Aidan whistled as he buttered his toast. He hadn’t had much sleep, but since moving out of John’s flat and into Holly’s, that hadn’t seemed to matter.
Holly shuffled into the kitchen, yawning. ‘Morning.’
‘Morning,’ Aidan said. ‘Toast?’
‘Please,’ Holly nodded. She sat at the table.
‘I didn’t wake you with the whistling, did I?’
‘No,’ Holly said. ‘You woke me coming home drunk at three in the morning.’
‘Sorry,’ Aidan giggled.
‘For the second time this week.’
Aidan stopped in the act of putting more bread in the toaster. ‘I’m sorry. I’ll try to be quieter.’
‘It’s not the noise that’s bothering me, Aidan, it’s…’ Holly sighed. ‘It’s just…’
‘You’re worried that I’m going to be a feckless, no good father.’
She stared to cry. Aidan put the bread down and kneeled beside her. ‘Don’t cry,’ he said. ‘Don’t cry.’
‘I’m not crying.’
Aidan wiped a tear from her face. ‘Beg to differ.’
‘I’m just concerned. I…’
‘There’s nothing to be concerned about,’ Aidan interrupted. ‘We’re going to be a crack parenting team, you and me. An elite unit.’
‘I’m glad Sergio’s healthy,’ Katie said to Robbie, as they lay in her bed. ‘Of course I am. And I knew me doing his job was temporary, but…’
‘But you didn’t think Mateo would let him carry on as if nothing had happened?’
‘You don’t know Mateo,’ Robbie said, his finger tracing a circle on Katie’s bare stomach. ‘Sergio’s his golden boy.’
‘I don’t know about that. He’s so hard on him.’
‘You don’t know Mateo,’ Robbie repeated. ‘When his old man retired,’ he said, ‘I offered to put money into the business, become a shareholder. And Mateo said no. Said I was too young. But he made Sergio a shareholder as soon as he turned eighteen. Family comes first.’
‘But you are family.’
‘I’m not his son.’
There was an edge to Robbie’s voice that Katie thought must be to do with his own father being dead. ‘If Mateo knew…’ she said, shaking her head, wanting to comfort him. ‘If Mateo knew what I know about Sergio…’
‘What do you know about Sergio?’ Robbie said.
Katie hesitated. Some part of her wasn’t sure she could trust Robbie. But a greater part of her liked that he was listening to her, looking at her with such intensity. ‘I know,’ she said, ‘that he’s been stealing.’
Ryan had told Angel that he was working around the corner, on Frederick Street, in one of the tacky tourist shops that sold shortbread to Americans. He hadn’t said to come in and see him, but after their surprisingly flirty meeting, she’d felt it had been implied.
‘Can I help you?’ he said when she came in, walking towards her with a smile.
‘Yes. I’m looking for a tartan tea towel.’
‘Right this way.’ He led her to a quiet corner of the shop. ‘Nice to see you,’ he whispered when they were out of earshot of the woman Angel presumed was his boss.
‘Nice to see you.’ Angel was grinning. So was he.
‘How’s your summer been?’
Angel debated telling the truth—about the bad dates, her parents’ visit, her night with Fraser, her humiliating attempt to kiss Holly—but she didn’t want to spoil the mood. ‘It’s been good.’
‘And how’s Katie?’
‘I don’t know. We’re not friends any more.’
‘You’re not? What did you do?’
‘Bold of you to assume I did something,’ Angel said, to which Ryan raised an eyebrow. ‘Fine,’ she sighed. ‘I had sex with someone she fancied.’
Ryan laughed. ‘What were you thinking?’
‘I wasn’t thinking.’
‘I bet you weren’t.’
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’
‘Angel, you have to admit thinking about other people’s feelings isn’t your strong suit.’
‘I don’t have to admit anything,’ Angel said. She turned to go. ‘I have to get back to work.’
‘What about your tea towel?’
He was mocking her. Angel glared at him, and stormed out.
On a normal Wednesday—often a slow shift—Robbie would be one of the first staff out of the door. But on this Wednesday, he waited.
He waited until the restaurant had emptied out, and the waitresses had cleared the tables and brushed the floor, and gone out into the night, chatting and giggling. He waited until Sergio had deposited the takings in the safe and said goodnight to his father. He waited until there was no one but him and Mateo in the building.
He knocked on Mateo’s door, came in and took a seat. ‘I don’t relish telling you this, Mateo,’ he said, ‘but there’s something you need to know. Something about Sergio.’
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