Instead, I meandered through the crowd, enjoying the attention my title and good looks attracted, until the scent of hairspray started to loiter in the back of my throat, and a flash of bleach-blonde hair caught my eye. Sleeping with Charity was one thing, and dancing with her bearable if I wore steel-capped shoes; spending time with her when I didn’t have to, on the other hand, was plain traumatic.
Fabian sighed. Just don’t hurt her. She’s fragile. And I don’t just mean physically.Anger flared in my veins. You think I don’t know that? You think I would hurt her?
Through our connection, I could feel him considering what to say next. When he did speak, it was with sorrow. There was a time when I wouldn’t even have considered it, but these past couple of years, I can’t be so sure.Grief immediately washed through me. Thoughts of my mother came to light and her joyous laughter echoed in my head.Don’t bring my mother’s death into this. And besides, it’s not as though you can talk. You hurt Violet just by going after her!
You say that as though not guilty yourself, he scoffed.I’m not, I replied, puzzled.
Then perhaps you should examine your own feelings, Fabian spat, abruptly. Don’t go thinking I haven’t seen the way you are with her. You flirt, you seduce and you spend more time with her than any of us, he fumed.
I don’t! I protested. I don’t know what you are on about. So get the hell out of my mind!‘No. Hold off bringing him in. I want to be ready for him. Put a surveillance team outside his house. Don’t let him know you’re there. And keep him in sight.’
‘We’ll be back at Lewisham Row in a couple of hours. In the meantime I want everything you can find on him: bank statements, emails, companies he owns, any bankruptcy. Also, check out the wife – full profile. I bet anything else he’s hiding stuff in her name too. And try to unlock the new identity they gave Barbora Kardosova. Now she’s dead it should be easier.’‘We’re already working on it,’ said Crane. He added, ‘Are you all okay? We heard she topped herself right in front of you.’
‘We’re fine,’ said Erika. ‘Now get off this radio and concentrate on Igor Kucerov.’Outside the car it was pitch black. The fields and fens around them were invisible. There were no moon or stars, and barely any light pollution; just the road in front, illuminated by the arc of the headlights. Erika longed to get far away from the bleakness of the fens, from where Barbora’s body had swung creaking from the tree. She needed to be back in the city, where buildings crowded around her; where there was noise, and time didn’t stand still.