Derek Williams was not in a very good mood. Admittedly it was Friday night, and Friday night was when he went out on the town to see what he could pull, but this evening his heart just wasn't in it. He had had a really crap day, well, not so much day as a brief period in the morning when Cerys Evans told him that as far as any relationship with her was concerned he could stick his head up his arse and whistle Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. And she'd seemed such a nice girl too. It was not so much the fact that she did it, but that she chose to do it loudly and publicly and her choice of the Welsh national anthem for this unsavoury purpose. And then a rather longer period in the middle of the afternoon, when he had met up with a curmudgeonly old git who had really upset him.
Derek worked in the planning department of the county council as a senior planning assistant and this afternoon he had to fill in for a colleague who was off sick. The colleague in question was the planning enforcement officer, a retired policeman, and Derek was not surprised that he was off sick if what he had to deal with this afternoon was anything to go by. The department had received a complaint from a woman about her neighbour's house extension. It was, she said, far too big and she knew that it had been built without planning consent. The first surprise had been that the house in question was isolated and the complainant could not even see it from her property. Their properties, however, were contiguous, having a common boundary a couple of paddocks from each house and Derek suspected that the root of the problem was either a boundary dispute or something to do with the woman's horses. He called on the woman first and she took him to an upstairs bedroom and handed him a pair of binoculars. She pointed out that when there were no leaves on the trees she could quite clearly see the extension in question.
Derek placated her and went to call on the other property. When he announced himself he was greeted by a stream of abuse from the house owner, whilst his wife was in the background trying to calm him down. All council employees, the man averred were a waste of space, human detritus who were only employed by the council because they wouldn't be able to hold down a proper job working for a company that had to earn money, and that he could stick his planning permission in the same place as Ceris had suggested he stick his head. Getting quite full then. For Derek this wouldn't have been so bad had it not echoed the exact words used by his father every time he went to visit his parents. His father he was prepared to tell not to talk such rubbish, backed up by his mother, but with a member of the public, and one who had to be dealt with, that was not an option.
The problem was that the extension did require planning permission, and would undoubtedly receive it, so all the old guy had to do was put in an application, pay the fee – and you really didn't want to hear what he had to say about that – and permission would be granted, most likely under powers delegated to the officers. Building regulations, the nuts and bolts of complying with all sorts of requirements, most of which were probably written at a mad hatters tea party, would be an entirely different matter, but that did not concern Derek or his department. He was thankful for that small mercy because there he could have some sympathy with the old git.
On his return to the office there had been little sympathy and a great deal of laughter which only made matters worse. So now he was out on the town, virtually a pub crawl, it being far too early for any girls to be about, he hadn't met up with any of his mates and his mood was becoming darker.
All that changed when he entered the Starlight Cocktail Lounge, because there, sitting at the bar on a high stool was a cougar, and Derek was not averse to a bit of maturity. Derek fancied himself as a ladies man. Standing just on six feet tall and ruggedly handsome were a good start. He was also fit, playing rugby although only at a local club level, and he knew that he also had pretty good equipment to carry out the promises of his chat lines.
His target this evening was a very attractive blonde, probably in her mid-forties he thought, well rounded of hip and with a substantial chest well exposed by the deep décolletage of her dress and carefully made up. He walked to the bar and ordered a drink. He indicated the next stool along from the lady and enquired if he might sit there, to which she agreed there would be no harm in him doing so.
The lady, whose name was Jackie, seemed to gradually warm to him and they chatted for about an hour, with Derek buying several drinks. After that time, Jackie drained her glass stood up and leaned forward to kiss him on that cheek, at the same time she whispered, 'Not tonight, big boy', and he felt her hand give his cock a squeeze as it lay along his thigh. With that she was gone, and the barman brought him another drink with the words, 'From the lady.'
Now that was odd, he thought.
"I don't know why I ended up in the Starlight last night," Derek confided in his friend Tomos, who was a constable in the local police force. They were in The Harbour Master, a quayside pub after the saturday afternoon match, which they had lost comprehensively.
"But yesterday added to today, I dread to think what is going to happen tomorrow."
Tomos enquired as to what he was referring, or basically asked what the fuck he was talking about, and Derek explained all.
" ... and the woman's name was Jackie, brassy blonde, big up top and bottom," confirmed Tomos.
"You my friend are in deep shit. That is Big Tony's missus. Christ, well, it's been nice knowing you."
"What do you mean? I only chatted to the woman. And who's Big Tony?"
"Surely you know Big Tony, know of him anyway, Tony Mayberry, just about runs this town. Why do you think we have so little trouble here? Because none of the local punks dares to step out of line. Because Big Tony's boys will deal with them, that's why. It may not be good policing, but that's what happens. He does a lot for the local children's home, too."
"Well, yeah, I've heard of him, actually doesn't he own the Starlight?"
"Yes, and one other thing you ought to know, he owns a fishing boat and rumour has it that the last couple of blokes who tried to chat up his wife went out shark fishing with him. They were the bait."
"But the only sharks we get around here are those big buggers, and they only filter out plank ... OH! Fuck!"
"Fortunately you didn't do that, but I'd be worried if I were you. Another pint?"
Monday turned out to be a boring one of routine paperwork and Derek was able to knock off sharp on five and go home. Home was a flat in a converted house near the centre of town and had forecourt parking. As he locked his car two large men in suits approached him. One was between him and his front door, and the other blocked his way to the street.
"Mr Williams, Mr Mayberry would like a word. You'll come with us."
That was clearly a statement of fact and not a request, and Derek's stomach felt like it was full of worms.
They walked the short distance to the esplanade and then along to the pier, one of the men on either side of him. They went through the slot machine arcade and then up a staircase to a first floor office suite. There was a reception area where they indicated he should wait whilst one of them went through a door, to return after a minute and gesture for him to follow. They went down a corridor and the man opened a door and said:
"Mr Williams for you, Mr Mayberry."
Derek went in and the door closed behind him.
There was a large man, obviously Big Tony, sitting on the other side of a large desk, and sitting on his knee was a girl of perhaps twelve or thirteen wearing a short white and largely see through dress. His hand pushed her to her feet and she giggled and kissed him on the cheek.
"There you are sweetie, you run along and ask Bernard to run you back to the home. I'll see you again soon."
The girl left, grinning at Derek.