The moment Kyle received Veda’s letter Deborah was consumed by outrage. Veda wanted Kyle to admit responsibility for the split.

Deborah blamed his fear of commitment on how Veda had treated him. She trusted Kyle’s version. He’d loved Veda—her sharp intelligence, the attractive face beneath severe glasses. Her sarcasm, a weapon against opposing counsel, seemed an attractive trait. But it hadn’t been reserved for courtroom rivals alone.

Another letter arrived, addressed to Deborah. It retold the story with a fanciful twist. …I’m aware of your misguided affection for Kyle. I intend to pursue him for damages… emotional distress. If you intervene I will include you in this action.

Your former friend.

Former friend! The extent of their friendship had been the essays Veda had bought from her at university.

As Veda strode up the courtroom steps Deborah approached. ‘Back off Kyle, Veda.’

‘Or what?’ Veda tried to push past.

Deborah waved a bunch of papers.

‘What the hell?’

‘All your own work, remember. “Why waste my time on stupid essays?” That’s what you said.’

‘You wouldn’t. I’d be ——’

‘Ruined?’

‘No!’ It was Kyle, jumping from a taxi. ‘Deborah,’ he said, ‘leave her. It doesn’t matter any more. It’s you I want. But not like this.’

Without another word Deborah handed the papers to Veda then went to him.

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