Chapter 3

Written by: Donna McTavish

It was going to be another cold night and he’d bloody forgotten his gloves.

The glow from the house added to his bad mood. It wasn’t fair that the bastard was inside in the warmth and he was out here freezing his proverbials off.

He could picture it. The crackling fire, the boys chattering about their adventures and the parents laughing indulgently. Everything had gone to plan, just as O’Connor had said it would. Stupid bloody happy families.

Through his binoculars he’d watched as the smaller boy had spotted the chest and the other one had waded into the water. He’d been worried that they wouldn’t see it. The rope hadn't been long enough but he needn’t have worried. The boys had done everything right. Just like taking candy from a baby, he smirked.

The next bit would be tougher. There was no way to know how Tony (he wouldn’t ever get used to calling him Brad) would react but it didn’t matter. O’Connor had it covered. There would be no getting away this time. He blew on his frozen fingers and pulled a small bottle from his pocket. It was time to hunker down until show time.



Jackson and Matt were still asking questions when he turned off the bedroom light. He’d managed to distract them  with the promise of a bike ride but their questions burrowed into his brain. He’d told them everything and nothing.

What he did in the next few days would change their lives forever. He knew that and he needed time to think. He stared at the red line that ran raggedly across the back of his hand and flexed his fingers thinking about the notebook.

He knew that he wasn’t off the hook with Mandy. She was far too smart not to see that he hadn’t told her everything so he took his time as he padded down the stairs. In his gut he knew that their beautiful, ordinary life was slipping away and he didn’t know how to stop it.

In the weeks to come he’d go over and over what happened next. What if he hadn’t lingered on the stairs? What if he hadn’t been so damn preoccupied? What if he’d emptied the safe? He kicked himself for being an easy target. Fourteen years ago he’d have been alert, instantly assessing risks and options. He’d have had a plan and a backup and he’d have been armed.

Mandy was  on the sofa. As he called her name he sensed a tiny movement at the periphery of his vision. He saw the muscles in her jaw tighten and as she turned towards him he saw the tape over her mouth and her eyes wild and fearful.

He lurched towards her wanting nothing but to keep her safe and in that instant he heard a voice that rent the air into a million pieces.

“You’ve lost your touch Tony.

“Be a good chap and pour us a drink. It’s bloody freezing out there.”




I've been waiting for this chapter - very smart writing Donna. I love the way this is going. Can't wait to see what happens next!
This was a great way to intro the bad guys. Well written Donna!
This is a riveting chapter. It is full of action and very cleverly moves from outside to indoors. The loss of their 'beautiful life' is full of pathos and we feel for Brad/Tony as he acknowledges this. Great build up of mystery leaving lots of unanswered questions. Terrific!