Paul looked at his watch, nearly time, so he got out of his car and pulled the peak of his cap low over his eyes. In this unfamiliar environment, he wasn’t sure where the CCTV cameras were, urgency had prevented his usual pre-surveillance techniques.
It wasn’t his choice of meeting place, too exposed, but he had no choice, he needed the information. He had been brought to the affluent part of the city. Tall, three storey town houses formed a square around a central fenced garden; years ago, these areas wouldn’t have been open to the likes of him.
Paul walked through the gate and a man got up from a bench and walked towards him, as he got near Paul automatically put his hand on the knife that he kept in his waistband. He tensed as the man reached out his hand but he was just offering Paul a piece of paper.
Paul took it and they parted; no eye contact or a word spoken. He opened the paper and read an address. It meant nothing, this city was alien to him. No doubt why Barry had chosen here to hide, but he had underestimated him; what Barry had stolen, Paul would travel anywhere to retrieve.
Back in his car and Paul entered the address into his SATNAV and was soon driving down a road with high-end boutiques, well-dressed women and expensive cars.
He drove across a railway track and the scenery soon changed. Paint was peeling from run down houses, cheap shops and cafes. Children were running wild and youths were huddled in groups with their heads down and hoods up.
As Paul reached the address he pulled up a few houses down so that he could watch without being seen. He resisted the urge to run across the street and barge in, but no, he needed to be smart, so he did what he was good at. He sat, he watched, he waited.
Slowly, day turned into night and the city fell asleep. Paul was wide awake; the time had come to retrieve what had been stolen.
He was surprised at the ease of entering Barry’s house, not a single guard! Perhaps he doesn’t know the worth of what he had! A quick quiet search downstairs proved fruitless so Paul headed upstairs. Knife in hand, he turned the handle to Barry’s bedroom and straightaway saw the key on a chain around his neck.
Paul had been undecided about whether to kill Barry, by putting the chain around his neck, Barry had sealed his own fate. Paul loomed over him and with one single, hard and deliberate motion he pushed his knife into Barry’s chest, straight into his heart.
With a sigh of relief at having his hands once again on his key, Paul headed out. His family was safe again; no one could ever be allowed to get access to the safety deposit box containing details of where he had hidden them.