Opening a store in Bellfield was not going to be as easy as Julia Harvester had hoped. It certainly wasn’t as easy as taking a place in the city. By the time Julia returned to Harvester Farm she had all but given herself to a foul mood. She was a nice girl though and nice girls weren’t moody. So she tried her best to shake it off. The van pulled into the farm house. Glenn was driving. Curtis had fallen asleep in the back. Glenn had warned him he was going to steal his kidneys if he fell asleep but Curtis’ self-inflicted hangover won over the warning.
Buddy and his bros were waiting for them. Buddy seemed excited about something. Julia tried to find the energy within herself to care. She was still trying to comprehend the situation in Bellfield. She had been warned the people of Bellfield were dedicated to the Macks. She had hoped her brand could fill the void, now that the distillery had been taken. She could be a friendly shoulder to cry on. It seemed the Macks weren’t so easily ousted and the store was under constant attack before it could even be opened. Julia Harvester was a nice girl. Why wouldn’t they want a nice girl to help put the pieces together? Why wouldn’t they let her help them?
Instead, it was Buddy Owen who greeted her with warmth.
He kissed her cheek clumsily.
“It’s been a long day, Bernard,” she said. “I don’t really have the time.”
“I’ve got a gift for you,” he said. “I figured after a day with the gypos you’d need some cheering up.”
Parked by the farm house was a green Cooper car named Forest. Buddy dropped his arm around Julia’s shoulder.
Julia didn’t really have much of a need for a sports car nor a liking for one but she smiled as any nice girl would.
“That’s very kind of you,” said she.
Buddy gave a nervous giggle again. His brown eyes sparkled with life.
“Let’s go inside, shall we?” she propositioned, shaking his arm from his shoulder and taking his hand.
She led him into the farmhouse and Buddy’s excitement intensified. He was positively giddy when she led him upstairs.
“I haven’t had the chance to thank you for taking care of Nathan,” she said.
Buddy followed her to the bedroom like he was ascending the steps to heaven.
“He was an asshole,” Buddy said, but the hardness in his groin was beginning to take over the conversation. “Sorry about the fence.”
Julia stopped one step above him. She turned back and smiled.
“That’s okay. Gary is still safe and sound,” she said.
The idiotic grin on Buddy’s face went a long way to giving the farm girl the validation she needed.
When they got into the bedroom Buddy hesitated by the door. Julia walked towards the bed, shedding her clothes as she did so. By the time she lay across the bed she was in her most beautiful form. Buddy was wide eyed and eager but like a rabbit caught in the scope of the hunter’s gun he couldn’t move.
“You want this, right?” she teased.
Buddy nodded stupidly.
He peeled off his shirt – swimmers build out of commission, sorry ma’am. He dropped his trousers, almost tripping over them as he leapt towards the bed. She dug her nails into his shoulder, turned him over and climbed on top of him. She slid herself onto him so he could savour the sensation.
“That feels good,” he cheered.
Julia balled up her panties. She gripped his prominent chin. His mouth opened and she stuffed the panties inside.
“Shhh,” she said. “Don’t talk.”
Buddy’s hardness was painful. Never before had he experienced such an intense erection. He didn’t want to disappoint her or mar such a splendid occasion by completing too early so he thought of every possible scenario to prolong himself.
The Cappy’s ass. A cold shower. That time Nola Wong showed him her saggy tits. Frogs.
Julia bucked her hips and he was almost done there and then but he bit his lip. This wasn’t like fucking the Kappa Si coke whores. This was all romantic and shit.
Julia’s phone on the bedside table rang. She stopped writhing.
“Motha’ fucka’” Buddy exclaimed, muffled by the panties.
As though Buddy weren’t there, she answered the phone.
“Yes?” she said.
It was a contact she had left behind at the Love Street store in Bellfield.
“I know about the distillery,” she said. She bucked her hips and Buddy groaned. “That’s unfortunate. We were trying to make everything better.”
Grandma spitting her teeth out. Lectures on muscle torque. Really fucking cold shower!
She bucked again.
Baseball. The body of a maggot infested racoon he found. His grandma’s saggy tits.
None of it was helping. Buddy just wished she would get off the damn phone. He tried to touch her breasts but she leaned back, placing her erect nipples out of reach.
Julia hung the phone up. Buddy’s excitement throbbed but she climbed off of him.
“I have to go,” she said.
Buddy was left alone, naked in her bed, still with a painful hard on. He spat the panties out.
“Dick down my throat!” he complained.
To discuss current events the Olivia had invited the agents to her office in Harbour House. They were also playing host to Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Owen. As a favour to Olivia, he had agreed to meet with us and discuss a way forward now that a temporary truce was in place between the Cappy and Elizabeth Beckingridge.
“He’s going to pull the Black Bands back as soon as Reginald Penn is apprehended and the Loyalists are disbanded,” Ronnie was explaining to Kim.
“And will he?” Kim put to him.
Ronnie maintained his station. “He’s a man of his word. The only reason he came here is because of the murder of our father.” I was taking note of all that Ronnie was saying.
“He had the Daily slander me,” I reminded him. “What is he trying to cover up?”
Ronnie was unmoved. “No newspaper would allow a journalist to bring it into disrepute, especially when they only have hearsay to go on. You accused his son publicly of murder, again with nothing to back you up. He took that personally.”
I had to admire Ronnie. He didn’t know what reception he would receive with myself and the agents given the current state of affairs in the city, but he approached the task with a dignity and poise that carried the respect of all those present.
Olivia had vouched for him. They had worked closely together for years in her capacity as a social worker and his as a lawyer. It had been she initially who had put the task to him to defend Tabitha, which he did with everything he could. Even the best lawyers could only go so far when the client was clearly guilty.
The door opened. I heard Bellfield accents talking excitedly. It was Paddy who emerged first. He stopped dead when he saw Ronnie. Ronnie was equally as flabbergasted.
“Who the feck let this gobshite in!?” Kieran was close at Paddy’s back.
Ronnie turned to Olivia.
“He’s here to help,” she told the Macks. The Macks themselves there at Olivia’s invitation also. No one had expected them to arrive so soon.
“My arse he is,” Kieran objected.
“Kieran, shut yer mouth.” Paddy was still looking at Ronnie with mistrust but he was keeping a calm mind.
“I’m not here to cause trouble for anyone,” Ronnie told them. “I’m here as a peace maker. Reginald Penn was the one who murdered my father.”
Paddy replied, “He had his reasons.”
Ronnie nodded. “I’m sure he did.”
“I couldn’t stop him,” Paddy added.
A silence fell between them that didn’t suit Kieran.
“What kinda arse bandit is your nephew? You should see some of the gear we picked up at yer chapter house,” Kieran teased.
Paddy slapped his brother’s shoulder. “Really?”
Kieran shrugged. “Just wondering…”
Ronnie hugged Olivia. “I’m going to go,” he said. No negotiations were going to be made and the agents had a job to do.
“1015,” Kieran announced. “Is that the imaginary inches your nephew thinks he has?”
“Where did you see those numbers?”
Both Kieran and Paddy were taken aback by Ronnie’s sudden interest. Kieran fished into his bag and produced Buddy’s golden cock.
“We found it in Paddy’s van. We were starting to think he liked it up the arse.”
Ronnie wasn’t listening. He was examining the item. On the bottom were still the numbers 1015.
“The golden asset!” he gasped to himself. “Buddy, what have you done?”
Kieran continued. “You freak shows keep the strangest things.”
Paddy growled at him. Kieran shrugged but he quietened.
I could tell from Ronnie’s expression that something had gone horribly wrong.
“What’s the matter?” asked Olivia speaking for all of us as we tried to comprehend what had happened.
Ronnie shook his head. “Captain Henry had a whole series of golden artifacts created for the Coldford expedition. Map holder, gun, playing card holder, whiskey decanter – all of which we have – the compass and this. All of them were stamped with 1035. It was the time his ship set sail.”
“Why would…” Kieran began to ask. “I suppose, a sailor and all that,” he decided.
“Kieran if you don’t shut the feck up I’m going to belt ye,” warned Paddy.
“It wasn’t like this,” Ronnie explained but to Olivia. “If this is truly the golden asset then it was Captain Henry Owen’s telescope. It has been in my family for over two centuries and if that fuck up has-” Ronnie stopped himself before he lost his temper completely. “The Cappy is going to be furious.”
Kieran grinned. “Can we tell him?”
“I’m keeping this,” Ronnie said to Paddy. “I’m going to assume that if you have anything to say to Olivia it’s for the good for the city. I’ll also assume that if I were to send the Black Bands to fetch you, you would be gone by the time they got here so I won’t bother. In exchange you will not breathe a word of this and let me handle it internally.”
Ronnie stored the asset away. The agreement was struck.
The Chapter House was beginning to look a little like itself again. Most of it was still a construction site where Reginald and Paddy had led their respective groups to wreck the very building.
Buddy was resting easy. Things were finally starting to get back to normal.
“We just have to find the golden cock,” he said. “And I have a feeling I know where it is. Those gypo sons a bitches have it.”
Chad stood behind him. He started to massage Buddy’s shoulders. Cooper was reading an email from his dad, Marshal Cooper. The father had sent an invoice for the cocaine they had taken from his stash. He was still at the classic car event in Luen but the Coopers had a very business friendly relationship.
Buddy leaned his head back. Chad’s massaging hands moved down to his chest. Cooper looked up from his phone. Chad leaned his chin on Buddy’s head. Cooper frowned.
“So, what’s the damage?” asked Buddy.
“Two thousand,” said Cooper still looking a little confused at Chad who was resting comfortably.
“What?” Buddy put to Cooper with a frown when he noticed him staring.
Cooper shook his head.
“Then give Coop his money, brah.”
Chad went back to massaging Buddy’s shoulders. Their plans were interrupted by Ronnie throwing the door open and storming in in a mighty temper.
“Ron?” Buddy looked up. “What’s-”
Ronnie fired his gun catching Buddy in a fleshy part of his thigh. He fell forward in pain.
“You just shot me!” he exclaimed, clutching his leg.
Ronnie pointed the gun at Chad and moved it between he and Cooper.
“Don’t either of you dare move,” he warned. “I will shoot you where you stand and The Cappy will thank me for it.”
Chad and Cooper said nothing. Buddy was still wincing in pain.
“What you do that for?” he asked his uncle.
Ronnie dropped the golden asset. Buddy’s eyes widened with shock.
The golden asset – the telescope of Henry ‘Hen’ Owen on his pioneering expedition – was the pride of the Owen name. Not only was it a centuries-old heirloom, it was a symbol of Owen power. It was kept at the Coldford Chapter House so that visitors of note like Pops could pay homage to it. Buddy – after a disagreement with his father – fell foul to the effects of powder. He started to boast that the Chapter House was his and he could do what he liked. The drugs, the angst and the brothers cheering him on caused him to make one of the poorest decisions he had made among a lifetime of terrible choices. He had the telescope reforged.
“If The Cappy finds out about this I will not have what he does to you on my conscience. You’ve put us both in a mighty tough position Buddy and if you weren’t my blood I’d shoot you in the head right now and leave you a vegetable.”
“Holy Mary, Ron,” Buddy grimaced. “My leg!”
“I only grazed you. Consider it a warning shot. Get your shit together Bernard, for all our sakes.”
Ronnie left his nephew. At least the asset was back in Owen hands. Buddy’s future, however, was reliant on the Macks keeping quiet and given their current struggle with the Owens it was likely they had a lot to say.
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