This is my third post introducing Sharon, the eponymous hero of Sharon Wright: Butterfly. We’ve already seen the background Sharon comes from and what sort of person she is and I’ve hinted that her wooing of the graduate but naïf Jackie Gough has something of the praying mantis about it. Now we’ll take one more look at Sharon as she starts to put her plan into action and then we’ll leave it. That’s a promise. At least for the time being.
‘You’re not really planning to visit those three lockups?’
‘That’s the plan, Sharon. Then I get Monty Green to buy what’s in them.’
Sharon shook her head. ‘Jackie. The police know about those lockups. You told them where they are. You even gave them the keys. What do you think’s going to happen when you show up there?’
‘It won’t be like that. I’m DI Prutton’s snout. She won’t let them pick me up.’
‘Put that in writing, has she?’
Gough looked uncertain. ‘Well, how are we supposed to get the money? You’re the one wants to go straight. You’re the one wants a B&B in Cornwall. You’re the one wants to change our name to Renton, disappear for ever. How are we supposed to do that if I don’t get the money?’
‘Jackie. How many lockups did you give the DI and Cameron? Three. How many lockups did I have keys for?’
‘Oh is right. Now I wonder which one of the four has about one and a half million quid’s worth of nicked drink and cigarettes in it that would be a piece of piss to get rid of in a day? And which three are full of knock-off videos and jewellery and crap like that?’
‘But we don’t know what’s in them.’ He watched her face carefully. ‘We do know what’s in them.’
‘So the thing to do…the thing to do is to get Monty Green to buy the fags and booze and get Muammar to put the money in an account.’
Sharon went on smiling.
Gough’s eyes lit up. ‘John Renton’s account, maybe?’
‘John and Sharon Renton’s would be better.’
‘Same thing, isn’t it?’
‘Not quite. Suppose we need the money in a hurry…’
‘…which we will…’
‘…and you can’t get away without making Cameron suspicious.’
‘John and Sharon Renton, then.’
‘Either to sign.’
‘Either to sign. Bloody hell, Sharon. That’s like two hundred and seventy and half of two hundred and seventy…that’s four hundred thousand quid.’
‘B&B in Cornwall. We’ll need all of that.’
‘I suppose. Sharon.’
‘Yes, my petal.’
‘How did you know that was the key to hold back?’ He stared at her. ‘I mean…how long have you…’
Sharon was still smiling.
‘Sharon. When I came looking for the keys? Were you waiting for me to ask? Have you planned this all along?’
She moved forward and smoothed the collar of his shirt. She kissed him gently on the lips. ‘Jackie. You know what I’ve learned? Started learning when I first went to school, and went on learning? Men need to think I’m dumb. Because I’m a woman, and I’m blonde, well, men think I’m blonde, and I like to spend a lot of time on my back with my legs in the air, and I like men for what they have that makes them men, I have to be dumb. Well, I’m not dumb.’
Gough shook his head. ‘You’re not, are you?’
‘I pretend to be, if that’s the game the man needs me to play. You know, like we played the game where you ripped my knickers off and did me? I needed to play that game. If a man needs me to play the game where I’m dumb, I’ll play that game for him.
‘But what I really want is to play the game where we’re both smart and we both know we’re both smart. Think you can play that game with me, Jackie? Please?’
‘I hope you can, Jackie. ‘Cos we make a good team, you and me. There’s stuff you can do that I can’t do. Getting those passports, for example. And there’s stuff I can do that you can’t do.’ She smiled. ‘There’s one very special thing I’m doing that you can never do, Jackie. I’m having your little boy. He’s going to grow up to be just like his daddy. And he’ll go to university, just like his daddy, but he’ll be even smarter than his mummy and his daddy because he’ll have gone to a private school first. And if I have a little girl, we’ll do exactly the same thing. ‘Cos girls can be as smart as boys, any day. Even blonde girls. You with me on this, Jackie?’
Gough nodded again. ‘I am, Sharon. I really am.’
‘I’m glad.’ She took a key from her pocket and a sheet of paper from a drawer in the kitchen table. ‘So now you’re going to go see Monty Green and arrange to get rid of the booze and ciggies. You’ll need this list, because Monty’s going to want to know what’s in there, isn’t he? And I love you and I couldn’t bear to lose you now, so you won’t go anywhere near the other lockups. Will you?’
Gough shook his head. ‘I won’t.’
‘Good. Jackie? Your copy of that PACE tape? The one that says you grassed up Dan Ablett? Where is it?’
‘In my pocket.’
‘Do you think it’s a good idea to carry it around? Why don’t you leave it with me? I’ll find somewhere really safe for it.