After (chapter 1)
by Writer 3

I

The night bled out of London. Danny Blake was on the flat roof of the old Ministry of Health building on Alexander Terrace. He looked west over Whitehall.

It was 5:40 a.m. and the April morning was beginning to lace with light behind him.

Under Danny the three floors that made up the old Ministry of Health building turned over with cleaning staff as did the larger construct of the modern Ministry of Health to which the old Ministry of Health building was now an adjunct.

In both buildings all the cleaners were PCDB staff.

Professional Cleaning Danny Blake.

Danny was dressed in the black boiler suit of PCDB. He was the boss but he was still a cleaner. Best if he remembered that.

Above Danny stars smeared by the heat of London were being washed out by the coming of day.

It was nice up here, quiet.

Fifteen minutes ago one of Danny’s cleaners had shown up half-cut. The cleaner, Vinny, was seven stone wringing wet and he was a Navy vet. Danny had frog-marched him to a cleaning cupboard to dry out, had fed him coffee to sober him up and tic-tacs for his breath. Vinny had issues but he could not show up to work drunk. For now Danny had secured him with the mops and hoovers on the third floor.

Danny was a vet like Vinny.

You could call on that once and this was that once. Danny was not going to be played like a fool.

He had stowed Vinny in the cupboard and then let himself onto the roof, above the clutter.

Below on Whitehall a drunk preceded north, his bass voice sounding random phrases at the disappearing night.

Danny watched as the drunk was swallowed by Trafalgar Square. We come and go, thought Danny, and returned to looking west over Whitehall.

Danny was lying on the concrete roof of the old Ministry of Health. From his position between air-conditioning ducts he sighted along the barrel of a rifle.

*

Detective Chief Inspector Eddie Smith was 41 years old and he looked every one of them. In his big, square head was the thought: I should have taken up drinking. After Carol had died no-one could have blamed me.

Eddie was sitting at a table with four other detectives of the Central London Murder Investigation Squad in a windowless Conference Room in a Metropolitan Police building on the Victoria Embankment. The clock set on the wall showed 5:55 a.m.

Detective Chief Superintendent Cox had called an early meeting.

The five detectives had spent the evening and early hours of the morning following leads connected to a killing of a gay man two nights ago. The killing had similarities to a killing four weeks back of another gay man. Each of the detectives had come up blank except for Detective Inspector Daley who was delivering his report.

DCS Cox had taken the opportunity to tack the scheduled eight a.m. meeting onto this one. She had a meet and greet at seven and if DI Daley’s report panned out an arrest team to arrange.

Eddie shifted his weight. He had spent the evening with a man who claimed to be Gavin, the victim’s, best friend.

But he didn’t know Gavin’s surname.

Or where Gavin lived.

The lead had been eliminated from the enquiry.

Eddie’s five foot ten inches was in a black M&S suit - chest 40 inches, waist 36 inches, inside leg 34 inches. Eddie knew what he was, Marks and Spencer had the measurements. A big head on to which a flat face was bolted. The face was plains set around a snub nose and green eyes. White shirt, blue hatched tie also M&S. The big square head was topped with black hair untidily growing out of being cut short.

Detective Sergeant Justin Battle tapped the iPad in front of him and asked: “Is that relevant? That he went to a gay club?”

Justin was late twenties, well groomed, gym fit. His slim, five foot seven inch body allowed itself to be clad in an open neck blue shirt and black trousers. To Eddie the shirt and trousers appeared to be tailored.

Justin leant into his question. His blond hair flopped over his blue eyes.

Justin was not keen to stay a DS, thought Eddie.

Detective Inspector Sam Daley comfortably rounded into his 30s seemed surprised at Justin’s interuption. He looked at the notes he had been reading from. The notes were written in a small, black, hardback notebook.

As DI Daley’s large brown eyes picked through the words Eddie’s vision slipped to Detective Constable Kate Fowler.

Kate Fowler was in her early twenties and was bunched in her clothes. Five foot three or four and wide for her size, Kate’s ginger hair was tied back from a pale, freckled face which was squinting at a smartphone.

She had come highly recommended from Acton and was the newest member of the Central London Murder Investigation Team of the Metropolitan Police.

In the few weeks since her arriving she had barely said a word.

She would work out or she wouldn’t, thought Eddie.

Like he and Carol . . . but he stopped that thought and focused on what was in front of him.

The here and now.

Contribute to that.

“I would say so,” said DI Daley. It came out gentle.

DI Daley’s voice answering Justin’s question still held a West Country burr.

Most things Sam said could be heard as gentle.

“We are investigating the murder of two gay men,” pointed out Detective Chief Superintendent Deborah Cox.

The DCS was in her forties. Her body still carried the athletic confidence which had made her a London District 400 metre runner into her thirties. Her hair set to cornrows topped a black, triangular face. She wore a dark skirt and purple top.

DCS Cox provided leadership to Central Murder.

Her impassive face fixed DS Battle.

“Is your query answered?” the DCS asked DS Battle.

DS Battle made a motion on the iPad screen in front of him. “Yes,” he said.

The lines around DCS Cox’s eyes creased.

“Yes, ma’am,” added the Detective Sergeant.

The DCS turned her face to DI Daley.

DI Daley continued with his report.

*

Danny ran the check as he had been trained. The army would do that to you. Sniper school would. You left but you carried it with you.

He checked his environment: there was no-one about to compromise the mission.

He had three egress routes mapped out. He went over them each separately. The primary route would be through the cleaning cupboard where he would escort Vinny to St. Thomas Hospital just south of the river.

Vinny was the alibi that had been arranged.

Danny had paid two women and a man to go out drinking with Vinny. There were two cut-outs between Danny and the people he had paid.

Vinny did not have to go out.

He did not have to drink everything that was put in front of him.

Danny checked himself: fine.

The thing with Vinny had required arranging. Danny had set it up to give people the opportunity to act in ways that he required.

That was done and the consequence stashed drunk in a cleaning cupboard on the third floor. An alibi.

Danny checked his Nemesis Vanquish: loaded and ready to fire. The gun-scope was aligned. Not proper sniper kit but it would do a job.

On a chain around his neck hung Colin’s ring.

He would run the check again in 15 minutes.

He focused on Downing Street across Whitehall, waited for the target to enter the kill zone.

*

DI Sam Daley had laid out the evidence against Trevor Isles for the killing of Gavin Stone.

The narrative was solid, thought Eddie.

Sam’s delivery had been concise with Sam himself pointing out the areas of the story that needed cleaning up.

Sam’s telling had always tended toward the scientific but since DCS Cox had taken over Central Murder nine months ago he had tightened up his tales.

They all had.

Sam had put each piece of his story in place.

Sam’s genial face and west country accent seemed out of place with the scientific presentation.

It was something that for Eddie jarred, as though a west country accent and genial face meant you had to inhabit a bucolic world.

“You’re sure?” DCS Cox asked Sam.

“Yes, ma’am,” said Sam recommending that they acted on the tale he had told.

You should be sure if you were recommending a course of action that would deprive a person of their liberty, thought Eddie. And DCS Cox wanted each member of her team to be sure. In her nine months in charge she had made certain each of them understood that.

“Very well then,” said DCS Cox. “When is the best time to bring him in?”

Sam nodded his round head. He had the go.

“He’s working a late shift at the warehouse in Vauxhall this evening,” said Sam. “Should be back at his Peckham flat by midnight. So four.”

Four a.m.

DCS Cox tapped her ipad and said: “I’ll arrange an arrest team. Do you expect trouble?”

Sam’s head moved left to right: No. He said: “But best if we have people on hand for that.”

DCS Cox typed a command. She said: “Okay. It’s done. We will assemble the team at 2 a.m. at Walworth Road nick. You will be the lead officer.”

Sam nodded a small smile and said: “Very well, ma’am.”

“Bring him to Brixton Station for initial questioning.”

Sam added a note to his notebook.

DCS Cox’s gaze turned to DC Fowler.

“Kate,” barked DCS Cox.

Kate startled straighter.

Across the table the handsome face of DS Justin Battle suppressed a grin.

DCS Cox’s face remained impassive. She said: “Kate, you’ll back up Sam on this. You keep with him until you hear from me.”

Kate inclined her head: “Yes, ma’am.” Her voice was soft.

Kate’s words in his ears, Eddie looked at Sam. Would Sam feel he was having to babysit Kate through this?

Sam’s genial face appeared unperturbed.

“Take the team at two. Execute the arrest at four.” Sam read the words he had transcribed onto his notebook. He lifted his head to DCS Cox. “Take most of the day to put everything in place. ”

Would it take all day to set up, wondered Eddie. But Sam was in charge and his west country voice and genial face would be methodical. He would stay with the task until it was done.

Sam inscribed another note to his notebook. “Take a few hours kip in the bunks downstairs.”

There were bunk beds on sub-level two for officers who had to stay over. They weren’t popular but they were used.

“Let the missus know I won’t be back today,” finished Sam.

Eddie remembered being able to have that conversation. He no longer could and he felt that absence rise in his chest and threaten to occupy the rest of him.

“That’s best,” said DCS Cox to Sam as her attention shifted to Eddie.

Eddie focused on what was in front of him.

The work.

Cases.

Things you could effect.

They were what mattered.

*

See yourself.

Another thing the Army had taught Danny.

To see himself and his surroundings without emotion. To understand that you were one thing in a scene.

He was six feet two inches tall and black. His body long in the torso was clad in a PCDB badged boiler suit. His legs, a little stubby for his size, were set in a V. He lay on the roof of the old Ministry of Health. His hair was cropped to a Number 3 razor. His face flowed around a wide nose pressed between brown eyes.

See yourself.

The morning sun chased away the dregs of the night and cast the shadows of the air conditioning vents over him.

His breathing was steady.

Know yourself.

He focused along the line of the gun as a spider scuttled across the concrete roofing.

A pair of pigeons settled onto the Whitehall facing wall of the Ministry Of Health.

The pigeons were not in his eyeline and would not interfere with the mission but better if they were not around when he took the shot. They would react by taking wing and there as a small chance that might attract attention when that was what he least needed.

He took a tic-tac from the pocket of his boiler suit, flicked the tiny mint pigeon-ward.

The pigeons rose in a flutter of wings.

Colin had talked about flying, about being a bird. He could be a daft sod.

Danny touched Colin’s ring on the chain around his neck.

Dapples of memories.

He re-sighted along the barrel of the gun.

Waited for the target.

The thing he was here to do.

*

“Crouch Hill,” said DCS Cox.

Next thing on the list, thought Eddie. Crouch Hill had been assigned to him.

Justin tapped his iPad. Kate stared at her phone.

Sam turned to a new page in his notebook.

Eddie carried it in his head. A young woman under a train at Crouch Hill. The train had been running from Gospel Oak to Barking.

Eddie’s first thought had been: why inconvenience the rail travellers.

Eddie said: “No further reports of anyone else present.”

A tap from Justin on his iPad. He asked: “What about the pair who saw her?”

Eddie turned his flat face to Justin.

Justin was young, willing, ambitious. All things he no longer was.

Eddie said: “As I reported on Tuesday they have been looked at and came out clean.”

A couple of council estate tenants out with their dogs early morning.

They had been the only ones to come forward when the police had appealed for witnesses.

Both young. The squatly built man had been grunts that Eddie had to interpret as yes or no. The rail thin woman has cracked on mostly about the dogs. Each of the dogs had a bit of terrier in them. The man and woman had both been in hoodies and sweat pants, clumpy trainers offered their feet protection as the woman poured words over them.

Eddie said: “They were best part of half a mile away and saw someone climbing over the fence onto the tracks.”

“And they didn’t report it, trespass on railway property?”

Justin was a new type of copper. University educated but still dumb as a bag of spanners, thought Eddie.

He amended that to inexperienced. He didn’t want to be hard.

Eddie said: “Because people crossed there all the time. It’s a short-cut.”

“And you’ve looked at them from every side?” Justin asked.

Which was what you got if you came forward and were from a council estate.

Although debate was encouraged on the team Eddie looked at the DCS. Eddie didn’t need a junior detective telling him his job.

Eddie said: “They’ve been investigated.”

DCS Cox looked at Justin: don’t cross that line.

There was nothing further from Justin.

Perhaps he was learning, thought Eddie.

“So suicide,” said DCS Cox.

“We have not completed the investigation,” said Eddie.

DCS Cox asked: “How long?”

“Two more days,” answered Eddie.

The young woman’s parents were based in Camden, her mother had been a JP. The mother had insisted this was a case for Central Murder. She was pushing hard to find out what had happened to her daughter.

Better that than grief, thought Eddie. Easier. Wasn’t he the living proof.

The young woman’s Justice of the Peace mum had stated that her daughter would not have committed suicide.

Not unless she was on drugs and the autopsy had found no trace of drugs in her system.

But clean? Never.

Then, thought Eddie, the mum would be implicated, would own a piece of it.

And she wouldn’t want that. No-one would want that.

As the mum was finding out.

“You know were getting pressure on this,” said DCS Cox.

“Yes, ma’am,” said Eddie.

DCS Cox’s mobile phone pinged a reminder.

The clock set into the wall showed 06:55.

“That it?” DCS Cox asked Eddie.

Eddie nodded: “Yes.”

DCS Cox got to her feet. Her athletic build topped out at five foot eight inches.

An attractive face, thought Eddie.

A mouth slow with words.

A brain quick with ideas.

For policing.

For advancement.

“Eddie, Justin,” said DSC Cox. “We’ve got an early meet greet.”

Sam grinned. Rather them than me.

“We’ll hold the fort,” said Sam.

DCS Cox looked at him.

“We’ll answer the phones, ma’am” he said.

That was an acceptable description of DI Daley and DC Fowler’s actions in the absence of the DCS.

“Room 711,” said DCS Cox and led the way.

On stepping out of the room Eddie turned to Sam and mimicked zipping his lips.

Then stepped smartly after DCS Cox.

*

The day-time world seeped into spaces vacated by the drunks and the homeless. Early risers picked their way along Whithall. Buses released their individuals. Taxis hurried for short haul, high tip fares.

Day came to the world.

Danny knew it like he knew the shape of the breeze passing over him, like he knew the drawing of his breath, the beat of his heart, the shape of his queer body.

He knew it all but did not focus on any of it.

As he had been trained he looked for his target.

*

Brian Dexter said: “DCS Cox. Super.” And smiled.

Brian’s narrow, shaved head was full of teeth.

Eddie was reminded as always of a cartoon shark smiling before consuming.

Brian was five foot eleven, tanned, slim in a dark suit. He was one of the Met’s PR guys. He handled media and extraneous matters for Central Murder.

There were a dozen people in Conference Room 711. There was coffee and croissants under a wall clock.

Eddie could remember when it had been tea and toast and no pony show for the public.

Brian had cut through the group like a shark on their entry.

This morning he was wearing a pale red tie.

Which meant that Brian judged the group to be more formal and Eddie knew that Brian was a good judge on such matters.

It was his job. Such as it was.

“These are representatives of the Kensington and Chelsea Police Engagement Group,” said Brian. “All keen to see the tip-top work we are doing.”

A group of men and women of Eddie’s age and up. To Eddie they looked solidly upper and middle class. And Eddie knew that if they owned their homes in Kensington and Chelsea each would be a millionaire. Police engagement Chelsea style.

“How long?” asked DCS Cox.

“Thirty minutes, no more,” said Brian. “You need a short, opening remark. You get the piece I sent you?”

“Right here,” said DCS Cox and tapped the side of her head.

Brian’s smile increased a touch. “Good, we’re set,” he said and turned to the assembled group.

He raised his hand for quiet.

Which he got.

Into the quiet Brian said: “Ladies and gentlemen, can I introduce Detective Chief Superintendent Deborah Cox, Detective Chief Inspector Eddie Smith and Detective Sergeant Justin Battle. They are detectives on our Central Murder Team which DCS Cox heads. DCS Cox will give some brief opening remarks to this informal gathering of the Kensington and Chelsea Police Engagement Group. The detectives will then mingle and answer any questions you may have.”

*

The gates of Downing Street opened to admit a black Jaguar.

There was no shot to take.

Not yet.

*

Eddie noted that the Kensington and Chelsea Police Engagement Group applauded DCS Cox before she spoke.

The applause was enthusiastically led by a thin woman in a grey pants suit and white blouse. Her grey hair was cut short.

The applause was genuine. The Kensington and Chelsea Police Engagement Group were all in favour of the idea of DCS Cox.

They knew little or nothing about her, thought Eddie, but they could see that she was black and that she was a woman, hence the applause. It was in its way admirable.

The DCS kept her face impassive and said her sentences:

“Hello.”

“With the help of the entire community we can continue to keep Kensington and Chelsea safe.”

Eddie heard a slightly drawn out ‘entire’ but he could not be sure.

Brian Dexter led DCS Cox into the crowd like a prize.

Look what I have got you.

*

At 7:10 Whitehall was puddled with buses, cars and workers.

Underneath Danny, in the adjunct of the Ministry of Health, the PCDB staff would be packing up. It was almost time to go.

Danny would need to monitor Crew 4 who cleaned floors 1 – 2 in the larger, modern Ministry of Health building. There had been complaints of bins unemptied, surfaces not being wiped down.

The head of Crew 4 was ex-RAF Regiment.

He needed to understand that if you paid for something you wanted it done.

The breeze shifted over his Danny’s shoulder, tickling his back.

Focus

*

Brian Dexter was talking up Justin Battle to a man and a woman dressed in corduroy.

“A bright, young detective. We have great hopes,” said Brian and smiled.

Alongside him Justin beamed.

The corduroy couple beamed right back, at Brian then at Justin noted Eddie a few steps to their right.

The wall was behind Eddie, the clock was above. Eddie turned to the rest of the room.

Most of the crowd was glued around DCS Cox.

The questions presented to the DCS meandered. The DCS fielded them with monosyllables.

Which to Eddie seemed to go down well.

From Eddie’s right came: “You worked on the Eve Sullivan case.”

Eddie shifted his focus.

The man who had spoken was in his fifties, bulbous, overflowing the confines of his grey trousers and navy jacket.

Eve Sullivan, thought Eddie, that had been three years ago. Carol had still been alive.

“I did,” said Eddie.

Eddie was aware he had his back to the wall. He took a step away.

“I knew her,” said the fifty-something man.

The voice had a washed out quality.

The man stuck out a meaty hand: “Douglas Jordan,” he said.

For a moment Eddie looked at the hand. The physicality of the man did not fit the voice.

Eddie said: “Mr. Jordan, I don’t remember you.”

“I wasn’t a part of the Eve Sullivan thing. Nasty business. Tragic. She was a student at Lilian Baylis. I taught maths there. Locum. A couple of terms.”

Eddie did not hear tragedy in Douglas’ wiped clean voice. He said: “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. You got him.”

Eddie nodded. They had.

It hadn’t been difficult.

The killer had left fingerprints and an Oyster card.

The Oyster card had been registered online and the user profile and top-up details held by TfL.

The killer had not been the brightest and Eddie had felt obscurely sorry for Eve because of that.

Douglas was asking: “The new boss,” indicating DCS Cox with small, blue eyes.

“Good,” answered Eddie.

Douglas tipped his head at the crowd gathered around DCS Cox.

“And that?”

“She’s good,” repeated Eddie.

*

TV and radio crews began to busy themselves, setting up at the Whitehall end of Downing Street. The Prime Minister’s residence was having work done and scaffolding in picture was not what the Prime Minister was looking for.

Overhead the sky had peeled back blue. It was a fine April morning.

Under the clear blue sky one of the night people hobbled toward the TV and radio crews.

An out of place thing, thought Danny. Like Colin had been. Like he was.

The man was in his thirties, bent forward in a brown raincoat tied around him with a red belt. His bearded head twitched left-right, right-left.

Danny pictured the eyes looking out of that ruin of a head. What did they see: ghosts, monsters?

Not much different, thought Danny, than what he saw looking at the man: a ghost, a monster, a thing out of place.

The man reached Downing Street.

His progress was interrupted by a police officer.

The man pointed at Downing Street, jabbing the fingers of his left hand. He was missing an index finger.

The officer was unmoved.

The man rattled out words, the officer shook his head.

The man straightened from his crouch, bent his head back and snapped it forward propelling spittle onto Downing Street.

Perhaps the man did not agree with the Prime Minister’s European approach, thought Eddie.

The spittle fell short of the TV crews.

A female officer approached, touched the man’s arm.

He shook her off.

His head twitching left-right, right-left he stamped away shouting for anyone who would hear.

The male officer shook his head and smiled.

The female officer returned to her position.

Danny went through his check. Finished he sighted along the rifle.

The blue sky was beginning to spot with cloud.

It would not be long now.

*

DCS Cox thought that she could make this lot come in their pants.

She was a woman, black and from a council estate in Wandsworth.

Just being in the same room as them brought them close.

DCS Cox was listening to a grey haired woman in a grey pants suit who had introduced herself as Henrietta Berwick and immediately followed with a series of questions.

“You must have found difficulties.”

“Have you noticed a change in the police force?”

“Is the police force finally coming up to date?”

DCS Cox had kept her face set. The questions were looking for an answer. DCS Cox gave that answer succinctly.

Easy to hate, hard to love. DCS Cox’s mum had used that phrase for people she had found trying.

Henrietta finished her questioning with: “Would you mind, DCS Cox?” and Henrietta waggled her phone.

Henrietta’s mouth smiled. She was delighted with the occasion.

DCS Cox saw icons for the BBC, Wholefoods, Facebook on Henrietta’s phone.

Henrietta wanted a photograph DCS Cox realised.

DCS Cox looked at Brian.

Brian imperceptibly tilted his head forward.

Yes.

“That would be fine,” said DCS Cox. “Only one or two.”

Henrietta made a gleeful sound.

We suffer, thought DCS Cox, so that we could do good.

*

There was activity beyond where the TV and radio were camped on Downing Street.

A small podium had been set up.

The press announcement about the EU negotiation would not be made from the steps on Number 10 due to the scaffolding and as yesterday evening when news of what had been agreed in Brussels had filtered back and caused revelry one of the celebrants had beamed herself on the steps of Number 10.

The revellers had been let onto Downing Street and energised for the photo-op before one of the revellers had misstepped and slipped.

It was the Prime Minister’s residence. The dad of the young woman whose slapped head had sent her to hospital was a hedge fund manager.

Both reasons why the police were still working the forensics. And along with the work being done on number 10 it was why the tv and radio crews were set up at the Whitehall end of Downing Street.

The sun lay on Whitehall, splashing between the scurry of early morning clouds.

Danny had clear sight of the podium.

Be ready. Be sure.

*

DCI Eddie Smith watched as DCS Cox was snapped with seemingly every civilian in the room.

Even Douglas Jordon stepped up.

The expression on DCS Cox’s triangular face did not change whoever was next to her.

You saw it enough it could seem cold but following Clare’s death DCS Cox had collared Eddie in the basement kitchen area. He had been red-eyed with drink and grief. He had stunk of both.

DCS Cox had not commiserated or shown sympathy.

A sentence about his responsibility as a police officer and she had given him a case.

She had shown him a way forward.

*

Danny had eyes on the target but no clear shot.

The Prime Minister was surrounded by assistants, trailed by a protection team.

Danny’s breathing was as steady as the line of his rifle.

*

The clock showed 7:25.

DCS Cox looked at Brian.

Brian was delighted at her performance or, more properly thought DCS Cox, at the civilian response.

Brian announced: “Last question.”

DCS Cox noticed one of the women wanting to speak but Henrietta stepped over her.

“What are your hopes for the future?” asked Henrietta.

The woman Henrietta had stepped over looked at the floor.

DCS Cox thought that she did not dislike them all in the same way. She was making progress.

She took a breath and answered Henrietta.

*

There was the gun and the target.

The target was positioning behind the podium.

*

Eddie had watched DCS Cox straight bat each dollied up question.

Now she was answering the last as she disengaged from a pop-up photo-op.

Henrietta had asked DCS Cox of her hopes for the future.

Eddie’s mouth twitched a smile. There had not been many smiles since Clare had died. You had to hand it to Henrietta.

And what was a copper’s hope for the future? All criminals banged up? No more crime?

No more crime would mean no more coppers.

But people were what they were and crime was part of it.

There would always be someone to catch, Eddie was sure of that.

DCS Cox answered Henrietta’s question: “My team and I hope to serve,” said DCS Cox.

Irritation floated onto and off Justin’s face. So quick it was almost not there. But Eddie’s eyes caught it.

“And to enforce the law,” the DCS completed her answer.

The slightest of pauses and then the room began to applaud.

Henrietta beamed with pleasure.

The enforce had caused the pause, thought Eddie.

It had taken a moment to fit enforce into the DCS Cox world they had constructed.

Now they had done and Eddie watched as Henrietta smilingly stepped forward to offer her congratulations.

*

Danny was uncluttered.

There was just the job

His rifle was steady as Prime Minister George Osborne gripped both side of the podium and his assistants moved out of camera shot.

The breeze had completely died.

Danny automatically made the adjustment.

No thought.

A delicate thing almost not there.

Like when he had touched Colin.

And Colin had touched him.

Prime Minister George Osborne presented in the cross-hairs of Danny’s scope.

Danny pulled the trigger.



End of After (chapter 1) by Writer 3
Chapter II to follow in August 2018