Danny was in his usual position, stationed at the window watching the street, an overflowing saucer full of cigarette butts beside him. Further down the road, he could see Kate’s front door, which was why he was there. Ever since she had met Jack Holland, he had made it his business to stay as close to his sister as was humanly possible. He had slept in his car until this flat had become available; no doubt the fact there was a tramp living in a car outside had speeded up the process.
Jack had given himself away quite soon in the beginning of his relationship with Kate, stupidly warning Danny to stay away if he knew what was good for him, prodding him painfully in the chest to make his point. And although he made it seem like a joke and was laughing, Danny knew exactly what he was about and was instantly concerned for his sister’s welfare.
He could sense this Jack Holland could be capable of anything and he had been right. He had watched the marriage turn into a horror story for both Kate and her son. He wanted to take them away to somewhere safe, and Kate stubbornly refused to listen, pushing him away time after time. He had to settle for being around; convinced he could do something, even if it was just to pick up the pieces.
So he watched and waited, hoping he could be of help if and when she needed him.
He wondered what she was doing. It was almost midday and the street had been deserted all morning. He could see what he thought was the postman, beginning to shove things into people’s letterboxes. Seems like a good job; he thought, better than sitting in an office all day, healthy too, all that fresh air.
He could do with some of that; he hadn’t been outside for days and was going stir crazy. He sometimes went out after dark when there was less chance of being seen, just to the local shop for food and tobacco and he was desperate to be outside in the daylight. Kate might go to the park again, that would be good.
He lit another cigarette and sighed, frustrated with the self-imposed vigilance he had to suffer. But he had nothing better to do; did he? He was convinced something was about to happen. There was this weird sensation at the back of his neck, almost like an itch every time he saw his sister.
That time he followed her to the park the sensation was so strong it was almost painful. There were many people around; any one of them could have been watching her. He had studied them all, looking for the one face he would recognise and none of them had looked like Jack Holland.
Kate had looked sad and worried that day and he was convinced something must have happened he knew nothing about.
He wondered if she would be checking up on her elderly neighbour, giving him something else to look at assuring him she was okay.
The last time he had seen her she had wandered over to his car and he wondered if she recognised it as his. With all his secrecy, he hadn’t remembered she had seen his car that day at the hospital. His stupidity didn’t have any boundaries, did it?
He wondered again just what possible help he could be if she needed any, and he was sure she would need somebody soon. He could feel it gathering, like storm clouds on the horizon. Someone was plotting to destroy her and he had a good idea who that someone was.
He had never liked the man she had ended up marrying. On the surface, Jack Holland was the perfect gentleman, all good manners and kind gestures. Most women would fall for his charms, and unfortunately, Kate had, probably because she needed rescuing from an insane relationship with a disgusting old man. He never did discover the truth behind that, and along came Casanova, convincing her that life with him would be wonderful. But life with Jack Holland had turned out to be a perfect nightmare for both her and her little boy.
On his way back from the bathroom, he decided he needed something to eat and the only thing available was toast. While he waited for the bread to pop back up in the toaster, he found himself listening intently for the sound he heard earlier. Yes, there it was again. Someone seemed to be crying. Was it a child?
It was odd, for as far as he was aware, there were no children at this end of the street.