“Here's your pay,” Tom said. He handed over $96. Jason breathed a silent sigh of relief. “Can you work the evening shift tomorrow?” Tom asked. “We close earlier on Sunday nights – eleven – but you can start at midday if you want.”
Jason nodded. “Yes, I'll start at midday.” He'd pretty much suspected that he wouldn't be paid, but he'd had no real choice. Here was a job, paid under the table, with no complications from the tax authorities or the immigration people. He needed the money. There was no trust account, no bank account at Coutts to fall back on any more. He was utterly alone.
On the way home, he noticed several gay couples on the streets.
He opened the front door of the Majorca Flats terrace house as quietly as possible, but all the same, Bolt heard him, and barked once sharply. “Shhh!” hissed Jason at him. He didn't want to wake Mrs Cumberledge up. He knew, from the times he'd spent with his grandmother, that old people found it hard to sleep. He patted Bolt on his head, and tried to make the excited dog calm down. The hall floor was polished floor-boards. Bolt's paws tap-tapped on the bare wood as he danced around Jason. Jason caressed the dog's head, then, worn beyond belief, went to bed.