Chapter Eight


So that confirms the possibility.


The actions at the construction yard today show me several very clear things.


The hunter is definitely present at the construction site, in the form of a legitmate worker or as an intruder, whether that intruder is impersonating a worker or is hiding in the shadows I cannot be sure about. However, it is more likely they are a worker, since other workers would have since anyone who was near the girders. Anyone acting suspicious would have been revealed by witnesses when th police arrived.


The hunter intended my death to appear as an accident. This his clear by the way the girders fail. Later analysis shows that they fell because a safety hadn’t been properly attached. Hwever, this does not serve to indicate anybody directly, as it could have occurred due to intentional negligence by one of the three workers there, or any of those that would have checked the girders for safety at the time, or neglected to do so. On top of this, the safety is easy to remove and can set to slowly disengage itself.


This is useless to me, but it does not matter.


Because the hunter knew that this would not kill me.


The likelihood of me being directly under those girders at the time was far too low. I didn’t response promptly to Will’s summons, nor did I rush. The girder trap was a set trap, with the safety designed to slowly revolve until it unhooked and released the girders. Since it was only a mechnical tool, it can’t be released whilst in the air unless it breaks, therefore, no one could set it off at a particular time.


However, it seems clear that the trap was set off to go off at the least, sometime when I was in the general area. The fact that I would have been actually crushed at the time was more luck than anything else.


My hunter is announcing himself.


I am here.


This one is definitely active.


This is, of course, not taking into account that it was just all one big coincidence.



“You’re quiet, Jenn.”


“Huh?” I mumble, snapping back to reality. “Yeah, I was just thinking.”


“About what happened today?” Arijit continued. The others had wandered off somewhere else in the bar, the pool tables annoyed by the workers hounding them.

“Kind of, I guess,” I continued. “It feels weird to nearly die like that.”


For the second time. I was relying far too much on luck.


“I am amazed you did not lock yourself away for the night. I know I am tempted to.”


“I guess I’m just not the type who runs away.”


Plus it’s clear I need to do this now. If the hunter is one of you, then I need you to slip up. It takes a lot to infiltrate a group, though I imagine it’s easier with a high turnover group of construction workers, but even so, unless my hunter is a sociopathic secret aganet, I should see some kind of slip up from one of you.


“Ah, I’m the same.”




“Well, not like how you put it I guess,” he said laughing to himself. “I don’t so much run away as stand there completely gobsmacked and wait for myself to be crushed.” He burst into laughter at this point and took another shot of brandy.


I took it as a moment to sip on my coke,diet, with a wish for fruit juice.


Along with at least two others, this guy was on my list of suspects.


Since the actions of the hunter were both a signal to his presence and a test of my reactions, tit made sense that people wh may have involved themselves were likely to be instigators.


Arijit was suspected because of this reason. He was involved. Though the reason for this was clearly because of the roller. The roller looks like it could have been hit by the girders by accident. In one respect I have no evidence against this, other than the location the girders were to fall. However, if I choose to accept the fact that the girders intentionally supposed to fall there, regardless of where I was, it becomes clear that there were to hit the roller, sneidng it towards Arijit. Whilst this could be done merely to ensure chaos, it can also be responsible as an attempt to protect him from my field of suspects, by getting himself intentionally in danger.


Of course, the girders may have just been passing at the time, and as I had already figured, it was a time delay trap. It was unlikely to merely fall at a certain time


Next is Ronan, who was opearating the pick up crane at the time. With the most control over the scene at the time, it stands to reason that he could easily stand and wait for me t get into place. Doing it by the rollers would ensure further chaos. His scenario fits the best, though it still only had a small window of opportunity. Simply, it would look suspicious if he hovered the crane over me and then just waited for it to snap. The workers at the top of the complex would have been waiting and watching and noticed when it occurred.


But taking other premise into account, this becomes the most liely.


My third suspect is Will, who saved me. Seeing as the girder trap seemed set to miss me, the fact that he rushed to rescue both me and Arjit makes him suspicious. Of course, he could have just been the hero of the day as he is now celebrated with everyone else. Also, why not let me just let me die there.


Though in regards to this, I wasn’t in complete danger at the time. I had already avoided most of the girders landing points and would have at worse probably ended up with a shattered leg at the most. Pulling me away prevents m going to the hospital, which would have made it a lot more difficult to remove me without being caught or suspected.


“Well then,” Arijit called out. “To two people who are still surviving jobs they don’t want.”






We chinked, and he gulped the rest of his down in one stroke. That made his ninth brandy tonight.


“I’ve seen your CV, Ms. Connoly…”


“Pleaae, call me Jenn…”


“You have two degrees, both of which are top honours, yet you worked in admin. Now, either you’ve reached some state of Nirvana or Zen enlightenment and have no desire for ambition, or you’ve found yourself stuck in your current position due to no experience.


I bit my cheeks a little. “Well, I guess that’s true.”


“The second one?”


“Yeah.” For soe reason, I felt like ordering brandy. This guy was smart. “Is it the same for you.”


“I studied architecture at the Indian Institute for engineering. And I also dd mechnical engineering during that. Whilst it is certainly closer to where I want to be than where your current job wants you to be, I can’t say that I enjoy ordering around a bunch of men all day I’d much rather be in a designing office.”


“Sounds like it sucks.”


“Yes, we are both two big fish ina  small pond, with no one else to play with.”


Is this a warning?


It feels like he’s practically telling me that he is who I think he is?


Why else would he be comparing us?


“Hey Jenn! Ari!” Ronan practically fell on top of us, hooking us both arm in arm. “You spend all your days sitting don at your jobs. Come and play pool with us.”


“I don’t really think…”


“I’ll play,” I told him, finishing the last of my drink and getting up. Eventually, we dragged Arijit along with us. I hadn’t played pool in a few months, but the concepts were still the same to me. Just hit the bunched up balls really hard and they’ll g into the pockets. I won the four games we played before Ronan spoke again.


“I really need to pracitse more,” he complained with a grin. “It’s weird trying tocatch how you play.”


“I’m good at most games I play,” I tell him, watching carefully. The mere mention of a game enough to sark my blood. “And I always play to win.” I chalk up the cue, as those surrounding us start to hoot, jeering us on. This is good. Ronan has had five beers tonight already, which is severely affecting his aim, mainly what’s allowing me to win. If this continues, he may slip up.


“Well, why don’t we play for a little something extra this time,” he tells me.


“What do you have in mind.”


How about fifty quid. Best of three. Winner takes all.


I had often thought of using my gaming skillsto make cash, but had always gone against it, as I disliked money being the main prize. A game should never be played for money. It ruins what the game is. Money as a side effect, or necessary as a means of resource was fine, but it shouldn’t be the final prize. It just wasn’t worth it in the end.




I suppose that’s why the game didn’t initially appeal to me. The cash was meaningless, and although it served me well with providing security cameras and a travel budget. I dislike the fact that a portion of this money has come from the deceased Mr. Betterman, who was innocent.


We play, and I watch carefully as his aim improves, knocking down four balls in one sitting. I respond with gusto, knocking down five. He gets his last few in and we end with him potting the black.


He hides his strength and gets stronger when he means it, it seems. Smart.


Of course, I was holding back as well.


We gpo again, and I start poping baal in like my heart will explode if I don’t. I surprise myself by missing the black at the end, but by that point he’s too far behind to catch up, and he watches me sink the last ball with ease.


We strike off for the final. He goes first. Now a little panickey, he misses after his third sht, and by then it’s too late to not watch me dominate the rest of the match.


The fifty becomes mine, and I spend it getting everyone more drinks, which is celebrated by all, including a miffed Ronan, whos skills cannot keep up ith mine.


“you’re quite the player,” will tells me at the bar, as he helps me order the next round.


“I did a lot in university.”


“Were you in the pool club or something.”


“No no, I meant I just played about a lot in university.” I turned to grin at him, gauging his reaction. It appeared to be one of realization, not what I was expecting.


“Oh,” he replied, before a smile forced itself on his lips “Well do you want to head up to my place after this. It’s not far and we can play all night if you want to.”


I forze, hesitant. Was I in danger, the hunter inviting me to his den, like the spider entices the fly.Was this anger out of failing to kill me earlier and wishing to make up for it. No, that ignores the fact he saved me, perhaps he set up the accident to lure me into thinking him a hero. Did he want me to fall helplessly in love with him before removing me? That was kind of scary. It was also naïve.


“Okay then,” I said to him, smiling. “Let’s finish these off and we’ll invite some of the guys over as well.”


“Excuse me?” he said nearly choking on his drink, his plans disrupted so obviously. I stare at him deadpanned as he coughed up what he can. Like I’m going to be foolish enough to go alone with you. “well, if you want.” He peered down at his drink, half vomited across the barside, his cheeks red with repressed anger.


“Excellent, let’s go have some fun.”




After that, we played Halo none stop barring phone calls from concerned spouses (mainly on Ronan;s part) until about two in the morning. Though I could play tactically, most of the others were too drunk to stick to any form of pattern, making it hard for me to react. It was the most confounding tactic at times, that of random chaos, and it really throws me off when people keep changing their ideas.


As I predicted, several of us stayed the night. Most of them bunking in Will’s longe, whilst I got given Will’s room.


He had a lock installed on the door, and I flicked it shut while I llowed myself to rest.


During this time, I checked everything I culd, from all his folders to under his bed and in any secret alcoves I could find, but all there was besides pornography and savings was a bag of what looked like weed. I couldn’t find any envelope.


Of course, he had let me in here, so that was to be expected.


After being woken up several times by the turning of the handle, I was still able to get up earlier than usual and departed before most had got up with a quick leaving note. Before actually leaving, I searched the dustbins, both recyclnga dn normally, as well as the shredder he had in his office, and the filling cabinets there. With no signs of an evelope or anything similar, I escaped into the street.


I had learnt various important things that night, but too many clashes astill existed. Even taking into account that I’m over analyzing the entire situation, all three suspects have shown signs of being suspicious. Since I barred Will from moving last night, I still remain unsure if he was involved or not. It would have been as easy for him as with the others to make it so that safety was damaged.


I’ll have to set it aside for now.


It seems none of them are following me, so now would be best. Now I have to head to Andover, Hampshire.