home | login | register | DMCA | contacts | help | donate |      

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


my bookshelf | genres | recommend | rating of books | rating of authors | reviews | new | | collections | | | add



44

J enny walked into Nightingales office carrying a mug of coffee. He had taken the top drawer from his desk and emptied the contents over the floor. He was down on his knees rooting through the papers, notebooks and cigarette lighters and muttering to himself.

What are you looking for? she asked, putting the mug down next to his computer terminal.

Nightingale sat back on his heels. Remember the money that I got from Joshua Wainwright last time?

Two million euros? Im not likely to forget that.

Yeah, well, Wainwright gave me a copy of the receipt with his phone number on it. Now I cant find the bloody thing.

I filed it, she said. With the rest of the company receipts.

Are you serious? he said. He could see from the look on her face that she was. Your efficiency never ceases to amaze me, he said. He began to refill the desk drawer.

Jenny went back to her office and retrieved the receipt from the filing cabinet by her desk. She photocopied it, returned the original to its file and gave the copy to Nightingale. Are you going to see him again?

Yeah, thought Id show him the list of what weve found so far and have a chat. Kill two birds. He nodded at a printout on his desk. Therere a couple of hundred books there and with any luck hell want to buy a few. He sipped his coffee. We could do with some cash, right? What with me still having to pay the mortgage on Gosling Manor and all.

Were owed more than two thousand pounds from clients but thats about it, she said. Weve lost a lot of work with you concentrating on your sister.

Its got to be done, Jenny, said Nightingale, leaning back in his chair. If I dont help her, who will?

Was the cop any use last night?

Yeah, he was okay. He said hed try to get an address for her parents.

And then what?

Ill pay them a visit.

Jenny perched on the edge of Nightingales desk. Jack, are you sure thats a good idea?

They might know something, said Nightingale.

What do you think they might know?

Maybe they met Gosling. Maybe he told them what hed done.

Jenny looked pained.

Ill wear my kid gloves. Softly softly. He put down his coffee mug. Ive got to follow up any lead I can. No one else gives a toss about her, Jenny. Theyve put her in an asylum and thrown away the key.

Because she killed kids, Jack. She shuddered. I cant think of anything worse, can you? Killing kids?

Nightingale sighed. I cant argue with you, he said.

Because you know Im right.

Nightingale threw up his hands. What do you think I should do? Walk away?

Would that be so bad?

Shes my sister.

Shes your half-sister, a woman that youve met once in your life, who decided of her own volition to murder innocents. And you want to do what? Save her soul? Jack, if theres any justice in the world shell burn in Hell for what shes done. She stood up, her eyes blazing. Her soul is damned anyway; youre just whistling in the wind.

Nightingale reached for his cigarettes.

You know theyre a crutch, she said. Whenever youre faced with something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you smoke.

Nightingale tapped out a cigarette, slid it between his lips and lit it. I smoke because I like to smoke, he said. Anyway, this isnt about me smoking. Its about me wanting to help my sister. He threw up his hands. I know that youre talking a lot of sense, I know that theres probably nothing I can do to help her, but I have to try.

Why, Jack?

Nightingale groaned. I dont know what you want me to say. Shes my sister. Thats the only answer I can give you.

Shes killed children, said Jenny flatly.

And shes behind bars for that. Okay, its a hospital and not a prison, but shes still locked up. But whats going to happen to her soul, thats different. Gosling put her in that position, he did a deal for her soul, and now shes all on her own. She has no idea what shes up against. if I dont help her then who will? Shes my sister, Jenny. The only family Ive got. And Im all shes got.

You keep saying that, but shes not really your sister, in the same way that Gosling wasnt really your father.

We share the same DNA. That means were related.

But up until three weeks ago you hadnt heard of either of them, said Jenny. Family isnt about DNA, Jack. Its about growing up together; its about connections, a shared history. You keep telling me that Bill and Irene Nightingale were your real parents, even though you know your DNA came from Gosling and your birth mother. Rebecca Keeley.

Gosling paid Keeley twenty thousand pounds to have me and she gave me up the day that I was born, so I dont think that qualifies her for maternal privileges. And the fact that Gosling sold my soul to a devil negates any dead daddy feelings I might ever have had.

Exactly, said Jenny. Theyre not family.

But my sisters different. None of this is her fault. Gosling did to her exactly what he did to me. She cant help herself but maybe I can.

How? How do you expect to help a killer locked up in a secure mental hospital?

Nightingale flicked ash into the ashtray at his side. I didnt say I know what to do, just that I have to do something. He groaned. Jenny, you wouldnt understand, youre an only child.

Jennys jaw dropped. What?

You dont have any siblings, so you wouldnt understand.

Jack, Ive got a brother. Five years older than me.

Nightingale grimaced. Sorry, he said. I didnt know.

The reason you dont know is because youve never asked, she said.

Im sorry. Really.

Jenny folded her arms. Heres a question for you. How many Jack Nightingales does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Nightingale looked out of the window and didnt reply.

Just the one, continued Jenny. He holds up the bloody bulb and waits for the world to revolve around him.

Nightingale held up his hands. Youre right. I can be a bit self-centred at times.

Self-obsessed, she said. Which is another way of saying that you dont care about anyone other than yourself. Thats why I dont understand this sudden urge to save a woman that you barely know.

He shrugged. I dont understand it myself, Jenny. I just know that I have to try. Shes all I have. He grinned at her. Present company excepted.


| Midnight | c