Saleem’s courteous mask dropped, revealing a face flushed with anger.
“What did you two fuckers do with my drugs?”
Matt’s eyes widened and Kate saw panic etch itself over his face.
“What do you mean?” he asked. “We handed the tanks to McLane yesterday.”
“Quit fucking with me!” Saleem yelled. Closing his eyes and squeezing his hands together, he took a deep breath to calm himself down. After he slowly let the air out, he picked up his drink again and drained it in one gulp.
“Danny checked one of the tanks and whatever’s in there, it’s not my ice,” he continued in a more controlled tone. “So, I’m going to ask again, what did you do with the real merchandise?”
Matt shot a furious look at Pierre. Pierre’s eyes were narrowed and questioning as he returned his stare. The two men seemed locked in a silent argument.
Matt was the first one to break eye contact. He turned to Saleem, let the bag drop to the floor and held out his palms.
“I told you from the start it was a mistake to trust him,” he pleaded.
“Oh, that’s rich coming from you,” Pierre scoffed.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Matt was getting flustered.
“You know exactly what I mean…” Pierre shook his head in disgust. “If anyone is double-dealing, it’s you for sure. Lying comes as easy as breathing to you. You lied to your girlfriend about Kate and you lied to Kate about…well, everything.”
“I did not lie to Kate,” Matt said.
“Yes, really. How did I lie to her? I just did the same as you, I didn’t tell her anything she didn’t need to know.”
“Right. So, you didn’t pretend you didn’t know she was going to be the divemaster on Dream Weaver, when in fact you were the one who convinced JP to give her the job?” Pierre pointed his finger accusingly towards him.
“You did what?” Kate asked, incredulous.
Matt put his hands up. “Kate, that’s not true. I promise I didn’t know you would be the DM on the boat. JP just said it would be someone who wouldn’t cause any trouble. I had no idea it would be you, honestly!”
Kate shook her head.
“I don’t believe you,” she said. “You lied to me about why you were going back to England last year, and you lied about how you met Tamara, in fact, I’m starting to wonder if anything you ever said to me was true. Worst of all though, you lied about why you were on Dream Weaver. Holiday,” she scoffed, “I should have guessed. But, you know what, worse than the lying, you put me and all of the nice innocent people on that boat in serious danger. Look at where we are now. I’ll never forgive you for that,” Kate said, as she crossed her arms.
“Kate, look I’m sorry, I didn’t want anything bad to happen to you, I never would. I’m trying to help. I even gave you the money, didn’t I?”
Kate felt a wave of rage swirl within her, flushing her chest and face as it rose.
“And what happened in my cabin, you pretending that something had happened between us because you knew Pierre was standing there! Was that you trying to help too?”
“Yes,” Matt said, exasperated. “I don’t trust him and I saw he was trying to seduce you.”
“Seduce me? Oh my god! What century do you think this is? I’m not some wallflower waiting to be plucked. Does it occur to you that I’m quite capable of choosing who I want to go out with?”
“Enough!” Saleem yelled.
His voice jolted Kate out of the argument and back into the cabin. She bit her lip.
“I am not interested in your pitiful love triangle!” Saleem’s fists were balled tight. Kate could tell that their bickering had pushed him way past the limits of his patience. Hector on the other hand looked totally flummoxed and amused by the situation.
“None of you seems to appreciate the severity of the predicament you find yourselves in,” Saleem said, his eyes fixed on Kate like a panther’s calculating when to pounce on its prey.
“For your information, I was the one who told JP to give you the job. Matt was right about one thing – I didn’t think you’d be asking any questions. And if you did, well…”
“I owe you money and you have my passport…” Kate finished his sentence. “So, you thought you could keep me quiet anyway.”
“You’re smart,” Saleem said, appraising her. “Shame, you would have made a good cabin stewardess, I think.” He nodded to his henchman.
Before Kate got a chance to realise what was happening, Hector had slipped behind her and wrapped his arm around her neck, his thick forearm pressing on her windpipe, making it hard for her to catch her breath. She tried to praise his arm away with her fingers but the cold nuzzle of the gun pressing against her temple stilled her.
She looked over to Pierre. He took a tentative step towards her but for the first time, she saw a flicker of fear in his eyes.
“I would stay where you are Captain,” Saleem said. “Now, since you both seem to have grown quite fond of Ms Wynter, let me make this clear. Either you tell me where my drugs are, or she’s about to become shark chum.”
Kate shuddered. Whilst she’d been alarmed when Hector had first pulled out a gun on them, she’d convinced herself it was just his way of playing gangsters and intimidating them. She hadn’t believed he would ever think about actually using it. Now, looking at Saleem’s cold black eyes and feeling Hector’s humid breath on the side of her face, she realised that this wasn’t a game, he meant every word he said. She squeezed her thighs together to stop her bladder from giving up on her.
Saleem sat on the back of the sofa behind him and crossed his arms, waiting.
“Oh for God sake’s,” Pierre grabbed hold of Matt by the front of his shirt and slammed him against the wall. The back of Matt’s head smashed into the large mirror, cracking it. “Tell him what you’ve done with his stuff, you piece of shit!”
“What the fuck, man? I have no idea what’s going on!” Matt pleaded.
Keeping Kate trapped in the crook of his arm, Hector turned the gun on the two men but Saleem lifted his hand to indicate he wanted to see how the scene played out.
Pierre pulled his fist back ready to strike whilst tightening his grip on Matt’s shirt.
Matt’s face was so pale, he looked like he was about to pass out. He grappled with Pierre’s hand, trying to pry it off whilst turning his face away out of harm’s way.
“Are you going to make me beat it out of you? Because trust me, I will. Kate has nothing to do with this, I will not let you get her killed.”
Photo by Peter Olexa on Unsplash
- : Fiction
- : A fair bit of disgraceful language...
- : Man, this ending malarkey is tough to write...