Chapter 9

Written by: Suraya Dewing


I froze. All my suspicions of Tom came flooding back and I wished I had the gun Ralph had planted for me. Now, as my startled eyes darted to her I could see that something was wrong. Her sly smile had turned triumphant and my heart was suddenly beating hard in my throat.

‘You should know never to cross a hard headed woman, Ned,’ she said. ‘You always knew I wanted you.’

‘What’s happened to Emily,’ I gasped.

Surely not enough to kill someone for, I thought, not believing that Asphalt Angel would ever go that far.

Asphalt Angel heaved a loud sigh when I said this and rolled her eyes impatiently. Didn’t I know that there were two things women killed for? Diamonds and hearts and I'd played with both.

‘A deck of cards?’ I blurted.

Her laughter screeched around the room and her frozen eyes turned harder. Tom sidled up to her and put his arm around her waist. She shifted away.

‘Where the hell is Emily?’ I demanded. I looked from one to the other. I wanted to wipe those smug grins off their ugly faces but they were in control so I had to go along with their game.

‘You’ll find out soon enough….,’ Tom snarled.

It was strange because the implications were pretty unpleasant but I had ached for Emily for so long I figured that if I couldn’t join her in this world then maybe our destinies were linked in the next. If anything I felt tremendous relief. I almost applauded when Tom started pulling the gun out of his pocket.

Asphalt Angel slapped the hand holding the gun. ‘Not here.’ She looked around the room. There were a few late stayers whose beers were now well and truly warm. I expect they had no homes to go to and inside the bar was warmer than the street where they would be dossing down. And now we were providing free entertainment as well. One old timer leaned on the bar and unashamedly fixed his eyes on us….waiting for the damned gun to go off no doubt. Everyone else (all six of them) had the courtesy to look away.

How I wish I had picked up Ralph’s texts now.

 ‘I don’t much care if you kill me,’ I declared. I spread my hands wide. ‘But at the very least kill me next to my darling Emily.’

Asphalt Angel screeched wildly. ‘You think she’s dead?’

Miserably I nodded. Why wouldn’t I? Ralph’s texts said….

Pitying me with those dead, grey eyes, Asphalt Angel said, ‘I’ve been protecting her, you mad fool… from you.’

I gasped. How in the world did she know I’d stumbled on their secret diamond business?

She pushed me ahead of her. ‘Come on, … we’ve got some visiting to do.’