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A Sleepwalker's Nightmare

Chapter Two


___Jeff shivered and pulled his coat about him as he stepped from the car outside of the club (or dive) that Marty had directed him to.
___"This is weird," he remarked. "Marty, this is the place in my nightmare!"
___"Well, it would be, wouldn't it?" Hopkirk remarked in a childish tone. "You were seeing it through my eyes, you short-arsed dim-wit!"
___Randall turned to him tiredly. "Look, it's the middle of the night, I'm tired, and I should be in bed, Marty. If you want to be like that, I could always just forget it and go home, you know."
___"Well, that's typical of you, isn't it?" Marty growled. "Thinking of yourself, when we've got work to do!"
___Jeff moaned and leaned on the car, holding his head. "Right, Marty, why don't you tell me what's going on..."
___His partner pouted at him. "I was trying to tell you in the car, but you just kept telling me to shut up. You can work it out for yourself, grumpy pants!"
___"Please, Marty, can't you see I'm not feeling well?" Jeff looked up at him miserably.
___"Self-inflicted, I expect," he muttered darkly. "Come on, how many bottles of Scotch did you help yourself to last night? You tell me that!"
___"Actually, I had a shower and an early night, Marty. I was tired..." he groaned miserably. "And NOW I have a headache, because you woke me up before I was ready..."
___"Aww... Poor baby Jeff. I bet you'd love a nice cuddle from Jeannie, wouldn't you?"
___"Do you have to drag Jeannie into it?" Jeff whined at him. "Why d'you have to get all stupid and possessive anyway, Marty?"
___"You like her, don't you, Jeff?"
___"Yes, but..."
___Marty was grinning like an idiot, now. "You really, really really like her, don't you, Jeff?"
___"Yes, Marty, she's lovely," Jeff replied. "But I wouldn't... I mean... I wouldn't try anything with her. Not without... Not unless... I mean, you know... If it was O.K. with you, that'd be different..."
___Marty stopped grinning and became serious. "Well, it's NOT O.K. with me, and it never will be, so you can get lost and find your own girl! Jeannie's my... almost... wife, short arse, so she's mine. Got that?"
___Randall pinched the bridge of his nose. Why did Marty have to be like this? "You were the one who mentioned her in the first place, Marty. Anyway, at least you know that I won't hurt her or anything..."
___"Too right I do! 'Cause if you tried it, I'd smash your face in!"
___"Marty, you know what I..." Randall groaned. His partner had grown tired of the exchange and vanished.

___Marty was inside the club, trying to concentrate on looking for clues. Despite all that he'd said to his partner, he knew that Jeff had a point. He knew that he could trust him to look after his fiancee, however much he hated the thought of Jeannie ever being with somebody else.
___It wasn't just the thought of Jeannie finding somebody else that upset him either. If Jeff and Jeannie got together - or if Jeff met some other nice girl and fell in love, for that matter - would Jeff still have time for him? Marty shuddered at the thought of being left completely alone in the world, with nobody but Mister Wyvern and the spirits who visited the Limbo cocktail bar as company. Whatever happened, he didn't want that!
___The sound of voices roused his attention, and he noticed the two bouncers, standing just inside the door and talking quietly.
___"Never seen anything like it," the taller of the two was saying. "It all happened so quick."
___"Wonder if the police have a lead, yet," the other, stockier one replied.
___"Doubt it. I certainly didn't see anything suspicious. Nobody walking past; no speeding cars... Nothing!"
___Hopkirk rolled his eyes. "You didn't see her because she didn't want you to. You were looking for somebody who stood out, but the killer just blended into the background like... like... a ghost or something. And now she's got away, because I couldn't follow her, and I'm stuck here talking to buffoons that can't see or hear me!"


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