Leslie’s worried about Liza—thinks a grandfatherly talk’s in order. But what Leslie doesn’t know about her mother and I could fill a book. She doesn’t understand her daughter’s wildness. Nos her mother’s…

With her fur-lined parker over a striped black and white knit tight to her chest Bea looks unbeatable. We pack beer and sandwiches and hit the road, ten Vespas flicking through traffic. We join the pack on the highway, growing all the time, swarming past crowded Morris Minors, relishing the stares.

They’re waiting for us in loose packs on the promenades. Stares become words, then scuffles. A raw charge in the air. Bea wants me like she never has. We drink beer and kiss and wrap our arms around each other and wait. Suddenly the scuffles merge into something like a riot and Bea’s in there with me running through the streets, cursing the rockers, all rage and beauty. Brian and I get caught in a scrap with two dumb slickheads. My nose gets smashed. Police turn up. We scarper. Running battles everywhere. We pile in on a brawling pack. Then something hard splits my head and I’m down.

When I come to I’m in Bea’s arms, and she’s all blood and defiance and tenderness. Like a tigress.

‘Sure, Love,’ I tell Leslie. ‘I’ll talk to her.’

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