'Well into MARTINA COLE territory' Independent
'A cracking good read' JESSIE KEANE
WHO CAN YOU TRUST, WHEN YOU CAN'T TRUST FAMILY?
Sheltered and naïve Carmen Darby has lived under the thumb of her father Rex, a brutal criminal businessman, her whole life. But when Rex announces his retirement and plans to leave his vast wealth to his three daughters, Carmen doesn't thank her father as effusively as he'd like, enraging him. Cast out from her home, Carmen assumes a new identity and starts her life over, but she knows she can't outrun the sins of her family for ever...
Meanwhile her sisters, disappointed by the terms of their inheritance, formulate a vicious plan to get their money in full. They'll kill whoever stands in their way, even their own father. But they aren't the only ones who'd love to see Rex dead. Surrounded by backstabbers and treating his allies like dirt, it's only a matter of time before someone snaps...
And when they do, is Carmen perfectly set up to take the fall?
Full of the same danger and grit as its London setting, this is author Roberta Kray at the top of her game. Get ready for a KILLER read . . .
Release date: November 16, 2023
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Print pages: 100000
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Along the way Rex had killed a man, wounded others, and imposed his will on anyone foolish enough to try and cross him. He had built his empire on guile and intimidation, on natural intelligence and his ability to take a well-judged risk. While his fellow villains had squandered their cash on tarts, gambling and booze, he had invested wisely and reaped the rewards.
Today, on his seventieth birthday, glasses were being raised and toasts given. He was, quite deservedly, the centre of attention. As he gazed around the table, he wallowed in self-satisfaction. His chest puffed up with pride. He had risen from the slums of the East End and knew that if he got to his feet, walked across the room and pulled back the heavy drapes, he would be able to look down on Upper Belgrave Street with its stylish terrace of white stucco houses. Not bad for a man who had gone hungry as a child, and who had always had holes in his shoes. Alfred, Lord Tennyson had once lived in this street.
Rex swigged his champagne and contemplated his journey from poverty to wealth. The war had brought opportunities and he had taken full advantage of them, breaking into warehouses and hijacking lorries to feed the black market with whisky, tobacco, nylons and furs. There had been forged ID cards for deserters and fake petrol coupons. Post-war, there had been new profits to be made in property and illegal gambling. He had lined his pockets and made it his mission to always be one step ahead of the law. Some villains saw jail as an occupational hazard, but not him. He had used his brains, greased the right palms and kept a clean sheet.
He looked at each of his girls in turn. Marian, Hazel and Carmen all had the same oval face as their late mother, the same long dark hair, olive skin and wide-mouthed smiles. But only Carmen, his youngest, had inherited her slate-grey eyes. No parent was supposed to have a favourite, but she was his. For the past ten years, after her sisters had married and flown the nest, the two of them had lived here alone. Soon, with Carmen’s own wedding on the horizon, she’d be gone too, and he’d be left in this house like a dried pea rattling around in a jam jar.
Rex frowned as he thought about his future son-in-law, believing – as he had believed with his other daughters’ choices – that he was not good enough for her. Clive Grainger was smart, ambitious and charming, but whether he was a suitable match was another matter altogether. If Rex could have sliced him open and examined his intentions, he would have. It annoyed him that Clive wasn’t present tonight. A dose of flu had, allegedly, consigned him to bed.
Being a father wasn’t an easy business. Rex lowered his gaze and sighed softly into his champagne. Had he been too strict with his girls? Too lenient? It had been tough raising them without a wife by his side, especially as they got older. He knew what boys were like and how easily they could take advantage. Sometimes he had not been as patient as he should have. Sometimes he had let his short temper get the better of him.
As he looked back, he wondered how it had all slipped by so quickly. The last ten years especially. The 1960s had come and gone, John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, man had walked on the moon, the Beatles had split up, and still Rex had clung on to his power. Now, four years into a new decade, he knew that it was time. There came a point in every man’s life when he had to relinquish the reins. Tonight, he would make the grand announcement. Finally, he was going to step down, retire and split his assets equally between his girls. Better they had it now than when he was dead. Better he was here to witness their gratitude. He would keep enough to live off and the rest would be theirs.
When Rex looked in the mirror, he didn’t see an old man, just the same man he had always been only with a few more lines on his face. His hair, slicked back and silver grey, was still abundant. He was tall and upright, not stooped or hunched like some of his peers. But he had felt himself slowing down in recent years, his brain not as agile as it once was, his instincts not as true.
Yes, it was time to take his place among the legion of the retired, to hang up his hat and slip quietly into the background. But still he didn’t speak up. Soon, he thought, not quite prepared. What would he do when he was no longer commander, when people no longer hung on his every word, when his word was no longer law? How would he occupy his days? The prospective emptiness filled him with a creeping dread.
He nodded and smiled as the conversation flowed around him. There was travel, of course; he could go abroad, see something of the world, while away the time in foreign hotels and on pavement cafés. He could play golf. He could swim. He could pick up women and spend lazy afternoons between crisp white sheets. He could …
Pat Foster, who was sitting to his left, gave him a gentle slap on the shoulder. ‘Are you ready, Rex?’
Of his eight guests, only Pat knew of his intentions. The two of them went way back. Pat was his right-hand man, his closest aide, a financial wizard who could turn the annual accounts into a believable work of fiction. But loyalty was what Rex valued above all else, and Pat had given him that in spades.
‘A minute,’ Rex murmured.
‘Having second thoughts?’
Rex shook his head. His gaze roamed the table again as the coffee and brandy were served: Marian and Hugh, Hazel and Jonny, Carmen. Pat’s wife, Annie, was wearing her usual sour expression, as if it pained her to be here – she could never be accused of being the life and soul of the party – although it didn’t stop her shovelling up his food or knocking back his booze. The old cow had never liked him and never tried to hide it either. Her loyalty and affections had always lain with his late wife, Rosa. Next to her was her son, Eddie, a quiet, dull bloke who kept his own counsel. Pat’s other son, the bastard one, was a livelier sort, but putting Milo and Annie together over a dinner table was asking for trouble.
‘You sure?’ Pat said softly.
‘What are you two whispering about?’ Marian said.
Rex tapped the side of his nose and smiled at her. ‘Business. Private business.’
‘You’re not allowed to talk business on your birthday.’
‘How are those two grandsons of mine?’ Rex didn’t see as much of the boys as he’d have liked. During term time they boarded at that fancy school, and during the holidays they always seemed to be busy. Summer had come and gone with him barely clapping eyes on them. Charlie and Gray were rapidly becoming strangers.
‘Fast asleep, I should think. They’ll be home for Christmas.’
Rex didn’t approve of boarding schools, but Marian reckoned it was the best start they could have, that they’d make connections there, friends that would be useful to them for the rest of their lives. What he reckoned was that it was turning them into a pair of pansies with prissy accents and a sense of entitlement. He thought boys should be boys, rough around the edges and able to fight their way out of trouble should the need ever arise.
Pat was looking at him, waiting.
Rex drank some brandy, took a deep breath, clinked the side of his glass with a knife and rose to his feet. ‘Now I’m not one for lengthy speeches, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Thank you all for sharing this birthday dinner with me. There’s nothing better than having friends and family around.’ He paused, knowing that what he was about to say couldn’t be unsaid. Although he had spent the last few months thinking about it, poring over the books with Pat, now the moment was here he had to gird himself to carry on. ‘I know you’ll be surprised to hear this, but it had to come eventually. I’ve decided that it’s time to retire, to step back and split the business between my three beautiful daughters.’ He raised his glass to each of them in turn. ‘I know you’ll take good care of what I’ve built up over the years. I know I can rely on you.’
There was a shocked silence in the room.
Hazel’s husband, Jonny Cornish, was the first to break it. ‘Bloody hell, Rex. I never thought I’d see the day.’
Rex sat down, casually flapping a hand as if it was the most normal thing in the world to drop a fortune into the laps of his children. ‘It’s been fairly divided, a one-third share each.’ He took three white envelopes from his inside jacket pocket and laid them on the table. ‘All the details are in here. Don’t open the envelopes now. Leave them until you get home. And no arguments, please. You’ve got what you’ve got and that’s the end of it. All you have to do is sign the papers and it’s done.’
Marian’s gaze flicked between the envelopes and Rex. ‘Thank you, Dad. Thank you so much.’ She laid a hand on her heart and her voice trembled a little. ‘This means … well, everything. It’s so appreciated. I can’t tell you how much. I’m completely overwhelmed. You’ve been so kind and generous. You know how much I love you – more than anything or anyone – and that’s never going to change. I couldn’t have asked for a better father, not in any way, and I promise I won’t let you down.’
Rex smiled and passed the envelope to her. Her response pleased and gratified him, and he looked towards Hazel, keen to hear more of the same.
Hazel cleared her throat and dabbed at her eyes as if she was fighting back tears. ‘Lord, what can I say? This is such a surprise. I can hardly believe it. Thanks, Dad. I love you too, of course, and I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done for us. I know it can’t have been easy. Every day I wake up and thank God I’ve got a father like you. You’re the best, you really are. I realise how hard you’ve worked to bring us up and to build the business, and I hope one day you’ll be as proud of me as I am of you.’
Rex passed the second envelope along the table. He was enjoying himself now, basking in the praise from his girls. A warm glow was spreading through him. And didn’t he deserve this moment? He had worked his fingers to the bone to make sure they were always fed and clothed and happy. Now he was setting them up for life, passing on a legacy that few fathers could.
Eagerly, he turned to Carmen. It was her response he would value most of all. It was her tribute, her fulsome compliments, her expressions of love and gratitude that he was really looking forward to. He sat back, sipped his brandy, and prepared to be delighted.
‘Thank you,’ she said softly.
‘Speak up,’ Rex said. ‘Don’t mutter. We can barely hear you.’
‘Thank you,’ she repeated, raising her voice. ‘It’s very kind of you to do this.’
Rex smiled again, but the smile gradually faded when she didn’t go on. An uneasy silence filled the room. A frown settled on his forehead. ‘Is that it? Haven’t you got anything else to say to your old dad?’
Carmen heard the sudden cold edge to his voice. She could feel his eyes boring into her and was aware that she was the focus of everyone else’s scrutiny too. Her mouth was dry. She had listened to her sisters’ fake flattery, to their empty compliments and hollow words, knowing that it was all lies. What they really felt about him was something quite different: what they said behind his back would make his toes curl. But this was all about money. Those two would fall on their knees and kiss his feet if that’s what it took to prise the cash from his fingers.
‘Carmen?’ he prompted. And then demanded again, ‘Speak up! What’s the matter with you, girl? Cat got your tongue?’
Carmen inwardly flinched, reminded of all the other times he’d tried to bully or manipulate her. She remembered his harsh words when he came home drunk and angry, when someone had crossed him or slighted him, or a business deal had gone wrong. She recalled how often bitterness had risen to the surface, how he’d rant and rave about the world, the lack of respect shown by his offspring, his regret at not having had a son. Often, he would lash out, indifferent as to where his blows fell. She’d had the bruises to show for it. But for all that, she had never turned her back, never raised her voice or walked away, but instead had taken care of him, comforted and pacified him, and done her very best to be a dutiful daughter.
‘You know what my feelings are, Dad. Don’t I show them every day?’
Rex gave a snort. The colour had risen in his cheeks.
Even as she said it, Carmen knew it wasn’t enough. He wanted more, much more. He wanted the obsequious praise that her sisters had given. He wanted a very public declaration of love and gratitude. And she did love him, even if it was despite his character rather than because of it. So why not just speak the words? Why not pander to him? Because she shouldn’t have to, she thought. She shouldn’t have to go through this embarrassing charade in front of everyone. Her actions proved her love seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. Anyway, anything she said now would just sound insincere or forced.
‘It appears my daughter has nothing good to say about me.’
‘That’s not true, Dad.’
‘So spit it out, why don’t you? We’re all waiting.’
‘Why are you doing this?’ she said, her discomfort growing by the second.
‘My youngest daughter, everyone,’ Rex said, gesturing towards her. ‘Who apparently can’t bring herself to express even a few loving words for the man who raised her.’
‘You’re not being—’
‘Nothing, nothing at all.’
Carmen saw her sisters smirk. Eddie pressed his elbow against hers, although she couldn’t tell if he was being supportive or prompting her to give in to her father’s demands. She wished that Clive was here.
Rex’s eyes flashed and his fingers curled around the final envelope, crushing the edges of it. ‘What kind of daughter behaves so badly, shows such disrespect, when she’s being handed a fortune on a plate? I thought better of you, Carmen. You’ve disappointed me. No, worse than that. You’ve shown me what you really are – a daughter who doesn’t deserve what I’m giving her, a daughter who’s beyond contempt.’
Carmen knew he was drunk – he’d been drinking all day – and that he had passed the point of rationality or of listening to anything he didn’t want to hear. ‘You’re taking this all the wrong way.’
‘The wrong way,’ he repeated sneeringly. ‘What other way is there to take it? You’ve made yourself perfectly clear.’
‘Leave her alone,’ Annie said. ‘You’re being ridiculous.’
Rex turned on her. ‘And what bloody business is it of yours?’
‘Someone needs to tell you what’s what. You’re acting like a fool. That girl’s put up with you for years without a single complaint. You should be the one being grateful. She deserves a bleedin’ medal.’
‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’
‘Oh, I know all right. I’ve got eyes, haven’t I? I’ve got ears.’
Carmen wished Annie would stop, even though she was defending her. It was only adding fuel to the fire. Her father couldn’t stand Annie Foster. In fact, he couldn’t stand anyone who stood up to him or had a different opinion from his. Even when he was sober, he hated criticism, and when he was drunk … well, it was pretty much guaranteed to tip him over the edge.
‘Control your wife, can’t you?’ Rex snarled to Pat. ‘She’s getting on my goddamn nerves.’
Annie peeled out an empty laugh. ‘Control his wife? Jesus, Rex, what century are you living in? It’s 1974, for heaven’s sake. You might be able to bully your employees, even your daughters, but you can’t do the same to me.’
Carmen shifted in her seat, leaned forward, and made an attempt to bring hostilities to an end. ‘Look, Dad, I’m sorry if …’
Rex’s gaze shifted to her face, and his upper lip curled. ‘Are you still here?’
Carmen recoiled, his response hitting her like a fist to the stomach. His voice was icy cold. Knowing that he wouldn’t back down now, that it had all gone too far, she quickly pushed back her chair and rose to her feet. ‘If that’s what you want, then I’ll go.’
‘Don’t let me keep you.’
Carmen moved swiftly out of the room without looking back. Silence accompanied her steps. She was angry now, as well as upset. Her face burned with indignation and shame. If he’d only been prepared to listen, to try and understand what she’d been attempting to say, things needn’t have reached this stage. Now all she wanted was to get as far away from him as possible.
She grabbed her bag from the hall table, took a coat from the cupboard and fled through the door. The evening air smelled of dust and exhaust fumes. It wasn’t cold, but she still shivered as she pulled on her coat. Then, walking as quickly as she could in her high heels, she made her way to the end of the road, glancing over her shoulder – no one was coming after her – and keeping her eyes peeled for a cab.
The row was going round and round in her head: what he had said and what she had said and how the whole evening had gone to hell in less time than it took to drain a glass of champagne. It wouldn’t have been safe, she knew, to stay in the house. Her father would have come looking for her after everyone else had gone, drunk on brandy and rage and resentment. He would have made her pay for what she’d done – or rather for what she hadn’t.
It was another few minutes before she saw the light of a black cab, hailed it and gratefully tumbled into the back seat. ‘Poland Street, please,’ she said. As the driver moved off, she sat back and took a few deep breaths. Her heart was beating wildly. She felt sick and clammy, dismayed by the confrontation. The only person she wanted to be with now was Clive. She gazed out of the window and willed the cab to shift faster through the dark London streets.
The party broke up shortly after Carmen’s abrupt departure, the atmosphere having taken a turn from which it wasn’t going to recover. They left in pairs, in quick succession, their goodbyes hurried and awkward. Only Pat Foster remained, loyal as always, reluctant to leave his boss alone after the night had plunged from celebration into disaster.
Once outside, Hugh Loughton looked at his wife, rolling his eyes. ‘Christ, that was even worse than usual.’
‘Stupid cow,’ Marian said. ‘What’s wrong with her?’ She felt no sympathy for her younger sister, thinking that Carmen should have known better than to refuse their father the adulation he demanded. ‘All she had to do was give him what he wanted. A few gushing words and he’d have been happy. How hard is that? Instead, she had to ruin the whole evening.’
‘Your father’s a bloody tyrant.’
‘Tell me something I don’t know. And she needs her head examined. Idiot.’ Marian’s comment about the evening being ruined was not entirely true, as nothing could have dampened the elation she felt at finally getting her hands on the inheritance she had been impatiently waiting for. If she experienced any guilt at all over what her sister had had to put up with over the years, it was smartly brushed aside. ‘What’s that saying about looking a gift horse in the mouth? She’s got a screw loose if you ask me.’
‘Rex didn’t give her a chance.’
‘All she had to do was tell him what he wanted to hear. It doesn’t take a genius.’
‘Yes, well, not everyone shares your ability to twist the truth, darling.’
Marian shot him a glance, a frown appearing on her forehead. ‘It’s a good thing I’ve just come into money, or I might take offence at that.’
‘I wouldn’t count your chickens.’
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’
‘All I’m saying is that I’d check out the small print before you break open the champagne. Knowing Rex, there’s probably a catch.’
Hugh saw a cab coming and stepped into the road, raising his arm. Marian tore open the envelope as soon as they were on their way back to the hotel. She quickly scoured the contents, checking out her share of the inheritance. Overall, she wasn’t disappointed – a fast mental calculation put the value at over two million – but she hadn’t got everything she’d wanted. She read out the list and said, ‘There’s no mention of Lola’s.’
‘He’ll have given that to Carmen. Clive’s been running the place for the past three years.’
‘So what?’ Lola’s was her father’s most profitable club, raking in thousands every week.
‘So it makes sense to give it to her. Continuity and all that.’
‘Lucky old Clive,’ Marian said drily. ‘There’s nothing like marrying the boss’s daughter.’
‘You haven’t done too badly.’ Hugh stretched out his legs and lit a cigarette. ‘Perhaps we can get the roof fixed now.’
Marian scowled into the gloom of the cab. There was nothing she wanted less than to waste her money on Hugh’s old family pile. The Suffolk house was an endless drain on their resources, with something always in need of repair. If it had been up to her, she’d have put a match to the dump and replaced it with a building that wasn’t perpetually cold and draughty. ‘I might buy an apartment in town.’
‘What for? Any time you come up, you can stay at the Gryphon for free.’
The Gryphon, a fashionable hotel in Bloomsbury, was where they were going now. It was also one of the businesses her father was passing over to her. There was nothing wrong with the place – it was smart and plush with spacious rooms and a decent restaurant – but it lacked the one thing she desired most: privacy. Everyone knew her there. She couldn’t do what she wanted, with whom she wanted, without it rapidly becoming public knowledge. And Marian had plans. After twelve long years of tedious marriage, she intended to escape from the country as often as she could and use her newly acquired wealth to have a little fun.
‘I might sell it,’ she said. ‘If you want that new roof, I’ll have to liquidate some assets.’
‘Rex won’t be happy about that.’
‘It won’t be any of his business once the papers are signed.’ Marian could still hardly believe her luck. She had spent the last few years convinced that all her father’s talk of retirement was nothing but talk. Now that he’d finally done it, she would no longer be reliant on his grudging handouts or Hugh’s meagre housekeeping.
‘I hope Carmen’s all right.’
‘Huh?’ Marian said, still revelling in the thought of the financial freedom coming her way.
‘Carmen. Do you think she’s all right?’
‘She’ll be fine. What are you worrying about her for?’
‘She was upset, in case you didn’t notice.’
‘She’ll get it over it. They both will. By this time tomorrow it’ll be ancient history.’
Hugh smoked his cigarette and stared out of the window. ‘I wouldn’t be so sure.’
But Marian wasn’t listening. She had no interest in her youngest sister’s trials and tribulations. ‘I’ll ring Hazel as soon as we get back and find out what she got.’
‘Your family never cease to amaze me.’ Jonny raised his eyebrows as they walked the few steps from the house. ‘Your old man was on top form tonight. One hell of a performance. Carmen put on quite a show too.’
‘I’m glad we keep you entertained.’
‘And here was me thinking that tonight was going to be duller than ditch water.’
Hazel stopped by a red MG parked under a streetlamp and held up the envelope. ‘Still, we came away with more than happy memories.’
Jonny unlocked the passenger door of the car and opened it for her. ‘So long as he doesn’t change his mind.’
‘Why would he do that?’
‘Why does Rex do anything? He’s a law unto himself.’
Hazel slipped into the MG and waited for Jonny to join her. She had to fight against the urge to rip into the envelope. For all she knew, her father could be watching from the window. Don’t open it until you get home, he’d said, and she wasn’t going to take the risk of being seen to disobey him – not after what had happened with Carmen.
Jonny walked around and climbed into the driver’s seat.
‘Are you sure you should be driving?’
‘I’m not drunk. Well, not that drunk.’
‘If you say so.’
Jonny shot her a glance. ‘Get a cab if you’d rather.’
‘All right. No need to get narky.’ Hazel stared at his handsome square-jawed face, his dark eyes, and the mouth she had never stopped wanting to kiss. Even after ten years of marriage she still lusted after him, but that didn’t mean she always liked him. He could be moody and deceitful. He lied, thieved, drank too much, gambled too much and was probably less faithful than he should have been.
‘Let’s get out of here.’ Jonny made a slight adjustment to the rear-view mirror, taking the opportunity to check that his reflection was still as sublime as it had been when he’d looked at it three hours ago, shoved the key into the ignition, revved up the engine, released the handbrake and manoeuvred the car away from the kerb.
Only when they were out of sight of the house did Hazel tear open the envelope. Greedily she devoured its contents.
‘So?’ Jonny asked, trying to peer at the papers.
‘Keep your eyes on the road. I’ll read it to you.’ She went through the list – the businesses, then the properties – only pausing when Jonny interrupted.
‘We could move into that Mayfair flat. How big is it? Do you know?’
‘Bigger than our place. Three bedrooms, I think.’
‘It’s about time we had somewhere decent to live.’
Hazel was as tempted as Jonny by the thought of a Mayfair address. It would be a step up from their modest Camden flat and something to boast about to her friends. She kept on reading out loud. ‘And we’ve got the Capri in Brewer Street.’
‘That’s only a coffee bar.’
‘It does all right, though. The kids spend their money there. We’ve got the Royal too. That’s a decent club.’
‘Not as good as Lola’s. Nothing like.’
‘It could be,’ Hazel said. ‘It just needs some cash spending on it.’ For all Jonny’s quibbles, she could tell that he was pleased. No more money worries. No more squabbling over debts. No more awkward conversations with the bank manager. As soon as the papers were signed, she’d be a rich woman – and he’d be a rich woman’s husband.
Jonny beeped his horn at someone walking along the pavement, lifting his hand from the steering wheel to give a cheery wave.
Hazel looked up but was too late to identify the recipient of his greeting. She glanced over her shoulder but could only see the back of a tall man’s head. ‘Who was that?’
‘That, my dear, was the filthy rich Lord Lucan.’
‘And since when were you so chummy with the good Lord?’
Jonny grinned. ‘I’m not. But he’ll spend the rest of the evening wondering who I am.’
Hazel didn’t bother asking why that mattered to him. Like her father, Jonny envied and despised the aristocracy in equal measure. He would have liked to move in their circle, to share in their privileges, but his working-class roots denied him entry. Although money could provide access to that world, it couldn’t provide acceptance. He had a chip on his shoulder about it all, a simmering resentment, an inferiority complex that he couldn’t shake off.
‘He’s a big-time gambler. Rarely away from the tables, allegedly.’
‘Good for him,’ she said.
‘They call him Lucky.’
‘And is he?’
‘Not as often as he’d like. I’ve heard he loses more than he ever wins, thousands in an evening sometimes. He must be bloody rolling in it.’
‘Perhaps we should open a casino.’
Jonny gave a snort.
‘Why not? What’s to stop us?’
‘Because that Clermont lot don’t gamble just anywhere. They don’t like mixing with the riff-raff.’
Hazel knew the Clermont, an up-market gambling establishment in Berkeley Square. ‘Well, they’re not the only people who like a flutter.’
‘Yeah, but Lucan and his sort have got deep pockets. And they don’t kick off when they lose. There’s always plenty more where that came from. You run a casino like that, and the cash keeps on rolling in. Big stakes, big profits.’
Hazel pulled a face. ‘And big pay-outs too when the punters win.’
‘The house always comes out on top in the end.’ Jonny gave a shrug. ‘They win it one day and give it back, and more, the next. That’s how it rolls. What I’m trying to say is that they keep it between themselves. They only gamble where they feel comfortable, and where they feel comfortable is with each other.’
‘So? That’s never going to change. It’s just the way it is.’ Hazel reckoned Jonny was the only man who could find something to whine about after his wife had come into a fortune. ‘Why does it bug you so much?’
‘I’ve just explained why it bugs me. Weren’t you listening?’
‘Yes, I was listening. The rich boys like to play with the rich boys. So what? There’s plenty more fish in the sea.
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