Hello. This is Stephan Gale again. I am staying at Dane's mansion until there is some word of his whereabouts. His housekeeper Edna is here each day, doing her part, though I feel bad because Dane is not here to pay her. And so I offered to pay her wages until Dane returns. There have been no charges on his credit cards, nothing. The bank said he made no unusual withdrawals before he disappeared. If he had run away with this girl as the authorities claim, he would have needed money.
Anyway, it has been a cold and rainy day here in SC. I was lying in the den, watching television earlier today, when the dog started to bark. Dane's dog, Wolfe, is a very sweet Doberman with brain damage sustained as a puppy. He does not bark unless there's a real reason to.
Dane has these security cameras all over the place, so I started to check them. That's when I saw her--some girl was standing outside in the rain, outside the gate. It was dark, the reporters have all but left us alone by now. Who is this chick? I thought. I know Dane has women showing up at his house all the time. Usually he lets them in for sex, drinks and sometimes a smoke or two, but with him gone, I wasn't sure what to do. If she's a fan, she must know he is gone. As it happens, my curiosity got the best of me.
I didn't open the gate, but went out into the drizzle. I don't think she knew who I was, as I had on a jacket and hood. She must have thought I was Dane. Though she was wearing a long rain coat, her black hair was soaked and hung down her back. Her brown eyes grew really wide and she started ranting "Oh my God Oh my God... Dane... I am so sorry about last time we were together! Please give me another chance," she rambled. "I thought you were missing, but I knew you would be here. Please, let me in, let me explain..."
At that point I removed my hood, which freed my long red hair. You should have seen the look on her face when she realized I was not Dane. Her mouth dropped open and I thought she was going to collapse onto the wet pavement. She began to stutter, "Y-You... y-you're not... um...you're Stephan, aren't you... the bass guitarist for Dark Myst?"
I tried to remain calm and neutral. "I am. May I help you with something?"
"Um...I eh... I'm Dalia. I was here, um.... in December. Dane and I...we... well, we.... Is he back yet?"
Ohhh I got it. Another of Dane's conquests, back for more. Or so I thought at the time. "No, Dalia, he is not. I'm staying here for now."
"Oh, I see. Oh, I thought... I've been coming by. I saw the lights on, I mean... the lights have been on, but the reporters are gone now and it's night and I thought--"
"You thought wrong, Dalia. Dane is not back yet." I know I sounded defensive.
I thought she would leave at that, but she didn't. "I have something for him," she said as she pulled a wrinkled envelope from the small purse on her shoulder.
"What's that?" I asked.
"A gift... an apology, for last time."
Now I was intrigued. An apology? For what? Could this random fan not be so random? Could she have information on Dane's whereabouts and not even know it? I thought hard, then decided I needed to speak to her, question her. "Do you want to come in, Dalia?"
She nodded really fast.
Once in the house, Wolfe, Dane's Doberman, greeted her like an old friend. Not that that really meant anything. The dog loves everyone!! He's not much of a protector, he's a pet. Dalia patted him and called him by name. She said it was nice to see him again. She also seemed to know the house well, so she had definitely been here before. She walked into the parlor and looked around, not in the way people look when they are curious or browsing, but like she was looking for something. So, I decided to ask her.
"You lookin for something in particular?"
"Sort of, I guess. I should know better, after what happened." She kept looking around the room, the fireplace, the sofas, the piano, everywhere.
"What are you lookin for?" I asked.
"Well... I gave him a card last time I was here. I was hoping... I guess I was hoping he still had it."
Ah. What I didn't, and wouldn't, tell her was that Dane had a habit of collecting "trophies" as he called them, from women he slept with. If she had given him a card and it was not here, chances are she either stunk as a lay, or they never did it. "The maid probably threw it away," I told her. There were a few little trinkets about that I knew were Dane's "trophies" from past fans he had over and slept with, but they were less in the form of cards, and more in the form of silver or crystal knick knacks. Dane had expensive taste. If she had given him just a card and been a good lay, the card would have lasted a month at best. "When did you see Dane last?" I asked.
Dalia thought for a moment. "Uh, it was the 23rd, I think."
Hmmm. Bruce had mentioned to the police something about a fan Dane told him about, who had shown up that day (Dec. 23rd) with a gift, but he had not kept it. By that time, the card had been long gone and no one knew her name. And now, here she was and I felt it my duty to play detective. The police felt she was unimportant since Bruce and Caitlyn saw him after she did, and Dane was fine when they left. Something was missing, however. Something I could perhaps find out from this Dalia chick. Perhaps I could do what the police failed; find Dane!
"Tell me everything that happened that day," I said, feeling suddenly like a cop in a mystery novel.
"Why?" she asked.
People in mystery novels weren't supposed to ask why, they were supposed to just answer. "It might help find Dane," I said honestly.
"Um, ok..." she started. The envelope she held in her hand was spattered with rain, and she placed it on the top of the piano. I assumed it was another card for Dane. I looked at her expectantly, waiting for her story. "I came here to see Dane. Well, you know that. But, I gave him a card... a different card than this one," she motioned to the damp envelope. I nodded. C'mon, girl, get to something I can use here! She continued, "We um... we... well, you know... started to get into it. But he stopped so suddenly. We were so close." She bit her lip and sat on the piano bench, her legs slightly parted. She was wearing a really short skirt! I had to look away or else I would have finished wherever it was Dane left off!
"Okay," I said, unable for a moment to think. "Why did he stop?"
"I don't know!" she drawled (she was obviously from Georgia). "He was looking past me--towards that big mirror in his bedroom. I didn't see anything, but he just stopped, ya know. Then he said I had to go!" She shrugged. "I was fit to be tied, if ya get my meanin' but I left anyway. That was all. I went home."
Not much information to go on. I was very disappointed. But, I know Dane. We've been close friends for the past decade and I cannot imagine him stopping once he's started on one of his conquests, as he calls them. Not unless something major happened. She said he looked toward the mirror. And stopped. WTF??? I KNOW Dane has a problem with mirrors because he has said in the past that he sees funky things in them, but..... what could he have seen that would stop him from having sex????
I am just as lost now as I was before. No information to give police. I'll have to see if Bruce or Adrian have any information.
Anyway, I think Dalia saw my disappointment. She came over and actually SAT on my lap!! She said she felt bad about Dane and just started kissing me. What was I going to do, push her off? Let's just say I finished what Dane had started. haha. Wonder if I should tell him when he returns? It is his velvet sofa after all. I guess I wont have to tell him. He will see this blog. I figure, if he is somewhere he can see this, he will get angry and contact me!!! Either way, it's a win win for me.