Please enjoy a second extract from Chapter 41 of Mine to Avenge:
It took Linus less than a minute to take the gun from the drawer, but he hadn’t thought about how he would carry it through the house unseen. The pockets of his trousers weren’t deep enough. Thinking quickly, he decided it was more important to get out of his grandfather’s room before worrying about what to do with the gun. He carefully closed the drawer, lowered the bed covers and pushed the chest of drawers back into the grooves in the carpet. He then switched the intercom and video monitors back to their regular settings before heading to the door.
Cautiously, he opened the door and looked back along the corridor towards his own suite. He left his grandfather’s suite, leaving the door ajar as he’d found it, then sped along the passage to his own room. He opened the door and put the gun on the dresser next to the plate of cheese and crackers. Then he tipped the food onto the dresser next to the gun, took the empty plate and left, closing the door behind him before strolling back to the kitchen with the plate.
The housekeeper and the manservant were together in the kitchen again when Linus went in. They nodded at him, and returned to their coffee pot and conversation. Linus went over to the sink, passing the monitor as he went. He rinsed his plate then strolled casually past the monitor on his way out, raising his hand unobtrusively to turn it back on.
For the second time in less than fifteen minutes, Linus hurried up the stairs. He went into his suite, and shut the door with relief, locking it behind him. He turned off the video monitor, knowing that this wouldn’t be seen as suspicious. He looked at his watch. It was now almost 10.30 a.m.
He sat in his room, firstly catching his breath, then trying to compose himself, and then trying to come up with a plan. He frequently looked at his watch, noting the rapid passing of time, and worried by his inability to come up with any plan of action that satisfied him.
At midday he walked over to his window, hoping some fresh air might clear his mind. He slid the window open and leaned out, supporting himself on the window ledge. As he stood there, trying to muster up a plan and the courage he needed, he heard footsteps on the gravel below and looked down. He saw the manservant and housekeeper walking along the driveway towards the gate. They were both carrying suitcases. What was going on now? He couldn’t remember his grandfather saying anything about giving his employees any time off.
A minute or so later, while he was still trying to work out what was going on, he saw the gardener following behind, also carrying a suitcase. This puzzled him but he knew he mustn’t let it distract him. Their departure at least resolved the concern he had about them witnessing his crime.
With renewed urgency, he realised that he had only two hours left to make his move. He had to act now, plan or no plan, but thought he should change his clothes first to better conceal the gun. As he was changing, the intercom buzzed by his door. He answered it reluctantly.
‘Yes, Grandfather?’ he asked.
‘Can you meet me in the courtyard, boy? Immediately. I have something I need to tell you. It’s important.’
‘Yes, Grandfather. I’ll be there in a minute. I’m just changing my clothes.’
Linus switched off the intercom, then put on a pair of baggy cargo pants and a loose lightweight jumper. He carefully tucked the gun into his waistband, pulled the jumper down over the top of the pants and checked his image in the mirror to make sure that the gun wasn’t visible. The pale face staring back at him was that of a complete stranger. He braced himself, left his room and headed downstairs, silently counting each stair as he went, knowing that each step was taking him closer to a potential opportunity to act.
With the employees gone, the house was quiet. The radio was no longer playing in the kitchen. The cement mixer was no longer tumbling at the back of the house.
He reached the bottom of the stairs, crossed the foyer and walked out into the courtyard where his grandfather was waiting for him.
‘Come on, boy … out here. I need to speak to you.’