Read Gun Online

Authors: Ray Banks

Tags: #Mystery & Crime

Gun (5 page)

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"Air pistol."



"That's it. Now why would I buy something like that?" Brandon rolled his shoulders back. "Like I need a
' gun, I got enough going for

Richie nodded. "Aye, I know. But I also know you bought a gun from a
lad this morning."


"He told us you did."

"Oh aye?
What's his name then?"

Richie blinked at Brandon, felt his face burn up. Course he didn't know the lad's name. Should've found that out, shouldn't he? Fuck's sake. Took one beating and his head was all over the fucking place. Richie
the embarrassment out of his system, waiting to lose the blush as he stared at the tarmac. "Don't matter what his name was, Brandon, does it?"

"Aye, it does. You don't know his
' name, you're making all this up."

"I know


reckon I got it from?"

"The fuck
I supposed to know?"

"From the lad who sold you the gun.
The Magnum."

"Oh, it's a
now, is it?" Brandon's face only half broke into something that could pass for amusement. This bloke couldn't lie for shit. "See, now you got all confused. Because before it was just a converted air pistol, now it's a
' Magnum? Seriously, I don't know what you're talking about, mate. But I do know, you keep talking to us with that
' tone, we're going to have issues."

"Why's that?"

"I don't need a gun."

"But you got one."

again with the tone."

at yourself, man. You're lying through your teeth. I know you bought a gun this morning, I was going to offer to buy it back off you, but the way I'm thinking now, fuck it, I'll let Goose pick it up himself."

, man."

"Nah, I'm telling you. I'm working for –"

"For a goose," said Brandon.
You're out your
' box,

Richie stared at the bouncer. Aye, this bloke didn't have the first fucking clue who he was dealing with. And part of Richie wanted to let it lie, sic Goose or whoever Goose sent – probably the heavyweights everyone called the
on account of their
– get down here and bray fuck out of Brandon The Bouncer. He was a proper doorknob, this one, with his number two on his head, puffer jacket, signets on one hand, wedding ring on the other.

"You married?" said Richie.

"Fuck kind of question's that?"

He jerked his head.
"Noticed the ring."

Brandon bristled slightly.
Looked like he was expecting a fight, waiting for the inevitable your-missus-is-a-fucking-
When there didn't appear to be one coming, Brandon glanced down at the ring and said, "Aye, I'm married, like."

"Any kids?"

"Fuck off."

"I'm just asking."


"Because," said Richie. "This bloke I'm working for, the bloke whose gun you have, he'll send some lads down here to get it back –"

"Oh aye, right."

I'm not one of them lads, either. I'm just a courier. All I did was buy the gun and I'm bringing it to him. I'm not a fighter. Only need to look at us to know that. But my point is
lads that Goose sends down, they won't just stop with you. Your
get her face mashed
maybe get a wrist broke into the bargain. I don't know what else. Depends on who's sent. And if you've got kids –"

Brandon put a hand on Richie then, shoved him in the shoulder. There was power behind the move. Richie nearly went on his arse. He held up both hands.

"Wait a second –"

"You threatening us, you little cunt?"

"No, you
you'll know I'm not. Look at us. You think I'm the kind of lad who'd threaten someone like you? I'm not going to risk it, am I? Only thing that I'm interested in is getting the gun back. I've got
you can have your money back, full
' refund. But I need that gun."

Brandon ran his tongue under his bottom lip, breathing through his nose. Richie could tell this wasn't what he'd planned for the afternoon. What Brandon wanted was an excuse to kick off. He couldn't rightly batter the shit out of Richie without Richie kicking off first, though. Some kind of bouncer's code, the way Brandon was used to dealing with people. All this logic
was doing his brain in. Thing was, even as a chill breeze picked up and numbed the aching bruises on his face, Richie was optimistic. Even willing to offer the cash he had on him.
Anything to get out of this as peacefully as possible.

Then Brandon shook his head. "Nah, I don't think so."


"I heard what you said. Appreciate your concern. But I
whoever the fuck this Goose
is, he can come down here and do whatever. I got mates who'll step up if it comes to it."

Richie half-smiled, couldn't believe it. Wanted to give this bloke examples he'd listen to. If Goose's lads came down to the
, it wouldn't be a fucking West Side Story face-
it would be this Brandon bloke squealing through the blood in his mouth in the middle of the night. "I don't think you get it."

"I get it," said Brandon. "You're working for some half-arse hard man from where, like, north of the
' river, right?"

"He's not half-arsed," said Richie.

"Aye, well, whatever the fuck you want to tell us, I think
going to keep hold of what I bought."

Richie's smile went full beam as he reached for his tabs. He stuck one in his mouth and lit it. "I thought you didn't have it."

"Nah, mate,
the one doesn't have it. And you're not getting it, neither, so do yourself a
' favour and fuck off, alright? Get back to
' school. Some of us have got real work to do."

Richie blew smoke. "Fuck's that supposed to mean?"

"Means I've got a real job.
for some cunt." Brandon slapped the chest of his puffer jacket. "I'm legit, mate."

"Aye," said Richie, nodding.

"Now fuck off."

Brandon didn't put hands on him again, but he made out as if he was going to, which flinched Richie back a step. Then Brandon turned back to The Admiral, his hands tucked deep into his puffer. Richie took the tab from his mouth, watching the bouncer return to his post. Brandon stopped at the double doors, pushed one of them open and shouted something inside. Then he assumed the usual position outside the pub.

Richie kept watching him. He smoked the rest of his tab,
started walking towards the pub. His eyes never left Brandon, who started to look more irritated the closer Richie got. Wondering what the fuck this lad had to say to him, probably thinking that he'd already said it all and getting angry that he'd have to repeat himself. When Richie got to the double doors, Brandon stuck out a hand. "I don't think so."

"Why not?"

"Landlord doesn't want you in there. You're under age."

"It was you I wanted to talk to."

"And we talked. You got
to say to us."

"Give us the gun."

Brandon laughed and spit fell over his lip. He wiped it away and said, "Go on, mate. Off you go."

"I'm not asking anymore. I'm not even offering you your money back. I'm telling you. Give us the gun back."

Brandon leaned forward, got right in Richie's face. He could smell the mixture of chewing gum and gin on the bouncer's breath as he said, "Fuck. Off."

Richie swung. Clocked the bouncer on the side of the head, right in the ear, threw him off balance, but didn't do much damage.
Didn't matter.
Richie lunged for Brandon, planted both hands on the man's torso, and shoved him hard against the double doors. Brandon didn't get a chance to right himself, and his weight carried him through the doors. As he hit the carpet, the doors clattered shut.

The noise was like a starter's pistol. Richie turned to the car park, started running.

He hadn't felt anything under that jacket.
Nothing that could've been a gun, anyway.

Which meant the gun was probably still in the bastard's shit-brown Cavalier.

As he approached the car, he looked around for a half-brick, something to put through the window. Nothing in sight – The Admiral's landlord kept the car park spotless. Probably sick of having his windows put out by drunks. Richie glanced that way now, saw movement inside the pub.

Brandon gearing up to beat the shit out of him.

No time. Richie pulled the sleeve of his
over his right hand and weighed up the driver's side window.






As soon as Richie put his hand through the window, he remembered that he should have used his elbow. Pain jolted from his knuckles up his forearm. When he tried to pull the hand free, something dug in and held him in place. He felt something tear, saw blood blossom on the
sleeve and fought to stay conscious. He'd already dropped out once today. He didn't fancy hitting the deck again, especially considering the commotion in The Admiral.

Richie panicked, wrenched his hand through the shattered window, the end of his sleeve sopping with blood, the sound of glass pebbles skittering across the ground, and a thick nausea rising slowly in his gut. He reached in with his left, unlocked the driver's door and bent over to get a better look. He flipped open the glove compartment, swept out the crap Brandon kept in there – gum, maps,
receipts, old and unmarked cassettes. It spilled onto the passenger seat, dropped onto the floor of the car.

No gun.

Richie turned, looked behind him. He heard shouting, but couldn't focus.
Looked like there were people coming out of The Admiral.
He could make out the big black puffer jacket, assumed the rest were those mates Brandon was talking about.

Back to the car.
Richie looked in the back seat of the Cavalier, sticking his left hand down between the seats and immediately wishing he hadn't when his fingers came back sticky.

It had to be in here somewhere.
Unless Brandon bought the gun, dropped it off at home before he came to work on his shift.
And if that was the case, then why would he need the gun? A bloke could protect himself a lot easier at home than he could on the doors. Richie had reckoned the reason this bloke bought the gun was as an added equalizer on the job. Christ knew what the kids were like round here, and Richie knew the adults were probably a lot worse. But if he'd stashed the gun somewhere else, then that was Richie fucked. There'd be no way of getting it back then. He'd have to go back to Goose empty-handed, and he didn't want to think about that.

He checked under the back seats.
Swore under his breath.

Behind him, Brandon was halfway across the car park and about to break into a run. Richie felt under the driver's seat, found nothing but a scrap of what looked like an old porn mag. Then he caught a glimpse of a black shape under the passenger seat. He stretched out his left to grab at it when pain exploded at the back of his head. Richie jerked forward, felt the bottom of the car doorframe jab into his chest. The breath shot out of him.

' thieving

Brandon put his boot into Richie's gut. The nausea that'd previously sat there now burst up his throat. Richie grabbed onto the metal frame under the passenger seat and spewed onto the driver's side.
A moment's recoil from Brandon before he brought his foot down on Richie's bloody hand.

The pain yanked Richie to full consciousness. He screamed, whipped his hand out from under Brandon's foot and dug in, dragged himself across the bottom of the car.

There it was.
Under the passenger seat.

Richie grabbed the grip of the Magnum, clattered it against the seat frame and screamed as he brought it out, pointed at Brandon. Felt heavy, could've been loaded, but Richie didn't have time to check. Hoped the sight of it would be enough to make Brandon back the fuck off.

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