‘I’ll do it,’ Jay says into the phone. ‘For two hundred thousand.’
The Mercedes slowly parks in the driveway of the Matthew’s family home. Jay steps out of the car, gently places the car key on the bonnet, and walks towards the house.
He quietly steps into the house and remains in the doorway as he keenly listens and observes. The house is quiet and everything within view is just as he left it. He shuts the door behind him and walks to the kitchen to grab a bin bag.
He walks into his room, pulls out Slim Charles’ handgun, and gently places it on the bed. He completely undresses and places all the worn clothes into the bin bag. He grabs a towel and walks out of the room, heading for the bathroom.
Slim Charles lay unconscious in the middle of his hallway, his wide chest enlarging and contracting with every deep breath and the blood on his battered face has congealed.
The house is silent, until the sounds from the front door being unlocked with a key pierces the silence. The door is gently pushed open, and Vera walks in. She immediately sees Slim Charles and screams.
Slim Charles is unconscious on a sofa in his sparsely furnished living room; the room is very tidy though, thanks solely to Vera’s cleanliness.
Natalia, dressed casually in tight jeans and a deep V-neck fitted tee shirt, and Mr Petrov, dressed sharply in gulf attire – a polo shirt and navy blue trousers – stand over Slim Charles. Two large sturdy men, one also dressed in gulf attire and the other in an adidas tracksuit, diligently stand a couple steps behind them.
Vera, doing her best to hold back tears, stands by the entrance of the living room and intently watches Natalia, Mr Petrov, and her unconscious battered boyfriend.
‘Thank you for calling us first,’ Natalia says softly to Vera, and Vera nods.
Mr Petrov gestures to the man in the gulf attire, and the man walks purposefully to Slim Charles.
Suddenly, the man slaps Slim Charles hard across the face and Slim Charles regains consciousness.
Slim Charles grimaces in pain as he regains awareness and then attempts to move, but the man holds him down.
‘Slim,’ Natalia says softly, and crouches to Slim Charles. She gently places a hand on his chest to calm him. ‘Take it easy. You’re badly hurt. Who did this to you?’
‘Alan’s brother,’ Slim Charles says through the pain.
Mr Petrov raises a finger in an inquisitive manner.
Natalia heeds the cue and asks Slim Charles, ‘Just one person?’
Slim Charles fearfully glances at Mr Petrov before he tentatively answers, ‘Yes. Yes, but he had a gun.’
Mr Petrov nods.
Natalia caresses Slim Charles’ arm and says, ‘Okay. You’ll be fine.’
‘I need the hospital,’ Slim Charles declares.
‘I know,’ she says.
Mr Petrov speaks for the first time; slowly in Russian he says to Natalia, ‘Tell him why he’s going to die.’
‘We’ll take care of you, Slim,’ she says. ‘But you really fucked up last night.’
‘I know …’
‘You actually don’t,’ she interrupts. ‘My father sent me to the club to get them.’ She glances at Vera before she continues. ‘And your actions put a stop to that.’
I’m sorry,’ Slim Charles pleads to her, and turns to Mr Petrov. ‘I’m so sorry, Mr Petrov.’
Mr Petrov nods in acceptance of the apology.
‘But, Slim,’ she continues. ‘The altercation in the restaurant – you know better than to do that.’
‘I didn’t …’ he begins to plead.
‘It’s too late for that now,’ she says sternly. ‘You know the consequences.’
‘Please, Natalia!’ Vera pleads, and hurries towards them, but as she scampers past the man in the adidas tracksuit, he swiftly pulls out a wire from his pocket, grabs her neck with it, and strongly tightens the wire around her neck – strangling her.
Vera struggles violently as life escapes her, and Natalia calmly watches her die.
Slim Charles watches Vera’s last living moments in deep anguish and struggles as hard as he can to escape from underneath the powerful grasp of the man in the golf attire, but he can’t; the man is easily holding him down.
Mr Petrov watches Vera until she dies and the man in the tracksuit gently places her lifeless body on the floor. He then turns to Natalia and says softly in Russian, ‘Invite the brothers to the restaurant. We finish this tonight.’
Natalia hesitates for a moment and then attempts to speak, but doesn’t and nods.
Mr Petrov gestures to the man in the golf attire and then he and Natalia take a deliberate step backwards.
The man drives an elbow into Slim Charles’s head and Slim Charles instantly loses consciousness. He then pulls out a claw hammer from his waistband, raises it high above his head, but before he swings the hammer into Slim Charles’ head, Robert and the large white man with him at the Shisha bar burst into the room.