Gone Again

Gone Again by Doug Johnstone Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Gone Again by Doug Johnstone Read Free Book Online
Authors: Doug Johnstone
Tags: Crime Fiction
plate, her mobile number, then went and got her toothbrush.
    ‘This seems weird,’ he said, handing it over.
    Ferguson placed it in a small, see-through zip-lock bag, then into a pocket.
    ‘I know it does, but I can assure you it’s entirely routine.’
    They got their coffees and moved to the tiny office corner of the living room, really just a desk and a laptop. Mark fired up the MacBook.
    ‘I don’t have any recent pictures printed out, but I could email a couple to you.’
    ‘That’s fine.’
    Ferguson handed over a card with her email address and phone number on it. DETECTIVE CONSTABLE TRACEY FERGUSON . Tracey with an ‘e’.
    Mark clicked down through the picture folder on the desktop. Ferguson picked two and he emailed them to her address.
    ‘What about your wife’s email?’ she said.
    ‘She has a Gmail account. I’ve already checked it, we know each other’s passwords. There’s nothing in there that I could see.’
    ‘I’d like the username and password all the same, so we can check it in more detail later.’
    He wrote it down for her. Every bit of information he handed over seemed to make this more real, more concrete. She was really missing. Gone again.
    His pulse became loud, thudding in his ears. His lungs seemed to collapse, and he struggled to take shallow breaths. His hands began to shake. He put the pen down and gripped the edge of the desk to steady himself. His vision seemed to roll on its axis.
    He felt Ferguson’s hand on his, a tiny, bony thing. Not like Lauren’s hands at all. His fingers trembled against the scratchy wood of the desk. The shaking spread up his arms to his body, and he raised a hand to his face. Tears fell on to the desk and he wiped his eyes, trying to regain control.
    ‘It’s OK,’ Ferguson said. ‘We’ll find her.’
    He tried to fill his lungs, then he pulled his hand out from under hers and sat back, blinking away tears.
    ‘I didn’t tell you last night.’
    ‘What?’ She was perched on the edge of the desk, close to him. He could smell lemony perfume.
    Mark shook his head. ‘Lauren has suffered from depression in the past. Postnatal, after Nathan was born. She disappeared for days.’
    ‘I see. Do you know where she went?’
    Mark shook his head. ‘She never said. I was too afraid to ask. I wanted to know, but at the same time I didn’t want to scare her away again. It was horrible. I think she was in a hotel somewhere, maybe still in Edinburgh, I don’t know.’
    ‘What about her work?’
    Mark’s breathing calmed, his head cleared a little.
    ‘What about it?’
    ‘You said earlier about her boss, Mr Taylor.’
    ‘Gavin, yeah.’
    ‘You think he was hiding something?’
    ‘I don’t know.’
    Ferguson straightened up, shifted her weight to create distance between them.
    ‘This isn’t an easy thing to ask.’
    He rubbed his eyes. ‘I know what you’re going to say.’
    ‘Do you think Lauren might be having an affair?’
    ‘Are you sure?’
    He rubbed at his hair. ‘Of course I’m not fucking sure.’ His voice was louder than he expected. ‘I have no clue any more about what she might’ve been doing or thinking, clearly. She’s gone, isn’t she?’
    ‘OK, take it easy.’
    ‘I don’t want to take it easy, I want to find my wife.’
    ‘Look, I’ll pay a visit to the Caledonia Dreaming office, talk to Mr Taylor. I need to get access to her work email and files anyway.’
    ‘I can’t believe I need to think about this,’ Mark said.
    ‘I’m sorry.’
    ‘Now you’ve got me worrying that Lauren was being unfaithful.’
    ‘I have to ask these things.’
    ‘Any other ideas you want to poison my mind with?’
    ‘There is something else I need to ask.’
    ‘Have you ever given your wife reason to leave?’
    Mark rolled his neck and stood up so he was standing over her.
    ‘Like what? Sleeping around? Hitting her?’
    She held out a placatory hand. ‘I have to ask.’
    He held one fist

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