Coldford Veterinary clinic was the busiest new recruit Alex Ferrald had ever known it. Fresh out of Vet School Alex found himself thrown in the deep end. He had just sent Mrs Rowsely home with her boxer dog in a fresh cast. The appropriately named Fussy just couldn’t stay out of oncoming traffic. Luckily it had been a bike that had hit him this time and not a car. “You really should keep him on a leash,” Alex warned her. As he leaned over to check the cast Fussy licked him. He could feel Mrs Rowsely’s stare so he kept his head down. When she was gone Alex gave a sigh of relief and dropped himself into the plastic clinic room chair. He looked at the clock. Appointments had been cleared for the next couple of hours but just as he began to contemplate the tuna fish sandwich he had packed into his bag the vet nurse Kayleigh opened the door. “We’ve got an emergency, Mr Ferrald. All the other vets are busy. Can you take it?” The girl in his room made him bashful – more reluctant than under the glare of Mrs Rowsely. “The name?” “Penn,” she explained. “Penn? As in the PENN AUCTION HOUSE? Is it Rita?” He asked. The family were well known. Rita being the mother and her triplet sons being the main rulers of City Main. “Reggie,” Kayleigh confirmed. “One of the triplets.” “I … errr … “ stammered Alex. “What’s the animal?” “Rats. Two of them. He’s already filled in the paperwork. “You better send them in then,” Alex resolved taking a deep breath. “I’ll have a look.” Just as Kayleigh cleared the entrance her petite frame and braces, laced smile was replaced by a much larger, looming presence with a mop of blonde hair, dressed all in black. The Penn triplets had a reputation. Most people in the Shady City knew them. Violent, wild, respected. Their reputation had been passed down from their father – Reginald – the so called King of City Main. So when Reggie pushed a carrier holding two fat rats into Alex’s arms the mild mannered vet was taken aback. “Can you help them doctor?” He asked. “Some low life fucker has given them poison.” Alex was thinking vets aren’t generally titled doctor but who was he to correct one of the triplets? He opened the carry case. One was darker than the other. One was still on it’s feet, sniffing the air. The other lay down breathing harshly. Both were clean. “Are they pets?” REGGIE frowned. “What else would they be?” Alex focused on the sicker of the two rodents. “I just mean … erm … where would they have come into contact with poison? Do you know what kind of poison it was?” “Some fucking scumbag playing silly beggars. I keep them at the warehouse normally. It was broken into. They only got as far as those two. Sick fuck …” Alex handled the sick rat softly. He turned it in his freshly gloved hands. “Do you have some time to wait? I’ll put them on an IV and I can give them a transfusion and see how it goes.” Reggie was smiling but to the rat rather than the vet. He looked up and when he noticed Alex was watching him he confirmed. “That one’s name is Smash.” “After the lonesome nights character?” Alex responded without thinking. Lonesome Nights was an online video game his artist friend, David Finn, had introduced him to. It involved hunting prostitutes and stealing cars. Whilst Alex found the idea of theft and prostitution distasteful there was something quite therapeutic about wandering aimlessly around the virtual city. The latest release from Coby Games had made it look a lot like Coldford. “You play?” Reggie asked as he anxiously watched Alex take blood from Smash and lay him gently in a cage. “A little,” Alex replied as he opened the carrier for the second rodent. The second rat still had the energy to run and made a break for it the moment the door was opened. SLAM! Reggie’s palm clashed on the table catching the rat by the tail. He pulled it back and clutched it by the body. “This one is Jacket. You see how his fur is a little darker around the top of his body? It looks like he’s wearing a jacket. I never used to name them. It was easier when they didn’t have names.” “Uh Huh,” Alex replied, unsettled. He took the more boisterous rat and extracted blood as quickly as he could. “I’ll have the bloods checked so we can know what type of poison it was. I’ll put them on a drip in the meantime and see how the fair.” “Thanks doctor,” Reggie replied with genuine gratitude. “Errr,” Alex averted his gaze. “I’ll have to give them a few hours at least. I can call you when I know more.” Alex felt a tremble as Reggie brushed the mass of blonde curls back from his face and looked behind him with a cool stare. “Take care of them. The girl at the desk has my number.” He drew his phone from his back pocket and busied himself with a text message as he left the room. When alone with the rats Alex gave another sigh. This time it wasn’t relief. Jacket seemed fine. Alex was confident with some treatment he could go home. Smash on the other hand was sniffing very closely to that eternal rat trap. Could timid Alex really be the one to tell one of the Penn triplets he had lost their precious pet under his care?
“They back doctor?” Reggie Penn came bounding in the following morning. For the third time Alex resisted the urge to correct the towering presence of the youngest triplet. He had called the clinic three times the previous afternoon to check up on his rats. He finally gave up when he spoke to Alex himself who explained he was going to keep them overnight for further observation but both (thankfully Smash took a turn for the better) were fine and looking well. Alex laid the carrier on the examination table. Both rats were squeaking with delight. The vet was glad to have them off his hands. He thought Reggie would have taken the carrier but instead he opened it up and plunged his long fingers and drew the rat out. He sat Jacket on his shoulder and held Smash out in front of him. “I thought you were a goner,” he cheered, tickling the rats twitching nose. When he noticed Alex was watching him the vet averted his gaze. “Luckily the rodenticide used was slow acting. I gave a few transfusions for Smash to flush out the poison and one for Jacket to be safe,” explained the vet. “Slow acting, huh?” Reggie kept his focus on the rats. “I’ll give you some Vitamin K1. Keep giving them that for the next month and they should be fine.” Reggie put them back in their carrier. His phone bleeped again. He pulled it from the back pocket of his black jeans, checked it and stored it away again. “I really owe you.” Alex’s eyes widened. “It’s just my job. No worries.” He took a deep breath. “Happy to help.” The last thing. He wanted was to have a Penn indebted to him.
By the time Alex got home he was looking forward to washing off the day. “Alex! Wait up!” Alex turned. His chest tightened as he caught sight of blonde hair. Luckily it wasn’t a Penn. It was the unkempt bleached hair of his friend, DAVID FINN. “Thank God it’s you,” Alex gasped. David narrowed his gaze. “Who else would it be?” I had one of the Penns in my clinic today. David asked, “which one?” “Reggie. The one with all the rats.” “I bet that was an experience,” David jested as they slowly started to climb the steps. The Penn Auction House had shown some interest in David’s work. The sent one of their acquisitions agents to liaise with the Harper Dalway gallery that held most of David’s pieces but he hadn’t met the triplets personally. “Luckily I managed to save the rats.” David laughed. “That’s good. You might have ended up in one of the cages.” He stuck his tongue out and made a comical imitation of a man dying. Alex punched his arm good naturedly. “It’s not funny,” he said but he was now laughing too. His phone beeped so he stopped on the steps to check it. It was a notification from the Lonesome Nights game. REG3 SENT YOU A FRIEND REQUEST. “Fuck!” Alex exclaimed. He showed David. David shrugged. “You better not ignore it. Do you want to have rats put up your arse?” Alex stared at him in horror. “True story, man,” the artist confirmed with a shrug. Alex accepted the request. Just has he made to store his phone away it beeped again. REG3 SENT YOU 5000 COINS Alex had been given a generous amount of credit to use within the game. A message followed. THANKS AGAIN DOCTOR. HAVE A GOOD QUALITY PROSTITUTE ON ME. David laughed more heartily when Alex showed him the new development. “Can you believe this?” Alex exclaimed. David grinned. “You should ask him for real money or a real prostitute.” The both continued joshing until entered Alex’s apartment. Alex’s mind turned back to why the rats had been poisoned in the first place. “Why would someone do that?” Alex wondered. David picked up the copy of the Coldford Daily the downstairs neighbour put through the door as she did every day when she had finished reading. “Those guys have enemies. People out there are sick.” Alex dropped into the sofa. “Well I hope it doesn’t happen again. I don’t think I’m cut out to be Reggie Penn’s personal vet.” David had been flicking through to the sports pages for the latest news on the Coldford Athletic football team when he stumbled on an article from Sam Crusow. “Well I don’t think they’ll be doing it again anyway.” He showed Alex the headline that caught his attention. MAN FOUND DEAD IN A NORTH SIDE LOCK UP. Coroner’s report confirms death by rat poison. Coincidence? Not very likely.
“I love you Dennis.” CHLOE wept. “I love you more than anything. I really do.”
“Shut up,” REGGIE PENN – the youngest of the Penn triplets – shoved her dismissively away. Her thin, little body was unable to hold up against his strength. She fell against the wall and slipped down onto her bottom, weeping. MARCUS – the eldest triplet by three minutes – circled DENNIS like a hyena stalking its prey. Dennis should have known. Nowhere in the Shady City was safe from her. He had been so careful in hiding Chloe. One of the clients must have sung.
Chloe wasn’t a KNOCK KNOCK girl though. TABITHA shouldn’t have even known about her. Surely a stern warning for using the club as a venue for prostitution would be called for? A debt to pay for the money he had collected perhaps? Dennis wondered if they had found out he had spoken to me, a reporter. The Penns were only at two-thirds of their strength but the odds were still stacked in their favour.
“I’ll pay you half of anything I earned,” Dennis pleaded.
Reggie laughed. Marcus remained stoic. Reggie’s grin was sinister under a mop of blonde hair.
“Don’t hurt him. I liked doing it,” Chloe called out. “He wanted to make money and I wanted to make him happy.”
Marcus’ lips tightened. Reggie folded his arms. Dennis knew this wasn’t going to be a stern warning. Tabitha was sensitive on certain subjects. He should know that better than most.
“Pack him up for the AUCTION HOUSE,” was Marcus’ decision for Dennis. “The girl will come with us too.” Dennis’ chances of survival were becoming even more limited by the minute.
The room in the Auction House he had been taken to only offered one route of escape. The smell of the perfume Chloe had generously sprayed on (perfume Dennis had given her) masked the odour of damp rot from the old artifacts that would normally be kept there.
“C’mon guys. See sense in this. You’re businessmen. The girl told you she consented to it. She consented to all of it. I kept her safe. I’ll cut you in, all three of you.”
“You talk so much bullshit I can smell it on your breath you slithering cunt,” Reggie grinned. Marcus turned to him and with a gaze – no gesture or words – his brother fell silent.
“You are telling me that she consented to hundreds of men?” Marcus pressed.
“She was given her share,” Dennis replied.
Chloe pleaded, “I did it because I love him and I wanted him to be happy.”
Marcus ignored her. “You are telling me that she consented to being bound, beaten and left bloody?” He kept his steely stare focused on Dennis. Reggie loomed behind him.
“It was what the client wanted,” Dennis explained. Normally a man of silver-tongued words, they were falling flat for the former Knock Knock club manager.
“What about what she wanted? You took that choice away from her.”
Chloe leapt to her feet. “Please don’t hurt him!” She rushed at Reggie, her tiny fists pounded on his chest. He grabbed her narrow wrists.
“Would you look at this?!” he jested, shoving Chloe’s malnourished frame back into the chair again. She dropped her head into her hands and started to weep.
“You took that choice away from her,” Marcus repeated, “just like you took that choice away from all those other little girls.”
Dennis’ eyes widened. ‘Shit!’ he thought. They weren’t really there about prostituting Chloe after all. It was about his taste for young flesh. Underage flesh. Tabitha had been biding her time, torturing him. Finally, she was ready to deliver her punishment. It didn’t make any sense that she would leave it to the triplets though. She made Dennis her whipping boy years ago. Surely she would have wanted to be there for the finale. Without the bitch in the red dress pulling the strings of her triplet marionettes it seemed even more chilling, more uncertain.
“That hasn’t been an issue for a long time. I gave up everything. I gave up my family. Just ask the Boss Lady!”
Marcus flanked his right side. Dennis had a clear view of the doorway. He could take his chances and run for the door, but had he become so heartless and self-preserving that he would leave Chloe in the hands of the Penns? She was a victim as far as they were concerned. But if Dennis fled, who knows what they would do to deliver their own brand of justice.
“I’m not a man like you Dennis,” Marcus stated, his voice booming an echo against the old walls of the Auction House. “I’m giving you a choice. Life or death?”
“Life Dennis! Live with me,” Chloe screamed.
Reggie grabbed her by the chin. His thick blonde hair concealed some of the spark behind his eyes. “If you don’t shut up and let us do our job, I’m going to cut you open from tit to toe.”
Reggie looked back at his brother. “She’s really grinding me. Her whining voice got on my last nerve about a half hour ago.”
“Let me go. I’ll go far away. You’ll never have to hear from me again. I’ll disappear,” Dennis put in.
Marcus needed confirmation. “So you are choosing life?”
Dennis hadn’t survived as long as he had without having his wits about him. He was shrewd enough to know that whatever the Penns had planned for him, death would be preferable. But he had his son, MILO, to think about. He hadn’t seen his boy in years. He would be so grown up by now. He wondered if the head of thick, dark hair he had been born with would have lightened or if it was still the same. OLIVIA, his ex wife, had wanted to change the world in her own little way, make it a better place. She thought she had been helping those little girls by bringing them into her home as a social worker. She didn’t know she had been bringing them into the clutches of a predator. Tabitha had been one of those girls. She had been the one to tame that predator, removing his sharp teeth and his appetite along with it. “Life,” Dennis agreed. Whatever horrors the triplets had to inflict would be nothing if it meant seeing Milo again. Marcus turned with raised eyebrows to Reggie. Reggie drew a phone from the back pocket of the black jeans he wore. He dialled. There were a few rings that seemed to echo the beat of Dennis’ heart. Ring ring, ring ring. “We’re going to need Big Cathie down here. Dinner for two.” “No!” Dennis cried out. “No, I changed my mind. I choose death. Please! I choose death!” “Too late,” said Marcus simply. With a whack Dennis was knocked out cold. When Dennis came to again they had stripped him naked. He tried to run towards Chloe who waited hysterically in the hall. They caught him and dragged him back.
“Reg?” Dennis tried the younger. “I thought we were pals? Haven’t I turned a blind eye to some of your depraved appetites over the years?”
Reggie’s tastes weren’t for flesh. Women or even men interested him little. What he had was a morbid fascination with cruelty, ever since he was a little boy.
“One thing I’ve learned,” Reggie replied. “People suck. And you are dregs of them all.” Abandoning reason due to the danger he was in, Dennis did try to run but like a rabbit caught in a trap there was no logic to his escape.
An excruciating hour later the security door buzzed. Reggie answered and allowed entry to a skeletally thin man who reached over six foot tall. He was the monster of a man they called Big Cathie. He was so called because of the catheter in his hand attached to a drip he pulled behind him.
He wasn’t long for the world. Cathie was an AIDS patient. He would be dead soon by some disease or other, but in the meantime the Knock Knock Club kept him in a life of luxury because they found him most useful. The HIV virus proved a useful tool in threatening enemies when they refused to cooperate, and when all else failed a way of inflicting a slow and painful death. There were treatments of course but the virus was still enough to elicit fear in the most stubborn.
Cathie was treated like a king on behalf of the HEADLINERS. In return he would oblige their wishes. Tabitha was a good woman as far as Cathie was concerned. Life had dealt him a harsh blow. He had two sons and a wife he would be leaving behind. His wife didn’t want to know him but he could at least provide something for the boys. Tabitha guaranteed that in exchange he would use his horrible virus to infect creeps like Dennis.
Cathie had only met the club manager once but his reputation preceded him.
“Little kids? That’s fucking disgusting,” Cathie had agreed. The Penns saw infection with HIV as something of poetic justice.
“Look guys. This is unnecessary. If the Boss Lady thought I was so dangerous she wouldn’t want me running around when I could infect young girls, would she?” Dennis played the only hand he had left.
“Are you suggesting that if we do this we won’t be teaching you a lesson?” Reggie put to him.
“It could make me dangerous,” stated Dennis.
Reggie brushed his hair back and grinned. “Who says we were going to let you go?” Marcus gripped Dennis by the throat. “It’s a terrible thing, taking a young girl before her time. It can be painful for her but it is also damaging in ways that will never heal. Your filthy fucking stench will gnaw at her for the rest of her life. So you are now going to sample at least some of the hurt you inflicted on those innocents. This virus will eat away at you. Just like those little girls now afraid of anyone touching them, you will feel what that is like as disease courses through your veins. When you stole the innocence of those little girls you gave them a life sentence. The virus is going to steal a little part of you away every minute of every day. What will kill you? Measles? Rubella? Common cold? Who knows, but maybe then you will have some idea of the torture you have put your victims through. They will never get over what you did to them just as you will never recover and you will never come within sight of your little boy again.”
“C’mon Marcus. This is just a scare tactic. I submit okay. I submit!”
As Reggie spoke, Dennis heard Tabitha’s voice. “No scare tactic this time. So you can drop your pants and bend over or you can take that poisoned cock in your mouth. You see? Choices!”
“I know Tabitha is a spiteful bitch but please …”
Reggie pointed to Cathie’s flaccid penis. “You better get that thing fired up. This one is a wriggler.”
Dennis was laid across the table. Cathie hovered in the corner like the threat of a biblical play. Marcus set about securing Dennis to the spot. Reggie climbed up on the table and sat down.
“You see the game last week Cath?” He asked Cathie.
He was referring to a football match between Coldford City and the western town of Bellfield. City was the richest and biggest team in the area. The father of the triplets, Reginald, was a proud supporter of the team and now the Penn Auction House sponsored them.
“I didn’t watch the second half,” Cathie admitted. “Those Bellfield scumbags should never have gotten a penalty.”
Reggie nodded in agreement. “You are right there. Should have put four past them, if it weren’t for their fucking keeper.”
Cathie nodded consolingly. Meanwhile Marcus continued securing Dennis to the table.
When he finished, Reggie cheered. Dennis could feel the dirt and crumbs of the table against his bare stomach. Marcus was seated at the table’s end, watching with an expressionless, cold stare. Reggie was standing beside him. Chloe was still crying hysterically out in the hallway. She couldn’t quite comprehend what was happening. All she could say was, “Special cuddles for Dennis because I love him.”
Big Cathie had his hands clamped around Dennis’ waist.
“I know he’s an ugly cunt,” Reggie commented to Cathie. “Just close your eyes and think of City.”
Reggie stepped outside the Auction House where the air was cooler. The interior always seemed so claustrophobic to him despite its high ceilings and open rooms. It was why he preferred the warehouse just on the outskirts of City Main. It was in this warehouse he kept thirty-three cages of rats. Ever since his father gave him a black rat on his thirteenth birthday he’d had a fascination with rodents – rats especially. Next to humans rats were the most successful species on earth, but unlike humans they still operated on an instinctual level. That spoke volumes for them as far as Reggie Penn was concerned. He liked to watch them, observe their behaviour patterns and apply that to his human interactions. He guessed he was a scientist at heart. If his mother hadn’t wanted him to take his share of their namesake Auction House he could have been in a lab somewhere, but there he was helping his brothers keep things running smoothly. Observing the rats he noted there was nothing they wouldn’t do for a little gratification. If you pierced them with electrodes that stimulated an orgasm every time they pushed a button they would keep pressing on that button, forgetting all else until they died of thirst or starvation. Their young followed soon after. In that sense the rats weren’t unlike humans Reggie decided. We too are always chasing gratification, whether it’s from a partner, alcohol, drugs or sugar. We always chase that feel-good.
Reggie also observed that no matter what he did to the rats they would always see him as master. He could burn their tails, make them watch as he cut off the heads of their young, it didn’t matter because the minute he brought them a food pellet he was a God to them. Humans could be trained in the same way. It just took a bit more time. He even tried it with his brother. One night he climbed into bed with Simon and tried to masturbate him. Simon beat him bloody for his troubles, resulting in a hospital trip and their mother being very upset. Not every experiment was a success he supposed. For Reggie power over something was the gratification that he was chasing. Being an all-giving leader pleased him and he would push that button all day. It wasn’t easy being a triplet – especially the youngest. You were always seen as being only one third of a whole person. It didn’t matter that Marcus was in charge and Simon was the tough one because when he returned to his rat cages at the warehouse he could still be a God. He put a cigarette between his lips and drew his phone from his pocket. It seemed like an appropriate time to update his social media pages. He couldn’t tell his followers about Cathie – although in Reggie’s mind it was probably the thing they would love to hear about, something hilarious that they would all get a kick out of. But he would play nice. He had already had to set up several new profiles because his previous ones had been shut down due to ‘violation of the rules.’
He was scrolling through pictures of scantily clad young women pressing LIKE (a lot like an orgasm button he supposed) when the phone started to ring. The caller I.D was one of their agents, Jeremy.
Reggie answered. “Yeah?” he enquired.
The agent sounded a little flustered. It wasn’t unlike Jeremy to be uptight but he seemed more so than usual.
“The Boss Lady has been taken in,” he said. “A friend at CPD just told me. They’ve got Simon too”
At first Reggie was unsure he had heard correctly. “What did you say?” The noise of the City Main traffic seemed to drown out the agent’s voice.
“They’ll be coming for you and Marcus. The Boss Lady has been taken in. I’m at CPD now. Simon was taken too.”
The agent’s voice dipped away as he talked to someone. The harsh accent from the part of town west of Coldford suggested it was PADDY MACK of MACK AND SONS. They were both angry.
“The Boss Lady has been taken in. Let Marcus know. He isn’t answering his phone.” At that the agent rang off.
Just as Reggie prepared to head back inside and warn his brother a fleet of CPD cars pulled up. Led by Kim Adams. Before Reggie could move Kim was on him.
“I’m already having one hell of a day so are you going to test me?”
Reggie grinned and reached his arms up.
“You’re making a mistake,” he warned.
“Yeah, your brother said the same thing.” The CPD officers closed in.
Reggie Penn was taken into custody.
Marcus growled at the noise of the commotion. He sensed what had happened but it was too late to retreat. He hated the idea of being forced into retreat anyway. If they had managed to bring Tabitha in, the Penn dynasty was in immediate danger. Like a house of cards, the pillars of The Shady City were beginning to fall. Kim appeared at the door.
“It’s over,” she said.
“For now,” was Marcus’ cold reply. He came surprisingly quietly.
It could have been his imagination but Dennis could already feel himself becoming sick. Was that really the case or was his mind playing tricks on him? He couldn’t know for certain but he certainly felt weaker than he was before. Sure, the Penns hadn’t gone easy on him and Cathie had left him bloody but the disease, the virus was already raging around his body. If it was a placebo effect it was damn good one. Before Dennis had met Tabitha he had always been the man in charge, the go-to guy. She had stripped him of every bit of effervescence he had until he was a shadow of his former self. Was it a fitting punishment for the harm he had caused to little girls or the result of a mad woman’s psychopathic tendencies? It wasn’t my job to judge or to weigh up justice. Tabitha was behind bars and likely would be for a long time. Nothing was going to delete what Dennis had done to those little girls or his turning simpleminded, desperate girls like Chloe to prostitution. What mattered then was how he was going to use what time was left for him.
Trapped in the Auction House he had limited options but a guy like Dennis was never held back completely. He could at least make strides to protect himself.
“Chloe?” he called.
She had never left his side. The Penns weren’t exactly stopping her leaving but it wouldn’t be likely she could walk out of the Auction House so easily. She chose to wait with him. Wait for inevitable death? In the end maybe she would climb into the coffin beside him. It may be difficult to understand but she truly believed she couldn’t live without him.
“You have to go,” he said.
“No!” she squealed. She had been waiting on him asking this of her but it was the one thing she wouldn’t give. “I’m not leaving you.”
“You have to. I need you to find me a doctor. If you ask Marcus, he will allow it. Please. I need you to fetch me a man named DR WINSLOW.” Chloe blinked the tears away that were forming in her eyes. “Marcus will let him come here. He’s the only one who can help me. He’s the only one who stands a chance of helping me live long enough to see an end to all of this.”
“I’ll find the doctor,” cheered Chloe. “I’ll find him and he will make you feel better. I promise. I’ll give Marcus whatever he wants and Reggie too if you like.”
Dennis managed a smile. He shifted on the wooden panelled floor and winced in pain.
“Good. I need you to ask Marcus very nicely to bring me Dr Winslow. Can you do that?” Chloe nodded simply. She looked a little confused and upset still so he needed more confirmation. “Repeat it back to me, kid.”
“I ask for Dr Winslow. I ask Marcus really, really nicely.”
Dennis managed a smile again. She was so glad she could cheer him up.
Speaking more to himself he said, “She thinks she’s got the last laugh. I’m going to fuck her up. If I’m going down, I’m going to make her sorry she ever crossed my path.”
Chloe blinked, perplexed. The bitterness in his voice wasn’t like him. He was normally so calm even under dire circumstances.
The point was moot anyway because CPD had already landed on the Auction House. Marcus was under arrest and as the officers burst into the room where Dennis was being held he and Chloe were separated. It seemed Dennis’ day of beating and questioning was far from over. As manager of the Knock Knock club and willing to talk against his Headliner masters, Dennis was an incredible asset for the Law Makers as the trial was set. Chloe looked up to Kim’s strong and protective face. It reminded her of a lioness she had seen at City Zoo when Dennis took her once to meet a client. The lioness had put herself in front of the cubs and watched the alpha male closely. The alpha male was intimidated. It wouldn’t approach the cubs whilst the lioness was around.
“Are you hurt pet?” she asked softly.
Chloe managed a smile despite herself. “I’m fine.”
Kim reached her hand out and clasped Chloe’s. “I’m going to need you to come with me. It’s going to be okay.” She spoke into her comm device. “I need some women officers in here.”
Thanks to Lydia’s international agency team, Chloe was taken to the safety of CPD.
#amreading the #thriller #graphicnovel #knockknock by @VivikaWidow
No you’re not seeing treble. Reggie is one of the three Penn triplets. Whilst big brother MARCUS (centre) is the eldest by a few minutes Reggie enjoys being the baby of the team. Of his three brothers he probably holds the least responsibility although he is made to contribute to the family business at the insistence of their mother, Rita.
Reggie is a gamer fan. He especially enjoys playing LONESOME NIGHTS with none other than son of High Court Judge CAMERON DOYLE. To put his violent reputation aside one would actually find Reggie a friendly young man. Away from his brothers and duties all he really wants to do is chill and play video games. Generosity to those who support them is a clear Penn trait instilled by their father, REGINALD. Reggie in particular is good to his friends as vet, ALEX FERRALD, discovered when he treated Reggie’s pet rats.
Reggie, like his brothers, is hyper intelligent. Where Marcus has the head for leadership and middle brother Simon has the head for numbers Reggie’s prowess lies in knowing what draws a crowd. He is the one acquisition agents will turn to for advice on what will sell. Reggie seems to have a talent for picking out the next best thing. He did so for a drug addicted artist, DAVID FINN, giving him the chance of redeeming his failing career.
What is most distinctive about Reggie is his love of rats. Growing up he developed a special fondness for rodents. He keeps many cages at a warehouse held by the Penn Gallery. He is especially interested in how far he can push their loyalty in exchange for a food pellets. Reggie has an inquisitive nature which led him to become fascinated with a rats survival instincts. He was tagged with the nickname ‘rat boy’ as a youngster. Reggie took the derogatory connotations and refashioned them into something he was proud of. Rats were the most successful species next to humans. They were survivors.
He is happiest with his brothers by his side but treated as the baby despite being born minutes apart Reggie struggles to stand above the imposing presence of Marcus or match the physicality of Simon. What Reggie does have though is a keen survivalist instinct, honed from observing his rats. He can shelter, salvage and hold out in terrains even his brothers would likely perish in. In a place like Shady City survival instincts are just what is needed.