After her phone call with Mike, Ellie went to Morgan and explained the events of the past couple of days. Morgan sat impassively nodding and harrumphing at certain parts of the recount.
“I think you should call your detective friend,” she said once Ellie had finished.
“D.I Thompson?” Ellie said.
“Yeah, tell him the same story you told me.”
“Look, you need to be safe, keep me updated with how things are going. I’ll cover for you.” Morgan said, reaching forward and touching Ellie’s hand.
Ellie couldn’t believe this was happening to her. How could a normal everyday existence become this messed up chaos, with nowhere to turn?
Ellie returned to her desk and immediately called D.I Thompson on her work phone, keeping an eye on her mobile, waiting for Mike to let her know he had arrived.
“Oh, Ellie. I haven’t heard from you for a few weeks. I was beginning to miss our calls.” D.I Thompson greeted Ellie, his voice sounding like he was smiling.
“Look, this is going to sound farfetched but let me finish before you come to any conclusions.” Ellie began.
“The address?” was all he said when Ellie finished.
“I’m worried about putting Kate in danger, though.”
“I can investigate without giving too much away.” He offered her. “You need to make sure you’re safe, don’t go to your home tonight. Have you got somewhere safe you can stay for a few days while I look into this?”
Ellie was a little taken aback, not expecting him to take the matter so seriously. She gave him Kate’s address just as Mike sent a message to tell her he was on Shaftesbury Avenue.
Ellie hung up and called Noni, telling her that Mike was picking her up and she would meet her at Billy’s apartment in a few hours.
+ + +
“Hey Will, I need some thugs again.” Ryder said into his mobile from the study.
“Why what’s happened?”
“Bloody bitch got in touch with Ellie. She knows where we live. I need her gone!”
“ASAP. Before she realises I’m out for her as well.”
You’re bloody bitch, I told you this would happen if you get connected to them.” Will hissed.
“Look, I really feel for her. She’s got my baby, man. I want a family with her. It’s working.” Ryder said exasperated.
“Don’t let that slut come between us, mate. We’re on a good wicket here.”
“Don’t worry, I have it under control. I can manage her. I just need you to sort out Ellie. You have her details from last time.”
“Yeah, no worries mate. Not sure what I can organise in a hurry though. The last couple of guys were like 12!”
“Yeah, they didn’t do the job properly.” Ryder laughed, nervously.
“Leave it with me.” Will said before hanging up.
+ + +
When Mike arrived, Ellie was waiting in the foyer with her bags, ready to go.
He bundled her into the black cab he had arrived in, giving the driver Ellie’s home address in Camden as he slid in beside her.
Ellie looked at Mike’s worried face and squeezed his hand, hoping to alleviate some of the anxiety on his face. She told him how she had given D.I Thompson the address Kate had run to the previous day.
Mike nodded and squeezed her hand back.
As they rounded the corner to Ellie’s apartment, Mike asked the cab to stop a few doors down.
“I’ll go and check it out first, okay?” he said, getting out of the cab.
Ellie sat in the back of the cab, engine running, watching Mike disappear down her driveway.
He was back a few short minutes later.
“Thanks, cabbie.” He said as he paid the fare.
He took Ellie’s hand and they walked to her apartment in silence.
“Just pack enough for a few days, I’m sure we can sort this out by then.”
+ + +
Half an hour later they were on Camden Rd, flagging down another cab.
“Leeks Street, Kings Cross. Thanks cabbie.” He said to the cab driver through the window in front of them and then sat back in the seat, putting his arm protectively around Ellie’s shoulders.
“It’s best to be safe,” he said into her hair.
Ellie nodded. “That’s pretty much what D.I Thompson said,” Ellie said closing her eyes, wishing this were all a bad dream. The memory of Kate’s slight frame, fading bruises and of her running like a frightened animal away from them was still fresh.
“I want to know you are safe. After your scan tomorrow we’ll drive down to your mum and dad’s place in Kent. I’ll stay tomorrow night but I’m going to have to head back on Thursday for night shift.” Mike squeezed her shoulder.
Ellie nodded again and closed her eyes.
+ + +
Mike shook Ellie awake as the cab pulled into a narrow laneway with garages on one side and darkened entry ways with doors leading to upstairs apartments on the other.
Mike got out of the cab, feeling the cool air of the dusk whip past him. He checked passersby as they brushed past him, catching sight of two youths with hoods pulled over their heads.
Ellie followed him out of the cab, Mike putting a protective arm around her as he paid the cabbie before picking up her overnight bag.
He steered Ellie toward Billy’s apartment entry way feeling a sudden gust, as he turned to check on the youths he had seen earlier, he suddenly felt a pull on Ellie’s overnight bag in his hand yanking it. He immediately resisted and pushing Ellie into the doorway, turning to face a pimply and pock marked teen, sneering at him. He pulled the bag sharply, forcing the pocked mark teen to release his grip just as the door opened, Noni standing there.
She smiled at Ellie her face dropping as she saw the fear in her eyes, following her gaze to where Mike was grappling with a hooded boy over a bag. Mike pushed his shoulder into the boy, giving one final pull of the bag before the youth turned to run, joined by his mate.
They stood silent, frozen watching the backs of the two hooded youths disappear around the corner.
“Bloody hell, what’s London getting like?” Mike said as he turned and cradled Ellie in his arms. Ellie buried her face into his jacket, her tears dampening his sleeve.
Noni placed her hand on Ellie’s back. “What happened?”
“Some bloody 12 year olds try to snatch Ellie’s bag.” Mike said, incensed.
“That wasn’t an attempted bag snatch. Two in as many months? It’s too much of a coincidence. I’ve never had anyone trying to grab mine, here.” Noni replied, sternly.
Mike looked at Noni, “okay. I need to call D.I Thompson when we get upstairs.”
Noni nodded in agreement.