Someone calls the police and the ambulance is quick to arrive. They take him to the nearest emergency room, but I am keenly aware that his family will want him to be taken to the best hospital money can buy. I look through his mobile and find Marcus’s number.

‘Hello,’ I say. My voice is strangely calm. It must be the shock, I guess.

‘Who’s this?’ comes the suspicious reply.

‘Blake has been in a road accident.’ My voice shakes on the word accident. ‘He’s been taken to the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth. I just thought you should know.’

‘How bad is he?’

‘It looks like a head injury, but there might be other internal things that I don’t know about.’

‘Are you at the hospital right now?’

‘Yes.’

‘Will you wait for me? I’ll be right there.’

I sit on a chair feeling totally numb. There is blood on my wrists and hands. Blake’s blood. Suspended inside my cloud of shock I stare at it blankly. Slowly as if in a daze I drag a finger through it. It feels sticky. I’m not dreaming, this is really happening, my brain says. I wipe my hand on my stained, torn navy and white trousers, take out my own mobile and call Billie.

Billie is quicker to arrive than Marcus. The sight of Billie’s worried face hurrying towards me undoes me.

‘Oh, Billie,’ I sob. ‘It was my fault. I wasn’t looking where I was going. If he had not pushed me out of the way it would have been me that the car hit.’

‘Banker boy threw himself under a car to save you?’ Billie’s eyebrows are almost in her hairline.

I stop crying, as I register what I have not with the shock. He is cold and unemotional. He hardly ever touches me unless he wants to have sex. Why?

‘Why would he do that?’ I whisper.

‘People only do that for the people they love,’ Billie says.

‘He doesn’t love me. If you knew what kind of relationship we have you’d never say that. He must have acted instinctively.’

Billie says nothing. Her eyes are on the door. ‘Here comes big brother.’

I turn in the direction Billie is looking at and indeed, it is Blake’s brother; he has the same superior air. He is standing at the door scanning the room. As soon as he spots us he comes over. His surprised eyes slide quickly over the spiders climbing on Billie’s neck, but he only addresses me, as if he instinctively recognizes the type of woman his brother would be interested in.

‘I’m Marcus. You must be the one who called me.’

‘Yes.’

‘Thank you. Where is my brother now?’

I point towards the desk. ‘They won’t tell me anything.’

‘What happened?’

‘He pushed me out of the way of a speeding car and took the hit himself.’

Marcus’s face is incredulous. ‘My brother did that?’

Tears begin to roll unchecked down my face. I feel like a complete fool crying in front of that disapproving stranger, but the tears refuse to stop.

He looks at my tears unemotionally. ‘It will be the shock,’ he says.

I nod through the tears.

He glances quickly at the two ladies behind the reception desk, obviously eager to talk to them. ‘Look, if you give me your name and address, I will be happy to compensate you for what you have done.’

His words are like a slap. I take a shocked step away from him. I remember Blake saying, we are not like you. ‘That won’t be necessary,’ I say.

An expression passes across his face. Irritation. He is irritated with me. ‘Well, thank you for calling me, anyway.’ He turns away from us and begins to walk towards the enquiries desk. Then he remembers, stops and comes back to me. ‘Can I have my brother’s phone back, please?’

Silently I put the phone into his outstretched hand.

‘Thank you again for what you did for my brother,’ he says awkwardly.

I nod and feel Billie’s supportive hand come around my waist.

Marcus strides away. After the fear, the guilt, and the worry, the shock of his brother’s utter rejection finishes me. I sag weakly against Billie.

‘Fucking heartless, rude bastard. Fuck them and their pissy billions. They can keep it,’ Billie says angrily. She leads me outside and hails a black cab. We get in and do not speak during the journey, but Billie tightly holds my hand in hers for the entire duration of the trip.

When we get out of the cab, I retch and am sick by the side of the road. An old biddy walking on the other side of the road stops to stare and Billie asks her if she has a tissue.

‘Oh dear, oh dear,’ she says, and crosses the road. She fishes a handkerchief from her handbag. ‘What’s the matter with the poor child?’

‘She’s pregnant,’ Billie says.

My eyes swing around to Billie and Billie claps her hand over her mouth. ‘Oh my God! You’re pregnant, aren’t you?’

‘Can I have the handkerchief back?’ the old biddy whines plaintively.

Billie takes the soiled cloth from me and ungratefully stuffs it into the woman’s hand. ‘Thanks, love. You want to stock up on tissues in future. More hygienic.’

The woman leaves with a sniff and Billie turns to me. ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘I just found out myself. Besides, I can’t keep it.’

Billie’s eyes open wide. ‘What?’

I blink back the tears. ‘It’s in my contract. If I don’t terminate I will forfeit all rights to it. I’m not going to give up my baby to that cold bunch.’

Billie’s eyes flash. ‘They can’t do that.’

‘They can, Bill. The way they feel about crushing us is the way you feel about killing a row of ants heading towards your jam jar.’

‘Who do they think you are? Fucking Oliver Twist? Please, sir, can I have some more, sir? You know what? I haven’t used any of the money that you gave me. Let’s give that back to them and work out some plan where we pay the rest back with interest.’

I shake my head tiredly. ‘Oh, Bill, they don’t want the money back. It’s all about their precious bloodline. The purity of the great Barrington line must be safeguarded at all costs. And any bastard children must go back to the Barrington care. They don’t trust the likes of us to bring up children properly.’

Billie looks as though she is about to go into one. A very long and loud rant.

‘Not now, Bill. Please. I just want to go somewhere I can sit.’

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