Songs of Bliss
goons in his home country, and about how, God willing, they will be able to do the same
again today if they have to.
"We?ll leave the bags here. Money and supplies, yes? We?ll leave them here. You
have the syringe in your jacket pocket, remember, and I have one here." He pats his own
jacket pocket as he puts it on. If they go too far, if they look, if they smell wrong, watch for
my signal. Then, just do it. We?ll only get one chance. The right moment. And remember…
I have this." He tucks his Beretta into the back of his jeans.
Helen is wired, feeling freaked by the sudden change in mood, by the sudden
lowering of shadow over the land.
"But you showed me. You've only got two bullets".
She can feel the weight of the syringe against her thigh as she stands up. The
moment, the idyll has become an endless suffocation. She wants to run, run now, run
anywhere. The thought of killing a man, even one as odious to her as Jock Cascarino, has
been a game until now, a fantasy in which she has been the badly-wronged princess in
disguise. She can feel her hands shaking. She needs to pee. This is the harsh reality, the
black downside of the fairy tale.
Jasari is focused. He takes her free hand and kisses it. "For us. For me. For you. An
end to this shit, you and me, together. I need you."
Helen wants to cry. He needs her. She stead ies herself, breathing deeply, holding
each breathe for five seconds. Slowly her pulse subsides and the feeling of panic that has
been tightening across her chest releases its grip a little. She is still wired, but the circuits
have hardened and she won't short out on him. She won't. She promises herself that she will
see this through. For him. Helen lurches forward, ungainly and awkward, but determined,
and throwing her arms around his neck she kisses him hard and deep.
Arbnor Jasari lets her do this one last thing. He needs her, at least for as long as it
takes to deal with the three stooges in the courtyard and hit the up country roads. He needs
her now, and as her tongue searches for reassurance, as her lips force the blood from his
own, he hopes that he can find it in himself to need her for a lot longer than that. Right
now, however, he has other things on his mind, and he breaks their embrace.
"Shhh! I know, I know. But now, my love, we have work to do."
He straightens and leads Helen towards the front door of the farmhouse. It?s always
best to get bad news over and done with, he thinks, as they walk out into the lane and turn
left towards the courtyard where the Lexus is parked, doors ajar, and the sound of shouting
echoes from inside the upper storey of the old barn.
Jock Cascarino stands in the middle of the laboratory on the first floor of the barn
and balls his fists, driving his finger nails into the soft flesh of his palms. The place is neat
and tidy, too neat and tidy. The simple outlines, the bare essentials, the cleanliness of the
place irks him. Doctor Jasari is second guessing him, is thinking on his feet, thinking in a