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Where was Tom? He’d promised to get home early - to help. She looked at her phone – no message, no text. Typical bloody man! She almost called him but managed to stop herself in time. Come on, girl. Play it cool.

“Right! Drinks! What does everyone want to drink?”

“What have you got?” Lawrence asked in that no-nonsense North Country manner of his.

“Red wine?” She suggested.

There was a deadly silence. Oh come on! They’d all brought cheap red wine and now none of them wanted to drink it. She had a moment of panic. She had nothing else in. She’d assumed that as she was doing the food and letting them use her flat they’d at least have the good manners to provide some decent booze.

“What else you got, then?”

This from Lawrence, once again showing off his highly developed social skills.

“Well I do have a bottle of champagne,” she said.

What on earth had she told them that for? It was vintage and she was saving it for New Year’s Eve - to drink with Tom.

Where was Tom?

A chorus of approval went around.

That would be nice!

Of course it would.

She brought the bottle and some glasses and placed them on the table. Jeffrey did the honours and they all her drank her health. She couldn’t help noticing the three bottles of cheap red wine in the kitchen next to her kettle. What kind of people were they?

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