Ionian gangster boy, p.6
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       Ionian Gangster Boy, p.6

           Mikey Simpson
 
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  Chapter 6 - Autonomy

  It was over a week since he had spoken to Vince in London, and during that week a lot had happened on the sunshine island. There had been increased activity from the mafia as their ranks swelled to compensate for the loss of their two colleagues. They had exerted their muscle by forcefully taking an additional number of Morgan’s businesses, whilst attacking the people who worked for him. Now the locals were demanding action from the police, who up until now had been concentrating their efforts on finding the boy. It seemed the heat wave this early in summer had frayed at nerves and retaliation was now on the cards, the Greeks were taking advantage. The police were banging heads together to try and keep things under control. A number of the mafia had been deported before they could cause serious trouble, but there was always the chance that one had slipped by unnoticed. Any tourist could be an assassin, which made Morgan more edgy than ever. It was one big messy situation for the authorities, made worse by the arrival of the British police.

  The increase in violence on the island in particular had not gone unnoticed in the media and now there were TV crews from various stations lobbying for information about Morgan. They knew he was there and linked him to the troubled streets. He was worried by one of the TV crews in particular. Sky News and their reporter Lesley Wright had already made inroads into tracking him to the north of Corfu Town. In the last twenty-four hours, she was prepared to offer rewards if flirting failed to gaining confidence of the local men, who claimed to have seen him, something the police had so far failed to do. Unfortunately for Morgan, it had now made it difficult for him to return to Gouvia, which drastically restricted his movement, so now he was sitting with his belongings in a speedboat tied up in the quayside by the slopes of the Old Fort at Corfu Town under the mid day sun

  He recalled how the last week and a half had flown by as he nursed himself back to health, occupied by his research on his dad’s files and accounts by day and then eating in the restaurant at night. He had enjoyed the good humour and relaxed atmosphere. There had been pleasant company when Ariston along with Spiro and Stavros had eaten most nights with the rich clientele from Athens who stopped in the complex. He had lightly eaten and drank well, before retiring around eleven o’clock under orders to get much needed rest, and it had remarkably improved his injury, although he still slightly limped when he got tired.

  He sat there in the boat with his arms crossed and his feet up near the steering wheel, not looking out of place in his khaki shorts, Lacoste polo shirt, Oakley’s and concealing sunhat. He struggled to get comfortable as he squirmed in the white leather boat seat. His stiffened leg was healing quickly, but had left scar tissue that itched like crazy. He reached down to rub it with enjoyment and brushed against a new pistol in his pocket. This was the present Spiro had given him.

  Morgan sighed and smoked a cigarette before fidgeting with his recently reclaimed TAG HEUR watch. It brought a smile to his face; he was lucky to have found Haley the girl who had taken it from him over a week earlier. It was even luckier for her that she had chosen to wear it loosely around her wrist than sell it in a back street jeweller. By chance, he had spotted her whilst catching up with Davie and Stevie in the Whispers nightclub for a few beers. It was evident to see that she was hovering around to pick up some unsuspecting guy and then rip him off, whilst he lay unconscious in his bed. Morgan waited until it was closing time then followed the inebriated pair in a taxicab. He travelled back to a hotel and waited into the early hours, for her to show her shadier side. As daylight broke she did not disappoint him. He watched her sneaking out of the guy's room, half naked, grasping a small bag full of trinkets and money. Morgan followed her and waited until she got to her front door before pouncing. For the second time in as many weeks, he had shocked himself by his brutal behaviour, but instead of killing her like the mafia, he had roughed her up a little throwing her around the room to unsettle her rather than beat her. When he had vented his disapproval at her earlier actions towards him, he calmly offered her a chair sat down and poured them both a Bacardi. As the sun rose early that morning, he produced his revolver and told her quietly who he was and why he was there on the island. He offered her two options. One was to work for him and help him to punish the mafia looking for him, and the other was a cold-blooded death. With his eyes glazed over he finished the Bacardi and picked up his revolver, she rose at the same time and agreed to his demands. He took back his watch, but she kept the money she stole. However from now on it had been agreed, she would perform deadly services on his behalf. Everything had worked out the way he wanted it to be, he thought as he suddenly snapped from his daydream and looked again at his watch. It was gratifying to feel a little bit more in control, but then realised the time had turned two o’clock, and something was wrong.

  Morgan turned toward the airport and looked across Komeno bay. On the other side of the concentrated high rise buildings set at the end of a lagoon was the runway and then the airport, there you could almost reach up and touch the aeroplanes as they accelerated quickly along the short runway. He was getting agitated, where the hell was his expected guest. Morgan could hear the distant rumble of jet engines as the Britannia flight that was supposed to bring Vince departed. It climbed above the old roman part of town as it banked right and flew away from the island.

  He started to smoke again this time to calm his nerves and pondered the situation. Vince had been a long established partner of his father’s, since he had been a boy. He had been on many trips with them to continental Europe, and he had frequently visited his father’s restaurant in Sheffield. Yet something about their family relationship didn’t seem right. It seamed as if it was always on a professional basis, rather than friendship. Morgan began to wonder how much he could trust the man.

  The London flight had now left local airspace, and there was still no sign of Vince, who by the boy’s calculations should have been there half an hour ago. He quickly recalculated the man's route taking a road accident in town into consideration. However the more he thought about Vince’s delay the more he sensed trouble, trouble that he could do without.

  Morgan had given up on Vince half an hour later and had untied the boat from the quayside in readiness to start his journey back to Gouvia. As the engines to the speedboat ticked over, he guided the boat between other craft and out into the slightly deeper water of the bay. He was just about to open the engines when he heard sirens blaze out along the coastal road from Komeno. He swung the boat around and looked through his binoculars, as two police cars raced towards the heart of town. Blue flashing lights were joined by a number of sirens coming from the narrow streets in town; they seemed to be converging toward the Liston. The boy searched amongst the landscaped park and the island’s congested traffic. He concentrated on the crowds of tourists near the main streets to the Old Fort. Looking for anything out of the ordinary, which could be the object of the unwanted police attention.

  After a few minutes, Morgan watched as more police cars came into view. Heavily armed officers frantically dispersed into the crowds, in the search for someone. That someone Morgan knew was Vince. He shook his head in disappointment. He realised there was no way the man could reach him without being spotted. So he sat and watched, as the boat sat calm in the water of the bay. As Morgan searched desperately for his father’s business partner, he suddenly spotted a man in his late forties dressed in a brown linen jacket, jeans a blue baseball cap and shades. The man had a small backpack and looked uncomfortably hot with red cheeks and a sweaty band around his cap. Through his binoculars, he did a double take and checked the direction the man was walking in. It would appear that he had made it after all, but was not alone. Trailing behind him were the shadowy figures of the mafia, who were now attracting the attention of the police.

  Morgan watched Vince turn off the main footpath, along the pathway to the Old Fort and realised there was only one chance to assist the escape of his troubled contact. He would have t
o encourage Vince to jump over the walkway to the fort into the deep water of the quayside; it was his only hope of evading death at the hands of the Mafia.

  The boy powered up the speedboat and headed back toward the commotion, waving his hand in the air and used the crafts horn to attract the man’s attention. Unfortunately, he could now see that it had also alerted the mafia to his actions. As Morgan approached the narrow entrance to the quay, he heard shots above him on the pathway. Suddenly his phone rang. ‘Hello!’ he answered quickly, as the boat grazed along other boats in the tight waterway.

  ‘Is that you in that boat Morgan?’ Vince winced.

  ‘Yes, I’m making my way directly to you along the quayside, below the pathway to the fort. You got to get down here quick!’ The boy heard another shot ring out in the afternoon air, as he powered the boat toward Vince.

  ‘Fucking hell! Where are you! I’m getting shot at here!’ Vince shouted, as the boy could hear the man scrambling around on the gravel of the path.

  Another shot fired as police sirens once again started to sound, filling the bay as they homed in on the forts vicinity. ‘Vince! Vince, are you alright?’

  ‘Alright, alright, do I sound fucking alright!’ Came an agitated response. ‘How the fuck am I gonna get to you?’ Bang, another shot rang out. ‘These bastards are getting nearer.’ Vince was beginning to panic.

  ‘You only got one chance. You’ve got to jump from the walkway into the quayside.’

  ‘You are kidding me, that’s some drop,’ Vince shouted.

  Morgan replied, ‘Walking down here will take too long. We’ll never getaway!’ Morgan realised bringing Vince was going terribly wrong. Moments later screeching tyres could be heard, as sirens bouncing off the confines of the fort walls down onto the quayside and echoing around the bay. Another shot rang out ricocheting off of the surface Vince was running along. ‘These guys are getting too close, there going to kill me Vince said with a crack in his voice.

  Morgan could now see the action unfolding ahead of him, two men were chasing down Vince. He’s not going to make it, thought the boy as he passed under the bridge. Suddenly there was an outbreak of automatic gunfire that rang out. Bullets danced along the course way, zipping off in various directions. Doves scattered into the air startled by the fatal decision of the police to open fire on the gun totting assassins.

  The boat drifted out of the shadow of the course way back into brilliant sunlight as a body fell from high above onto a nearby boat, staining the white exterior red with blood. For a moment, the boy dare not look expecting the worse, but as he grimaced and viewed the corpse he could see it was not Vince. He sighed in relief as a bag bounced off the seat to the side of him. Then moments later the water near the boat erupted into white foam as the man catapulted himself from the causeway. The boy quickly leant a hand to pull the pale looking Londoner from the water. ‘What took you so long?’ the boy asked, as the police started to swarm on the causeway above them.

  ‘Those fucking Italians, been chasing me all over town!’ Vince slumped into the bottom of the boat; his clothes were soaked and weighed heavily on his stocky frame. Morgan stumbled over Vince’s bag as he sat back in the driver’s seat of the boat.

  ‘Stop! Police!’ Came a shout from above, in an English accent.

  ‘Vince stay down in case they take a pop at you!’ Morgan shouted as he pushed the throttle of the speedboat into action. The craft immediately accelerated and raised itself in the water. In the distance they could hear the sound of gunfire, but it was too late to find its mark. Morgan navigated the boat out of the narrow channel and out into the open bay on his way to the north of the island. Ahead of them, they could see the ferries setting sail for Bari, Ancona, Paxos and many other destinations. Morgan angled the speedboat to jump the waves that were left in their wake, using the power of the craft to be guided on its way along the coast.

  ‘You ok, Vince?’ Morgan looked around at the tattooed upper arms of the man as he struggled to remove his wet clothes.

  ‘Fucking hell! I thought I was dead back there,’ he spoke a bit more calmly now, he’d got his breath back. ‘Good to see you!’ Vince slapped the boy on his leg in appreciation.

  Morgan reacted in shock and then pain at the man’s actions. ‘Careful geezer, your not the only one who’s been shot at recently!’ the boy pulled his shorts up to reveal the dressing on his thigh.

  ‘Jesus! I knew that things were turning ugly here, but didn’t realise they had got that close to you.’ Vince shook his head.

  ‘It looks worse than it is,‘ Morgan covered it up and pulled back further on the power to set the craft skimming along the sea.’

  ‘We gotta be somewhere?’ Vince asked.

  ‘No! I want to get past the marina at Gouvia as soon as possible. There’s a gun ship there.’

  Vince thoughtfully nodded in agreement to the situation. ‘You think they can catch us?’

  ‘Not if we’re quick to pass the bay. We could get anywhere up the coast to Albania or Croatia within a day, at this speed.’

  ‘Is that, where we going?’ Vince asked.

  ‘No! I need us to stay on the island. I’m going to take us to Kassiopi. It’s a busy fishing village, on the north coast of the island. We can hide the boat there and mingle in with the tourists, to get business sorted.’

  ‘You think the police will track us down?’

  ‘They might with time, but the islands a big place with lots of resorts. If it weren’t for the media people snooping around I doubt anyone would have tracked me to this day.’

  ‘You know that Lesley Wright she's hot, very sexy little thing. Ain't no wonder, she can open doors nobody else can find.’

  ‘Yes! Well, she certainly has worked her magic here. Although nobody seams to be exactly who they say they are, she’d better watch herself before she gets into trouble!’ Morgan replied.

  ‘I bet she thought this assignment was going to be a holiday. Some holiday when you’re in a bikini, getting shot at!’ Vince laughed.

  Fifteen minutes later they passed a small island and the bay leading into the natural harbour Morgan pointed back to the marina at Gouvia. ‘That's where my dad’s yachting operation is based!’ he said as they speeded on toward Kommeno, where millionaires owned sea front properties

  Vince sat back, peeled off his wet jeans and rummaged around his backpack. He pulled out a polo shirt and shorts to cover up from the afternoon sun. His pale complexion was already looking a little red from his exposure to the unrelenting glare of summer. As he struggled to put on his garments against the movement of the boat they passed anchored yachts at secluded beaches. Morgan slowed a little and produced a map of the island to study. As their journey progressed, he read off the names of the east coast resorts. They quickly passed by Gouvia’s neighbouring villages, Dassia and Ipsos where there was an abundance of nightclubs. Barbati where the secluded beach was more accessible from the sea than its steep narrow lane, that clung to the hillside. Next was Nasaki, then Agni and Kalami.

  ‘How much further have we got to go?’ Asked Vince.

  ‘We’re two thirds of the way there another half an hour should do it, why?’

  ‘I’ve never been fond of boats, can’t swim that well!’

  ‘Well it beats having to drive; the roads are unusually narrow and wind around the coastal hills and mountains. Very dangerous for bikes.’ The boy could sense that something was wrong with Vince as he seemed distracted. ‘Vince what's wrong?’

  ‘You think we can get something to eat soon, I’ve not eaten all day?’ he asked, patting his stomach.

  ‘Yes, sure! Hang on a minute. Ariston the guy who runs the yachting firm, told me of this harbour next to the sea where there's a taverna.’ he looked at the map. ‘It’s called Kouloura, apparently hugely popular with people from boats. Should be around here, somewhere.’

  ‘You mean over there?’ Vince pointed with enthusiasm at a white building nestled by the sea, surrounded
by pines and boats in the sea. The conversation had certainly sharpened his concentration.

  ‘You fancy a look?’ Morgan asked.

  ‘It looks busy, but I got to eat.’

  Morgan wondered why the man was so keen to find food, perhaps by his physique he needed at least one full meal a day to keep his fuller figure. ‘Lets take a look,’ he guided the boat into the tiny bay and the harbour and tied it up. The place had an air of exclusivity, as they looked around the array of expensive yachts and boats moored up, with little room available for larger vessels.

  ‘I get the feeling it’s going to be expensive,’ Vince said stumbling onto the wooden walkway that led to dry land.

  ‘You got sea legs?’ Morgan laughed, but as he helped the man to his feet he could see his eyes were rolling a little. ‘You alright Vince?’ Morgan held onto the man’s arm to steady him.

  ‘I’m diabetic, and I need sugar, something, anything sweet! I need a bar of chocolate or a drink of orange juice.’ He started to lose his balance.

  ‘Hang on Vince, come on it’s not far to the restaurant. Morgan guided the man away from the harbour, up a few steps and onto the taverna. Once there he sat Vince outside on a metal chair and rushed inside to demand a glass of juice. Five minutes later Vince’s blood sugar level had quickly recovered, and a smile returned to his face. ‘Come on now we’re here we might as well eat!’

  The two of them sat with their backs to the taverna under the shade of a canopy, which held out the last hot rays of sunshine from withered bodies of the clientele that sat various shades of red around them. They had studied the menu but asked for the house speciality and were swayed by the opinion of the well dressed waiter, who ordered muscles in a garlic and tomato sauce for starters and a mixture of dips and side dishes which comprised of saganaki - fried cheese, taramosalata, tzatziki dips and moussaka along with a Greek salad to be served all at once. Morgan ordered a carafe of white wine and a bottle of water for Vince to quench their thirst. Vince was the palest of the diners and was glad to have a back support as he recovered his strength. 'Sorry about that,' he apologised to Morgan referring to his untimely symptoms. 'The last few weeks have been unbearable and have taken their strain on my health,' he wiped away cold beads of sweat from his forehead.

  Morgan looked around the nearby tables, listened but said nothing. He was assessing the other people eating at the taverna, to see if it would be all right to discuss delicate matters. There was a pleasant mixture of Swedes, Norwegian and a few Germans but no British who could easily recognise him if the conversation turned heated. Anyway all the parties seemed to be enthralled in their own topics of conversation; there were loud bursts of banter, jokes and laughing which lifted the volume of noise under the veranda. He decided it would be OK to talk freely. 'How was my dad's funeral?' Morgan looked Vince in the eyes to assess how genuine the man was toward him.

  'Not good, only a few people dare turn up with all the police attention focused on the event. A lot of contacts that stayed away, continued to make moves on the streets and caused a lot of trouble!'

  'Not terribly respectful.' Morgan looked sad.

  'The king is dead, long live the king!' Vince said looking toward the boy.

  'That's all well and good but I’m in exile and can’t claim any of the estate, the restaurant, Dad’s bank accounts or the family house. The mafia knew exactly what they were doing when they made the hit. They made it impossible for me to stay around and takeover.' He pointed to himself in anger, realising now his dad was gone the family name rested with him alone. 'They’re like vultures tearing away at all my father built up over decades!' The boy made a statement.

  'It's always been the same; it's the nature of our business. Once the partners see a weakness they fight to secure their own interests.’ Vince said, regrettably.

  ‘What about you? Why haven’t you tried to take advantage?’ Morgan asked.

  ‘Because I have enough already and because I talked to your dad about other directions, other ways to make money,’ Vince said, sadly.

  ‘And what was his opinion?’ Morgan was particularly interested.

  ‘He would have liked to join me, but he was in too deep. Had too many people pressuring him for a piece of the action. You see your father was a mastermind. He could play people and at the same time make fabulous amounts of wealth.’

  Morgan nodded. ‘I know I’ve seen the evidence.’

  ‘But that created problems for your father. He was leaned on by people in high places, and did things he didn’t want to do. In the end, he did well to keep all his contacts happy. To make sure they didn’t realise, he was making a vast amount for himself.’

  ‘I suppose if you build the empire, you decide where the funds go and how money gets spent. As long as ventures are successful then everyone’s happy.’ Morgan repeated what he had seen in the files and paperwork.

  ‘I provided your dad with muscle when he needed it. I was his contact on the streets of the UK, distributing produce, getting payments on time and policing arguments with the people we supplied. Now all that’s gone to shit, two of my guys are dead, and there’s tension and unrest about where the produce is coming from.’ Vince was getting terribly animated.

  The boy continued. ‘This is why I have brought you here. I need to feel comfortable in dealing with you. I need to know why my father wasn’t warned about a possible attack? Why wasn’t anyone there to protect him that weekend? Why had you not been to Sheffield lately? And more importantly why haven’t you Vince tried harder to find me and offer me help?

  Vince sighed and held his head in his hands. ‘I’m in pieces for you and your loss. I had spoken to your father the morning of the shooting and believe me there were no signs, to say anything like this would happen. I’ve gone over the weeks leading up to it and tried to think of any job or grumble that could have escalated to the old man being bumped off, and there isn’t one until that night.’

  ‘What happened?’

  ‘There was a customs haul in Plymouth on a chartered yacht. What seemed a regular boarding, seized a street value of £100 million coke and heroin, destined for the streets.’

  ‘I know that, it was all over the news! Someone lost a lot of money.’ Morgan said.

  ‘Well somehow your dad got involved with this guy Giuseppe from the Inzagi firm. They were trying to make big money fast. The deal your father had with them went wrong! It’s just came out that they wanted to make a move on the big boys in Milan,’

  “So they blamed my dad, for letting them down with the funds?’

  ‘Looks like he was stitched up. Perhaps the other mafia families found out about the deal, and didn’t like it. You know I’ve been running businesses with your father for a long time. He used to do some crazy things, working for rival gangs at the same time, and neither of them would find out. That's why he got as rich as he did by playing people and cutting deals.’

  ‘I knew he was more than just a business man, but his files show an empire all over the world with extensive contacts.’ Morgan stated.

  Vince replied. ‘That's good, it might make my job easier in unravelling London’s feuds and setting the playing field level again for everyone making waves. Before we lose everything apart from our lives.’ Vince continued. ‘Listen I would have come out, if you would have called me after the shooting. I asked high and low about a hiding place, and no one knew. At one point, we thought the mafia had caught you and buried your body.’

  ‘Well I managed to stay one step ahead until recently. I will kill them from a distance next time and cut the chances of getting hurt. We all live and learn.’ The boy had suspicions maybe justified, perhaps it was Vince who had given details of his intended getaway and that's how his pursuers had tracked him so easily. Whatever had taken place he couldn’t prove with hard evidence, so he decided to use Vince to try to get near the mafia. “I didn’t know I could trust you until meeting you today. I had hoped I wouldn’t have to kill you.’ The boy had
to play it cool and hard to fool the man about his actions.

  Vince laughed but then realised that the boy was deadly serious.

  ‘You think you can run the business whilst I’m away?’ he asked Vince who looked another shade whiter.

  ‘Listen I’ve had just about enough death threats recently without one from you!’ His voice rose a little too high.

  ‘OK, like I said, I needed to be sure, so can we bury the hatchet and concentrate on the scum that started all of this?’ Morgan counteracted Vince's anger.

  ‘We got muscle, and I got the info you need. It cost a lot of money and came from sources in intelligence; I’ve got the names of the guys involved and mug shots. We ain’t the only ones after these guys. They’re dangerous.’ He took out an envelope from his bag. Before Morgan there was a series of colour images taken in England and Italy showing six people. ‘Who are they?’

  ‘Members of a new Mafia family from Milan, the Giovanni’s are slick but nasty,’ Vince cringed. ‘The final image is the main man. Head of the family, his name is Roberto, and he’s been pulling lots of strings in Italy to succeed a lot of people have recently died.’

  ‘You think my father new that and was backing him, until it went wrong?’

  ‘Maybe, or perhaps he tried to halt their ascent through the ranks. Double crossed them and got burned like everyone else who stood in their way.’

  Morgan sat for a few moments and watched Vince as he drank a glass of water, before speaking. ‘I want to keep loyal people onside as well as bring in new contacts. If it looks as if the Giovanni’s are the new force in Milan then we need to consider working with them. Perhaps it might be time to talk to them and consider some ventures in the future?’

  ‘Vince's eyes narrowed, and he leant forward to the boy. ‘I hope you’re joking; these pricks will kill us all. It’s time to blow them away not work with them!’

  ‘Maybe they’ll listen to a deal from you? The heat’s on them in the UK. Perhaps taking charge of their interests on our soil would help them out. It might also lessen their temper towards our other assets in Spain and North Africa,’ Morgan replied.

  ‘It’s true! We might open ourselves up too far and get torn apart. Anyway what makes you think they will talk to us? After all, they killed your father. There going to think it’s a trap!’

  ‘No trap, it’s the business thing to do. It will calm everyone down and stop all the killings. Anyway it won’t be my suggestion to place the deal on the table, it will be yours!’ Morgan stunned Vince.

  ‘Wait a minute! I came out here because I wanted to extend my life expectancy, not shorten it!’

  ‘But it might be the only way to build confidence and start making substantial money again without people ripping each other off. It’s a risk we should embrace!’ Morgan watched Vince closely as the man scratched his head and sighed.

  ‘If you want me to open up shop again I can approach them, maybe you’re right and only I can do this to save everything from crumbling. It would stop the likes of the Russians from moving in on us. If I do I’m going to need you to sign accounts over to me?’

  Morgan digested the scenario with their meal and finally smiled at Vince. ‘OK, you can take control of the UK operations and keep everyone we need sweet.’ He planned in his mind the minimal handover of accounts. The European Breweries, Yachting firms and Real Estate were already targets. By handing them over to Vince, he would be able to gain confidence with the mafia. Perhaps offer the aggressors the chance to get a piece of what they wanted and buy Morgan some time to figure out how to spread the fortune in the banks around a bit, Make it untraceable. Morgan set rolling a plan to bring down the bastards who had killed his father, before they became too protected.

  Vince finished his meal. Maybe it was the food or the conversation, which had helped to aid Vince’s recovery. One thing was for certain, now Morgan had untied Vince’s hands, one way or another the mafia would be drawn into negotiations. It would only be a matter of time, before he found out who was truly on his side. From now on the pressure would be firmly on Vince, he would handle anything that seemed like a threat to the UK operation. All Morgan had to do was bide his time before deciding who to hurt.

  After a smoke and another few glasses of wine the restaurant thinned of customers, and lots of boats in the harbour made sail, Morgan returned to the conversation at hand. 'Will you be able to get a grip with the local market.'

  'I've tried to stabilise the warring factions with some success in the UK but the problems in European operations especially Spain have been harder to solve. The balance of power for a few Milanese families has swung. A new family has been flexing its muscles, to take a bigger slice of the action. It's turning into a civil war. The Italian way of doing business is foreign to me and always has been, that’s why it's been so difficult for me to try and control damage to our overseas interests.'

  'The same things happened here, instead of persuasion they've brought their guns and on occasion used them,' Morgan rubbed his thigh to show the proof.

  'I've seen the headlines on the international news. The shockwaves and fallout from your father’s death, has been greater than anyone could have expected,' Vince shook his head. 'I've left the usual crew out on the streets in my absence to keep the peace in London. I’ll put them to good use on my return.'

  As they put out their cigarettes the bill arrived, Morgan nodded to Vince in silence and poured himself some wine to occupy the void when the waiter was hovering.

  'Now you’ve handed the UK operation to me, I can act on your behalf, in your absence!' The statement extended the silence as Morgan studied the implications.

  'I still want to be kept in the loop about rebuilding connections with the Italians, and I want you to know it’s crucial to use ultimate force against anyone who objects to this plan. Securing an alliance with Milan will be the key to the long term future.' He masked his intentions of a double cross.

  'What about negotiating new deals, new contracts with incentives to stay with us.'

  'It might be the only way to pacify people, and bring them more inline with our thinking!' The boy knew if anyone was still loyal to his father’s memory, they could damage his plans. Financial gain was the only way to keep them in line, until his enemy and rival could be taught a lesson.

  Morgan looked out on the small bay as the sunlight started to fade. He opened his wallet and settled the bill using Euros and then they made their way back to the harbour. It was now only half full, but as they jumped back into the speedboat he could see new boats and yachts sailing towards them full of hungry people who needed a mooring for the night. The boy eased the speedboat out of the harbour and then set course out to the Albanian straights. The speedboat hugged the coastline, giving enough room to avoid collision, with the numerous craft bearing down on their course. ‘That was a fabulous meal, as appetizing as Ariston had recommended,’ Morgan said.

  Vince relaxed in the seat at his side and took a couple of calls on his phone, before turning to the boy in the fading light. ‘The cats out of the bag, the cops know I’ve left the country. They picked up Harry and Bob earlier today for questioning. They’ve just been released.’

  ‘Times of the essence then. We’ll have to come up with a strategy to financially pull everything together. It’s our last chance to approach the new big fish and align our business with their interests, before they decide to take us out.’ The boy increased the boat to full speed and navigated around the northeast corner of the island, bearing down on the little fishing village of Kassiopi. When they arrived it was dark, and they were guided into the harbour by buoys and the lights of tavernas and boats shored up in the resort. It was a picture postcard scene that greeted them as they secured their craft and climbed up an ancient stonewall onto the walkway of the old village. Nestled along the waterfront were numerous tavernas and shops crowded with tourists enjoying their holiday. It should be easy to slip away from any police, find a place to stay
. Morgan needed to develop a plan for revenge. They left the boat at the far end of the harbour obscured by larger vessels and some Greek fishing boats. They hid the key under the floor mat before making their way across the main service road where rows of tables were laid out uniformly around the harbour. Beyond them tavernas could be made out, old properties that were hidden by verandas.

  Morgan picked one of the classier tavernas, without the red or blue checked tablecloths and uncomfortable wooden chairs. He admired the simple, but effective menu and the name of the establishment ‘Baraks Place.’ Morgan approached the waiters and asked, ‘Can we have drinks at the bar?’

  ‘Sure thing!’ An Aussie said from the bar.

  Morgan turned to Vince. ‘You want water?’

  ‘No I fancy a couple of beers, it’ll be alright I’ve had a large meal.’

  ‘Coming up, take the weight off your feet fellas,’ the bar man said.

  Morgan settled into his bar chair and gulped the beer down. ‘Nice bar!’

  ‘Yes came here five years ago to tour around Europe, arrived here and been here ever since,’ he pointed to the pictures behind the bar. There were Aussie and Kiwi flags and lots of photos with people having a fabulous time.

  A few minutes later Morgan made enquires. ‘We came in by boat today have you any rooms available for a couple of nights so we can rest up, before pushing on around the island?’

  The bar man shrugged in a Greek way. ‘It’s difficult at this time of the year. Some travellers asked the other day, and we couldn’t find anything!’

  Morgan thought for a moment. ‘We would be willing to pay well, plus we would take anything with two rooms!’ he said with a hint of persuasion to the chap.

  ‘Look there is a place that is empty at the moment but you might just be better staying on your boat!’

  Right thought Morgan sarcastically. ‘It’s not that kind of boat!’ with that said, the bar man seemed to grasp the urgency in Morgan’s voice.

  ‘Righto! I’ll make a few phone calls and see what I can do, but no promises!’

  As the night wore on Morgan started to talk to a group of Kiwi’s who had just moored up in the harbour, he was in a more cheerful mood as he quenched his thirst. ‘If we can’t find anywhere soon, we might have to sleep with you guys!’ He pointed to the group of twenty somethings and laughed, but it seriously wasn’t a joke.

  After a couple of hours waiting, they were provided with a key. But then subsequently robbed of two hundred Euros for the hire of the house for a week. The directions to the house, given by the barman were a bit vague to follow in the night, so Morgan was keen not to fuel himself with anymore drink until they found the location which was set back from the sea front

  After a drink of Ouzo and a shake of the hand to cement the deal, the waiter and the groups of travellers wished them a good night. Morgan and Vince walked among the crowd of tourists and along the harbour past the rest of the tavernas to leave the crowds behind. They walked up a narrow lane that led away from loud music and sport bars that were starting to get busy with revellers. Morgan walked with a slight limp as his leg became tired until he found an open space. It was the town square and was filled with park benches of elderly locals who held prayer beads and wore suits and hats. They ignored all the tourists and continued to chatter and drink wine as small children ran around their feet screaming as they played. It was an idyllic scene of generations enjoying each other’s company. Morgan adjusted the bag pack strap that cut into his shoulder and wrestled with his field bag as they left the square behind, they were intoxicated and swaying a little under the weight of their luggage.

  'Which way did the barman say?' Vince asked.

  'It's just a little further up this lane towards the main road at the top. Look out for a wall covered with red flowers, we need to take a path nearby.'

  They passed a pastry shop and a car park on their left, until the lane became a quiet residential area with a wider street, the houses here were modern and painted white rather than the pastel shades of tavernas. The properties were a mixture of houses and apartments with balconies and roofs with red terracotta tiles. As they neared the small path, they left the road and squeezed through parked cars. They entered the shadows of an old stonewall, covered in a clematis climbing plant. The sweet smell of its pollen floated on the warm night air. ‘Here we are! The path should be nearby!’ Morgan said, as the darkness was illuminated by car lights, Vehicles making their way down to the harbour.

  A moment later Morgan was pushed off his feet. Vince rugby tackled him down a series of steps, that showed they had found the narrow pathway. ‘What the hells a matter with you Vince?’ he asked as they tumbled into a heap and lay on ancient flagstones.

  ‘Cops!’

  ‘Where?’ Morgan asked.

  ‘A squad car was making its way towards us on the road.’ Vince pointed back up the dark steps to the opening in the wall.

  ‘Do you think they saw us?’

  ‘Not sure, wait here I’ll check!’ Vince pulled himself up and climbed the steps to look out where the streetlights illuminated the entrance of the path. A few moments later he looked back. ‘They’ve driven passed, down to the harbour!’

  ‘Good, but it looks like they’re going to be checking for boats.’ Morgan pulled a torch out of his bag to light the way along the path.

  ‘It won’t be long before their crawling around here looking for us!’ Vince replied picking up his backpack and helping Morgan to limp ahead.

  ‘Come on lets find the apartments.’ The boy illuminated the uneven cobbled pathway up some steps until they came to a dead end. ‘This is the one! The house, with a blue gate!’

  Vince tried the latch and pushed it open; the hinges creaked as they entered a small yard that revealed a run down fishing house. ‘Well it’s certainly not a penthouse suite!’

  The cottage had a stained rendered wall, along it grew a similar climber to the one that decorated the paths wall. The property had old style Venetian window shutters and looked as if had been neglected for a number of years. ‘How much did you pay for this dump?’ Vince asked.

  ‘A small fortune! The waiter said there was remarkably little available as the resort was busy, the only place he could find was a private property not normally hired out. Because of that I would need to hire it for the week, rather than a couple of days.’

  ‘They certainly know how to make money.’ Vince said as Morgan unlocked the property and ventured inside.

  When they turned the lights on to their surprise, the house was exceptionally spacious and delightfully decorated with exposed stonewalls, renovated pine ceilings and a terracotta tiled ground floor. They stood in the modern kitchen that contained oak units with a black marble work top, scaling the wall was a cast iron flue that connected to a large wood burning stove and by the only window on this side of the property was a Belfast sink.

  ‘Certainly didn’t expect this!’ Morgan locked the door behind them, and walked through to the front of the property where the living room again surprised them. It was a vast room that had an olive beam trailing across the ceiling. On one side it had a dining table and on the other a series of brown leather sofas were placed around a coffee table facing a 42 inch flat screen TV. In the corner a leather wing back arm chair sat next to a compact library of books. Again there was a wood burner and gathered around it were a stack of neatly arranged chopped logs, it looked very cosy.

  ’Someone’s taken a lot of time to renovate this!’ Morgan announced nodding his head in appreciation to the interior design.

  ‘Someone who has quite a lot of money,’ Vince walked over to the TV and a side cabinet, inside was a Bang & Olufsen stereo system and a turntable. He slid the unit’s door right back and found a collection of old Greek records. ‘It doesn’t feel right that we should be here! This is obviously someone's private holiday home.’

  ‘Yes, but whose?’ Morgan walked over to the library, to read through the collection
of books. ‘Someone who likes crime novels and Greek mythology and enjoys traditional music.’

  Vince looked on the far wall, there were signed Olympiacos football shirts and basketball shirts displayed tastefully. ‘He’s someone who's got taste, influence and is well connected.’

  ‘Yes my father would have been proud to display sports memorabilia like that.’ Morgan opened up the French doors that led onto a big balcony; it overlooked the rooftops of the old fishing village. Above the tiled roofs, boat sails could be seen in the distant harbour as the salty smell of the coast breezed into the house. He admired the vista before going back inside and walking up a spiral staircase that displayed black and white photography of the historical island. It led to two first floor bedrooms that contained two double beds and a bathroom with both a shower and bath. Above him was a third bedroom, in the attic conversion. ‘Wow what a pad!’ Vince remarked as they threw their luggage into the bedrooms.

  ‘We’re lucky not to be in a hotel, perhaps the police will overlook us here!’

  They made themselves comfortable, but the house lacked one crucial thing, air conditioning. Without it, they soon found themselves back out on the balcony sifting through the information on businesses, bank accounts and handing over some access rights so Vince could control the cash flow. ‘You do realise that these accounts have been set up in my alias name! The first thing you need to do is find yourself a reputable counterfeit man, to get a passport made up with these details.’ he wrote all the information and passport number down for Vince to put in his small note book.

  ‘Good thing I’m a criminal and know all he best people in the business.’ he laughed.

  ‘Be careful to use someone you can completely trust, the last thing we need is for these details to fall into the wrong hands.’

  ‘I have someone in mind; he works in intelligence and can get anything we need. He’s come through for us many times before!’

  ‘Can he make people disappear?’

  ‘That might be a little bit more difficult and pricey. Generally it’s more for queen and country, but if the national interest comes into it, it’s possible!’

  The conversation dried up as both of them sat and looked out toward the harbour, the breeze made the humid air bearable as they both nursed their sunburnt arms and faces. ‘You think it might cool down a little tomorrow. I’m not used to this kind of climate?’

  Morgan pointed onto the horizon where an electrical storm could be made out dancing along the Albanian coastline, lighting up the night with varying displays of raw energy. Around them the breeze stiffened and the air-cooled. ‘A change is in the air, I think before the night is out a storm will be with us!’ Then for the first time that night the sound of the crickets, was interrupted by a distant rumble of thunder. ‘When it rains it will pour, perhaps it will wash away some of the blood which has been spilt here, so we can all make a fresh start?’ Morgan placed his hands behind his neck and rested his feet on a spare chair. ‘From being a child, I have always been drawn to storms. They have so much power and grace. Nature has such a selfless way of separating the weak from the strong, and punishing people who are not wary of imminent disaster.’

  ‘Survival of the fittest?’ Vince added, before standing. ‘Look, I’m beat! I’m going to turn in for the night, it’s been a long day!’ he made his way back inside and up the stairs to bed.

  Ten minutes later Morgan was back out on the balcony after double-checking the house was secure, and the door locked. He pulled the cork out with his teeth; poured himself a large Metaxa from a bottle he had found in the kitchen and raised a glass to the storm. ‘Here’s to Spiro,’ he said realising it was the man’s favourite hard drink. Then he raised it once again. ‘Here’s to you Max Burdett, If you’re up there looking down I hope you can be proud of me. I hope I will become the son you trained for this occasion.’ he gulped the remaining content of the glass and quickly poured another.

  The boy continued to drink and turn his thoughts to his father, the more he drunk the heavier his heart weighed with grief for the man he would never see again. He hadn’t been given the opportunity to say goodbye properly with one last embrace or to attend a sombre funeral, to hear the fateful words, ‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust!’ and it hurt. Tears started to stream down his face as he remembered how regimented his father had always been to him. How he had always tried to make it up to him, with long summer breaks, after a long year at boarding school. What he would give to have him here with him tonight, he cried out loud in despair. In double vision he saluted his father one more time as the bottle eventually ran out, he had drunk more than he realised. ‘Dad if you are with me if you are looking down on me give me a sign!’ he consumed the very last drop of brandy left in the glass as lightening bolted nearby across the sea followed by an eruption of thunder. Morgan held his head in his hands as his surrounding began to spin. ‘I will do what ever needs to be done to kill every single one of them who plotted to kill you!’ he said, as the first dots of rain began to fall on him.

  Morgan picked up his laptop and paperwork, slid them inside the house just through the French doors out of the danger of water, then let the heavy, warm rain wash over him. He sat for a good half an hour not moving letting the torrential rain bounce off his body until his clothes could absorb no more and he was dripping wet, eventually he rose and then staggered in from the balcony peeling his clothes from his body until he was cool and naked. A shiver ran down his spine as he covered himself with a blanket, he collapsed onto the three-seater sofa and fell into a deep sleep. Outside the storm grew closer and louder as rain lashed at the open doors by the balcony, water like tiny streams collected in the tiles grooves and travelled on a journey into the home. Soon it reached the laptop and his papers, the ink began to run on the pages, his father’s handwriting began to fade as the water spread. Morgan subconsciously dreamt of the police and one person in particular. Barack, the officer who met him at the airport from the plane. As he lay there he couldn’t hear the sirens in the village below, he was unaware of squad cars sirens racing away from the harbour and the hotels they were checking, they once again had given up their search for him in return for more grizzly crimes.

  Morgan turned and laid on his back snoring over the fading police sirens and the dull ring tone of his phone that was muffled in his wet shorts it buzzed away trying to attract the boys attention to no avail, as he gained missed call after missed call. It would be nearly mid day before he would surface and realise the consequences of such a volatile storm, when they would realise that the mafia had struck once again deep at the heart of his families business inflicting harm on anyone who stood in their way.

  Vince was the first one to rise as the storm clouds evaporated and the heat of midday started to break through on the rain swept island. He looked out of the first floor window and could see lots of the locals mopping out their properties after the last twelve hours downpour. It was a little chilly so he had a warm shower before putting on some jeans and a blue long sleeved Lacoste shirt, incredible he thought I come all this way from grey London and it rains. The stocky man walked over to the bedroom mirror and combed his hair and splashed on some Aramis aftershave the same aftershave he had always worn since the eighties.

  Morgan began to stir as Vince rummaged around in the kitchen; he started to come around to the smell of rich Italian filter coffee as the aroma filled the air. He opened his eyes when Vince turned on the lounge TV and slapped him around the face. Their eyes met as the boy pulled the cover back over his head. ‘I took one look of you from the staircase, and realised you would probably need this more than me!’ he held out a cup of steaming coffee.

  Morgan sat up and took the cup. His head dropped before he propped it up with his hand. ‘What time is it?’

  ‘Not late enough by the looks of you!’ Vince could smell the alcohol on his breath. ‘Have a coffee and then get yourself back to bed, you need to sleep it off!’

 
You know you’re not a bad old sort,’ Morgan paid the man a complement as he gulped at the coffee to moisten his dry mouth. He looked green as if it were the first time he had drunk, and got up with a hangover. ‘Think I might have a shower, to wake myself up!’

  ‘Looks like you had one already!’ Vince laughed as he looked around the room and the wet tiled floor. ‘What happened down here last night?’

  ‘Damned if I know?’ the boy grimaced at his sore head before standing to tie his blanket around his waist like a sarong. He shuffled off as Vince picked up his wet shorts and t-shirt to throw them outside to dry in the warmth of the emerging sun. ‘Take some water with you and take some paracetamol from my room, they’ll make you feel better!’

  All Morgan managed to give in reply was a mumble, before he disappeared upstairs. Ten minutes later he could be heard throwing his gut's up. The full affects of his nights binge came back to haunt him, over and over again.

  ‘That's my boy!’ Vince said sarcastically before laughing.

  Vince popped out to the shops as Morgan slept through the afternoon. The man avoided going down to the harbour, in case policemen were lingering there. Instead he called into the little pastry shop, they had passed the night before. He sat and ate a large slice of pizza and a baklava dessert with a cup of coffee, then picked up supplies to take back to the house. Bread, Milk, sugar, chocolate, a couple of extra feta and spinach pies for the boy and a copy of yesterdays Sun newspaper to read out on the balcony.

  When he arrived back at the house, there was no sign of life and the shutters to the bedroom were firmly closed, so Vince quietly got changed into shorts turned the TV off and sat outside on the balcony to catch a tan. Harry would only take the piss if he didn’t come back with one, he thought as he too drifted off to sleep in the warm sun. It was night time when they both heard the ring tone of the boys phone. He found it buried in his clothes and answered it.

  ‘Hello!’ the boy asked still distracted by his headache.

  ‘Where the hell have you been?’ Spiro asked.

  ‘In a safe house in Kassiopi!’ the boy replied yawning and stretching is free hand.

  ‘What the hell are you doing up there?’

  ‘Vince got shot at, and with that TV crew being in Gouvia I thought!...’

  Spiro cut him short. ‘You heard the news?’

  ‘No!’ replied Morgan.

  ‘Well it’s a good job you didn’t come back to the resort last night, it’s a blood bath!’

  ‘What do you mean?’ the boy asked.

  ‘Andreas is dead, they blew up the restaurant and then the office at the Marina. Ariston managed to escape on a yacht, but some girls who have been staying at the office have been killed!’ Spiro was agitated. ‘I’ve been trying to get hold of you all day!’

  ‘Sorry, I’ve been occupied!’ Morgan paced the room as Vince watched on anxiously. ‘Turn on the TV,’ he instructed.

  ‘That reporter Wright’s been snooping around again! If you can get Sky News you’ll get an update.’ Spiro said.

  ‘OK I’ll take a look and call you back!’

  ‘No need to call me back, you just make sure you’re waiting down in the harbour before midnight, a fisherman will be waiting to take you to Ariston's yacht. It’s time you and your friend got off the island!’

  Morgan was just about to argue when Spiro hung up the phone. Over the next ten minutes he tried in vain to reconnect to Spiro, but the phone was engaged. Finally he gave in to Spiro’s request, turned to watch the Sky News channel and take in the full horror of Wright’s graphic report.

  Before him was the news feed live from the island as the channel handed over airtime to the crisis unfolding on the island. The young tall blonde presenter took centre stage in the main car park outside the luxury villa complex. Plumes of smoke rose behind her, as the cream coloured building smouldered away. There were numerous burnt out cars by the crumbled structure of the buildings. ‘Welcome to Corfu and the latest update of unrest on the troubled island,’ the bronzed blonde started to walk and step over fire hoses that trailed along the floor supplying the necessary water to damp down the occasional flame. ‘Last night at around midnight explosions ripped through two businesses in this once peaceful resort, leaving five dead and countless injured. The scene from this restaurant behind me is of carnage. As a car bomb exploded it indiscriminately ripped through this popular dining place.’ She skilfully manoeuvred around to a police car and approached the commanding officer that politely joined her in front of the camera. ‘I am joined by Corfu Towns Police Commander, who is in charge of this investigation to bring the culprits to justice!’ she smiled at the man and placed the microphone between them.

  ‘Could you tell us a little bit about what happened here last night?’ she asked.

  The Commander in full uniform and cap took off his sunglasses to address the audience. He was military looking, with a clean-shaven face and square jaw line that had a dimple in his chin. ‘The police arrived at the scene at 12.30am to find a bomb had been detonated from one of the cars parked directly outside the restaurant. Luckily a lot of the restaurants clientele had already left after dining, but unfortunately, all the staff and other members of the public left inside perished due to the nature of the explosion.’

  ‘Do we know if any of the people killed were British?’

  ‘It can be safe to say that the manager of the resort and staff have been identified. The other two victims are wealthy businessmen from Athens, who were here on holiday. So in aswer to your question, no, none of the victims here, or at the marina were British.’

  ‘Could you tell me a little bit more about the attacks, do you believe that they are linked?’ Wright again placed the microphone between them.

  ‘The bombs were very similar and designed to be concealed for maximum damage. Whoever planted the bombs wanted to make sure that the targets would be destroyed along with any occupants. We are looking for exceptionally ruthless people, who will stop at nothing to get there way. The two bombings are linked and have targeted businesses that may have been involved in organised crime.’ he said.

  ‘Now as you are aware we have been hot on the trail of Morgan Burdett, the boy from England who is wanted for questioning about the slaying of his father back in Sheffield. Could you tell me if these incidents are linked to him?’

  The Commander straightened up a little uncomfortable at the question, but nevertheless answered it. ‘The two properties do not belong to the Burdetts although the yachting company has ties back to the UK. We are investigating their connections to organised crime here and in Europe to see what links we can find!’

  ‘Have the people who died at the Marina been identified?’

  ‘Not at present, we are looking for the owner of the yachting company to come forward for an interview, but as yet we have not been able to track him down.’

  ‘A guard at the marina stated that the two bodies were of young women who worked for the yachting company, can you confirm this?’

  ‘Not at the moment until they have been identified by the owner or other workers!’

  ‘Does that mean that there could be a direct link to someone trying to kill the boy or anyone associated with him?’

  The Officer once again became uncomfortable by the intrusive questioning. ‘Whilst we feel that there is undoubtedly evidence surrounding last nights atrocities and other various beatings and killings on the island, I cannot at this moment directly link any of this to the boy. Today, we still cannot confirm that Morgan Burdett is actually here on the island.’ He frowned awkwardly.

  ‘So you are saying that we can’t contribute any of this to the fact that he is in hiding somewhere in Greece.’

  ‘It’s possible that the factions of the Mafia are trying to hunt him down as we are. But the facts are that even to this day, no-one has sighted anyone who looks like the boy and until he has been interviewed we might not be able to piece everything that has happened here and a
broad in Spain, Italy or even the UK to the slaying of Max Burdett!’

  ‘What are your next steps to try and contain the situation?’

  ‘We have been joined in our hunt for the boy by colleagues from Sheffield, and we will be examining all avenues in successfully bringing him in for an interview. I would also like to add that no stone will be left unturned in bringing the people who have done these despicable acts to justice. As from today a special task force has been set up to screen all visitors to the island.’

  ‘What would you say to any British tourist who is thinking of cancelling their holidays to the island because of the troubles!’

  ‘When you look at the fighting that has broken out along the Mediterranean, you cannot pick out one place more than the other in relation to more killings. However, it is true that there is more emphasis here because of all the rumours about a possible hiding place. I would think about safety seriously, but the same could be said for a lot of popular tourist destinations at this moment outside of Corfu and Greece.’

  ‘Could you clarify the term Satanna for the record and how it relates to the island?’

  The Commander was shocked by the phrase. ‘It has been mentioned a lot in the press recently that Satanna has returned to these shores, and will exact revenge on his enemies. That he will stop at nothing, to kill anyone who harms his people or property. The term has not been used since the late eighties. Then so many hostilities wreaked havoc in our homeland, and many people died at the hands of the mafia. It has not reached that scale, and I will not hesitate to use resources at my disposal to protect the innocent public.’

  ‘But don’t you agree that there are similarities between the eighties and what is now unfolding around the young boys disappearance?’

  The commander was becoming flustered by the in-depth interview. ‘I’m afraid I can’t comment any further on the case until more evidence is found.’

  ‘But can you guarantee a greater police presence in the resorts to put the peoples minds at rest. Surely the locals are as jumpy as the holiday makers with so many threats being thrown around by the Mafia on the island?’

  ‘This is not Milan and certainly not Sicily, the Mafia have no power here,’ the policeman was by now getting quite hot under the collar as Lesley Wright relentlessly reeled off more questions. ‘I cannot comment any further!’ were his last words before breaking off to talk to a gathering of heavily armed policemen.

  Wright angled herself to find the most revealing camera angle for her sign off. ‘As you can see from the presence of so many well armed officers the authorities are starting to crack down on suspected mafia, with an introduction of road blocks throughout the island. With more guns on the street, the authorities are trying to stop the spread of violence. This week alone has seen a number of mafia lives taken in a Corfu town shootout. More innocent bystanders were also killed in the usually quiet resort of Gouvia. Perhaps this might become a more common sight until the capture of Morgan Burdett or until the so-called Satanna unleashes a bloodbath to rival the eighties. Here on the island of Corfu, Lesley Wright is signing off for Sky news.’

  Morgan sat on the leather sofa and sighed before turning to Vince. ‘Guess we better get packing, Spiro wants us off the island before midnight!’

  ‘Midnight but I’ve only just arrived. How am I going to get a suntan now!’ the cockney complained.

  ‘We’d better get everything together so we can get to the fishing boats at nightfall,’ Morgan confirmed again.

  ‘It doesn’t sound like a bad idea. The police are going to stretch out the long arm of the law. Before too long, they’ll start checking private houses’

  It had occurred to Morgan that they might be able to get away on the speedboat once again, if it had not been seized already. If they moved with speed they would make Albania or Croatia further up the coast in little under an hour, but once there what would they do? Where would he go from there? How could he get back at the mafia he had to defeat to survive? He considered his options and decided to be guided by Spiro who had up to this point been extraordinarily helpful in times of need, they would go where they were told for the time being and then bounce back when the time was right. Morgan rushed up stairs and threw all his belongings into his cream safari bag and then collected his laptop and damp papers together in the field bag. Within half an hour of the instruction they were out of the house and back in Barack’s Taverna talking to the barman and handing the keys back over.

  ‘That was a short stay gentlemen,’ the Aussie said, as he graciously received their presence at the bar. ‘You decided not to stay?’ he asked with a puzzled look.

  ‘We have been called away on business and have to be collected tonight!’ Morgan shrugged.

  ‘Pity the weather forecast has predicted calmer weather for the next few weeks. You would enjoy it here in the sun!’ he looked at Vince who nodded in agreement.

  ‘I could certainly do with some of that!’ he looked down at his pale complexion.

  ‘Here have two beers on the house!’ the barman brought over a golden pint of lager, which turned Morgan a shade of green.

  ‘Hair of the dog, the best remedy in the world.’ The barman laughed as he left them to fill up his fridges.

  ‘Wonder if it can do anything for sea sickness?’ Vince frowned as he sank his beer and wiped his mouth. ‘I ain't the best sailor in the world!’

  ‘You’ll be fine!’ Morgan comforted the agitated man, before realising the harbour had just filled up with policemen who were now examining the speedboat. ‘Looks like we might not make it after all!’ Morgan nodded towards the sea front over Vince's shoulder.

  ‘Fuck! What we gonna do now?’

  ‘Staying calm is the first thing to do. We have to play this cool and attract only the fisherman's attention or it will be all over.’ This was the closest he had come to loosing everything. It would take only one eagle eyed cop, and his plans to regain all his father’s operations would be exposed to the authorities. His enemy would devour what assets were left, and leave him out in the cold. With no support from Vince’s contacts, it would be easy for Morgan to be killed.

  Morgan began to panic as his phone rang.

  ‘Hello is that Morgan?’ Asked a man with a dry Greek accent.

  ‘Yes! Who is this?’

  ‘I am the fisherman who comes for you, but my friend we have a problem, there are too many police here to let you board in the harbour.’ The phone went dead for a moment as both people thought of a solution. After a few moments of heart stopping tension, the Greek spoke. ‘You will have to meet me in the next bay. I will pick you up there!’

  ‘Which bay? Morgan asked as his eyes panned out on the harbour to scour the coastline.

  ‘Follow the road away from the police to the left of the harbour, it will take you onto a lane that hugs the coastline. When it starts to level you will find an old series of steps that will bring you down into a sheltered bay. It is safe there. That is where I will meet you!’

  ‘When?’

  ‘I am setting off from the harbour in a blue fishing boat, you will see my boats light soon!’

  ‘What about the police will they not track you?’

  ‘No, they have been checking the boats. I am now free to go!’

  ‘OK, we are going to set off walking now!’ Morgan became very anxious, when more policemen with a boat trailer arrived at the waters edge to retrieve their captured speedboat. He looked over to Vince. ‘Come on while the police are distracted and being kept busy with the boat we should go!’

  The two figures left the bar and mingled in with the other tourists who were out for an evening walk, the night was calm compared to last night’s storm, and many of the holiday makers were stretching their legs after a whole day spent indoors. As they left the harbour and joined the lane they could hear the chug of a boats engine making its way from the noisy tavernas. Ten minutes later Morgan searched his way down the marble steps with his fl
ashlight down to the white-pebbled shoreline of the bay, the waves slowly lapped against rocks as they peered out into the nights calm, searching for a sign of the boat.

  As they waited they heard voices back on the roadside high above them, but only when the boat eventually approached did they realise that it was the police who had been mindful to watch the craft leave the harbour. When the vessel came nearer the sailor scoured the bay to pick up the boys flashlight. Suddenly there was a lot of shouting from above.

  ‘Quickly my friends!’ the man shouted from the boat as he approached them. ‘Jump on board!’

  Morgan shone his light toward the craft and realised that the boat sent to save them was an old vintage speedboat with wooden panels and leather interior. The fisherman offered them a hand as they jumped from unstable footings into the bottom of the boat as it scrapped against rocks of the bay.

  They adjusted their balance as the boat powered up and manoeuvred away from the shallow water into the main boating lanes that surrounded the island. Morgan looked back on the lights of the fishing village and the angry police men who were shining their flash lights out to sea. The boat purred as a jet of water was catapulted into the air behind them leaving white bubbling water in their wake.

  ‘Some fisherman you turned out to be!’ Morgan stated turning to the middle aged man who indeed did wear an old Greek flat fishing cap, although the boaters he wore spoke of a wealthier man than his appearance might suggest. ‘Where are we going?’

  ‘Cephalonia!’ the fisherman shouted. ‘Sit back and relax, nothing will catch us in this!’

  Two hours later and they were off the island of Cephalonia, they rendezvous with a yacht, ready for the next passage of their uncharted voyage.

  As they approached they could see the yacht was a sixty-foot vessel of some age, it was white in colour well maintained and immaculate in appearance. The red ensign flew over the stern of the craft where the name Kelsey registered in Portsmouth was written. However on the boats old polished bell was the name Sophia. On top helping them aboard was a red eyed unshaven Ariston, unkempt in appearance, he wore a grey fleece, navy Gant shorts and a Ralph Lauren baseball cap around his neck held on an elastic string were sunglasses and over his shoulder he sported a well worn AK47.

  ‘Welcome aboard!’ Ariston bent down collected their baggage and offered them a hand to pull them up, his expensive boaters gripped the wooden varnished deck as they clambered on deck. ‘You make excellent speed. I was not expecting you for another hour.’ he said to the fisherman.

  ‘There were too many police; we had to set off as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I think they spotted us!’ he took off his navy cap and scratched his grey hair. ‘You better set sail straight away and get some distance from the island by daybreak.’

  ‘Entaksi! Efharisto! Yia sou!’ Ariston said goodbye to the fisherman who in return waved before leaving, then in minutes had vanished from sight.

  Ariston helped them to settle into the yachts quarters, and then opened the sails to harness the last remaining breeze from yesterdays storm. He looked at his watch and calculated that they could, with the current get fifty miles before daybreak. By then they would be amongst the main routes of the Mediterranean, that connected east to west Europe. They would, then be very hard to find. Still he clung to his Kalashnikov but reckoned they soon would be able to sail in relative freedom to any of the Greek islands and beyond, without any interference from the authorities.

  Continued in book 2

  Ionian Gangster Boy - Voyage of Discovery.

 
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