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27

N ightingale drove Jennys Audi back to her mews house in Chelsea. She didnt say a word all the way home. Nightingale tried to get her to break her silence but the most he could get out of her was the occasional nod or shake of the head. He walked her to the door and waited until she unlocked it.

Jenny, Im sorry, he said, handing her the car keys.

It wasnt your fault, she said, refusing to look at him.

I shouldnt have asked you to do it.

She shrugged. You couldnt have done it on your own, she said. One person cant work a Ouija board.

I had no idea it would turn out the way it did, he said.

I know that.

She stepped across the threshold. For a moment Nightingale thought she was going to invite him in for coffee but then she shook her head and closed the door on him. Nightingale lit a cigarette. He blew a smoke ring up at the moon. He looked back at Jennys house and saw the bathroom light go on.

Nightingale smoked his cigarette. The bathroom light went off. He was just about to flick the butt away when his mobile rang. He looked at the display and smiled when he saw it was Jenny calling him.

What are you doing? she asked.

Loitering with no intent, he said.

Theres a pretty serious Neighbourhood Watch around here. If youre not careful someone will call the police.

I was just going.

Everythings all right, Jack, she said. Im fine.

I really am sorry.

You dont have to keep saying that. Do you want me to call you a cab?

Nightingale looked up at the bedroom windows but couldnt see her. Im okay. Ill pick up a black cab on the Kings Road. Look, Ill swing by tomorrow morning, first thing.

You dont have to.

I want to. Sleep tight. Dont let the bed bugs bite.

Idiot.

The line went dead. Nightingale saluted the bedroom windows, then turned and walked down the mews.


| Midnight | c