Jay stands over Natalia, holding the bloodied hammer in his right hand. His left hand is lifeless by his side, dripping blood. He tosses the hammer and crouches to pick up the shotgun. He aims for her head and blasts it to pieces.
He drops the shotgun and winces in pain as he slowly unbuttons his jacket with his right hand. He opens his jacket to reveal his bulletproof vest – the same vest that saved him in Afghanistan – with several shotgun pellets embedded in it. He thankfully smacks the vest and slowly picks out the pellets.
He pulls out Natalia’s Zippo lighter from his jacket and lights it. He walks to the torture table and carefully places the lit lighter on it. He then crouches to pick up the dagger and walks to Alan.
He cuts the rope knotted tightly around Alan with one deft swing and supports Alan’s unconscious body with his before it falls to the ground. He searches Alan for the Mercedes key and pulls it out of Alan’s trouser pocket.
He slowly and carefully carries Alan over his right shoulder, picks the Desert Eagle from the table, and staggers out of the room.
He staggers into the hallway with the Desert Eagle raised and is met with the gruesome aftermath of his carnage. He steps over the henchman with a knife lodged in his throat and stops at Samuel’s corpse. He grimaces as he crouches to Samuel and picks out the Range Rover key.
He staggers along into the kitchen and stops at the doorway to scan the room. He is unaffected by the merciless result of his vengeance as he stares through the dead bodies. He staggers across the kitchen to the gas cookers and opens all the gas valves. He then staggers towards the exit as quick as he can.
He steps out of the back door with the gun raised and quickly scans the car park – it’s desolate. He tosses the gun back into the restaurant and staggers as quick as he can to Alan’s Mercedes. He unlocks the car and gently lays Alan on the back seat.
He walks briskly to the Range Rover and unlocks the car. He opens the back door and grimaces as he reaches in to pull out the duffel bag filled with money. He rushes back to the Mercedes and steps into the driver seat.
He swiftly pulls out of the car park and speeds away just as the restaurant violently explodes and the raging flames light up the night.
Jay parks the Mercedes indiscriminately outside the A&E Department of Epsom Hospital. He rushes out of the car and pulls open the back door. He quickly pulls out Alan’s wallet and removes Alan’s watch and tosses them onto the car mat.
He grimaces as he carries Alan over his right shoulder and rushes into the A&E department. He walks through the half empty waiting room and barges into the active major incidents ward.
‘I need help!’ he screams. ‘He’s dying!’
Two nurses immediately rush to him and they lead him towards a bed.
‘What’s the …’ the older nurse begins to ask, and abruptly stops as the extent of Alan’s injuries becomes evident to her.
She and the younger nurse assist Jay in laying Alan softly on the bed and the younger nurse purposefully runs off.
‘What happened?’ she earnestly asks Jay.
‘You need to pay attention now, okay?’
‘Just listen. He’s 26, a heavy drinker, social smoker, marijuana as well, and he snorts cocaine. He has no allergies. Isn’t currently taking any prescribed medication. No long term conditions. Blood type is O positive. You get that?’
She takes a moment before she nods, and then asks, ‘What is his name?’
‘I don’t know,’ he says, and stares over her head to a fast approaching Trauma team, which is led by the younger nurse.
They shove him aside and begin working on Alan, and he watches them work. He soon becomes overcome with emotion and fights back tears. He grabs the older nurse’s arm and she turns to him.
‘Tell him …’ he stops; he doesn’t know what to say. He lets go of her arm and walks away.
‘Where are you going?’ she questions him. ‘You are bleeding. You …’
‘I will be back,’ he says, and turns around. ‘Tell him I will be back.’
Jay stands over Stephen, who is asleep with an I.V still inserted through his hand in a patient room in a different ward of the same hospital. Across the room, Stephen’s wife is asleep in a cosy sleeping bag.
Stephen’s breathing is regular and his blood pressure on the monitor beside the bed reads relatively normal.
Jay softly shoves Stephen in the shoulder, but Stephen doesn’t wake up. Jay flicks Stephen’s nose and Stephen instantly wakes up. Stephen attempts to speak, but Jay covers his mouth.
‘Quiet,’ Jay whispers.
Stephen nods and Jay uncovers his mouth. Stephen scans Jay for a moment and is visibly concerned.
‘Are you okay?’ Stephen whispers.
‘Yes,’ he says, and pauses for a beat. ‘Sincerely, no, but I’m doing better than you.’
They smile at each other.
‘I know you won’t be in this bed much longer,’ Jay continues. ‘But Alan will …’
‘Yes, he’s downstairs in A&E.’
‘Was is the …’
‘That doesn’t matter anymore. It’s sorted.’
Stephen knows exactly what Jay means and nods.
‘Is Alan alright?’
‘No, but he will be. I need you to watch him from a distance while he recuperates. I need time, a couple days, maybe more. Downstairs, they don’t know who he is, and I’d like to keep it that way for as long as I can, unless the stubborn fucker wakes up and tells them, but I think he’s going to be out for a while.’
‘He’s that bad?’
‘And you’re leaving again.’
‘Yes, I need to finish something.’
‘I do. Tell Alan I said …’ he pauses for a beat, gathering his thoughts. He’s not at all good at voicing his emotions; he hasn’t had any practice. ‘I’m not here, but I am actually here. I’m here for him. I will return.’
‘You want me to write this down?’ Stephen teases, and they smile. ‘I’ll tell him. Take care, brother.’
‘You too, brother. Wednesday, expect a package. It’ll come every three months till I return. Sort yourself out, take care of Alan … and Derek.’ He gestures to Stephen’s wife. ‘And her.’
Stephen watches Jay walk away.
Jay steps out of the hospital and walks briskly past a couple ambulances to the Mercedes parked outside the hospital. He steps into the car and speeds off.
He pulls out his phone, scrolls to Mr Smith’s number, and calls. It’s answered immediately.
‘Hello, Captain,’ Mr Smith softly says in his distinct soothing elderly Texan accent.
‘Hello, Lieutenant General Rupert Spencer-Harington. Yes, I know your name, as you know mine.’
There is a moment of silence.
‘Very well, Captain Matthews,’ Rupert, aka Mr Smith, says in a relatively younger and very cultured English accent – his real voice and accent.
‘You got my brother killed.’
‘No. You got your brother killed. You became a loose end. Your brother was simply collateral damage.’ He pauses for effect and continues. ‘And from what I gather, your brother was well on his way to getting himself killed.’ He pauses for a beat. ‘But unsurprisingly, you survive. You, Captain Matthews, are a very special soldier. What a shame. Oh well, we won’t underestimate you again.’
‘You won’t live to make that mistake.’
There is no response from Rupert.
‘I’m coming for you,’ Jay says. ‘I’m coming for you all.’
‘We’ll be expecting you.’
Jay ends the conversation as he slows to a halt at a red light. He opens the phone and picks out the red SIM card on the battery. He tosses the phone out into the desolate road and speeds off into the night as the traffic light switches to green.