Rory Rogerson is 67; an overweight, unfit, retired ‘protection officer’ (that’s PC for hired muscle). He is also a prolific and, by his own reckoning, successful author of crime fiction.
Penny (60) is his headmistress wife and Charlie Watkiss is the bloke next door.
Together, they make a formidable team!
Rory (ret’d). Chapter thirteen, part one.
During the months that followed, RRW Investigations landed a reasonably good number of paying clients, mostly pre-divorce surveillance and a few background checking jobs for collections agencies. That our name was getting out there for people like that wasn’t too bad but it wasn’t the kind of work we really wanted. Apart from anything else, the income was nothing like enough for any of us to give up our day jobs – not that any of us wanted to, but it would have been nice to have been able to make that choice other than through necessity. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, we netted forty-two million each – why would we need to work? I’ll tell you. We all enjoyed what we were doing and would only stop it to do something we enjoyed more. Sadly, stalking people to take photos of their indiscretions was not more enjoyable than what we were doing already.
With Meredith’s approval, we offered Billy and Alan employment but they both refused. Billy was preparing to go to university where, incredibly, he was planning to study forensic science and criminology whilst Alan was working towards his A-levels and hoping to follow Charlie into IT security. So they both had plans that would fit well with what we’re doing and we eventually agreed that we would sponsor their studies in exchange for occasional work during their down-time. Contractually, Billy became my apprentice investigator and Alan was Charlie’s apprentice data and information analyst.
One afternoon, after Charlie and Penny had been in conference over the accounting systems for a couple of hours, they walked into my writing room together. Charlie gave a little cough. I looked up. He had a very sheepish look about him, his left hand was holding his right elbow and he was rocking on his toes. I looked at Penny. Her eyes were closed and her breathing was long and deep, as though trying to calm herself.
“How did it go?” I asked, nonchalantly.
“Okay,” Penny said, “but—”
“We’ve got something to tell you,” Charlie interrupted.
“Something we should have told you a long time ago,” Penny added.