A Kid Named Joey - A Novel

Chapter 12

A Kid Named Joey

by Nigel Gordon

Chapter 12

"We followed up the lead you gave us about the photographer. Couple of Indian lads, scouting the area for possible locations for a mobile car-valeting service," Mark told them. "At least that's their story and I doubt they will change it. Kutrum's lads I presume." Edward nodded. "Your tail?" Edward nodded again. "Right, so we know Kutrum wasn't behind this. Otherwise they would have skedaddled before the thing was even set.

"Anyway we got the film and our lab boys got it developed and produced a number of blown up prints. Good photos of both the bombers and the car. We got the car number. It was rented yesterday morning at East Midlands Airport, so our guess is that they flew in from somewhere.

"At the moment we do not have identification on either of them. What we do know is that the second bomber took off for Sheffield. They're testing out automatic number recognition technology. To be honest, it's pretty iffy most of the time, but this time it came up trumps. The car was recorded coming off the M1 at Sheffield. CCTV imaging shows it being driven into town.

"This morning the car was found, burnt out, on the outskirts of Sheffield, close to the motorway. Our assumption is that the driver changed cars somewhere in Sheffield."

Edward nodded. "Ben, I think we could do with some tea. Sorry for your friend on the drive but coffee is not my scene. If you will excuse me, I need to make a call." With that he stood up and walked off in the direction of the granny flat.

"I wonder what he's up to?" Ben said, to nobody in particular.

"I would guess he is about to phone his controller," Mark replied.

By time Edward returned, Ben was just placing a large teapot on the table. Milk and sugar were already in place, as were three clean mugs. Edward sat at the table and looked over at Ben.

"Sorry, Ben, I had hoped to keep you out of this, but it seems it can't be avoided. Somebody will be up sometime in the next couple of days to ask you to sign the Official Secrets Act; that's a formality. You are bound by it whether or not you have signed it. What I am about to tell you two must not go any further, at least not at the moment," Edward stated.

"What about DI Hawkins?" Mark asked.

"Definitely not," Edward said. "Though he probably will not be a concern fairly soon. Strangely enough, if it is necessary, but only if it is really necessary, DC Jones can be told. He is cleared for it."

Mark laughed. "Hawkins not cleared but his juniors are. I wish I could tell the lads back at HQ. Hawkins really gets on their wick at times."

"Unfortunately, you can't, not at least till this is cleared up one way or another."

"So, what's the story?" Mark asked.

"You're right what you guessed about me, at least in part, but it was sixty-seven when they recruited me. They needed somebody close to the Logan boys. The feeling was that Paddy Logan was money laundering for the Provos. Turned out to be a lot more complicated. The Logans were working both for the Provos and the Loyalists. It took three years to sort out what was going on but by time the Logans were arrested for gun running, I had established some pretty good connections over in Belfast and Derry.

"Although I made a point of keeping out of the any of the hard activity, no gun running or money laundering, I was useful to many of my contacts. They knew me as a slightly doggy trader, not a hardened criminal like the Logans. Therefore, they never asked for anything beyond the questionable. However, helping them out with the questionable was often very useful, for it allowed tabs to be kept on what they were doing.

"The main thing I was being asked was to use certain Northern Irish transport companies to undertake continental collections and deliveries for me. My stuff was all legit, so it was not a problem for me as they quoted good rates anyway, so my use of them was quite logical.

"I established good working relationships with certain groups in Northern Ireland. This grew to such an extent that they started to ask me to handle their mail for them. They were worried that normal mail to or from Northern Ireland was probably being intercepted and read. They would get their supporters and friends in Europe to send their mail to one of my shipping agents. From there it would be collected by my courier, brought to me and I would send it on to either Belfast or Londonderry. Of course the courier was an MI 5 officer and the route he took went via Thames House.

"All told it was a fairly nice little operation and one that gave some very useful results. In the early nineteen eighties, I started to use a deep cover MI5 officer to take the mail to its end destination. This resulted in him getting recruited and firmly instanced in their organisation. He still acted as my delivery man, but was now able to deliver material to me. That was for Thames House. I was his drop box.

"He had just got established when Amir was killed."

"And if you had been exposed as a MI5 asset the agent’s cover would have been blown," Mark observed.

"Exactly," Edward commented. "I had a meet with my controller that evening. It was one of our regular ones. I left Amir's, as I said, at seven, met my controller at seven thirty and we went to Raycoat. It had gone ten by time he dropped me at the club."

"So, you had a cast iron alibi that you could not use," stated Mark.

"Not without somebody getting killed," Edward replied.

"Couldn't they have just pulled the agent out and then put someone else in later?" Ben asked.

"Not an option," Edward said. "It takes years to inculcate a deep cover agent. The target must believe they are what we are telling them they are. This chap had been presented to them as my heavy, and they had come to believe that. They had recruited him — it was not a case of him wanting to join. In fact, he had made a show of being a bit reluctant because of his commitment to me.

"In that sense, things worked out rather well. My arrest meant he no longer had those commitments, so could go deeper into the organisation."

"And he's still there?" Mark asked.

"Yes, he's one of the most valuable field agents that Thames House has got," Edward stated.

"But you went inside for twelve years for something they knew you hadn't done!" exclaimed Ben.

"They thought I would get off," Edward insisted. "Remember, there was the identification of me on the Raycoat Road at quarter to eight, going in the direction of Raycoat."

"What happened regarding that?" Ben asked.

"DI Simmonds spent so much time telling the lad that he had to be mistaken, that by time he got into the witness box, he was not certain of anything. The jury just found his evidence unconvincing," Mark stated.

"It was the basis of our first appeal against conviction, but the court did not accept it. As the judge said, 'it is not the purpose of this court to question the decision of the jury as to the validity of a witness's statement'," Edward contributed. "Of course, things were not helped by the fact at the trial that I did not make a witness statement, so was not cross examined in court."

"So, they just left you in prison to rot?" Ben said.

"Not exactly," replied Edward. "They came and saw me, immediately after the appeal. Actually took me out for the day — officially it was for questioning —  had lunch in one of the best restaurants on the Isle of Wight. Had to go upmarket in case an off-duty prison officer saw me. They offered to pull the whole operation and then my handler would give evidence that I was with him at the time that Amir was killed. They even had CCTV footage from the hotel showing our arrival and departure.

"We discussed what was involved in some depth and I agreed to stay inside till the operation was finished. At the time we thought it would be two to three years."

"Why the fuck did you do that?" Ben asked.

"Well, what was there for me out here?" Edward asked. "Amir was dead, Maria had dumped me. Things weren't too bad for me inside and I had my OU studies."

"I was here," Ben murmured.

Mark looked at Ben, then said he should get back to the station. Just then his phone rang. He answered it and spoke for a couple of minutes.

"Well it seems they’ve found the second bomber," Mark said after he had finished the call.

"Where?" asked Edward.

"Victoria Quays on the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal," Mark replied. "The body was found at two this morning, floating face down in the canal basin. He'd been dead about an hour. They only just linked it with our man."

"So, he's not going to tell us anything," Ben observed.

"He does tell us one thing," Edward responded. "There is a leak in police HQ."

"How do you come to that conclusion?" Mark asked.

"The bomber had to be in Sheffield by what, three at the latest. He certainly had somewhere safe to go. Yet sometime around one this morning he finds himself being held face down in the canal. When did you get the photo of him?"

"I was off duty, but the internal circulation was timed at twenty three forty." Mark replied. There was a pause. "Oh shit, I need to get back to HQ and speak with the chief; he's not going to like this."

Once Mark left, Ben set about making another pot of tea. Edward walked up behind him. "What did you mean when you said you were here?"

Ben turned to face Edward. "You were here, I came back because you were here, but you left."

Edward looked at him, then put his arms around Ben, pulling him to him. Whispering in Ben's ear. "I didn’t realise."

They parted slightly, Ben moved his head slightly to the side. Edward's lips moved towards Ben's but his phone rang.


He stepped back and pulled out his phone. Ben returned to making the tea. "Edward Chapman… Scully… Yes, you said so yesterday… This afternoon...? Hold a moment."

"Scully and some of the chaps I knew inside want to meet with me this afternoon. Could we meet here, and could we use your living room please, Ben?"


Ben nodded, pouring the boiling water into the pot.

"That's fine, two o'clock… You've got the address… Yes it’s the one on the card but come to the main house, not the granny flat." Edward closed the phone ending the call. Ben put the pot of tea on the table and took a seat. Edward took the one opposite.

"We need to talk," Edward stated. "When, how?"

"I think I have always had a crush on you. I know I have since the last year of Junior School. Couldn't wait for swimming, sharing a cubicle to change in," Ben stated.

"But you never said anything," Edward responded.

"I was scared. I didn't want to lose your friendship. Then you had all those girls around you when we got to high school. You gave no sign of being interested in boys."

"I was scared as well, Benny. The only black lad in a school half filled with Asians? There was no way I wanted anyone to know I was interested in boys; they would have killed me."

Benny nodded. "Yes, they probably would have."

"So, Benny, what do we do now?"

Benny glanced up at the kitchen clock. "Well, I think we need to grab some lunch and then set up for your visitors. It's nearly one o'clock."

Edward sighed, but got up to help Ben. During the preparation he remembered to go out and warn the duty officer that he had visitors coming.

Just after two, a large black Merc pulled up in front of the house. Four men were just walking up to the door when Edward opened it.

"Nice car, Scully," Edward stated.

"Not mine, mate, David's the car dealer, got a big showroom in the smoke. That's his. My car is an old Ford."

Edward laughed, then greeted each of the men. He led them through to the living room, where Ben was just laying out tea, coffee and biscuits. Edward indicated to the guys that they should take a seat.

"Guys, this is Ben Levi. Besides being my accountant, Ben is also my closest friend. This is his house. Please feel free to speak in front of Ben as I will be telling him everything, anyway." The Edward turned to Ben.

"Ben, the small mouse-like man seated in the armchair is Scully Munroe. He runs the Little Chef where we were yesterday. Next to him on the settee is Michael Jones. I am not sure what he does," Edward stated.


"He runs a private security company in Birmingham," Ben informed Edward. "EC Finance sent him to me to sort out his business plan when he was seeking funds. I've been doing his accounts ever since."

"How did you manage to get into security with your record, Michael?" Edward asked.

"Got my conviction overturned, didn't I," Michael replied. "Those solicitors in Manchester you recommended came through for me."

"I'm glad and congratulations," Edward said. "At the other end of the settee is Sam Littleton; not sure what he is doing."

"I deal if fine gold and silver coins," Sam informed him.

"In the other armchair is…"

"David Long," Ben interrupted. "I do his accounts as well. Again introduced by EC Finance."

"Okay, so it seems some of you already know Ben," Edward said.

"So, now you can stop talking, Ed," stated Scully. "What we want to know first of all is what is going on."

"To be totally honest, I don't really know, but it seems that coming back here has opened up a wasp's nest and I am not sure why," Edward told them. He then proceeded to give them a potted history of events and of his relations with Kutrum.

"So, what's your number one priority right now?" Sam asked.

"First thing I need to do is get a car," stated Edward.

"What type do you want?" asked David.

"The same as I had before," Edward replied.

"You're in luck. I have just the thing in stock," David stated. "It will be delivered on Monday."

"I can't let you give me a car," Edward stated.

"We're not. You can pay the advertised price for it, we know you are good for that, and what we will give you is the enhancements that my people will put in."

"Don't worry, they'll make a good job of it," Michael told Edward. "They do all my cars."

"What do you mean?" Edward asked.

"Let's just say we will all feel a lot more comfortable if another bomb goes off under your car, especially if you're in it, or if somebody takes a shot at you in it, after my people have been working on it?" David stated.

"Anyway, my people are going to be with you," Michael informed Edward. "I've got a personal protection team on the way up." He glanced at his watch. "Actually, they should be in town by now. For the next six weeks, it's their job to keep you safe."

Edward was about to protest but Scully stopped him. "Edward, we all owe you, some a lot more than others, but we all owe you. We talked about this, this morning. The thing is, we have all put in the same, even Tony has contributed, though he was too ill to make in over from Spain. You're having professional protection for the next six weeks. Like it or lump it, you've got it."

"Good," Ben stated. "Coffee or tea?"

Edward, who had been standing all this time, slumped down into one of the armchairs.

Ben looked at Scully. "You reckon this can be settled in six weeks?"

"If it can't be we go to plan B," Scully stated.

"What's that?" Edward asked.

"You become Tony's guest in Spain," Scully informed him.

"Better get it settled then," said Edward. "Not sure I fancy exile."

For the next hour, the six of them discussed a number of issues. Shortly before four, there was a call on Edward's phone. It was the duty officer saying that a party of four had arrived saying that they were with the party that had already come. Edward checked with Michael, then told the officer to let them pass. Ben went and opened the door for them.

Surprisingly, when they came into the room, it turned out that there were two men and two women. Michael introduced them.

"This is Carol," he said, standing up and walking over to the group. "Next to her is Ann. The tall blond guy is Peter and his mate is John. They are all ex-service and fully trained in personal protection.

"That lump in the armchair, looking lost, is your protectee." He informed the group of four. "All you have to do is keep him alive and if possible take out whoever is trying to kill him."

With that the meeting started to break up. Scully, David, Michael and Sam said they would leave the protection team to sort out things with Edward. Sam, however, asked for a private word with Edward.

"Hans sent this for you," he said. Handing an envelope over to Edward. Edward looked at it for a moment. "Look, Edward, I don't know what's in it and Hans told me not to ask. He did say you deserved it, so you have got it, whatever it is." With that, Sam went to join the other three as they said their goodbyes and went out to the car. David gave Edward a final message that a new car would be with him on Monday. He would get the bill for it tomorrow.

Once the four had left, Carol took the lead.

"Mr Chapman, would it be possible for somebody to show us the house and the gardens?" she asked.

Edward looked at Ben.

"I'll do it," Ben said.

"Right. Peter, John, with me, Ann you hold the fort here," Carol instructed. With that she indicated that Ben should lead the way.

"A bit bossy, isn't she?" said Edward.

"She needs to be," Ann replied. She was walking round the room, looking out of the windows and checking where doors led to. Edward found it slightly off-putting.

"How is this going to work?" Edward asked.

"Carol will fill you in on that when they get back. Basically though, one of us will be with you at all times. Twenty-four seven. There are four of us and we work it as eight hour shifts."

"So, I don't get any privacy," said Edward.

"Not that much," Ann replied. Edward found himself starting to like the woman. She had a blunt honesty.

Edward decided he better make a new pot of tea and one of coffee. He picked up the tray and started to move towards the kitchen. In a flash Ann was in front of him.

"You need to tell me if you are going somewhere. I have to assess the risk," she informed him.

"I'm only going to the kitchen," he replied.

"I don't care if it's the kitchen or Buckingham Palace, it's my job to make sure that it is safe before you go in there." With that she pushed the kitchen door open and looked round. Then stepped through and held the door for Edward.

"I am not sure I can get use to this," he informed her.

"Don't worry, you will. Anyway, it's only for six weeks max. Think of the princes; they have this every day for their whole lives."

Edward suddenly found himself sympathising with the royal family.

He made a fresh pot of tea and one of coffee. He also set a new group of mugs on the tray. Edward had just returned with a tray to the living room when Ben returned with Carol and party.

"Well, the house is fairly secure," Carol stated as she sat down. Ben started to pour out teas and coffees.

"Now, Mr Chapman," she continued.

"Please call me Edward," Edward stated. He noticed Carol had a trace of accent that was not British.

"Okay, Edward. As I have said, the house seems fairly secure. With the planting round it, it is unlikely that anybody can get a clear enough view for a sniper shot. They will have to penetrate the grounds. We will be taking steps to deal with that as soon as this briefing is over.

"Our estimation, though, is that you are going to be most at risk when you are outside the house, so we have to ask you to reduce your excursions as much as possible. If possible, I would suggest you don't go out during the next few days."

"I'm sorry, but that is not going to be possible," Edward stated. "I have already made arrangements to go to Raycoat tomorrow and it is something I have to do in person. Then I have to pick my son and his friend up on Saturday."

"I can do that, Teddy," Ben stated.

"There are also a couple of people I need to see over the next week or so," Edward said. "Again, I will need to see them in person."

"The important thing is that you only make such trips as cannot be avoided," Carol said. "If you need to have a face to face meeting, consider having them come here to meet you. When that is not possible, clear the trip with us. We will need to know where you are going and who you are going to meet. Once we have that information we can do a risk assessment and decide on how many of us will be going with you. It will usually be two.

"One of us will always be driving you."

"What!" exclaimed Edward.

"One of us will always be driving you. We are all trained in defensive and evasive driving tactics. If they do decide to attack you while you are in the car, we want to be in a position where we can make use of those skills. Remember, this is the UK, and as private protection personnel we are not permitted to carry guns. We have to rely on other skills to safeguard our protectee."

Edward smiled at that piece of information.

"Next, there will always be at least one of us in the house," Carol continued. "Mr Levi, is it possible to have a room we could use."

"The easiest would be for Edward to move from the granny flat up to the guest suite," Ben stated. "Then you could have the granny flat." Ben looked at Edward. Edward nodded his agreement.

"The other thing is, neither Mr Levi or yourself Edward are to answer the door. Even if you are expecting someone. One of us will do it," Carol stated.

"Usually me," Peter commented. "I make a pretty good flunky."

The next half hour was involved with the details of how the household would operate with the security staff on the premises. One thing Carol make clear was that Ben was not to bother with doing any catering for them. There was a kitchen in the granny flat and they could sort out teas and coffee there. As for meals, they would take those back at base. Edward noticed she never indicated where base was.

That finished,  Edward started moving his stuff from the granny flat up to the guest suite, which was at the front of the house, across the hall from the master suite. It was, Edward was to find out, a mirror opposite of the master suite, with its large bedroom, bathroom and dressing room and a walk in wardrobe.

The one thing there was no facility for in the suite was Edward's papers.

"You’d better use my office," Ben told him. "I only use it occasionally."

Edward did as suggested, gathering up the piles of papers  and moving them to the office which conveniently had one of its two doors on the corridor leading to the granny flat. The other door opened onto the corridor leading to the kitchen. From the desk, Edward could look out into the garden.

Ben decided against cooking and ordered a takeaway. Ann insisted that it had to be collected and one of the team would go for it. Half an hour, later John delivered a package of Thai takeaway to the door. Edward asked Ann to join them, but Ann informed him that she and John were sharing one in the granny flat.

Over the meal, Ben and Edward talked about things between them. Edward admitted he was attracted to Ben and that he always had been. He also stated that he did not want to get involved until this matter was settled.

"Is it going to get settled?" Ben asked.

"Oh, yes, I have a vested interest in getting it settled," Edward replied, bringing his hand up and caressing Ben's cheek.

"What was it that Sam gave you?" Ben asked.

"Haven't looked," Edward admitted. He drew the envelop out of his pocked and opened it. From within he pulled out a letter and a piece of paper that to Ben looked something like a cheque.

"Bloody hell!" exclaimed Edward.

"What is it?" Ben asked.

"An international banker's draft for one point four million Swiss Francs, " Edward replied. "It seems that as I was the original source of the information which led Hans to cracking the case, I am entitled to the standard reward. Five percent of the recovered funds."

"Well, Teddy, one thing you don’t have to worry about is funds," Ben commented.

It was about three in the morning when Ben woke up, aware of a sound coming from the room across the hallway. A whimpering sound, like a puppy that had been hurt. He got up, pulled on a dressing gown, and crossed the hallway to Edward's room. In the darkness of the room he made out the form of Edward, curled tight into a ball, sobbing in his sleep.

Ben walked up to the bed and put his hand on Edward's shoulder. Edward's hand came up and covered it, at the same time he uncurled slightly. Ben climbed onto the bed and put his arms around Edward, who sank into them.

"Ben?" a sleepy voice asked.

"Yes, you were dreaming."

"I was lonely," Edward replied. "Will you stay?"

Ben pulled back the duvet and climbed in next to Edward.

*  *  *  *  *

Thursday morning, Edward woke alone. He rolled over in bed to check the time and realised it was well past eight-thirty. Ben would have got up and left for work ages ago. Edward got up, showered and dressed. Downstairs found John on security duty. He was sitting in the kitchen drinking a mug of tea when Edward came down.

"I need to go to Raycoat today," Edward informed John.

"You told Carol yesterday. Peter will be here with the car at nine-thirty. Carol is taking over here, and I will be joining Peter on the run to Raycoat," John advised him.

It was just before nine-thirty that the front doorbell rang. John went to answer it. A moment later, Carol came into the kitchen.

"The car's here for you," she informed Edward. He got up, put on his coat and made his way to the front door. There John stopped him. Looking past John, Edward could see Peter standing by the rear passenger side door of the car. There must have been some sort of communication between John and Peter, as Peter opened the passenger door and John told Edward, to go directly and get in the car. As he did so Edward was aware of John behind him.

Once in Raycoat, Peter parked the car almost immediately outside the shop they were making for. This time the process was reversed. Peter went to the shop door to obtain admission. It was one of those shops where you have to press a bell to get in. Once the door was open, John opened the car door and Edward went straight from the car into the shop. Peter following him.

Inside the shop, Edward supplied some documentation that was required and received two packages. Peter looked at the packages, then at Edward, who shook his head and put his finger to his lips. Edward then passed Peter one of the documents he had handed the sales assistant. Peter read it, looked at Edward and nodded in understanding.

In addition to the two packages, Edward also got a packet of targets, a target holder, a stand for the holder and a packet of pellets together with a Crossman pump-action air pistol. He also purchased a gun safe for their storage, although until he spoke to Ben he was not sure where he was going to put it.

That done, the process was reversed for Edward to return to the car and be driven back to the house.