It Takes One to Know One

Part 1

"I did lock it, I know I did." Aaron insisted as he stared at the garage door.

"Then why was it open when I got here?" Cain demanded.

"I don't know." He couldn't understand it, he was always so careful about locking the place up. The village was a safe enough place, people didn't lock their doors, not during the day anyway, but you never knew who was passing through and looking for an opportunity to make some easy cash, and it was easy enough to break into a place under the cover of darkness. He could only think that someone had. "Has anything been taken?" He was dreading the answer to that; he knew any losses would be coming out of his wage packet.

"Lucky for you, no!"

Cain had stalked off then and Aaron knew he was in his uncle's bad books; he'd probably get all the horrible jobs today and be hauled over the coals for the least little thing. Cain would make him suffer for his apparent carelessness. He watched the older man get into the garage's recovery truck and drive off to a breakdown; hopefully it was in the back of beyond and would see him gone for most if not all of the morning.

Heaving a sigh he walked inside the garage, he needed to check the work book. As he stepped towards the desk he took a long look around him, they kept the expensive tools and machinery in here at night, like Cain had said everything was still there, even the things you could carry away in your arms. With nothing missing there can't have been a break-in so maybe he'd only thought he'd locked up? Well he wouldn't be so stupid again.

Cain had been back by half ten, his mood worse if anything and Aaron had kept out of his way as best he could, heading up to Smithy cottage at lunch time. No way did he fancy having a pie and pint with his uncle at the Woolpack today, his sarcastic comments would probable turn his lager sour.

He'd made himself a ham sandwich washing it down with a drink of orange juice; he'd then stuck his head around the surgery door. He was in need of some friendly banter and Paddy could always be relied upon for that. But not today! The older man was carrying out some surgical procedure and so unable to offer him little more than a quick "Hi. You ok?" He'd assured him he was and then made his way back to work, hoping the afternoon would pass quickly. It didn't! The hours dragged by, the highlight of his afternoon being when Cain left early. But he hadn't gone before drumming it into him about locking up the place properly; threatening him with something unpleasant if he let him down again.

Five o'clock finally came and as he began the ritual of closing up shop for the day his mobile sounded. Seeing Jackson's name put a smile on his face, but the smile quickly faded when he read his message. He was going to be late, a couple of hours at least. He decided there and then that he might as well put in some extra hours too; he had nothing else to do.

There wasn't much daylight left, not now they'd but the clocks back, still he could work inside when it got too dark. There was an old banger in there, some old man had brought it in earlier, apparently it was making some strange noise every time he took a corner. The car was so old Aaron decided it was probably its death rattle he'd heard! He'd take a look at the heap of junk though and see if he could find anything wrong.

It had taken him an hour but he finally did...a thermos flask in the passenger foot well! The object was obviously rolling from side to side when the vehicle was in motion and regularly impacting with the metal frame of the seat. The discovery had amused him even though he knew he couldn't charge the coffin dodger for that hours labour.

That done he'd decided to call it a day. He'd carefully locked the door and had walked almost to the road when he decided to check the door again. To pinch one of Paddy's sayings 'It was better to be safe than sorry' he was in no hurry for another bollocking from Cain!

eeee

Jackson's current job was thirty miles away and so he had an early start each and every weekday morning. Aaron had decided to head to work the same time he did. He'd made tea and toast for them both and they were tucking into it at the table when his phone had rang. It was Cain and Aaron could only think that his uncle was ringing him to let him know he wouldn't be in that morning. If only!

His uncle was now turning the air blue as he delivered another tongue lashing. It seemed he'd found the garage door open again and was baying for his blood.

"I locked it I swear I did." He'd checked the damn door twice to be sure. Cain wanted him there now and he had no option but to go and face his wrath.

"It's a bit odd don't you think?" Jackson said as he followed Aaron to the door, "Maybe someone's playing a joke on you?"

"They'll be laughing the other side of their face if they are." Aaron responded irritably, it was no fun being on the wrong side of Cain Dingle.

They'd shared a kiss by the door and then Aaron had made his way down the hill, Jackson watching him go. The situation troubled him a little, he knew that if Aaron said he'd locked up then he had, but Cain wasn't so trusting, and having evidence to the contrary he was bound to give Aaron a hard time and Aaron would only take so much before BOOM! He might just end up telling Cain where he could stick his job.

He let Cain rant at him, he knew better than to try and get a word in edgeways where his uncle was concerned. He'd wait until he was given the opportunity to speak and hopefully Cain would believe what he said.

"Well?"

"I locked up and I double checked everywhere was secure."

"You can't have done."

"I did. If for no other reason than to spare myself an earful from you!" He knew his backchat had angered Cain some more, well what did he expect? He was a lot like him; he took crap off no one.

"If it happens again you're out..."

"What?"

"You heard! Consider yourself on a warning."

He'd had to fight the urge to toss a spanner through the nearest car window and storm off. If he'd had the money to pay for the repairs he might well have done. Instead he got on with his work damning the older man under his breath.

Cain had gone on to bark orders at him all morning, Aaron knew he expected him to pull his weight and more importantly be responsible in the workplace and he made every effort to do so, he'd not let him down before so why wouldn't he give him the benefit of the doubt now? Why was he being so hard on him? It wasn't fair.

To his surprise Cain had left early once again. He'd been about to challenge him about leaving him to lock up considering what had happened but he'd thought better of it and kept his mouth shut. He was in enough trouble as it was and maybe just maybe Cain was regretting coming down on him like a ton of bricks? He could but hope.

eeee

Jackson was working even later tonight, until ten at least. As Aaron had waited for him to come home he'd watched a DVD with Paddy. When the older man had been called out to some emergency he'd slipped on Clyde's lead and took him for a long walk. It was half ten by the time he'd got back and with no sign of Jackson he'd let a thirsty Clyde in through the front door and made his way down to the garage, he was going to check the damn doors again, he knew he'd sleep better if he did.

He'd swore out loud on seeing the double doors ajar. Pushing one open he stepped inside and as he reached for the light switch he was hit from behind, the blow to his shoulder unbalancing him and sending him crashing to the floor. He was winded by the impact but on hearing his assailant running away he forced himself to his feet and gave chase, determined to catch whoever it was and do some damage of his own.

TBC