‘Her grandmother died alone so she could awaken the nine, leaving her the last Sage of her family.’
Kaspar chuckled hollowly. ‘I understand that perfectly. You gave me that lecture earlier. But this is about more than that, isn’t it?’‘Far more,’ the King answered. ‘I have many reasons, one of them being that you need to take responsibility and learn that your actions have consequences.’
‘I know that,’ Kaspar snapped. ‘I know it far too well.’A small crowd was beginning to gather on the steps, watching the scene with interest.‘No, you do not. If you did, you would acknowledge that you must stay away from her.’
The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. ‘Her has a name.’His eyes snapped to me, as though he was noticing I was there for the first time. His eyes settled on the locket and I snatched the pendant back in my hand, unsure of his reaction. The chain tugged against my neck, so taut it threatened to snap. The locket itself was still cold in my hand, despite having rested against my warm skin for quite a few minutes. His eyes widened in recognition and I tensed, ready to move, but instead of hissing or snarling as I expected, he spoke with a calm tenderness I didn’t know he was capable of.
‘Miss Lee, may I have the pleasure of the next dance?’
‘No,’ said Kaspar.‘Giles understood that we wanted to be left as a family. I’m sure he will pay his respects when . . .’ Lady Diana’s voice trailed off, perhaps realising she now had to organise a funeral.
They watched as the family walked slowly across the snowy car park to a waiting car. As they got in, Simon Douglas-Brown stared across at Erika. His bloodshot eyes bored into hers. Then he got into the car, and it drove away into the snow.Yakka Events was based in a futuristic office block on a residential street in Kensington. It rose up between rows of ordinary terraced houses, like a pretentious sculpture that had been delivered to the wrong address. Erika, Peterson and Moss had to buzz in at two separate smoked glass doors before they were allowed access to the front desk. A young receptionist sat typing at her computer, wearing earphones. She saw them, but didn’t say a word and carried on typing. Erika leaned across and removed one of her earphones.
‘I’m DCI Foster, this is Detective Moss and Detective Peterson. We’d like to talk to Giles Osborne, please.’‘Mr Osborne is busy. One moment, I’ll just finish this and get you booked in for an appointment,’ said the receptionist, making a show of replacing the earphone.
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