He was in his usual spot, surrounded by spent cigarette butts. He watched the shadows in Kate’s window before the light was switched off.
He then changed his focus to the front door, knowing she would emerge shortly in her yoga gear, carrying her mat. He wasn’t going to leave anything to chance this time. He had his car parked across the road, he was planning to take her as soon as she stepped on the footpath.
The door opened, allowing a golden glow to escape and then disappear as the door was closed behind Kate. She skipped down the front path and opened the gate, swinging her yoga mat across her back.
She began to march toward Camden High Street heading to her yoga class, her pony tail swooshing as she took long strides.
He quickly ran to his parked car, unlocked it and slowly drove up behind Kate walking along the footpath.
“Hey,” Kate said turning to the familiar voice and then suddenly froze when their eyes met. “What do you want? I am sick of you following me around, get lost! Ok!”
“Oh, come on Kate. Let’s put our past behind us and move on.” the driver offered, his features hidden in the shadows.
“I have moved on. You haven’t. Leave me alone before I call the police, Ryder.” Kate turned and picked up her pace, trying to gain some distance between herself and the car purring along behind her.
Ryder stopped the car and got out, waking briskly to keep up with her pace.
“No, no you’re wrong! You’re the one that hasn’t moved on. You know we’re meant for each other, you need me!” he said, his breath on her ear.
Kate broke into a run, but before she could get ahead, he grabbed her around her waist, pulling her to him, covering her mouth to stifle her screams. He quickly produced a syringe from his pocket, expertly inserting it into Kate’s neck before depressing the plunger. A few seconds later she fell back against him, unconscious. Putting her arm across his shoulders he walked her back to his car, lifting her limp body into the rear seat of his Mercedes before climbing into the driver’s side and speeding off.
* * *
Ellie looked at her watch as she completed her downward dog. It was 7:30pm, the yoga class had begun at 7pm, where was Kate? Ellie huffed, it was not unusual for Kate to stand her up, especially for something that involved some form of exercise but Ellie was worried, she usually called and left a lame excuse on the voicemail. Ever since the stabbing, Ellie was more sensitive of Kate’s unannounced absences than usual.
“Jump or step forward into the tadasana, then Utkatasana.” The instructor called from her podium. Ellie effortlessly moved between each of the moves her mind focussing on where Kate was.
Once the class had finished Ellie pulled her mobile phone form her gym bag.
“Hi, Kate, where are you? I was expecting you at yoga, I hope everything is ok?” Ellie spoke into her mobile to Kate’s voicemail.
Ellie pulled her jacket on before walking along Jamestown Rd back to Camden High street and home. She decided to call Emma, “Hey, hi. How are you?”
“Fine, how are you? How did your weekend go with Sergio?” Emma asked.
“Good, well, okay. I met Mike at a work do last night!”
“Oh wow, that was quick!”
“Well, I didn’t plan to! It was Jonnie Agave’s opening night, apparently they went to school together, great friends!”
“Mmm, so how did that end up?” Emma asked over the phone.
“Well, he made sure Morgan and I got home safely, Morgan had had a lot to drink!” Ellie said.
“So you dropped Morgan off first?”
“And then back to yours?”
‘And then what?”
“Well he insisted on walking me to my front door!” Ellie stammered.
“Um, he recommended a prescription of pain killers to be taken with food, so stayed to administer!” Ellie explained.
“Did he do a physical?” Emma quipped.
“You could say that!”
“Ellie, what about Sergio?”
“Well I told Mike I couldn’t see him until I sorted things out with Sergio. Sergio seems to think we’re going along ok, that three years is fine for courting! He prepared a totally romantic evening on Saturday and then breakfast at the Magazine!” Ellie said breathlessly.
“You need to sort things out. I know you, you will not forgive yourself if you keep this double life going!” Emma offered.
“I know, I know. Look, I wasn’t really calling about my weekend. I was supposed to meet Kate at yoga this evening but she didn’t show.”
Emma sighed at the other end of the phone, “You know that’s not unusual!”
“Yeah, I know. But she’s not answering her phone!”
“She’s probably busy with some guy or other. You know Kate!” Emma said.
“Ok. I thought that too, but she called at two and left a voicemail to say she’d be there! I guess I’m just over reacting but I’m worried about her, after the stabbing and all!”
“I know, give her another buzz tomorrow, I’m sure she’ll be full apologies but it was some young thing she pulled after 2pm!” Emma soothed. “You on the other hand need to sort out your love life!”
“Ok, ok. You’re right, on both counts.” Ellie sighed before saying goodbye and hanging up.
She threw her yoga mat over her shoulder and began her walk home along Camden High St.
* * *
Ryder pressed the remote control to open the garage door to his warehouse unit, checking no one was in the garage as he slowly approached his parking cage. He waited impatiently for the gate to lift before parking his car.
His apartment was one of two three storey converted warehouses, which included a sound proof basement ideal for his neighbour, who was a musician. It was also ideal for Ryder and his new guest.
* * *
Kate opened her eyes, she had a pounding headache and decided she would take a couple of oxycodone tablets to clear her hang over. She tried to lift her arms, but they wouldn’t move, she opened her eyes fully, and tried to sit up but she wasn’t able to and turned her head to look around her. Where was she, she thought panicked?
Her eyes focussed in the gloom, as she scanned the room, struggling against her restraints. The room was sparsely furnished, a sliding door located beside a door that looked like the entrance, some shelves, and a set of drawers, there were no windows. She looked beside her and there was a bedside table with two bottles of water. This wasn’t a hospital.
“Hey, hey, she tried to call out,” she only managed to emit grunts from her dry mouth.
She tried to recall the events of the night before. What time was it, what day was it? Her mind was a jumble. She called out again, her voice returning, but only heard her voice echoing around the windowless room. She stopped and listened, not hearing a thing from outside the room, she called out again, and again realising that she was not in a good place and began to panic, thrashing on the bed and trying to fight against her restraints.
* * *