Sunday 14th February
After staying in Chester an extra night they both got the three o'clock ferry from Dover to Calais harbour. The wind whipped against Jasmines face blowing her hair everywhere and she breathed a sigh of relief knowing that she was home.
Paul was close behind her as they walked onto French soil and looked around at large white ferries and cars of many colours coming and going. They walked the short distance to the harbour police station. In the distance they heard the horn of a ferry as it began to leave port.
Their attention was focused on the police station ahead of them which was constructed of grey concrete and it was single storey with large square windows. They both walked in and were met by a large forty year old woman speaking in French on the phone. Paul couldn't make out what was being said but he could tell that the conversation was jovial.
Jasmine showed her police badge to the lady. The receptionist glanced at it and nodded whilst continuing to speak on the phone. Jasmine was eager to leave and to get out of sight. She knew that her uncles enemies could be at the port and the quicker they were out of sight the less exposed they would be. She waited for a moment as the lady continued to speak on the phone. Jasmine got annoyed bending over the counter and yanked out the phone cord. The lady behind the desk wasn't pleased and she looked to Jasmine as if something sacred had been desecrated.
Jasmine said insistently "We need to speak to the person in charge."
Jasmine returned the phone lead. The receptionist said nothing and pressed a black buzzer. Jasmine and Paul sat and waited staring at potted plants and a small table with displaced magazines.
Seconds seemed like minutes and as Jasmine glanced out of the window at passing cars and trucks a man in his late forties and of slim build with wispy black hair appeared.
She turned her head around and got up shaking the gentleman's hand "Thank you for seeing us."
They walked a short distance to a small tungsten lit interview room. Paul sat on the chair closest to the door and said nothing allowing Jasmine to speak. Jasmine saw him and smiled before returning her gaze to the man and she reckoned that the person opposite was in charge.
He sat for a moment and studied them both "My name is Pierre Coutreau and I run the port. How can I help you?"
Jasmine chose to keep what had happened to herself "We need a car no questions asked."
The guy laughed mockingly "You can't have a car without telling me why."
Jasmine tried to remain calm and she was eager to leave "I can't say why but it would be greatly appreciated."
Pierre folded his arms defiantly "Not without an explanation. We can't give even a police detective such as yourself a car without a reason."
Jasmine knew that she was being rebuffed "We are conducting an investigation that involves the UK and France."
Pierre leaned forward and he said "I am sorry. You know the paperwork that is required. Also I would have to contact your boss to authorise this."
Jasmine knew she was being played by someone who wanted to be more important than he really was. She gave the details of her police office in Paris. Pierre left five minutes later after placing a few calls.
"You can have the car. Your boss was insistent that I shouldn't stand in your way. There's a car out front waiting for you."
Pierre threw her the car keys.
As Jasmine left she turned around and said to Pierre "Thanks."
Paul and Jasmine walked through the main entrance and walked to the car, a black Peugeot 505 estate. Jasmines eyes were narrow, confident and alert as she scanned around wary of her surroundings. Paul was oblivious and looked ahead getting into the car.
Jasmine got into the car and looked at Paul amused "Your sitting on the wrong side."
Paul looked to notice that he was sitting in the driving seat of what was the passenger side in the UK.
He smiled as he got up and slid over to the passenger side "So I am."
Jasmine got into the car and she adjusted the seat and mirrors. She turned to Paul who was staring out of the window and noticed that Paul was tense "Everything is going to be alright. We get to Rouen and my uncles place the answers should be there and hopefully we can begin to put this thing behind us."
Paul looked back to her and he gave her a weak smile "I hope so."
They were both silent. Jasmine drove quickly out of the port and they where soon on the motorway. Jasmine knew that it would be better to go via the country roads but she chose the motorway knowing that time was against them.
In the station Pierre Coutreau walked back into his office lined with awards and photos of his family. His office consisted of a half eaten sofa and a medium sized TV screen and he watched as Paul and Jasmine left the harbour.
He walked to his phone and it rang a couple of times and was answered by a female voice "Who is this?"
Pierre Coutreau. "They're on the move and they should be in Rouen by tonight."
Bella's voice continued "They don't suspect anything?"
Pierre Coutreau "No."
Bella ended the call saying nothing else.