An Affair With Danger

By Robin Storey

Crime & mystery, General fiction, Romance

Paperback, eBook

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WHEN I think about the first time I laid eyes on Frankie, my mind imbues it with a significance it didn’t have – a recognition of kindred souls or a premonition of a shared future. The reality was that our eyes met for a couple of seconds in a courtroom. I was intrigued by her from that moment; although I can confidently say that I made no impression on her at all. I hesitate to use the word obsession but what the hell, I already have.

And if it wasn’t for my craving for a sausage roll, I wouldn’t have been in that courtroom at all.
#
June 2005

I CRANKED the car heater up and turned on the windscreen wipers against the steady drizzle. The suburban roads shone damp in the streetlights. At 10.15 on a Tuesday night, there wasn’t a lot of traffic. I hated working late in winter and couldn’t wait to get home to my warm, cosy apartment and collapse in front of the TV with a beer. I’d stayed back in the office to get my head around the financial reports of my newest client, a national chain of fitness centres, who’d been served with a bankruptcy notice by a creditor.

As I approached the lights of my local 7-Eleven store, I realised how hungry I was. I’d only had a sandwich at my desk for dinner. The empty parking space right in front vindicated my decision to stop. Mike was sitting behind the counter reading a newspaper.

‘Hi Mike! Busy night?

Mike grinned. ‘Flat out as usual. How about you?’

‘Same as always. Any sausage rolls left?’ I walked over to the hot food stand on the side counter. There was one sausage roll in the pie warmer. ‘Must be my lucky night.’

I tore a paper bag from the hanger, took out the sausage roll and popped it into the bag. I heard the entrance buzzer beep behind me.

‘Get your hands in the air!’

I whirled around. A man with a stocking over his face stood in front of the counter pointing a gun at Mike. Mike was standing, his hands raised, his face frozen into a sickly shade of pale. The man motioned to me with the gun. ‘Go and stand next to him.’

I forced my legs to move. Although fear had numbed my body, my mind was in overdrive, taking in as much as it could. The man was tall and solid, and dressed in jeans, pullover and joggers. He wore a beanie and although the stocking over his face blurred his features, I could make out a broad nose and square chin.

‘Is there anyone else in here?’

Mike shook his head. The man leaned forward and jabbed him in the chest with the gun. ‘Don’t fuck with me, mate.’

‘I’m telling the truth, there’s no-one else.’

The man waved his gun in the direction of the cash register. ‘Empty it! And move it!’

Mike opened the register drawer. His hands shook as he pulled out the notes. The man peered out the front door, rocking back and forth on his feet.

‘Hurry up!’ he yelled. Mike handed him a pile of notes and the man stuffed them into his jeans pocket. He jabbed his gun into Mike’s chest again. ‘Is that all?’

Mike nodded. The man backed out the front door, the pistol still trained on us, then ran into the night. It was all over in less than a minute.



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