The Stretch (Stephen Leather Thrillers)

The Stretch (Stephen Leather Thrillers) by Stephen Leather Read Free Book Online

Book: The Stretch (Stephen Leather Thrillers) by Stephen Leather Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephen Leather
stockings rasping against each other. ‘This isn’t about Terry, is it? Not really. It’s about you and me.’
    ‘What do you mean?’
    ‘Come on, Frank. I turned you down four years ago when you first tried to stitch Terry up, and ever since you’ve had a hard-on like a baseball bat every time you get near me.’
    Welch’s draw dropped. ‘What? I never . . . that wasn’t what . . . you can’t . . .’ Welch spluttered, unable to form a coherent sentence.
    Sam smiled with satisfaction, knowing that she’d hit a nerve. She dropped her cigarette on to the floor and ground it out with her heel. She walked around and sat on the edge of the table, her breasts just about level with Welch’s oyster-like eyes.
    ‘You think life’ll mean life?’ she asked quietly.
    ‘I reckon,’ he said smugly. He licked his lip again and spittle glistened under the overhead fluorescent lights.
    ‘Long time, life.’
    There was a silence lasting several seconds in which Welch tried hard not to look at Sam’s breasts. She leaned forward a little to give him the merest glimpse of cleavage.
    ‘You got a girlfriend, Frank? Anyone steady?’
    Welch cleared his throat. ‘I get by.’
    Sam leaned forward a bit more. She could see small beads of sweat on his upper lip.
    ‘Couldn’t really say yes, could I, what with Terry being in the picture and all. Even when we’d split up, he was still a jealous sod. Would’ve broken your legs. Mine too.’
    ‘I’m not scared of Terry.’
    ‘I am.’
    ‘No need. Not now.’
    ‘Iron bars do not a prison make?’ She smiled. ‘Maybe.’ She lowered her voice to a husky whisper. ‘Do we have to do this here, Frank?’
    ‘What do you mean?’
    ‘Couldn’t we do it at my place? Tomorrow night. Maybe open a bottle of wine or something.’
    ‘I don’t drink.’ He almost choked on the last word and he had to clear his throat.
    Sam smiled and put her head on one side. ‘You’re missing the point.’
    Welch swallowed and rubbed his mouth with the back of his hand. ‘What time?’
    Sam shrugged. ‘About nine. Might even cook something. You like pasta, yeah?’
    Welch nodded eagerly.
    Sam’s smile vanished and her upper lip curled back into a snarl. ‘You sad fuck! You can always tell when I’m lying, can you? There’s about as much chance of you ever getting inside my pants as there is of you getting rid of your halitosis.’
    Welch rocked back in his chair, stunned by her outburst. Sam shook her head contemptuously.
    Before Welch could say anything, the door opened. It was the police doctor, holding two specimen bottles. Welch stood up and hurried out of the room. ‘Make sure she fills both of them,’ he snarled as he brushed past the doctor.
    Sam smiled sweetly at the doctor and held out her hand for the bottles. ‘Shall I do it here or can someone escort me to the ladies?’ she said. ‘I’ve taken the piss out of Raquel, least I can do is make a donation myself.’
    ∗      ∗      ∗
     
    Trisha came tottering downstairs on high heels and grabbed her backpack from under the telephone table in the hall. She’d tied her long blonde hair back in a ponytail and her school tie was loose around her neck.
    Sam came out of the kitchen holding a plate of toast. ‘Hey, breakfast.’
    ‘Not hungry, Mum. I’ll get something at school.’
    Sam held out the plate and raised an eyebrow.
    ‘Mother, I’m not going to clog up my arteries with cholesterol.’
    ‘It’s Flora. High in polyunsaturates. Whatever they are.’
    ‘Are you sure?’
    ‘On your mother’s life.’
    Trisha took a slice and sniffed it suspiciously. ‘Smells like butter,’ she muttered.
    ‘A miracle of modern science. Are you going to school like that?’
    Trisha frowned. ‘What’s wrong?’
    ‘You look like you’ve just fallen out of bed. And you’re wearing too much make-up.’
    ‘Mum, everyone wears make-up these days. Even some of the boys.’
    Sam couldn’t help smiling. Trisha

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