Katie was setting tables on the patio when Mateo pulled up outside the restaurant. As he got out of his car, he gestured to her. ‘I want a word,’ he called. Katie had the distinct feeling he wasn’t happy. She trailed him into the restaurant and to his office. He didn’t speak until she’d closed the door behind them. ‘Is it true?’
‘Is what true?’
‘Katie,’ Mateo said, his face serious, ‘is it true?’
She knew what had happened. She knew Robbie had told Mateo what she’d told him about Sergio. And she knew there was no point in lying. ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘it is.’ She wondered if she was about to be fired.
‘Sit,’ Mateo said. ‘I want to know everything.’
Holly lay on a bed, cold gel on her belly, waiting for an ultrasound technician. Aidan sat in a chair beside her, his phone in his hand. Holly had managed to persuade Mingmei that her presence was not necessary, but Aidan was under strict orders to call Colette as soon as the scan began.
‘I hope it’s not a bad sign that they’re keeping us waiting,’ Aidan said.
‘It’s not,’ Holly reassured him.
He got up and perched on the bed beside her. ‘I know this isn’t the way you imagined this,’ he said, ‘but it’s not too bad, is it?’
Holly imagined Jemma beside her instead of Aidan, pantomiming enthusiasm. ‘No,’ she said. ‘It’s not too bad.’
The technician came in, greeted them, and began the scan. ‘Everything’s looking good,’ she said. ‘Do you want to know whether it’s a boy or a girl?’
‘Yes,’ Holly said.
‘But not until I’ve got my mammy on the phone,’ Aidan added.
The technician waited, and when Aidan had Colette on the phone, pointed at the screen. ‘It’s a girl.’
Holly and Aidan grinned, and Colette’s voice sang out: ‘I knew it!’
Erin stood on the landing, watching Andy lead the twins down the stairs. They would be with him for the weekend. There was a grim clench to his jaw as he gripped their wrists. She watched until they reached the bottom of the stairs, and were out of her sight. She heard the street door slam.
Alistair opened his door. ‘I heard you saying your goodbyes,’ he said. ‘Are you alright?’
‘Yes. I’m alright.’
‘I was doing work in the hall, behind the door,’ Alistair said. ‘I heard the way your man spoke to you. He’s acting like a real…’
‘He’s got good reason,’ Erin interrupted.
‘There’s no reason good enough to act like that.’
Erin shook her head, and walked the couple of steps to her own front door.
‘Hold on,’ Alistair called. ‘I wanted to tell you… the work on the flat’s almost finished. I was planning to put it on the market, but I’m going to let it out instead. Short-term lets. People coming to the city for the weekend, that sort of thing.’
‘Parties,’ Erin said. ‘That sort of thing?’
‘I’ll make sure you’re not disturbed.’
The prospect of seeing more of Alistair made Erin smile. ‘You’d better.’
Angel was waiting for Ryan when he finished work. He looked surprised to see her, but she’d had two days to stew over what he’d said, and she had something to say to him. ‘Are you walking home?’
‘Yes,’ he nodded, and they fell into step, walking down onto Princes Street, along towards Lothian Road.
‘I owe you an apology,’ Angel said. ‘I know the way I ended things between us wasn’t great.’
‘Understatement,’ Ryan muttered. He was staring straight ahead.
‘I was out of my depth, Ryan. You’re the only person I’ve ever been involved with for more than a few hours. And it was an intense kind of involved. And with everything that was going on with my mum, it was just too much.’
‘You could have told me that.’
‘I know. I’m sorry.’
They crossed the bottom of Castle Terrace. ‘How is your mum?’ Ryan asked.
‘The same. How’s Nicole?’
‘We broke up.’
Angel felt a tingle in her chest. ‘What happened?’
‘She wasn’t happy about me studying abroad.’
Angel stopped walking. ‘You’re going abroad? When?’
‘In a couple of weeks.’
Katie didn’t know how the rumour had spread—she hadn’t told anyone—but by late afternoon, the restaurant was bubbling with the knowledge that Sergio had been stealing, that Mateo knew about it, and that Sergio was due to start work at five o’clock.
When he strolled in, as if nothing was the matter, and Mateo grabbed him by the arm, marching him to his office, the restaurant held its breath. It didn’t breathe out until Mateo chased Sergio from his office, and from the restaurant, slamming the door shut behind him.
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