Wenzas & Oncers

FADE IN
EXT. LONDON COLLEGE OF PRINTING – AFTERNOON.
SUPER:
LONDON, JULY 1970

A group of students are gathered outside LCP. They’re all wearing basically the same ‘uniform’; bell bottom, decorated jeans and tight fitting shirts on the guys, mini skirts and stockings and colourful tops on the girls.

A Dulcet battery powered radio is blasting out All Right Now by Free.

The students are congratulating each other. Patting each other on the back. Cuddling and kissing. A couple of girls are dancing to the music.

The camera picks out, BEN CROSS, early twenties, good looking, well built, long blonde hair well past his shoulders.

He’s talking to a couple of very attractive girls. They like him. There’s a group cuddle. He walks off, waves goodbye. The two girls look disappointed at his going.


EXT. LONDON CITYSCAPE – EARLY MORNING.

The sun is rising and the streets of London are empty except for a solitary milk cart.

The float passes a building site where BEN – stripped to the waist – breaks up asphalt blocks with a sledge hammer then throws them in to the asphalt cooker.


EXT. ROOF TOP – LATER.

BEN takes a bucket full of hot asphalt off a pulley then carries the bucket across a 50ft roof and pours it out in front of a waiting spreader.

He runs the empty bucket back to a pulley, takes a full bucket and repeats the run across the roof.


EXT. STREET LEVEL – LATER.

BEN washes himself in a bucket.

He finishes, pulls on his shirt and joins three other men as they walk away from the site.

Across the way, unseen to BEN, a well dressed man in an expensive suit hands another suited man an envelope and shakes his hand heartily.


INT. GRAVE MAURICE PUB – NIGHT TIME

The Grave Maurice is a smart East End pub, flock wallpaper, a thick wool carpet, a bar stocked with quality spirits, and the ubiquitous leather lounges.

BEN, casually dressed in bell bottom trousers and colourful shirt, is with a crowd of his mates, all dressed in jeans and Ben Sherman shirts.

BEN looks at his watch, downs his pint, waves to his mates and leaves – the others JEER his early departure.

YOUNG BARMAID
Not like you, Ben, they usually have to carry you out.

BEN blows her a kiss.


EXT. BUILDING SITE – EARLY NEXT MORNING.

BEN is breaking up asphalt blocks and throwing them in to the cooker.

The milk float passes on its daily pilgrimage. BEN stops it and buys a bottle of milk.

He downs it in one go.

As the milk float pulls away BEN takes an old Nikon camera out of his work bag and shoots it meandering down the road.


INT. CAFE – LATER THE SAME MORNING.

BEN is at the counter paying for his breakfast. An older man shouts across to him.

FOREMAN
Get ours, too, Ben, it’s your shout.

BEN
Always seems to be my shout, Bert

FOREMAN
That’s what being the governor’s son’s all about, getting the breakfasts in.

BEN
Yea, don’t I bloody know it.

BEN pays for the breakfasts. He gets a warm smile from the girl at the till. It’s noticed by the others.

WORKMAN #1
Looks like you’re in there, must be all that money of yours.

BEN
Naaa, it’s my natural charm, I get it from the Old Man, you must have noticed.

BEN looks back and smiles at the girl who is still watching him. She smiles shyly back.


EXT. HACKNEY MARSHES – SUNDAY MORNING.

A group of football players, covered in mud, walk off the pitch at the end of a game.

BEN, dressed like the rest of them in football kit is on the sideline taking pictures of them.


EXT. SAME

The footballers are now washing themselves, as best they can, in the troughs provided. Again, BEN is taking photos of the action.


INT. LOCAL PUB – LATER SAME MORNING

BEN and his friend GERRY LOGAN, a hard looking man in his late twenties, walk in to a pub carrying football kit bags which they deposit next to the umbrella stand.

Again the pub is full of smoke, music blaring out over the sound system.

BEN
Good game, Gerry, you had that flash winger well sorted out.

GERRY
Right mug, no bottle. Told him what I’d do to him and he didn’t come near me the rest of the game.

BEN makes a sign for two beers to the barman who serves them straight away.

There are a group of tarty looking girls at the bar who give the boys ‘the eye’.

GERRY
Bunch of tossers.

BEN looks at the girls.

BEN
They’re not that bad.

GERRY (laughing)
The other team, you wanker.

BEN laughs, too, and they carry their drinks back to a table where their pals are already drinking.


EXT. BUILDING SITE – DAYTIME

BEN, naked from the waist up again, shovels coke in to the asphalt cooker. GINGER, the Potman, watches him do it.

GINGER
Thought you’d have got yourself a cushy job in the office by now.

BEN
Na, I’m only here for the summer, Ginger, get some money together. Going travelling after that.

He poses, plays air guitar and starts to sing Born To Be Wild from Easy Rider

BEN
Get your motor running

Head out on the highway

Looking for adventure

And whatever comes our way

GINGER laughs at BEN’s antics.

GINGER

Here give me that camera of yours.

BEN goes to his bag, takes out the camera, adjusts the lens, hands it to GINGER.

BEN
Just point and press.

BEN plays air guitar and GINGER ‘shoots’ him.

BEN (CONT’D)
Yeah darling, gonna make it happen

Take the world in a love embrace

Fire all of your guns at once

And explode into space

He then goes in to a mock Charles Atlas strong man pose and GINGER shoots again.

From the roof, the spreader can be heard shouting.

SPREADER (O.S.)
One up.

GINGER puts the camera down, gets another bucket of asphalt ready and hands it to BEN who runs it up to the roof.


INT. A MAKE SHIFT DARK ROOM – NIGHT.

BEN is developing the black and white photographs he has taken of the milk float, the football players and Ginger working on the asphalt cooker. They are good shots, well composed, beautiful lighting.


INT. CROSS BROS COMPANY OFFICE – DAYTIME

The CROSS BROS office is located in a large, 4-story Georgian family house in
Islington with the ground floor being used for business purposes.

The office consists of an antique Partner’s Desk, filing cabinets and two comfortable leather sofas.

BEN waits while his father STEVE CROSS – late forties, chiselled from granite but starting to go to fat, good looking in a tough way (could be the man in the suit we saw earlier) – looks at building site drawings.

STEVE
I need you to do me favour, Ben.

BEN
What’s that?

STEVE
Come in and help me run the company.

BEN
Leave it out, Dad. We’ve been through all this before.

STEVE
It needn’t be for ever.

BEN
Dad, I’ve got my own life to live.

STEVE
Don’t tell me you still want to be some poncy photographer.

BEN
Yes I do as a matter of fact.

STEVE
Well I’ll tell you, I didn’t lay out all that money for your education for you to end up as an intellectual ponce.

BEN
Not that one again.

STEVE
Yes that one again.

BEN
Dad, I want to lead my own life. I want to travel. I want to take photographs.

Steve’s attitude changes, he becomes soft

STEVE
Look I need to spend more time with your Mum. As soon as she’s well again you can do what you want.

BEN
Yea, yea.

STEVE
I mean it, son, it needn’t be for too long. I’m desperate.

BEN
There must be someone else who could do it.

STEVE
Who? I’ve only got one son.

BEN
Just as long as you know I’m not here for life.

STEVE
Come on let me show you what I want you to do.

STEVE ushers BEN out of the office.


EXT. ROOF TOP – DAYTIME.

BEN is struggling with a tape measure trying to work out the size of the roof. The tape keeps springing back on him. STEVE is laughing. He grabs the measure and shows BEN how to use it properly.

STEVE
How many A Levels have you got?

He then walks across the roof measuring it with his length of his stride.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Mind you this is how us old farts do it.

BEN looks on somewhat shamefaced.


EXT. A YARD FULL OF ASPHALT BLOCKS – DAYTIME

STEVE and BEN are watching two labourers load blocks on to a lorry.

STEVE (CONT’D)
So how many blocks to the tonne?

BEN grimaces, he doesn’t know. Looks around for help, the two labourers are laughing.


INT. OFFICE – DAYTIME

STEVE and BEN are looking at an architect’s drawing.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Easier than it looks?

BEN
Yea, I s’pose so.

STEVE
But then you’ve got to work out whether it’s more profitable to put one man on the job for three days or three men for one day.

BEN looks to the heavens.

STEVE smiles and takes out a cheque book from the desk drawer, starts writing a cheque. He finishes and hands it to BEN.

BEN (CONT’D)
What’s that for?

STEVE
Get yourself a couple of suits made. Go to Doug
Hayward’s in Savile Row.

BEN gives him a quizzical look.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Can’t have you looking like you’ve just come off a building site, can I?

STEVE throws BEN his car keys.

STEVE (CONT’D)
You can take the Roller, now that you’re management.

BEN looks at the keys he has just caught and looks like a naughty schoolboy.

STEVE
And get your bloody hair cut.


EXT. LONDON STREET – MINUTES LATER

BEN walks out of the house and approaches the convertible Rolls Royce parked outside.

The car is immaculate, a 1952 Mulliner designed drophead with running boards in a light sand colour and red leather seats.

BEN tosses the keys in the air, catches them, gets in and roars away.


INT. DOUG HAYWARD’S, SAVILE ROW – SAME DAY

BEN stands in one of London’s top tailors wearing the rough material guides of a first fit for a suit.

The TAILOR has his mouth full of pins, tape measure round his neck and tailor’s chalk in his hand.

TAILOR
So. Tonic mohair, single 14 inch vent. Three button. Two button on the sleeve. 31 inside leg, no cuffs. What side do you dress on?

BEN
Sorry?

The TAILOR takes the pins out of his mouth

TAILOR
Where do you dress?

BEN
Usually in front of the mirror.

The TAILOR shoves his hand up BEN’s groin and has a grope.

TAILOR
What side do you put your dick on, son, left or right?

BEN looks suitably embarrassed.

TAILOR (CONT’D)
The right. Unusual. Good job I checked.

He starts to pull the fittings apart.

TAILOR (CONT’D)
Second fitting in a week’s time, pick em up a week after that. And say hello to your Dad for me. He’s a good boy, Stevie.

The tailor starts to take the various fittings off BEN’s body.


EXT. JERMYN ST – LATER

BEN is walking along Jermyn St, looking in to the shop windows as he does so.

He arrives at a Barbers and walks in.


INT. BARBERS – MINUTES LATER

BEN is having his long hair cut. He grimaces at what’s happening.


INT. BARBERS – LATER

BEN now has short hair. He looks in to the mirror. Despite not wanting to he likes what he sees. Grins at the barber. Brushes the short hair with his hand.

BEN
Yea, not bad that.


EXT. CORK ST. – MINUTES LATER.

BEN leaves the Barbers and walks through to Cork St, checking his new look out in the shop windows and looking at the paintings in the local art galleries.

He walks in to a gallery which is showing an exhibition of the photographer Man Ray.


INT. CORK ST. GALLERY – MINUTES LATER.

BEN stands looking at a large Man Ray print. An attractive, smartly dressed young woman, SARAH JOHNSON, early 20s, blonde hair cut in fashionable ‘page boy’ style comes to join him.

SARAH
It’s interesting, isn’t it.

BEN
Yea, he’s certainly got a sense of humour.

He looks at the price list.

BEN (CONT’D)
And the price, well, that’s a laugh, too.

(beat)

You haven’t just bought it, have you?

SARAH (laughing)
Oh no, I couldn’t afford anything like that. I just work here.

BEN
Right.

SARAH
Are you a photographer?

BEN
Trying to be. I went to the London College of Printing for three years. Got into photography there.

SARAH
Any good?

BEN
Getting there.

SARAH puts her hand out.

SARAH
Sarah Johnson.

BEN shakes her hand politely and is obviously taken with her.

BEN
Ben Cross.

The two smile at each other and chat some more.


INT. STEVE CROSS’S OFFICE – DAYTIME

BEN walks in wearing one of his new suits, a white shirt with a wide collar and a kipper tie.

STEVE
Well, look what’s walked through the door, James Fucking Bond.

BEN preens himself and pulls the shirt cuffs down to show them off more. Brushes one hand across his now short hair.

BEN
Yea, not bad.

STEVE
Got to look smart when you go visiting.

BEN
Who am I visiting?

STEVE hands BEN a list.

STEVE
The LCC. Clerks of Works.

Local councillors. Every Friday from now on is visiting day….

BEN
Sure, great, what do I say to them?

STEVE laughs at the idea.

STEVE
As little as possible….

STEVE laughs, gets back up and again puts his arm around his son’s shoulders.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Go up and see your Mum. Always does her good.

BEN
She bad again?

STEVE
Bloody doctors, all the money I pay them and what do I get? Different coloured pills. Fucking waste of time.

BEN shakes his head and goes to see his mum.


INT. BEDROOM – MINUTES LATER.

BEN walks in to his mother’s bedroom, well decorated with expensive wallpaper and curtains plus an antique sofa and matching single chair.

The curtains are pulled tightly.

His mother, CLAIRE, is in bed, the cover pulled up to her chin.

She is a woman in her early forties with striking features but her hair is unkempt and her face looks as if she has been crying.

BEN walks across to the window and starts to open the heavy curtains.

BEN
Hello, Mum, lovely day, why don’t I let some sun in.

CLAIRE
No, just leave them, there’s a good boy.

BEN leaves the curtains shut. Crosses to the bed and sits on it.

CLAIRE (CONT’D)
Dad tells me you’re working in the office now. Enjoying it?

BEN
Yea, it’s all right.

CLAIRE
Not really what you want from life though, is it?

BEN
No, but I’ll help Dad out for a bit. While I’m deciding what to do.

CLAIRE
Well make sure you don’t get caught up in it all. All that easy money. You’ve had a good education, don’t waste it.

BEN
Mum, the last thing I want to do is work in the building trade all my life.

CLAIRE
Your father is a charmer when he wants his own way. You have to stand up to him otherwise he’ll walk all over you.

CLAIRE squeezes BEN’s hand and gives him a smile.

CLAIRE (CONT’D)
And don’t worry about me, I’ll be back on my feet in a few days.

BEN smiles back gives his mum a kiss on the forehead and leaves, a sad look on his face.


INT. THE DAGMAR’S OFFICE – DAYTIME.

BEN picks up the phone and nervously dials a number.

BEN
Sarah Johnson, please.

SARAH (O.S.)
Speaking.

BEN (STILL NERVOUS)
It’s Ben Cross, we met last week.

SARAH (O.S.)
Hi Ben, how are you?

BEN
I’m good. I was wondering if I could ask you out for a drink (laughs) tell you all I know about avant-garde photography.

SARAH (O.S. – HESITANTLY)
Yes, well….

BEN (INTERRUPTING HER)
And you said you lived in Chelsea, The Loose Reign must be near you?

SARAH (O.S.)
Yes it is, but I’m going to the country for the weekend.

BEN
Well, it doesn’t have to be the weekend. How about next Tuesday? Nothing heavy, just meet for a drink.

SARAH (O.S.)
Ok, sounds good, next Tuesday. About eight? At the Loose Reign.

BEN
Fantastic, see you then, Sarah.

As he puts down the phone, BEN punches the sky.

BEN
Yes!


INT. STEVE CROSS’S OFFICE – DAYTIME

BEN, looking good in one of his new mohair suits, walks in to the office where STEVE is busy, poring over architect’s drawings. He points to a pile of envelopes.

STEVE
There you are, son. Friday’s Special Deliveries.

BEN looks at the envelopes but doesn’t pick them up.

BEN
What’s in them?

STEVE
Readies, Ben, readies, back handers, sweeteners….

BEN
I’ve got to walk in to an LCC depot and hand out envelopes full of money?

STEVE
Yep.

BEN
Dad, you can go to jail for things like that.

STEVE stands up from the desk and looks at BEN as if he’s a little boy.

STEVE (MIMICKING BEN)
You can go to jail for things like that. Grow up, for fuck’s sake, do you think we get all those….

STEVE rubs his fingers in the money sign

STEVE (CONT’D)
…. lovely LCC contracts because we give good asphalt?

BEN
I’m serious, Dad, I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t know how….

STEVE
You’ll learn, son. Be second nature to you in no time at all.

STEVE goes back and sits behind his desk, opens a ledger and looks through it.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Because if we don’t do it someone else will and we won’t get any more work.

STEVE slashes open a letter.

STEVE (CONT’D)
And if we don’t get any more work Benny my boy….

STEVE glances at the letter and throws it in to the waste paper basket which is already full.

STEVE (CONT’D)
….. how do I look after you and your Mum?

STEVE finds what he’s looking for, checks it and starts to write a cheque.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Not cheap, those Harley St. doctors, private hospitals….

BEN
Yea, OK, I hear you.

BEN looks at the envelopes in his hand.

BEN (CONT’D)
But I don’t like it.

STEVE smiles at his son’s acquiescence.


INT. COUNCIL OFFICE – DAYTIME.

BEN walks in to a Council office. Sitting at his desk is STAN WETHERILL, elderly looking dressed in grey slacks, herringbone jacket, white shirt and military tie.

BEN
Mr. Wetherill, I’m Ben Cross. Steve’s son.

WETHERILL stands up and shakes hands.

WETHERILL
Ah yes, your Dad told me you’d be coming in.

BEN hands him an envelope

BEN
He asked me to give you this.

WEHTERILL takes it and, without any show of emotion, immediately puts it into the inside pocket of his jacket.

WETHERILL
Do you like Rugby, young man? There’s a good match coming up at
Twickenham in a few weeks time.

BEN
That’d be great, Mr. Wetherill

WETHERILL smiles, the deal has been done.


INT. APHRODITE CLUB – NIGHT.

STEVE and BEN and CLAIRE sit at a table in the Aphrodite, a nightclub in the West End.

The place is smart with plush fitting but there’s an air of seediness, too, and the clientele are decidedly mixed with crooks rubbing shoulders with the minor aristocracy.

There’s a four piece dance band playing and a few couples dancing.

CLAIRE looks great in a smart black dress and is decked out in
jewellery, very different from the woman we saw earlier.

A young and attractive hostess, serves the three with drinks. CLAIRE puts her hand over her glass. STEVE introduces the girl to BEN.

STEVE
Ben, this is Beverley, lovely girl. Very popular with the LCC boys, aren’t you Beverley?

BEVERLEY smiles at BEN and walks away. BEN admires her as she goes. CLAIRE watches her son with disapproval.

BEN
Not bad. You bring the LCC boys down here?

STEVE
Yea, amazing what a bit of female company does do to a man’s urge to hand out work. Isn’t it, darling?

CLAIRE doesn’t answer. BEN looks around at the girls working there, he likes what he sees. Then he looks at his mother and is a little embarrassed.

CLAIRE
Remember what I told you, Ben, don’t get sucked in.

STEVE sees someone he knows across the room and leaves the table to speak to them.

BEN
Not really my type of place, Mum, don’t know why you come down here, either.

CLAIRE
Oh your father likes to trot me out now and again. Show what a lovely wife he’s got. Says I make him look respectable.

One of the hostesses, CAROL, walks across to the table.

CAROL
Good evening, Mrs. Cross, can I get you anything.

CLAIRE look at her with a certain disdain.

CLAIRE
No thank you, dear, we’re fine.

CAROL walks away haughtily. CLAIRE shakes her head at the departing figure – her look could kill.


INT. LOOSE REIGN WINE BAR, KINGS RD – EVENING.

BEN sits at the bar with GERRY LOGAN. The bar is typical of the time, bleached-wood tables, chrome bar counter. It’s busy, full of ‘beautiful young things’.

GERRY finishes a glass of wine and pours himself another.

GERRY
So how’s the office job going?

BEN
Beats labouring.

BEN orders another bottle of wine and pulls out a huge wad of notes to pay for it.

GERRY
Think you’ll stick it out?

BEN
Yea, for a while, till Mum’s better. Then I’m going to get in to full time photography.

GERRY
Bit poncy, isn’t it?

He makes an effeminate gesture with his hand.

BEN
span style=”color: #3366ff;”>No, it’s all the go. Bailey, Donovan. Both working class boys. Millionaires now. And boy do they pull the birds.

GERRY
So who’s this bit of posh you’re seeing tonight then?

BEN
She’s not ‘a bit of posh. Parents live in Guilford, that’s all. Her name’s Sarah.

GERRY
Given her one yet?

BEN spots SARAH walking in. Dressed in a short mini dress covered in flowers, she looks stunning.

BEN
Behave yourself.

SARAH
Hi Ben, sorry I’m late, caught up at work and all that.

BEN is flustered but GERRY hold his hand out.

GERRY
Hi, I’m Gerry, Ben was just telling me all about you.

SARAH
Well that would be difficult, he doesn’t know much yet.

BEN indicates Sarah’s dress

BEN
Lovely dress.

SARAH
Thank you.

BEN
What would you like to drink?

SARAH
A glass of Veuve de Vernay would be great, thanks.

GERRY gets SARAH a stool and she sits down between them.

GERRY
Haven’t got a sister at home by any chance, have you….

SARAH laughs at the use of the old line.


DISSOLVE TO

INT. WINE BAR – LATER SAME EVENING.

GERRY has gone and BEN and SARAH are now on their own.

BEN
And the girl said, Am I one of those twisted strings? No, I’m afraid not.

SARAH looks at him, shrugs her shoulders. She doesn’t get it.

BEN spells it out for her.

BEN (CONT’D)
A frayed k.n.o.t.

SARAH bursts into laughter, she can’t stop, tears are coming out of her eyes.

SARAH
Ben, no more, no more, I must be getting off home….

BEN
Sure, I’ll give you a lift.

SARAH
No need, I only live round the corner.

BEN
No, I insist. It’s the least I can do. Got to save you from those twisted strings.

SARAH (STILL LAUGHING HELPLESSLY)
OK. OK,

The two leave, still laughing as they go.


EXT. KINGS RD. – MINUTES LATER.

BEN leads SARAH towards the Rolls Royce, hood down, parked in the street. As they get to it, BEN suddenly opens the passenger door and ushers SARAH in.

BEN
Your carriage awaits.

SARAH is much too cool to be impressed by a flash car.

SARAH
Dad not using it tonight?

Ben is momentarily thrown but see the funny side of what is obviously the truth.

BEN
Got it in one.

BEN gets in to the car, turns the radio on full blast and drives through the streets of Chelsea thrilled to be with such a smart girl on such a lovely evening.


EXT. A HOUSE OF FLATS IN MARKHAM ST., CHELSEA – NIGHT

BEN and SARAH are standing on SARAH’s doorstep, BEN waiting to be asked in.

SARAH gives him a peck on the cheek.

SARAH
Thanks for a great evening, I haven’t laughed so much in ages.

BEN
Well, I’ve been told that’s the easiest way to get a girl in to bed, make her laugh.

SARAH
Well that may be true but this girl’s going to bed on her own tonight.

BEN
Not even a cup of coffee?

SARAH
Not even a cup of coffee. But a drink on Friday would be nice.

BEN is delighted with the offer. He accepts and kisses SARAH on the cheek.

BEN
Drink on Friday it is then, Dem, pick you up about at eight.

SARAH
Dem?

BEN
Rhyming slang. Dem. Sarah. Demerara. Sweet as sugar.

Without waiting for a reply BEN skips away and vaults in to the Roller.

SARAH laughs at his antics.

BEN drives away.


INT. STEVE’S OFFICE – DAYTIME A COUPLE OF WEEKS LATER

BEN walks in to the office and sees the usual stack of envelopes waiting for him.

BEN
Dad, I don’t know how long I can keep on doing this.

STEVE
Doing what, son?

BEN nervously straightens his tie which is already straight.

BEN
Giving them crooks on the council their weekly dues as if they were Roman senators.

STEVE
Very fucking lyrical, you should have been a writer.

BEN stands his ground and makes another plea. He shows STEVE a newspaper he is holding.

BEN
It says in the News of the World that the Old Bill have set up a special fraud squad to investigate corruption in Local Government.

STEVE walks over to the drinks cabinet and takes out a bottle of scotch.

STEVE
Ben, grow up, the police are every bit as bent as the LCC. Same breed. Drink in the same pubs. Use the same bookies. Fuck the same hookers. Don’t worry about the police.

STEVE pours himself a large scotch.

BEN
Bit early isn’t it?

STEVE
What are you, my fucking conscience?

BEN looks embarrassed about what he has just said.

BEN
Couldn’t we get away from the Council? Get in with some of the large building companies?

STEVE puts his arm round BEN’s shoulder and gives him a hug.

STEVE
Ben, they all want back-handers. The bigger the company, the bigger the kick back. We’re lucky with the council ‘cos they don’t know how much they’re fucking worth.

STEVE picks up the envelopes and hands them to BEN.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Now be a good boy….

STEVE pulls out a wad of notes from his back pocket and hands them to BEN<

STEVE (CONT’D)
And take that new bird of yours to Annabel’s for the night. You might even get to give her one.

BEN gives STEVE a doubting look but takes the money.

BEN
Yea, sure, thanks.

BEN puts the notes in to his pocket and leaves.


EXT. ANNABELL’S BERKLEY SQ. – EVENING.

BEN and SARAH, hand in hand, walk happily down
Berkley St. and in to Annabell’s.


INT. ANNABELL’S DINING ROOM – LATER SAME EVENING.

The meal is finished.

SARAH
So what causes the depression?

BEN
I don’t really know. I think it’s just the way some people are. Although the Old Man’s drinking doesn’t help.

SARAH
Has it always been like that?

BEN
As far as I remember it started when the business took off. I think Mum was happier back when they had no money.

SARAH gives his hand a comforting squeeze.

SARAH
How’s the photography coming on?

BEN snaps out of his reflective mood.

BEN
Good. Did some great shots of the footballers at Hackney Marshes a few weeks ago.

SARAH
Oh real glam stuff.

BEN
It’s what I like doing, the realistic stuff.

SARAH
You like Elliot Erwitt then?

BEN
Elliot who?

SARAH
Don’t say you haven’t heard of Elliot Erwitt.

BEN
No.

SARAH
Reportage. Black and white. Real social conscience stuff.

BEN
Sounds great, I’ll check him out.

SARAH
His famous quote is “Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times… I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.”

BEN
Wow, sounds right up my street.

SARAH
I’d love to see your work sometime.

BEN
I’d love to show it to you.

BEN waves at the waiter and motions for another drink.


INT. SARAH’S FLAT – LATER SAME EVENING.

SARAH’S flat is tastefully furnished with Laura Ashley wallpaper, Biba lamps, Afghan rugs, prints and small original painting on the walls.

SARAH looks in to the mirror, checking her make-up.

SARAH
What an evening. Do you always treat your girl friends so well?

BEN
Only when I’m in love with her.

SARAH
And I suppose you think this is going to get me to sleep with you?

BEN
Well if it doesn’t you’ll have to admit it was a bloody good try.

BEN gets up off the settee and walks across to SARAH, he stands behind her, kisses her neck and then cups her breasts in his hands.

BEN (CONT’D)
Dem, I know it’s corny but I’ve never felt like this about anyone before.

SARAH
I quite like you, too.

The pair kiss and this soon turns into a wild, passionate embrace.

SARAH stops pushes BEN away from her and then takes him by the hand.

SARAH (CONT’D)
Haven’t seen my bedroom yet, have you?

BEN smiles and lets himself be led away.


INT. SARAH’S BEDROOM – MINUTES LATER.

BEN is nervous. He starts to undress.

SARAH
I think you should undress me first.

BEN gives her a rueful smile and starts to undo her buttons.


INT. BEDROOM – MINUTES LATER

BEN and SARAH are in bed kissing passionately.

BEN kisses SARAH’S breasts and then works his way down.

SARAH squirms with delight.


DISSOLVE THROUGH TO

BEN is on top of Sarah gently making love to her.


DISSOLVE THROUGH TO

SARAH is on top of BEN going mad; bucking and thrusting.

BEN comes to a climax, screaming out as he does so.

SARAH keeps on thrusting but can’t quite make it..


DISSOLVE THROUGH TO

The love making has stopped. The pair lie with arms round each other. BEN looks sheepish.

BEN
Sorry, I just couldn’t stop.

SARAH (LAUGHING)
So I noticed.

BEN pulls a fake sad face.

BEN
Better next time.

SARAH grabs him.

SARAH
It had better be.

She starts playfully hitting him.

He puts his hands up in mock defence.

BEN
It will be. It will be.

SARAH picks up a pillow and continues to hit him.


INT. SARAH’S FLAT – NEXT MORNING

BEN is still asleep in bed.

SARAH is pulling a t-shirt over her head. No bra.

BEN rolls over.

BEN
What on earth are you doing, Dem? It’s not eight yet.

SARAH
Big march today.

BEN
A march?

SARAH
Equal Pay for Women. So hurry up. I’ll make the tea while you’re dressing.

BEN
Hurry up? What for?

SARAH
You don’t think you’re not coming, too, do you?

BEN
Me? On a women’s liberation march?

SARAH throws his clothes at him.

SARAH
No such thing as a free screw, Ben.

BEN looks at SARAH as if she’s mad but does as he’s told.


EXT. PUB GARDEN – DAYTIME

BEN, SARAH AND CLAIR are gathered in a group in the garden of the local Pub. There’s something of a ‘Charity Do’ going on. They are all drinking from champagne flute.

BEN inspects his glass, it’s nearly empty.

BEN
The Old Man’s taking his time with that bottle of bubbly.

CLAIRE
Well it’s lovely to meet you at last, Sarah.

SARAH
Lovely to meet you, too, Mrs Cross.

CLAIRE
Claire, please, makes me feel so old Mrs Cross.

SARAH
Claire it is then.

CLAIRE points to BEN.

CLAIRE
And, Sarah, promise me that you’ll make this one keep up his photography. It’s what he really wants to do.

SARAH
Yes, I will. He’s very talented, you know.

CLAIRE
I’m sure he is. So must you be to get him on a march.

They both laugh at the thought. BEN pretends he doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

SARAH looks in to her bag.

SARAH
Just popping off to the little girl’s room.

SARAH walks off. CLAIRE smiles at BEN.

CLAIRE
You’ve got a good one there, Ben, make sure you don’t lose her.

BEN smiles sheepishly.


INT. PUB – CONTINUOUS

SARAH is looking for the Ladies Toilet. As she turns a corner she sees STEVE with his back against a wall. In front of him, on her knees, is a young waitress giving him a ‘blow job’.

SARAH turns round and goes another way. She is shocked and upset by what she has seen.

STEVE is oblivious to it all.


INT. STEVE’S OFFICE – DAYTIME

BEN walks in to his father’s office, a big smile on his face. STEVE greets him with a bear hug.

STEVE
Big night at the Cafe Royal on Thursday, charity boxing. I can’t make it, bit of business somewhere else. So you’re the host.

BEN
Do I have to?

STEVE
Don’t worry, it’s only the usual suspects. Wetherill and his pals. Take that posh bird of yours with you.

BEN
I don’t think it’s quite her style.

STEVE
It’s up to you. But the LCC boys like to have a lady on their table, makes them feel respectable. Think about it.

STEVE reaches inside his jacket pocket and pulls out a large wad of notes which he hands to BEN.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Get ‘em pissed at dinner. Take em down to the Aphrodite. There’s a room booked at the Hilton if they want afters. Just tell Alfredo to charge me for the girls who go back.

BEN gives STEVE a questioning look.

BEN
The girls who go back?

STEVE hands BEN a bunch of tickets.

STEVE
All part of the game, my son. Aldo will take of it.

BEN nods in agreement and picks up a stack of work sheets from the desk.

BEN
I’ve been meaning to ask you something. On the worksheets. What do all those W signs mean?

STEVE
It means the job’s a wenza.

Ben shrugs, he doesn’t understand.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Wenza job not a job? When it’s a wenza (he laughs).

BEN
Still don’t get it.

STEVE
The LCC sends us an order. We send them an invoice. They send us a cheque.

BEN
But there’s no actual job?

STEVE (IN MOCK JEWISH ACCENT)
Benny, my boy, at last you’re beginning to understand the business.

STEVE grabs BEN and gives him a hug.

STEVE
And then, of course, there’s a oncer.

BEN
A oncer?

STEVE
Yep. We quote to lay two coats of asphalt but only lay one. Not as good as a wenza, the oncer, but still a nice little earner.

Ben shakes his head at what he’s hearing. Steve can’t stop laughing. BEN starts laughing, too.


INT. CAFE ROYAL – NIGHT TIME

BEN sits at a table ringside. With him are a group of LCC boys

All the men are in dinner suits. The few women that are there are also in their ‘finest’.

In the ring two aging boxers are slugging it out and the crowd are cheering them on.

Ben is surreptitiously photographing them as they fight.


INT. THE APHRODITE CLUB – NIGHT TIME

BEN, WETHERILL and two of the LCC boys from earlier are sitting at their table at The Aphrodite Club getting well pissed.

WALLY is an older, hard bitten surveyor while ERIC is younger and too flash for his own good.

BEVERLEY sits between ERIC and WALLY. They are both making a fuss of her.

WETHERILL glances at the threesome.

WETHERILL
Well, Ben, thanks for a great evening. I’m off but I think Eric and Wally want to go on playing.


INT. BEDROOM AT THE HILTON – NIGHT.

BEN, WALLY AND ERIC and BEVERLEY enter a suite at The
Hilton.

BEN is already drunk and goes to sit on the couch, closes his eyes and falls asleep.

Behind him, WALLY puts a selection of pills on a side table and gestures to ERIC to have some.

WALLY
Uppers and downers courtesy of Steve Cross, Eric. Help yourself, my son.


INT. HOTEL ROOM – HALF AN HOUR LATER.

BEN wakes up on the couch. He hears voices, gets up and walks in to the bedroom where he sees BEVERLEY on her knees with WALLY standing above her pulling her hair and forcing himself in to her mouth. She is complying but gagging. ERIC is watching

WALLY
I love your gorgeous little mouth, Beverley darling. Not too big for you, is it, Uncle Wally’s willy?

BEN stands at the door, disgusted at what he’s seeing.

BEN
Knock it off, Wally, let her go, she doesn’t want to know….

WALLY
Don’t be silly, son, she’s loving it.

BEN
I mean it Wally. Let her go.

WALLY stops his thrusting.

ERIC
Ben, it’s all been paid for. She’s had her piece of gold, we’re getting our pound of flesh.

WALLY
Yea, why don’t you have some, Ben, she does a great blow job, this one, don’t you Beverley darling?

ERIC
Or get your Dad to come over. He likes them when they’re young, doesn’t he, Wally?

BEN has heard and seen enough, he pushes Wally away from the girl.

BEN
I said stop it.

BEN picks up BEVERLEY’S dress and throws it to her.

BEN (CONT’D)
Get dressed and go home.

WALLY starts to pull his trousers up.

WALLY
Ben, Beverly knows the game. And the rules. Why do you think she works at The Aphrodite?

BEVERLY
It’s all right, Mr. Cross, honestly. They’re just having some fun.

BEN throws BEVERLEY her dress.

BEN
Go on, go and get a cab.

BEVERLEY doesn’t argue but quickly starts to get dressed.

BEVERLEY
Please Mr. Cross, don’t tell your father. It will cost me my job.

BEN leaves her in the bedroom and walks in to the next room to face the two men.

WALLY laughs at him in a mocking way. There is no love lost between him and BEN

WALLY
OK, Ben, no harm done, but you owe us one. Just make sure this week’s envelopes are stuffed better than Beverley was.

The two men leave and BEN walks to the drinks cabinet and pours himself a large scotch.

Carrying the bottle with him, he walks over to a large mirror and looks at himself.

He doesn’t like what he sees. Shakes his head in disgust.

Downs the scotch in one go. Looks at the empty glass. Pours himself another.


INT. STEVE’S OFFICE – DAYTIME.

STEVE is sitting at his desk, scotch in hand, he’s got the right hump.

BEN walks in. He’s angry

BEN
Look Dad, about last night….

STEVE puts his hand up to stop him speaking.

STEVE
Not now, son, we’ve got problems.

BEN notices the black mood STEVE is in.

BEN
Why, what’s up?

STEVE
Bloody idiot, I’ve really fucked up this time.

BEN gestures for him to go on.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Misquoted. On the biggest fucking telephone exchange in Europe. Bromyard Avenue. They’ve accepted the price. Huge penalty clause for not completing. It’ll break us.

BEN sits down in one of the leather armchairs.

BEN
We can square it up with Wetherill can’t we? Give him an extra bung to let us re-quote.

STEVE picks up the documents then throws them back down.

STEVE
Na, it’s not one of Wetherill’s jobs, geeza named White, straight as they come.

STEVE pours himself a large scotch from the bottle on his desk.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Doesn’t take back handers. Doesn’t like hookers. Probably a poof.

(laughs bitterly)

STEVE (CONT’D)
Right in the brown stuff with Mr. White we are.

BEN
Yea, well drinking for England’s not going to help, is it.

STEVE
Don’t be a smart arse, Ben. You’re not clever enough.

STEVE gets up and walks out of the office.


INT DARKROOM – UNSPECIFIED

SARAH is watching BEN develop shots of the boxers from the Charity Fight Night.

BEN
He’s not a real crook, Dem. It’s not as if he robs banks or anything. Nobody gets hurt. What he does is bribe people. But he expects me to do the same. And the other night….

BEN takes a print out of the bath and hangs it up to dry.

SARAH
Go on, tell me.

BEN
After the boxing, I had to stop two of them bastards taking liberties with a hostess from The Aphrodite.

SARAH gives him a questioning look.

BEN (CONT’D)
It’s how it works, Dem. For services rendered. The Old Man had paid for it.

He comes back to the bath and waits for another print to fully develop.

BEN ( (CONT’D)
I just can’t go on being a part of it, Sarah.

SARAH
So walk away.

BEN
I can’t just walk away, I’ve got to change it. So he doesn’t have to deal with them crooks.

SARAH
How?

BEN
Get other clients. Build the firm up so it doesn’t need the LCC.

SARAH picks up a print and looks thoughtful.

She goes to speak, hesitates as if she doesn’t know whether to say what she’s thinking.

SARAH
I could introduce you to a guy I know, Charles Coudray, grew up with his sister

Ben looks at her with a questioning shrug of his shoulders.

SARAH (CONT’D)
He’s a property developer. With his father. Big stuff.

BEN
And?

SARAH
He’d put work your way, I’m sure of it.

BEN
Why would he do that?

SARAH waves her hand as if BEN is asking her something stupid.

SARAH
Cos he likes me, silly. He’d do anything to keep in my good books.

BEN
What, even helping out your boyfriend?

She reaches over and squeezes BEN’s hand

SARAH
He’s a nice guy, you’ll like him.

SARAH walks over to the photos hanging on the drying line. She looks at each one closely.

SARAH
They’re good, Ben, really good.

BEN smiles and goes on working.


INT. STEVE’S OFFICE – DAYTIME.

BEN walks in to his father’s office. STEVE sits there with a big grin on his face and smoking a very large cigar and holding a snifter of brandy.

BEN
You look happy. Bit different from the other day.

STEVE leans back in his leather chair. Sniffs his brandy. Takes a quaff.

STEVE
I’ve found the secret to life.

BEN
That’s nice.

STEVE
Black paint.

BEN
Black paint is the secret to life?

STEVE
Yea.

BEN
Black paint what?

STEVE
Not black paint what, black paint where.

BEN
I’m lost.

STEVE
Bromyard Avenue. We’re going to paint the roof black.

STEVE laughs again. BEN looks at him as if he’s mad.


EXT. BROMYARD AVENUE – DAYTIME.

STEVE and BEN stand on the roof looking out at a massive roof that stretches in to the distance. Below them an asphalt cooker is chugging away. Men are carrying lengths of felt up to the roof. They are also carrying up drums of black paint.

BEN
You’re mad.

STEVE
Na, the old asphalt is in fantastic shape, no point in ripping it up and relaying it. No one will know the difference.

BEN
Of course someone will know the difference.

STEVE
I’ve tested it. So instead of going bankrupt, we’re on to a right little earner.

STEVE bursts out laughing.

Seconds later, BEN does, too.

STEVE grabs BEN and dances like Topol in Fiddler On The Roof

STEVE (CONT’D)
I will be a rich man, ibby diby diby diby diby diby dum

STEVE stops his antics.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Son, I need you to do something for me tomorrow.

BEN
No problem.

STEVE
Your Mum is starting a course of electric shock therapy. The Doctor says it’ll really help her.

BEN
I thought she was getting better.

STEVE
Yea, so did I.

BEN
What do you want me to do?

STEVE
Take her to hospital. Bring her home. I’d do it but I’ve got a meet with that pain in the arse Mr. White tomorrow. Tell him how well his job’s going.

BEN
What time?

STEVE
They want her there at two.

BEN nods his understanding and the two leave, STEVE laughing again at the stunt he’s about to pull.


INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM – AFTERNOON.

BEN sits in the waiting room of a private hospital in Harley St.

CLAIRE is brought in to the room by a nurse, her hair is messed up and she looks dazed and confused.

BEN
All right, Mum? I’ll take you straight home, won’t take long.

CLAIRE grabs his hand.

NURSE
Will you be bringing your Mother in again next week, Mr. Cross?

CLAIRE holds BEN’s hand even tighter.

CLAIRE
I don’t want to come here again. Those shocks make me feel so bad.

BEN
How many more of these shocks does my Mum have to have?

NURSE
Her course is twelve treatments, Mr. Cross.

BEN
Twelve? I was told the maximum was six.

NURSE
It really depends how your Mother responds to them. But twelve is what her consultant has recommended.

BEN gives CLAIRE a loving but worried look.

BEN
Come on, Mum I’ll get you home. We’ll talk about it later.

NURSE
Your father agreed.

CLAIRE is clearly agitated.

CLAIRE
I don’t want to come back, Ben, I don’t want to come back.

He takes her gently by the arm and they start to leave.

BEN turns round to the nurse.

BEN
Cancel next week. I’ll speak to my father.


INT. THE RAC CLUB – LUNCH TIME.

 

BEN in his tonic mohair suit walks warily in to the bar and gets some funny looks from the conservatively dressed members sitting around.

A handsome man in his mid-thirties, CHARLES COUDRAY, blond hair slightly over length, beautifully dressed and looking every inch a product of public school waves to him from the bar.

BEN nervously straightens his tie and walks across.

CHARLES stands up to greet him. They shake hands.

CHARLES
Ben, good to meet you. Sarah has told me all about you,

BEN
I hope she didn’t tell you everything.

CHARLES ignores the attempted joke completely.

CHARLES
Let’s have a dry sherry. Then something to eat. My treat. They don’t let guests pay here, very quaint custom.

CHARLES nods to the barman who comes across to take the order.


INT. THE CLUB LIBRARY – LATER.

CHARLES and BEN sit in the huge leather chairs of the Club’s library polishing off their brandies and smoking huge cigars.

BEN is doing his best to keep up appearances.

CHARLES
So. Sarah tells me that your father runs an asphalt company. You want to get in with some of the larger building companies.

BEN
Yes, that’s about it. We’re looking to expand, not rely on Council contracts so much.

CHARLES
Well, I can help there. Got my finger in quite a few pies at the moment. Your pricing will have to be competitive, mind. But I can always tip you off to what the others are coming in at.

(beat)

Usual business conditions.

BEN nods in agreement but hasn’t a clue what CHARLES is talking about.

CHARLES signals to the waiter for another two brandies.
INT. STEVE’S OFFICE – EARLY EVENING.

BEN walks in to the office, slightly drunk from lunch, and full of enthusiasm.

STEVE is sitting at his desk working on a quote.

BEN
I’ve cracked it, Dad. We’re getting away from those animals at the LCC.

STEVE keeps on working, doesn’t even look up.

STEVE
That’s nice, son.

BEN sits down in the large leather chair with the air of a man who has just won the lottery.

BEN
Old friend of Sarah’s. Got his own property development company. Going to put me in to all his pals. Tesco for one.

STEVE
Tesco?

BEN
We’ll get all their work. At the right price. No more back handers to Wetherill and his pals. He just bought me lunch, at the RAC Club. What a place…..

STEVE
Some posh geezer’s going to make you rich cos you’re fucking his ex-girl friend?

BEN
No need to be like that. And she wasn’t his girl friend.

STEVE
Whatever. And he’ll tip you off to what the other companies are quoting?

BEN
That’s what he said. He’ll…..

STEVE
You bet he will. Then he’ll tip the others off to what you’re quoting and on it goes. He gets the lowest price, looks like a hero to his client. You end up doing the job for next to nothing.

BEN
It won’t be like that.

STEVE
Then he’ll want his cut. And a nice big cut he’ll want, too.

BEN
He won’t want a cut.

STEVE
He’s no different to the LCC boys, Ben.

STEVE stands up and walks over to BEN, his tone changes.

STEVE (CONT’D)
From able seaman to Admiral Muck, they’re all the same they love to fuck. And it’s you he’ll be fucking, Ben. Fucking you right over.

STEVE puts his arms around his shoulders in a conciliatory gesture.

BEN
He’s not like that. Sarah would never have introduced him to me if he was.

STEVE
But you go for it, son, if it’s what you want. Do me a favour, though, don’t ask me to give away the LCC, not just yet.

He lets BEN go and walks back to his desk.

INT. STEVE’S OFFICE – DAYTIME A WEEK LATER

BEN walks in to the office and STEVE hands him a folder.

STEVE
There’s the quote for the Tesco job, son. Any lower and I might as well pay them. Mind you, it doesn’t take in to account Charles’s cut. Don’t know what that is yet.

BEN
I told you, he won’t want a cut, Dad, he’s trying to help me. Not everybody’s bent.

STEVE
Like fuck they’re not.

He gestures for BEN to read the quote.

INT. THE RESTAURANT AT THE RITZ – LUNCHTIME.

BEN and CHARLES are enjoying a light lunch with the obligatory bottle of wine.

CHARLES examines the folder BEN has handed him.

CHARLES
Yes, that should do it, Ben. And I trust you’ve factored in my 20 per cent?

BEN is startled.

BEN
Sorry?

CHARLES
Factored in my 20 per cent. Any business I pass your way you pass 20 per cent my way. I thought that was understood.

(beat)

Usual business conditions?

CHARLES sniffs the wine, it’s a fine Mouton de Rothschild, and he nods in satisfaction.

CHARLES (CONT’D)
I’m sure the boys at the LCC ask the same.

BEN
Yea, but the boys at the LCC don’t ask me to cut my balls off on the price as well.

CHARLES
Ah well, that’s the difference between the Government and the private sector. Why we holiday in Marbella and they slope off to Margate.

CHARLES takes a mouthful of wine and nods in appreciation.

INT. STEVE’S OFFICE – SAME AFTERNOON

BEN walks in to the office. STEVE is sitting at his desk, an all knowing smile on his face.

STEVE
How did it go?

BEN
All right.

STEVE
No, it didn’t. He told you he wanted his cut, too, didn’t he?

BEN looks daggers at his Dad.

STEVE (CONT’D)
I’m right, aren’t I? Come on, you can tell me, I’m your Old Man. What did he want? 20 per cent on top?

BEN continues to say nothing. STEVE’S attitude becomes more sympathetic.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Son, if you want to do the job do it. I’ve put enough buffer in to pay that smarmy bastard his cut and still make a few bob.

BEN looks ruefully at his Old Man, slightly more hopeful.

BEN
Really?

STEVE nods his head and gives him an understanding look of approval.

STEVE
Now look, your Mum’s had to go to hospital, Be nice if you went up to see her. I’ll check on the visiting times. Always cheers her up, hearing how well you’re doing.

BEN
What hospital is she in?

STEVE
Maudsley.

BEN
That’s not a hospital, it’s a mental asylum.

STEVE
Na, not the part she’s in. She’ll be fine. Just needs a bit of peace and quiet.

STEVE walks to BEN and gives him a reassuring hug.

INT. ANNABELL’S NIGHT CLUB – LATE AT NIGHT.

BEN and SARAH sit at a prime table drinking champagne and snuggling up to one another.

BEN
So when am I going to meet your parents?

SARAH
Hopefully never.

BEN
I’m going to have to meet them, Dem. What are you worried about.

SARAH
Ben, they are the worst snobs you could ever imagine. You’ll hate them.

BEN
I think you’re exaggerating.

SARAH
OK, they’ll hate you. A would-be photographer whose Dad owns a building company.

BEN
What’s wrong with that?

SARAH shakes her head at his not understanding. Then changes the subject.

SARAH
So how did the meeting with Charles go?

BEN grimaces at the memory of the meeting.

BEN
Bloody awful. Your darling Charles turned out to be as bent as those bastards at the LCC.

SARAH
What?

BEN
Sarah, I really appreciate your teeing up a meeting with him but not only did he give it to me up the bum he wanted me to say thank you, too.

SARAH
What happened exactly?

BEN
He wanted me to drop my price so low we wouldn’t earn any money. Give him a 20 per cent cut. And then thank him for doing me a favour.

SARAH
He wanted a kick back from you?

BEN
Yep. Usual business conditions, evidently.

SARAH
I don’t believe it. You must have misunderstood what he said.

BEN
Sarah, I didn’t misunderstand.

SARAH
Well, at least he didn’t ask you to take him out and get him laid.

BEN
No, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were taking care of that.

SARAH stands up and looks at BEN with disdain.

SARAH
Ben, when you grow up, if you ever grow up, give me a call and apologise.

SARAH walks away leaving BEN on his own.

BEN watches her go and pours himself more champagne.

INT. THE APHRODITE CLUB – LATER SAME EVENING.

BEN, slightly the worse for wear, walks up to the bar.

The barman serves him but looks slightly nervous.

BEN looks around the club and sees WETHERILL, WALLYand ERIC sitting with three hostesses at a large table, including BEVERLEY the girl he had ‘saved’ at The Hilton

He looks further round and sees STEVE on the dance floor dancing with a hostess.

BEN turns to the hostess at the bar next to him.

BEN
Who’s that dancing with my Old Man?

The hostess looks over to the dance floor.

HOSTESS
Carol.

BEN looks at the two again just as STEVE squeezes the hostess’s bum.

BEN
Dances with her a lot, does he?

Without waiting for a reply BEN turns away from looking at the dance floor and orders himself another scotch.

CUT TO:

BEN stands at the table his father and the hostess have returned to. He ignores the LCC men and speaks angrily to STEVE.

BEN (CONT’D)
That’s nice, Mum’s in hospital and you’re fucking around with some tart young enough to be my sister.

STEVE
Ben, sit down, have a drink.

BEN
Sit down and have a drink with some hooker that you’re giving one to? I don’t think I will if you don’t mind.

BEN walks away but has his arm grabbed by his father who pulls him down to the seat next to him.

STEVE
Sit down, mind your manners and I’ll explain a couple of things to you.

BEN sits down.

The three LCC men grab their hostesses and go to the dance floor.

CAROL stays where she is.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Now listen, cos I’m only going to say this once. I love your Mum, I have since I was sixteen, but she’s ill and there’s nothing I can do about it.

STEVE picks up a bottle of scotch and pours himself a large measure.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Depression is a funny thing, especially in a woman of her age, and who knows if she’ll ever get better.

STEVE knocks back the scotch in one go and pours himself another.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Now, son, I’m only human, I’ve got my needs, Carol here takes care of them.

STEVE turns to CAROL and pats her on the knee.

STEVE (CONT’D)
She’ll never replace your Mum, she knows that, and I’ll never leave your Mum for her, but I keep her, I pay for her flat…..

STEVE grabs BEN’s shoulder and squeezes it.

STEVE (CONT’D)
So no more calling her a hooker, eh, just be nice and accept the fact that she makes your Old Man happy.

BEN pushes STEVE’s arm from his shoulder.

BEN
Get fucked. She’s a slag and you’re a tosser. And if the Old Lady ever finds out I’ll help her get her hands on every penny you’ve got.

BEN stands up and storms out. STEVE turns to CAROL and shrugs his shoulders.

STEVE
He’ll get over it.

CAROL smiles at STEVE and strokes his face.

INT. GYM – NIGHTTIME.

BEN and GERRY are getting dressed after a gym session.

Throughout the conversation they are towelling themselves, getting dressed, grooming themselves in the dressing room mirror.

GERRY
So what else is new?

BEN
Just found out the Old Man is giving it to some slag from The Aphrodite.

GERRY
Half his luck. I wouldn’t say no to some of those birds myself.

BEN
Yea, but you’re not married with a sick wife are you?

GERRY
No, that’s true. What you going to do about it, slap her wrists.

BEN
I’ll do more than that, the slag. All she wants is his money.

GERRY
Yea, well he throws it about enough.

BEN
I’ve got to get him away from those tossers at the LCC. That’s the reason he spends all his time down The Aphrodite.

GERRY nods in agreement.

GERRY
Well, there is a way. The Old Bill would love to put a couple of bent LCC boys away for graft.

BEN
Go on.

GERRY
Billy Wright, my pal in the CID. The one who drinks in the Grave Maurice. He’s always on the lookout for something that’ll make him look good. I’ll arrange a meet.

BEN looks interested.

INT. MAUDSLEY HOSPITAL – AFTERNOON.

BEN sits on his Mum’s hospital bed holding her hand.

BEN
Mum, I can’t just take you out. I spoke to the Doctor, he said you’re responding really well to the treatment.

CLAIRE takes her hand away and fiddles with her hair.

CLAIRE
There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m depressed, that’s all. It’s your father who should be here, he’s the one who’s sick. He couldn’t wait to get me in here.

BEN
Mum, that’s not true, he only wants you to get better I know he does. I’ll have a word, see if we can’t get you home soon.

CLAIRE now takes BEN’s hand.

CLAIRE
Ben, he doesn’t want me home. Don’t you think I know all about him and that slag at The Aphrodite. He can’t get enough of her. And while I’m in here, he’s up her.

BEN
Mum….

CLAIRE
Don’t be naive, it’s the way it goes. Do you ever see any of the other wives at the Aphrodite?

BEN
No, but…

ClAIRE (CONT’D)
Course you don’t, they’ve served their purpose. Had their kids. Now they’re just left at home to drink themselves silly.

(beat)

Or put into mental homes.

BEN
Mum, you know it’s not like that.

BEN tries to console his Mum but she doesn’t want to be comforted.

INT. THE GRAVE MAURICE PUB – EARLY EVENING.

BEN sits at the bar nursing a pint and talking to BILLY WRIGHT – a man in his thirties, slim and good looking, well dressed in a grey flannel suit.

BILLY
You set em up, I’ll knock em down.

BEN
And you reckon it’ll be easy?

BILLY
Mate, hand them the envelopes and they’ll be nicked before they’ve had time to put them away.

BEN
And me?

BILLY
We’ll nick you as well to make it look good but then we’ll say we don’t have enough to hold you.

BEN
And how’s that believable?

BILLY
Well, we’ll say we found the money on them, money they can’t account for, but we didn’t actually see you giving it to them.

BEN
Will that work?

BILLY
You’ll walk, but it won’t look as if it was you that dropped ‘em in it. Don’t worry, they’ll squeal, blame each other, that sort always does.

BEN
Yea, sounds all right. And there’s no way I’ll be implicated?

BILLY
No way. When can you set it up?

BEN
There’s a big job coming up in the next month or so, Truman’s Brewery.

BILLY
Where’s that?

BEN
Battersea.

BILLY
Sounds good. I know the locals well.

BEN
WETHERILL, WALLY and ERIC have all got their fingers in the pie on that one. No reason why I shouldn’t pay them all off at the same time.

BILLY waves to the barman for another round of drinks.

BILLY
Two scotches, guv, make ‘em doubles.

The barman starts to get the drinks and BILLY sits back well pleased with himself.

INT. SAN FREDIANO’S – LUNCHTIME.

BEN and SARAH are having lunch, SARAH a salad nicoise and BEN a bowl of pasta.

BEN calls out across the room.

BEN
A bottle of Chablis, thanks, Phil.

SARAH
OK I accept your apologies but no more cracks about Charles, all right?

BEN
Promise.

SARAH
Still having trouble with your Old Man?

BEN
Yea, don’t know what to do.

BEN starts to push his pasta around his plate.

SARAH
I still think you should try to get your own clients. Now don’t get annoyed but why don’t you give Charles another go?

SARAH spears a piece of cucumber and a slice of egg.

BEN
Ah, well, I think I’ve burnt my bridges there.

SARAH replies although her mouth is half full.

SARAH
Nonsense. Look, he’s having a weekend party down at his parent’s place in the country week after next, come down with me.

BEN looks put out that she is still seeing her old boy friend.

BEN
You’re already going are you?

SARAH doesn’t react to BEN’s obvious jealousy.

SARAH
It’s his parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary. I’ll phone him tomorrow and let him know I’m bringing you.

BEN
I’m not sure it’s a good idea, Dem.

SARAH takes BEN’s hand and squeezes it.

SARAH
Ben, it is a good idea.

SARAH goes back to eating her salad.

SARAH (CONT’D)
How’s the photography going?

BEN pulls a face.

BEN
Done nothing since I last saw you.

SARAH looks at him disapprovingly.

SARAH
Don’t let that go, you’ve got too much talent to waste it.

Ben nods his head in rueful agreement.

EXT. COUNTRY HOUSE IN SUSSEX – LATE AFTERNOON.

BEN and SARAH in the Rolls Royce pull in to the grounds of a country estate.

As they approach the impressive house BEN looks even more amazed.

BEN
Well, you sure can pick em. Why on earth didn’t you get your hooks into him?

SARAH
There’s more to life than big houses in the country.

BEN
Like what?

BEN is still gazing at the house.

BEN (CONT’D)
This is fantastic, absolutely fantastic, what it must have cost….

SARAH gives him a look that says he just doesn’t understand.

INT. RECEPTION ROOM OF HOUSE – AFTERNOON.

The Reception Room is large and grand, the walls covered in old paintings which look like family portraits.

BEN and SARAH are greeted by CHARLES and his PARENTS.

They all make a fuss of SARAH and BEN is almost ignored.

INT. UPSTAIRS OF COUNTRY HOUSE – MINUTES LATER.

CHARLES takes BEN and SARAH to their separate bedrooms.

CHARLES
Sorry you and Sarah can’t share a room but the oldies are a bit funny like that.

He stops at a door.

BEN
This one’s yours.

He takes SARAH by the arm.

CHARLES
Come on, Sarah, you’ve got your usual room.

The two leave BEN. SARAH turns and gives him a little, somewhat embarrassed wave.

SARAH
See you downstairs in about fifteen? I’ll give you a tour of the gardens.

BEN nods his agreement but doesn’t look happy.

INT. BALLROOM IN COUNTRY HOUSE – EVENING.

SARAH is with a group of people she obviously knows well and is laughing away.

BEN is standing on his own ostensibly looking at a board with a table plan.

He is approached by a very attractive young lady, EMMA, about the same age as Sarah.

EMMA
So you’re Sarah’s new bit of rough eh?

BEN
I beg your pardon.

She puts her hand out to be kissed. BEN shakes it.

EMMA
I’m Emma, Charles’s sister. Don’t be put out, that’s quite a compliment really.

BEN
Is it?

EMMA
It’s all the go to have a good looking villain in tow. What’s your speciality, do you chiv people or do long firms?

BEN looks at EMMA with an amused look on his face.

BEN
Nice to meet you, Emma, but I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. I’m a respectable working class boy. We’re not all villains, you know.

EMMA looks distinctly unimpressed with his denial.

EMMA
Huh, says you! Anyway I’ve fiddled the table arrangements. Couples always get split up at these gatherings. Family tradition.

EMMA gives BEN a big wink and walks away with a cute little wiggle of her cute little bum.

CUT TO:

Everyone is seated for dinner. SARAH and CHARLES are at the same table and BEN is seated elsewhere, sitting next to EMMA.

EMMA has a wicked look on her face as drops her napkin in to BEN’s lap.

BEN smiles at her and gives it back before she can make a grab for it.

CUT TO:

Dinner has finished and dancing has begun. BEN walks up to SARAH and gives her a kiss on the cheek.

BEN
Fancy a dance Dem?

SARAH looks troubled. She wants to be with BEN but CHARLES’S MOTHER is calling her over to join a group of older people.

SARAH
I’d love to, Ben darling but there are so many people here I really must catch up with. It would be really rude of me not to.

BEN
And what am I supposed to do all night?

SARAH
Why don’t you ask Emma to dance? You seemed to be getting on really well at dinner. I won’t be too long, promise.

SARAH gives BEN a kiss on the cheek and walks away to a group of friends who greet her warmly.

BEN looks around for EMMA, sees her, walks over and takes her on to the dance floor.

CUT TO:

BEN and EMMA are in full swing on the dance floor. EMMA is all go and BEN is finding it hard to keep up with her.

He looks across the room and sees SARAH in deep conversation with CHARLES.

EMMA
You know they used to be an item.

BEN
An item?

EMMA
They used to go out together. Charles was mad about Sarah. Wanted to marry her.

BEN
So what happened?

EMMA
Oh I think he frightened her off. Kept talking about her having his heirs and all that tosh.

BEN is put out about this revelation and looks uncomfortable.

EMMA
And he bored her. Can be very boring my older brother, believe me.

BEN
Fancy a drink and a bit of fresh air?

EMMA
How about a long, slow screw?

BEN is again taken aback.

BEN
A what?

EMMA licks her lips seductively, playing the situation up for all that it’s worth.

EMMA
A long, slow screw.

BEN looks shocked. EMMA starts to laugh

EMMA (CONT’D)
It’s a drink, silly, the barman’s speciality.

BEN gives a sigh of relief and the pair walk across to the bar, EMMA still laughing at BEN’s embarrassment.

LIBRARY – LATER SAME EVENING.

BEN and CHARLES are standing together both smoking a cigar. There’s nobody else in the room.

BEN has obviously been drinking and is definitely the worse for wear.

BEN
Any word about the rest of the supermarkets?

CHARLES
I’m afraid the Tesco board don’t think you’re big enough to handle it, Ben. Tried my best but no go. You know how it is.

BEN nods his head. He had known this was coming.

He pokes Charles aggressively in the chest.

BEN
You were never going to do anything for me, were you. It was all a big front.

CHARLES is taken aback but gives BEN a withering look. Tries to walk away. BEN grabs him and swings him back.

BEN (CONT’D)
All a big ruse. Trying to make yourself big in front of Sarah. Throwing me crumbs from your high table.

CHARLES
I think you may have had a drop too much bubbly, Ben.

BEN pokes him gain.

BEN
Don’t patronise me, you wanker. You might have the big house and all the right connections but you’re still a chancer.

CHARLES
Yes, maybe, but I’m also a winner. Which is more than can be said about you and your father.

BEN bristles. He’s ready to take the argument further.

CHARLES walks away without saying another word.

He passes by and smiles at SARAH who is standing in the doorway. It is not clear whether she has seen the encounter.

INT. BEN’S CAR – MORNING.

BEN and SARAH are in the Roller driving back to London.

SARAH is very quiet. BEN keeps giving her worried glances. Eventually he breaks the silence.

BEN
You’re in a strange mood. What’s up?

SARAH doesn’t look at him but stares straight ahead.

SARAH
Charles has asked me to marry him.

BEN shoots his head round, ignoring the road.

BEN
He’s done what?

SARAH
Asked me to marry him.

BEN
Asked you to marry him?

SARAH
Yes asked me to marry him. And stop talking like a parrot.

BEN
Stop talking like a parrot. What do you expect me to do, burst in to the Hallelujah Chorus? I hope you told him to fuck off.

SARAH
No, I didn’t tell him to fuck off. I told him I’d think about it.

BEN
What’s there to think about?

SARAH
It’s not easy, Ben. I love, I think I love you, but I don’t know if I’d ever want to marry you.

BEN
Sarah, we’re made for each other. You’ve said that yourself.

SARAH shrugs her shoulders.

BEN is gripping the wheel and trying to keep his anger down to a manageable level.

SARAH
With Charles it’s different. We’re comfortable together. I’m very fond of his parents….

BEN
What have his bloody parents got to do with it?

SARAH
I get on well with all his friends. And I know where he’s going. He’s already what he’s going to end up as.

BEN takes a big breath in an attempt to calm down.

BEN
Sarah, I can’t believe I’m hearing this. You left the guy because he bored you silly.

SARAH gives him a questioning look.

BEN (CONT’D)
Emma told me.

SARAH
Oh, did she?

BEN ignores the interruption.

BEN
You wanted the good times and I give them to you. We laugh all the time….

SARAH interrupts him by putting a hand on his arm.

SARAH
But is that really enough?

BEN
Is it about money, Sarah? I know Charles has a lot more than me but that’s only for now. I’ll have the big house, the big….

SARAH stops him by putting her finger on his lips.

SARAH
Ben, it’s not about money.

BEN
Sex then, we have the best sex…..

SARAH
It’s not all about sex either.

BEN
So what the fuck is it all about?

SARAH
If you really want to know it’s about you and your Dad.

BEN
What has my Old Man got to do with it?

SARAH
As long as you’re under his thumb, doing his dirty work for him, you’ll never be yourself.

BEN studiously ignores this comment.

BEN
So what did you tell Charles?

SARAH
That I’d have to think about it.

BEN
And just how long is this thinking going to take?

SARAH
Ben, get away from your Dad and we’ll see what happens. Until then I can’t see the point of seeing each other.

BEN put his hands on the car’s horn and keeps it there.

The horn BLASTS AND BLASTS AND BLASTS.


INT. LOOSE REIGN WINE BAR – EVENING.

BEN and GERRY are drinking and are both well in their cups.

BEN
I still can’t believe he asked her to marry him?

GERRY
Tosspot.

GERRY takes a thoughtful sip of his wine.

GERRY (CONT’D)
We could always have his legs broken. That’d slow him down a bit.

GERRY drains his glass and instantly refills it.

BEN
There’s got to be a way to make Sarah see that he’s just an upper class wanker.

GERRY examines the wine he is swirling about in his glass.

GERRY
I think she might already know that, Ben my boy. It’s his money that’s the attraction.

BEN
Yea, well I’m never going to compete with him on that score, am I?

GERRY
Nope.

BEN (LAUGHING)
And he’s certainly not going to be the way out of my LCC problems, is he?

GERRY
Nope.

BEN suddenly seems to see the funny side of it all. Laughs heartily. Orders another bottle of wine. GERRY starts laughing, too.


INT. CROSS BROS OFFICES – DAYTIME A FEW WEEKS LATER

BEN is in the office on his own, making a phone call.

BEN
Mr. Wetherill, just wondering if you could make a meet at Truman’s Brewery on Friday, Eric and Wally as well?

BEN listens to Wetherill’s reply.

BEN (CONT’D)
Great. See you on Friday then.

BEN puts the phone down, a smile of satisfaction on his face.

EXT. TRUMAN’S BREWERY, BATTERSEA – EARLY MORNING.

BEN, WETHERILL, ERIC and WALLY are standing in a huddle next to a lorry and asphalt cooker. BEN hands them each an envelope.

BEN says something and all four men laugh and start to leave. As they do so they are approached by four tough looking plain clothes policemen.

One, REG BLYTHE, produces a warrant card which he shows to them.

REG BLYTHE
Gentlemen, Chief Inspector Reginald Blythe, Fraud Squad.

The three LCC men look to each other, bemused.

REG BLYTHE (CONT’D)
I’d like you to accompany me to Blackfriar’s Police Station where you will be charged with the taking of money for the unlawful commissioning of Public Buildings work.

WETHERILL fronts the policeman as only a minor civil servant can.

WETHERILL
Inspector, do you know who I am?

Another of the four pushes him rudely away towards the waiting police car.

POLICEMAN #2
We don’t care who are me old cock sparrow, you’re nicked.

The POLICEMAN pushes WETHERILL’S head down and shoves him in to the back of the police car.


INT.
POLICE CELLS – LATER THAT MORNING

BEN is sitting in a police cell. He is quite relaxed knowing that things have gone to plan.

BILLY WRIGHT walks in to join him.

BEN
Hello, Billy, fancy a quick one down The Grave Maurice?

BILLY holds his hands up.

BiLLY
Hold your horses, Ben, slight change of plan I’m afraid.

BEN
Slight change of plan? Don’t like the sound of that.

BILLY
The guv’nor has changed his mind somewhat.

BEN jumps to his feet obviously annoyed.

BEN
Don’t do this to me Billy, it isn’t funny.

BILLY
Do you see me laughing? There’s nothing I can do about it. When I put the plan up to the old bastard he was all for it but now he’s saying he can’t see why he shouldn’t do you, too.

BEN
What are you saying?

BILLY
I think the sight of you riding around in that gold Roller gets up his nose somewhat.

BEN
Billy, we had a deal. You get them, I get away.

BILLY
I know mate and I’m gutted. But I can’t do anything if the Big Boss wants to do something else.

(beat)

There is a way out, though.

BEN looks at him in disgust.

BEN
Yea, I’m sure there is. It wouldn’t involve money by any chance?

BILLY
Funny you should say that. Reg is as bent as the LCC boys. Offer him a decent drop and I’m sure he’ll see things differently.

BEN
Tell me this is a joke, that you’re winding me up.

BILLY
Afraid not. The guv’nor wants a drink and it’s the only way you’re going to get out of here, believe me.

BEN
How much?

BILLY
Ten grand.

BEN
Ten grand! Where the fuck am I going to get ten grand from?

BILLY
Don’t plead poverty with me, I’ve seen you peeling off tenners every time you go drinking. Get it off your Old Man like you usually do.

He goes to walk out but comes back in.

BILLY (CONT’D)
Oh and another thing. The guv’nor says if he lets you go he’ll have to let the others go so you’ll have to weigh him off for them, too. Twenty grand all in.

BEN shakes his head in disgust at being conned.

BILLY (CONT’D)
I’ll tell them that you said the money was for gambling debts you owed them and they’re to say the same.

BILLY walks out with a swagger.


INT. CROSS BROS OFFICES – DATYIME.

BEN and STEVE are in the middle of a very heated discussion.

STEVE
I don’t fucking believe it, what are you, some kind of idiot? And you thought the coppers were going to let you walk away? For fuck’s sake, Ben, why?

BEN
‘Cos they’re scum, and you’re on the way to joining them. If they’re in jail I’ve got half a chance of keeping this family together. Of making sure you don’t end up with some slag from The Aphrodite.

STEVE
Son, you can’t blame other people for what I do. I’m a big boy and I make my own decisions.

STEVE walks over to his desk, sits down, picks up the ‘phone and starts to dial a number.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Alfredo, Steve Cross here, can you hang on for a minute…..

He puts his hand over the mouthpiece and speaks to BEN.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Now go and tell your friend Billy that we’ll have lunch with him and his boss at The Wig and Pen next Friday. We’ll sort things out there.

BEN
Thanks, Dad.

STEVE
By the way, you’re something of a hero with Wetherill. He thinks you came up with the gambling debt idea and saved his bacon.

BEN smiles with relief. STEVE gestures for him to leave.

STEVE
Alfredo, sorry for that. Now then. I need a little favour from you….


INT. THE WIG AND PEN – LUNCHTIME.

BEN and STEVE are sitting at a table with BILLY WRIGHT and REG BLYTHE.

The food has been finished and the four are enjoying cigars and brandy, the relationship seems to be cordial.

STEVE savours the brandy, rolling it around the glass.

STEVE
My son here tells me you want twenty grand off us.

REG BLYTHE smiles in agreement. BILLY WRIGHT looks wary.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Well, quite honestly boys, you can go and fuck yourselves.

REG and BILLY look at each other, they can’t believe what they’re hearing.

STEVE (CONT’D)
I know you lot too well. If I give you a pound today you’ll be round for two tomorrow. Three the day after. And, quite frankly, I’m not having it.

REG BLYTHE still can’t believe what he’s hearing.

REG BLYTHE
Now look here Mr. Cross….

STEVE totally ignores him.

STEVE
I mean, you’ve already dropped the charges so you’ll look pretty stupid trying to lay them again.

STEVE pulls an envelope out of his pocket.

The policeman look at each other wondering what’s inside.

STEVE (CONT’D)
And, Reg, that hostess you fell in love with down The Aphrodite the other night?

STEVE pulls out four or five photographs and hands them to REG. Keeps one back

STEVE (CONT’D)
As well as being a great fuck, she’s pretty photogenic, too.

STEVE examines closely the one he still has. Hands it over to REG.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Better than you anyway.

He gestures to the other diners.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Show ‘em round if you like, I’m sure the newspaper boys would love to see them.

REG glances at the photos and then puts them in to his pocket.

BILLY WRIGHT looks away from his boss’s embarrassment.

BEN does all he can to stop himself laughing at the stroke his Dad has just pulled.


INT. STEVE’S OFFICE – DAYTIME.

BEN and STEVE are discussing the company’s workload.

BEN
With all the work the LCC are giving us we’ll have to put a couple more gangs on.

STEVE
Yea, son, you’re doing well.

He gets up from his desk and walks across to the window and looks out.

STEVE
So well that I’m going to take your Mum to Marbella, leave you to run things.

BEN
Really….

STEVE
Won’t be long. A few months. Rented a villa there. Looking for something to buy. See if we can get the old magic back. I’ll pop back from time to time. You’ll be all right.

BEN
Yea, OK. If you think I’m up to it. You have a good time. Do you both good, being away.

BEN walks to STEVE’S desk, picks up a bundle of envelopes and walks back out.


EXT. WEST END STREET – NIGHT TIME.

BEN is driving a souped up Mini Cooper S when he is stopped by a police car. He is relaxed and winds down the window. To his surprise he sees BILLY WRIGHT approaching.

BILLY WRIGHT
Well, what have we got here then? Little boy in his new toy car?

BEN
Very funny, Billy. What do you want this time?.

BILLY WRIGHT
Step out of the car please, sir.

BEN
Don’t muck about, what do you want?

BILLY WRIGHT
Step out of the car please, sir. If you don’t I’m afraid I’ll have to place you under arrest.

BEN steps out of the car.

BILLY bends down and pretends to pick up a small jewelry bag which he is already holding.

BILLY WRIGHT (CONT’D)
And what’s this you’ve thrown away, sir?

He opens the bag.

BILLY WRIGHT (CONT’D)
Looks like stolen jewellery to me.

BEN
You’ve got to be kidding.

BILLY WRIGHT turns to one of the three UNIFORMED POLICEMEN who have joined him and shows him the inside of the bag.

BILLY WRIGHT
What do you think, Constable Peters, a diamond bracelet

The uniformed policeman looks in the bag and nods his head in mock agreement.

PETERS
Diamond bracelet. Definitely.

BILLY WRIGHT
Likes diamonds does she, Ben? Your pretty little girlfriend.

BEN can’t believe what’s happening. He shakes his head in disbelief.


INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM – LATER THAT NIGHT.

BEN is sitting in the room on his own.

BILLY walks in with a cocky walk. He’s holding the jewellery bag.

He sits opposite BEN and puts his feet up.

BILLY WRIGHT
Bit silly, Benny boy, getting caught with stolen jewellery. What will your Old Man say to that?

BEN
I don’t buy bent stuff, anyone will tell you that, so what are you up to?

BILLY throws the bag on to the table.

BILLY WRIGHT
It’s pay back time, Ben. My men saw you try to throw that jewellery away. Three of them, each one a respected member of Her Majesty’s Police Force.

BEN
And all on your payroll.

BILLY WRIGHT
Now as it’s your first offence, with a good brief you’ll probably get a slap on the wrist and a fine. But next time? Now that’s a different story.

BEN
It won’t work, Billy….

BILLY WRIGHT
Oh but it will, Benny boy, it will. I’m a respected police officer, you’re a young tosser, too flash for his own good. It’ll work.

BEN
Yea, and your boss, is going to love it when him and that hooker are plastered all over the papers.

BILLY WRIGHT.
You mean Reg? Didn’t you hear? He retired last week. Ill health. Seems like he hurt his hand. Holding it out too often.

BEN
So you want twenty grand?

BILLY WRIGHT
Oh no, Ben, stakes have gone up, two grand a month, every month. Forever.

Ben shakes his head in disbelief.

BILLY WRIGHT (CONT’D)
Otherwise, you and your Old Man will be stopped every time you go out. Things will be found. And you’ll do time.

BEN
You must be mad. Where am I going to get two grand a month?

BILLY WRIGHT
Oh you’ll get it, Ben, you’ll get it. Cos if you don’t you’ll end up in nick with a big, black cock up that pretty white arse of yours.

BEN leans back in his chair and tries for a bit of bravado.

BEN
Billy, you’re talking rubbish.

BILLY WRIGHT
And as for that posh bird of yours? Well I’m sure I can see that she’s well taken care of, too. She obviously likes a bit of rough. Might have a crack at her myself.

BEN starts to get out of his chair as if to have a go at BILLY.

BILLY waggles his finger at him.

BILLY WRIGHT
Temper.

BEN stops and sits back down.

BILLY stands up and walks out, giving BEN a big smile as he goes. BEN doesn’t look too happy.

STEVE’S OFFICE – NIGHT TIME.

STEVE and BEN are sitting in the office discussing the latest events with BILLY WRIGHT.

They are both drinking; STEVE a scotch, BEN a beer.

STEVE
Fucking tosspot. Who does he think he’s dealing with, some little boys who need their bums wiped? I’ll give him two grand a month, I’ll give him a fucking bullet in his kneecaps.

BEN
But what can I do, he’s already called our bluff?

STEVE
Only one thing we can do, me old son, have him taken out of the picture.

BEN
Dad I I want him off our back, not dead.

STEVE
He won’t end up dead, a good kicking will do it. A real good kicking.

BEN
It’s too risky, he’ll know we had something to do with it.

STEVE
That’s the point, Benny boy, he’ll know and he won’t be able to do anything about it. Except stop hassling us.

BEN
There must be another way.

STEVE
Next weekend take Sarah somewhere for a few days, out of the country. I’ll be back in Spain with your Mum. By the time we come back Mr Wright will be sorted. Fucking wanker.

Grinning widely at what he’s planning STEVE picks up the ‘phone. BEN still doesn’t look too happy.

BEN
No, it’s taking things too far.

STEVE
Ben, Billy’s got his hooks in to us, the only way we’re going to shake him loose is to let him know we’re not frightened of him.

STEVE dials a number.

BEN
But I am, frightened out of my fucking mind. I’ll find the money. Somehow.

STEVE
It’s not just about money, it’s about power. If we start paying him off, he’ll bleed us dry. But it’s up to you, it’s your life, your decision.

BEN
Yea, OK.

Somebody answers the phone.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Hallo Charlie, Steve Cross. I need a favour.

BEN looks worried as he walks out.

INT. ART GALLERY – DAYTIME.

SARAH is standing at the sales counter of the gallery. Other than her and BEN the place is deserted.

BEN
It would be doing me a big favour. Biggest favour ever.

SARAH
I don’t know.

BEN
Look, the air fare, food and accommodation is free. They just want me to shoot round the hotel. Separate rooms, promise.

SARAH
Ben come on, we said we’d cool it for a bit.

BEN
Sarah, it’s a huge chance for me. First paid assignment if all goes well. And you’ll make a great model, you know you will. Come on. Just for the weekend.

SARAH waves her head from side to side, trying to decide.

EXT. THE MARBELLA CLUB – DAYTIME.

Sarah is sunbathing on a lounger.

Ben takes her photo from different angles.

He takes a shot with the hotel in the background, the sign THE MARBELLA CLUB is clearly visible.

EXT. THE MABELLA CLUB – DAY.

BEN photographs SARAH sitting at the beach bar drinking an exotic cocktail.

EXT. THE MABELLA CLUB – DAY.

BEN photographs SARAH as she takes off on a water-ski.

EXT. THE MABELLA CLUB – DAY.

BEN photographs SARAH eating a giant prawn at the pool side restaurant.

EXT. SAME – NIGHT

BEN and SARAH are sitting on the restaurant veranda. It’s a beautiful night, the sky is clear and full of stars.

BEN
Sarah, you know you agreed to come here as ‘just good friends’?

SARAH
Yeeeeessss?.

 

CUT TO:
EXT. THE GRAVE MAURICE PUB – SAME TIME

As BILLY WRIGHT is walking out of The Grave Maurice he is hit from behind and falls to the floor.

CUT TO:

The Marbella Club

BEN
Well how about going back as more than that? I’ve got my eye on a new flat. In
Battersea, overlooking the park.

SARAH
Sounds nice.

BEN
So instead of getting married to Charles, how about coming to live with me?

SARAH starts to laugh, she is obviously surprised.

SARAH
Live with you?

 

CUT TO:
THE GRAVE MAURICE PUB

BILLY struggles to his knees – only to be knocked down again with a vicous punch.

While he’s lying on the floor he is kicked repeatedly.

CUT TO:
THE MARBELLA CLUB

BEN takes SARAH’s hands in his.

BEN
Yea, come and live with me. No wedding bells, no marriage certificates, it’ll be great. If it doesn’t work out, well….

SARAH
You’re always full of surprises, I’ll give you that.

 

CUT TO:
THE GRAVE MAURICE PUB

 

BILLY WRIGHT is lying on the floor near to unconsciousness, his face is a mess.

One of the attackers bends down and whispers into BILLY WRIGHT’S ear.

ATTACKER
Don’t cross us again.

Billy Wright rolls over, groaning. The attackers walk off laughing.


INT. CROSS BROS OFFICES – DATYIME.

BEN is sitting at STEVE’s desk. Opposite him are two police detectives, both badly dressed in contrast to BEN’s sharp outfit.

DETECTIVE #1
So Mr. Cross you do know our colleague Billy Wright?

BEN
Yes, I do. And I’ve just read about the terrible attack on him. It really was too bad. But how can I help?

DETECTIVE #2
Well perhaps you could tell us where you were when the attack took place. Saturday night around ten o’clock.

BEN
Yes, well actually I was in Marbella, with my girlfriend. Trying to get her to come and live with me.

DETECTIVE #1
And can you prove that, Mr. Cross?

BEN
What, that I tried to get her to live with me? Carpet stains on my knees if you must know (he laughs).

BEN gets a frosty look from the detectives.

DETECTIVE #2
This isn’t a laughing matter, Mr. Cross. It isn’t funny at all. A policeman has been savagely beaten up.

BEN
Yes, I understand that.

DETECTIVE #2
I suggest that you take us seriously because at the moment we’ve got you in the frame for it.

BEN looks indignant.

BEN
Why would you have me in the frame? What a bloody liberty. I’m a successful businessman, why would I be involved with the attack on a police officer?

DETECTIVE #1
Do you have any proof that supports your claim of being in Marbella,
Mr. Cross?

BEN goes to the draw in the office desk and pulls out his passport.

BEN
Will this do? Stamped out Friday morning, in Monday evening.

The skinny policeman examines it and returns it to BEN.

BEN passes a handful of photographs to the policeman.

BEN
Some great holiday snaps, too.

The policeman glances at them but makes no reference to their content.

DETECTIVE #1
Can you think of anyone who would want to harm Mr. Wright, Mr. Cross?

BEN starts to act flash, he knows he’s got away with it.

BEN
Well he knocks around with a lot of villains. Thinks he’s as tough as they are. Obviously not. Probably tried to have it over on someone he shouldn’t have. Happens all the time. Sad.

The two policeman start to leave.

DETECTIVE #2
Mr. Cross you have a big mouth for one so young. It could get you in to a lot of trouble.

BEN shrugs his shoulders in a ‘I couldn’t care less’ gesture.

DETECTIVE #1
Could you provide us with your young lady’s address? We’ll obviously have to verify your claims of being with her and that it was this weekend.

BEN
I’ll write it down for you, shall I?

BEN smiles and reaches inside his jacket for a pen.


INT. SARAH’S FLAT – DATYIME.

SARAH sits at her breakfast bar as the two policemen who interviewed BEN speak to her.

DETECTIVE #1
Well, Miss Johnson, while we believe you, we want you to know that while your boyfriend was proposing to you in Marbella we believe he was having a police officer savagely beaten up outside the Grave Maurice.

DETECTIVE #2
He might not have been there but he was responsible for what happened.

SARAH
I’m sure you’ve got it wrong, officers. He’s not like that; he’s just not that sort of person.

A raised eyebrow shows what the police think of SARAH’s opinion.


INT. SARAH’S FLAT – MORNING.

SARAH is still in her dressing gown and on the phone, furious, it’s a side of her we haven’t seen before.

SARAH
Ben, I need to see you.

BEN (O.S.)
Sure, great, how about a drink this evening?

SARAH
No I need to see you now. My flat. As soon as you can.

BEN (O.S.)
Sure, I’ll come round now.

SARAH puts down the phone walks in to her bedroom and starts to dress.


INT. SARAH’S FLAT – HALF AN HOUR LATER.

SARAH, fully dressed, is sitting at her kitchen bar drinking a coffee as BEN walks in.

BEN
Hi darling, what’s up.

SARAH gives him a withering look.

SARAH
You bastard. You’ve been using me. Just like your crook of a father uses you.

BEN
Sarah, calm down. What are you talking about.

SARAH
I’ll tell you what I’m talking about….

With this SARAH throws the morning newspaper at him.

BEN catches it. The headline reads….

VICIOUS BEATING OF POLICE OFFICER IN WHITECHAPEL

BEN
Sarah, I can explain….

SARAH is in no mood to listen to what he has to say.

SARAH
While we were canoodling in Spain. While you were down on your knees asking me to live with you, you were using me as an alibi while you had some copper nearly beaten to death.

BEN tries to take her hand but she snatches it away.

BEN
Sarah, listen to me….

SARAH
Don’t treat me like some stupid slag, Ben. You told me Billy Wright was giving you a hard time and now he gets kicked half to death. But I don’t give a dam about Billy Wright. What I do care about is being used.

BEN tries to put his arm around SARAH.

BEN
I didn’t use you.

She pushes him off.

SARAH
I had two policemen round this morning asking me if it was correct that I had been “enjoying a dirty weekend with my boyfriend in Marbella”.

BEN
I was going to call you.

SARAH
Do you know what it’s like being treated like some cheap whore from one of your clubs?

BEN
Sarah, it isn’t like that.

SARAH
No, how is it then? How would you describe it?

BEN
Sarah, I did what I had to do. Billy Wright has his hooks in to me.

SARAH
Did what you had to do?

BEN
He wanted two grand a month or he’d ruin the Old Man and put me inside. So the Old Man arranged for him to be persuaded otherwise.

SARAH
Right. I knew your Old Man would be behind it. Anything to save his skin.

BEN
The Old Man did it to save your skin, if you must know. Billy Wright threatened you, too. Said he’d have you raped.

SARAH suddenly quietens down.

SARAH
He threatened to have me raped?

BEN
Yea, he said him and a few of his boys would take care of you. Give you “a right seeing to”.

SARAH starts to cry, quietly.

BEN (CONT’D)
Sarah I could have taken anyone away to Marbella, I took you ‘cosI really want us to live together…

SARAH
Ben, get out of my life.

BEN
Come on, Sarah, what about the way we made love over the weekend, don’t tell me it wasn’t special.

SARAH
Ben, life’s about a lot more than having great sex. It’s about respect, it’s about having the same values, about wanting the same things out of life.

BEN
I do want the same things as you.

SARAH ignores him.

SARAH
Get away from your Old Man. Get away from Billy Wright. The LCC. The Aphrodite. You hate them all and if you don’t leave now, you’ll end up hating yourself”.

She storms off in to her bedroom and slams the door.

BEN is left not knowing what to do.

INT. CHURCHILL’S NIGHT CLUB – LATE NIGHT

BEN sits at a table in Churchill’s. He’s pissed, a bottle of Scotch in front of him, two hostesses at the table listening to his every slurred word.

INT. PENTHOUSE CLUB – NIGHT

BEN sits at a Roulette Wheel at the Penthouse Club. Pissed. There’s a Penthouse Pet either side of him, a couple behind. He tries to gather the few chips he has in front of him, can’t, stumbles up and leaves, the chips still on the table.

INT. D’EL ARATEUSA – LUNCHTIME

BEN sits, pissed again, at a table with a woman who can only be a hooker. He gets dirty looks from the waiters and other diners. He holds the girl’s hand, looks in to her eyes, takes a swig of his wine. Looks around the room.

BEN
Fuck ‘em, I pay their wages.

The woman is uncomfortable but smiles back anyway.

INT. HILTON BEDROOM – DAWN.

BEN lies in bed, next to him BEVERLEY from the Aphrodite.

He wakes up, dreadfully hung over, look around, sees BEVERLEY, grimaces, gets up, walks across to a table, pours the dregs of a bottle of champagne in to his mouth.

BEN turns to a mirror, looks in to it and there looking back at him is not his face. It’s STEVE’S.

BEN looks away from the mirror and starts to cry.


INT. LOOSE REIGN WINE BAR – EVENING SOME MONTHS LATER.

BEN and GERRY are enjoying a bottle of wine at their favourite wine bar.

GERRY
Well I’m glad you came out of that one, mate, didn’t know what to do.

BEN
Yea, wasn’t a good look, was it.

GERRY
Easy to get caught up in it all, though.

BEN
Too easy.

Before GERRY can answer BILLY WRIGHT walks in, sees them and strolls over.

Both BEN and GERRY are surprised at who has joined them.

He takes a glass and helps himself from the bottle they are drinking.

BEN
Help yourself, Billy.

BILLY WRIGHT.
Thanks, Ben, very generous of you.

GERRY
Sorry to hear about the bit of bother you had.

BEN
Yea, me too, good to see you back on your feet.

BiLLY WRIGHT
Didn’t think a good kicking would keep me off the streets for long, did you?

GERRY
Na, always knew you were a tough boy, Billy. Good news.

BILLY casually takes a sip of wine.

BILLY WRIGHT
Yea, it is good news.

He turns his attention to BEN.

BILLY WRIGHT
Bad news for you though. I’ve been speaking to a couple of the LCC boys.

BEN
That’s nice.

BILLY WRIGHT
Told them we could having another look at the bribery and corruption charges.

GERRY
That’s all gone away, Billy.

BILLY looks at GERRY, gives him a ‘what do you know?’ Look.

He turns back to BEN.

BILLY WRIGHT
And they told me all about Bromyard Avenue.

BEN
Leave it out Billy, haven’t you had enough of this cops and robbers stuff?

BILLY signals for a bottle of wine.

BILLY WRIGHT
Painting the roof instead of asphalting it. Got to hand it to your Old Man, he’s got some bollocks.

BEN
Don’t know what you’re talking about.

BILLY WRIGHT
Oh I think you do, Ben, I’m talking about fraud. Fraud with a capital F as it happens.

GERRY
What are you on about, Billy?

BEN
You’re out of your mind, Billy, must have been that kicking.

BILLY WRIGHT
Very funny. But tell me, why would Eric and Wally hold such a grudge? Had right in for you, they did.

BILLY drags a stool from the bar, sits down and pours them all a drink.

BILLY WRIGHT (CONT’D)
But enough of the chit chat. Tell your Old Man I want 50 grand in readies by the end of the month or all will be revealed. So to speak. (Laughs).

BILLY knocks his wine back in one go, stands up and goes to leave.

BILLY WRIGHT (CONT’D)
Defrauding Her Majesty’s Government. And making them look like a right lot of idiots. Seven to ten for that I reckon.

BEN and GERRY watch him as he swaggers out.


INT. CROSS BROS OFFICES – NEXT MORNING.

STEVE is sitting at his desk looking worn and haggard. BEN is sitting across from him.

STEVE
Naaa, don’t worry, it’ll sort itself out.

BEN
Like fuck it will, Billy’s got his claws right into us this time.

STEVE
Fuck him. And those other wankers. Done the crime I’ll do the time. Couple of years inside, no sweat.

STEVE stands up and pats his paunch, putting on a show of bravado.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Do me good, help me lose a bit of weight. Be like a cheap fat farm.

BEN
Dad, you’re looking at seven to ten. They won’t take this lightly.

STEVE
No way.

BEN
You’ll be an old man when you come out. We’ll have to find the money.

STEVE
And where do you think we’re going to find that kind of money by the end of the month?

STEVE walks over to the drinks cabinet, takes out a bottle of scotch and pours himself the usual large one.

STEVE (CONT’D)
You’re right, though. It is serious.


INT. CROSS BROS OFFICES – NEXT DAY.

BEN and STEVE are sitting in the office looking as if the cares of the world are on their shoulders.

STEVE
There is a way out of this.

BEN
Go on.

STEVE
Do a drug run.

BEN
You must be out of your mind.

STEVE
I’ve already done half a dozen.

BEN
You what.

STEVE
I’ve been doing a few favours for the boys.

BEN
For the boys?

STEVE
Yea, owed the Richardsons a favour, they called it in. Earned a few bob out of it.

BEN
I don’t believe this.

STEVE
That’s why I took your Mum to Spain. Perfect cover. Concerned husband takes his sick wife to recuperate in Spain. Comes back every so often to see his son. Keep his eye on the family company.

BEN
What am I hearing.

STEVE ignores him. Goes on as if he’s speaking to himself.

STEVE
I thought they were beginning to get suspicious so I stopped. But they won’t suspect you.

BEN
Me?

STEVE stands up and begins to walk excitedly around the room.

STEVE
I’ll set it up, no problem. Just drive your car down to Marbella. Put it in a certain garage for a service. Drive back. And, voila, Billy will have his big pay day. It’ll be a doddle.

BEN explodes.

BEN
I don’t believe you. You spend all your money on booze and hookers. Get involved with drug smuggling. And then expect me to get you out of it all. You’re unbelievable. No way.

STEVE reacts as if he hasn’t heard a word that BEN has said.

STEVE
The English Custom boys will be in it cos they know they’re on to an earner. Only problem, the Spanish side.

He smiles disarmingly at BEN.

STEVE
But we’ll sort that out.

 


EXT. A BACK STREET IN MARBELLA – DATYIME.

 

BEN is in his Ford Lotus Cortina outside a seedy looking garage somewhere in the back streets of Marbella. He’s looking to make sure he has got the right place.


INT. THE SAME GARAGE – MINUTES LATER.

BEN is standing inside the garage looking at a pair of feet attached to a body which is underneath a car.

BEN
Buenos dias, es Senor Guzman aqui por favor?

A voice sounds out from under the car.

MECHANIC
What’s all that Spanish crap? Don’t you speak the Queen’s English.

The MECHANIC appears from under the car, bull necked and highly muscled.

BEN
You speak English.

The MECHANIC ignores the inane remark.

MECHANIC
You’re Steve’s son, right?

BEN
Yea. Ben.

MECHANIC
Leave the car here, Ben, pick it up Monday morning.

BEN
The Old Man told me to tell you it needs a full service.

MECHANIC

(laughs)

Yea, right, full service. It’ll be ready ten o’clock. Leave the keys in the car.

The MECHANIC disappears back under the car and BEN leaves.

EXT. THE MARBELLA CLUB -EARLY EVENING.

BEN and GERRY are walking along the beach.

BEN
How did I get in to this mess?

GERRY
Not much you could have done. Let’s face it you can hardly see your Dad do a seven stretch, can you?

BEN
Yea, but drug running. From Spain. With the bloody Guardia ready to shoot anything English that moves.

A beautiful blonde GIRL walks past the two and gives them the eye; GERRY shows out but BEN doesn’t even see her.

GERRY
Bumped in to a friend of Sarah’s last week

BEN
Yea?

GERRY
Did you know she was getting married?

BEN
I had heard a rumour

GERRY
And that’s she’s pregnant?

BEN
Didn’t waste much time, did she?

GERRY
Birds, eh. Didn’t want to tell you but thought you should know….

BEN shrugs his shoulders but doesn’t look happy about the news.

EXT. THE MARBELLA CLUB -LATER.

BEN is about to leave and GERRY is seeing him off.

BEN
What time’s your flight?

GERRY
Seven. Just enough time for a nice little drink.

BEN
Half your luck. See you back in London. And thanks for coming down with me. Really appreciate it.

GERRY gets serious and gives BEN a hug.

GERRY
Yea, back in London. And be careful..

 

EXT. NEAR TEH SPANISH BORDER – AFTERNOON.

Ben is driving the Lotus Cortina along a deserted road. A heat haze comes up from the road.

INT. LOTUS CORTINA – SAME TIME.

Ben is sweating. Looks nervous, agitated.
INT. LOTUS CORTINA – LATER.

Ben sees the Spanish Customs ahead. Guardia Civil are lining the route, rifles out. They are menacing.

INT. CROSS BROS OFFICES – A DAY LATER

BEN, smartly dressed and looking good walks in to his Dad’s office. STEVE is there and puts his arm round BEN’S shoulder.

STEVE
Well, son, how did it go?

BEN gives his Dad a playful punch on the arm.

BEN
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I got stopped. Searched. But that geezer of yours in Marbella must be a magician (laughs) they didn’t find a thing.

STEVE starts to laugh, too.

STEVE
That’s because there wasn’t a thing to find.

BEN
Had me worried for….

BEN looks at STEVE with disbelief.

BEN (CONT’D)
What did you say?

STEVE (still laughing)
There wasn’t anything to find.

STEVE dances round the office

STEVE (CONT’D)
You don’t think I’d risk my son going to jail do you?

BEN
I don’t understand.

STEVE
There wasn’t anything to find. You were the decoy.

BEN doesn’t understand what’s being said, STEVE is still laughing at his little scheme.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Did you notice a Bentley in the Customs queue with you?

 

EXT. SPANISH CUSTOMS – TWO DAYS EARLIER

BEN sits in the Lotus Cortina in a line of traffic. Two Guardia Civil approach the car, motion with their rifles for BEN to get out.

BEN shrugs his shoulders. Tries to look confident. Takes his time. The Guardia Civil gesture for him to hurry up.

Trying to act brave he picks up his camera and gets out. Starts taking photographs of the surroundings.

BEN (O.S.)
No. Yes. I think so.

One of the Guardia Civil hits him with his rifle, gesturing for him to stop. BEN takes one last shot of the car waiting behind him, a green Bentley with English number plates occupied by an elderly couple.

 

INT. CROSS BROSS OFFICES – TWO DAYS LATER

STEVE (O.S. LAUGHING)
The hash was in there. The Dagos waved them straight through. Too busy with you.

BEN (O.S.)
And why did the police stop me in the first place?

STEVE taps his nose.

STEVE (O.S.)
Anonymous tip off.

 

EXT. SPANISH CUSTOMS – TWO DAYS EARLIER

A man approaches BEN, he is smartly dressed in a suit.

OFFICIAL (HEAVILY SPANISH ACCENTED ENGLISH)
Ah, Mr. Cross, you and your lovely car have finally shown up.

BEN looks perplexed and more than a little frightened.

BEN
I’m sorry?

OFFICIAL
I have been expecting you.

BEN
What on earth for?

OFFICIAL
We have information you are carrying certain, forbidden merchandise in this very fast car of yours.

BEN looks around him, close to panic.

All he sees is the Guardia Civil holding their automatic weapons menacingly.

BEN
That’s ridiculous, I….

OFFICIAL
Mr. Cross, please.

He indicates two GUARDIA CIVIL standing behind him, automatic rifles pointing at him.

INT. CROSS BROS OFFICES – TWO DAYS LATER

BEN is standing looking at his father in total disbelief.

BEN
But I was shitting myself. I thought there were drugs in the car.

STEVE
That’s what I wanted.

 

INT. POLICE SECTION OF CUSTOMS – MINUTES LATER

 

BEN is pushed roughly through a corridor and in to a bleak room bare except for a wooden table and two wooden chairs.

BEN is sitting at the table, very nervous and looks pale. He gets up from the table and start pacing the room. He is frightened, sweating, wringing his hands.

STEVE (O.S.)
If you thought you were carrying drugs you would be shittingyourself. And they’d know they had the right car and the right man.

 

INT. SAME

The official from before comes in to the room and gestures for BEN to leave.

STEVE (CONT’D) (O.S.)
But they hadn’t.

BEN walks through the police block and out in to the courtyard.

BEN (O.S.)
And the mechanic?

STEVE (O.S.)
He serviced your car.

 

INT. CROSS BROS OFFICES – TWO DAYS LATER

STEVE bursts out laughing, slapping his knees, punching the air in triumph at what he’s pulled off.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Yes. Steve and Ben, the drug smuggling men.

STEVE reaches in to his jacket pocket and pulls out an envelope, it is full to the brim with tenners. He tries to hand it to BEN.

STEVE (CONT’D)
Here you are, part of your share. You’ll get the rest later. I got a bit up front.

BEN ignores the envelope and pushes Steve heavily away from him, sending him sprawling on the floor.

STEVE struggles to get to his feet.

STEVE (CONT’D)
What’s that for? We pulled it off, didn’t we?

BEN pushes him again and STEVE sinks to his knees. He struggles to get up.

BEN
You cunt. You sad, pathetic old cunt.

BEN pushes him back down.

BEN (CONT’D)
You have me shitting myself in a Spanish jail and then tell me that I was a fucking decoy. You don’t deserve a son.

STEVE stays on the floor.

STEVE
Don’t be silly, Ben, we made the money to pay off Billy plus a bit for ourselves. You were never at risk. For fuck’s sake, I did it for you.

BEN points a warning finger at STEVE who stays where he is.

BEN
No, Dad, you did it for yourself. You do everything for yourself. You even used Mum, how sick is that.

STEVE shrugs his shoulders.

BEN picks up the envelope from the floor and throws it at STEVE.

Notes spill out of the envelope and flutter round the room.

STEVE stands up and starts to retrieve them.

He stops and looks at BEN.

STEVE
You’re your father’s son, Ben. You can’t get away from that.

BEN
No, but I can get away from you.

BEN starts to leave.

STEVE
Walk out that door, son, and you walk out for good. You’ll be on your own. And you won’t like it one little bit.

STEVE grabs at BEN’S arm.

BEN pushes him off. STEVE falls to the floor. BEN looks down at him, sadly shakes his head and walks out.

INT. THE CANONBURY TAVERN PUB – DAYTIME

BEN sits at a table with his Mum. He’s drinking a pint, she’s drinking a gin and tonic. CLAIRE is looking good.

CLAIRE
I think it’s a good idea, Ben.

BEN
You sure you’ll be all right?

CLAIRE
Ben, I’ve loved your father for a long time, it doesn’t just stop. We’ll work it out. We always do.

CLAIRE picks up her glass and takes a sip, the conversation about STEVE is obviously over.

CLAIRE (CONT’D)
Where did you say the flat was, Battersea?

BEN nods his head and smiles happily.

INT. SARAH’S FLAT – LATER SAME DAY.

SARAH and BEN are sitting at the kitchen bar having coffee.

SARAH
I’m really pleased for you, Ben, really, really pleased.

BEN
Yea, well I thought I’d let you know. It’s what you told me to do and now that I have I feel great.

SARAH reaches over and squeezes his hand.

SARAH
And the photography?

BEN
Getting there.

SARAH
Sounds good.

BEN
How are the wedding plans going?

SARAH
They’re not.

BEN
They’re not?

SARAH
Ben, you’re doing your parrot impersonation again. No, there isn’t going to be a wedding.

BEN
Why?

SARAH
Well, let’s just say Charles turned out not to be the man I thought he was.

BEN
What about the baby?

SARAH
There isn’t going to be a baby.

BEN
There isn’t going to be a baby?

SARAH
Ben if you do that one more time I’m going to scream.

BEN looks at her questioningly.

SARAH (CONT’D)
There’s a doctor in Harley St. All very respectable. No sense having a kid if I’m not getting married.

BEN takes SARAH’S hand in his and squeezes it.

BEN
I do love you, you know. And, well, if you want to keep the baby, I reckon I’d make a great Dad. Better than mine.

SARAH stands up, a shy smile on her face.

SARAH
How about lunch at San Freds. My shout, you being out of work and all.

BEN
Sounds good to me.

 

EXT. KING’S RD. MINUTES LATER

The two walk down Kings Rd together, there’s hope in the air.

DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. SMALL ART GALLERY – DAY

A sign on the door reads:
A STUDY IN WORK AND PLAY by BEN CROSS

INT. ART GALLERY – SAME

BEN and SARAH and a pretty 3-year old girl stand in front of a wall of photographs.

They include shots of building sites, a milk float, footballers on Hackney Marshes, Sarah in Spain and finally an old Bentley occupied by an elderly, distinguished looking man and his wife at Spanish Customs. Beside the
Bentley stand two Guardia Civil looking at Ben and not the car.

BEN, SARAH and the child pass on to another photo. This is of BEN on a building site posing as a strong man, shirt off, flexing his muscles.

SARAH (LAUGHING)
Best shot here and you didn’t even take it.

BEN smiles, proud of his work. SARAH takes his hand, squeezes it. Their young daughter looks on proudly.

CLAIR joins them. There’s no sign of STEVE

FADE OUT