"It's too early... come closer." he sighed. She shuffled around the bed toward him, swearing when he belied his sloth by throwing her down onto the mattress and leaping upon her with active predacity; she squirmed and complained under the dark blue sheets that settled over them. “I said you’re sexy when you’re cranky, in Urdu.”
“Teach me something.” Susan insisted while he used his teeth to loose the buttons of her cardigan.
"Mai urdu nahi bolti.”
“Mai... ur... just tell me what it means.”
“I do not speak Urdu.” he smiled. "French is so much easier... say défonce-moi, bête de la montagne... doucement... profondément..." She cackled as he shucked her tights down, planting her feet, hauling them up then breaking free and scrambling to the foot of the bed, only to be dragged back under the quilt, her shrieks obscuring the sound of the tread approaching the door. Neither of them were prepared for the force with which it flew open, admitting Edward in a black temper.
“Get up.” he snapped. “Into town. Now.”
“What the fuck?" William complained, throwing down the counterpane. “Do you think you can walk your crazy white arse out of here?”
“Just go, it looks important.” Susan insisted, brushing down her skirt.
"Is it?” he demanded of his brother. Edward’s mood required no elucidation, and William reached across her for his trousers.
Lilian met them in the hallway in the midst of tying back her hair, scowling beside the phone held to her ear by her shoulder as she followed them down the stairs.
“Stay here.” Edward told her. She hung up and stuffed the appliance into her bag.
“I swear Lamb if you say that one more time I'm going to fucking stab you. Stay here shit... some cocksucker smashed up the store and sprayed my fucking name in dayglo over everything. Meredith just reamed me like a Dutch bitch.” They waited behind Edward while he unlocked the door into the garage.
“I want pictures.” he told her. “Send them to my phone.”
“Why’re you here?” she demanded of William, dropping down into the passenger side; he glanced up from lighting a joint on the back seat.
“He’s second key on my deposit boxes.” Edward informed her. William leant forward, trading looks with her. “Someone hacked my operating accounts.” he hissed.
“No fucking way... what did they get?” Lilian exclaimed. She glanced back to William for an interpretation of his brother’s mute demeanour; the latter sat back and sucked in his bottom lip.
Susan stood before the coffee machine as the front door slammed. Lilian stalked into the kitchen, slumping down into a chair beside the window before acknowledging her presence with a glance. The silence between them, loaded from the outset, became as contentious as any ill-chosen words and Susan turned toward the sink, casting about for something to say.
“William called a while ago... something garbled, about banks...” she offered. The blonde woman struck a light, sat back and smoked half her cigarette before responding.
“I feel like... you're looking at me a certain way." she asserted, lowering her chin and devoting her gaze to the ash she tapped into the china bowl before her. Unsure how to reply, Susan chose not to, and her companion let the challenge slide. "La Rue hacked Lamb's account, ripped off all the dry-cleaned cash. Then someone busted into the boutique, smashed it up and sprayed how they’re gonna do me all over the whole fucking thing. Whatever kind of shit went down between Lamb and Opal's gotta be bad, because no one goes this fugazi over losing a single fucking client.” Lilian's stare became bitter. “But you wouldn’t know about that, right?”
“I really don't." Susan sighed, shrugging at the suspicion that settled on her skin like soap scum. "Did you have money in the shop?”
“No... but no day job, no visible means of support. No visible means and every douche with a badge is on you like a fucking carcinoma, so no trade. No trade, no fucking money.” She delved into her handbag and a bottle of pills bounced from it onto the table, rolling and dropping at Susan’s feet; the latter could not help but glance at the label upon retrieving them but the discovery recoiled on her, souring the coffee in her mouth.
“This is..." She looked up incredulously. "You can't just take these... they're dangerous..."
“Too late. Who was that bitch last night, the Russian freak?” Lilian asked the question without looking at her.
“She's... a friend of William’s... but... you can't...”
Frowning again as Susan's reply tailed off into an incredulous stare, the blonde woman turned toward the window and the low chug of the large vehicle outside, perceiving the white bulk of a removal truck backing up to the gates. She took out her phone while the occupants jumped down and came for the chain impeding them with an enormous pair of bolt cutters. Susan left her talking to Edward and went to the porch, standing with hands on hips while the intruders guided the truck along the drive. It pulled up halfway, its three large, unshaven attendants sporting wife-beater shirts and sagging track pants.
“This is private property..." she exclaimed, walking around to address the driver, who rolled himself a cigarette behind the wheel. "What the bloody hell's going on?"
“This’s called seizing goods to the value of this right here, according to that right there.” he informed her, handing over a writ. Lilian addressed him as she descended the steps.
“Put it back in gear you greasy fuck or I go get the ten gauge.” she warned, staring up into the cab. The men glanced at each other and began to chuckle, shaking their heads and lowering the cleated ramp toward the cobblestones, the chain stays rattling as they paid out. She disappeared into the house while Susan attempted to decipher the smeary documentation, reappearing with the weapon she’d described in both hands, smiling like a sadist at an invalid. The packers fell back onto the lawn on either side of her while the driver exclaimed profanely into his mirror, struggling with the gearstick as she raised the heavy barrels.
C O N T I N U E D N E X T W E E K
© céili o'keefe do not reproduce