HWSNBN (He Who Shall Not Be Named)

Chapter 12

We watched the second helicopter land and the rest of the hybrids disembark. Jack was thrilled to see Gavin again and he introduced us to everyone in the first group that landed. He told us the big chiefs would be in this next chopper with Harvey, Alli, Gina and Olli.

I was thrilled this was happening and Gavin kept squeezing my hand. John, on the other hand, our commissioner, was completely out of his bloody depth and the new hybrids felt it. I enlightened them a little.

From our first words, ‘we need to see the guy from MI5’, he’s been bricking it. When we got the call to say you were all coming, well, one word covers it – ‘Ostrich’. Gavin giggled. John hasn’t picked up the mind reading. His wife’s voice fills that void in his skull. The word ‘slave’ keeps popping into my head – can’t think why?

Giggling filled my head and then one of our new guests held his hand out and said, “Hi, I’m Reese. You must be Jane – good to meet you.” He shook my hand and then Gavin’s.

Once we’d been introduced to everyone and John was suitably satisfied that he looked the head of this operation, he invited everyone into the building. He was the only one suffering on that windswept roof. We didn’t feel the cold, only he hadn’t grasped that fact, even now.

We were taken down through the new building we’d had purpose-built for our cell and we listened to their thoughts on it.

I’m pleased no one feels jealous with the benefits they’ve got, Harvey.

We love our nick and it’s understandable they’d throw everything at them, to make sure they were on the same footing as us. I don’t care that it’s taken a couple of years to get where we are, Alli. Time’s meaningless to us, anyway.

Gavin was beside Harvey and said, “We were worried in case you’d feel a bit pissed off with us, but Reese said you’d be okay – he was right.”

Harvey answered him, “We’re pleased you’ve got everything you need, this time, Gavin. Jack told us about that other mess they tried. They had no real idea what we required. The only bosses we’ve had, who have been aware, long before they were turned, are Chris and Reese. Ron, our commissioner, wasn’t aware at first. His hands were tied by the bloody Home Office.”

John brought us to a halt. He turned to us with his hand on the door handle, saying, “The team are waiting to meet you all and I’ve laid on tea or coffee. I hope this isn’t too much of a trial?” He opened the door and they poured through it, leaving John behind, in their haste to meet our team. We were thrilled they were so enthusiastic. They sat along a row of desks and waited for questions that were fired at them from our team. They answered anything – all about their cases, how they worked; hungry for anything our team wanted to know. I was proud of our bunch, eager to learn as much as they could from our new found friends.

I glanced across the room to John. He was flabbergasted at how fast they fit in with us and how they’d accepted us with open arms. Just as well as we needed their help. It already felt to me like we’d known them for years.

Alli was sizing up Phil, Jenny, Beth and Tom. She knew a good thing when she saw it. She looked up and giggled at me, and then her eyes landed on someone at the back. I couldn’t see who it was from here. She nodded to me…to ask her later.

Gavin looked at his watch. “Sorry, this has been two hours of grilling and our guests are coming home for dinner. I’ll see you all tomorrow and thanks for being so enthusiastic.” A few mumbled under their breath, wanting it to carry on. They knew this was a quick visit and soon perked up to say goodbye.

John made his excuses when the team had gone. Something to do with his wife, he said.

Alli blasted, in our heads: Henpecked or what?

I smirked at her: She’s a dragon.

Gavin told them there was a mini-bus waiting at the front of the nick, to take them to our house. He added, “Hopefully, those two buggers haven’t burned dinner.”

We heard that! Gavin laughed at them. “We’re on our way lads – we’re starving.”

They followed us in the mini-bus. From their thoughts, they liked the look of the house when we pulled onto our drive. Gavin parked past the door to give the other driver plenty of room.

Once they were out he sent the driver packing and said quickly, “The choppers are collecting you from here – gives you a bit more of a break.”

Harvey said, “You must have plenty of room, Gavin.”

“A few acres, Harvey, and it ends in a paddock – no power lines to bugger things up.”

I had the front door open. “Come on – dinner’s ready and then we can have a good chin-wag.” I took them to the kitchen to introduce them to Luke and Charlie. They sent us to the dining room, saying it was already in there. It was. The table was covered in all the fancy dishes from the dresser, steam escaping some, with the food piled high inside.

I said to everyone, “Find a seat. It doesn’t matter who sits where just make yourselves at home. We’re thrilled you’ve all come to see us.”

The two lads followed us in and Luke called, “Mind your backs.” He was carrying a leg of sizzling pork on a large carving dish. He took it to the side table against the wall and carved it so fast, he had the whole thing sliced before everyone was seated.

Charlie said, while he was pouring wine into our glasses, “Reese told us you all like good red wine – that’s what we drink. Can’t stand drinking crap.” Harvey raised his glass to him.

Luke went round with the meat. When he got to Hillary, she said to him, “I could tell you’re a pathologist, the speed you cut that fucking leg up.” He laughed and that seemed to break the ice a bit.

Gavin called, “Dig in. I’m sure you’re not this civilised at home?” That did it and everyone filled their plates. The chat started and didn’t stop.

Gavin asked Harvey, “Reese must have told you about our case, though I’m surprised you have the time to help us. You must be snowed under at your end. What are you on now?” A few of them thought the same thing: Around the dinner table?

I heard it and put their minds at rest, “It won’t put us off our food unless it does you?”

“Well, you asked, Jane,” Harvey said, smiling at me.

Harvey told us what they’d had to deal with in the past month, finishing with the one they were dealt this week. His final words were: ‘most of them turned to bloody soup’.

“Fucking hell!” blasted out of Charlie. He laughed and said, “Sorry folks. You know how it is, can’t stop it.”

Harvey giggled at him. “I thought someone would have that reaction. We’ll make time to help you. We’ve had to catch two deranged hybrids and the human team had to be kept right out of it – you understand why.

“You’ve no idea if you only have one to catch. It took us all, apart from three of us, to catch them separately. Jack and Bren weren’t with us then. We’re mob-handed, and the thought of catching them together wasn’t worth thinking about.”

“I didn’t realise it would be that hard, Harvey.”

“It’s thinking one step ahead of them, the whole time, Gavin. This bastard you have to catch has to be fucking insane or he wouldn’t be doing that to kids. You have to think how he thinks, and then turn ninety degrees because he will. We had the last one surrounded by squad cars, to stop him going to town. We were waiting to catch him at the old mental hospital. He called it his clinic and Lucas was to be his new employee that day. Instead of coming there, he thought himself past them all, which meant we had a mad dash with the blues on. We finally caught him at the premises, but we still didn’t know until then, if there were more. It’s not going to be easy – that’s all I’m saying.”

Gavin looked a bit shell-shocked but he soon perked up. “Thanks for helping us – all of you – we really do need all the help we can get, Harvey.”

“We can be here in half an hour, Gavin. When you get near to acting, I’ll have the choppers on standby. It was good to chat with the team and get to know who were going to be the most use. Beth, Phil, Jenny and Tom could be more involved, although keeping them at arm’s length and safe is a priority.”

Jane cut in, “Sorry, Harvey. Alli, who were you thinking of, at the office?”

“The dark-haired guy with the glasses is a mole. He’s ringing someone on a paper when you’re called out. He was bricking it, while we were there.”

Gavin was furious although he didn’t blow his top. He said, “Thanks, Alli. I knew someone must be tipping them off. He’s for the fucking chop.”

I mumbled, “Wonder why I didn’t see it?”

Alli answered me, “He’s too close – that’s all, Jane. I don’t see everything, quite a few times, really.”

“And you beat yourself up for it, Sis,” Lucas pushed in. He looked at Jane, “I expect you do the same, Jane?”

“She does, Lucas – all the time,” Gavin answered. He looked around the table, checking if we’d all finished. “Do you fancy a swim?” They all stood up, immediately. Gavin laughed and took hold of my hand, “Let’s have some fun.”

Before we left the dining room, Harvey said, “That meal was perfect, thanks, lads.”

“You’re all very welcome, Harvey. It’ll be curry next time you’re here.”

“Suits us, Charlie; you know that.”

They followed us through the house to the kitchen and out of the back door, into the pool room. With it not being their house, they waited until we went in first. I’d have done the same – different when it’s your house. I pulled out tonnes of towels, from a cupboard in the corner and piled them up on one of the chairs. “Help yourselves to these – I don’t wash the buggers.”

Alli laughed and said, “We’re the same. Ours go to the laundry, Jane. I wouldn’t wish that lot on anyone.”

I sniggered. “You need a fucking laundry with all of you. It’s been great having you here and if we can scrounge any time off, we’ll come to you for the day. Your house sounds divine.”

“I think the same about this house, Jane. Lucky girl, living here.”

I sat down on our long basket sofa and patted the seat beside me. Once Alli was sitting down, I confided, “I haven’t seen half the rooms in this place yet. Gavin keeps surprising me with new things. He’s my first real boyfriend, Alli. Do they do that?”

She held my hand and smiled. “We were the same as you two. He still surprises me now, Jane. I love him all the more for every little thing he does, and it took me a year to find out what was in every room in our house – that’s when we only had the big one and cottage.”

“What’s it like now?” I want details?

“Harvey bought the next big one and a builder has turned the whole lot into one. After that, Hillary bought the next one in the row. That’s joined to ours behind the stage.”

“Stage?” My eyes were wide, waiting for more.

Alli laughed at me. “We have a large party room; bit like a nightclub and we play music.”

“Oh, you do, do you?” I looked up. Gavin was in the doorway with a smile plastered on his face. “Who plays what, Alli?” he asked, his voice filled with excitement.

“Harvey and Lucas play guitar, I play the piano and Andy plays the sax and clarinet.”

Jo, who was near us and chatting to Hillary, pushed in, “That’s a bit of an understatement; they’re fucking brilliant, Gavin. You should hear them.”

“Well, maybe we will, Jo.”

I asked, “What the hell are you talking about, Gavin?”

He smiled at me. “You know we nearly got to the attic, before that bastard phone rang, Jane?” I stood up with my hands on my hips, waiting for him to go on.

You carry on just like me, Jane. I smirked at Alli; trying hard to keep my annoyed face on.

Now everyone was gathered around, waiting for him to tell me.

Luke yelled, “Put us out of our fucking misery, p-leeease?”

Gavin laughed. “Follow me.” He turned into the kitchen. I grabbed Alli’s hand and we followed him. The others were behind us, trying to keep up. He went up the staircase to the next floor and then he pulled on the side of the large floor length mirror on the wall. It opened up the door with the other staircase behind it. “We only got to this window, last time, Alli,” I said, in our effort to catch Gavin up. I couldn’t. From the window, he turned to climb the next flight, just before we got to it, taking the steps, two at a time.

When we reached the top, Gavin had put all the lights on and I stood with my mouth open. Gavin laughed at us. He was leaning against a wall that was covered in guitars. A grand piano was a bit further up the room, and there were all sorts of percussion instruments hanging on rafters along with some wind instruments. We stood aside for the others to come in. It was then that I looked the other way. A large desk was like an island in the middle of the floor, and two booths with glass walls were to the left of that. There were microphone stands and leads, mixed with all sorts of other musical paraphernalia, strewn everywhere. Comfortable seats filled up other wall space. This was the attic and the space had been split down the middle, the length of the ridge.

It was Luke who spoke up first. “Why the fuck didn’t you say you had this, Gavin?”

“We nearly saw it, Luke. Called out, remember? Your new rooms are next door.” Gavin pointed to the door opposite me. I could feel the excitement in Harvey and while the two boys checked out their rooms, he went over to Gavin. “What am I allowed to play, Gavin? I wouldn’t want to touch anything that’s special.”

Gavin relaxed and said, “I play them all, so take your pick, Harvey. Lucas, you too. Can’t wait to hear you play.” He wasted no time and was over there like a shot, to choose one with Harvey.

Gavin said to everyone, “Find a seat. Drag some over here and I’ll open some wine. They all moved at once and he walked down the room, past the piano. There, he opened a wide double cupboard. When he flicked a switch, lights came on. It fascinated me to see a bar inside.

Alli walked over to him. “Gavin, would you mind if I make some tea, downstairs, for me and Gina?”

“You don’t have to go downstairs. The lads have a small kitchen in their quarters and it’s stocked up, Alli. Help yourself.”

“Thanks. This music room is bloody amazing, Gavin.”

He turned and picked something up from beside the cupboard, “Thanks, Alli. Could you give this to Andy, on your way? I’ve never played it.”

“Pleasure. He’s itching to play his sax.”

“I felt it and know exactly how he feels. You’re on the piano when you’ve had your tea.” She smiled at him and promptly gave Andy the sax case. His eyes lit up. He had it open in no time and put something in his mouth – no idea what.

I was astounded with all the activity going on. Alli said to me, “Never a dull moment, Jane. They bloody thrive on it. Do you play anything?”

“I wouldn’t be any good at music, now. I fancied playing the violin at school – crazy idea, even thinking about it. The ghosts didn’t leave me alone, like you, Alli. I’ve never touched an instrument in my life.”

“Nor had I until I met Harvey. I mentioned I wanted a piano when I was a kid and he bought me one as a surprise.” She looked over to Gina and said, “I’ve heard you playing, Gina. Have a go and I’ll get us some tea.”

“I can’t here, Alli. I don’t play very well, yet.” She was sitting on Olli’s lap. He stood up and carried her over to it. I smiled at him – he knew she was a bit embarrassed.

Alli tapped on the lad’s door, “Can I come in?”

The door opened and Charlie was beaming. “Of course you can. Check out these rooms, Alli? I can’t believe these are ours.”

She followed Charlie and I went over to Gavin at the bar. “When did you do all this, Gavin? I’m amazed you haven’t mentioned it before.”

He gave me a cuddle and kissed me before answering any questions. “I had no idea they played music, Jane, and you probably wouldn’t have heard about it today, until it was mentioned. This was a surprise for you and the two boys, initially – I couldn’t resist showing them. Sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry for anything. I think it’s fantastic and I’ll see the boy’s rooms when they’ve gone home.” I smiled at all the pub stuff inside the cupboard. “Raided Ben’s pub?”

“I hope the wine in this pub is better than the piss he serves. That’s why I always ordered a larger top in there.”

“It’s like a music shop up here. Did you use this when you lived on your own?”

Before Gavin answered, Gina started to play the piano. Christ, she was good and played it with her eyes closed. Olli stood behind her, listening; pride spread across his face.

Gavin handed out wine to all who wanted it and he stood with me for a few minutes soaking up the beautiful music. Gina must have sensed that Alli was back; she stopped playing and went over to drink her tea, ignoring all the praise from her other family members. They sat together and I knew then that Gina hadn’t played for anyone, apart from Olli, and only Alli had ever heard her.

“You sounded brilliant, Gina. I’m really chuffed for you.” She just smiled at Alli and drank her tea.

Luke had a guitar in his hand and slung the strap over his shoulder. He’d played before, very obvious to me and I knew this was the first time that Gavin knew of it. There was a great look of satisfaction on Gavin’s face when he sat on the arm of a large chair to tune the one he’d selected from the wall.

Andy ran up and down the keys of the sax he was playing. The lads looked round at him. The acoustics, caused by the vaulted ceiling made every note vibrate, sending tingles through us. I sat and nattered quietly with Jo, Hillary and Bren, hoping they’d finish tuning their guitars soon. Reece and Chris were chuffed to bits that we all got on. Jack was chatting to Charlie and Olli, the other side of Gina; waiting patiently for the music to start. They seemed to be ready at once, glancing at each other. Alli stood up and went over to the piano. I caught the smile Harvey flung at her. He was in his element as well as Lucas, anticipation building. It felt we’d known them for years.

Andy joined Alli at the piano, beginning with some jazz that nearly knocked me dead. Sensing this was the first time they’d played that piece of music, made me look at the faces of their immediate family, knowing full-well their emotions were sky-high like ours – captivated by every note hanging in the air.

When they finished, the roar and whistles filling the rafters was deafening.

It quietened down quickly when Lucas began to play some complicated classical music. Everyone listened in silence and then Lucas said, without stopping, “Join me, Harvey.”

I felt Harvey’s emotions rocket from here, feathering his playing through Lucas’s. When that came to the end, there was no intention to stop. Lucas nodded to Harvey. The opening bars of Duelling Banjos was a total surprise to me.

I’d heard it on a film and was fascinated then. Hearing two guy’s play it live was another experience entirely – the speed their fingers moved had me a bit giddy, trying to follow them. I gave up, enjoying it with my eyes closed, even more.

A soon as they got to the end, Lucas played the opening bars of Back to Black. Andy joined in, singing and playing the sax. They did one number off the album and stopped. The cheering nearly took the roof off, with us yelling the loudest.

Luke played some slide guitar which had Harvey wetting his pants, it was so good, and then Gavin played lead to it. They played together really well, considering it was the first time. Then they went on to play the beginning of ‘Stairway to Heaven’. I love rock music and couldn’t help cheering. Gavin laughed at me just before Luke began to sing the vocals. I shut up to listen. At the end of the song everyone’s emotions soared. Smiles filled our faces and we clapped, along with the whistles from the lads and Jo. I was so happy.

The music had come to a natural end. Guitars were hung on the wall again, the sax was cleaned and stored in its case and I saw Alli turn down the cover over the keys of the piano.

Downstairs, the kettle went on and we sat in the pool room and talked. Reese knew they didn’t want to leave but they would be back. He said, “I’m thrilled to bits that you all get on so well. You’ll have to know each other like the back of your hands, to sort this mess out, up here, and I think this is the first of many visits between you all.”

“Glad you said that, Reese,” Harvey jumped in. “We feel like life-long friends now, and that won’t change, no matter what happens.”

I threw in, “We feel the same as you like you’d just been on a break and come home.”

Harvey said to me, “The next trip, after we’ve helped to sort out your problem, will have to be you, coming to us. But, I warn you now, we don’t behave at all at home.”

All of them burst out laughing and I yelled; “Now you’re talking!”

Gavin was in hysterics and Luke couldn’t contain himself, “Shit! We weren’t sure if you’d be like us. I wish you’d fucking said, Reese.”

Reese was doubled over, laughing so much. When he’d calmed down, he said, with tears in his eyes, “I was trying to make a good impression. You should see them down the bloody pub – can’t take them anywhere.”

“That I’ve got to see,” Charlie yelled.

Alli shoved in, “We play down there but first they have the benefit of a floor show. It’s a gay pub so we really turn it on and they’ve no fucking idea who’s with who.”

Reece’s phone rang. He got up and walked away, to talk to whoever had called.

“That’s for us,” Harvey said quietly to Alli.

I had my arm linked through Alli’s on our short walk to the paddock. “This is another thing I knew nothing about. I only knew we had a garden when I saw it from that attic stairs window, it’s rained ever since.”

Alli was funny. “I ordered the next Ark, last week. I’m sending Jack on a crash-course in carpentry. It’s about the only thing this bloody lot don’t know how to build, and they’ve done some building.”

Reese shoved in, “The Tardis has nothing on their house, believe me, Jane.”

“Can’t wait to see it, as long as John lets us have a break.”

“I’ll arrange that, don’t worry.”

When they’d gone, we walked back to the house in silence. Each one thinking of the great day we’d had and the knowledge that we had life-long friends now.

The kettle was filled and we sat at the kitchen table waiting for it to boil.

Gavin broke the silence. “It feels like an anti-climax now, but they’re only a phone call away. I liked all of them – felt like family was here.” He got up to make the tea.

“They felt the same, Gavin. I look forward to their next visit, even if it means we won’t have as much fun.”

“Why do you say that, Jane? They’ll have fun whatever they’re doing. Harvey told me that they carry on like that all the time. It gets them through the shit they deal with and it’s expected of hybrids. Reese was sat with us and he was nodding.”

Luke spoke up, “I talked to Hillary quite a bit. She asked to be turned, being Jo’s partner.” Luke saw the surprise on my face, “Lucas did too, Jane. It’ll take too long to explain it now. Hillary brought me up to speed on some of the things they’ve had to investigate. I was shocked and I don’t shock easily.”

Medium Rare
Medium Rare
Devil’s Dyke
Devil’s Dyke
The First
The First
Split Decision
Split Decision
Critical Moments
Critical Moments
Wet Daddy
Wet Daddy