As Julie made her way to the seat at the centre of the room, the door of the gymnasium opened and Sarah entered with Trent, whose knife wound she’d been treating. His face was still slightly grey but he was obviously at least mostly healed.
“Oh, good,” Trent said. “We haven’t missed the fireworks. That would have been sad.”
Julie paused and looked over at Sarah with a raised eyebrow. “You told him?”
“Of course,” Sarah said. “I thought we’d miss your testimony and I didn’t want to have to pause for a reprise.
“Ah.” Julie nodded. “Marian’s revelations required a pause.”
“I suppose they would have–” Trent began, then paused as Ella ran over and knelt before him.
“I’m sorry for attacking you,” she said. “I owe you recompense for your injury. Please name your price.”
Trent looked down at her for a moment then laid a hand on her head. “It wasn’t you who attacked me, Ella Laverne,” he said. “Even if your hand did hold the knife. There’s no need for forgiveness and no debt owed by you. Rather, Robert Cantrell owes us both a debt and you rather more than me, I think. Let us work together to claim it.” He removed his hand from her head and offered it to her.
She smiled wanly. “Thank you.” She took his hand and rose to her feet.
“Now that’s dealt with we best get to the fireworks.” He smirked at Julie. “I’m looking forward to this.”
“Yes,” Julie said drily. “I imagine you are.” She sat down and looked around. “I think you’ve made people tense again.”
“Well of course he has!” Lianne Seaton exclaimed. “We’re on tenterhooks here. Who are you and what could you possibly tell us to cause more fireworks than today’s revelations already have?”
“Who I am is what I have to tell you, Lianne,” Julie said. “Let me gather my thoughts and decide if to start in the middle or just come out and tell you.”
“Just tell them,” Alexandra said. “I know you like drama but I think it’s for the best.”
“I second that,” Trent said. “But don’t tell them. Telling will take too long. Show them – then you can explain without the inevitable interruptions.”
Julie cocked her head before nodding. “Yes, I agree.” She smirked and dropped her shields.
â€œWell, that’s quite–â€ Lianne broke off as her mother Louise leapt to her feet, her chair clattering to the floor. She wasn’t the only one â€“ several of the middle-aged or older people in the room were also on their feet and gabbling nervously.
â€œCaroline!â€ Louise leaned forward and clutched the table. â€œHow?!â€
â€œAh, now,â€ Julie said. â€œThat’s the rest of the story, Lou. Let’s just let people calm down enough to listen and I’ll explain.â€ She glanced over at Trent. â€œWhat were you saying about avoiding interruptions?â€
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