Novel Name : Hot Revenge Box Set 2

Chapter 3

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The message from Charlotte’s abductors…



… replays in my head…

Marsh Street under Barnbridge Road overpass 9pm

Bring the money

No police. No other people or she dies

If late she dies. So does the baby

Brandy and rage burn inside me.

The bag containing the ransom money swings heavy in my hand. I'm the decoy and at some level, I
know I may not come out of this alive. Klempner's Kevlar vest gives me a little comfort, but it’s the fury
inside that warms me against fast falling temperatures.

I should be afraid…

But I’m not.


My beautiful Jade-Eyes…

And Cara… Your gift to me…

Since the day I met Charlotte, my Virgin, we have helter-skeltered from one crisis to another…

Her past has constantly pursued her, ruling her, robbed her of what she deserves. None of it her fault,
she has simply been the survivor of everything life has dealt her.

Would I change any of it?

No. Nothing.

Charlotte’s past is what has made her what she is. Strong. Fearless. Resourceful. Even in the dire
situation she’s in, imprisoned in her cell, racked with pain, coughing up green slime, she found the way
to tell us where she is.

They’re coming for you, Jade-Eyes…

And me?

I’m the decoy.

The night is dark, icy and with the merest hush of a breeze. High cloud makes a haze of the stars but
does little to blanket in what passed for the heat of the day. The streets are glazed to a hoared sheen,
except for where streetlamps glare yellow over the frost.

I have a trek of perhaps half a mile to reach the rendezvous point, near enough to get there quickly. Far
enough that, hopefully, they won’t spot Ross.

I walk briskly, my footsteps click-clicking down empty streets. It’s not that late, but the cold is keeping
people indoors and, after all, Christmas is coming. Most folks will be with friends, at parties or simply at
home in the warm.

I pass windows brightly lit, glowing with warmth and welcome, sparkling with fairy lights, dressed with
spray-on snow and Santa, Please Stop Here signs. In my own home, we never finished the trimming
up. Charlotte’s abduction killed off any thoughts of celebration and our tree stands half-decorated and

I pass by.

In only a few minutes I’m leaving the relative safety of the residential zone and passing into more
uncertain territory. This end of Marsh Street is not a good area.

Edging what was once the boundary of the City, it was built before the main highways were developed,
a remnant of the old town, under the overpass which carries the modern road to Barnbridge. It's a risky
spot for the unwary, noted for assaults and random robberies.

The police here travel at least in pairs and the other emergency services are cautious. The area is
noted for hoax calls of fire or medical emergency followed by muggings for cash and drugs, and attacks
on medics and fire officers for the sheer hell of it.

I'll admit, I'm feeling windy about being here.

Better than the alternative.

Someone has to do this…

I reach my destination. The road lies straddled by two great concrete supports for the overpass, dim
under inadequate sodium lighting. From the road above, moisture trickles down, streaking stark

concrete walls white before settling to iced sculptures over ground-level graffiti.

Over me, on the overpass, late evening traffic grumbles past. But here below, all is quiet.


My voice echoes briefly, then dies away.

“I'm here.” I pace, circling, looking.




In my ear, Ross' voice. "James? You alright?"

I try to speak without moving my lips. "I’m fine. There’s no-one here."

I walk around to dispel the chill striking up through my shoes, even through thick socks and boots. After
five minutes, I’ve not seen a single vehicle.

A pair of joggers cut across the road a couple of hundred yards away, probably taking the short cut to
the park. They're followed by a woman with a large dog, the kind owned by people who either think it's
'tough' to have a big dog or who actually need one for safety's sake.

Then I spot it.

Taped to one of the great concrete supports, an envelope. My chest tightens. Abruptly, my mouth is dry.

With fingers stiff from cold, I fumble and the envelope resists opening. I shake my hands, rattle some
blood back into my fingertips and try again.

Corner of Birch Square by Waverley Moorings. 9.20. Don’t be late.

Checking my watch… Fuck!

That's less than ten minutes away…

I’ve wasted time. It's got to be a mile at least.

My breath catching, I set off at a sprint.

“James, is everything alright?”

“Ross. Birch Square by Waverly Moorings. I’m running late. Can’t talk.”

“Okay, James. I’m tracking you.”

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