11 Ladysmile Lane – Episode 33

A few days later, once again seated in his car, Harrison was reflecting that, at present, he didn’t really need an office – he seemed to be spending his life in the new business park, watching one or other of the premises! But today was a bit different. Today, he had Ewan with him.

As though aware that he had just been in Harrison’s thoughts, the lad held out a packet of chocolate digestives.

“Like a biscuit?”

“No, thanks.” Harrison shook his head. “I had to go to the dentist because of the last biscuit I ate! Mind you, that came from Brett, so I should have known it wouldn’t be an ordinary one.”

“Brett? The photographer at Number Eleven who’s into fancy food?”

“That’s him.”

“What did you need done at the dentist? Just a filling?” Ewan asked.

“Yep. Nothing scary.”

Harrison smiled to himself. It hadn’t been scary. It now seemed ludicrous that his horror of dentists had been so huge that Ruth had gone with him. Or was it because she’d been with him that the experience hadn’t bothered him?

She was a reassuring person. In her capacity as a solicitor, he’d seen how people trusted her. As, maybe, once they’d trusted him, too. But he had let people down . . .

He shook his head, not wishing to get involved with those thoughts. It was useful, anyway, that he’d seen Ruth. He’d learned from her that the man he was keeping an eye on for her client would be out of town for a few days, which had given him the opportunity to come today with Ewan, hopefully to get a bit further on with his case.

Turning to Ewan, he quickly went through the basics of the background situation again. How he’d been parked pretty much where they were today, on a completely different matter, but with Mel’s customer’s premises in view, on the morning that Ewan had been accused of theft while working there.

“I didn’t see you sneaking out and hiding anything, as they’re insisting that you did. What I want today is for you to see if you recognise anyone leaving or entering who may have been acting oddly that morning. But I warn you, surveillance can be very boring.”

“No, I’m enjoying it,” Ewan replied.

Watching the lad munching away at his digestives, Harrison decided he probably was. For himself, he still reckoned it was pretty tedious. Until, just a few minutes later…

“What is he doing here? He’s supposed to be away!” he muttered to himself as the subject of his surveillance on Ruth’s behalf emerged from the neighbouring office to that of Mel’s client.

Suddenly anything but bored, Harrison cleared the condensation from the car’s windscreen to see better. Yes, it was him, carrying a laptop and accompanied by another man.

“We’re going to have to postpone this, I’m afraid,” he said to Ewan, preparing to start the car.

“Is that man the reason you were here the other day? The one with the laptop?”

Harrison looked at Ewan, impressed by the lad’s observation. He started up the car.

“Yes, it must be him,” Ewan answered his own question as the men shook hands and each set off in opposite directions. “You’re indicating that you intend to go the same way as him, so he must be your bloke.”

“Well spotted!”

“And the other man?”

“I’ve no idea who he is – but I’d like to know,” Harrison added half to himself.

“OK.” Ewan opened the car door. “You follow Laptop Man and I’ll see where the other goes.”

“Hey, hold on!”

But he was too late. Ewan was already out of the car and away . . .

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.