The shot needed concentration. Not that it was particularly difficult, but £50 was on it. If he potted the black then he would win, but if he missed it would give his opponent another chance.
Desmond lined up his cue and was about to release when he heard the clip-clop of high heels walking on the concrete floor of the snooker hall.
He should have paused, got up and then resettled, but he went through with the shot.
“Bollocks,” he shouted, as the black missed the pocket and landed in a position his opponent could hardly miss on his next shot.
By this time the woman was standing next to him.
“Do you see what you’ve done? What the fuck are you doing here anyway?”
“Are you Desmond?”
Desmond took stock of the woman. He guessed she was in her late thirties or early forties. She was attractive with shoulder length blonde hair and dressed well. She wore a business suit with a dark blue silk blouse which matched the frames of her spectacles.
“Do I know you?” Desmond asked as the woman looked familiar.
“OK. What if I am Desmond?”
“Well if you are Desmond, I may have some business for you.”
“OK lady, let’s go outside.”
Desmond told his snooker opponent to wait, walked in front of the woman and led her outside to the car park.
“So what’s all this about?”
“I’ve heard that you can supply certain things.”
“If you’re after drugs then you’ve got the wrong person. I don’t know who’s been talking, but they’re talking shit.”
“No, it’s not drugs I’m after.”
“Well, what are you after?”
“I’ve been told that you can supply me with a hand gun with a silencer and some bullets.”
“Not me lady. I’m a law abiding citizen and don’t get involved in stuff like that.”
“I must have the wrong person then, which is a shame because I would have been happy to pay a top price for what I want.” The woman turned and started to walk away.
“Wait a second. Just suppose I was able to get you a shooter, what would you want it for?”
“That’s my business, not yours.”
“OK, so what is it you want.”
“I’ve told you, a hand gun with a silencer and some bullets.”
“There are lots of different types.”
“Well something light and portable and one I could fire easily. It also needs to be untraceable to me.”
“Well, if I could get my hands on something like that it wouldn’t be cheap.”
“I’ve told you, I’m willing to pay a top price.”
“OK. Meet me here in a week at three o’clock and have two thousand with you in used notes.”
The woman didn’t answer. She turned around and walked off heading back to her car which was parked a couple of streets away. She got in her BMW and drove forty miles home.
The first thing she did was to pour herself a gin and tonic, swiftly followed by getting out of her clothes and putting on something more comfortable. She took off her spectacles, which were fitted with plain glass lenses, and then she removed the wig revealing her short black hair.
A week later, dressed the same as her previous visit, she stood outside the snooker hall with a large bag slung across her shoulder. Desmond appeared from within.
“You got the money?”
The woman tapped her bag.
“Have you got what I want?” she asked.
“Yeah, but not with me. Follow me.”
Desmond walked in front of the woman, not speaking. He led her through some of the back streets near the snooker hall and eventually stopped in front of a small terraced house.
“Wait here,” he said.
Desmond entered the house, drew the curtains at the front window, switched on the light and then called the woman inside.
“OK, give me the money.”
The woman took the large bag off her shoulder and searched inside. She withdrew a large brown envelope and put it on the table. Desmond took out the notes and counted two thousand pounds.
“OK, there’s the money, where’s the gun?”
Desmond took his mobile phone out of his pocket and made a call.
“The gun’ll be here soon.”
Two minutes later there was a knock at the door. Desmond barely opened the door, but reached out for a package. He shut the door and put the package on the table.
“Open it,” he said.
The woman opened the package and took out its contents. There was a gun, a silencer and bullets.
“I don’t know how to use this, so you’ll have to show me.”
Desmond raised his eyes to the ceiling and thought that the woman was stupid, but gave a demonstration on how to fit the silencer, how to load the bullets and how to work the gun’s safety catch. He then disassembled the hardware and told the woman to have a go.
Desmond’s lesson was good as the woman very dextrously fitted the components together and loaded the bullets.
“Hey, don’t point that at me, you’ve got the safety catch off.”
The woman smiled and took off her spectacles and her wig.
“My god, it’s you! I should have recognised you.”
Three bullets left the gun and found home in Desmond’s chest. He put his hands on the table for stability but soon fell to the ground with a thud. The woman then checked for a pulse but confirmed to herself that Desmond was dead. The woman found some gloves in the bag and put these on. She quickly put the hardware, money, her wig and spectacles in her bag and checked that there was no evidence left. She left the house and made for her car which was parked a mile away.
Detective Sergeant Bob Walker rushed into the office of Detective Chief Inspector Marie Gifford.
“You’ll never guess what’s happened.” He waited to see if Marie had yet heard the news.
“No, tell me.”
“Desmond Robinson has been found with three bullets in him.”
“We don’t know yet, but it looks like a gang killing. The Forensics are in his house seeing what they can find.”
“I can’t say I’m desperately sorry,” Marie said, using her fingers to brush her short black hair.
“No, Desmond was a very bad man and deserves everything he got. We’ve been trying to put him away for years but he’s been untouchable.”
“Well at least someone managed to touch him now.”