Page 26 of Bloodline

London.

Friday, November 2.


Five p.m.

Alec Nichols was alone in the club sauna when the door opened and a man walked into the steam-filled room, wearing a towel around his waist. He sat down on the wooden bench, next to Alec. "Hot as a witch's tit in here, ain't it, Sir Alec?"

Alec turned. It was Jon Swinton. "How did you get in here?"

Swinton winked. "I said you was expectin' me. He looked into Alec's eyes and asked, "You was expectin' me, wasn't you, Sir Alec?"

"No," Alec replied. "I told you I need more time."

"You also told us your little cousin was going to sell the stock, and you'd give us our money."

"She - she changed her mind."

"Ah, then you'd better change it back for her, hadn't you?"

"I'm trying. It's a question of - "

"It's a question of how much more horseshit we're going to take from you." Jon Swinton was moving closer, forcing Alec to slide along the bench. "We don't want to get rough with you 'cause it's nice to have a good friend like you in Parliament. You know what I mean? But there's a limit." He was leaning against Alec now, and Alec slid farther away from him. "We did you a favor. Now it's time to pay us back. You're gonna get hold of a shipment of drugs for us."

"No! That's impossible," Alec said. "I can't. There's no way - "

Alec suddenly found that he had been crowded to the end of the bench, next to the large metal container filled with hot rocks. "Be careful," Alec said.

Swinton grabbed hold of Alec's arm and twisted it, forcing it toward the bed of rocks. Alec could feel the hair on his arm begin to singe.

"No!"

The next instant his arm was pressed down onto the rocks, and he screamed with pain and fell to the floor in agony. Swinton was standing over him.

"You find a way. We'll be in touch."

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