Bad Blood (60)

So here we are, the sixtieth and final excerpt of ‘Bad Blood.’ To all those who have read it, thank you very much and if you would like to continue reading it then please download it here.

From tomorrow, I will be posting excerpts from my second novel, ‘Finders Keepers,’ which is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller.

Please keep reading my blog and feel free to like, share and spread the word as every little helps.

In the meantime, as promised, here’s the last instalment of ‘Bad Blood.’ Enjoy!

Bad Blood (60)

Two months away and my father had chosen that precise moment to come home; a moment, I would find out in months to come, which was more than just a cruel coincidence.

“Where are ya then, you fuckin’ whore,” his brutish voice yelled out. “Think you can leave me do ya? Well you’ve got another thing comin’ my girl – nobody leaves George Reilly – nobody, understand?”

My father was in a foul rage; one which my mother knew from bitter experience would leave her either hospitalised or dead. Ivy knew it too and was determined to protect her friend. She tentatively opened the kitchen door from the living room and walked bravely in.

“Now George, please calm down, Rita is coming with me—” Ivy began.
“Shut your fuckin’ interferin’ face you old cow and get out of my bleedin’ house.”

“I.. I… I’m sorry George, but I won’t—” Ivy continued defiantly.

“Yes you bloody well will, you nosy witch,” George shouted, and slapped Ivy hard around the face with the back of his hand sending her lurching backward over the kitchen table.

“Get out!” My father shouted once more, showing her his hand for a second time, threatening to hit her again. But even though Ivy was stunned by the blow, she somehow managed to remain calm and clear headed. Seeing her opportunity, she swiftly ducked under my father’s raised up arm and darted towards the door.

“Hang on Rita!” She shouted, “I’m going for help.” Then she directed her gaze at the big man bearing down on her and hissed, “And you, you evil bastard, can rot in hell!”

With that, Ivy ran from the kitchen, down the hall and out through the open front door into the street.

To continue reading this novel please download it here and catch the first instalment of my second novel, ‘Finders Keepers,’ on my Daily book Blog tomorrow.


Bad Blood (59)

My mum had spent the last couple of months at Ivy Reynolds’ place where she had been well taken care of. She had recovered from her injuries, but was still in a very fragile state of mind, knowing that my father could return to the house next door at any time. This made her constantly on edge. She jumped at every sound and still had trouble getting through a whole night without having a nightmare.

I took it upon myself to find her new accommodation, and did so with the help of Alfie. A small terraced house near his pub had recently become vacant, the tenant having died a few weeks before. The house was owned by Vinnie, and on his say so, Alfie had agreed to let my mother live there under the protection of the Reece mob as a special favour to me. Living there, right in the heart of Vinnie’s territory, there was no way that George Reilly could get at Mum – not without risking his own life anyway, so it was the perfect solution.

Whilst Joe and I were sorting things out at the new house, Mum and Ivy went around to the old one to gather all Rita’s knick knacks that she had accumulated over the years. Nothing of any value, just personal things that were special to her. Mum was very reluctant to go into the house, but with Ivy’s coaxing and the promise of a new home, she eventually set foot over the threshold.

Wishing to spend as little time there as possible, she and Ivy set about their work quickly – Ivy never leaving my mother’s side for a moment, just in case her courage failed her.

They had been in the house for about an hour and had filled four large cardboard boxes with Mum’s personal things, which they had stacked in the kitchen, when they heard the back door bang open. Then they heard the destructive sound of Mum’s boxes being thrown to the ground, the delicate items within smashing into tiny pieces as they landed on the hard tiles.

When she heard the noise Mum’s resolve crumbled. She began to shake violently and her whole body involuntarily shrivelled away from the sounds in the kitchen. She caught hold of the sofa to prevent herself from collapsing. Slowly, her face contorted in a silent scream and, induced by panic, a small trickle of urine ran down her legs and formed a puddle on the living room carpet. The tears that she had bravely held back all morning were now streaming down her hollow cheeks, her worst fears having become terrifying reality.

George Reilly had returned.

Read the final instalment tomorrow or download the complete novel here

Bad Blood (58)

Chapter Five 

Eventually my stitches came out and I was deemed fit enough to go home, on the understanding that I was not to do anything physical which could result in my wound re-opening – a thought which did not really appeal.

Joe had finally asked Rose out for a date amid whoops and hollers from Ruby and the girls. She had said ‘yes’ and they had been inseparable for the couple of weeks since. It turned out that they had many things in common and Joe even made her laugh – something which he did with very few people.

They made an extremely attractive couple. Joe, tall and darkly handsome; Rose, slight and delicate with a beauty that was fresh and irresistible.

To celebrate Joe and Sarah’s eighteenth birthday, the two of them, together with Rose and me, went for a slap up meal at The Acropolis. We were seated at the very best table and drank champagne all night. We were even served by Greasy Phil himself, who could not have been more accommodating – especially now the word was out that we were tight with Vinnie Reece.

The night was a great success. Rose and Sarah hit it off straight away and we all ended up getting more than a little drunk. I had never seen Joe so full of fun; teasing Sarah and myself mercilessly about when we were getting married; telling jokes – which was certainly out of character; and generally having a good time. He appeared to be carefree, whilst being very attentive to Rose and openly showing his obvious affection for her. It was probably the happiest I’ve ever seen him.

Our work routine returned to normal, although I let Joe take care of any trouble if it arose. My side was healing nicely, the scab that had formed was hard and crusty, although still quite sore to touch but another couple of weeks and I would d have been back to normal.

Unfortunately, I suffered a set back which both Joe and I would remember for the rest of our lives.

Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here

Bad Blood (57)

Joe and I stared transfixed at the bedroom door, awaiting the imminent arrival of the legend we had heard so much about. We had never seen Vinnie so did not quite know what to expect, but when the door finally swung open, it certainly was not the smiling matinee idol that entered.

Vinnie Reece stood at the bottom of the bed. He was tall, slim and impeccably dressed in a pin-striped tailored suit. Looking supremely fit, he had chiselled features which were healthy and tanned and a pencil thin moustache that was trimmed to perfection; his black wavy hair was sprinkled with silver at the temples and brushed neatly back with Brylcream. The only thing that marred his otherwise perfect features was a long scar that started on the bridge of his nose and finished in the centre of his right cheek, a thin line which remained white against his golden skin.

Vinnie Reece in all his impressive glory cut an extremely dashing figure. A figure that now stood smiling down at Joe and me as I lay in my makeshift hospital bed.

As he spoke, his voice was deep and warm, the South London accent betraying his Peckham roots. Roots which he was determined never to forget. Under different circumstances it could be the voice of terror but on this occasion it was thankfully amiable and cheerful.

“So you’re the two lads I’ve heard so much about,” he said, shaking both our hands firmly. “Alfie’s told me, and he doesn’t lie. He’s also told me that he owes you his life. That means a lot to me personally. Him and me go way back. Best friends, I suppose you’d call us. Kinda like you two.”

Vinnie sat down on the edge of the bed and thought for a second, then continued, “Listen boys, I know George Reilly and Vic Cassidy, and I’m sure I won’t upset you when I say I think they’re both pieces of shit – but that’s between me and them.” He paused again, “Whatever I think about your fathers doesn’t reflect on you.” He looked directly at us, a serious expression on his face, “Understand this. If there is anything I can ever do for you boys, just ask. If it’s within my power, I’ll do it. I’m in your debt – and I never forget who I owe.”

Joe and I were stunned into silence, neither of us knowing what to say to follow Vinnie’s last statement. Luckily, Vinnie lightened the mood for us, “So, Sean, when do you get to escape?” He asked.

We chatted with Vinnie for five or ten minutes, answering all his questions and telling him about ourselves, and he seemed genuinely interested. Then, when at last there was a lull in conversation, he almost reluctantly stood up and made to leave. He shook both our hands again and said sincerely, “Look after yourselves boys – and remember, if you need anything, anything at all, just ask.” He then turned, walked to the door and left.

We had known of Vinnie Reece for most of our lives but apart from the fact that he was very rich and powerful, had never really fully understood why people held him in such high regard.

Now, however, after meeting him, we most definitely did.

Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here

Bad Blood (56)

Each day, Joe, Sarah and Dog Tooth would visit. At first, Sarah had been inconsolable, convinced that I was going to die – probably due to Joe’s elaborate distortion of the facts. Finally, I made her ask the doctor, who explained that I was going to be fine, which caused her, rather touchingly to cry with joy. To my eternal shame, I found this emotional response very gratifying – she obviously felt as deeply about me as I did her.

Sarah would stay with me in the evenings whilst Tooth and Joe would turn up at different times throughout the day – whenever work allowed. Alfie also visited twice, the first time bringing with him a basket of fruit that his wife had prepared.

On the day before my release, Joe was with me when the doctor came rushing into the room. He started making a fuss around me, plumping up my pillows and straightening the bed clothes. “What’s going on Doc?” I asked, “It’s only Joe, not royalty.” The doctor’s response left Joe and me stunned.

“Mr. Reece is downstairs, and he wants to see you.”

Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here

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

Bad Blood (54)

Meanwhile, in the house and out in the street it had all kicked off. Dog Tooth was fighting with two men, Joe had already taken two others out and was in the process of disposing of a third, whilst the other four of our lot seemed to be fairing well enough against a pretty good opposition.

I was having a little trouble with the big bastard on me, but a couple of well timed kidney punches and a knee to his groin were starting to take effect. As he finally dropped to the floor, I heard Joe shout, “Alfie, look out!”

Alfie had stepped out of the bedroom straight into the fray and unwittingly into the sights of a man aiming a murderous looking dagger directly at him. Seeing the danger, Joe launched himself into a flying dive, landing on the man and knocking him to the floor just a fraction too late to prevent him from throwing the knife.

As if in slow motion, I saw the knife leave the man’s hand and watched in horror as it flew through the air toward its unsuspecting target. Without thinking, I hurled myself in front of Alfie, thrusting him back into the bedroom and forcing him off his feet.

I landed hard on the cheap stained carpet, hitting my head on Alfie’s knee as we crashed to the ground, momentarily knocking myself out. I awoke after a minute or two, dazed by the blow, with my vision a little starry and it took a few seconds for me to recover. But slowly, as my eyes cleared, I saw that we had won. Those of Vic’s men who were not lying prostrate on the ground had fled; our boys giving half-hearted chase.

I looked behind me, into the bedroom and saw Alfie sitting up on the floor. He was looking at me with a grave expression on his face, Joe too, who had come to my side, was also looking concerned.

“Help me up Joe,” I said, “I can’t lie around here all night.” But as I moved, I felt an excruciating pain in my side and looked down to see what had been troubling Alfie and Joe. The stiletto blade of the knife had buried itself up to the hilt between the middle two ribs on my left side and a slow trickle of blood was seeping from the wound, staining my white shirt bright red.

“Oh shit,” I said quietly, suddenly feeling woozy. I attempted to sit up, but as soon as I did so, I promptly passed out.

Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here

Bad Blood (53)

Cassidy had not anticipated this, he stupidly assumed that Alfie would back down when faced with a stronger opposition. Vic’s error was to judge his enemy by his own shortcomings.

Faced with the option to either stand and fight, or to make a run for it, Vic made his choice instantly; it was automatic and without hesitation. Faster than lightning, he ran back into the bedroom and bolted the door before Alfie could even get close to him.

In pursuit of his prey, Alfie ran up to the door and attempted to open it, but it would not budge. Desperately he tried again, this time throwing his shoulder into it but still it did not shift. Then he noticed Vic’s shotgun leaning against the wall. He snatched it up, took two paces backwards and blasted the door open. Still holding the shotgun, he then hurled himself into the room.

The young girl in the bed was screaming hysterically with the bed clothes pulled defensively up to her chin. She pointed wildly at the open window, the curtains flapping in the breeze. “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” She cried. “He went out of the window!”

Alfie ran to the window where he saw Vic Cassidy, still with no shoes on his feet and naked from the waist up, scrambling over the waste ground at the back of the house. Alfie hurriedly lifted the shotgun, took aim and emptied the other barrel but a sawn-off is not an accurate weapon for distance, especially at night and he only managed to clip him. Vic shouted with pain, snatched hold of the arm in which he had been hit and carried on running, his stride already hampered by his deformed foot.

“You’re fuckin’ dead, Cassidy!” Alfie shouted. “If you ever show your face this side of the water again, you’re a dead man – understand?” Whether or not Vic heard this, Alfie could not be certain, as he had already vanished into the night.

Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here

Bad Blood (52)

“What’s all that bloody noise?” An angry voice shouted from behind a door that led off the room. The door swung open to reveal a well built man, wearing nothing except for a hastily pulled on pair of trousers. He was tall, with jet black hair and tanned skin, he was also clutching a sawn-off shot gun; the preferred weapon of the London underworld. His looks were unmistakable and I knew without doubt, that I was staring at Vic Cassidy.

“Alfie Noakes, as I live and breathe,” Vic said, feigning pleasure, “I’m honoured, I didn’t think I was good enough for the likes of you. What brings an old married man like yourself to a place like this I wonder? Surely ya can’t be bored of that lovely wife of yours after all these years? Mind you, she must be gettin’ on a bit now. S’pose you fancy somethin’ a bit more lively.”

Alfie could feel his hackles rising, “Shut up, Vic!” He snapped.

“Come on, Alfie. There’s no need to be like that, no need for animosity – see, I’ll even put the gun down – sort of a good will gesture shall we say?” Cassidy leant the shotgun against the wall closest to him.

In the room that Vic had just appeared from, Alfie could see a young girl, not much older than twelve or thirteen. She was sitting up in the grubby bed that her pimp had just vacated.

“Still up to your old tricks, I see,” Alfie said with disgust as he nodded toward the young prostitute in the adjoining room.

“Well, y’know how it is Alfie,” Cassidy smiled leerily, “Fresh meat’s always the best.”

Alfie ignored the remark and continued as if Vic had not spoken. “I’ve heard that you’ve been learning some new tricks, Vic. Tricks which Vinnie don’t like the sound of.”

“Ah yes, Vinnie.” Said Vic thoughtfully, “How is poor old Vinnie? Not too good I shouldn’t think, if he’s reduced to hiring snot nose kids still wet behind the ears,” Vic gestured in Joe’s direction, who was standing behind Alfie.

Joe lunged forward, but I grabbed his arm to restrain him and Alfie put his hand up, a signal for him to stay calm. Joe shrugged off my grip and stood down.

“I see your having about as much luck taming him as I did,” Vic laughed.

“Cut the crap Vic,” Alfie said, nearing boiling point, “You’re finished here. Get your stuff and piss off – but before you go I’ll take what you owe Vinnie.”

“You’re wrong Alfie, this is my place and I ain’t going nowhere,” Vic replied.

“And as for the money, I figure it’s only what I’m due for all the hard work I’ve put in over the years – so I’m keeping it – and that’s final.”

“The only thing that’s final around ‘ere Vic, is you messin’ us about and it ends now,” Alfie snarled.

“Oh, I don’t think so, Alfie. You can’t do nothing cos I’ve got my boys to look after me.”

“Looks like your boys have got their own problems,” Alfie nodded to the men in the chairs.

“Not those boys, but those boys,” Vic pointed in the direction of the street.

Outside a group of about seven men, all armed with bats, knives, chains and the like, had gathered just beyond the front door. They had obviously been waiting in one of the adjoining houses, primed for an attack and somehow Vic had raised the alarm. Seven men outside, six inside. Thirteen against eight.

Long odds but I was betting on us.

“You slimy piece of shit!” Alfie shouted as he charged toward Vic, “I’m gonna fuckin’ kill ya!”

Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here

Bad Blood (51)

As we got out of the cars and marched up to the entrance, the two doormen automatically stepped closer to each other, attempting to block our way. They had obviously been primed to expect trouble, and looked the sort that could handle it. However, they had not been warned about Dog Tooth.

Tooth just wandered up to them and quick as a flash, before they had time to react, banged their thick heads together with a sound similar to that of two eggs cracking. As they fell, he grabbed hold of their collars, lifted them off their feet and effortlessly flung them aside. He then smashed open the door and stepped through into Vic’s office-cum-living room, the rest of us following in his wake.

Seated in two shabby sofas were three large men, another two, both with half dressed women on their laps were sitting in arm chairs. Again, none of the men familiar to us. Before the men could stand, Dog Tooth and the rest of the boys flooded into the room and forced them back into their seats, with both the whores being dumped unceremoniously on the floor with their breasts and underwear on full display. Alfie glared at the girls and jerked his thumb in the direction of the stairs. Neither needed any coaxing and made hasty getaways.

Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here