“Actually,” said Kester, nodding seriously. “I think I’d better stay here. What if someone tries to escape whilst we’re doing this…cat autopsy or whatever it is we’re doing?”
Sophy looked at him as if she was actually quite surprised he’d come up with something intelligent to say for once.
“That’s a pretty good idea,” she replied. “Nice one, detective.”
With that, she flashed him an almost flirtatious toothy grin and disappeared out the back in the direction of the toilets.
Flirtatious? Was it really? Kester paused for a moment to analyse it. Certainly seemed that way to him. Maybe she was starting to develop a crush on him. It was difficult for him to understand how women could resist his rugged good looks and manly charms in the first place, so discovering that Sophy had a crush on him, or at least maybe had a crush on him, was no great revelation.
“And just how long do you intend to drag this out for, Mister Detective?” came a voice from his left hand side, breaking him out of his rather pleasant daydream.
He turned to look. It was Ren Takahashi, the judo expert he had considered for his sidekick.
“Until we catch whoever did it,” Kester answered. Surely that was obvious. “Do you have somewhere you need to be?”
“I am tired of staying in this ridiculous pub.”
“If it’s ridiculous, what were you doing here in the first place?”
“I only came to see Annie,” Ren replied with a little knowing smirk.
“Who’s Annie?” Kester was none the wiser.
The short, wily Japanese student winked at him and pointed across the bar to a rather stunningly attractive girl sat on her own nursing a drink. As they stared over at her, she noticed and gave them both a teasing wave. Now THAT was flirting. He was starting to wonder whether he’d been getting the wrong end of the stick with Sophy.
“Wow. Is she your girlfriend?” Kester asked, impressed.
“She could be. If I buy her enough vodka and cranberries. This is what I’ve been told. She’s easy.”
The detective rolled his eyes. “That’s ridiculous. So, you’re just going to buy her drinks in the hope that she’ll sleep with you? Nobody’s that easy.”
“I’ve been told,” Ren repeated.
“This guy, Oscar. He’s a third year. She is too.”
“Ren, you’re not going to get with a third year on your first month at Uni. It’s just not going to happen mate,” Kester assured his fellow student with some certainty. He wouldn’t even try. “And anyway, if you’re so busy trying to get off with her, why do you want to leave the pub?”
“So I can take her somewhere more private, obviously.”
“Well, I promise we’ll be as quick as we can,” Kester assured him. “Listen, you didn’t see anyone going to the toilet whilst I was gone did you? Anyone looking suspicious, a bit shifty?”
Ren thought about it for a moment, cocking his head to one side.
“There was someone….”
Kester looked hopeful.
“The fat one. He went to the toilet.”
Ren nodded. “And the landlord and lady. They were back and forth to toilet also. Or back room.”
“Yeah, there’s the store room back there too, I think,” Kester sighed, trying to think. “Anyone else?”
“I don’t think so,” Ren frowned. “Cannot be sure. You should continue your interviews,” the martial artist recommended. “They might get you somewhere.”