And the winner is...

Red lifts an eyebrow at that 'handsome' but I'm unconcerned.  He's pushing us to be clearer about our intentions, so I'll tell him a little more of how I feel.  At least until I've worked out exactly what's going on with Puppy.  He smiles as well though, so he's clearly not unhappy about it.

"Left or right?"  he's holding one envelope in each hand.  They're the same size, both manilla, A5 sized; what I'd use at work for documents that can be folded up before being mailed.  I point at the one in his left hand, and he shrugs and passes it to me.

"Open on the count of thr--" I start, but Red's ripped his open already.


I shrug this time and peel the flap of the envelope up, taking care not to let it rip.

"What have you got?" says Red, holding a piece of paper.  I peer inside my envelope and realise that there are photographs in there.  I look up at him, and say,

"You show me yours first."

"Hah!  Fine, well, I have a birth certificate.  Now what do you have?"

"A birth certificate for who?"

"Ah-ah, what do you have first?"

"So unfair!"  I'd stamp my foot if I were standing up, but I'm not, so I content myself with tossing my hair back over my shoulder.  I up-end the envelope and tip the photographs out.  There are eight of them, black and white, and each of them shows Grozny with someone else.  The Mayor is in one of them, and I recognize our Senator in another, but many of the people are unknown to me.

"Oh wow," says Red, bending over them.  "This is interesting.  This ties Grozny to people and events."

I look again, and I realise that the backgrounds are as important as the people in the pictures: Grozny meeting the Senator is clearly out in front of a warehouse somewhere, and the name of the warehouse is just about visible too.

"That's the abattoir," says Red, passing me the photo of Grozny and the Mayor.  "I don't know who got the picture, I was there and I never saw anyone with a camera."

"We can use these," I say, thinking fast.  "Grozny would be very upset to see these go public."

"I don't know if we'll have time for that," said Red, "but yes, I'm sure we'll find a use."

"So whose is the birth certificate then?"

"I don't know," says Red, showing it to me.  "Someone called Samuel Goldfarb."

"What year?" I say, feeling cold all of a sudden.

"Five years ago.  Why?"

"Joel's son," I say.  "Before me he had a long-term relationship with someone, and there were rumours but he always denied them."

"No use to us then," says Red, slipping it back into the envelope.

"Maybe," I say, noticing that my hands are shaking.  "Knowing that Joel has a son and what his name is... it's dangerous, but it's leverage over him.  Maybe."

"Would you really do that?"  Red is looking at me oddly.

"If it's a choice between that and being shot or stabbed..." I trail off.  "I don't think I could actually."

There's an awkward silence, broken by Red slipping the certificate back into the envelope.  "We'll keep it for now," he says.  "We can hardly put it back."

I nod.

"That leaves us with the binder.  Do you want to open it or shall I?"

"You open it," I say, standing up.  I walk to the edge of the roof and look over; the police cars are pulling away.  "Then I think we can go without the police bothering us, they're leaving."

The End

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