Chapter Sixteen.

Dinner was held in a large restaurant of a separate wing at the resort, it was opulently decorated in creams and gold with a wall of windows over looking the golf course and rolling hills beyond.

“I’m going to order pasta! It’s a special occasion so I’m going to treat myself to some carbs!” Kate said, scrutinising the menu.

“Mmmm, I agree, I’m going to have the chicken Kiev and wash it down with a glass or two of Chardy!” Emma added.

“It’s so good to be together again, I have missed you all so much!” Susi gushed.

“I agree, we haven’t had a chance to really catch up since…” Ellie’s voice trailed off when she realised she was going to say Rhys had passed away.

“You were going to say Rhys, weren’t you?” Kate offered.

“Hmmm, sorry, big dampener on the mood!”  Ellie apologised.

“That’s ok, we need to get to that point where we can talk about it,” Emma said, touching Ellie’s hand.

“But tonight, we’re going to enjoy this amazing meal, drink some wine and be girly!” Kate said, raising her glass in a mock toast.

All of them raised their glasses and chinked them against each other.

* * *

“That was an amazing meal!” Emma said as she sat back and rubbed her belly.

“Mmmm, not bad, I could have done with a few more prawns in my pasta,” Kate responded.

“I’ll just have another glass of wine,” Susi said, flagging down a waiter in the process.

“Yep, I’ll have another as well,” Kate said, “I could really do with a bit of R & R after the past few weeks,”

“Well that’s for sure,”Susi responded, “you certainly have had a tough few weeks.  How are you feeling now?”

“Yeah not too bad, like I said to Ellie, last Saturday when I saw her at the Slow and Easy, if it wasn’t for the stitches I wouldn’t even know I had the injury!”

“But Kate, someone out there stabbed you, doesn’t that worry you?” Ellie interjected. “You can’t be out on your own, especially at night.  That’s why the police made sure you stayed at your mum’s.”

“Oh God, don’t talk about me staying at my mum’s, it’s a nightmare and now Troy has moved back it’s even worse.  It’s worse than when we were kids!” Kate complained.

“Back up, Kate.  You were out? Last Saturday night? After being released from hospital that morning?” Susi asked, disbelievingly.

“Ellie’s right, you need to be extra careful at the moment.” Emma offered.

“Look don’t you guys start reading me the riot act, I’m an adult.” Kate defended.

“We’re not ganging up on you, it’s just that we care about you.” Emma placated Kate, leaning over the table and holding her hand.

“Well, I don’t need you to care about me,” Kate said snatching her hand back. “I’m fine.”

“Ok, so did you speak to the D.I about Noni Smith?” Ellie asked, showing signs of frustration with Kate.

“Yeah, I did, I’m the one that told him she’s your friend!”

“Well, she’s not my friend,” Ellie stammered,  “Do you think she stabbed you?”

“No, of course not.  She wouldn’t have the guts to do something like that.” Kate sat back in her seat.

“Well, I spoke to her and she has regular black outs, she has times where she cannot remember what she has done for long periods of time.” Ellie explained, “She may have stabbed you and you don’t remember.”

“Why would she stab me?” Kate asked.

“According to the D.I, you had an argument with her at your shoot at Grazing, do you remember that?”

“Yeah, of course I do. She was useless she was supposed to be a fashion assistant, but she didn’t know the first thing about fashion. When I asked her for a scarf to go with my outfit she came back with something that looked like it was bought from some old ladies’ shop.  Then when I wanted some food she comes back with a soggy sandwich from Boots! Seriously?”  Kate looked imploringly from one face to the other. “Look I don’t need to listen to this, I’m going for a smoke!”  Kate pushed her chair back and left the restaurant.

* * *

Standing alone in the dark of the night a shadowy figure moved looking up at the mansion of Lady Stane, on Gloucester Crescent.

The shadow shifted slightly as a single flame eerily lit his face, exposing a male with strong jawline, dark eyes and lashes with dark hair curling from under this woollen hat.  When the flame went out a small red dot glowed brightly for a second.  He dragged, again, on his cigarette lifting his eyes back to the glowing windows of the mansion house.

After a few more drags he threw the butt to the ground and crushed it into the loose soil under his feet before he walked toward the bustling Camden High St.

* * *

When Kate returned to the restaurant the girls had ordered dessert.

“We ordered you a fruit salad with ice cream,” Emma said, “we thought it was healthy!”

“Yeah, thanks,” Kate flopped onto her seat, the smell of smoke following her. “Look I don’t want to talk about what happened, ok.  I know you say you’re doing this because you care, but honestly, I can’t remember anything and that’s how I want it.”

Ellie shook her head.

“It’s ok,” Susi offered, “where here to relax so let’s all of us do that?”

Ellie’s face showed her frustration but rather than say anything she picked up her glass of wine and took a large gulp.

“You wouldn’t believe what Kaiden and Kailyn got up to after school yesterday, I swear they’re geniuses!”Emma began, changing the subject.

The evening rolled along with small talk before they all went back to their room for bed.

“Good night,” Kate said giving Ellie a hug and kiss, “I know you mean well but just leave it, ok?”

“I worry about you, I want to go and kill who ever did this to you!”

“I know, just let it go, ok, it will be alright!” Kate cooed, stroking her hair to calm her.

“I don’t know if I can do that, but I won’t bug you this weekend.” Ellie compromised.

* * *

Ellie lay in bed, thoughts racing through her head.

Why would Kate not want to talk about this, why wouldn’t she want to investigate further or even keep herself safe?

Perhaps it was someone she knew and she was protecting him or her?

How was she going to stop herself from wanting to know the answers?

Ellie closed her eyes and allowed the alcohol to soothe her into a numbness before sleep finally arrived.

* * *


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