Pete legs it down Back Lane, makes the prison just as Hanley corners in the van, he jumps in and they head up Love Lane to park.
Hanley, looks him over, ‘Fucking hell, do you want to go back home and try again?’
She texts him: So Ive yr number. ThankU!!!!xxx
He texts her: U2! x
Then: Laters. Turns off his phone and puts it in the glove box.
‘Last night’s victim? She have a name?’
‘Can’t even fucking remember.’
It will be easier for Peter to brush off the stick he’ll get today if Hanley’s bashing him with the wrong name, this Lisa bird. There is something different about Lyn, and if he is not thinking of her but some slag he’s had, Pete will enjoy winding Hanley up, embellishing, exaggerating, he knows Hanley hasn’t had a sniff since his wife left. Two years.
Pete wishes he’d said more texting Lyn.
Walking back under the long prison wall Hanley asks, ‘Remembered your ID?’
‘What do you reckon them bikes are in for?’ The same jokes every day.
Pete blocks out the punchline.
The gatehouse is good for playing how-would-they-look-before-shaved-heads-were-in. Officers who wouldn’t seem so hard with grey straggly sides to their shiny skulls. The one waiting to take them in has sheer gaps above his ears that would give him a kind of flat cap mohican. Hanley and Pete wait amid the banter as male gate staff take the piss out of three women POs they’re keeping between the two sets of doors, Hanley signs in, Pete signs in, then they are through and out into the walkway between the wall and a high wire fence.