Tonight had gone well. Ash's phone had five more contacts saved on its sim, all of them belonging to women he had danced with at the club. One had even asked him back to her place. He politely declined the offer, of course. He wasn't interested in sex, just the knowledge that he still had it in him. A soothing balm to his wounded pride.
He had just walked outside for some fresh air, standing nearby an alley, when he heard a noises coming from inside the darkness. Groans which sounded more grotesque than sexual.
Ash turned to leave quickly and re-enter the club as if nothing had happened, and almost ended up walking straight into someone. It was the girl who he had approached at the table.
"Hey, watch it!" She said, then her eyes fixed onto his and filled with recognition. "Oh it's you."
"You too." He couldn't help but stare at those eyes and wonder how they had gotten so cold. "How did your date go?"
"He never showed up," she replied. "Probably got cold feet or something." Ash was a little shocked at the nonchalant manner of which she spoke, as if she was used to getting stood up.
"Probably saw me and got the wrong impression."
"That's likely to be the case, but I didn't want to point the finger."
There was an awkward pause. "Well if there's anything I can do to make it up to you..."
She began to rummage around in her handbag. "Have you got a light?"
"Sorry I don't smoke, I-" he was cut off by her cursing.
"Dammit! They took my cigarettes and my purse. This is why I fucking hate nightclubs."
"For such a pretty face you sure do have a potty mouth," he joked, trying to make light of the situation. She gave him an angry look and opened her mouth, but was interrupted by movement in the alleyway behind them.
A man Ash estimated to be in his late forties, possibly early fifties, walked out onto the road. "Keep the change," he said over his shoulder, paying no attention to the two of them as he pushed pass them. He got into a nearby car and drove off.
Several moments later, a woman emerged. She looked directly at them, her facial expression shocked and guilt-ridden; but in the few seconds that it took for her eyes to adjust to the dull glow of the street light the strangest thing happened.
Then she scuttled off in the other direction as if nothing had ever happened.