Novel Name : Hot Revenge Box Set 4

Chapter 42

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My resources: The clothes I’m wearing. A notebook and the stub of a pencil: A book on herbal toxins. A
small supply of sweet water. An infinite supply, for any practical purpose, of foul water, slime and
garbage. And of course, one small potato.

I’d like to give in to despair. There’s something alluring about despair, something seductive. Perhaps I
should simply not play Juliana’s game; let her kill me.

But if I’m dead…


My beautiful green-eyed Mitch.

So alive. So energetic.

So full of courage.

So vital.


Stay alive...

So, eat the fucking potato…

I prise it out from its bed of sludge and slime with a slight sucking sound. It’s small; perhaps half the
size of my fist. On the other hand, adhered muck aside, it seems sound; firm, mid-brown, no sprouts or

green parts. I have a vague idea that I’ve read that green potatoes are unsafe to eat.

Hauling myself up from my concrete seat, lifting my chain in one hand, with the other, I hold my meal
under the water inlet, thumbing away the dirt under the clean water.

Time to live…

And I bite in.


With no warning, the light blinks on and without meaning to, I groan, hiding my eyes behind my hands.

Within seconds, the Click Click of heels on concrete, then Juliana emerges from the darkness. “Good
afternoon, Larry. How are you? I do hope you’ve had the opportunity to fully appreciate your situation?”

She’s opted for black hair today, long and draped over her shoulders, with deep red lipstick. The dress
is long and clingy, with a low cut neckline; designed to show off a figure which I suspect is being
enhanced with well-chosen underwear. A clutch bag in black satin completes the ensemble.

Blinking streaming eyes, I don’t reply and she awards me a polite little smile, then sits, on her fold-up
chair, hands neatly folded. She could be in school, waiting for a favourite teacher to begin the lesson.
Or perhaps in the audience at some small town hall, for a talk on jam-making or how to grow dahlias.
At least she could if Morticia Addams had ever joined the ‘Jam and Jerusalem’ set.

“So,” she says brightly. “What are we going to talk about today?”

I struggle upright. I’m fucked if I’m going to let her look down at me while we talk. She watches me, a
touch of wariness in her eyes. Momentarily, her gaze drops to her painted line, but she’s well to one
side of it, me to the other.

“What…” I fold my arms, lean back against the wall…

Fuck, but it’s good to get off the concrete…

… “What would you like to talk about? I’m guessing you have a selection of choice topics.” I pace a
little, as much as the chain allows, unhinging stiff knees and hips, stretching muscles.

“You know, you’re right.” She gives me a bright little smile. “And…” She aims a long painted fingernail
at me…



“… that’s part of it, Larry. You must look after yourself. Exercise. You won’t do well down here if you
don’t move about more than I’ve seen you doing the last two days…”

Two days?

“… Is there anything you want?”

I pause…


“How about a cup?”

She snorts. “What? And give you something to turn into a weapon or a tool? Finchby and Baxter were
stupid, letting your little bitch daughter get hold of a glass bottle. I'm not making that mistake. You have
hands. Use those.”

“It’s difficult to get a real drink that way.”

“You have something better to do with your time? Lick it off the wall if you have to. I’m not giving you a

“I’m touched by your concern for my welfare.”

“Now don’t be grouchy, Larry. I’ve won and you’ve lost. You’re mine now and we’re playing by my

“You realise they'll be looking for me, the police. By now they'll know I'm missing.”

She wrinkles her nose. “’Fraid not. You see, Harry Hughes isn't missing. What’s left of him has been
found dead in his hotel suite after the explosion. And I made sure the police found some clues about
you being near my apartment. With the number of bodies they’ll have found around there recently, I’m
sure that will perk their interest in you…”

My chest tightens…

“What clues?”

“If you insist, I left your passport not too far away, close enough to link you to the spot.” She sighs,
stroking a hand over her hair. “I suppose they might decide you were involved with the gangs. But I
think it's more likely they'll say you got caught in the war between the Wolves and the Nightshades. You
know…” She makes air commas… “Innocent Tourist Witnesses Gang Murder And Bloodbath. Criminals
Retaliate.” The papers love that kind of thing.”

She leans forward onto her knees, her smile widening. “Either way, Larry, they’re not looking for you.
You’re dead. Or the man they think you are is.”

My mind spins… “So… you rigged that explosion just so you could plant a corpse to stand in for me”?

She shrugs, looking away. “Couldn't have people wondering where you are, could I? That would spoil
our fun together.”


“Sola!” she snaps.

“Sola, then,” I spit back. “How many have you murdered? There were scores of people caught in that
explosion. All innocent. All nothing to do with me.”

“You've murdered plenty in your time.” Teeth bared, she hisses the words. “You think you’re better than
me? What’s the difference?”

“Yes, I’ve killed plenty. But it was always for a reason. It might have been a bad reason, but it was a
reason. I never went for creating wholesale mayhem for the happy-go-lucky thrill of it all.”

Eyes blazing, she launches to her feet so fast that the little wooden chair drops backwards, collapsing
on itself with a sad little squeak.


Too far, too fast…

Pressing backwards against the wall, “Sola, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. My apologies.”

Instantly the fire leaves her eyes. She smiles. “That’s better, Larry. If you learn to talk nicely, we’ll get
along a lot better.”

She regards the collapsed chair and giggles. “Well, would you look at that. That’s what happens when I
get cross.” Unfolding it, she sets it back in its spot, beyond the white line and sits again.

Fingers clasped on her lap, “So? You were saying?”

*Thin ice*

“Sola, you’ve taken your revenge on me. I get that. I can understand it. I know what I did… To you and
many others. But… you’re still threatening others who have never done you any harm.”

She tilts her head. “Are we talking again about that ageing hooker you shacked up with? What’s so
interesting about her? You’ve had control of hundreds… maybe thousands of women in your time…
You could have had any of them you wanted, whenever you wanted..”

“Mitch is not under my control. And Juliana… Whatever else you’re accusing me of… and I do
acknowledge that most of it is true… Did you ever see me commit rape? Or hear of anyone who said I
had done that?”

Her forehead furrows. “Now you put it that way, no.” She drops her face, swaying her head from side to

What the hell…?

Abruptly, Juliana stands, opens the clutch bag and produces a potato. Barely looking, she tosses it my
way and I field it before it hits the ground.

Without a word, she turns and leaves. A minute later, it blinks dark.

Touched a nerve?

Who knows?

I rub away a smudge of soil and bite into the potato.


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