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The Guest List by Lucy Foley Read Online (FREE)

‘There’ll be back-ups—’ I say, even though I’m not sure how I’d find them.

‘Oh yes?’ he sneers. ‘You want to mess people’s lives up, Olivia? Because you should know that I have some photos on my phone—’

‘Stop!’ I say. The thought of Jules – of anyone – seeing me like that …

I felt so uncomfortable when he was taking them. But he was so good at asking for them, telling me how sexy I looked while I was performing for him, how much it would turn him on. And I was worried that not doing them would make me look like a prude, a child. And he wasn’t in them at all – not his face, not his voice. He could claim I sent them to him, I realise, that I had shot them myself. He could deny it all.

His face is very near to mine, now. For a crazy moment I think he might be about to kiss me. And even though I hate myself for it, a tiny part of me wants him to. Part of me wants him. And that makes me sick.

He’s still got a hold of my other wrist. It hurts. I make a sound and try to pull away but he only grips me harder, his fingers digging into my flesh. He’s strong, so much stronger than me. I realised that earlier, when he carried me out of the water, looking like the big hero, playing to the crowd. I think of my little razor blade, but it’s in my beaded bag, somewhere in the marquee.

Will gives me a yank forward and I trip over my feet. My shoe comes off. It is only now that I realise it’s not all that far to the cliff edge. And he’s pulling me towards it. I can see all the water out there, glossy black in the moonlight. But … he wouldn’t, would he?

 

NOW
The wedding night
The ushers stare at the mangled gold crown in Femi’s hand. It seemed so out of place where they found it – sitting on the black earth, in the midst of the storm – that it takes all of them a few moments to work out where they have seen it before.

‘It’s Jules’s crown,’ Angus says.

‘Shit,’ Femi says. ‘Of course it is.’

Each wonders silently, what violence it might have taken to so brutally deform the metal.

‘Did you see her face?’ Angus asks. ‘Jules? Before she cut the cake? She looked— really angry, I thought. Or … or maybe really frightened.’

‘Did anyone see her in the marquee?’ Femi asks. ‘After the lights came on?’

Angus quails. ‘But surely you can’t think … you don’t mean you think something really bad could have happened to her?’

‘Fuck.’ Duncan lets out a hiss of breath.

‘I’m not saying that exactly,’ Femi answers. ‘I’m only saying – does anyone remember seeing her?’

There’s a long silence.

‘I can’t—’

‘No, Dunc. Neither can I.’