“Had a hairspray fire today,” Kat reported. As usual, she was wired on her return from work.
“Really?” Amy turned on the tap, splashed water into a glass. London’s summer heat had settled into every corner of their basement flat. The air was stifling. She yawned, fragments of dreams still clouding her head. Slamming the front door at three in the morning, Kat had only half-woken her.
“January, the new croupier,” Kat continued. “She’d just done her hair, then she lit a cigarette. We’re not supposed to smoke in the loo, but we all do.” Kat tutted. “Then, boom!”
“Is she okay?”
“Needs a haircut.” Kat laughed. “She needed one before, anyhow. Wearing a ponytail to one side is wrong on every level past the age of twelve.”
“How old is she?” Amy’s curiosity overcame her drowsiness. Kat always made the casino sound so glamorous, and it paid well, although not enough to fund Kat’s designer dress habit.
“Says she’s twenty-one. If you ask me, going on thirty.” Kat yawned. “Must sleep. I’m getting married in the morning.”
“Who to? Jeb?” It was the first name that sprang to mind, although he was the last man that Amy herself would choose for a mate. There was a hint of evil about him, a calculating gaze that chilled her. Even his roguish smile, smooth coffee-coloured skin and abundant charm couldn’t compensate for that. What was he to Kat, exactly? Once, she’d called him a gangster. She’d always denied he was her boyfriend. He never stayed the night.
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