The pair of them were the biggest of the group, the tip of the spear, so to speak—and though he’d gone into this thinking about solo survival, he was beginning to reconsider that strident position. At least for the short term.
Mary shot him a look. No, he seems apologetic he wasn’t schooled. She went to the second page. Oh … this is about Bitty’s mom.When she didn’t reply, he let her go and waited, drumming his fingers on his knee. Checking his fucking watch. Letting his leg bounce against the sofa.
Her eyes finally lifted. It’s so sad. It’s … heartbreaking. He talks about all the things he used to do with Annalye when they were kids. Sounds like a pretty perfect upbringing on that estate. Their parents worked for the landowners—it’s been generations of the two families together. Everything changed, though, when Annalye met the male who was Bitty’s father. Ruhn’s respectful about it and doesn’t give many details. But he says he never stopped thinking about his sister and he tried to find her numerous times. He didn’t know for a while that they had even come up here to Caldwell.Rhage rubbed his face. You know, this would be so much easier if I could hate him.Would it …? Mary murmured. I’m not so sure.
He can’t take care of her like we can.Mary went to the last page. Oh … my God …
What? Okay, now he felt like going for his dagger. What—
She turned the final sheet to him. And Oh, my God was right. Covering the white paper, there were incredibly detailed and beautiful pen-and-ink drawings of a big house, and fields … a little cabin … a close-up of a dog … a cat napping all curled in a ball.I don’t think people really like living on the railway line, said Nina, smiling.
Oh, then they are even kinder, said Marek, and they fell into silence.When they pulled in to Newcastle, Marek told her to sit down, out of sight, that she shouldn’t really be here. There was a great thundering and clanging in the freight yard, which was lit up like a Christmas tree, so bright it looked like day; men were shouting and attaching cranes and pulleys to the containers on the train: wool, Marek had said, for the Netherlands and Belgium; whiskey, of course; oil; gin. And coming on, freight from China, destined for dollar shops and kitchen shops: toys, salt and pepper shakers, picture frames; bananas and yogurt and mail and anything you could think of, swinging off the great docks at Gateshead and being loaded onto trucks and trains to spread throughout the country overnight, like a network of blood in its veins; a dark midnight world Nina rarely gave a second thought to as she picked up a coffee stirrer or a jar of honey or a nailbrush. The clanging and shouting went on and on, and she dozed off in the corner of the cab. It had been an exceedingly long day and night.
She woke with a start as they were flying through the Peak District. She was disoriented and thirsty. Marek smiled.Ah, I thought you were gone for the whole time, he said. Maybe you are not good for night work, huh? A night library is not for you.