Previously: Baxter waits until both men are engrossed in getting Quinn into the car and darts to the side of the pool where he quickly retrieves the bag of Euros and steps back to the boot; he’s just slammed the lid down when Rick steps up beside him. ‘We ready then?’
Baxter nods and steps around him. ‘Yep. C’mon, let’s go.’
The first few miles are completed in silence as each man withdraws into himself; the sense that they’ve had a very narrow escape has shocked them all.
The sound of Quinn’s mumbled groan jerks them all back to the present. Baxter is seated next to Quinn in the back and he puts a hand on Quinn’s arm to steady him.
‘It’s all right; you’re all right, mate. Just take some deep breaths, you’ll be okay.’
Quinn turns startled, bloodshot eyes on him. ‘Bax? Whas... urgh...’ Quinn coughs and gags, his face white.
To the blare of horns from other irritated drivers, Woody indicates and pulls into the side of the road; Quinn is fumbling for the seat belt release but Baxter knocks his hand aside and within seconds Quinn is out of the car; he stumbles for only a few steps before dropping to his knees and throws up.
Baxter winces and turns away; only when he hears Quinn spit and mutter a curse does he go back to him.
‘You okay now?’
Quinn nods, wiping his mouth on his sleeve. ‘What’d you come back for?’ he mutters. ‘Should’ve kept going. Told you.’ He puts both hands on his knees and groans. ‘I feel like shit.’
‘You were shot, Quinn – we found you in the pool, mate. Another minute and you’d have drowned.’
Quinn straightens up and looks him in the eye. ‘I’m supposed to be grateful, am I? Whose idea was it, eh?’
Baxter blinks. ‘Well, all of us... we couldn’t just leave you, not when we saw bloody Dominic heading your way.’
‘Yeah, and we had to go back for the passports,’ Rick joins them. ‘How are you, mate?’ He almost claps Quinn on his bad arm but remembers just in time.
‘I’m just bloody dandy,’ Quinn snaps and starts walking back to the car.
Rick and Baxter look at one another. ‘He’s in shock,’ Baxter says.
‘We’re all in bloody shock, Bax – he might at least be grateful!’
Baxter shrugs and follows Quinn back to the car. Woody has found the remains of a bottle of water and is handing it to Quinn when Baxter slides into his seat.
‘So what happens now, then?’ Quinn asks, looking from one to the other. ‘Or hadn’t you got that far yet?’
‘Hold up mate,’ Woody says in hurt tones. ‘Like Bax says, we couldn’t just leave you, could we? It’ll work out, we just gotta stick together.’
‘And I repeat, what’s the plan?’ Quinn watches as Rick. Woody and Baxter look at one another.
‘We dunno,’ Woody confesses. ‘We just wanted to get away before any more of ‘em showed up.’
‘Yeah – it’s all right for you, Quinn – you might think you haven’t anything to go back for but the rest of us have.’ Baxter clips his seat belt in place and looks annoyed.
Quinn looks at each of them in turn for a long moment before leaning back and closing his eyes. ‘Fine. You just sort yourselves out and I’ll tag along...’
‘Right, now that’s sorted out...’ Baxter mutters.
‘He’s got a point though, lads,’ Rick says as Woody guns the engine and the car rolls forward. ‘What are we gonna do?’
‘Get a ferry to the mainland,’ Baxter says. ‘Get tickets home.’ He thinks of the money in the boot; now is not the time to tell them.
‘I’m not going home,’ Quinn mumbles.
‘Okay, if that’s what you want, mate. What d’you say, lads?’
‘Assuming they haven’t put out an APB on us, yeah,’ Rick says. Quinn’s derisive snort tells them just what he thinks of that.
‘You watch too much telly, mate,’ Woody tells Rick.
‘Well, all right; but they could be looking for us, couldn’t they?’
‘Rick, they were bloody bent coppers! They’re not gonna shout about it, are they?’ Baxter rolls his eyes.
‘We don’t know that Dominic was a copper,’ Quinn says firmly. ‘Thought he was Mafia myself. Or the local crime Baron, at least. He and the girl were both on that boat with Jesus.’
‘He’s got a point,’ Rick says. ‘Maybe we’re in the clear now. It’ll just be one more drugs heist gone wrong, won’t it? Who’d suspect four Brits, eh?’
‘They’ve got my DNA,’ Baxter points out. ‘And maybe yours too, Quinn – we didn’t mop up all your blood.’ He blinks. ‘And what about those two that came with the female cop? They’re gonna know we were there.’
‘Okay, so what do we do, then?’ Rick’s face contorts in anger. ‘You’re all so bloody clever at working out what could go wrong, think of something that could go right for a change!’
‘I’ve put the money in the boot.’
There’s a moment of silence as Rick, Woody and Quinn take this on board.
‘What the fuck?? Bax, are you bloody mad?’ Rick twists in his seat to glare at Baxter.
‘Baxter, I’ve often thought you were crooked – now I bloody know it,’ Quinn says quietly.
‘What d’you wanna do that for, Mate?’ Woody’s face is astonishment itself. ‘After what we agreed, what did you wanna go and do that for?’
Baxter glares at them defensively. ‘I need the money,’ he says simply. ‘Easy as that. Why shouldn’t we?’
Quinn sighs. ‘Because we’re honest people, Bax, not bloody criminal masterminds. What made you think we could possibly get away with it?’
‘I didn’t think,’ Baxter admits. ‘All I could think was that there was the money, and here’s me, business going under... and I thought, why the hell not? What can I say?’ He pauses. ‘And you were gonna keep it all, weren’t you?’
‘I can’t go home, Bax. I’ve killed two people, remember? When they catch up with me –and they will- then me having the money would have put you lot in the clear. Now you’ve just put yourself back in the frame, my friend.’
Silence falls as each man contemplates what Baxter’s actions will now mean for them, and it isn’t until they see the signs for ‘El Puerto de’ that they rouse themselves.
‘Hadn’t we better divvy it up?’ Rick says quietly. ‘In case, you know, in case we get stopped, or separated...’
‘I don’t believe I’m hearing this!’ Quinn spits. ‘Has nothing I’ve said in the past hour sunk in? Obviously not.’
‘Look, Quinn mate, we’re all in this together. Now, let me concentrate – we wanna get the right turn off ...’
‘How are you going to pay for this?’
They look at each other. ‘Shit...’ says Baxter.
Quinn snorts and closes his eyes again, and Woody hits the indicator for the Port turn off.
The crackle and blare of a public announcement system fills the concourse.
"¿Todos los pasajeros del ferry para el informe continental spañola a la puerta 4 de inmediato - el buque está a punto de partir.”
‘What’d they say?’
‘I think it’s the ferry for the mainland – gate 4, I think it said,’ Rick peers through the dusty windscreen. ‘Over there, Woody.’
‘There’re two gate fours – A and B,’ Woody says. ‘Which one? Ah sod it; I’m going for ‘A’.’
‘Bloody confusing, that,’ Baxter says. ‘They should have it in English as well.’
The car bumps onto the ramp and they ascend into the cavernous, petrol fume-smelling interior. As Woody kills the engine, a uniformed man with a portable ticket machine approaches them.
‘How we gonna pay for this?’
Everyone looks blank as the ticket clerk stares at them impatiently, his eyes roaming over their dishevelled appearance.
Rick sighs. ‘Looks like it’s down to me, then...’ he smiles weakly up at the clerk. ‘Sorry about this, mate – here you go. Four,’ he adds quite unnecessarily, since presumably the man can count.
‘Que usted require cabinas?‘
‘What’s he saying?’ Baxter asks.
‘Think he’s asking if we want cabins,’ Quinn says flatly. ‘I could do with a shower and a kip.’
‘Si, si,’ Rick tells the clerk. ‘Two. Two.’ He holds up two fingers. ‘Two cabinas.’ He glances around at his fellow travellers. ‘I’ll add it to the bill,’ he says.
Card returned and ticket receipt in hand, Rick sighs with relief as the man moves down the line to the car behind them.
‘You do realise they’ll be able to trace that transaction?’ Baxter worries, reminded that they aren’t out of the woods yet.
‘They probably know our every move,’ Quinn says. ‘Probably even tagged this car...’ the others exchange horrified glances.
‘Great...’ says Baxter.
‘Well I for one am dying for a proper drink,’ Rick says, and he’s out of the car and making for the door. ‘Oh, hang on...’ he darts back to the vehicle and emerges with the safe tucked under his arm. Woody clicks the central locking button and joins them as they make their way across the deck. Quinn has already gone ahead and Woody hurries after him.
‘You’re not bringing that on deck?’ Baxter says as Rick draws level.
‘Yeah – might be someone on board who can open it for us,’ he says defensively.