Bad Blood (55)

I awoke in the back seat of Dog Tooth’s Ford Prefect, a car which was ridiculously small for a man of his bulk. Alfie Noakes was in the passenger seat, his body and head twisted round so he could talk to Joe who was sitting on the back seat, with my head in his lap. I was laying across the seat, my knees bent up and my feet resting on the door handle. Joe was pressing a now extremely bloody rag – which turned out to be his one and only jacket – hard against my wound. “Listen Joe,” I said in a rather limp attempt at bravery, “I know we’re close, but don’t y’ think Sarah might get a bit jealous?”

Joe looked down at me and smiled, “Stupid bloody git,” he said.

“Don’t worry son,” Alfie shouted down to me, as if being stabbed had caused me to go deaf , “I’m gonna get you the best medical attention money can buy.”

I obviously could not be taken to a hospital, too many unwanted questions about how my wound had been inflicted, so Dog Tooth was driving me to a safe house where a doctor on Vinnie’s payroll would tend to me. “I’ll never forget what you two boys did for me tonight,” Alfie went on, “You saved my life, and I won’t ever forget it – I’ll make sure Vinnie knows it too.”

The safe house was in Wandsworth; the doctor who lived there had, at one time, managed to get himself into a bit of trouble with the law – performing illegal abortions for girls too young or too scared to go to the proper authorities. Vinnie Reece had bailed him out by calling on one of his influential friends, who had magically made the charges disappear. Since then, the doctor had returned the favour by performing services such as the one he was about to do for me.

He informed me that my wound, although serious, was not life threatening as miraculously the blade had somehow missed all my vital organs. I would however, require bed rest for a week, maybe two and after that to refrain from any strenuous activity for another month.

Alfie stayed long enough to make sure I was comfortable then Dog Tooth took him home, with the instruction to keep him informed of my progress.

Joe stayed with me the whole time. The doctor cleaned the deep hole in my side and sewed me up using ten neat stitches, then he and Joe helped me upstairs to a crisp, freshly made bed, which is where I remained for the next five days.

Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here

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