Livia ended her call. Paolo hadn't liked Livia's tone, even though she'd been married to one of his bosses. Sure he felt guilty and confused by all this female distraction, but, like Tony and the others, he was Italian and a man with male pride and as such he didn't take kindly to any put-down by a mere woman.
They say absence makes the heart grow stronger, but in the case of Livia, absence plus long-distance bad vibes made her pretty face and cute body less attractive, particularly when the far-from-ugly sisters were all over him!
“Text me when they find the body,” instructed Livia, “I need to know when to grieve!”
“Sure.... When will you get back?” asked Paolo
“About 8 day’s time.”
“Shall I pick you up from Southampton?”
“No... thanks... but far too fishy! We don’t want anyone to connect the two of us.”
‘It’s a bit late for that,’ thought Paolo, aware that Sofia thought she was in the know... and she was.
“Tony, the bastard, can pick me up.” continued Livia. “He surely owes his brother’s widow that!”
“Shall I ask him for you?”
“No, no, no... I’ll call him myself.”
Paolo felt guilty, and Livia knew it. She didn’t know why, but knew it might involve another woman... or, even worse, some treachery might be afoot.
Paolo was awkward throughout Livia’s call.
“I know you’re keeping something from me, but right now I need an update. I’ve been online and seen a UK story about searching for a body. Is it the body I’ve been expecting Paolo? Tell all, and if you try to bullshit me you can forget taking up where we left off!”
Paolo told Livia about what had been going on... but lied about the money transfer.
It was probably another hour before he got the call from Livia. Meanwhile he had gone online to scour the Internet for coverage of the search for the body. Unconfirmed reports suggested that they were looking for a well-known East End underworld boss, so far unnamed.
They say that men often give themselves away to women, who have a sixth sense. The sixth sense is probably no more than being more observant of subtle signs than men.
Paolo was getting ready to leave for lunch with Marcia. It obviously showed.
“What are you hiding from me Paolo?”
Paolo was feeling pretty good about the day. It was still only 10.15am. He turned on his TV to the news channel to see if the story had been picked up yet. It had.
”Police are understood to have been given an anonymous tip-off last night that there was a body in a river in Cambridgeshire. BBC News understands that police divers are searching a remote section of the New Bedford River in the heart of The Fens. Our Cambridgeshire correspondent is on the spot...”
The sight of the river where he’d been so recently prompted an involuntary shudder.
Paolo arranged to meet Marcia at a restaurant in Borough Market at 12.30. He could dispose of his plastic bag on the way. He allowed himself a smile as he thought ‘If lunch is anything like breakfast... fucking hell!’
He hardly had time to brush his teeth before his phone went again and this time it was Sofia. Her tone was chipper.
“Hi Paolo. Sorry if I woke you earlier, but it seemed such a waste to leave you on your own down there. Why don’t we meet for a drink after work tonight and I can say sorry properly.
Marcia’s call to Paolo was a little more intimate.
“Paolo dear,” she started, “you left so quickly this morning... I didn’t have time to explain.”
Paolo was surprised at the call, but he’d already had a couple of surprises today, both of them very pleasant. This surprise call though was a bit disconcerting. Marcia helping herself to sex with him earlier was one thing, but her cool matter-of-factness afterwards had confused him.
“Tony is off to see the police for 12.00, and I have a childminder and plan to come up to London. Can I buy you lunch?”
Hot on the heels of Tony’s call came the one from the police. The caller asked Paolo to go to his local Limehouse Police Station at 3pm to complete the paperwork on his statement of the previous night. The caller was remarkably polite, but Paolo wasn’t of a mind to refuse anyway.
The police strategy was to keep Tony and Paolo apart and then if anything Tony said earlier in Walthamstow didn’t quite gel, then they could try to pump Paolo for the truth.
Paolo knew this might be the case after Tony did say he would be at Walthamstow.
The call from Tony involved no preliminary niceties. Paolo tried by asking Tony how he was, but got the “Never mind that...” response. Tony then grilled Paolo on what he’d said to the police and in particular asked what he’d said about the money. Paolo reassured Tony that he’d said nothing about the money, had denied knowing how much was paid and how it was paid and declared that he, Tony had dealt with that side of things alone and that Paolo was just a bodyguard.
Tony’s “Hmmmph!” indicated that he was grudgingly OK with that.
And that was that.
Paolo wasn’t surprised to get the call from Tony, who quizzed him in detail about everything he had told the police last night. Inasmuch as his boss would listen to him, he advised Tony to tell all, as Paolo had.
“Maybe!” was Tony’s response.”
Paolo wasn’t surprised either to receive a call from the police asking him to come in to a local station to confirm his statement of the previous night.
He was surprised though to receive two calls in succession, one from Marcia, the other from Sofia. They each, separately, asked to meet him later.
Then Livia called.
Back in his flat, Paolo had showered, reluctantly washing off the memory of the two beautiful sisters from his body. Still needing more sleep, he was nonetheless preoccupied. He had things to do, fast.
First off, he needed to check the contents of his Bitcoin account. Yes!... all there.
Next, disposing of the contents of his freezer. Eyes closed, he removed the bag of frozen fingers and dropped it into a small plastic bag with a shudder. It was strange the last thing he wanted reminding of was those fingers.
He would drop it into a public waste bin later.
Marcia would have let Tony have more than just a hug, but he was clearly preoccupied, so it was coffee she administered instead.
“Where is Paolo? I need to talk to him.” Tony was back in gear again.
“Went home to change and then heading off to your office. He left a note.”
“A note’s no fucking good!” Tony said angrily. “I need him here now!”
“You could phone him.” At that moment Marcia realised she hated the real Tony and that any freely given offer of intimacy was back off-limits. He would have to make do with toast.
Marcia’s advice to Tony was simple.
“God knows Tony, I hate the pigs, but you must tell them all this. You are the victim after all and if you get cute with them they’ll get even more suspicious and they’ll find excuses, as if they needed them, to crawl all over the business!”
“I guess!” grunted Tony. “I’ll see what the lawyer says.”
“You reckon Paolo told them all this last night?” asked Marcia.
“Yeah, so they said, but I wasn’t in the mood to ask him what he’d said last night.”
“I know Tony.” Marcia gave him a hug.
One of the reasons that Marcia delayed Tony’s visit to the police was that she wanted to speak to him first. She wanted the full story from Tony... it was the least he could do. Then she would get Paolo to give his version to check consistency, and anything Tony didn’t know or hadn’t said... it was the least he could do.
Tony was remarkably open as, despite their usual marital hostilities, he told Marcia everything that had occurred, including his refusal to say anything to the police and the speeding ticket... and most surprisingly, how it had affected him.
At 9am, two police officers arrived at the security gates for the exclusive housing estate. Answering the intercom, Marcia wasn't about to invite them in. They asked for Tony to accompany them to the police station. Indicating that Tony was not available right then, she told the police that he would attend Walthamstow Police Station at Midday with his solicitor.
This didn’t suit the officers, but Marcia didn’t give them any choice in the matter; she just switched off the intercom. She didn’t like police and her whole manner in dealing with them let them know in no uncertain terms.
Paolo came out of his room fifteen minutes later, having put on the clothes he'd arrived in. The atmosphere was weirdly matter-of-fact in the kitchen. Tony still slept upstairs and Paolo said he needed to go home to change and would take the train and maybe see Tony at his office later if he was going there. To that end he wrote a note for Tony.
Marcia made him another coffee, but in all other respects she was quite cool towards him. He really was confused... and maybe he'd been used, twice!
Paolo needed to get away, fast.
Maybe the age gap made the difference, but unlike her sister, Marcia had taken it slowly with Paolo. It had been no energetic exercise class of bounce-ups, but rather a slow, measured approach to satisfaction, making it impossible for Paolo to forget. He was mesmerised by her beautiful breasts hanging tantalisingly close to his chest and her freshly showered smell. Marcia had been different to Sofia and the difference was amazing.
When she left Paolo, shaken and certainly stirred, and closed his door, she was straight back to being a mum again. It was as if nothing had happened.
Marcia’s take on the encounter with Paolo was that there weren’t many fit young men around her house and never had been... and sex wasn’t on her menu that often and she knew that Sofia was getting quite a lot... and with her husband Tony too!
Also, Sofia had said Paolo was sweet on Livia and was frustrated, waiting for the gift of her body. Marcia still didn’t like Livia and hated how she was keeping Sofia and her in the dark.
She delighted that she had had Paolo... and at the right time, she would certainly let Livia know!
Paolo was on one level confused, but on every other level on cloud nine. Everything had gone better than well. He didn’t understand these two women, but was glad he didn’t have to. He didn’t have to try either for his unexpected bonuses.
And to think that with Livia, he hadn’t passed first base. Like many men, he was ruled by his genitals and right then two birds in the hand were certainly worth more than one in the bush. Livia wasn’t there yet and nothing was certain, but playing his cards right... he might even get a hat trick!
”I’ve brought you breakfast, Paolo. A young man needs to start the day right.”
She turned towards the door as if to leave and, like her sister before her, she turned the lock. She then turned back, flicked her shoulders back and her bathrobe dropped to the floor. She stood, naked, as Paolo took in the view. He knew straight away what would be coming... him.
Marcia, although older than Sofia, had a stunning body too. He lay there, ready, as she approached. “But...” he started.
“But nothing!” said Marcia, climbing aboard.
The women in this house were something else!