DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
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Anna parked her car in the driveway and took a moment to savour the crisp country air before walking up the path to her parent's home. After the events of the last few weeks she needed to take some time out and a visit to her parents would make a welcome change. Unconditional love, you just couldn't put a price on it.
The trip down to Melrose in the Scottish borders always lifted her spirits. She didn't come down as often as she should, but her parents never complained and were always delighted to see her.
As Anna pressed the doorbell she could hear exuberant barking from behind the door. She knew she was about to meet her parent's new dog. By all accounts, she had been told it was a little terrier, but at that moment it was sounding more like a bullmastiff.
“Be quiet, Lucky.”
Anna smiled as she heard her father's lilting Irish accent gently chastise the dog. The timbre of his voice could be almost hypnotic.
The door opened and Anna stood on the doorstep every inch the prodigal daughter returned to the family home.
“Anna! Goodness, now this is a surprise. Come in, come in.”
“Fay! It's Anna.” He called down the hall towards the kitchen.
Her father hugged her, his warm hands holding her tight for a few seconds, before releasing her from his powerful embrace.
“It's so good to see you.”
“I've missed you, Dad,” she whispered to him.
Fay Lynch came rushing through the hallway, wiping her hands on a tea towel as she approached.
Anna had to practically catch her mother as she lunged into her arms, delivering a hard kiss to her cheek.
After a few moments hugging, Fay Lynch held her daughter at arms' length as she examined her with a keen eye.
“Let me look at you.”
Anna stood and waited patiently for her mother's report.
“You've lost a little weight and you need a haircut.”
“Fay, give the girl a chance to get in the door.”
Anna and her father laughed at her mother's fussing.
“I'm sure your cooking will soon sort out any weight loss, Mum.”
“You're in for it now, Anna.” Brendan Lynch joked. “Your plate will be piled high and you will have to finish every last crumb on it.” He cautioned.
Fay Lynch flicked at her husband with her tea towel. She was well used to his teasing.
“How have you both been?”
“Just great, Anna. Enjoying retirement and going on all the holidays we missed out on over the years.” Her father replied.
“So passing the hotel on to Liam is working out?”
“Absolutely, Anna. We were both ready for retirement, we have put in a lot of hard work over the years, now it's time to relax and enjoy ourselves.” Her mother added.
“It's about time too.” Anna agreed.
“Speaking of Liam, I'll let him know we will all be up for dinner this evening.”
Anna smiled as her mother went off in search of the telephone, organising the evening ahead.
“And who's this?” she asked as she bent down to greet the new addition to the Lynch family.
“That's Lucky.” The dog's ears pricked up as she heard her name. “Yes, girl, you know we're talking about you.”
Lucky sniffed around Anna and seemed satisfied with what she found. She barked a few times at the tall brunette, and then waited, expecting some kind of reaction. Anna obliged and bent down to pat the dog.
“I see she is going to have you wrapped around her paw just like the rest of us.”
Anna laughed at the dog's antics. “She's a scruffy wee thing, isn't she?”
“We can't keep her clean for more than five minutes! We wash her and the very second she gets out in the garden she is rolling in the dirt. Remind you of anyone?” He added cheekily.
“Very funny, Dad.”
Brendan Lynch put an arm around his daughter as they walked further into the house, Lucky scampering between them.
Dinner that evening was at the family hotel. Brendan and Fay Lynch had bought the place over thirty years ago, when he had retired from playing football. They had worked tirelessly and built the business up, mostly through sheer hard work. It meant they had very little time for holidays and Anna usually only went to Donegal for a short trip with her parent's and brother during the quiet season, which usually meant wintertime.
She was delighted her parents had now turned the running of the hotel over to her brother Liam and his wife Maureen. Although, with three kids and another due in three months time, Maureen already had her hands full with the children alone. Looking at them all now as they sat round the table eating dinner, she wondered how on earth they managed.
“Busy summer, Anna?” Liam Lynch enquired. He was older than Anna by a couple of years, taller too. He had greeted her by lifting her effortlessly from the ground and up into the air. Liam Lynch was a powerfully built man who had not long retired from playing Rugby .
“Yeah, I spent all of the summer undercover. Sorry I wasn't in touch.” Anna added, with a hint of embarrassment.
“Oh, not to worry, Anna. We understand that your job keeps you really busy,” Brendan Lynch interjected.
“Still, a call now and then wouldn't go amiss, just to let us all know you are safe and well.” Her brother chastised.
Even after all these years it looked like Liam still wanted to play big brother, thought Anna. Her father never acted like this, nor did her mother, just Liam. That said, she could call home a little more often.
“It's a full on job most of the time, Liam, but I will try to be in touch more regularly.”
“No, Anna, it's fine. We know it can be difficult for you, don't you be worrying yourself about us.” It was Fay Lynch who interjected this time. She turned to her son, “Really, Liam, it's fine.”
Anna wondered what was up with Liam. Yes he was her big brother and had always looked out for her, but he seemed surly to her and if the amount of wine he was consuming was anything to go by, he was well on drunk. Maureen, his wife, was a little quieter than usual. Maybe the hotel wasn't such a good idea for them, Anna considered. Kyle, her eldest nephew, who was now eight years old and growing like a weed, interrupted her musing.
“Did you catch any bad guys, Auntie Anna?” He asked excitedly.
Anna smiled, “One or two, Kyle.”
“How is the rugby?” She asked her eldest nephew.
“Really good, I'm going to play for Scotland like dad did.”
“That's right, son, in the centre.”
“I'm going to be a footballer, like Granddad,” Declared Matthew.
Liam interrupted, “Laddies from the borders don't play football, they play rugby.”
“Well, I want to play football.” Matthew replied defiantly.
“Good for you, Matthew, I'm sure you will be a fine player.” Brendan Lynch encouraged and Matthew beamed at his Grandfather's words.
Anna smiled, “Do you play football at school, Matthew?”
The six-year-old nodded, “I do, in the playground.”
“Sophie, tell Auntie Anna what you want to be.” Maureen asked her three-year old daughter.
The dark haired little girl played with the food on her plate then looked up. “Well, if Kywel plays ruwby and Maffew is football, I want to driwve powice carrrrs!”
Everyone at the table laughed at the antics of little Sophie while Anna looked on with added fondness, she didn't dare catch her brother's eye, she wasn't so sure he would see the humour in the situation right now.
“You guys are getting to stay up late on a school night.”
“No, Auntie Anna, we are on holidays.” Kyle replied.
Anna looked at her brother for clarification.
“October week, Anna, the kids are off school.”
Anna frowned; she'd had no idea. Then a remembered conversation flew into her head. Heather would be in Glasgow during the October week.
“Anna, is everything okay?” Fay Lynch asked obviously concerned about the silence that had suddenly descended upon her daughter.
“Yes, I'm fine, Mum, I had just forgotten something that's happening this week.”
Dinner was finished and it was time to get the children to bed. Anna had agreed to come and see them in the morning before she made the two-hour drive back to Glasgow . Initially she had planned to stay longer, but now that she knew Heather would be in Glasgow , she intended to try and make the most of the opportunity.
“You want to stay for a drink, Anna?”
She knew her brother wanted to talk and in truth she was curious to hear what he had to say, so she accepted his offer. Staying behind in the hotel bar after her parents took the short walk home while Maureen went upstairs to put the kids to bed.
“What's on your mind, Liam?” Anna asked after taking a sip of her beer.
“I'm worried that I've made a mistake.”
“Taking over the hotel?”
“Yes, it's a lot of work, not that I didn't expect that. I mean we both saw how much mum and dad put into the business while we were growing up. I just didn't expect to be feeling like I have nothing else in my life.”
“Let dad sell it and do something else.” Anna suggested.
“I'm about to have four kids, I need to be able to provide for them, this could be the best way. It would be a big risk to start working somewhere else.”
“But it's making you grumpy.”
“Was hard to miss.”
Liam sighed and grabbed his pint glass, which was dwarfed by his large hand.
“You have been knocking that back too.”
He put his pint glass back down, seeing the truth of his sister's words.
“I'm bored, Anna.”
“You miss playing rugby?” Anna suggested.
“I do, now I'm trying to adapt to something else. My entire life since school has been rugby. Training, playing, or sitting around kicking my heels while being treated for an injury. There was always structure, and I loved the game. Now I'm doing something I don't like.”
“Not much fun in that, Liam.”
The pair sat silent for a few moments.
“What about coaching? You're practically a legend around these parts. You could start out with one of the Borders' clubs. Maybe even do some television work, I mean you played centre, you're still not half bad looking.” Anna joked.
That raised a smile from her brother.
“There was always an understanding that when I retired, I would be taking over the family business and mum and dad would finally get to do a lot of the things they missed out on over the years. I just never expected to hate it.”
“Tomorrow morning, when we come for breakfast, you have to tell mum and dad. It's no good you running the hotel and being miserable, it's better off being sold.”
“I don't want to disappoint them.”
“I doubt that could happen, Liam. You live right next to them with your wife and kids. You have had a successful career in rugby, they could only ever be proud of you.”
Liam smiled at his younger sister. “They're proud of you too.”
“But I don't see them very often and I won't be giving them grandchildren.”
“It doesn't matter to them, Anna. They always speak highly of you and understand the nature of your job.”
“They're pretty special.” She agreed.
“You could visit more though.”
Liam changed the subject. “What has you going back to Glasgow so early?”
Liam laughed, “Some things never change. I live in hope that one of these days we might actually get to meet one of your women .”
“This one is different.”
Liam Lynch suddenly looked at his sister through sobering eyes. They had always just assumed that Anna's love life was turbulent and full of short romances, but he had never heard that particular tone from her when it came to a woman. “Maybe some things do change.”
The single decker bus hurtled along the M90 on its way to Glasgow . The teenagers were full of excitement and it was hard to keep them in their seats, but Heather, Tom, Steven and Gloria were doing a decent job of maintaining calm. Heather was delighted to have a new volunteer who was so keen and dedicated. In the few short weeks since she'd started, Gloria was proving to be a great addition to the staff. Heather thought that, if the teenagers kept up this level of energy for the next three days, they were all going to be exhausted for the return trip.
During a quieter moment Heather found her thoughts drifting once again to Anna. She had hoped all those weeks ago that the dark haired woman would accompany her on this trip, but that was before everything came to light. She wondered how Pete was doing after being shot and couldn't help but imagine the kind of danger they had both put themselves in to do their job. They were very courageous indeed, but…
“Heather can we stop at the next services, I'm going to pee myself?”
The teenagers were becoming restless again. Heather checked her watch; they still had over an hour until they reached the outskirts of Glasgow . She decided a stop would be the most prudent course of action.
“Okay, I'll have a word with the driver. Stay in your seats and try to drink less juice, the next time we stop it will be the last until we get to the youth hostel.” Heather cautioned, before having a word with the bus driver.
Anna was on the M8 approaching Glasgow from the east. She had made good time from the borders, leaving Melrose after a lovely lunch with her parents. Liam had spoken to them both that morning about the hotel and it seemed now that it would be put up for sale. Anna wondered if her parents had been expecting the news. They seemed to take it in their stride and were more than happy to support Liam in any new endeavour he chose to undertake. The pair of them seemed to have the knack of allowing her and Liam to get on with their lives, while being there with the right support when things weren't going too well. She marvelled at their parenting skills. They always seemed to be one step ahead. The unexpected outcome of it all was that Anna was to benefit equally from the sale of the hotel, it would be split three ways. Despite her protests, as her parents pointed out, with Liam no longer wanting to run the hotel, it was only right that any profit from its sale should be shared amongst all the family. Liam had been in complete agreement. If her parents were disappointed that the hotel was going to be sold they never showed it, and they certainly didn't want to take it back over.
As she approached her junction and left the motorway, she ran through the options in her head as to where she might find Heather. A youth hostel seemed the most likely place to find a party of teenagers and so Anna decided she would start with them. She wondered just how many there were in the Glasgow area.
Parking in her usual place in front of her apartment block, Anna removed her overnight bag from the boot of her car. It was almost four o'clock in the afternoon. She unlocked the door to her Merchant City flat then dropped her bag into her bedroom before making her way to the sitting room and turning on her answering machine. One message and that seemed to be a wrong number, she didn't know anyone called Jonathan, and wouldn't be meeting him at seven that evening. She went to her fridge and removed a cold can of Coke, opening it before sitting down and turning her laptop on. A quick Google search revealed several youth hostels in the area and she printed off a list before closing her laptop down.
Heather waited until everyone was inside the conference room before starting the brief meeting regarding the evening ahead. Tom did a quick head count and confirmed they were all present.
“As agreed earlier, we will be going to the cinema.”
There were a few boos before Heather continued, not everyone had agreed with tonight's choice of entertainment, but they would get their turn tomorrow at the ice-skating venue.
Heather cleared her throat waiting for them to quieten down, a smile playing on her lips. “As agreed ,” she emphasised the word before continuing. “We will be going to the cinema. It's too late to change your mind on your film choice as the tickets have already been bought, and I know who chose what, so no cheating.”
There were some sniggers amongst the teenagers, knowing full well that they would chance their arm anyway.
“If someone else agrees to swap with you, that's fine, if not, tough.”
“Now for the curfew…” She paused again, waiting for the groans of disapproval, and she wasn't disappointed.
“You must be back here no later than ten. Now I know it's a little earlier than most of you are used to at home, but this is a big city, with added dangers. You can stay up until midnight, but you must be in the youth hostel.”
“That's shan, Heather, we can look after ourselves.”
Heather held up her hand to forestall any further protests. “I understand your disappointment, but the curfew is necessary and applies to everyone. Anyone who breaks it, won't be allowed on any more trips, so please, stick to this rule.”
There were a few mumbles and general agreement.
“Now, back to the good stuff…”
Heather stopped talking in mid sentence as her eyes were drawn to the door and the kids looked at each other in confusion as to why their leader had suddenly gone quiet. Gradually all their eyes tracked Heather's shocked gaze and Anna Lynch found herself the focus of almost thirty people staring at her.
Suddenly the room was full of voices.
“Look who it is. The snake!”
“Oink, oink, oink.”
“Oh my God, It's Anna. Hiya!”
“You're not welcome here!”
“Go home, pig!”
“Okay, okay! That's enough!” Heather called a stop to the shouting and name-calling. It took a few more minutes, but eventually, they all settled down.
“That's better. Now I understand that emotions are running high, but can we please remain civil?” Heather implored. The blonde attempted to regain her composure.
“I'm sorry, Anna, is there something we can help you with?” Heather was totally flustered by Anna's unexpected appearance.
“No need to apologise, everyone is entitled to their feelings.”
That statement brought on a few more slurs.
“Please, boys, that's enough.” Heather chastised.
“May I have a few minutes of their time?” Anna asked Heather.
Heather looked to the teenagers, the decision was theirs to make.
“What do you all think?”
After a few minutes of heated discussion they eventually agreed to let Anna have her say.
Anna looked at all the familiar faces as she made her way to the front of the room where Heather stood. She glanced at the blonde trying to glean some kind of vibe from her, but Heather was impossible to read at that moment.
Now standing in front of everyone, Anna swallowed nervously before starting. “If you give me a few minutes and hear me out, I'll listen to whatever you want to say at the end.” After a few nods and grunts, Anna continued. “Firstly, I want to apologise to all of you.”
“I should think so!” Jamie shouted.
He was urged to be quiet by those around him, and Anna was able to proceed.
“I understand that some of you are angry. I truly do. I was sent to live amongst you with the sole purpose of finding a drug runner. Unfortunately, that meant doing whatever it took to get that person. I chose the youth club because Heather was the fiancée of one of the fishing boat skippers. I was looking for information and I befriended her in the hope that I would get some.”
Anna glanced over at Heather, before continuing. “As the weeks passed, I got to know you all. In truth, although I had a job to do, and my motives for being around you all in the first place weren't strictly genuine, I actually had a terrific time working at the youth club. You are a great bunch of kids. I rarely ever have regrets about what I do, but on this occasion, I have strong regrets that I had to pretend to be someone else in order to get to know you. I hope that you can all eventually forgive me. I really am sorry for the hurt and pain I caused.”
Anna waited for the onslaught. “You can ask me whatever you want now.”
There were lots of questions fired at her all at once causing Heather to intercede and restore order.
“Alright, one at a time, hands in the air please.” She nodded to Anna, who understood and started pointing and taking questions.
“Mikey?” Anna remembered this boy well. She felt especially bad, as his father, a fisherman, had taken his own life.
“Why did you have to arrest Greg?”
There were murmurs of agreement with the question.
Anna rubbed the back of her neck, she certainly wasn't getting it easy, but what did she expect?
“It was nothing personal with Greg, it was just the way things had to play out. If I could, I would have turned a blind eye to what he was doing, it wasn't part of my investigation, he just inadvertently got caught up in it.”
She looked for another question, “Jamie?” She was dreading this one too, might as well get the tough ones over with.
“Is that even your real name?”
Heather perked up at that question, she too wondered if Anna Thompson was indeed, Anna Thompson.”
Anna nodded, “My real name is Anna Lynch, Detective Sergeant Anna Lynch. I work for Strathclyde CID.”
“So you're not married to Pete then?” Jamie added.
Anna shook her head, “No, that was part of our cover.” She turned towards Heather as she spoke. “I'm single.”
“Is it exciting being undercover?” the red headed girl asked enthusiastically.
Anna smiled for the first time. “It can be, but it can also be very dangerous and a little scary.”
“Did you get shot?” This question was fired at her from Graeme, one of Jamie and Mikey's friends.
“No, that was my partner, Pete, he's doing okay now, he's back at work today for light duties.”
Anna took another question from one of the younger members, Penuel, Penny for short. Anna loved her name.
“Why didn't you say goodbye?
Ouch , Anna thought, that hurt. “One of the hardest things about this assignment was leaving you guys behind. Knowing that when it ended I would be returning to Glasgow and probably not seeing you all again. I wanted to say a proper goodbye, but the way things turned out, I couldn't. I'm sorry.”
“Come back and work at the youth club then,” Karen suggested, which sparked a chorus of objections and agreement in equal measure.
“If I could, I would love to, but with me being based here in Glasgow, which is three hours away from you, it's not very likely, but if I could, I would work with you all again in a heartbeat.”
“Come with us to the cinema.” Jamie suggested, much to the shock of both Anna and Heather.
Anna looked to Heather for her answer. The brunette would love to go, but she knew it wasn't her decision to make. Heather decided to settle it with a vote.
“Those who would be favourable to Anna coming along with us raise your hands.”
After a quick headcount there were twelve hands raised. Anna felt her heart sink. Heather then asked for those who didn't want Anna to come along to raise their hands.
“That's it settled then, twelve for with ten against and six abstentions. Looks like you're coming to the cinema.” Heather said to Anna.
Anna was pleased, but she couldn't help but notice that Heather had been one of the abstentions and wondered what that meant in terms of their future, if indeed they would have one.
Anna enjoyed the evening, well most of it, There was still some hostility thrown her way, but on the whole, most of the kids were fine with her presence. Tom didn't look too happy, but that was no surprise, on some level he sensed Anna was a threat to his chances with Heather, if indeed he had any, Anna currently had no idea.
Back at the youth hostel the kids were winding down after their first day in Glasgow . Some of them were still full of energy and probably would be for a good while yet. Anna hung around waiting and generally hanging out with them all, in truth she was looking for a chance to chat with Heather, but so far, the blonde had been busy and Anna was beginning to wonder if Heather deliberately didn't want to chat with her.
Eventually, when it was getting close to midnight, Anna decided it was time to go.
“I'm going to call it a night, it really was fantastic seeing you all again. Thanks for letting me come along.”
“Will you be coming with us tomorrow?” some of the teenagers asked.
“I can't, I will be working from lunchtime until late into the night for the next few days.”
“Aww, that's a shame, Anna, you could have come ice-skating with us.” Sheila added.
“You could have had a laugh at me falling over every two minutes.” Anna replied laughing.
“We would have helped you skate.”
“I wish I could make it, but I'm working on a case.”
“Come and visit us, Anna.”
The brunette smiled. “I will, thanks.” It seemed that the more time she had been around them that evening, the more she was forgiven.
As Anna made her way to the main doors, she was pleased when Heather followed her.
“You did a brave thing, Anna.”
Anna shook her head, “It was the least they deserved after what happened.”
“Still, most people wouldn't have bothered to make the effort. Thank you.”
“No need for thanks. I don't deserve any. I'm just happy that they have accepted my apology, well most of them anyway.”
“The rest will come round in time.”
They had reached the front door and Anna opened it to leave.
“I heard you say you won't be able to come with us again?”
“Yeah, I'm working on a case, lots of surveillance. The only time I'm free is early mornings. Most drug users don't start functioning until after lunchtime, but it means they are up late too.”
Anna blew out a frustrated breath, “Look, Heather, I know it's difficult to understand how I could do the things that I did, but I feel passionately about my job. Seizing drugs, catching dealers, that gives me a rush and I will do whatever it takes to make the streets safer.”
“Actually…. I do understand.”
Anna was surprised to hear Heather say this.
“I understand more than you could know. You see my brother, Glen, he was a drug user; could still be for all I know. I haven't seen or heard from him in over twelve years. He was doing a degree in Information Technology at Aberdeen University . In his first year he chose to live on campus, then he moved into a flat that he shared with a few other students. I don't know exactly what was going on with him. Glen is five years older than I am, so I was only thirteen when he left for University. Things started coming to light when he would come home for a visit and items were going missing from the house. My parents confronted him and we've never seen him since. Anna, my brother was injecting heroin.”
Heather finished on a sob and started to weep uncontrollably. Anna wasn't sure what to do, she so desperately wanted to pull Heather into her arms as she had done before, but was afraid that her comfort would not be welcome on this occasion. After a few precious moments debating with herself, she decided to pull Heather into a comforting embrace, she gently rubbed the blonde's back which caused Heather to turn into her body, seeking solace in her tall companion.
The blonde hiccuped and continued, “Of course my mother is in complete denial. Anytime someone has asked about Glen over the years she comes out with some grandiose story about how successful he is and how proud she is of her hard working son. She claims he works in the United States for some important corporation. Of course the irony is that, for all she knows, he could well be in the States.”
“I miss him. I miss him so much. I don't care what he has done, I would love to see my brother again.”
Anna could see the desperation and longing on her friend's tear stained face. There was an internal debate raging within her. Should she tell Heather she had met her brother? How would the blonde react to that information? Anna wished she knew. She decided to ask a little more about the situation.
“Is that the reason your mother is so controlling, with you I mean?”
Heather nodded her head slowly, ‘Yeah. It's like, ever since that day, something changed in her. I know she loves me, but the experience with my brother has affected her ability to just let me live my life the way I want to. Her constant meddling and need to try and control are a direct result of not being there to help my brother when he obviously had a major problem in his life. I'm suffering the backlash and though I can understand and rationalise her reasons for acting the way she does, it's become too stifling. At the same time I can't hurt her, she is my mother and I love her.”
“What about your father?”
“He's remained stoic over the years. He is there for me when I need him. When my mother goes too far, he intervenes. He has always been there for both of us, and even when my mother is at her worst, he sticks by her. I'm sure he must hurt deeply himself, but he remains strong for his family. The exact opposite of my mother, he never interferes, but if I need advice he is always there with some words of wisdom.”
“Sounds like a special guy.”
Heather nodded, “That he is. I don't know how mum and I would have got through the last few years without him.”
Anna was left in a quandary, should she tell Heather that she had inadvertently met her brother? She shouldn't, but she had done enough to unsettle this woman's life, maybe it was time for a good deed. She also had a sense of dread, if she told Heather about her brother, would Heather believe that it was entirely accidental? Anna decided there would be no more secrets. Regardless of Heather's reaction, the blonde deserved to know the truth.
The blonde who had remained silent after her emotional outburst turned to look at Anna.
The dark haired woman swallowed nervously, hoping that this conversation wouldn't turn into a disaster.
“Since my return from Havensburgh, I have been investigating further one of the major drug dealers. During the course of that investigation, the name Glen Keith cropped up.”
“What?” She asked, stunned.
Heather's voice was small, almost disbelieving. “So, he is still alive and still involved in drugs.” She said, resignedly.
“Yes, he's alive, but he's not involved in drugs, well at least not the way you think.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your brother hasn't done drugs in over ten years.”
“How do you know this?” The blonde whispered harshly, not wanting to trust what Anna was saying.
“I've spoken to him.”
“You have spoken to my brother!”
The blonde's voice was stronger now, a hint of anger returning.
“Please, Heather, I had no idea he was your brother at the time. Yes, I considered it a remote possibility, but I really didn't know.”
“You say he's clean, but still involved in drugs?”
Anna smiled, “That's right, he has turned his life around. He works at the Glasgow needle exchange. Seems community work runs in the family.”
“My brother is here in Glasgow ?” Heather was shocked, her head spinning.
Heather staggered back with a dazed look on her face, trying to take in this new, unexpected, information.
“I always thought the next time I would hear about my brother would be his death.”
Anna thought carefully about her next words. “I could take you to him?”
Heather looked sharply at Anna, her hands flying to her mouth. “Oh, I don't know, Anna. What if he doesn't want to see me? I…I don't think I can.”
Anna understood Heather's fear, but she had a feeling that the day she met Glen Keith, he was hoping for something. Since she met with him, the question had constantly nagged her as to why he ran the risk of meeting her. Initially she thought he wanted to help, but as she thought back to their meeting in the cinema, it was obvious Glen Keith had been expecting to hear something from Anna.
“When I met your brother, he seemed like a man who was looking for something. When I spoke with him, he was disappointed, like he was anticipating something else. I think he is ready to meet you, but afraid to take that step.”
Heather had fresh tears in her eyes; her hands trembled as she attempted to wipe them away.
“It's all just so overwhelming.”
“If you like, I could speak to him, see if he wants to meet you?”
“Would you?” Heather asked hopefully.
“I am so sorry for all the hurt I have cause you.” Anna whispered raggedly.
The two of them were so close their breath mingled together in the October night air.
“I forgive you, Anna.”
“You do?” The words barely made it out through the emotional tightness of Anna's throat.
Heather nodded, she could no longer remain angry with this woman. Anna had stood up to be counted and faced the kids when they threw abuse at her and she had come back for more. Heather thought she was a brave, determined and beautiful woman. And still all the things she had fallen for originally.
Without further thought, she kissed the brunette, tentatively at first, then more forcefully.
Anna whimpered at the first contact from Heather's lips. When they parted, she was breathing heavily.
“Come back with me to my flat?” She rasped.
Heather shook her head. “I can't.”
“I'm sorry, it was a stupid idea.”
“No, it wasn't.”
They held each other's gaze.
“I would love to come back with you, but I'm in charge of a bunch of horny teenagers.”
Anna smiled, “How could I forget.”
“Speaking of which…”
Anna understood. Heather had a job to do and she had to get back inside.
“Can I see you again before you go back to Havensburgh?”
“I'd like that very much.”
“When do you leave?”
Anna took a moment to think, “What about breakfast on Wednesday morning, early?”
“That would work. The kids will get up about eight, and have breakfast here.”
“I'll pick you up at six-thirty?”
Heather nodded; she would make it happen. “I'm looking forward to it.”
They both smiled; feeling like something new was beginning.
“I'll find out when Glen is next working, I could bring him here?”
Heather shook her head, “No, Anna, I have to concentrate on the kids. I will have to see him another time, if he is agreeable.”
“I understand… well, goodnight.”
Heather kissed her again, hard on the lips, for a few short moments.
The following morning Anna found herself again waiting in her car outside the Glasgow needle exchange. She hadn't asked Glen Keith where he lived and this was her only way of contacting him. After nine o'clock came and went, Anna decided to go into the building to seek him out.
Glen was chatting with a female behind the reception desk.
“Is there somewhere we can talk in private?”
“You again.” Glen Keith stated accusingly.
Anna smiled, “I think this time, I might have some information you want.”
“I doubt it. Look, I told you before, I've moved on.” He whispered forcefully.
“I know, this is a personal matter, please can we talk somewhere quieter.”
Glen looked around; the building was currently empty, apart from his colleague who despite looking elsewhere was soaking up every word.
“Come on through to the back office.”
Glen led Anna to a square room, which also served as a kitchen. He gestured towards the kettle, “Tea, coffee?”
Anna declined his offer and took a seat on the worn sofa, where Glen joined her.
“What can I do for you this time?”
“Last time we met I got the feeling you were hoping to hear something from me.”
Glen looked guardedly at Anna. “Maybe, but I doubt you can help me with that.”
“Is it to do with your family?”
Glen looked surprised. “That was a long time ago, I doubt they would want anything to do with me now.”
“What if they did? Would you want to see them?”
Glen Keith nodded and sighed, “I would love to reconcile with my family, but you have to understand, I'm not exactly your run of the mill ex-junkie. My family,” He shook his head. “I really let them down.”
Anna understood what he meant by that, more than Glen Keith could know at that moment. Here was a guy who had been given every opportunity by his parents and somehow he managed to mess it up. Add to that his mother's denial and it was a difficult scenario to overcome. She was, however, pleased to hear that he did want to get to know his family again and she knew that at least one member of the Keith clan would be happy to see him.
Anna spoke softly to the man sitting next to her. “I don't know about your parents, Glen, but I do know that your sister would definitely like to see you.”
“Heather?” He shook his head in disbelief, not trusting the words he was hearing. “How do you know this?”
“Over the course of the summer I got to know your family, especially Heather. I was working undercover in Havensburgh. To cut a long story short, when I returned to Glasgow your name popped up in my ongoing investigation, and I realised you were Heather's brother. I met with her last night, she spoke about you and I told her I knew where you were and that you had turned your life around. She wants to meet with you, if you are agreeable.”
“Why would you do this for me?”
Anna shrugged, “I would do anything for your sister.”
Glen looked closely at Anna, seeing the truth behind her words.
“So you and Heather are friends?”
“We're more than friends.”
If Glen was surprised to hear this he didn't show it. He ran a hand through his short blond hair, taking in the information he had been given.
“You said you spoke to her last night, is she here, in Glasgow ?”
“Yes, but only until Thursda-“
“Will you take me to her?” Glen asked eagerly, not even letting Anna finish her sentence.
“I'm sorry, Glen, I can't, she's here on a trip with a group of teenagers from the youth club she runs. She has to concentrate on doing her job, but she does want to see you. Why don't you give me an address and telephone number? I'll pass them on to her.”
Glen looked a little deflated, but it didn't last long. “I can't believe my sister is here in Glasgow and she wants to see me.” He pushed away a few errant tears that threatened to fall. “I'm sorry, this is quite emotional for me.”
“No need to apologise, Glen. I understand.”
“Let me write down my details.” He went to the front desk and returned with a notepad and pen. He wrote down the information then ripped the sheet from the pad and handed it to Anna. “You will be sure to give it to her?”
“I will, don't worry.” Anna handed him her card, “Get in touch with me if there is anything you need to ask or, you know, just chat about.”
Glen took the card and put it in the side pocket of his cargo trousers. “Do you really think she will get in touch with me?”
Anna nodded, “I do, don't worry, she'll be in contact. I'll pass on your details to her tomorrow.”
“You will be seeing her tomorrow?”
Anna nodded, “In the morning.”
“Tell her…” He shook his head, “I don't know, what do you say to your little sister after all these years? The last time she saw me I was strung out and being thrown out the house by my parents.”
Anna waited while he gave it a little more thought.
“Just tell her, I've missed her.” He said earnestly.
“I will, Glen.” She rubbed his back reassuringly before getting up to leave.
They shook hands.
“You can call me Anna.”
Pete McGinty looked at the tall lean figure approaching his desk. He wondered when Anna would turn up. He was one of only three people who knew what she had really been up to lately and, despite her heavy workload, she looked cheerful, he would play along.
“Good break, Anna?”
“It was, Pete, thank you.”
“You haven't heard then?”
She frowned, what the hell was he on about. “Heard what?”
“Mark McLaren. He's been charged with passing on police information to Lachlan Brown.”
Anna looked suitably shocked, “The rat bastard.”
Pete nodded, “Davidson's looking for you.”
“That makes a change,” she joked.
“What are you working on?” He enquired.
“Nothing you're allowed in on.”
“Bitch.” Pete declared with mock seriousness.
“That's Detective Sergeant bitch to you, we're not undercover anymore.”
Anna smiled, “Welcome back, Pete, it's really good to see you here again.”
As she walked towards Davidson's office, she had to admit to herself that she had really missed all the verbal sparring with Pete McGinty.
Anna knocked on the open door of Chief Inspector Bruce Davidson's office.
“Come in, Anna.”
She closed the door behind her and took a seat. “McGinty said you wanted to see me?”
“Aye, where the hell have you been?”
Anna looked bemused, “I told you I wouldn't be in until Tuesday.”
“It's nearly ten o'clock.”
“Oh, yeah, well too many late nights, I needed a long lie-in.”
Davidson gave her a stern look and she struggled to keep a straight face.
Davidson sat back in his chair. “I've been grilling McLaren for two days, he won't roll over.”
“Has he admitted to anything?”
“Only that he is the boys father and he does have a friendship with Lachlan Brown.”
“Well we pretty much knew that already. I'm not surprised to hear he won't give any details. It's the same everywhere you ask. People are scared of Brown, he has a long reach.”
“And Mark McLaren wants to keep his son in his life.” Davidson stated the obvious.
“At least with him locked up we can keep Jim Wallace safer.”
“That's something anyway. Brown will remain free until his trial and then, hopefully, he will be going down for a long time. I want to make sure he stays down and can't run his operation from a prison cell.”
“Let's start cleaning up. I want to target everything he is involved in and shut him down for good.”
“I'm on one of his drug houses at the moment. Someone is dealing out of the Garscube tower blocks.”
“Are you in a position to move on it?”
“If you can give me more man power I can move this week.”
“Okay,” Davidson glanced out into the general office. “Take Danesh and Hopeton and I'll arrange for an armed response unit to be on standby.”
“Stuart Laing, a known associate of Lachlan Brown, appears two or three times a week. He is the delivery boy, treasurer and muscle all rolled into one. We will go in while he is there.”
“Okay, Anna, you make the decision when to go in, just make sure you get a result. The priority is to stop the supply getting on to the streets.”
Anna nodded, “If we have everything in place as of tomorrow, I think we will be done by the weekend.”
“Good. That will be one more problem for Broon to be dealing with and I intend to give him nothing but problems until his trial.”
“How's Milne working out?” Davidson queried.
“She's doing fine, shows promise.”
Davidson nodded, “Glad to hear it, we need a few good detectives coming through. With John Hopeton retiring and McLaren gone, and of course McGinty on desk duty until he is fully fit, we don't need any eedjits coming to us, needing coddling.” Davidson looked out at Pete McGinty, “Speaking of Pete, do you think he is the right man for one of the vacant Detective Sergeant posts?”
Anna nodded, “Without a doubt.”
Davidson looked back at Anna, “You know, I should have paired you two up ages ago. Would have saved me a lot of earache from the pair of you bitching about each other.”
Anna laughed, “It was an eye opener. I wasn't sure about him after that big case he was working on fell apart. Now we know it was most probably down to McLaren.”
“Aye, that cost Pete a lot and none of it his fault in the end. He was up for promotion and that case put a stop to it.”
Anna frowned as she thought about that case. “Sir, can I take Danesh, but not Hopeton?”
Bruce Davidson looked sharply at his detective, “I know he's getting on, but he will do the job.”
Anna shook her head, “It's probably nothing, but when you were talking about Pete and that case, I remembered he was working with Hopeton. Then I got to thinking about something Danesh said, about the case they are currently working.”
Bruce Davidson studied Anna closely. “You think McLaren wasn't acting alone?”
“We can't rule out that possibility.”
“But John Hopeton?” He questioned.
“I'm not saying he is, Sir. What I am saying is his police work is sloppy at best. It's probably just down to him counting the days until his retirement.” Anna shrugged, “I'm most likely wrong about there being anything more to it than that.”
Davidson's palms slapped down hard onto his large wooden desk. “That's all we need, another one,” he hissed. Then he shook his head. “Maybe we are just getting paranoid, but still, I'm not going to ignore your instincts. Don't take Hopeton.” Davidson looked out over the large office space, “You pick someone else.”
Anna nodded; her boss was again showing his transparency. If indeed there were another mole in the department, he would expect her to consider him as likely a suspect as anyone else. Allowing Anna to choose the fourth team member would help remove suspicion from him. Or, was he just being extra clever? Anna was getting dizzy just thinking about it.
“Maybe you're right, we are just being paranoid.”
Bruce Davidson had left his seat and stood with his back to Anna looking out the window into the dull, grey, morning sky. Anna waited patiently for his response.
“Still, best to be cautious.”
“I'll take Beveridge instead.”
Anna could see her boss nod, “Smart choice. I'll arrange the armed response team, it will be in place as of tomorrow.”
“Will that be all, Sir?”
Davidson turned to face her. “Aye, for now.”
She left his office knowing that she had once again given him a lot to think about. She didn't know how her boss's head was, but Anna knew her own was spinning with all the possibilities and it wasn't pleasant.
“Milne, Danesh, Beveridge, you're all with me.” Anna gestured for the three of them to follow her.
“Woah, hold on,” John Hopeton protested. “You can't just walk in and take them all.”
“Speak to the boss, you can take up any issues with him,” Anna informed Hopeton. She didn't have time for petty squabbles.
“Just wait a minute.” Hopeton was walking towards Davidson's office, but Anna had no intention of waiting, it would be a waste of time, she knew Davidson would tell Hopeton to get on with it.
Meanwhile, Milne, Danesh and Tommy Beveridge, a Detective Constable who had been with the drug squad for over two years now, were already following Anna. They knew who to take their orders from and it wasn't John Hopeton.
Using one of the empty interview rooms, Anna briefed the two new detectives on the case that she and Milne had been working on at the Garscube tower block.
“We will just watch today, then make our move next time Stuart Laing shows up.”
“What if he shows up today?” Beveridge asked. Anna had worked with the wiry detective before and knew he liked to be prepared for all eventualities.
Milne answered that question, “It's highly unlikely that he will, he was at the flat yesterday, I'm guessing it will be Thursday or Friday before we see him again.”
Anna looked at Milne clearly impressed with the younger woman's dedication to the job. She had shown good initiative by continuing the surveillance on her own time.
“Good work, Milne.” She almost laughed at herself; she was beginning to sound like her boss. “If, in the unlikely event he does appear today, we do nothing.”
There were nods and words of agreement.
“As of tomorrow we are ready to move, there will be an armed response unit on standby, just in case.” Anna made a quick decision about the team, “Milne you take Beveridge with you and Danesh you're with me. Let's get going.”
The following morning Anna picked Heather up from outside the youth hostel. She had arrived a few minutes early and, with traffic so quiet at that time of the morning, was able to park her car and sit in it right outside the youth hostel. Daylight was just breaking as Heather walked out onto the street. She spotted Anna almost immediately and walked to the car. Anna watched as Heather opened the door and sat in the passenger seat.
The pair smiled at each other, both happy to be in the other's company again.
“Are you hungry?” Anna asked.
Heather stifled a yawn before she answered.
“I'm still half asleep to be honest, but I could manage some breakfast.”
“Good.” Anna replied as she started the engine and drove in the direction of her apartment.
The journey was fairly quiet, both woman happy to chat idly, without feeling the need to fill the gaps. Anna enjoyed Heather's calm presence.
“How was the ice-skating?”
Heather smiled, “It went well, as in, no-one ended up in casualty.”
“Good to hear.”
Anna pulled into her usual parking space.
Heather frowned as she looked out at the building in front of her. “Is this where you live?”
“Yes, I thought we could have breakfast here, I was hoping it would be more relaxed.”
Heather smiled, “That's a good idea.”
Anna led the way to her flat, Heather following closely behind her, taking in the surroundings with a curious eye, as Anna fumbled with her front door keys. Heather was nervous and felt a little more at ease knowing she wasn't the only one.
With the front door open Anna gestured for Heather to enter, then followed leading the blonde to her kitchen area where a table was set ready for two, complete with a flower arrangement in the centre.
“This looks wonderful, Anna.”
Anna wiped her palms down the front of her jeans as she waited for the blonde to take a seat at the table.
“You've gone to so much effort.” Heather remarked.
“I ah, I just wanted it to look nice.”
This was new territory for Anna, going to these lengths to impress a woman, but she wanted to make a good impression on Heather this morning, it would be like a first date for the two of them.
“It looks lovely, I'm impressed.”
Anna saw a look in Heather's eyes that suggested her appreciation went beyond the table arrangement.
“It's a continental breakfast, I hope you don't mind.”
“Not at all.”
“I'll just get the coffee, unless you want tea?”
“No, coffee is fine, thanks.”
A few minutes later the pair were seated comfortably across from each other, biting into croissants topped with marmalade and sipping orange juice.
“I spoke with your brother yesterday morning.”
Heather stopped chewing as she turned her full attention to Anna.
“He has given me his address and phone number to pass on to you.” Anna handed Heather the details Glen had written down.
The blonde opened the piece of folded paper and stared at it. Anna noticed Heather's hands tremble as she read the details.
“He wants to see me?” She asked in a whisper.
“Very much so, he wanted to come see you straight away, but I explained you were here with work and couldn't. He told me to tell you, He's missed you.”
“Thank you, Anna.” Heather proclaimed as she got up from her seat and went to her companion. Anna stood and they shared a tight embrace.
“You're most welcome,” she said into the blonde hair that was resting just below her lips, before she planted a kiss on Heather's head. “Come on let's eat.” Anna suggested, fearing she wouldn't be able to control her hormones if they remained the way they were.
The mood turned lighter again and Heather became inquisitive.
“Tell me about your childhood? I remember you saying that your dad is Irish and came over to play football, I assume that's true?”
Anna nodded, a little embarrassed that Heather had to recheck the information she had given before, but that was something Anna would just have to endure and Heather was asking in good faith.
“Yes, my dad is from Donegal. He was playing for a local team when a scout from Glasgow Celtic came to watch the game. They signed him.”
“Your dad played for Celtic?” Heather asked, clearly impressed.
“Well he started his professional career there, before moving on to Airdrie, then finally Berwick. It didn't quite work out as he had hoped. Whilst he was playing for Berwick he met my mum; she's from Duns in the Scottish borders. My dad wasn't making much money from playing football so he decided to take over the running of a pub and continued to play part-time. He asked my mum to marry him and along came my brother, Liam, a couple of years later. I was born about three years after that and then we all moved to Melrose when my parents bought a small hotel. That's where I grew up, in Melrose .”
“What made you decide to join the police?”
“From about the age of fourteen I had made up my mind. I know it sounds young, but by the time I was leaving school, I still hadn't changed my mind. So I became a police cadet and moved to Glasgow to train.”
“So, you have been in Glasgow ever since?”
Anna nodded, “Yes, almost sixteen years now.”
“What about your brother, is he a police officer too?”
Anna laughed, “No, Liam recently retired from playing rugby. He's currently running the family hotel, but it's not working out for him. He's finding it hard to adjust after all those years in sport. I think he might try coaching.”
Heather frowned as she thought about the name. “Liam Lynch? The Scottish rugby player?”
“Yes, he could have played for Ireland , but he was born in Scotland , it was an easy decision for him when he was selected.”
“Such a talented bunch you are.”
Anna laughed, “The men anyway. I was down in Melrose at the weekend visiting my parents; they retired when Liam took over the hotel. Liam has two boys and a girl, with another baby on the way. My oldest nephew wants to play rugby, his younger brother wants to play football and their little sister wants to drive police cars.”
Heather laughed, “That's adorable.”
“I thought so too.”
The pair shared a longing look, which ended with a smile that promised more.
Heather noticed the time; she would have to be leaving soon to get back to the youth hostel.
“I've really enjoyed this morning.”
Anna smiled, “Me too.”
They stared at each other for a moment before Anna spoke again. “I'll drive you back there.”
“Would you? Thanks.”
Heather stood and started to clear the breakfast dishes, but Anna stopped her.
“Leave them, I'll do them later.”
She took Heather by the hand and led her from the kitchen towards the front door. They stopped in the hallway.
“When can I see you again?” Anna couldn't stop her hands snaking around Heather's hips. The blonde was happy to return the favour.
“I don't know, it will be difficult with you in Glasgow and me up in Havensburgh.”
“I have your number so I'll call you. Maybe I could drive up sometime… or maybe we could meet halfway?”
“We'll think of something. I don't know how welcome you will be in Havensburgh, maybe I could come to Glasgow ?” Heather suggested.
“Anything, I just want to see you again, soon.”
Anna kissed Heather; it started tentatively at first before becoming more passionate. Heather returned the kiss with equal fervour, which only raised Anna's libido higher. She groaned when the blonde released her lips.
“We have to stop, not that I want to, but if we don't I'm going to be very late.”
Heather kissed Anna again, then swiftly turned and opened the door, leaving a dazed and breathless detective to follow on behind her.
“That's Stuart Laing.” Anna stated to Raouf Danesh, who was sitting in the passenger seat next to her. She immediately radioed Mary Milne.
“Milne, you seeing him?”
“Yes, Sarge, we're ready.”
Anna then contacted the armed response unit who were on standby just two streets away. When Anna gave the order to go, they would pull up to the Garscube tower blocks, just in case they were needed.
She watched Stuart Laing enter the block of flats.
With that order the four detectives walked swiftly into the block of flats and moved rapidly up the stairs. They stood ready outside the flat door. Anna adjusted her stab proof vest one last time, hating how restricted she felt in it. Tommy Beveridge had the enforcer in his hands, the battering ram that would be used to break open the door. Anna gave him the nod and with one efficient blow to the lock, the door flew open.
Anna, Milne and Danesh were through the broken door and inside before the occupants even realised what was happening. They immediately took a room each to make sure that no one else was there throwing drugs from a window or flushing them down the toilet. Each officer shouted clear and that left Anna with the only two occupants in the flat.
“Police! We have a warrant to search these premises.” Anna stated authoritatively.
Stuart Laing was standing by the window, but made no move or sound. There was a younger man seated in an armchair, on the table in front of him was a large amount of cash and a bag of brown powder, which probably weighed about two kilos.
Anna spoke to the man seated in the armchair. “Are you the owner of these premises?”
“Naw, Glesga council are the owners.” He replied cheekily.
“Do you rent this property from the council?”
Anna handed him the warrant.
“Name and date of birth please?”
“Malky Taylor. I was born on the fourteenth a' March, nineteen eighty-nine.”
While Anna took down the details, the other three detectives continued to search the premises bagging anything that could be used as evidence.
“Mr Laing, nice to see you again.” Anna said cheerfully to the man standing passively watching the proceedings.
“May I have your name, date of birth and current address?”
Stuart Laing calmly provided the details Anna had asked for and she had to admit he was one cool customer.
“Will this take long, detective, I have a dentist's appointment later.” He asked.
“I think you will be keeping your toothache a bit longer. I'm going to be arresting you.”
“So it's a crime to visit a friend in Glasgow these days?”
“No, but it's a crime to be involved in the supply of heroin.” Anna replied easily.
Milne poked her head around the door; “We have everything in the kitchen, Sarge. Scales, bags, cutting materials.”
Anna nodded and informed Malcolm “Malky' Taylor that he was under arrest for dealing in heroin and continued to read him his rights, before placing him in handcuffs.
“That's nothing to do with heroin, those are all household items, and it's merely a coincidence.” Taylor protested.
“And the roll of notes we found stashed behind the kitchen cupboard?” Anna asked.
“My holiday fund.”
“Looks like your next trip is going to be to Barlinnie, you'll not be needing your passport for that.”
She turned her attention to Stuart Laing and informed him she was arresting him as well for the supply of heroin.
“You're making a mistake, detective.” He said menacingly, his cracked front tooth adding to the effect.
Anna didn't let him affect her. “I don't think so. I know we will find your prints all over that bag of heroin.”
“I picked it up for a look, wondering what it was, Malky here will testify to that.” He claimed confidently.
“You can tell that to a court.” Anna answered. The day's main objective was to shut down this supply route and any others that cropped up in its place. With the capture of Jim Wallace that route was already closed down for Lachlan Brown, and Anna knew he must be getting desperate for a new source of supply. She doubted he was actually doing much trading at the moment unless he had already found a new way of getting his drugs into the country. She hoped he was tearing his hair out and the problems were piling up for him.
Back at the station, Anna was updating Bruce Davidson on the events of that day.
“I don't suppose either of them have given up Lachlan Brown?” Bruce Davidson asked after the four detectives had spent the last few hours interviewing both suspects.
“Not a chance, Sir.” Anna replied.
“Aww, well, wishful thinking I suppose.” Davidson was philosophical; he didn't really expect either of them to say anything about Brown.
“There is a chance Stuart Laing could walk away from this.” Anna cautioned.
“I know, but you made the right call going in while he was there, otherwise we were taking him alone and I want as many of these drug dens of Lachlan Brown's shut down as possible.”
“Well we have him in and out of the flat on a regular basis, his fingerprints all over the bag of heroin, hopefully it's enough to convince a jury. We've charged them both and no doubt, tomorrow morning, they will make bail. I think we should keep an eye on Stuart Laing, he might lead us to another one of Brown's dealers.” Anna suggested.
“Good idea, keep me posted.”
“Will that all be all, Sir?”
“Aye, oh wait, one more thing, I'll need to see you and McGinty in my office first thing tomorrow morning.”
“Yes, Sir.” Anna replied, wondering what she and Pete needed to see him together for.
Heather returned home from Glasgow on Thursday afternoon, the bus journey back was a lot quieter than the one going, the teenagers having finally worn themselves out. It had been a great success all round and everyone had enjoyed themselves. It was all Heather could have asked for and more. Then she thought about the two unexpected occurrences over the last few days. In truth it had been hard to get them out of her mind long enough to concentrate on her job.
Firstly, Anna had appeared back in her life. She could hardly keep the smile from her face at that thought. It was exciting and she couldn't wait to see her again. Then there was the prospect of meeting her brother in the near future. She could hardly believe that it was going to happen. She didn't know when or where, and the mere thought of it filled her with the greatest anticipation served with a healthy dose of fear. Her stomach was filled with the strangest sensations of fluttering, accompanied with a sense of panic whenever she thought about the future meeting. Would she recognise her brother? What was he like after all he had been through? Would they get along? She couldn't stop the barrage of questions continually invading her mind, and one produced a feeling so intense she felt overwhelmed. What would her parents say?
“What do you think this is about?” Pete asked Anna as they walked towards Chief Inspector Bruce Davidson's office.
Anna shrugged, “I've no idea, he never said.”
“Must be to do with Jim Wallace, or something that happened when we were undercover.” Pete guessed.
Anna knocked on the open door of Davidson's office.
“Come in and close the door behind you.”
Anna and Pete looked questioningly at each other before entering and Pete closed the door.
“Take a seat.”
Bruce Davidson looked the two officers over with a critical eye to the point where they both began to feel uncomfortable.
“Well, it's official, the chief constable has approved your promotions. Congratulations Inspector Lynch and Sergeant McGinty.”
Anna smiled and thanked her boss, while shaking his hand. Pete McGinty was almost speechless.
“Well done, Pete.” Bruce Davidson shook his hand firmly.
“Thanks, Anna, you too.”
Davidson stood from his seat, “May as well let the rest of them know now.”
The three officers left the office and stood in the main department.
“Listen up, everyone!” Bruce Davidson called for everyone's attention and he got it.
“I'd like to introduce you to Detective Inspector Anna Lynch and Detective Sergeant Peter McGinty.”
There was applause and congratulations all round.
“First drink is on me in The Pitt tonight.” Davidson declared.
There were more enthusiastic cheers for this than there was for the promotions Davidson had announced.
“Nothing like a free drink to get a response around here,” Anna quipped.
“The pub will be mobbed,” Pete added.
At six o'clock that evening, Pete's prophecy came true. The Pitt, a bar across the road from the police station, was full of the drug squad detectives; all ordering a free drink from their boss.
“I've obviously not been giving out enough overtime hours judging by how desperate everyone is for a free drink, “ Davidson grumped as he paid for yet another round of drinks.
Anna laughed at her Boss's complaint. “It's the credit crunch, Sir.”
“Credit crunch, I'm not even sure that last officer works in the department!”
“Hi, Dad, I hear the drinks are on you?”
Anna tried not to roll her eyes. She should have guessed Angela Davidson would turn up at some point.
“Since when were you in the drug squad?”
“Not yet, Dad, but soon.” Angela answered.
“What are you having?”
“A gin and tonic.”
Bruce Davidson turned back to the barman and ordered a drink for his daughter.
“Congratulations, Pete.” Angela kissed him gently on the cheek.
Angela Davidson turned her attention to Anna. “Congratulations, Inspector Lynch.”
Anna nodded, “Thank you, Angela.”
Angela Davidson smiled politely at Anna, and then turned to collect her drink from her father. Anna sighed with relief and continued chatting to Mary Milne.
A short time later Bruce Davidson decided to head home, he was never one for staying out late drinking.
“Would you like a lift, Angela?” He asked his daughter.
“No thanks, Dad, I'm going to stay and celebrate a little longer with the detectives.”
“See that you get home safely.” He cautioned.
“I will, Dad, night.”
“I wonder who she is sniffing around?” Pete remarked to Anna.
“Maybe it's you?” She joked.
Pete took a sip of his pint, “Naw, I've been there, she will be looking for a new conquest, besides, I'm not interested.”
“Got your eye on someone else?”
Pete nodded towards Mary Milne. “Just my type, a redhead.”
“Ack, Pete, she's a really nice lassie.”
“What's that supposed to mean?” Pete frowned.
“Nothing, just, maybe you should ask her on a proper date instead of looking for a one night stand.”
“And how do you know what I'm looking for?” He had a grin in his eye.
Anna shrugged. “I've never known you to have a serious girlfriend.”
Pete shook his head. “You're going soft. She's a big girl, Anna, she can take care of herself.”
Anna decided Pete had a point, why should it matter to her if he chats up Mary Milne? The young woman was old enough to make her own decisions.
“You're right.” She raised her glass to him in toast.
“Oh, here comes trouble.”
Anna turned to see Angela Davidson join them and she prayed it was Pete she was interested in.
“Which one of you lovely detectives is going to buy me a drink?” Angie was in full sex kitten mode; all that was missing was the pout.
“What are you having, Angela?” Pete asked.
“Gin and tonic please.” She smiled.
Pete left the two women standing alone and went to the bar.
“Well, well, Inspector, you're looking as gorgeous as ever.” she husked, running her finger up Anna's forearm. “I was thinking we could leave this place and have our own private celebration? I would like to congratulate you in my own special way.” Angela Davidson brushed her hand across Anna's breast as she leaned in to kiss her on the cheek. “What do you say?”
Anna smiled politely, but only because this was her boss's daughter. “I've told you before, Angela, your dad would kill me.”
“He doesn't have to know.” She batted her eyes for effect.
“I'm not going to take that risk.” Anna said.
“You don't know what you're missing.” Angela wasn't quite ready to give up.
“I'll just have to get over that.”
Anna remained resolute, much to Angela Davidson's annoyance.
Pete returned with Angela's gin and tonic.
“Thanks, Pete.” She turned to Anna, “Think about what I said, and my offer remains open.”
The two detectives watched Angela Davidson walk back to the table she had been sitting at.
“Yeah, but I'm not interested.” Anna told Pete.
“Why not? She's good in bed.” Pete leaned closer to Anna, “ Really good in bed.”
Anna shook her head, “Like you, I'm interested in someone else.”
Pete took a step back. “Are you after Milne too?”
“Don't be daft.” Anna quipped.
“Then who? Do I know them?”
“Actually you do.” Anna smiled.
“You still pining for the little blonde up in Havensburgh? I thought she wanted nothing to do with you?” Pete questioned.
“She changed her mind.”
“You're seeing her?” Pete was surprised.
Anna nodded, “I am.”
Pete smiled. “I'm happy for you.”
“So…have you? You know?” Pete raised his eyebrows up and down.
Anna frowned, “Do you want a kick in the balls, McGinty?”
Pete laughed and spread his palms. “Keep your hair on, Anna, I'm only joking.”
“You better be.” She cautioned.
“I am, Heather is a really lovely, genuine person.” He said, in a more serious tone.
Anna nodded, “That she is.”
A short time later Anna left the bar to head home. She had drunk five vodka and cokes and was in no fit state to drive. She decided to walk to the nearest take-away for a pizza and then grab a cab home.
With her Pepperoni feast sitting on her lap, Anna instructed the cab driver to take her to the Merchant City . She resisted the urge to open her pizza during the five-minute journey, the cab drivers usually protested loudly if you ate in their cabs. She paid him and thanked him with a five-pound tip, then walked the short distance to her city centre apartment, looking forward to eating her pizza. As she took her flat keys from her jacket pocket she didn't see the figure lurking in the shadows, walking quickly towards her. She hit the ground before her key reached the panel of the stair door.
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