Novel Name : Hot Revenge Box Set 2

Chapter 22

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Breakfast time.

Charlotte is up and about, refusing to stay in bed. And, while she is still tired, I see no reason to insist
on bedrest. Right now, she will do far better for being back at home and enjoying ‘family life’.

Nonetheless, I’ve encouraged her to wear a woolly housecoat over the nightie, slippers and bed socks.
Hopefully, that will prevent her trying to go outdoors. The fog outside hasn’t cleared yet and I don’t want
the damp settling on her chest.

She's too pale. At least, she's always pale, but that's her natural colouring. Right now, there's still that
pallid edge to her complexion that I don't care for.

Almost a week of being chained in her own shit.

Living on crap junk food.

Scared half mindless…

Blood loss from the birth...


Charlotte sits with Cara on her lap, providing her breakfast and Beth sits close by making cooing

She’ll enjoy a good breakfast…

And with that in mind, I’m at the hob with bacon, fried and scrambled eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms,
black pudding and fried bread.

I rummage through the fridge, seeking inspiration. It's barely stocked. We've spent the last few days
living on food from the freezer.

Michael ambles into the kitchen. Freshly showered, clean white tee-shirt, jeans and trainers and
looking exactly not as though he spent the last week under horrendous stress, he scans over my
cooking area. “Can I help?”

“Fridge. See what we have to make up a fruit salad. I'd like to get some inside Charlotte.”

“Good idea.”

He looks inside then, “It’s like Mother Hubbard’s cupboard in there. I'll pop across to the hotel. Raid
their supplies. Anything besides fruit?”

“Leafy greens. Spinach. Watercress. Anything like that.”

“Give me five. I'll be right back.”

He returns with an overflowing basket, setting containers one after another on the counter.
“Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries. There were oranges too, but Sally tells me she shouldn't have
citrus fruits while she’s breastfeeding. Oh, and this…” He brandishes a jar. “Some kind of chutney.
Apparently, it’s from the last of the green tomatoes a few months back and Sally says she needs
guinea pigs for the recipe.”

“Tell Sally I’ve no guinea pigs in the larder and I’d prefer she uses mutton next time.”

Michael rolls eyes at me then pulls up a chair, comparing notes with Richard of the events of the
previous days.

The coffee pot is producing fragrant steam. I eye the table… Butter, marmalade, strawberry jam, milk,
cream, muesli, yoghurt, fruit bowl…

“How are you doing, Charlotte? I’m nearly ready here.”

“Done here as well, Master.” She ‘unhooks’ Cara from the breast… “Are you sure this is alright? With
the antibiotics?”

“I was very careful to check they’re giving you something suitable. You need to take them until that
chest infection clears, and they’ll do Cara no harm.”

I set the cooked food on the table. “There you go, everyone. Help yourselves.”

Everyone pulls up chairs. Michael scoops scrambled eggs onto Charlotte’s plate, then tomatoes and
bacon. “We should be finishing decorating the tree today and getting up the rest of the decorations.
What d’you say?”

Her answering smile is broad and bright. “I’d love that.”

Beth taps a long nail on the table. “Charlotte, will you show me how you make those little paper birds.”

“Course I will. I’ll just need some glossy magazines, something with lots of colour.”

“Plenty of those in the hotel,” says Michael. “I’ll see what’s out of date in Reception…” He trails off,
eyes passing over the table.

Heads turn, following his gaze…

Mitch stands there, hand-in-hand with Klempner. Both are freshly showered and very obviously,

Klempner shifts from one foot to the other. Mitch sucks at her lips. “May we join you?”

For a moment, there is silence, then I stand. “Of course you may. Charlotte, where are your manners?
Budge up, make some space for your parents. Michael, set two extra places, please. Larry, tea or



Mitch barely eats, and what she does eat is one-handedly with fork or spoon. The other hand is below
the table, I think, holding Klempner’s.

Beside me, Charlotte seems struck dumb. I move close to her, speaking quietly. “So, Jade-Eyes, are
you happy? All of your family around you now?”

She’s blinking, eyes watering. “I… yes… I mean…” Her face drops. “Yes, I’m very happy. It’s just a


“Yes, that’s it.”

I kiss her cheek. “You’ll get used to the idea. But you’re not the only one who has to adjust, you know.”

Her forehead wrinkles. “What do you mean?”

“Your father… Look at him.”

Klempner sits, sipping coffee, chewing toast, not joining the conversation, looking… lost.

One of the most dangerous men in the world, and yet in this simple situation, a family breakfast,
Lawrence Klempner doesn’t know what to do. How to fit in.

How old were you when your mother was murdered?

I lean close to Charlotte again. “Does it occur to you that he may never have done this before? May
never have been able to do this before?”

Charlotte pokes a mushroom through a pool of ketchup. “I’d not thought of it like that.”

I push the coffee pot across the table. “Larry, I know you have plans, things you need to do, but will you
join us for Christmas?”


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