Novel Name : Hot Revenge Box Set 4

Chapter 44

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Mitch descends the stairs carefully, gripping the rail with one hand, a great wad of glossy something-or-
others tucked under the other arm.

“Here, Mitch. Let me help you with those.” Although the swell on her stomach is only just visible, and
Mitch is by no means ungainly, I think we’re all conscious of her age and the need to pay her extra

A pregnancy she didn’t expect.

The father’s reaction uncertain…

Even if we knew where to find him….

“Thank you, Richard.” She passes me what turns out to be a stack of knitting patterns. Tucking them
under my arm, I accompany her down. As we reach the last step, the doorbell rings.

“You get it, Richard. I can manage now.” Mitch takes the patterns, heading toward the kitchen where,
from beyond the door, James’, Michael’s and Charlotte’s voices carry. Then Elizabeth’s too.

It’s a bright day, the sunshine warm, and the door standing open. Hickman’s on the step.

“You could have just knocked and walked in you know.”

“The door may have been open, Mr Haswell, but a home is still private space.” His expression tightens.
He peers beyond me, over my shoulder and into the hall. Keeping his voice low. “Do you have a
minute? Mr Alexanders and Mr Summerford too.”

“Of course, come in.” A glance over my shoulder, back to where Mitch is vanishing into the kitchen.
Keeping my voice low. “Klempner?”

“Yes.” He looks over my shoulder again. “You might want to be private from the women.”

For a man who, on the face of it, is no more than paid muscle, Hickman surprises me with his

“I’ll see if I can get Mitch and Charlotte out of the way before you say anything. You go through to the
dining room.”

“Hmmm, yes.” He nods; a short, terse gesture.

In the kitchen, Mitch, Charlotte and Elizabeth are sitting together at the table. Mitch has a stack of
knitting patterns, all featuring some woolly item in pink or blue. Elizabeth holds up three or four,
comparing designs. Charlotte’s eyes are glazing. Beyond the women, James, in jeans and riding boots,
stands side-by-side with Michael, leaning back against the counter. The pair, coffee mugs in hand, are
chatting, laughing over some joke.

Hovering in the doorway, I catch Michael’s eye and jerk my head back to the dining room. His smile
fades and he nudges James. Both men, apparently casually, stroll towards me, following me back to
where Hickman is waiting.

In the dining room, James props himself back against the table, arms folded. “So, Hickman, any news.
Anything from Klempner? Anything at all?”

Hickman sucks at his teeth, slowly swinging his head. “No. I’m here to say that there’s no news at all.
You’ve not heard anything yourselves?”

“No. It’s what, three weeks now?”

“That’s right.”

“What’s three weeks?” It’s Charlotte, framed by the doorway, her tone demanding.

James sucks in his cheeks. “Does it occur to you, Charlotte, that if we gather in a different room, then
perhaps we would like a private conversation?”

Her eyes slit. “It occurs to me that there’s something you’re trying to hide, and right now, I can only
think of one thing that might be.”

“Is it about Larry?” Mitch appears from behind, Charlotte stepping aside to let her through. “What is it?
What’s happening?”

“What’s going on?” Elizabeth appears, Adam wrapped in her arms. “Hickman? Have you learned

He opens his mouth to speak, but Georgie strolls in, wearing a rough jacket and riding boots. “Ready,
Dad?” Her head swings around the room and her smile fades. “Is something wrong?”

James raises palms. “So much for privacy.” Michael sucks in a smile.


James speaks gently. “Hickman here just wanted a word. But… there’s no news of Klempner?”

“No. Nothing of him. Nothing from him. If he were free to do so, he would have found a way to contact
me by now. I’m sure of it. I think we have a problem. Or at least…” He pulls a face, clicks his tongue…
“...Mr Klempner has a problem.”

Georgie is very pale. “You think that woman who kidnapped me, might have caught him?”


I try to catch her gaze, eye-pointing Mitch, but she doesn’t notice…

Got no more tact than her father…

James’ eyes roll, but it’s too late…

A sob…


Mitch, eyes glossing, her throat rippling, “You’ve heard nothing at all?”

Hitchman speaks slowly, regretfully. “I’m sorry, Miss Kimberley. But no, nothing at all.”

Charlotte guides her mother to a chair. Mitch sits, rocking in her seat, hands over her mouth,
shuddering. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Georgie’s right. Something’s happened to him. I know it has. He went
after that woman to save all of us and…”

Michael lays a hand on her shoulder. “Mitch, don’t assume the worst. You know Larry. He’s one of life’s

“Yes, he is…” Her breath catches, and she swallows. Then again. “Yes, he is a survivor. But… He’d
have gotten word to us…” She looks from one face to another, her eyes wide with distress… “Even if it
wasn’t much. I know he’s not a talker, not demonstrative. It’s not his way.” She huffs a humourless
laugh. “I’m not sure he knows how. But he’d have made sure we knew he was alright.” She holds one
hand with the other, winding the ring on her left hand around and around the finger.

Charlotte pipes up. “Maybe he’s emailed you or something?”

Hickman shakes his head. “I thought of that, Mrs Summerford. I’ve checked emails, phone apps,
messaging systems… Anything I could think of where he might try to get in touch, but there really is


Charlotte stares at her feet, but Georgie’s head swings between the two women, brow furrowed. “I’m
sorry, I don’t understand…” Her finger vacillates between Mitch and Charlotte. “Miss Kimberley and Mrs

Oh, Crap…

What a fucking time to choose…

Hickman’s eyes roll up as he realises his faux pas…

Not his fault…

Bound to happen sometime…

But so far, Georgie just seems puzzled. The fingers aims towards Michael. “Your name is Summerford,
so you’re… what…? Charlotte’s brother? Cousin? But…” The finger swings like an accusing compass
to point back to Charlotte. “But you’re married to Dad. Your name should be Alexanders...”

Michael has frozen, his eyes widening towards James…

What the fuck do you want me to say?

“… Did you want to hang on to your maiden name? Dad’s name isn’t good enough for you?”

Charlotte’s eyes, wide and worried, also swing to James…

Georgie’s still talking…. “But your mother’s name is Kimberley? So, you’re… from another marriage or

Hickman breaks smoothly in. “If you will excuse me, Miss Alexanders. I am pressed for time…”

And James finally recovers the power of speech. “Of course you are, Hickman. Georgie, leave it. There
are more important things right now…”


He angles a finger at her. “I said, not now. We’ll discuss it another time.” He turns away, deliberately
cutting her off…

While he thinks about how the hell to deal with it…

You’re going to have to tell her sometime…

You’re not actually married to your ‘wife’…

From off-side, Michael gives me an old look, then says, “I think we have to assume…” His eyes roll to
Mitch… “… to assume that Klempner is alive and well. Roughly speaking, if he can’t contact us,
perhaps we can contact him? Perhaps through Will Stanton? He’s already making enquiries through
the police over there isn’t he. Maybe he could find a way to contact Larry.”

Well played…

Complete change of subject…

Having said that…

We’re only assuming he’s alive…


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