Jørn rapped his knuckles against the gate of the store. He had already ringed the doorbell several times without an answer. He knew somebody was in there. Music was playing and the lights were still on.
He pressed the doorbell several times again and waited a few more seconds before shouting, “Open up!”
A clerk from the adjacent store hollered at him. “Dude, they’re closed! They close at eight.”
Jørn ignored him and beat on the gate again. The sound of swift moving feet, someone falling and swearing could be heard until finally, Kyle came into view. There was a startled look in his eyes when he saw Jørn. He rushed to buckle his pants and unlocked and lifted the gate.
“Jørn, what are you doing here?”
Jørn pushed passed him, nudging him aside with a stiff shoulder, calling out Etta’s name.
Kyle stumbled aside holding his shoulder with his mouth open in a pained ‘o’. “Jørn, what the hell?!”
“You want me to call the cops, Kyle?” Jørn heard the clerk from next door ask. If Jørn found Etta in the store in the same mussed condition as Kyle, they were going to need the cops. He didn’t truly believe her to be a cheat, but he also didn’t believe she was capable of stopping the ascensions. He was leaving nothing to chance anymore.
He shoved open her office door and gave it a quick sweep with his eyes. There was an inflatable mattress behind her desk. The sheets were in disarray but Etta was nowhere to be found.