You Can Trust Me

You Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzie Page B

Book: You Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzie Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sophie McKenzie
about me … if anything.”
    â€œI only knew a nickname.”
    He raises his eyebrows. “You mean Dirty Blond?” he says with a smile. Close up, in the lamplight, I can see he is even more handsome than I’d thought from my brief glance at the funeral, with a strong, square chin; smooth, even features; and hazel eyes. My fear eases further. This man was Julia’s lover. I still don’t understand why he is here, but he doesn’t feel like a threat anymore. And then I remind myself that there’s no way I can know that for sure. A nice smile and an attractive face can mask unutterable evil.
    â€œIt’s a play on my initials,” Damian says. “D.B.—Dirty Blond.”
    â€œVery Julia,” I say.
    A gust of wind blows along the alley, rustling the litter that’s escaping from the scattered garbage bags and sending the stink of rotting vegetables into the air.
    â€œWhy are you here?” I ask. “How did you know I was here?”
    â€œI’ve been coming here since Julia died, every couple of evenings,” Damian says. “I walked in and saw you with that blond girl. Someone spoke to me and when I looked round, you’d disappeared, so I came out the front. Saw the blond girl going up the road and thought maybe you’d come out with her, through the fire door, which you obviously had.” He pauses.
    I wait for him to go on. This man clearly isn’t intent on harming me—at least, not here and not now. But what’s he doing at this singles bar—if it’s not for the obvious reason? And what is it that he wants to say to me?
    â€œJulia’s funeral was awful, wasn’t it?” he says softly.
    I look up, surprised. There’s real pain in his eyes.
    â€œIt was all wrong. Nothing of her,” Damian goes on. “That horrible brother … I’d never met him, but she used to call him ‘that dickweasel.’”
    I nod. Julia did often refer to Robbie like that.
    â€œâ€¦ and she’d have hated the music and the flowers,” Damian goes on. “And everyone making out she was some kind of sad victim. It was like there was a script and everyone was forcing Julia to fit in with it.”
    He’s reflecting my own thoughts so accurately, I can’t quite take it in.
    â€œThe only bit that made sense to me was when you were talking,” Damian says. “I mean, Julia had told me about you, of course, but when I saw you, it was obvious how much you loved her, how real your friendship was.…” He trails off.
    â€œJulia talked to you about me?”
    â€œOf course. She was so proud of you. And Hannah and Zack.” He stops talking for a second to acknowledge my surprise that he knows my children’s names, then clears his throat. “She said you’d had the courage to make a commitment to—to Will, is it?—and stick with the relationship through all the ups and downs of married life. And she adored your kids. Said she’d always been too scared to even think about being a mum.”
    â€œToo scared?” It’s hard to imagine Julia being scared of anything. “She always said she didn’t want children of her own.”
    â€œShe did say that,” Damian agrees. “But there was more to it than just not being an earth mother.…”
    This is surreal. Damian sounds like he really knew Julia. Understood her. “How long were you…?”
    â€œTogether?” Damian sighs. “Six months or so.” He looks like he wants to say something else, then falls silent again.
    Six months? My suspicions rear up again. That surely isn’t possible. Julia never went out with people that long.
    Damian looks up. “Julia told me once that the ‘no kids’ thing was because she was scared of … of loving anyone that much, of taking that risk.”
    Another gust of wind sends litter swirling about

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