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“There is potato salad in the green container. My mother’s.”

I grabbed the container Harry was talking about and two forks from the drawer. I handed one to Harry and sat down on one of the stools next to him. We ate in silence for a few minutes. Neither of us had eaten much since breakfast — Gen waking up, getting upset, having tests, and kicking Xavier out had taken up all the daylight hours — and the salad was good. It wasn’t a cheesecake, but it was good.

“Xavier could be an asset. Drew has escalated, and I don’t think we can even begin to anticipate his next move without Xavier’s help.”

“Haven’t you ever watched a film? Teaming up with one enemy to defeat another never ends well.” I pushed the container towards Harry, my appetite gone. This wasn’t how I wanted to end our night. “I’m going to bed.”

Harry grabbed my wrist. “Will you fucking talk to me? Yell, scream — I don’t care. Just stop pulling away from me.”

chapter 23 is now available on 1dff and tumblr!! 

Finsbury Park once felt like home. I loved coming back to the house after work, loved spending my weekends in the garden reading, loved curling up on the sofa with my best friends to binge watch television series. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint when, but somewhere along the way, Finsbury Park stopped feeling like home. It happened slowly — the least frightening way for change to occur — and it hadn’t been a conscious process.

Somehow, without realising it, I’d started to build a life with someone. I gave him my trust and my heart, and he gave me his.

Six months ago when I looked into the future I saw myself successful professionally but in solitude personally — surrounded by a family I’d chosen, but alone. Never did I see a man or a woman there to share a life with.

Now, Harry was the sun shining warm and bright on the future.

Dread weighed heavily on me. Drew’s words swam in my head.

“Your world is burning down around you.”

Was the brightness in my future lit by fire, and not the sun?