The club is not what I imagined. I'm not really one for clubbing these days. Don't see the attraction of overpriced drinks and not being able to hear myself think. Dunno, maybe it's my age. I'm sat in my car staring at the closed door of the club as I go through the story I've prepared once more. I know I'm pushing my luck but I have to do this. I know Jeff is right. I'm not a police officer. I'm not a detective but there is something that just doesn't sit right. Danny has hurt me beyond belief, I feel sick every time I think about it. Steeling myself I get out of the car knowing I can't put this off any longer.
The rain has subsided as I cross the road to the club. The building is shrouded in darkness as I head to the side door. I hit the doorbell just before a burly man approaches me.
"You alright, darling?"
I cringe. I have never liked being referred to as 'love' or 'darling' but just this once its best to let it go.
"Can I help you?" He smiles as I walk towards him.
"Hope so. I'm looking for my boyfriend. He's gone AWOL and I was told he was at the club last Friday night. I was wondering if anyone can confirm that."
He frowns slightly as I hold out the photograph I've brought with me.
"AWOL? You dunno where he is? Have you not contacted the police? His family?"
"Police not interested. Family live abroad. Not seen or heard of him since Christmas. Besides he's done this before." I'm surprised that I can lie so easily. It suddenly occurs to me if I can convincingly lie then of course Danny cam too.
"I don't remember him. Sorry."
"Could have a good look on the cctv. I shouldn't really but I can see you're genuine."
I smile grateful that he's fallen for my lie.
"What's your name?" He asks as we head into the club.
"I'm Dave." The burly man smiles at me. His brown eyes sympathetic as we reach the back office. "Sit down luv." He nods to a plastic chair as I eye the dark room with suspicion. I'm suddenly aware that being alone in a small dark room with a complete stranger probably isn't the best idea I've ever had.
"This fella of yours? Friday you said e was here?"
Dave appears to be totally enthralled with his computer so I relax a little. He presses keys until the footage we need is on the screen.
I nod as I look at the grainy image. I can see Danny sat at the bar. The camera is clearly giving the bar man's eye view. I can feel my chest tighten as I watch him buy a drink. He looks normal. Like he always has done. My eyes are fixed on him as he turns to the impossibly thin girl who now stands next to him. I recognise her as the murder victim in Resus bay 3. My stomach lurches as he flirts with her. Dave turns to me.
"You ok luv?"
"Do you want to keep looking?"
I nod. I have to see him leaving. If he leaves alone then I'm sure he's innocent. If he leaves with the girl then I'm lost. Suddenly I wish Jeff had come with me. Dave folds his arms.
"Looks like he was alive and well when he left here."
"Sorry Ellen. But it looks like he left with her. He seemed happy enough there."
"Yeah." I want to cry but I know I can't. Not here, in front of a man that wouldn't look out of place at a Hells Angels convention that I just met.
"Cheating Bastard. Sorry luv but I think he's gone off with er. Dun ask me why men do it. Stupidity. Male pride. Sex addiction? I dunno."
I nod, before thanking him and heading out of the club. By the time I get to my car my stomach is in knots and I can't stop the tears. Maybe I've been wrong about Danny all along.