The Silent Tide

The Silent Tide by Rachel Hore Read Free Book Online

Book: The Silent Tide by Rachel Hore Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rachel Hore
OK,’ she said. ‘You are busy, you know.’
    ‘Busy is what I do at the moment,’ he said, turning to switch on the kettle. ‘I have to get through the next ten months and then it’ll be easier.’ September was when he had to hand in his final dissertation.
    ‘It’s a shame if it gets in the way of us.’ Ten months seemed an age.
    ‘Hey, you’re not still cross about last weekend?’ he asked gently. ‘I thought we’d got over that one.’
    ‘It’s not that.’ It was in part, though. She bit her lip as she recalled their argument – well, it wasn’t an argument, she told herself, more of a disharmonious episode. The previous Saturday, her sister had turned thirty and their parents had organised a family dinner in a hotel near their home in Hertfordshire. At the last moment Matthew had said that he couldn’t come, since he had a long newspaper article to research and write. Her mother and father were quite put out, and so was she. When she’d tried to talk about it, Matthew had been defensive and now she sensed it wouldn’t do to dwell on it. After all, they hadn’t known one another very long.
    It was only five months ago that they’d each found themselves out-of-place singles at a supper party given by some very smug married friends and had stuck together all evening. When he’d described what his life was like, she’d thought it marvellously bohemian. Now she saw the reality, and she couldn’t expect him to change everything for her. After all, her work commitments were formidable, too. So many evening events and copious reading at weekends.
    ‘You do look fed up, love.’ He put down the fork he was holding and drew her into his arms. She closed her eyes, feeling herself melt against him. How right this always was. He pushed back her hair and kissed her eyelids then his mouth found hers. She loved his tenderness, the way he held her.
    ‘Cheer up, Little Bird,’ he said, when they came up for air, and his nickname for her brought a rush of happiness. ‘Please cheer up. I know things aren’t easy. We’re both trying to establish ourselves at the moment, working at what we love. You’re doing what you like, right?’
    ‘Yes, of course.’ Emily loved her job, had been thrilled when Parchment had headhunted her from another firm.
    ‘We’re both very lucky then.’
    ‘Yes,’ she sighed, as he released her. ‘Sorry, I’m tired, that’s all. And hungry.’
    ‘So let’s eat,’ he said, picking up the plates. ‘Can you bring the tea?’
    Emily cleared a space on the coffee table and they sat together on the sofa, half-watching a late-night stand-up on the television as they ate. Soon she began to feel better.
    That was delicious,’ she said, putting down her plate. ‘I did enjoy tonight,’ she added.
    ‘It was cool, wasn’t it? We sold a few books, too.’
    ‘I’ve got mine here.’ She took it from her handbag and flicked through it. ‘I loved your reading, Matt. You were great, you really were.’
    ‘I sounded nervous,’ he said, slurping his tea. ‘I’m sorry you didn’t know many people there.’
    ‘I was fine, honest,’ she said vaguely. She’d stopped at a full-page photograph. It was by that girl Lola, the one who’d sold her the book. The picture was effective in a chocolate-boxy way, she had to admit, a soft-focus shot of a rumpled bedsheet, scattered with rose petals. She remembered Lola flirting with Matthew, tactile, vivid, laughing. She closed the book, pushing the memory from her mind. ‘I talked to Tobias,’ she told him.
    ‘Oh yes? What did he have to say?’
    ‘Only guess what, he’s writing a novel. It’s hopeless being a publisher at parties. People either ask you to recommend a good book, however you define that, or tell you about one they want to write.’
    ‘I suppose it’s better than being an investment banker or a policeman.’
    She grinned. ‘A doctor’s got to be the worst. Everybody telling you about their aches and

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