Early the next morning Jay woke to the soft knocking of Jacque. Getting up to let him in Jay tried to think of how he could keep him quite for a little while longer. The success of his whole operation hinged on Jacque’s silence at the moment.
“I’m not coming in. I just came to let you know that she’s safe and I’m leaving.”
“What’s wrong Jacque? You seem a little stressed out lately.”
“I can’t take this anymore...”
“You didn’t go snitching now did you?”
“Are you crazy? You hold my life," sighing he again calmed himself. “All I want is my life back. Please, I kept my end of the bargain, she doesn’t know a thing and I’m not going to start talking now.”
“Then why do you want out so badly?” Jay took a step outside the house and closed the door behind him.
“Please man, the waiting is killing me. I just want out.”
“I can always remedy that.”
“No, no, no, no, I’ll stay. I love my life too much.”
“Good. Then we are in agreement. You stay, you live.” Turning to leave Jacque felt Jay’s gun against his back as he heard him whisper. “Remember I will be watching.” As Jacque left the yard, seeming a little on edge, Basel entered through the front gate. “Seems you already took care of that.”
“What do you want?”
“I came with a message.”
“That old seadog down by the pear.”
“What does he have to say about all this?”
“Says he can’t get those eyes of you but he did get them to look the other way for a little while.”
“How long have I got?”
“Couple of days at best. He also said to watch out for that one. Apparently he seems a little nervous. Might talk.”
“He better not.”
“Look there’s another reason I came here so early. I got pulled back. The boss wants me gone for a couple of days.” Nodding Jay replaced his gun before venturing back into the house.
“I’ll be back though just need to shake those Labradors.”
“How did it go with your brother last night?”
“Nothing I can’t handle.” Basel took his queue and left, disappearing behind a passing car.
Descending the stairs down into the basement Jay took with him the breakfast he was planning to send Basel with. The house seemed oddly empty that day, even with its occupants. Squatting beside the sleeping body before him Jay waited as patiently as he could for her to open her eyes as he let te handgun dangle loosely in his right hand. “Come on, wake up.” His voice was stern as he again nudged her with it. “You want to eat don’t you?” Slowly she sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Untying her hands from around the pole he pushed the tray closer to her before taking a seat on a nearby box. Looking sceptically at him she rubbed her wrists before reaching for the tray. Idle conversation however often tried did not seem to find suit with Jay as he stared at her ignoring all attempts at conversation.
Reaching the top of the stairs Jay found Clayton already in the kitchen searching for breakfast.
“Morning, what are you doing up so early?”
“I’ve been up for hours. I can’t exactly sleep with things the way they are.” Clayton’s movements were slow as he crossed the kitchen.
“I’ll fetch you something from town later on.”
“No it’s ok, I ‘m fine, I just need to keep still.” Passing Clayton, Jay sank down on the carpet before he meticulously started cleaning him firearm. Not a word passed between them as Clayton went and joined him in the living room. Locking the basement door, only hours after having gone down there, Jay left for town as Clayton lazily watched his departure from his comfortable position on the couch.