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The Long Lost Sunset by Jenny Cutts

The Long Lost Sunset by Jenny Cutts

Author:Jenny Cutts [Cutts, Jenny]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: cozy mystery, Crime, amateur sleuth, Paranormal Detective, British, Scotland, Edinburgh, Hotel
Publisher: Stopped Clock Press
Published: 2021-09-30T22:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER 25

Reed walks softly along the landing. The house is quiet except for a couple of now-familiar creaks. It’s early and nobody stirs.

He pads along the hallway, passing closed doors, the carpet muffling his tread. He emerges from the dim corridor into a patch of brightness at the top of the stairs. Dust motes speckle the air. He looks out of the window and sees seagulls perched on the building across the road.

He walks on, accidentally nudging a print hung on the wall. The hard frame presses his shoulder as he corrects his course.

Rubbing his arm subconsciously, he passes the Strathkeel room, the bathroom and Karen’s bedroom before finding soft light again at the family kitchen, its tall, never-shuttered window awash with peach and grey.

He walks down the back stairs, treading lightly to minimise the sound. At the ground floor, he grabs a banana from the bowl and weaves through the breakfast tables to the back of the house. As he folds back the door, the hinges release a small sigh on the still, morning air. A dew-sprinkled day is waiting for him outside.

He steps onto the terrace, unprops a chair and sets it into place. The leg scrapes gently against the paving. He takes a seat and opens his novel.

***

After breakfast, Dan is working in the dining room. The tablecloth is covered in papers and he is listening back to one of his tapes. Zoya enters and takes a seat at the other side of the room, near the kitchen. Dan switches off his tape player. She is putting on a pair of hiking boots.

‘Oh, don’t mind me, I’m just lacing up.’

Dan watches her pulling the laces tight and catching them on the right hooks, making the boots snug around her ankles. The terrace door gently swings open and Reed appears, holding a paperback. He leans against the door frame.

‘Going for a walk?’ he asks her.

‘Oh! Where did you come from? How long have you been out there?’ Dan asks.

‘A while.’

‘I never thought of you as an early bird. Why are you up so early?’

‘No reason. Might have a nap later.’

Zoya continues tightening the laces but her focus switches to Reed by the door. She knows that Reed’s sleep behaviour is unlikely to be random but that he won’t tell her what he’s up to in front of Dan. Reed avoids her gaze. He knows that she knows. She switches to the other boot and Reed looks at Dan.

‘Working hard?’

Dan replies with a gesture indicating the spread of papers in front of him. He is holding a pen.

‘Where are you going for your walk?’ Dan asks Zoya.

‘Arthur’s Seat. You know, the big volcanoey thing.’

‘On your own?’ Dan says.

‘Yes, on my own. And I want to get up there before it’s too full of tourists.’

‘Will you be alright?’ Reed asks.

‘Yes,’ she replies, ‘I’m brilliant company.’

‘But will you be safe up there?’ Dan asks, continuing the questioning. ‘I mean, you don’t know who’s about.’

Zoya stands and tests the fit of her boots.



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