Adding to Cart Added to Cart. Not Added. Item is in your Cart. View Cart Proceed to checkout. Sorry, we're having trouble showing recommendations right now. Please try again later. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Charlie wondered if she was supposed to be indignant, as Knowles was, that a not-ideal event had happened in the life of a man as blessed as him, as if it were somehow against the natural order of things.
And 70 employees? Do they all crowd round to hit you every day? I would if I worked for you. She might be dead now, thanks to your lack of initiative! Elodie started to cry. The Christmas tree in the corner of the room was surrounded by immaculately wrapped presents, all untouched. The lights had not been switched on — for how long, Charlie wondered.
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This was odd; she was being distracted from real-time strangeness by pointless recriminations about past strangeness. Everything about Paul Knowles jarred. Elodie and Paul Knowles nodded their agreement. Paul Knowles laughed. It sounded false: as if he were auditioning for the part of Santa Claus: Ho-ho-ho. It was nothing like that, nothing serious. I wanted to get her something really special, I told her — money no object.
Anyway, I asked her, and she tensed up and went all weird, like there was something important she wanted to say. Great, I thought. Then she went to the kitchen, and I followed her, and I watched her pull an A4-sized plastic folder out of a packet of Cheerios. Here, do you want to see it?
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After a few minutes, Knowles returned with the plastic wallet in his hand. He passed it to Ryan Giles. Charlie shuffled closer to him on the sofa so that she could see the contents. It was a bundle of what looked like cuttings: pages ripped out of papers, or printed from the internet…. They were all adverts for or information pages about hotels — all in England, by the look of it — most with pictures of the hotel swimming pool prominently featured.
Dubai, Mexico, Florida — take your pick, I said. Knowles exhaled slowly. It was just a bit hurtful to find out that her top favourite fantasy involved, basically, escaping from me and the girls. Natasha would never do that. Do churches ever have bedrooms where people can sleep if they need to get away from home? The Tennis Church was still there. And vice versa, right? There was no sign of Tasha anywhere near the church. Charlie stopped walking. The library was no longer a library, it seemed.
It had become the Library Hotel. There was a large sign outside it, with a picture of a swimming pool. There was no Natasha Knowles staying at the hotel, but Charlie had no trouble finding a Tasha Sisley. The two of them sat at the bar on long-legged stools, drinking Cokes — not even diet, as it was Christmas Day.
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