Living a Lie
a whip.
    Before the irate woman strode the full length of the room, Harry had composed himself enough to scramble off the bed and open a drawer which he pretended to be peering into; Kitty too was suitably subdued and standing next to him, her heart beating like a wild thing.
    “Miss Davis!” Feigning horror, she gasped, “You gave me a fright!”
    Miss Davis stood for a minute, her sharp eyes noticing that they seemed very guilty.
    “What’s going on here?” she demanded in a stern voice.
    Closing the drawer, Harry stepped forward.
    “It was noisy downstairs and we needed to talk,” he confessed.
    “I’m sorry if I’ve broken any rules.”
     
    Kitty said it was her fault because she was the one who had suggested the dormitory.
    “We had a great deal to talk about,” she said.
    “Please don’t be angry.”
    The woman’s heart softened. There was a time when she too had been young, though she had never been as lovely as Kitty.
    “It’s my fault as much as anyone’s. I should have made sure the upper rooms were locked.
    Now go downstairs where I can keep an eye on you. “
    As she escorted them down, Miss Davis would have thrown a fit if she’d realised what was going on behind her back. Indulging in a bit of hanky-panky herself, Georgie crept out from under her bed, “Bloody hell! That was a close shave. It’s like bleedin’ Trafalgar Square in ‘ere!” Grinning at her nervous companion, a sickly-looking youth with pimples, she giggled, “Back to business, lover boy. Hope the fright ain’t shrunk your manhood?” then she dragged him on top of the nearest bed and helped him off with his trousers.
    The party was almost over. Harry had been deep in thought for the past half-hour and Kitty was even more determined to tell him what she should have told him upstairs, before she let her heart rule her head.
    “Better say your goodbyes now.” Miss Davis began herding the younger ones together.
    “Time to clear up.” Everyone groaned but knew better than to argue.
    In serious mood, Harry suggested, “Walk me to the door, before she claps eyes on us and drags you away.”
    Outside the breeze cut sharp. Harry took off his jacket and wrapped it round her shoulders.
    “I’m sorry about what happened earlier,” he apologised.
    “I took advantage.”
    There was more to it than that. Shocked, and ashamed of his own actions, he knew it was time to let Kitty go at her own pace.
    Kitty didn’t hold him to blame. She’d wanted him as much as he’d wanted her. The whole incident had only confirmed her opinion that theirs was a dangerous relationship, one in which Harry was bound to make sacrifices she could not ask of him.
    All evening Kitty had put off telling him of her decision, deeply reluctant to bring an end to what had been the only light in her life.
    Now more than ever she knew what must be done. She never wanted to hurt him, but he could only be hurt all the more by her clinging on.
    Better for her to make that one awful sacrifice and let him go. But her courage was failing fast. It was now or never.
    “Harry, there’s something I have to tell you.” Knowing this would be the hardest thing she would ever have to do, she went on quickly, “It’s about you and me.” The words tumbled one over the other.
    “If it hadn’t been for you, I don’t know what I would have done… but
    I.
     
    “
     
    She looked away from him, searching for the right words.
    “Oh, Harry!
    How can I say what has to be said? “
    He stopped her mouth with a kiss.
    “Do you love me, Kitty?”
    “You know I do.” She was weakening.
    “Don’t say anything else, sweetheart,” he pleaded.
    “I know what’s on your mind, and I can’t blame you. You’re angry with me, and you have every right.” His dark eyes flashed with anger.
    “Up there just now, I ought to have known better. I want you, I can’t deny that, and I love you so much it hurts. But that’s no excuse. I’ll be eighteen
     
    this year. I should

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