[After the disastrous
aftermath of the shopping trip? There wasn't anywhere to run to
. Selina's place? Felt a tiny bit like betrayal
and while Selina was out, and the kittens wove furry demands around her ankles, it still felt like getting gone for a little while might
be a good idea. But where to was sort of the thousand dollar question. Eddie was gone, she knew that. If he'd been around? He would have been talking about the shop and etiquette and the game
. Even if she didn't know how you played.
And Stephanie? Also gone. So she dumped the shopping at the loft, bags spilling jewel-bright, soft sweaters and dresses and she headed out in white over black
, the sweater butter-soft on skin. It looked expensive but she
wasn't and the only place she could think of going was one that was light on people and big on dumb animals.
The cottage. And getting in the grounds would have been easy if she'd called up to the house, she was pretty
sure Alfred wouldn't mind giving her a pass. But that? Wasn't how she'd done things when this was a refuge, a place to visit when everything
was mixed up and the boy that had lived here was the best person to talk to. He wasn't here, and she wasn't even going to think
of what he'd make of all that paid-for elegance bought with his dad's credit card.
She picked the lock, way better at that habit now and she pushed inside the cottage where the stillness and the quiet and the stale smell of empty
suggested maybe this wasn't such a good idea.]