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Not Ten?

The devil is in a red dress. The devil is in a blue blue dress. The devil is in the details? Man, that fucker gets around.

Well, you know what they say. The chase is half the fun.

Not Ten? by TM McLean

I didn’t mess around. As soon as I knew what the deal was, I went after that shitbag, Julian. It wouldn’t be too hard to find him; there were only a few places he was likely to be. So I ignored the pleasant temperature and the cloudless blue sky and I stomped off to find him. I didn’t have any friends around me and that made things even worse. They had been due to fly up from London the day before but some crappy volcanic eruption in Iceland had grounded all flights. 

That made it even worse. I was foaming. It was only ten o’clock and I was already angrier than I had ever been. 

Being alone in Gateshead—my least favorite place on Earth!—without any friends or family nearby was bad enough ... and Julian had the fucking nerve to let me down. Well, he was going to pay for that, the bastard. 

It didn’t take long before I came across one of his minions. Not surprising really, since I was outside of Julian’s father’s restaurant. Neither Julian nor his father was anywhere to be seen, but the guy who was there quickly gave me a lead. It’s amazing how quickly you get answers when you grab someone by the nuts, especially if you grab them hard. He told me what I wanted to know and I kicked the shit out of him anyway. It felt good. 

I left the loser crying on the floor like a girl. I doubt his mother would have recognized him. Well, his mother maybe, but definitely not his dentist. While he was still able to talk he managed to croak out that Julian was staying at the Hilton. That shit-sack was out living like a king while I was left high and dry. 

That was about to change. 

The stupid bitch at the reception desk looked at me like I was a complete moron. I gave her Julian’s name, and she told me that she wasn’t authorized to tell me which room he was in. The blood from the restaurant geek was still on me and I could see the receptionist was nervous. She probably would’ve phoned the police, too, if I hadn’t jumped across the table and busted her head open with her own high heel shoe. I stuffed that idiot into the cleaning cupboard. No one was around to see, and I didn’t give a fuck about the CCTV. 

I’m pretty sure she wasn’t dead. 

Modern technology is pretty useful. It took me about two minutes to find where Julian was. He was only staying in one of the best rooms! 

I was getting angrier with every step. The lift was slow—really slow—and I clenched my teeth the whole time I was in it. If it had taken much longer I would’ve ended up like that freak back at the restaurant. 

The doors slid open and I stamped down the corridor. My thoughts were all about Julian. Yeah, he might have been a big shot coke dealer in Newcastle, and he might well spend more time in the gym than most people spend breathing, but he wasn’t going to be any match for me. Not on that day. 

His room door was before me and I took a couple of deep breaths. My fists must have been clenching pretty tight by my sides, because I felt my nails break the skin. I hammered on the door. 

No answer. 

I kicked it instead, again and again and again. “Julian!” I shouted.

Still nothing. 

He wasn’t doing anything to help his situation ... all he was doing was making me crazy. I tried the doorknob and was surprised when it turned. Did I really want to confront Julian? 

Too fucking right I did. 

The key card used to unlock open the door was sticking out from a slot on the wall, activating the electricity for the room, and telling me that Julian was definitely there. The TV was on, some crappy American cop show filling the room with sirens. No wonder Julian hadn’t heard me thumping on the door. I couldn’t wait to see the bastard’s face. 

The main room was empty and I was almost about to give up, but then I heard a cough outside. He was on the balcony. 

I took my time, picked a cigarette out from the packet on the table and lit it up. A good lungful steadied me and I was ready to face him. I pulled the curtain to the side so that I could look out through the sliding door. 

Then it was my turn to be surprised. 

Instead of Julian, I was faced with another of his minions. A bucktoothed halfwit called Henry. He spotted me too. “You’re not supposed to be here,” he said, showering the comfy looking seats with spittle. “Julian won’t be happy about this!” 

“No?” I said and took another drag on the cigarette. “Are you happy to see this?” I flicked the burning cigarette at his face. If he’d had the sense to say something else he might have been able to extinguish it, but instead it hit him right in the eye. He screeched like a baby, making it easy for me to tip him over the edge. I watched him fall all ten floors, and watched as he hit the ground. It wasn’t as loud or gory as I thought it would be. 

A noise from inside the room made me turn. It was him! 

Julian had a towel wrapped around his waist, showing his powerful abs and shoulders. His black hair was slicked back and a day’s stubble decorated his face. He looked every bit the Italian movie star-like gangster, which was of course exactly what he was. 

“Julian, you fuck-whore,” I said as I stepped back into the room. 

The look of surprise on his face was thrilling, but his raised eyebrows soon became furrowed. “What the hell are you doing here, babe? We’re due at the Civic Centre at twelve—that’s in half an hour. And your dress! You know it’s bad luck for me to see you wearing that before the wedding.” 

Shit, I thought, did he say twelve? Not ten? 

TM McLean (Tim to his friends) is not only a great guy, he’s also a pretty awesome writer. Don’t believe that hype? Well, you can check out his Amazon author page here: where you’ll find an ever increasing number of publications featuring his work. If you were to buy some of his books, it’s pretty likely that Tim would think very highly of you. Let him know all about it on Twitter @TimMcLean2.