Authors: Lee Martin
Sadie, Nicky, Poppy and Kate.
Four women who are on the surface sexy, confident and wealthy - but each of them is trapped in a loveless and sometimes violent marriage to four of the most feared London gangsters.
For years they have lived a life of idle luxury - shopping, lunching, and occasionally playing away - but all the time loyally staying behind the scenes while their men rule the East End criminal underworld with violence and terror.
But times change, events conspire and they decide to fight back and take their men on at their own game.
Because when it comes to getting the money, the female is definitely more deadly than the maleâ¦
Lee Martin is definitely not a gangster's wifeâ¦
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
For Des McKeogh
Sadie Ross was at it that morning. Lately it seemed she was always at it. Young men mostly. With good bodies and stamina. The pool boy, a waiter from the bistro where she lunched with her girlfriends, her hairdresser (who surprisingly wasn't gay), her personal trainer from one of the gyms she frequented to keep her fit body even fitter, and that day, Tony, the boy who did odd jobs around the house. She wasn't that fussy really. As long as they didn't talk too much and wore a condom, and of course gave her satisfaction, almost anyone would do. If it crossed her mind it could get depressing. So she rarely allowed it to. Bollocks to it. But toy boys, who would've thought it? Not that Sadie was old. Thirty-five was nothing these days she knew. Thirty-five, and pretty damn good for her age. Tall and blonde. Natural, with just a little help from the bottle. Blonde down below too. Matching collar and cuffs, her husband Eddie called it. Brazilian of course. Figure still firm, and face unlined. Besides, in the twenty-first century anything was possible if you had the cash. And she and Eddie did. Nips, tucks, boob jobs, liposuction. She'd still look good into her fifties and beyond. Only sometimes she saw Eddie looking at her, and she wondered what he was thinking. Mates of his had dumped their first wives and moved down a generation, or even two, for another go with young birds who were nowhere near close to thinking about plastic surgery. But that thought depressed her too, so she left it alone as well.
So that morning, the only odd job Tony was doing was servicing the lady of the house.
Christ, if Eddie knew, she thought, as Tony threw her down on top of her marital bed. There'd be murders done. Literally. Eddie Ross wasn't a man to be trifled with. The polite term for how he earned his living was businessman/entrepreneur. In fact he was a gangster. A thief. An armed robber when necessary, and a torturer if that was what was needed. He was the brains behind a loose conglomerate of men who worked together when a job came up. Eddie planned the work, and they did as they were told. In fact if Eddie had put as much effort into some kind of legitimate business, he'd probably have been a captain of industry. But Eddie hated anything legit. Anything straight. âNo fun,' he'd say. âNo fucking fun at all.' So Eddie kept his eyes and ears open for a spot of anything that brought in fast, clean cash, and everyone was happy. But in that kind of business, things could change fast.
* * *
Eddie Ross had been at it too that morning. A nice little tickle which had yielded about forty grand in cash as his share. A hit on a diamond wholesaler on the south coast swiftly turned into real money at a fence in Guildford. Used notes, mainly tens and twenties, with a few fifties thrown in, which he didn't like. People were too suspicious of fifties these days. Didn't like taking them. Too many snides about. But money was money. So he reckoned he'd give them to his coke dealer for a pile of charlie and let him get the grief of getting rid of them. Eddie grinned to himself as he gunned the engine of his dark blue Audi A8 off the motorway. He was proud of his motor, which he'd got brand new. It looked like a doctor's car but went like shit off a shovel, and he dropped a gear and put his foot down as he headed for home. Everything had gone so sweet that he was early. Give Sadie a surprise was his plan. A quick fuck, then a long lunch at their favourite Thai restaurant in Greenwich. It would be a nice change to have a shag with his missus, instead of some mystery he'd pulled on a night out with the lads. A real nice change. Not that he didn't know that she played away. Course he did. He wouldn't have been Eddie Ross otherwise. Silly cow thought she'd got one over him. More than one. Lots more. But Eddie really didn't care. The bloom was well and truly off the rose with Sadie. Not that she didn't keep herself tidy, because she did. Always on a diet. Always exercising. And when they went out together, which Eddie had to admit wasn't as often as it used to be, she took great care with her appearance, and had lots of other blokes frothing at the mouth. But Eddie was just a bit tired of her. And there were always ways and means to get a bit of revenge. But that could wait until the time was right.
Eddie grinned again and looked in the rear view mirror at his reflection. Not bad for a man in his early forties, he thought. He was big, and well in shape thanks to his personal trainer at the gym. He knew the young bloke was shafting Sadie, and he would've been tied to his Nautilus machine with so many weights loaded on it his arms would rip out of their sockets if Eddie had cared more. His time would come too. Eddie knew some very nasty boys, who'd be happy to do him a favour for old time's sake. Best served cold, his dad had always said. Revenge. Best served cold. As the car shot past an articulated lorry Eddie stroked his bald, bullet head and grinned some more. There was just one cloud over Eddie's parade. Later that month he was up at the Bailey on robbery and conspiracy charges. A bit of bad luck after a mail van robbery on the old Great West Road had led to Eddie being given a pull and charged. Fucking bent coppers, thought Eddie as his smile vanished. Can't trust the bastards, that's the trouble. And straight ones were even worse. You never knew where you were with them. His number one inside man in the Met had gone and been done for conspiracy to pervert, had offered Eddie up as a sweetener to lessen the charge, and it was unfortunate timing that Eddie hadn't got rid of the incriminating evidence at the lockup in Custom House that he used as a bolt-hole. He'd always thought no one knew about the place, but the slag of a copper must've been a better detective than Eddie thought he was, and one morning at six there'd been warrants served at the house and the garage, and Eddie had been caught bang to rights. Of course there were ways and means there too, which was why Eddie had been at work the previous couple of days. Money talks, he thought as he left the motorway, and the money from the diamond robbery had a lot of talking to do if he was going to walk free from court.
Eddie slowed as he drove through the A and B roads that led to the house just outside Laindon in Essex. It was an ugly bastard of a place. A mishmash of Art Deco and fake Tudor, but Eddie didn't care. As long as it had a snooker room, an inside swimming pool and a home cinema it was all right with him. And it had all of those and more. After all, he didn't have to look at it when he was inside. He steered the car into the private road where the house sat and pushed the control on the dash to open the double gates, and he was home and dry. Job done.
Sadie was just reaching the point of orgasm when she heard the rumble of her husband's motor hitting the drive. You couldn't mistake the unique sound of the V8 engine as it pulled through the gates.
âShit,' she shouted as Tony hit the short strokes. âIt's Eddie.'
Tony flinched and tried to withdraw out of her, but she sank her acrylic nails into his shoulders and pulled him in deeper.
âKeep going,' she said through gritted teeth. âI want to come, you little fucker.'
But Tony had lost it and she felt him shrink, pull out and roll over, the Durex slipping off his cock.
He was pasty white with fright as he struggled into his T-shirt and jeans and headed for the door. He knew Eddie and his reputation, and he wasn't about to stick around and get his legs broken. It had been crazy to get involved with Sadie in the first place, but she was something else in bed. And generous with it. âNot that way stupid,' said Sadie. âUse the sodding window.'
The bedroom was on the first floor with a balcony outside the French doors leading to a narrow balcony overlooking the back garden, and Tony did as he was told. Better a broken leg from a fall than two from Eddie. âWhat about these?' said Sadie as she tossed him his underwear. Calvin Kleins. Real ones. Twenty quid a pair from a boutique in Lakeside, not cheap knockoffs from a stall in Romford market. Tony grabbed them, hopped over the balcony and landed on a flower bed just as Eddie opened the front door.
He headed straight upstairs to find his wife straightening the bedspread, dressed in a silk kimono. âWhat are you doing here?' she said. âI wasn't expecting you âtil tonight.'
âAll done and dealt with darlin',' he replied. âAnd look at what I've got.'
He upended the sports bag he was carrying and loose notes fell onto the bed like leaves in a storm. âChrist,' said Sadie. âA result.'
âForty K, give or take. Not bad for a night or two's work.'
âYou can say that again. Shopping?' Next to fucking her boys, and lunching with her mates, shopping was Sadie's favourite pastime.
âThat can wait,' he said as he stuck his hand under her wrap and slid his fingers inside her. âYou're all wet,' he said. âWhat have you been up to?'