“He wrote this a week ago. He had terminal cancer. Apparently he got tied up in a drug operation, of all things. Someone was blackmailing him and he had no choice. Doesn’t say about what. Anyway, it’s been going for years and he had all this money he didn’t want anyone to know about. Josh was the only other person and he asked him to find me and give me the money.”
Not knowing what to say, Baz sat quietly for a moment, but the wheels were turning.
“Mazza, you know what? I think the guys who killed Josh are the drug dealers. They knew your father was dying and they wanted their money back. They must have tracked Josh here and were closing in on him. You took the car and the money and now they’re after you. I mean us. I mean, shit, this is bad! But Mazza, it also means your father loved you.”
Mazza nodded his head slowly and looked at the pile of money.
“I can’t believe it. This is really crazy. Baz, we’re gonna have to disappear.”
“Wait a minute. What if we just gave them back the money? Then it would all be over. We could just walk away from it.”
Shaking his head with a sad smile Mazza pointed out the cold hard facts.
“Nope. They killed Josh. If all they wanted was the money they just would have made him give it to them. He’s dead because he knew what they were up to; they knew my father told him. That means they also know that I know, and you too. We’re the last two loose ends. They want the money and they want us dead, Baz.”
They talked into the night, back and forth, weighing their options, but it always came back to the fact that they were being hunted and would be as long as they had the money. They needed to leave the country. It was the only way. They discussed places they could go. With a million dollars the choices were unlimited, but they were sad that it meant leaving New Zealand and not knowing when they could ever come back.
Eventually they fell asleep and when they woke the next morning they were no closer to a decision. Over breakfast they decided they didn’t have to hurry, they could stay put for a couple of days and think it through. The dealers had no way of knowing where they were. Or so they thought. They were paying the check when Mazza’s phone rang. It was Trudy’s number.
“Hey Trudy, what’s up girl?”
“Mazza? I’m so sorry. I really am. I…”
The fear in her voice put a chill in Mazza. A new voice was suddenly on the line.
“Hello faggot. You’ve got something of ours and we want it back. Your friend here would be real grateful if you did just that. Seems she doesn’t fancy the idea of being dismembered.”
Mazza felt the blood going to his head and he was angry.
“Who are you, you demented fuck? You’d better not hurt her; she has nothing to do with this. It’s not your money, my father gave it to me. Why’d you kill Josh? I can describe you to the police you know.”
“Yeah sure you can. But you won’t. You know by now how your father got that money. I don’t think you want to do time any more than we do. You’re going to give us that money. You and your mate meet us in Albert Park at midnight. Victoria statue. Don’t be late. We start with the fingers if you are.”
The phone went dead. Mazza put it away and sat down on the kerb.
Part 9 Tomorrow