The Guest List by Lucy Foley Read Online (FREE)
When I look up to check the direction I am walking in, I realise that there’s someone coming towards me, visible only by the light of their torch. I must be lit up to them while they remain invisible to me.
‘Who’s there?’ I ask. And then, finally, I can make the shape of them out.
Make her out.
‘Oh,’ I say, in some relief. ‘It’s you.’
‘Hello, Will,’ Aoife says. ‘Got all that cake off?’
‘Yes, just about. What’s going on?’
‘Another power cut,’ she says. ‘Sorry about this. It’s this weather. The forecast didn’t say it would be nearly as bad as this. Our generator can’t keep up with it. It should really have kicked in by now … I was going to see what had happened. Actually – you wouldn’t be able to help me, would you?’
I’d really rather not. I need to get back, there are things to sort out – a wife to placate, a bridesmaid and a best man to … deal with. But I suppose I can’t do any of those things in the dark. So I might as well be of help. ‘Of course,’ I say gallantly. ‘As I said this morning, I’m only too eager to be of assistance.’
‘Thank you. That’s very kind. It’s a wee way over here.’ She leads me off the path, round towards the back of the Folly. We’re sheltered from the wind here. And then – odd – she turns to face me, even though we haven’t reached anything that looks like a generator. She’s shining the light in my eyes. I put up a hand. ‘That’s a bit bright,’ I say. I laugh. ‘It feels like I’m at an interrogation.’
‘Oh,’ she says. ‘Does it?’
But she doesn’t lower the torch.
‘Please,’ I say, getting annoyed now but trying to remain civil. ‘Aoife – the light is in my eyes. I can’t see anything, you know.’
‘We don’t have very much time,’ she says. ‘So this will have to be quick.’
‘What?’ For a very strange moment I feel as though I am being propositioned. She is certainly attractive. I noticed that this morning, in the marquee. All the more so for trying to cover it up – I’ve always liked that, as I’ve said, that unawareness in a woman, that insecurity. What she’s doing with a fat fuck of a husband like Freddy is anyone’s guess. Even so, my hands are rather full right now.
‘I suppose I just wanted to tell you something,’ she says. ‘Perhaps I should have told you when you mentioned it this morning. I didn’t think it would be prudent, then. The seaweed in the bed last night. That was me.’
‘The seaweed?’ I stare into the light, trying to work out what on earth she’s talking about. ‘No, no,’ I say. ‘It must have been one of the ushers, because that was—’
‘What you used to do at Trevellyan’s – to the younger boys, Yes. I know. I know all about Trevellyan’s. Quite a bit more than I would like to, really.’