DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
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Heather looked around the church, but there was still no sign of Anna and Pete. She was looking forward to seeing Anna again. She had heard nothing from the brunette since Anna drove her home after that unexpected meeting on the beach on Friday evening. She looked at her mother who had barely glanced her way since Wednesday evening. Not that she blamed her; she knew it would take her mother time to get over the news.
Heather winced as she recalled some of the conversation.
“You have what?”
“Greg and I have split up, Mum.”
“Why? What could have possibly happened? Has Greg found someone else?”
“No, Mum, I have left Greg.”
“Why on earth would you go and do a thing like that? For heaven's sake, girl, have you lost the sense you were born with?”
“We have grown apart. I'm sorry, Mum, but I have come to realise that Greg and I want different things out of life.”
“What will you do?”
“I don't know.” Heather shrugged.
“Oh, for goodness sake. Give it a few days until Greg gets back and I'm sure you will have come to your senses.”
“No, Mum, this is definite. We won't be getting back together. Not now and not in the future, it's definitely over.”
Heather recalled how her mother had pleaded with her father to talk some sense into her, but her dad had refused, stating it was Heather's decision and they had to respect it.
Mrs. Keith had taken to her bed for the rest of the evening and had not spoken to her daughter since. In some ways Heather was grateful for that. It would be difficult enough talking with Greg, who was due home that evening. They had to discuss their immediate situation regarding who was going to move out and what would happen with the cottage. Heather wasn't looking forward to any of it, but no matter how unpleasant, it had to be sorted out.
“Right you are, cheers, mate.” Pete ended the call and looked at Anna. “Greg Moir radioed ahead to say he will be back around midnight.”
Anna nodded, “This is it, then.” She glanced at her watch; it was almost seven p.m. “We have a bit of time before he is due back, so let's pack up our stuff, so we are ready to make a quick exit from here.”
Pete nodded his agreement, “We don't want to be hanging around after this goes down.” He didn't even mention that it might not happen this evening, unable to voice the prospect that they may be returning to Glasgow with absolutely nothing to show for the last ten weeks.
The pair went about their preparations quietly for the next hour. Anna had put the back-up uniformed police on alert. They would be ready to assist them if required, making arrests and setting up roadblocks.
“What other boats are out, Pete?”
From Havensburgh, just Jim Wallace.”
Anna nodded, Wally always went out around the same time as Greg Moir, and so she wasn't surprised to hear that. “No word of him returning?”
Pete shook his head, “Nothing yet, but then he often returns a good few hours after Greg does.”
Pete took a deep breath, hoping that tonight would finally see them make the breakthrough, “Yup.”
“Let's do it then.”
The pair left the farm separately, each heading to the locations they had been scouting meticulously. All they could do now was watch and wait.
Anna parked high above the spot she had favoured since she first looked at it all those weeks ago. She knew this place would be her choice if she wanted to do something away from prying eyes. Though the village of Inverbervie was here, perched above sea level as it was, nothing could be seen below the Bervie Bridge unless you took the small road down to the secluded shoreline. The Fishermen of Inverbervie moored their vessels in the harbour one mile up the coast, which was much more accessible. This was an eerie place, especially at night.
Anna made her way down the grassy slope to a spot which allowed her to see the road that led down under the bridge's viaducts. She would also be able to look out to sea from here. With the tide in and midnight less than two hours away, she was praying this was ‘it'.
Anna waited patiently, the damp grass seeping into her jeans, as she lay prone, resting on her elbows, her night vision binoculars in her hands. As she peered through them into the inky blackness of the night, she willed something to appear. Five minutes later her patience was rewarded, but not in the water. She heard a vehicle approach the old road and watched as a Luton van carefully made it's way down towards the disused harbour. Anna's heart began to speed up, she instinctively knew this was it; all she needed now was the boat.
Raising the binoculars to her eyes, she looked out over the sea and there it was, a vessel making it's way towards the harbour. She breathed deeply and waited. As it got closer she was in no doubt that it was Greg Moir's boat. She made the call to backup, making sure they were ready to swoop as soon as she gave the word.
Binoculars in one hand, she used the other to dial Pete on her mobile.
“Anna, you got anything?”
There was no mistaking the note of anxiousness in his voice, tinged with anticipation.
“Greg's Moir's boat is right now making its way towards me, right under the Bervie Bridge 's and there is a Luton van already down there waiting.” Anna's voice remained calm and precise.
“Brilliant!” Pete shrieked, “I'm on my way.”
Anna knew this was going to be the hard part. “Hang on, Pete, I don't want you to come here.”
“Just listen to me, I want you to go back to Havensburgh and keep an eye on the harbour. Remember to stay out of sight and let me know if anything happens.”
“Are you fucking joking me? No way, Anna, you're not pulling this shit on me.”
“Pete, you have to calm down and trust me, I need you to be at the harbour. I'm not pulling anything on you. I'll be joining you there, hopefully pretty soon. Keep your eyes peeled and yourself out of sight, and call me if and when something happens.”
“I know, I know, I promise you I'm on the level, let me know if a boat comes in.”
Anna ended the call; she knew Pete would do as she asked. She watched as Greg Moir's boat docked and the crew secured her with ropes. Greg Moir spoke with the van driver who had come to greet him, Anna could just make out the man's face and was certain he was the one from the bar the night Greg tried to thump Jim Wallace. She waited and watched as the crew began to unload box after box. This was it; she made the call.
With the van loaded, it had taken all of twenty minutes, Anna watched as the crew made their way back on to the boat to begin their final journey to Peterhead. The van driver started his engine and made his way slowly back up the small road. Anna could see the roadblock already in place waiting to intercept him at the top. There was also a police unit waiting to arrest the crew of the ‘Laissez Faire' at Peterhead.
Anna made her way to the Land Rover and waited until the van was intercepted before making an appearance. Flashing her badge at the attending officers, she introduced herself before requesting that the officers open up the van to begin searching the cargo.
Anna got her first good look at the van driver and it was the man they had nicknamed Scarface . Crate after crate was being unloaded from the back of his van…but they were all packed with ice and fish. The officers attending, dressed in their protective riot gear, were looking more despondent by the minute. Finally the sniffer dogs were brought in to make sure nothing was hidden away somewhere.
“Sorry, DS Lynch, nothing, but fish in here.”
Anna nodded solemnly. “Oh, well, looks like a wild goose chase. Nothing more for me here. The Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency will want to deal with this now.” An illegal landing of cod destined for the ‘black fish' market. That's what Greg Moir was up to. Illegal, yes, but not the drugs they were after.
After thanking the back-up for their assistance, Anna made a call to Pete, while on her way to the Land Rover.
“No, and I'm freezing my arse off here.” Pete grumped.
“Just caught Greg Moir unloading an illegal catch of cod. No drugs.”
“I'm on my way, where are you exactly?”
“Just round the back of the pub, it's closed by the way.”
That meant they weren't expecting anyone back, Anna assumed. “Be with you in ten minutes.”
Pete was none too happy when Anna arrived. “You care to explain what I'm doing here while you have been chasing fish?”
“I told you, I have a hunch.”
Pete muttered to himself, as he continued to scan the water using his binoculars. “Who the hell is that?”
Anna looked out through her binoculars, trying to locate the same thing Pete was seeing. They both watched in silence until the boat was close enough to recognise.
“He's not due back yet?”
“I know and he hasn't asked to unload a catch at Peterhead.”
They watched patiently as Jim Wallace brought his boat in and moored it.
“That is unusual and he doesn't seem to have any crew with him.” Anna added.
“So, why did he go out then?”
“Maybe he knew Greg Moir was unloading tonight and used the opportunity.”
“Yeah?” Pete replied sceptically.
“It's what I would do, especially if I was hinting that Greg was up to something. Like Greg says, Wally is always tailing him, maybe it's not to locate the fish, as much as to know exactly what Greg is up to and when.”
Seeing where Anna was going with this Pete added, “He knows when Greg is over fishing and off loading the illegal catch instead of throwing the fish back into the water.”
“And while Greg docks the illegal catch, Wally is sailing right into the harbour and unloading under everyone's nose.” Anna whispers.
“You bloody suspected this all along.” Pete accused.
“No, but it began to make sense when I thought about it.”
“So, why keep me out of the loop?”
“Because someone is tipping him off.”
“And you thought it was me?” He was incredulous.
“Look, I needed to be sure. I felt I could trust you, but in the circumstances, I told no one. I wanted this to play out exactly as it did, I didn't want Wally getting wind of anything if he is the drug smuggler. I hope there are no hard feelings?”
“I suppose in the circumstances, I would I have done the same thing.”
“If you ever find yourself in a position like this, you should do the exact same thing, no matter how much you trust your colleagues.”
They stopped debating as they caught sight of Jim Wallace leaving his boat, a plastic fish box in his arms. He went to his car, opened the boot & put the fish crate inside. Returning to his boat, he removed a second plastic fish crate and again put it in the boot of his car. Getting into his car, he started the engine and slowly drove off.
“Keep an eye on his direction, I'll get the Land Rover,” Anna declared.
She ran to where she had parked, hoping that they didn't lose sight of Jim Wallace in these vital seconds, before she picked up Pete.
On getting into the Land Rover, Pete pointed Anna in the direction Jim Wallace had gone.
“Looks like he is heading onto the main road.”
“Yeah.” Anna kept her lights off as they tailed him, staying what she hoped was a safe distance away, but it was a hopeless endeavour. Jim Wallace turned off the main road after less than two hundred yards.
“Shit! Where has he gone?”
“I think he knows we are following him.” Anna stated as she made the same left turn Jim Wallace had.
“This isn't even a road.” Pete declared.
Anna killed the engine of her vehicle and looked through her night vision binoculars.
“I can see his car stopped just fifty yards ahead. I can't see him though.”
“Maybe he has done a runner?” Pete suggested. “Should we call it in?”
Anna debated that possibility. She had been reluctant to do so, as she was sure someone was tipping off whoever was smuggling the drugs. Deciding she had to make the call anyway she pulled her mobile phone from her pocket.
“Damn, no signal.”
“What do we do now?”
Anna thought for a moment, she went with her instincts. “Let's check the car.”
The two detectives cautiously approached the abandoned Volvo estate. When there was no sign of its driver, Pete popped the unlocked boot. Opening the lid on one of the plastic fishing crates, he was not overly shocked to find it stacked full of bags of powder.
“What do you think?” He asked Anna.
They opened the second fishing crate to find it contained the same as the first.
“Looks to be around fifty kilos here.”
Pete let out a low whistle.
“I think…” Anna never had time to finish sentence.
“Hands in the air, both of you.”
They immediately did as commanded. The voice was unmistakably that of Jim Wallace.
“Turn around, slowly.”
Anna stayed perfectly calm, but inside she was shaking. There in front of her was Jim Wallace with a gun pointed at her and Pete, who looked rightly terrified.
“Hand over your mobile phones.”
Anna and Pete threw their phones towards him; Wally put them in his pocket.
“Well this is a pickle, eh?”
Wally seemed fairly calm, but then he was holding a gun. Pete on the other hand was scared stiff.
“Here is what we're going to do. You,” he pointed the gun at Anna “are going to stand next to me. I don't trust you one bit, but I know Pete won't have the balls to run off and leave you to take a bullet in the head.”
Anna wondered what Jim Wallace had up his sleeve, he had outsmarted them, and she had underestimated him.
“Pete take the fishing crates and put them in the back of the Land Rover.”
Pete immediately did as Jim Wallace said, not wanting to provoke the man's ire as he had a gun pointed at Anna's head.
Jim Wallace looked at Anna and sniggered. “I knew you weren't the farming type, you have too much attitude going on.”
“Is that right?”
“You were fooling no-one.”
“If that's the case, how come you took the risk of going through with this?”
“I had no option, but you weren't supposed to be here.”
“Oh, I know, we were supposed to be heading back to Glasgow by now, leaving the way clear for you to deliver the drugs without any police around to catch you. So tell me, who's tipping you off?”
Jim Wallace sneered at Anna, “Now, I'm not about to tell you that am I?”
They watched as Pete loaded the second crate full of heroin into the back of Anna's Land Rover.
“Did you really think I would believe your hint about Greg Moir being a drug smuggler?” Anna was mocking Jim Wallace, pushing his buttons.
“You're not as gullible as I hoped, I'll give you that, Darlin', but you just watch your mouth, I don't have to put up with you're mocking tone anymore, so I would be careful if I was you.” He pressed the end of the handgun into Anna's back to force home his point.
Anna tried a different tactic, anything to keep him talking. “How long have you known our true identity?”
“Right from the start.”
“It was fun, stringing you along.”
“We must have looked like a right couple of idiots.”
“I wouldn't say that, I think you have the rest of them fooled.”
Jim at that point seemed to realise what Anna was up to, “What the hell is taking him so long?” He pushed Anna forward.
They walked towards the Land Rover, Anna had noticed that Pete had been taking things slowly in the hope that someone might appear, but the game was up. Pete re-appeared from behind the vehicle.
“What is that anyway, a Glock?”
“Lucky guess,” Wallace answered.
“Not really, they are pretty popular these days.” Anna now knew Jim Wallace probably had about seventeen rounds, unless he had extra ammunition, then who knew. It was more than enough in any case.
“Use your handcuffs on him and give me his set, and all the keys.”
He then threw some rope to Anna and instructed her to tie up Pete's legs. Once that was done to his satisfaction, he pushed Pete on to one of the bench seats in the back of the Land Rover.
“You get into the driver's seat.”
Anna did as he instructed, waiting to find out what would happen next. Then it hit her, could Jim Wallace could not drive the Land Rover? He was also assuming that they had called in their position.
Getting into the back of the Land Rover, Wally handed the keys to Anna. “Do as I say and you will both be fine. Anything funny and I will shoot your boy.”
Anna nodded, certain that Jim Wallace would carry out his threat, she had underestimated him and she was about to find out by how much. Anna started up the engine, turned on the lights and waited.
“I want you to drive straight ahead, you will see a dirt road, take it.”
Putting the Land Rover in gear, Anna did exactly as he demanded. Within a couple of minutes she was driving along a dirt road so rough, it was testing even her newly acquired Land Rover driving skills. To make matters worse, the rain was starting to come down. Anna began to utilise the extra gears at her disposal and hoped that she remembered everything the real owner of the vehicle, George Robertson, had taught her about driving it.
As the rain continued to pour from the sky, Anna was sweating from the sheer effort of keeping the Land Rover moving forward. As they approached an incline, she struggled to find the gear that would take them over it. The Land Rover wheels slipped and spun as they tried to find traction in the mud; the engine revving and the gears crunching. Jim Wallace was beginning to run out of patience.
“What the hell are you playing at?”
Anna cut the engine and let the vehicle roll back down the incline, the silence around them eerie and unsettling.
“I'm doing my best.”
“In case you hadn't realised, the only reason you are alive is because you can drive this thing. The only reason he is alive, is because I will shoot him if you mess up. If this thing gets stuck I will have to shoot you both.”
Anna knew it to be the truth, if he could drive the Land Rover, he would have shot them out here in the middle of nowhere. She wondered just how long he would keep them alive? Probably until he could arrange another vehicle with one of his contacts. She had watched him attempt to do this several times using his mobile phone, but it seemed he couldn't get a signal out here either. She knew time was running out for her and Pete. He would be shooting them one way or another, but right now, they were still useful to him, but for how long?
Selecting another gear, Anna made a second attempt, this time successfully. Her relief was short lived, as she knew, that with every turn of the wheels she and Pete were a step closer to being shot and killed.
The situation was fast becoming desperate and Anna needed to think quickly. She intended to seize the next opportunity presented to her and make the most of it. She didn't have long to wait. With the windscreen wipers working on full and the rain lashing down, Anna deliberately took a ridge too quickly and, even as the Land Rover's suspension did its best to cope with the strain, the car swerved and jerked to a halt, the sudden deceleration causing the crates of heroin in the back to fly forward and crash into both Pete and Wally. As Wally cursed and turned to wrestled with them, Anna took her chance and, in less time than it took her to think, jumped into the back of the Land Rover and on top of a completely surprised Jim Wallace.
“You fucking bitch!” he shrieked as she landed a blow to his head.
Knowing he held the gun in his right hand, Anna immediately went for that arm and the two of them struggled and rolled around in the confined space. Pete tried his best to assist but, tied up as he still was, to little avail. He was still attempting to get back up off the metal floor as the pair crashed into him again and again as they fought with each other. With elbows flailing and fists flying in the commotion, Pete was taking a few hits.
Anna tried valiantly to dislodge the gun from Jim Wallace's hand. The man was strong there was no doubt about it. Suddenly, as Anna grappled with his right wrist, there was a deafening roar and the gun went off. Everyone inside the vehicle momentarily froze and time seemed to slow down. The next sounds to fill the silence were Pete's screams and this seemed to galvanise Anna into action again.
Renewing their struggle. Anna and Wally somehow propelled each other towards the back door, it opened and the pair flew out onto the dirt. Jim Wallace landed on his back, with Anna's full body weight coming down on top of him. The air rushed out of his lungs with a loud “Oof!”
Anna seized the opportunity. With both her hands pinning down Jim Wallace's right arm to the ground, and his left fist hitting her around the head and shoulder, she did the only thing she could and head butted him right on the bridge of his nose. The result was instant, as his head flopped back onto the muddy ground and his grip on the gun released.
After making sure Wally wasn't going to be getting up anytime soon, she took the keys for the handcuffs from him and immediately went to check on Pete who was lying back on the floor of the Land Rover, bleeding profusely. She didn't know how bad the wound was, but was horrified at just how much blood was flowing from his thigh.
“Pete. Pete!” She slapped his face to get a response and Pete groaned in pain. She removed the handcuffs from his wrists and the rope that was still around his legs. “Hang in there, Pete. I'm getting us out of here. Okay?”
Thinking quickly, Anna put the handcuffs on Jim Wallace and used the rope to secure his feet, ensuring he wouldn't make a run for it. She then looked around the back of the Land Rover and rummaged for anything she could use to help staunch the bleeding from Pete's thigh. Finding a hand towel, a roll of duct tape and a torch, she returned to Pete. She clicked on the torch to initially make sure he was breathing, and to quickly assess his injury. Then folding the towel into a pad, she secured it to Pete's thigh using the duct tape. She hoped this would help stem the flow of blood and give her enough time to get him to a hospital. He had lost a lot of blood and was in shock, she knew time was her enemy.
“Come on buddy, I need you to talk to me.” She tried to encourage Pete to respond to her, but she was getting very little response from him. Anna had no option but to bodily drag him into a prone position in the back of the vehicle. Pete outweighed her by a good two stones but, with time running out, Anna found the strength and determination to get her colleague into a better position, she was running on adrenaline. Sliding Pete along the floor of the Land Rover she put his injured leg up on one of the crates and hoped that would help lessen the flow of blood from his wound.
She looked down at Jim Wallace and seriously considered leaving him lying in the mud and rain, but as she heard him groan, her conscience got the better of her and she made the decision to take him with her.
“Come on! Get up!” She hauled him to his feet and he stumbled against her. With a firm push he staggered and fell into the back of the vehicle. Anna ignored his groans as she took his legs and pushed him all the way into the Land Rover. She searched his pockets and removed his mobile phone along with her own and Pete's, hoping hat soon, one of the three devices would pick up a signal.
Getting into the driver's seat she fumbled with the keys as she attempted to put them into the ignition. Taking a deep calming breath she encouraged herself to relax a bit, she needed all her wits about her in the adverse weather conditions. The one thing on her side was that the dawn was fast approaching and the rain was beginning to ease off.
“Stay with me, Pete, I'm getting you to hospital.”
Putting the handgun on the passenger seat, Anna set off hoping to quickly find a way off this back route and onto a main road.
After twenty frustrating minutes, Anna was lost. She had turned right at what looked like a track leading in the right direction, but as she followed it, she felt like she was driving deeper into woods. She had no idea if she should keep going or turn back the way she had come. She wanted to scream with sheer frustration. Deciding to forge ahead, she selected a new gear and continued; maybe she would reach a farmhouse or something. Anything…
Anna braked so quickly; the Land Rover skidded in the fresh mud. She peered through the windshield wondering if her eyes were deceiving her. There in the middle of what she assumed was a road stooped an old man, she pulled down the window to speak with him.
“ Ur ye lost lassie?”
Anna looked blankly at him; he seemed to have just appeared out of thin air.
“Whit ur ' yae dain' here, hen?”
Even though Anna had spent all her life in this country, she had a problem with the sheer robust quality of this man's brogue.
“Ah, I took a wrong turn.”
“I see… Ur ' they deid then?” He finished this sentence nodding his head into the back of the Land Rover and tapping the side with his walking stick.
Anna felt this was one of those extremely surreal moments in life. Here she was, lost, with two semi conscious bodies in the back of her vehicle, carrying on a perfectly civil conversation with this old Scotsman. He had obviously seen a lot of life.
“No, they're not dead, at least not the last time I checked.”
“Will you be lookin' fur the hospital then?” He continued to peer into the back of the Land Rover as he awaited her reply.
This question spurred Anna into action.” Yes, yes I am. I'm a policewoman; my partner has been shot in the leg. The other guy there shot him.”
“I better get in then and show you, it'll be quicker than tellin' ye how tae get oot o' here.”
He proceeded to get into the passenger seat and buckle up; Anna had removed the handgun again making sure the safety was on.
“Well then, wit ur ' ye waitin' on lassie. Take the left an I'll tell ye when to turn aff.”
Anna nodded and did as she was told.
“The one wae the cuffs, that the shooter then?” The old man asked as he looked behind him.
“That would be him.”
“Guns,” he tisked. “A'body can be a hard man wi'one o' them.” There was silence in the vehicle.
“I used them in the war. Ne'er had the inclination tae want tae touch one since. Awfy things.” He proclaimed as he calmly sat there.
Anna had to agree
“You responsible fur the state o' yer man back there?”
Anna knew he was referring to Wally, who had blood streaming out of his nose, but she couldn't admit to police brutality.
There was a hearty laugh from her unexpected passenger. “Now that, A' kin respect. Ye ken. If I lean back jis' so, a' could get a couple o' guid licks in wi' ma walking stick.”
Anna feigned to not notice as she heard a couple of hard smacks. Five minutes later he had them on the main road to Montrose. Anna looked at Wally's mobile phone and she had a signal. She immediately dialled 999.
This is Detective Sergeant Anna Lynch from Strathclyde Police. I'm travelling on the Charleton road approaching Montrose. I'm in a Land Rover with my colleague, who has a gunshot wound to the leg. I also have a suspect, who is handcuffed and semiconscious and a civilian passenger. I need medical assistance immediately.
“Stay on the line, Ma'am.”
Anna continued to talk with the emergency operator, and within minutes she could hear sirens fast approaching. When she saw the ambulance, she pulled over. As the medics treated Pete and, much to Anna's disgust, a second ambulance crew that was now on scene was treating Jim Wallace, she spoke with the police officers that had also arrived.
Even as she filled them in on the events of the evening, all she could think about was Pete.
An hour later she and the old man were travelling in a police car back towards the farm in Havensburgh. Anna's Land Rover was now evidence and she had no transport. Sitting in the back of the car, covered in mud and bruises, she looked at the man beside her who may well have saved Pete's life?
“What's your name?” she asked.
“Thank you, Finlay.”
‘Nae thanks needed, Lass.”
“Call me, Anna.”
“Wud be ma' pleasure, Anna.”
“Where would you like to be dropped off, Finlay?” Anna asked as they sped along the road out of Montrose.
‘Ah will jist say whin we get thur.'”
Five minutes later Finlay called to the driver. ‘This is me, lad's.”
Anna watched as the white haired man slowly made his way out of the police car and stood at the side of the road literally in the middle of nowhere.
“Are you sure this is where you want out, Finlay?” Anna questioned.
He just waved his walking stick and started making his way back into the woods across the road. Anna asked the driver to wait until he was out of sight.
She glanced at her watch, it was almost seven a.m.
Arriving back at the farmhouse, Anna immediately called again to check in on Pete. He had been taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and was currently in surgery. Stripping off the clothing that was caked in mud and blood, she headed straight for the shower and scrubbed herself clean. She didn't intend to hang around any longer than necessary
Finding Pete's spare truck keys, she went to the harbour and located his truck. Returning to the farm, she picked up both her and Pete's belongings and put them in the front of the pick up. She didn't call Davidson, he already knew everything that had happened and she had no intention of speaking with him just yet.
Starting the engine, she grimaced as she used the clutch, pain shooting through her left knee; this was going to be one uncomfortable drive. Just one last stop in Havensburgh and then she would make her way to the hospital in Dundee .
Heather had just showered and was making a pot of coffee when her doorbell went. Assuming it was Greg, she didn't bother to throw on any clothes and answered the door in her robe. She had begun to wonder when he would be back from sea. Answering the door, she was surprised to find Anna Thompson standing on her front step, her hair damp and with obvious cuts and some bruising to her face. Heather was immediately concerned.
“Oh my God, Anna, what happened?” She took her friend's hand and led her into the sitting room, urging Anna to take a seat on the sofa.
“Did Pete do this?” Heather asked, a horrified look on her face.
“What? Oh, goodness no.” Anna had been momentarily stunned by the question, but in the circumstances as Heather understood them to be, the question was obvious.
“What on earth happened to you? You look terrible.”
“I got into a little trouble, it's nothing, honestly.”
“Nothing! Anna, I'm calling the police, you have obviously been assaulted.” Heather stood up to use the phone and Anna also stood to intercept her.
“Please, Heather, there's no need. I have to talk to you and try and explain what's been going on. God, please don't hate me.”
“Why would I hate you?” Heather asked, looking decidedly confused. She couldn't image what Anna could say that would cause her to feel such a strong emotion.
Feeling the enormity of the situation wash over her, Anna stalled as she attempted to compose herself.
Heather continued to ask questions, unable to understand what had happened. “Where is Pete? Please tell me what happened?”
“Pete is in hospital.”
The blonde was visibly shocked. “What happened to him? Are you both in trouble?” Heather was becoming more frantic by the second.
Anna put a hand on the blonde's shoulder in an attempt to reassure Heather and stop the volley of questions coming her way.
“Heather, honestly, we're not in trouble. Anna looked deeply into Heather's eyes, conveying her sincerity, but the look rapidly turned to one of desire.
Feeling the warmth from Heather's body through the terry cloth of her white robe, without conscious thought she found her fingers caressing the blonde's shoulder where her hand lay.
The look of confusion that had been on Heather's face was immediately replaced by one of naked desire. Anna didn't miss it. Pulling the blonde to her she buried her face into the freshly washed hair that smelled of peaches. Anna inhaled deeply.
“There is so much I have to tell you.” She whispered while pulling the blonde closer to her. They hugged tightly, both expressing the desire they had been unable to act on. It was inevitable that their lips would meet as they nuzzled each other's neck, moving ever closer to the other's lips.
Anna heard Heather whimper at the first touch of her lips, she instinctively deepened the contact, wanting to show the blonde through her kiss what she had been feeling for the past few weeks they had known each other.
Coming to her senses, Heather broke the kiss. “Oh God, Anna, we can't”
“Yes we can, believe me.”
Heather was confused, “What about Pete?”
“I'm not with Pete.” Anna kissed Heather again before she could protest further.
Heather was instantly lost in a haze of sexual desire as the woman she was attracted to devoured her mouth with the sweetest intensity. The kiss was electrifying and ignited a passion in the blonde she didn't know existed. Heather thrust her hand into Anna's hair and pulled her closer, deepening the kiss; she entered Anna's mouth with her tongue.
Groaning deeply, Anna turned Heather and pushed her against the wall, the blonde's robe opened, revealing the barest hint of a rosy nipple. Anna immediately covered it with her mouth, all thoughts of the conversation she needed to have with Heather evaporating in the heat of her desire. Heather pulled Anna's head closer to her breast, encouraging Anna to suck harder, neither woman immediately aware of the banging at Heather's front door.
It was the blonde who finally heard it.
“Anna,” she panted as she gently removed the dark haired woman's head from her breast.
Anna looked at Heather through lust filled eyes.
“There is someone at the door.”
Anna immediately sobered. The banging on the door bringing her to her senses, reminding her of the reason she had come to see Heather. As Heather pulled her robe together as she walked to the front door, Anna attempted to stop her. “Heather, wait. I need to explain.”
Heather was about to respond when the door banged again causing the blonde instinctively opened it.
“Heather, goodness!” Mrs. Keith exclaimed, “I've been knocking for five minutes, have you heard the news?”
Mrs. Keith was frantic as she walked straight past Heather, her umbrella in hand prepared for more rain.
Heather followed her mother into the sitting room. “What news?”
Mrs. Keith glanced suspiciously at Anna before answering. “Greg has been arrested.”
“What!” Heather exclaimed.
“Last night, at Peterhead. He had offloaded an illegal catch before making his way there. When he arrived the police were waiting for him. It's all over the village.”
“Goodness me, I had no idea he was doing that. Oh my, God what was he thinking?” Heather exclaimed, bringing her hand up to cover her mouth.
“Well of course you didn't, otherwise you would have stopped him.” Mrs. Keith said imperiously.
Heather looked at her mother; judging by the tone and support being offered, it seemed that, all of a sudden, Greg was no longer son-in-law material.
“Not only that, there is a policeman in Ninewells Hospital who was shot last night in some drug bust and Jim Wallace's boat is crawling with police officers.”
Heather was having a hard time taking all this information in, but something was nagging at her, she turned for the first time since her mother arrived to look at Anna Thompson and what she saw there told her all she needed to know. Mrs. Keith tracked her daughter's movement and she too looked at Anna. She hadn't initially noticed the appearance of the woman, but now she could see the cuts and bruising over her face.
Heather frowned, “Are you and Pete involved in this, Anna?”
Anna knew it was too late for explanations now; she had to tell the truth. “Yes.”
Mrs. Keith asked the next question. “How are you involved? Is it illegal?”
Anna looking at both women replied softly, “No, no it's not. I'm a police officer, with the drug squad.”
There was a stunned silence in the room, both Keith women looking utterly astonished.
“I was sent here undercover to catch a drug smuggler, Greg was an unfortunate casualty of that.”
“You caught, Greg?” Heather asked? “You are a police officer?”
Anna nodded, “I did and I am. I was just doing my job.”
“Everything you did here, the farm, the friendships – us?” Heather gestured between the two of them before continuing. “Was just to get information on people.” Heather stated. It wasn't a question.
“Our friendship was never part of the job, it was real. This is real.” Anna pleaded.
“You cheated us!” Mrs. Keith exclaimed. “Treated us all like fools.”
Anna hung her head, what could she say, she wanted to explain to Heather, but with her mother there it wasn't possible. She looked at the blonde, but what she saw there didn't offer her any encouragement or hope. The look of disappointment and betrayal said it all.
“Get out.” Mrs. Keith demanded.
Anna looked to Heather, but she said nothing. Her head was turned away from the brunette.
“Get out of my daughter's house!” Mrs. Keith chased the brunette from the cottage under the threat of the point of her umbrella.” And don't come back here!”
Anna hastily left and opened the door to Pete's pick up, immediately starting the engine. There was no need for her to be here any longer. She put the truck in gear and headed to Dundee , hoping that Pete was going to be all right.
Devoid of the usual sense of euphoria that accompanied a successful operation, Anna sat on a hard plastic chair in the waiting room of Ninewells Hospital . She was sore and tired, and more importantly, worried about Pete. He must surely be out of theatre by now, she thought. No longer able to sit still she went in search of another update. Instead she bumped into her boss, Chief Inspector Bruce Davidson.
“How is he?”
“Still in surgery the last time I checked, I was just about to try and get an update.”
“Have a seat, you look like hell. I'll find out how he is and I'll bring back some coffee.”
Anna did as her boss instructed, too tired to protest. She closed her eyes and tried not to think of the past twelve hours that were full of images that would haunt her waking hours. Pete lying motionless on the ground, blood everywhere. Jim Wallace pointing a gun at her. The feel of it prodding into her back. The look on Heather's face when she realised the truth.
“Anna, here drink some of this.”
Bruce Davisdon handed her a polystyrene cup filled with warm black coffee.
“Pete is out of surgery and in recovery. His leg was a bit of a mess, which was what took so long and he got a transfusion for the blood loss. Surgeon says in time he should make a full recovery.”
“That's good news.” Anna blew out a breath, making her relief obvious for her boss to see.
“Anna, what the hell happened? You called in the back up for Greg Moir's boat and you and Pete end up in the back of beyond with Jim Wallace and a Land Rover full of heroin.”
“I suspected whoever was involved was being tipped off, it turns out that was true. Jim Wallace knew our identity from the start, he just played us along.”
“Jesus Christ, so we definitely have a bloody leak.”
“Definitely, and on this occasion, because I suspected that to be the case and had no idea who the leak was, or is for that matter, I went solo. I put all our attention onto Greg Moir, in the hope that, whoever was involved, seized the opportunity. It worked, and Jim Wallace is our guy. Now we need to find out who has been giving him information.”
“How did it end up with Pete being shot?”
“Because I couldn't tell anyone my plan, we had no safety net. I called in Greg Moir and while I was dealing with that, I had Pete watch out for anyone returning to the Havensburgh harbour. I joined Pete and a while later, Jim Wallace returned, alone on his boat. He unloaded two plastic fishing crates into the boot of his car and drove off. We followed him, not calling it in for fear he would be tipped off. He must have spotted us and decided to pull of the main road. We did too and it looked like he had scarpered, abandoning his car. We checked the boot and found the drugs, then as I was about to suggest we call for back-up he was behind us with a gun. He took our phones, and had Pete load the Land Rover with the heroin while he held me at gunpoint. I then had to handcuff Pete and tie his legs. Wallace held the gun on Pete while I was instructed to drive the land Rover off road. The only thing keeping us alive at that point was the fact that Jim Wallace couldn't drive the Land Rover. With his mobile phone not picking up a signal in the woods, I knew it was only a matter of time. When he was able to make arrangements with his contact, he would kill us. I knew I had to act before that happened so I drove the Land Rover erratically causing the pair of them to be catapulted out of their seats in the back. As I wrestled with Wallace in the back of the Land Rover, the gun went off and Pete was shot.”
Anna paused, “I'm sorry, Sir, it's the only thing I could do. I knew it could end up with one or both of us being shot, but I knew I had to do something.”
“Don't blame yourself for Pete getting shot. You were left with no option and that is what probably saved both your lives.”
“Pete has someone else to thank for saving his life.”
Davidson looked at Anna wondering what she was talking about. “Who.”
“It was bizarre, there I was off road, and following dirt tracks trying to find a way back onto a main route. I had no idea where I was and, just when I was beginning to despair, this old guy was standing in the middle of the dirt track, like he had appeared out of nowhere.”
Anna shook her head still unable to believe what had happened.
“He got in the Land Rover without batting an eyelid at the scene before him and got us to the main road. If it hadn't been for him, well I don't know.”
Davidson gave Lynch the once over with a sceptical eye, some old guy appearing out of nowhere in the back of beyond? He decided she had been spending too much time in the countryside; it was way past time to get her back to the city.
“Anyway, like I said, you did the right thing. Nice work.”
Anna barely registered his praise. “Where is Jim Wallace now?”
“He was treated earlier for a broken nose and a concussion. He won't be able to travel till he gets the all clear, so it's looking like tomorrow before he will be transferred to Glasgow . He's in this hospital, fancy having a chat with him?”
Jim Wallace was being held in a private room with two policemen on guard outside. When Anna and Inspector Davidson entered, he actually looked relieved to see them.
“You need to get me out of here or I'm a dead man.” He pleaded.
“And why should we help you?” Inspector Davidson asked. “We are going to be charging you with smuggling over fifty kilos of heroin into the country and along with kidnap and attempted murder. We don't need to do anything for you.”
“He will have me killed before I can testify.” His voice was rising with each word, the man was clearly panicking.
“Who?” asked Anna, hoping for a name.
They both watched as Jim Wallace sweated over his answer.
“If I give you a name, I want protection.”
Anna knew that Davidson wanted the name so badly he could taste it; she waited to hear what her boss would offer.
“You give us who we are after and we will drop the attempted murder charge to one of intent to wound with a deadly weapon. Also, in return for your full co-operation, we will ask the judge for leniency when it comes to the heroin smuggling. That's the best I can do.”
Jim Wallace thought about it, “He will kill me anyway, I'm dead whether I testify against him or not.”
“We will make sure you have protective custody. Just give us the name to start with, so we can arrest him.”
“Lackey Broon.” Jim Wallace then proceeded to tell them what part he had played in the operation and how that led directly to Lackey Broon.
Davidson nodded and Anna showed no sign of emotion. They both walked out of the room.
“Yes! We've finally got the bastard.” Davidson proclaimed once they were back in the hospital corridor. He immediately made a call on his mobile arranging the arrest of Lachlan Brown. They had finally got their man. He had been one of the main arteries for bringing the drugs into Glasgow and distributing them, he would be a big scalp indeed.
“You know, Anna, he has been eluding us for years. This time we will get him.”
Though Anna sincerely hoped that would be the case, at that moment she just couldn't share her boss's enthusiasm. Her mind was too preoccupied with Pete and Heather; Davidson didn't seem to notice her lack of exuberance, as he continued to tell her what a brilliant job she had done.
“You wanting a lift back with me, Anna?”
“No thanks, Sir, I'll make my own way back, I've got Pete's belongings in the truck he was using, I'm going to drive it back to Glasgow .”
“Oh aye, well I'll see you tomorrow then, you get a good night's rest. And, Anna – Damn good job.”
“Thank you, Sir.
Anna wanted to see Pete before she headed home to Glasgow . He was out of theatre and on a ward, but in no state for visitors. She sent a silent apology his way, and was deeply thankful that he had pulled through.
Heather Keith sat opposite her ex fiancé wondering just what had happened to him. He had grown up in Havensburgh surrounded by people he loved, doing a job he loved. Now he was facing financial ruin, possibly a jail term.
“I don't know what to tell you, Heather. I felt that I had no other option open to me. I tried to do everything above board. Only fish when I was supposed to, in the designated waters. Then when the legislation came in about the size of the nets, I changed them as I was instructed, that allowed the smaller fish to stay in the water, but it cost thousands of pounds for the new nets.”
Greg rubbed his tired eyes.
“Then the fishing quota was introduced. Anything we caught over our quota had to be thrown back into the sea. I just couldn't, the thought of throwing dead fish into the sea, what was the point. That's when I decided to start selling the extra catch on the black market. It meant I could afford to keep the crew on and we would make a decent living.”
He stopped and looked at Heather.
“How could I give up? I wanted to provide a home for you and any children we might have. Without the boat, I wouldn't be able to do that. Fishing is all I know, I have salt water running through my veins.”
Heather felt his raw pain, and could understand the reasons that had driven him to break the fishing laws. The fact remained he now had to deal with the fallout, but she wouldn't leave him to cope with that burden on his own.
“What will you do now?”
“The only thing I know, keep fishing. I'll be brought up before a magistrate about the illegal catch; the fisheries commission will be taking a close look at my logbooks and my bank account. I'll probably get a fine not a jail sentence.”
“Can you afford to pay one?”
“Not really, I may have been over fishing, but I wasn't greedy, we were catching just enough to get a decent wage and keep the boat running.”
Heather nodded, there were tough times ahead for the crew of the Laissez Faire . Meanwhile, she and Greg had to sort out their immediate future, for the time being he would move into the spare bedroom until they could come to a more permanent arrangement. They may no longer have been lovers, but Heather would always think of Greg as a friend. She hoped, in time, he would feel the same way.
That night as she lay awake, unable to find sleep, her mind raced through all that had happened. Finding out Anna Thompson's true identity had come as a shock. What was especially shocking was the timing of it. She had been about to make love to a woman, a woman she had become very attracted to. Then in the space of an hour her world had been turned upside down. It would have been enough to be dealing with her new thoughts and feelings, and the fact she had acted upon them. Now she was dealing with her anger at Anna because of her betrayal. Heather just wasn't sure what was real or imagined. She had built up a friendship that had been based on lies. Anna Thompson wasn't who she appeared to be, so what was real?
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