Joe had been in his house for three years. It was the longest he had stayed with anything. The other tenants had turned over a few times. Previous combinations had only functioned as a household, but the current grouping would consider each other friends.
The household still didn’t know much about Joe’s life before he had taken up residence. This was exactly how he would have it. However, that meant they didn’t know how Tommy Hill had stolen all his money and implicated him in gun running.
Hill was sitting on the sofa, drinking tea from a Scooby Doo mug.
“Get out of my house.” Joe didn’t sound as angry as he felt.
“Dude, that’s harsh. Your housemate let me in, she seems like a nice girl.”
“Yes, well, I’ll have words with her and she won’t be making the same mistake again.”
“All I need is for you to hold something for a while. There’s a cut in it for you.”
“I don’t want a cut of any deal of yours. Get out or I’ll call the Police.”
“Really? You didn’t yesterday. Not really.”
“Yet somehow they know you’re in town. How you’ve stayed ahead of them I don’t know.”
“You’re lucky. Get out.” Joe gestured out the door.
Hill stood, but didn’t move any further. “If you won’t do this for me will you at least, well, do something for me?”
“I want to get in touch with Sarah. Set things right. I shouldn’t have taken off like that.”
“You can’t set right what you did.”
“I can apologise.”
“That’s not going to be enough.”
There was a silence. Hill considered the door, then went for another try. “I could….”
“She was pregnant. She had an abortion. Nothing you say or do will sort things out, so don’t even try.” It was more than he should have said, and he felt sick for letting it slip. But he was angry. Now he was angry at himself as well as Hill, and that just made things worse.
Hill, to his credit, recognised he wasn’t winning. Joe followed him to the door and watched as he walked away.
Other fiction- check out Heavensent, the propeller-punk sci-fi war novel I recently wrapped up, or download Another Education/Ruby Red or Ten Years Asleep.
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