Part three: vengeance
After a busy four days, with full lists on each day and a long evening of emergency surgery on a hit and run victim, Sam was only too pleased to be heading home before midnight on Friday. At least, he thought, I have the weekend off. When he got to the gate he was very surprised to see Jim’s muscle truck on the drive. Someone must have been watching for him as the gate swung open, and was closing before he had climbed out of the Range Rover. Jim was at the gate, looking grave.
“What’s up?” Sam asked.
“It seems I’ve pissed somebody off and they want to play rough,” Jim grated. “They sent a bloke to visit my parents, but he’s in hospital. Then they tried to scoop up the twins on their way home from school. They didn’t count on my brother being keeping an eye. He took out the driver of the car, and the twins beat the living crap out of the guy who tried to grab them. Anyway, Dave had a nice cosy chat with the getaway driver. Seems there’s a bloke somewhere who is very pissed off because the bottom fell out of his nice medical scam. Wants to ensure I back off if I find any of his other deals. Not happening.”
“And this concerns us enough for you to get here this fast because?”
“Because your name and Anna’s were mentioned as friends who could suffer if I wasn’t a good boy. And because I need her help.’
Then Sam patted Jim’s meaty shoulder.
“Don’t look so guilty. You can’t cave in to that sort of shite.”
“I know. But Anna’s right on the edge of throwing a major wobbler, and I feel guilty about that.”
“Right, let me deal with her. Then we can talk.”
He strode into the kitchen to find Anna walking jerkily up and down the room, with her arms folded tightly in front of her, muttering.
“It’s over. I’ll have to leave. I can’t put Sam in danger. I knew life wouldn’t let me be happy. It’s over…”
Bonnie sat in her basket, the picture of abject canine misery. He went over and patted the dog.
“It’s OK Bon Bon. I’ve got this.”
Then he walked over to Anna and picked her up as if she was a child. She felt rigid in his arms, and carried on with her litany of sorrow, although she didn’t actually struggle.
“Excuse me folks,” he said and carted her down the hallway to the office, where he put her down and closed the door behind them.
He took his wife by her slender shoulders and shook her: hard.
“Anna Henderson,” he said firmly “shut up and look at me.’
She obeyed, looking up into his eyes.
“Right,” he said. “You are not going anywhere. I won’t let you rip my heart out because you are afraid.”
“No buts. You are the centre of my life. You are going nowhere without me. Whatever it is, we’ll face it together. Agreed?”
She burst into tears and hurled herself into his arms.
“You twit,” he said lovingly, and kissed her quite seriously. “I love you and I need you. Promise me we’ll have no more leaving talk. I don’t think I could stand it.”
Anna lifted her tear-stained face and looked deeply into his eyes. Whatever she saw there made her wind her arms around his neck and croon gently.
“Oh Sam. I’m sorry my love. I was being a proper asshole wasn’t I? I never thought about you and how it would effect you if I fell to bits.”
“You were too sunk in misery. But I’ll forgive you if you promise not to leave me. It would kill me, you know.”
There came a gentle scratch on the door and Sam put his hand behind him to open it. Bonnie crept in, and looked carefully at Anna and Sam. Whatever she sensed must have eased her doggy mind, because she started wagging her tail and came over for a fuss. Anna bent and stroked her soft ears.
“Here’s another person I wasn’t considering isn’t it?”
“Umm. Yes. Poor little sod was the picture of misery when I got home. But she cheered up when she realised I had the situation under control.”
“You did, didn’t you. Thank you my darling.’
He leaned down for a kiss and Bonnie wriggled her way into a group hug. Sam laughed.
“Right. Let’s go talk to Jim and Pats.”