D.I. Morgan woke up and for a few seconds had no idea where he was. The surroundings were unfamiliar. His eyes couldn’t focus properly. There was a man playing a bass drum in his head. He brought his left hand up close to his face so that he could see his watch. It was nine thirty. A young girl was lying beside him. He had no idea who she was or how she’d got there. The last thing he remembered was drinking pink champagne and snorting coke till his nose started to bleed. There was also a vague memory of Demetri booking two rooms at three hundred and fifty pounds each but the rest was a blur. There was a bottle of Jack Daniels on the bedside table beside him. It was half full. He picked it up and took three long gulps. It hit his system like a powerful punch from a heavyweight boxer. Everything seemed to become clearer and with a quick shake of the head he suddenly felt a whole lot better. The girl beside him was blonde and about twenty. He cuddled up to her and started to stroke her thigh. She moved away from him.
She had a Russian accent.
“Come on babe, you know I’ll make it worth your while.”
“Fuck off, I’m sore, you are a nasty man!”
He had no idea what she was on about. But somewhere at the back of his mind he had a faint recollection of slapping her arse many times. He pulled the covers back and saw her naked flesh. Her buttocks were bright red and covered with hand marks. There was a trace of blood on the crisp white sheets.
He smiled. He could be such a cunt sometimes when the old marching powder was working its wicked magic. He decided not to push it, maybe it would be better to get up and have a shower. In the bathroom there were three perfect lines of coke on the toilet system. This was his trademark. No matter how out of it he was, he always remembered to put three lines out for his recovery in the morning. He bent over and sniffed up his most prized possession, threw his head back and grinned at the ceiling. He felt alive again. The shower was luke warm but exactly what he needed. He sang “Mack the Knife”, one of his favourite karaoke tunes. He stepped out of the shower and begun to dry himself off. His phone rang. It was the young Detective that he’d put in charge of the Robbie Jackson case. He answered the call.
“We’ve got him sir!”
The Detectives voice was full of excitement.
“Really, where is he?”
“The Novatel in Croydon.”
“How certain are you?”
He had to be sure. The last thing he wanted was to give Demetri bad information.
“He’s on CCTV at Gatwick leaving the airport, then he’s on camera again entering the Hotel opposite, but then he re-appears twenty minutes later and gets into a black cab Registration number EJ58 HYB. We traced the driver of the cab and he remembers dropping the man at the Novatel in Croydon in the early hours of the morning two days ago. It’s concrete info sir. He’s definitely there. You want me to send some people to pick him up?”
“No, no, not yet. This is quite a high profile case and I need to clear everything with the people upstairs. Bloody red tape!”
“Fully understand sir. Just let me know when you want to proceed.”
He hung up. Time to call Demetri. This was better than he’d thought. Maybe he might get another line of credit. He dialled a number.
“Good news my friend. He’s at the Novatel just outside of Croydon.”
“Thank you Mister John. The family will be most grateful.”
John Morgan put down the phone and looked over at the girl on the bed.
“Brace yourself darling, I’m coming back in.”
Three hours later and he was back at his desk waiting for the call from Demetri. The young Detective was chomping at the bit. He kept asking when he could go and make the arrest. Morgan knew he couldn’t put him off much longer. Eventually his phone rang. It was Demetri.
“Have you got him?”
“Not yet Mister John. He wasn’t at the hotel as you said he would be. He had been there but left yesterday.”
“Fuck, I thought…
Demetri interrupted him.
“Mister John, your information was good. We were just a bit late that’s all. But we have good news. A member of our family has a niece that works at the hotel as a cleaner. Mister Jackson left a number of items behind. I now have everything from that room.”
“Okay, what now?”
“There was a receipt in the waste bin. It was for a SIM card and credit for a mobile phone. The phone number is also on the receipt. How quickly can you trace the whereabouts of a mobile phone?”
“As long as the phone is switched on it will be searching for connections locally all the time. I can pinpoint it to within fifty metres in minutes.”
“Good Mister John. Do it for me now please. I will wait.”
He gave him the number. D.I. Morgan entered the information into his computer and waited while it did its search.
“Demetri, the number is live. But the phone is not switched on. As soon as it is I can have the location for you.”
“Thank you Mister John. I need this information as soon as possible. Please remember that.”
He hung up. Morgan called in the Detective.
“Okay, it’s on. Go pick him up.”
The Detectives face beamed. This would be an important arrest and maybe even earn him a promotion.
“I’m on my way sir.”
Of course John Morgan knew that it would be a waste of time and no trace would be found of Robbie Jackson. But it would give him time to help Demetri.
Robbie Jackson woke at seven, as he always did. Showered and then went for breakfast in the hotel lounge. He smiled. Yesterday had been a good day. He’d gained another few hundred quid. Spent a night in a good hotel, and met Carol and her friends.
The evening had gone according to plan. He’d played the reluctant guest very well. They’d swallowed his story hook, line and sinker. At first, he pretended to not want to talk about his past, saying that it was all very boring and that he was more interested in hearing about them. But he knew they would keep pressing him on it and the story he told was very believable.
He’d been living and working in Spain for the past ten years. He owned a number of bars along the southern coast, but due to the recession had decided to sell up. A buyer had come along quicker than he’d anticipated and the sale had been completed within a few weeks. His possessions were in storage over in Spain and he’d come back to the UK to settle down. He had no family. He was an only child and both his parents had passed away. They ended up feeling sorry for him. One of the women, called Alice, worked at a local estate agents and promised to get him details on properties to rent in the area.
They all left at ten o’clock, apart from Carol. She stayed behind to have a nightcap with him. She was divorced and had a young son. She had a three bedroom house just up the road from the hotel and worked as a HR manager for a local shipping company. They swapped phone numbers and at the end of the evening while she waited for a cab to take her home, they’d kissed. He’d promised to call her today and arrange to meet up again. Carol could become very useful indeed. He left it until four o’clock, then switched on his phone and called her.
“I was wondering if you’d call. I enjoyed last night. You?”
“I had a really great time. I was wondering if we could do the same tonight. I could book a table for dinner, here, at say eight o’clock?”
“Lovely, I’ll take my son to his grandparents. He can stay there for the night. That way I won’t be in a rush to get home.”
There was a slight giggle in her voice. He knew exactly what she meant by that last comment.
“Now, that has made my day. Can’t wait. See you tonight.”
He put the phone down and lay down on his bed. Time for a nap before getting ready. He wondered what she’d look like naked.
Demetri’s phone rang. It was John Morgan.
“Mister John. Good news I hope.”
“The phone was switched on and used a few minutes ago. He’s at a Country Club called The Gables in Reigate.”
“You have been very helpful Mister John. It will not be forgotten.”
Demetri hung up and then dialled another number.
“Ivan, I have found him. I am sending some men to pick him up now.”
Ivan Andonivski smiled for the first time since he was told about Bepa.
“Thank you Demetri. I will catch a flight and be with you in a few hours. Try not to kill him. That will be my pleasure.”