourselves; that means you too, Tracey. You could do with a cup of tea.”

Over the course of the next half-hour, Tracey told us how Stephen had jumped on his dad’s back, to stop him. He was thrown off when Mike pulled his fist back to hit Tracy again and when Stephen had fallen backwards, he’d hit his head on the corner of the fireplace. What she didn’t know, and I believed her, was what Mike had done with his body. That was something for me to find out when we interview him.

Once all that was on the tape, Gavin asked, “Tracey, do you have a relative nearby, who could take you home with them? I’m not keeping you here and we must treat your house as a crime scene. You do understand that?”

She wiped the tears from her eyes, “Yes, I understand and my cousin would pick me up. She was always telling me to leave.” Gavin took out his mobile and gave Tracey it, to phone her cousin.

We were in our office, once Tracey had been picked up. The door opened and Beth and Phil came in, laughing between themselves.

“Before you two say anything, I heard you.” I couldn’t help saying it. They both giggled.

“Heard what?” Gavin was baffled as he hadn’t been concentrating on anything else, except the interview.

Beth straightened her face and said, “You were talking to Tracey Brooks, Gavin. I heard what she told you when I was taking another call from Social Services. Without thinking, I asked Phil to organise SOCO for the Mullins’ house, in my mind.”

Phil was bursting to tell us so Beth elbowed him and nodded for a ‘go on’.

He blurted out, “I heard Beth; picked up my phone and rang Kevin, to tell him all the details. Then it hit me – she was talking on the bloody phone!”

Gavin laughed at the look on Phil’s face and put his hand out to him. “Welcome to the club.”

“Best club I’ve ever been in.” Then he laughed out loud.

Rod had been talking to his client for about half an hour when we were told they were ready for us. When we walked in, Mike Brooks looked up and watched us take our seats. Gavin turned the tape machine on and we went through the rigmarole of names and ranks. Brooks’ face was a picture when I said psychic in mine. He looked sideways at his solicitor and Rod sat with a dead-pan face.

Gavin asked Brooks, “Could you state your full name please?”

He raised his eyes to Gavin, “Michael Brooks. Why am I being interviewed when I was nowhere near the house when they were killed? I’m grieving here, don’t you care? Treating people like this and where’s Tracey?”

I watched the performance, he thought we couldn’t see through, and then I began to delve inside his head. He was only looking at Gavin; no idea what I was doing. Gavin carried on questioning him.

“Why was Peter left in charge of the other kids?”

Brooks shrugged his shoulders, “Why not?” I could feel the fury inside Gavin.

He’s digging his own grave, Gavin – let him carry on. His emotions, along with Rod’s, subsided, greatly. Rod glanced to me and Gavin reached for my hand, under the table. He squeezed it gently and let go.

“I’ll ask you again. Why was Peter left in charge of the other kids?”

“AND, I’M TELLING YOU AGAIN; WHY THE FUCK NOT!” blasted out of Brooks’ mouth.

Phil, come and stand across the door, please? Gavin asked, in his mind. We didn’t wait more than a few seconds for the door to open and Phil came in. I was on my way, Gavin. I caught the smile on Rod’s lips. Brooks didn’t see it and stared at Phil.

“You’ll go back to that cell and live there, until you answer my question, Mr Brooks,” Gavin told him, “And you can stop shouting at me or I’ll make damn sure it happens.”

“I know my rights!” Brooks protested and looked to Rod.

“You have no rights in this room,” I told him. His head snapped round to me, really fast.

“I don’t have to say anything,” Brooks said with a smirk on his face.

“That’s true, you don’t.” I let that sink in for a few minutes and then I asked a question. “Where’s Stephen’s body?” The blood drained from his face and his hands shook on top of the table. He pulled them into his lap and composed himself again.

“That easy, is it, to wipe him from your mind?” It wasn’t really a question I wanted an answer for, and carried on, “He became a nuisance, sticking up for his mum, didn’t he? So where did you get rid of him?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, flippantly.

“The pick-axe is still in the boot of your car,” I flung at him. The pupils in his eyes changed size, from pin-pricks to owl size, where no colour showed at all. I ignored that as I’d seen everything I wanted and was just trying to get it on the tape.

“I think I’ll show you what Peter looked like when we found him and the other poor little buggers.”

“Yeah, right!” he snapped. I sat back in my chair, closed my eyes and pushed the sight we’d witnessed in the Mullins’ house. He tried to back away from it. His chair fell backwards and he fell onto that. I kept pushing until he’d had a gut full.

“MAKE IT STOP!” he yelled, like a baby. I stopped pushing.

Phil hurried over from the door, “Get up. NOW!” he yelled at Brooks, who was sprawled on the floor.

Once he was sitting opposite me again, I asked, “Where is Stephen’s body, or do you want to see him as well?”

Tears filled his eyes, he looked at his solicitor and back to me again, “I buried him in the field behind our house,” he admitted.

I’ll organise a digging party, Gavin.

We won’t be here much longer, Beth. We’re joining you. Gavin answered her and then turned to Phil, “Get two of the lads to take his statement and ring Luke, please? They ought to be there, and SOCO.” Phil nodded and left the room.

I only had one more thing to say to Brooks, “I haven’t finished with you yet and with what we’ve learned, up until now, you’ll pay dearly for putting your whole family through hell. I know what you did to all of them and hopefully, you’ll never be released from prison. Mark my words, if you try to get parole I’ve seen enough inside your head, with other crimes you’ve committed, to keep you there indefinitely and I’ll make bloody sure they do.”

He stared at me, “What the hell are you?”

“Your worst fucking nightmare!” I flung at him. I turned to Gavin. “I think we’ve finished here, Gavin and I’d like some tea before we dig Stephen up.”

“Interview terminated at three fifteen.” Gavin switched the machine off, pulled out the two CDs, gave one to Rod and he kept the other one in his hand.

The door was tapped and opened. Duncan and another lad came in to relieve us and to take Brooks’ statement.

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