Kate threw a frozen dinner into the microwave and then reached for her phone. After what the butler had told her at Lady Stane’s she decided she would call D.I Thompson.
“Hi, can I speak to D.I Thompson, please?” Ellie said into her phone as she waited for the microwave to finish heating her dinner.
“Hello, D.I Thompson speaking,” a deep voice said over the phone.
“Oh, hi. It’s Ellie, Ellie Gordon, Kate Morse’s friend.”
“Um, you know, Kate, who was stabbed a couple of weeks ago. I’m one of her friends.” Ellie stammered.
“Hmm, oh yes! How can I help you?” D.I Thompson asked.
“Look, I think Kate has gone missing. She was supposed to meet me for a yoga class yesterday evening but she didn’t and I haven’t been able to contact her since.”
“So have you been around to her place?”
“Yes, and I spoke to her mum.”
“Was she worried?” D.I Thompson asked, matter of factly.
“No, but one of the staff said that they were expecting her home last night and her bed hadn’t been slept in!”
“Oh, well did that staff member give their name?”
“Do you think they would be happy to give a statement?” the D.I persisted.
“Um, possibly not! But I am worried about her and so is the staff member. She was stabbed, almost fatally only a few weeks ago!”
“Well from my investigations, it looks like Kate’s moved on, very well. She was reluctant to recall anything from the event to support our investigate. Now you’re asking me to put out a missing persons on Kate?” D.I Thompson asked.
“Yes, the staff member said she left with her yoga mat and not much else and they were expecting her to return later that evening.”
“Well I don’t have much to go on, do I? Think about it Miss Gordon, I have to list Kate Morse as a missing person based on her not showing up for a yoga lesson. Her family don’t feel she is missing and no one can verify that she is actually missing!” D.I Thompson finished.
“Yeah, I know, I thought this through, as well and it does appear that it maybe a false alarm but if you consider she was stabbed a few weeks ago and no-one has any idea who it was!”
“Ok, I will speak to Mrs Stane tomorrow.” D.I Thompson said dismissively.
“Lady Stane.” Ellie corrected, “Thanks.” She said as she hung up. She wasn’t at all confident that D.I Thompson would follow through but she didn’t know what else to do.
* * *
The microwave buzzed to let her know her frozen meal was a few moments closer to being thawed. She checked it before setting the timer again and pressing start.
Ellie knew she had another call to make, and she began to consider her own relationship problems emitting a low groan. She felt bad cheating on Sergio, though she was sure he had probably cheated on her. Or was she just trying to justify her behaviour? She sighed again as she dialled Sergio’s number.
“Hello gorgeous,” Sergio cooed at the other end of the line.
“Hi, Sergio. Can we catch up tomorrow evening? I really need to talk to you.”
“Oh, is everything ok?” Sergio asked, a note of concern in his voice.
“Mmm, yes but it’s sort of urgent.”
“Of course my darling. Where shall we go?”
Ellie hadn’t thought about where to meet, but suddenly felt uncomfortable asking him back to hers and she didn’t want to have this conversation at his place.
“How about the Slow and Easy?” Ellie suggested.
“Ok, sure. What time?”
“Sure, my darling. I’ll be there.”
“Ok, great. So what are you doing?” Ellie asked, she was sure she heard music in the background when he answered the phone.
“Oh, not a lot. Paperwork, bookwork. You know the customs stuff. Boring!”
“Ok, well I’ll see you tomorrow night then?”
“Of, course my darling.”
Ellie hung up and looked around her tiny flat. She hugged herself and then headed to the kitchen to check on her frozen dinner.
* * *
Suddenly her phone came to life in her hand.
“Hello,” she said without looking at the screen, “Oh, hi Mike.”
“Hey, Ellie. How are you doing?”
“Ok. Just about to have dinner!”
“Mmm, something exotic?”
“Ha, ha. Yes, from the kitchen of al a Gordon!”
“Oh, you surprise me. Souffle?”
“Nope.” Ellie giggled despite herself.
“Ok, I give up!”
“I can’t believe my dinner is so intriguing for you!”
“No, I can’t either!”
“It’s a some sort of curry, I think, well that’s what it says on the box!”
“Ah yes, I think it’s a chicken korma, I saw it in the freezer on Tuesday morning, when I got the bread out. Remember, toast?”
“Ah, yes.” Ellie said, blushing.
“Have you heard anything from Kate, yet?
“No. I went around to her mum’s but she’s not worried. She doesn’t think she’s missing, it is common for Kate to go missing for a couple of days at a time.” Ellie sighed, “But one of the staff said they were expecting her home. She had left in her gym gear with her yoga mat!” Ellie repeated, this time to Mike, feeling like a broken record.
“Ah ok, well, I have called around the local hospitals in the London area and no Jane Doe admittances and no Kate Morse’s! Which is good and bad news.” Mike offered. “It looks suspicious! Why would Kate leave the house in her gym gear only packing a yoga mat if she was planning to stay out for a few days?”
“Yeah, I know. I called D.I Thompson but he was pretty dismissive as well. He did agree to call Lady Stanes tomorrow though. Not sure he will!”
“Ok, well it looks like you’ve done all you can. Enjoy your curry!”
“Mmmm, not too sure that’s possible!” Ellie said stabbing the frozen meal with a fork.
“Well you had an offer of takeaway delivered by your friendly doctor! How’s things going with that complicated situation?”
“Well I’m meeting with Sergio tomorrow. I need to make things right.”
“Oh, what does that mean for us?” Mike asked an anxious tone in his voice.
“Sergio and I have been together for three years. There’s a lot of history.”
“Bit of a slow mover if you ask me!”
“Yeah, perhaps. But I need to do the right thing by him and me, and you.”
“Ok, well can I call tomorrow? Check on how things are going with Kate. I’ll call around the local hospitals again.”
“Look, I don’t want to pressure you. I’m not going anywhere so you do the right thing. In the meantime I’m here if you need anything, ok?” Mike said.
“Ok, thanks.” Ellie hung up, feeling a warmth spreading from her belly, she smiled to herself and plonked the plastic container with the curry on her kitchen table as she recalled Tuesday morning and smiled to herself.
* * *
Kate lay on the bed staring at the ceiling. She had tried to loosen her restraints with no luck. She was hungry and needed to use the toilet but her cravings were becoming worse. Suddenly she heard footsteps outside the door to the room.
She could hear someone unlocking the door and then Ryder entered carrying a tray laden with takeaway containers.
“So how is my little petal?” Ryder asked as he carried the tray of teppanyaki takeaway, he had picked up on his way home from work.
“Look you can’t keep me here like this, it’s illegal!” Kate said, eyeing the tray hungrily.
“Hmm, I have food for you, are you hungry my gorgeous?”
“What are you? Mad? Can’t you hear what I’m saying to you? You can’t keep me hear like this, it’s illegal, once I get out you’ll be arrested!”
“So how are you going to get out?” Ryder’s tone had changed, his face became contorted, “and more to the point who is going to find you? What are you going to eat?” Ryder threw the tray of food at the door he had just walked through, the wooden tray splintering and the food spilling from the plastic containers, splattered against the back of the closed door.
Kate flinched, as Ryder put his face against hers, “Now you don’t even have any food,” he spat in her face before turning and leaving her in the dark again.
“No, no come back!” Kate called after him, tears rolling down her cheeks. She tried to loosen her restraints, thrashing in the bed. “Help, help!” she screamed helplessly.
* * *
Kate jumped awake and remembered immediately that she couldn’t move. She looked around the darkened room again. There were no sounds from outside the door. She tried to recall how long she had been there, one night, two?
She remembered meeting Ryder at the Arts nightclub a few months back, before Rhys had died. He seemed handsome and confident, he was surrounded by young women, fawning over him but he had spotted Kate across the bar and come to talk to her. It was a buzz watching the girls faces when he put his arm around her waist and she led him to the wash rooms. He was rough then, but she didn’t mind it, it had been a nice change to Rhys’ gentleness. She had woken with bruises the next day and didn’t want to be subject to that on a regular basis. Ryder had called her every day for a week before she blocked him from her mobile, she wasn’t sure how long it was before he finally got the message that she didn’t want to see him and he stopped calling.
Tears pricked her eyes as she recalled him throwing the food, she could still smell the soy sauce and looked over to where the food had pooled at the base of the door. Ryder was a monster, she had seen glimpses of his behaviour on the first night she had met him, now she was trapped with him.
Kate looked over to where the food lay, she was hungry and if she could get free she would have eaten it from the floor. And her cravings were becoming worse.