Chapter 1 – Doreen
Tall, dark, good looking Nick Harper, walking away from his gym, witnessed a man being shot in the shoulder. A nurse, Meridith Carter, came over from a doorway nearby to tend to the young man and soon after the police and ambulance arrived. The police asked Nick to go to the police station to give a statement but Nick, a renowned lawyer, was due in court to prosecute a case and said he would go to the police station later.
Nick phoned to apologise to Erica, his current girlfriend of three months, for not turning up for breakfast. She got the hump, and he resolved to send her flowers.
Nick was prosecuting a case that was going to be difficult. Joe Morgan was a drug dealer and a gun dealer, who had recruited young kids to act as runners. With a mother who was a drunk , Joe had stolen food and been a pick pocket from the age of five. By the time he was eight he was well known to the police. He started taking cars at thirteen, and ended up in a correctional centre until the age of sixteen. When he was released he worked in a garage training to be a mechanic. Six foot tall and muscular, with blonde curly hair, Joe was a womaniser. By the time he was eighteen he was almost running the garage for his boss Fred Summers, who had traded stolen cars when he first started, but refused to do so now. Joe threatened to shop him and was ferrying stolen cars to the continent for almost a year. He was finally captured when he stole a brand new Lamborghini belonging to a film producer., and was hit by a car trying to escape when the police spotted him driving the car on the M25. Fortunately the damage was minimal as the car was slowing by the time it hit him.
Alison, one of the court ushers, told Nick he was not needed that day, as his key witness, Tyler White, would not be in court yet. Nick realised that Tyler must have been the man who had been shot in front of him on his way to court, and wondered why the police had not been protecting him, as they should have been. Nick made his way to the police station, to meet Detective Inspector Stokes, a tough woman. He explained to her what he had witnessed, but that he had not realised that it had been Tyler White and had not seen who had shot him. Tyler was Joe’s hard man., but wanted him put away because he had gone into business himself. As he left the interview room, Nick saw Meridith Carter leaving another interview room. He was waiting for her to catch up when his phone rang.
Chapter 3 – Joan
Nick‘s caller was Tyler White, who asked Nick to meet him at 9pm at the school boat house down by the canal, and to come alone, which Nick refused to do. Finally Nick agreed to meet him at the Anglers’ Rest in town. Nick tried to catch up with Meredith but saw her getting on a no 9 bus. He ran and jumped aboard just in time. He chatted to her, admitting that he hadn’t known who Tyler was at the time when he was shot, but did now. Nick got off the bus after Meredith did and watched her go into the local Medical Centre.
Nick arrived early at the Anglers’ Rest and found a quiet table in the corner. A pale and jittery Tyler arrived soon after. Noticing Tyler wincing in pain Nick pointed out that if he had accepted police protection, he would not have been shot. But Tyler protested that if he had done so it would probably have been worse and he would be dead, as Joe had at least one policeman in his pocket, which is why Nick had taken so long to pin anything on him. Tyler thought it was one of them who shot him, trying to shut him up. Nick had just asked Tyler if he could name names and prove anything, when Tyler was shot and a second and third bullet hit Nick.
Nick regained consciousness in hospital to find DI Stokes at his bedside, asking him questions. Nick was cautious about telling her much, in case she was one of the bent coppers, but she didn’t believe that Tyler had not had time to tell Nick much, and warned him that he was still in danger if they thought he knew anything. Nick wondered whether Meredith was in danger too
Chapter 4 – Helen
Meredith Carter returned home physically and emotionally exhausted. Although she had served in the army, she had never killed anyone before. Although spick and span, her flat didn’t feel like home, since her husband Terry had died of a bad dose of crack. He had been in Afghanistan and slowly fallen apart after his return. At his funeral she swore revenge on those responsible for his death, starting with those who had supplied the drugs. She found the gun looking through Terry’s belongings. As a nurse she was able to discover where the drugs had come from. The dealer being Tyler White with Joe Morgan as his boss.
When she had nervously missed the mark in shooting Tyler, she had rushed out to finish the job, but Nick was already there, administering first aid, and she had no option but to join in. Meredith hid Terry’s gun in a recess in the sofa. She regarded Nick with suspicion when she found out that he was coincidentally the “Good Samaritan”, and again when she found him in deep discussion with Tyler White at the Anglers’ Rest. She concluded they must be in cahoots and that Nick was bent, so she shot them both. She would get Joe Morgan next.
Chapter 5 – Gloria
Still in hospital, Nick wondered whether DI Stokes was in Joe Morgan’s pocket, taking backhanders. He wondered whether Meredith was in danger too. He painfully discharged himself from hospital. He went home feeling guilty still about letting Erica down a second time, when he listened to her voice on the answer phone, but realised that their relationship was going nowhere. His thoughts turned to Meredith again. He went to the Medical Centre and asked to see her. When she came to see him, he was asking her about Tyler White being registered at the Medical Centre, while Meredith was thinking that he was one of Joe Morgan’s yes men that she wanted to get even with. She started to act friendly, ready to make her move. Meanwhile Nick was starting to fall for her. She took him to the canteen for a coffee.
Chapter 6 – Jezzie’s Chapter
Nick and Meredith started chatting over the lukewarm canteen coffee. Nick told her what had happened at the Anglers’ Rest. Meredith listened intently, wondering how she could get Nick on his own somewhere. She needed to be sure she wouldn’t get caught. She already had a life on her conscience. One more wouldn’t make much difference, but she didn’t want to get caught before she had got even for Terry’s death, and she still needed to get Joe Morgan.
“That was a dreadful business. You were lucky to get out alive,” Meredith said. “Did you see the killer?”
“No I didn’t. I suppose I was stupid to have gone to meet Tyler White, especially after being warned by DI Stokes that maybe I would be in danger, having tried to save his life. The killer was obviously still around and probably recognised us. Did the police warn you that you could be in danger too?”
“Why on earth would I be in danger? I have nothing to do with Tyler White. I just happened to be passing.”
“Maybe the killer is worried that we had spotted something. Anyway, I felt that I had to warn you. Someone managed to finish the job on Tyler White at the Anglers’ Rest when I went to meet him, and they took a pop at me at the same time for some reason. So you must be very careful.”
“Oh I will be, don’t you worry.”
Meredith put her hand sympathetically on Nick’s arm. “I’m sorry you got hurt. Is there anything I can do to help you? You look quite pale. Last night’s events must have taken their toll on you. You shouldn’t have discharged yourself from hospital so soon. Have you got enough pain killers?”
“Oh, don’t worry about me, I’m pretty fit. I’ve got some Paracetamol at home. They’ll do.”
Meredith reached into her pocket. “Here, take a couple of these. They’re better than Paracetamol.”
Nick took the tablets she handed him. “I’ll take them when I get home. I’m fine at the moment.”
Nick felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He looked at it. Erica! He’d almost forgotten about Erica.
“I’m sorry, I have to take this call,” he said apologetically to Meredith.
Nick walked towards the window in the canteen, with the phone against his ear. “Erica, I am so, so, so sorry!” he stuttered.
“Where have you been? I went to your flat last night and waited, and waited. There was no sign of you. Have you got someone else?” Erica sounded angry.
“No, no, of course not, Erica. I was in hospital. I will tell you all about it tonight. I will make it up to you, I promise. I’ll pick you up at 7.30. We can go to Luigi’s. I’ve got to go now though, sweetheart, I’m in a meeting.”
“Okay, see you tonight, I suppose. That’s the second time you’ve let me down recently. You won’t get another chance if you don’t turn up tonight, ” Erica hissed.
Nick returned to the table. “Sorry about that, Meredith.”
“Trouble?” she asked.
“I’m afraid I’ve upset my girlfriend, when I didn’t turn up last night. I’m taking her for an Italian meal tonight to make up for it, I hope.”
“Oooh, I love Italian food. Where are you going?”
“Oh just round the corner actually, Luigi’s.”
“That’s a great place, I go there now and again. Have a good meal. I must get back to work now though. Nice to have seen you again, and please take those tablets I gave you if you are in pain.”
Meredith shook Nick’s hand in the canteen doorway, and walked back down the corridor smiling to herself.
Nick watched her, admiring her legs. Suddenly feeling the pain in his shoulder again, he called a taxi to take him home. He took the tablets Meredith had given him out of his pocket. He wasn’t sure what they were, and they looked too big for him to swallow without water. He would have to suffer the pain until he got home. Meanwhile his brain was buzzing. Who could he trust? Certainly not DI Stokes. No, he didn’t like her much. She had been involved in a lot of his failed cases against Joe Morgan.
DI Stokes sat in the dark blue car outside the Medical Centre watching Nick walk out to the taxi that had just arrived. “Follow him, Horton,” she ordered her sergeant, as she got out of the car. “I want to know where he goes next. Don’t lose him. I’m staying here concentrating on Meredith Carter, she’ll be finishing her shift in half an hour.”
She walked back purposefully to her own car as DS Horton’s blue car pulled out following Nick’s taxi.
At 2pm Meredith left the Medical Centre and walked home. She changed into jeans and a dark blue hooded top. For the time being she had dealt with Nick, she thought. If he took the tablets she gave him, he would be out cold for hours. If not, she would catch up with him when he went to Luigi’s that evening. It was time now to get even with Joe Morgan. She took the gun from its hiding place and reloaded it.
© 2016 Wellingborough Creative Writers