You know that feeling?
The one where you're thinking everything is gonna be goddamn fine, and then it all turns out to be about the opposite?
So there I was, not ten minutes ago, strolling happy as Larry down the street, hands in pockets, head bowed against this goddamn wind, thinking to myself 'oho, everything in the bag', and then everything goes barmy.
My phone rings, and I'm looking down, thinking to myself 'who the hell is this?'. Mendrick only just left in his zooming police car, called to some place or other by that Harrison, so there's no way it's him, unless he left something behind, which I doubt, and anyway, he'd be phoning the goddamn zoo, not me.
So it's not him, I think. So who the hell is it?
I feel around for my phone and pull it out, and it's a withheld number. Well, there's nothing odd about that. I've got millions of contacts that would rather stay in the shadows, as it were. Just take my brother.
So I put it to my ear.
And there's this voice at the other end. No, shut up, I know there's always a voice at the end of a telephone, I'm not spastic. But it's a voice I don't recognise, sort of soft but with articulated 't's and stuff.
And there's no way this is my brother, I can hear him a mile off. He always sounds like he's puffing at a fag like there's no tomorrow. Which he usually is.
And the voice says: 'I can see you.'
And I do the typical 'oh my god' looking around routine, Hollywood style, and can't see anyone, so I say: 'Sod off.'
'I know where you are. And I know what you want. You won't find it. You won't find me. At this very moment, the tape is being deleted.'
And I think 'sh*t'. That's the best evidence we've got. Mendrick said something about copying it, but there's no way he's already copied it, no one can do it that fast.
'Yes, there's no copies. And no witnesses. No evidence. No one saw the tape save for two people.'
Christ. That's bad.
'And I don't want to have to threaten you, Miss Broker.'
'Sounds like that's what you're doing,' I growl.
The voice laughs. 'Oh, no, Miss Broker. If I wanted to threaten you, I certainly would. You will find that I can be very... persuasive. Now, you're going to turn right back home, and I don't ever want to hear your name again, is that clear? Because you can be sure that there are plenty of ways to keep someone quiet. I'm only starting with the nice way. And tell your friend, Mr Mendrick, all about our conversation. I'm sure he'll understand. And if he doesn't...'
'You wouldn't dare.'
'Do you really think so, Miss Broker? Do you really think so?'