The Places No-One Knows

The man leant against the bar, sipping his drink silently, observing the twisting and twirling bodies as the room throbbed with the pulse of the loud music. His dark, almost black eyes watched one figure in particular as the girl moved amongst the crowds. Her long brown hair fell into her face and tumbled down her tanned shoulders in neat curls as she pushed her way through the crowd, until she came to rest next to him at the bar. He never once removed his eyes from her face as he drained his glass and gestured to the barman to fill the glass up again. The woman glanced his way. Up close, she looked older; fine but visible lines were noticeable around her mouth as they darted up into a shy smile as the pair's eyes met. He raised his now full glass of clear liquid to his lips and watched as she leaned close to the barman to ask for her drink. One pink heeled shoe rising off the ground slightly as she spoke over the music. He couldn't hear what she was asking for but he caught a slight word. Her voice was thick and rich as it poured from her rosebud lips and she caught his eye again as the fancy cocktail was slid in front of her. Her light green eyes were wide and surrounded with thick ragged eyelashes, her face open and kind. He caught her hand as it went to hand the money to the barman and instead he handed his own with a kind smile. Her face lit up and she leant in close, the scent of her perfume mingling with the rich sent of alcohol on her breath and the smell of stale smoke.

"Thank you," she shouted over the music that seemed to make his heart pound in time to the relentless beat.

"It's my pleasure," he replied silkily, one hand resting lightly on her wrist, feeling the fleeting, fluttering movement of her pulse under his finger tips. She sipped her drink as he leaned in again, "What's your name?" He asked, aware of the witnesses pressing in around them as they began to move away from the bar.

"Samantha, Samantha Hargrove." She told him, confidently holding out her hand as he placed a light kiss upon it. A blush bloomed across her cheeks at his gesture and he smiled.

They sat down in a dark corner, the bright flashing lights sliding over their forms as they spoke more easily, the din of the music lessened now and Samantha started to relax more, as she drank in the dark mysterious figure of the man next to her. He shifted slightly as she lit a cigarette, blowing the smoke out between her soft lips. The glow from the embers lit her face, and Frank watched carefully as she tucked her hair behind her ears, the way a small child does, playing with one strand. Straightening it out and letting it bounce back up into its sleek curls once again. He paused, finishing his drink just as she did and he glanced around once again at the mass of bodies.

"Would you like to go somewhere else? I know this wonderful wine bar not far from here, I understand if you don't..." He trailed off, glancing away and her face twisted into a look of sympathy as she noticed his shyness when he asked. She tugged on his hand, standing up and picking up her black clutch bag.

"I would love to!" She grinned, sashaying her way out in front of him towards the door. He glanced around to see if anybody had taken particular notice of their leaving and followed her. Lightly placing a hand on the small of her back he guided her towards where a black Ford Mondeo was parked and he smiled apologetically as he removed his keys from his pocket.

"You don't mind do you?" He asked smiling softly, "I just don't want to leave it. I've been on water all night," He explained and she smiled and climbed into the front seat with him.

"Of course not," She said briskly, returning the smile and pushing her hair from her face. He turned his keys in the ignition and reversed the car artfully out of the side street and onto the quiet main road. She reached out and turned the radio on, and Frank frowned slightly at her gesture. If she noticed this she didn't comment and the car drove down the road away from the bright lights and the heavy beats of the dark club. The yellow streetlights highlighted the strands of grey flecking through her curls and the fine lines that were starting to appear around her eyes. They slid up her pink dress, long finger strokes of garish orange-yellow. She told him she liked the colour of them, and he didn't speak. They pulled up to a traffic light and Samantha glanced around as she began to recognise her surroundings a little more.

"Is this bar far?" She asked, and he could hear a hint of hesitation in her voice. A flash of nerves maybe? He watched her fingers twirl a ring around her finger and he glanced over and smiled comfortingly at her.

"It's not. A little out of the way, I'll admit, but it's run by a friend of mine. One of those places no-one knows," He told her, laughing slightly and she relaxed a little.

"The body of Amy Hill was found a week ago and police have no leads as to the killer, it's suspected it relates to the death of Mark Simpson, whose body was found in the woods of Huntley, not far away from were Amy's body was found recently. The police urge anybody with any information to come forward and at a press conference Police Inspector John-,"

The radio announcer called out into the silence that fell between them and he sighed as she turned the volume down a moment after she changed the radio station.

"I hate things like that," she murmured softly, "those murders sound just ghastly. Apparently the girl Amy was suffocated with a bag and the man-,"

"I can't understand why someone would take such an interest in events that don't concern them," He cut her off harshly, and she blinked quickly, glancing around as they turned down a quiet country road. Her eyes flickered closed as a soft jazz song began to play on the radio and a soft soul singer's voice melted into the car. She took a cigarette from her bag and wound down the window, glancing over to the drivers seat before lighting it and inhaling. The wind rushed into the car, playing with strands of her hair and the man glanced over, watching her as her lips moved in time to the music and the gentle rise and fall of her chest as she breathed in the sweet air deeply. He slowed the car slightly and she turned her face to look at him, confusion lines flittering across her brow.

"I need to go to the toilet, I'm sorry, I would wait till we get to the bar, but when nature calls..." he grinned sheepishly and she laughed and nodded as he pulled into the secluded side road and stopped. Silence fell as the engine and music cut out and he climbed out of the car. She could feel her heart hammering against her chest as she too climbed out the car and used the heel of her shoe to grind out the butt beneath her foot and then carefully picked it up and flicked it back into the car. He moved carefully around the back of the car and she opened her bag, glancing around before removing her mobile phone and glancing at the time. Out in the country without the artificial lights of the town the air was thick with darkness and she paused before slipping her phone lightly back into her bag. A movement close behind her then she had expected made her stand up straighter, no longer leaning against the car. He emerged suddenly from the bushes near the car and she jumped slightly, a little surprised by his sudden appearance, almost from nowhere. He walked up behind her and she carefully slid on a pair of gloves. A frown flickered across his face, only just visible in the pale eerie light the moon was throwing across the two of them. A cloud slid slowly across the sky, filtering the light and making it dance on the two figures.

She turned to the man, a light smile on her slightly parted lips as she raised the gun up equal to his head. His eyes widened, as his body shook slightly from the cold and fear. She smiled even more, feeling the adrenaline pulse through her veins as he stumbled over words and questions. One click and the safety was off, and then one short sharp squeeze. The shot rang out into the silence of the crisp night air and in one squeeze of the trigger his life was disappearing like the sound of the gun into the stillness and tranquillity of the country road they were parked on. His body fell to the floor with a soft flump and Samantha walked over, bending down and watched the blood slowly begin to seep out, dark and rich against the grass. She slipped the weapon back into her bag and pulled out her lipstick, drawing a deep red heart onto the side of his face she grinned and straightened up. She climbed back into the car and started the engine, her mind racing as she pulled away with a satisfying roar.

"I suppose these events do concern me after all," she said lightly to the silence in the car before putting the radio back on.

"Police are unsure if the killings of Mark Simpson and Amy Hill are related, but the places the bodies are found in are extremely close-,"

She turned the radio off and began to drive home, watching the car that drove past for a long time in her rear view mirror.

A few minutes passed before her phone began to chirrup from her bag. She slowed down and answered quietly.

"Sergeant? We've had report of a body," A gruff male voice informed her and she smiled, her fingers tightening on the steering wheel of the car.

"I'll be right there," She said grimly, flicking her phone closed and turning back into the town centre.

By Lucy Searles