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#AViolentGentleman

Jeremiah O’Connell made his name solving problems in London and now does the same in LA. The problems other people can’t or won’t touch? They’re the ones that end up at Jerry’s door.

Suddenly Jeremiah has problems of his own when he sets out to right a wrong and finds himself on the hitlist of one of LA’s most feared drug gangs.

As the stakes rise, so does the body count, and Jerry has the fight of his life on his hands. Now, with high-class escort Noah in tow, Jeremiah must revisit his old London stomping grounds and assemble his team in order to wage all-out war on the streets on Tinseltown…

Jerry ambled towards the strip club entrance, pulled open a

door and moved into a vestibule area, where a doorman sat

on a bar stool looking at his phone. Jerry tried to hide his

contempt, resisting the urge to tell the guy to get his arse

outside, which was where he should be. Standing. Watching.

Being a fucking doorman. Not sitting inside texting like a

kid.

The guy looked up at Jerry, down at his phone and then,

in a double take, back at Jerry. In the next second, he was

scrambling to his feet, broadening his shoulders and narrowing

his eyes. ‘What up?’ he croaked.

From behind him came the muffled thump of the strip

club music. The phone went away, hands into the pockets of

his bomber jacket. Making it clear to Jerry where he kept his

weapon – whatever that might be.

‘All right, mate?’ said Jerry. ‘You open for business, are

you?’ He was taking the piss, but it went clean over the head

of the doorman.

‘Always, always,’ nodded the doorman, ‘just as long as

you’re not after trouble . . .’

Jerry held up his hands. ‘Just here for the booze and the

birds, mate.’

The doorman held the door open for him and he moved

through into the foyer. A woman in a booth took his money.

He passed into the main club and took in the scene: dancers

gyrating at poles on a central stage; sleepyeyed

waiting staff;

a clientele who looked like part of the furniture. The overall

feel was one of lethargy, boredom. The afternoon after a

heavy night when the world has nothing more to show you.

He took a seat, ordered from a waitress who introduced

herself as Ashley, and then, when she returned with the

bottle, asked her, ‘You got a girl here called Commodore?’

Commodore. Fucksake. What a stupid name.

‘Yeah, Commodore’s here,’ replied Ashley warily. ‘Who

wants to know?’

‘A fan. I’ve been told her dancing is utterly sublime,’ said

Jerry, tongueincheek,

affecting the voice of a connoisseur.

Taking the piss again. He kissed his fingers. Grinned.

Ashley wasn’t having it. ‘She’s new.’

‘Word travels fast.’

‘All right. Well, you’re in luck, she’s on soon.’

Jerry sat back, drank his beer in three long slugs and then

ordered another one, Ashley even more wary now, which

was just as he intended. Sure enough, from the corner of

his eye, he watched the arrival of a guy he decided was

probably the duty manager. Jerry knew the type: scrawny

little guy with a wispy beard, cheap, shit suit and shoes that

didn’t match. The kind of guy who’d take advantage of the

women.

In turn, the duty manager beckoned to Ashley to join him.

They spoke briefly, the waitress glancing over at Jerry, nodding,

before the manager was joined by a bouncer in black

‘You’ve got a girl here called Commodore, yeah?’ began

cargo pants and trainers. More conversation. More glances

towards Jerry. Ashley departed to go about her business. The

Jerry. ‘Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question. I know

bouncer and the duty manager remained, just at the periphery

of Jerry’s vision but staring his way.

Now Jerry looked over, maintaining eye contact. Next,

he stood, turned and very deliberately repositioned his chair

so that instead of facing the stage, it now faced the two men.

He regained his seat, lifted his beer bottle and saluted them,

mouthing Cheers.

They gave no response, just stared. The manager said

something to the bouncer. The bouncer nodded and made

his way over to Jerry.

He was a big guy: goatee beard, thick dark eyebrows.

Probably knew his way around a fight. As he arrived at Jerry’s

table, Jerry stood, reached for a chair, pulled it out. For a

moment or so, the two men faced one another, and then the

bouncer sat, Jerry doing the same.

‘What can I do for you?’ asked the bouncer. His gaze was

steady, but light glanced off a line of sweat on his forehead.

you have. Thing is, she’s leaving with me, so I’d appreciate it

if you’d let Commodore know that we’re going, like, now.

Tell her to pack a bag, take anything that’s hers. She’s not

coming back.’ Jerry checked his watch, the flash of his gold

Rolex not lost on the bouncer.

The bouncer regarded him. His expression barely changed.

‘Fallen in love, have we?’ he said.

 ‘It makes not a blind bit of difference to you why I’m taking

her. Just: I’m taking her.’

The bouncer pulled a face, shook his head. ‘Commodore’s

not free to leave. We set her up here, which means she works

for us until such time as she’s paid off her front money, and

she’s nowhere near doing that. What I’m saying is, she ain’t

going nowhere.’

Another bouncer had appeared and was standing a few

tables away, hands clasped in front of him, still as a statue.

Jerry gave him the onceover,

reflecting that you could

always tell if a geezer knew what he was doing by the way he

held his hands. Behind his back or down by his sides? Forget

it, guy was an amateur, you might as well have them in your

pockets. In front was a bit better, but the real pros had them

up high to make it easy to deflect.

Meantime, the girls on the poles were still dancing, but at

the same time were looking across. Even the few customers

had raised their eyes, their attention arrested by something

that was only slightly less commonplace than the sight of

‘And now,’ said the bouncer, as though he had regained

naked flesh and the taste of warm beer – the threat of imminent

A moment passed. Their eyes locked. Jerry didn’t move.

violence.

‘I’ll tell you what, I’m going to give you my card,’ said

the upper hand, ‘I’ll have to ask you to go.’

Jerry. It was already on the table. He slid it over.

‘Just says “Jeremiah O’Connell”, and a number,’ said the

bouncer without picking it up.

‘That’s all you need,’ said Jerry. ‘Make a few calls. I’ll wait

for you to speak to whoever you need to speak to.’

It took about ten minutes or so. Then the bouncer with

the goatee returned. ‘Commodore will be out in a moment,’

he said flatly. His eyes betrayed nothing, but Jerry saw the

tension in his shoulders. A vein that stood out on his neck.

Both tells that Jerry knew well – signs of one predator sizing

up another.

‘Well done, mate,’ replied Jerry.

The bouncer gave him an appraising look, seemed about to

say something, but thought better of it and then moved away.

Moments later, Commodore appeared, pale and drawn. Her

eyes were tired, and she wore streetwalker clothes.

‘They say I have to come with you,’ she said blankly.

‘They’re right, darlin’.’

Hope for the best, plan for the worst – that was what they

always said. He was prepared for a fuss. Tears. Screaming,

maybe even fists, and he was ready to carry her bodily out of

the door if needs be.

Instead, she just looked at him with tired, darkrimmed

eyes that no amount of caked on

makeup

could disguise.

She might be beautiful again, maybe, at some point in the

future. But right now her world had robbed her of looks and

life. Drugs had brought her low, and when she asked, ‘Did

my father send you?’ and he told her yes, the look on her face

was one of relief.

In short order, he made the call, drove to The Saddle

Ranch further along and delivered the girl into the grateful

arms of her father. An envelope was handed over. ‘There’s a

lot of money in there,’ said the father.

Jerry shrugged. ‘Price was agreed. Twenty grand for her

safe return. You got her back, you pay up. Simple as that.’

His face darkened. ‘Not planning on quibbling about it now,

are you?’

The man seemed to remember himself, shook his head,

and when he handed over the envelope, it was with a look of

gratitude, of relief. He watched as Jerry stowed the envelope

in his inside jacket pocket, got in the car and took off.

For his part, as he took off along Cedar Tree Avenue in

the shitty Prius, Jerry was looking forward to a drink at the

Naughty Pig on the Strip.

Which was when it happened.

Author:

A working mum who just loves to read!

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