Novel Name : Hot Revenge Box Set 2

Chapter 4

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Removing two dozen slates makes a gap comfortably big enough to take a man and incidentally
exposes the timbers. There’s no question of how to anchor the rope this time.

“You realise we’re probably invalidating Finchby’s building insurance.”

Klempner whistles in. “What a shame.” We peer down into Stygian darkness. “How far down you think?
Twenty-five… Thirty feet?”

“It can’t be more than that if the windows outside are anything to go by.”

This time on the rope, I'm much more in control.

It’s a straightforward climb down, the rope snagged by hand, thighs and crooked around one foot, and
my body mass working for me rather than against, hand over hand, I descend into gloom. As my feet
touch floor, the slight noise reverbs with the feel of a large empty space.

Blind-sighted in the darkness, the faint lines of external light seep through eaves.

Almost as I land, the rope shivers in my hand as Klempner also descends, coming at speed and I step
smartly to one side as I realise he's all but on top of me.

He lands lightly. “Can't believe it's all going to be this easy.”

The air smells, not exactly stale, but unused. Revolving through three-sixty, the only light is the faintest
of gleams, a fine line marking the eaves.

Also from above, a slight rustling…

Roosting birds?

From below, the floor vibrates to the bass thump of overloud music.

“Still got Beethoven’s Fifth Racket playing,” mutters Klempner from the gloom beside me.

“Useful for us though. He’ll not hear us coming with that going on.”

“Too right. I think we can risk a little light.”

With a click, the narrow beam of an LED flashlight cuts through the air, producing a startled flapping
from above. To one side of us, the cracked plaster and paint of a wall, the beam painting threads and
dots of light over webs and dust. But as the beam swings, it illuminates receding plaster then vanishes
into darkness.

“A single open space?”

“It is a warehouse. Or was.”

Klempner gestures with the light. “That way is the front of the building, the main entrance and stairwell.”
He swings the beam the opposite way. “So, let's follow the wall that way and see if we can find another
stairwell. A place this size must have more than one.”

The torchlight aimed at the floor, we follow the line of the wall, stepping over the remains of ancient
birds’ nests and small heaped cones of guano.

Almost immediately we come to a plain timber door; no lock, no complications beyond the weavings of
the local spiders over the handle. On the wall beside it, a metal plaque in what might be brass under
the patina. 'C-Bay'.

The handle resists turning, but only with the groan of long disuse. And the hinges complain as the door
swings slowly open to reveal a small room beyond...

… then stepping through, stairs leading both up and down.

Klempner aims the torch upwards. “Presumably our roof access door is at the top. Wait here. I'll check.
If we need to make a fast exit that way, it'll be nice to know what's there.”

He disappears up into shadow, the sound of his booted feet surprising quiet. For a tall man, he walks
lightly. From downstairs, the bass thump is louder.

Within a minute, Klempner descends again. “It can be opened from the inside. Simple turn-key and
bars. But the bars are padlocked.”

He swings the rucksack from his shoulder, takes out his weapon, a machine gun. “Keep that axe of
yours handy.”

“Why did you ask me to bring the axe? It's not exactly a common assault weapon.”

“I'm not sure how good you are with a gun. But I've seen you handle that axe…” His voice turns dry…
“… and I know what you did to two of my men with one a couple of years back.”

“Am I supposed to apologise? You’d sent them after Charlotte. It was December. We had to escape
into the snow. I was fucking naked barring my boots.”

Klempner blinks. “Naked? I didn’t know that.” He slides to a half-smile, looking sheepish. “Sorry about

You might be a psycho…

… but you’ve come a long way…

“You realise that was two years ago… Almost to the day? And here we are, you and I, fighting on the
same side.”

Klempner snorts. “There's irony for you. Let's head down. Ready?”


We descend two flights then reach a landing; stairs up, stairs down, and a corridor off to either side.

“Shhh...” Klempner halts in mid-stride, pressing a finger to his lips… “Listen.” He cups an ear, head
turning, first one way then the other.

A low murmur of sound… Voices speaking from some distance away, just audible over the thumping of
the music, emerge from… somewhere…

“There...” Klempner aims a long forefinger along the corridor, then moving quietly, he follows the sound.

I pad along behind, axe in hand, ready to swing. “Any idea where we are?”

In a low murmur, “I think we’re heading for Finchby’s office.”

“So, there’s likely to be people nearby?”

“Not sure. We’re approaching from the rear. Normally I’d have entered from the front, via the bar area.”

“His office got a rear entrance?”

“There was a kitchenette area to the back, I think. I was never in there, but he’d send someone through
that way when he wanted coffee.”

The voices are growing louder. As we turn into a door, abruptly, we must be all but on top of them.

As Klempner predicted, we’re in a small kitchen area. The scent of garbage competes with stale
tobacco. Flies hum over an overflowing trash can, crawling over a slick brown stain on the lid. The steel
of the sink might be ‘stainless’ but nonetheless, it’s coated in grime.

On the counter, a packet of biscuits lies open, spilt crumbs being investigated by bottle-green buzzers.
A half-empty jar of coffee is about the cleanest thing in sight.

Klempner eyes the trash, his Adam’s apple working as he recoils from a large bluebottle strafing him.

“How does he keep this place open?” I mutter. “You'd think the City authorities would shut him down for
something. Poisoning his clients with the food at least.”

Klempner cocks a brow at me “You only need one or two of the great and good in your pocket to get
past that kind of problem.”

“As you would know.”

He is unabashed. “Yes. As I would know.”

A door stands ajar, across from where we entered. The voices are just on the other side.

“You've done well, Lena…”

Klempner’s lips press at the words. I paint the question on my face and he mouths silently to me.

A woman’s voice whines. “You are going to pay me, aren't you?”

“Course I am, Lena. We had an agreement didn't we…”

Klempner edges to the door, inching around to see. After a second, he motions me to join him.

The pair are seated at a desk piled high with papers. A half-full bottle of cheap whiskey sits beside an
empty tumbler. An open laptop casts a glow brighter than the daylight which struggles through a barred
window and glass clouded with dust and webs.

Finchby taps a butt into an overflowing ashtray, extracts a cigarette from a packet then offers one to the
pregnant woman sitting opposite. She accepts both cigarette and the offered flame, inhales, blows blue
smoke, then sits with the cigarette poised between two fingers.

And yes, it’s the woman Beth spotted on the video footage, watching James and Charlotte at the

Finchby leans forward, counting out from a wad of notes. “Here you are, Lena. Five thousand, like we
agreed. You can start again, just as you wanted. New start. New life…”

Abruptly, another figure moves into view and both Klempner and I jerk away before moving cautiously

Once more, I recognise the face: Baxter. We met when he was driving for Klempner when we were
rescuing Mitch and Charlotte from Ben…


Heat blisters at my cheeks then morphs to a chill sweat.

I couldn’t have brought myself to kill my brother. Klempner did what he had to.

And now, he’s doing it again…

Finchby’s still talking. “There's enough there, Lena, for the deposit on the rent for a nice place. Get
yourself some decent furniture, decorate. Maybe even a job.”

Her chin lifts. “Got a job.”

“Yeah?” He displays yellow teeth. “What doing?”

“Job in a flower shop. Nice work. Nice people.”

In the background, Baxter raises a brow. Finchby notices but Lena doesn’t.

“That's great, Lena. You see… It's all going your way now. And all because you did me one little

She leans forward. “You got him? Klempner?”

“We'll have him very soon. We're just giving him a bit of exercise before we pull him in.”

She inhales from her cigarette. “You got his bitch daughter too?”

“Oh, yes. We have her too.”

She sniggers. “Let's see how he likes it when it's his turn.”

“Couldn’t agree more. You’ve properly got your back on him this time…”

“…Come on, Lena.” Finchby stands, making a mock bow towards the door. “You’re celebrating. I’ll take
you through to the bar. It’s on the house for you tonight.” He opens the door for her, cacophonous
music thudding in, then stands back, waving her through.

She beams as she leaves. “Gee, thanks Boss.”

Finchby exits behind her, grinning and flashing brows at Baxter.

Baxter, arms folded, sucking in his cheeks, waits.

Beside me, Klempner shifts, his voice low. “While those two are busy up here, we should head down by
the back stairs.”

“Not yet. Look...”


“The laptop screen.”

It’s at an angle, the detail impossible to make out from where we’re standing. But the screen is split into
four; monochrome images flickering from one view to another.

“Well spotted, that man,” mutters Klempner. “The security feed.”

Finchby returns only a minute or so later.

Baxter jerks a thumb out of the door. “A flower shop? That one? Who’s she think she is? Fucking Eliza

Finchby’s face goes slack. “Eliza who?”

“Doolittle. My Fair Lady.”

“Oh, that old crap.” Finchby snickers. “Well, I don’t think she had a crack habit.”

Baxter folds his arms, shaking his head. “You're going to let her go? Just like that?”

Finchby adopts an angelic expression. “Kept my end of the bargain, didn't I?” He sucks in smoke, holds
it, then streams it out from his nose. “But I'll make a prediction. Lena’ll get tanked up on free vodka
tonight, then she’ll go looking for her next fix. Which of course she’ll buy from me at full price.”

Baxter huffs and chuckles.

Finchby continues. “That five thou… She‘ll blow the lot on crack, booze and cigarettes, most of it spent
with me. And by the end of the month, she’ll be back on the doorstep begging to work for me again.
And begging to sell that brat she's carrying.”

He draws again, inhales. “And that's if I don't get the call to bail her out for possession or for knocking
off some old dear for her pension. And then she'll owe me.”

Baxter leans back against the wall, grinning. “Got it all worked out, haven't you.”

Finchby grins back. “I know Lena. Useless little bitch. All big ideas and no carry through. Anyway…” He
slaps Baxter on the shoulder. “… We have some celebrating of our own to do tonight. Shall we go and
see how the party’s going?”

“Sure. Where are we at so far? Everything looking okay?”

“He’s there with a bag. The size looks about right. Got your Hickman giving him the run-around right
now. But it’s not Klempner. Our delivery boy has a limp.”

Baxter’s head twists. “That's Alexanders. Where’s Klempner then?”

“Alexanders is wearing some kind of earpiece. It’s small, but you see him touch it sometimes, when
he’s figuring where he’s going. I’m guessing Klempner’s on the other end of it.” Finchby grows agitated.
He sucks smoke again. “That bastard could shoot the balls off a flea at a hundred yards. He’ll hang
around in the background, shadowing Alexanders and wait for us to appear. Then he’ll try to pick us

Baxter huffs, but looks askance at Finchby. “Don't worry. No one’s going to ask you to risk a hair of your
precious little head. Still… it sounds about right. Leaving some other poor bastard in the line of fire
while he stays safely out of sight…”

Beside me, Klempner sucks air between his teeth, head shaking slightly, brow furrowed…

“Poor bastard nothing…” snaps Finchby. “… Alexanders and that ginger bitch of his cost me a lot and
left me making apologies where I shouldn’t have had to. At any rate, we need to get that headset off
him. Come on.”

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