Crunch Time

Free Crunch Time by Nick Oldham

Book: Crunch Time by Nick Oldham Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nick Oldham
know?’
    â€˜Cos he’s greedy – to see the product and make a profit. I could see it in his eyes when I whispered those words.’
    â€˜Which were?’
    â€˜Hardcore porn.’
    She sighed, sipped some more coffee, wiped her lips this time.
    â€˜Re. Frank Jagger, we need to get him a banger to run around in … in fact, maybe approach Ingram on that score,’ Henry said, thinking out loud, his brain becoming de-fogged. ‘Ingram knows Jagger has no wheels and that he’s still got a load of gear to shift …’ His words drifted off. ‘But, whatever, I need to be seen to be in a panic because my debts are still unpaid and I’ve got that huge fine to pay off, too … Jagger’s pretty much in the shit, desperate, even …’ Things were coming together slowly in Henry’s mind, the next stage of the scam – but he suddenly pulled up short. ‘I take it the wheels are in place to quash that conviction I just got?’ He was referring to the fact that even though he had been convicted of the drink-drive offence under the name of Jagger, he would still be a disqualified driver in the eyes of the law. After all, he was the one who had committed the offence, whether he called himself Jagger or Christie.
    â€˜It’s all being taken care of,’ she assured him. Wheels within wheels, Henry thought, at the highest level of the criminal justice system in the country. However, any checks carried out by a third person would always reveal that Frank Jagger had been convicted and disqualified, which was part of the exercise.
    â€˜Good.’
    A silence descended between them.
    â€˜What a waste,’ she said at length.
    â€˜Meaning?’ His brow creased.
    â€˜My hot arse,’ she said delightfully.
    â€˜Don’t,’ he pleaded, mortified, ‘don’t.’
    Henry shivered. The heating was off and it was very chilly inside the small industrial unit Jagger rented on the ground floor of a huge Victorian mill behind Great Ducie Street, not far from the Manchester Arena next to Victoria Railway Station.
    The place was stacked to the rafters with cans of booze – the stock in trade of Frank Jagger, whose business consisted mainly of arranging the theft and then the selling of huge quantities of alcohol. Henry surveyed the cans and grinned because none of it was actually stolen, it was all provided by breweries and when this scam was finished it would all have to be returned.
    He walked across the concrete floor and stood next to the fifty or so boxes containing several thousand DVDs, all of which were crammed full of hardcore pornography, including 500 with child porn. These had all come from the vaults of the Metropolitan Police, and once Ingram had been ensnared, they would all be returned for destruction.
    As part of his preparation for getting back into the role of Jagger, Henry had sat through several disgusting hours of DVD viewing so that he could at least talk knowledgeably about the contents if necessary.
    It had been harrowing to watch and as he recalled some of the scenes, he grimaced and wiped his face, then checked his watch: two in the afternoon. He started to wonder if Ingram would really contact him.
    In the meantime, he locked the building and jumped into the beat-up Nissan Micra that had been found for him by Andrea. It had been decided to get him some wheels straightaway, otherwise it would have severely curtailed his ability to keep up with Ingram. The car was one from the GMP pound, had no current owner and would stand any scrutiny by Ingram.
    It started first time, sweet as a nut in spite of its age and appearance, and he drove down to the A56, heading away from the city towards Bury. He pulled on to the forecourt of a motor dealership about two miles out of town, and stopped. The place specialized in the sale of Rover and MG cars and it was from here that he’d bought his Rover 75, part-exchanging it for the

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