Chapter I Excerpt

THE LAST WORD

‘Teddy! Teddy, Teddy, Ted-dy…’

He could tell that this repetition was meant to give his extended relative more time to think. Not belonging to the inner circle of those who naturally called him by his pet name, the syllables landed as heavily as the man’s best polished shoes ruining the soft turf. Teddy could not blame him for stalling. He needed time to think, too, and that was exactly why he had walked away from the gathering to where he was now pacing in the scant grounds of Saint Andrew’s Cathedral. He wanted some fucking peace, if that was too much to ask? His head was aching with anger, still shuddering from public depreciation, and this was not at all helped by knowing that the use of this name was intended to be both ingratiating and lessening, to try to compound his feelings of unworthiness.    

Setting aside from the abusive recitations it had involved, the final result of the gathering had done little to temper the effect of Theodore Laurence’s impressive bearing on other people. Not that he could help that – it was a vital to his career – however, Teddy was now realising that the only mitigating tool left to others hoping to circumvent his appearance was his pet name. Resolving to forgive the relative, he held back from unburdening his anger on him. Instead, he looked over towards the shimmering, slow moving Ness which lay just beyond the cathedral grounds, hoping that the hoverer would understand that he wanted to be left alone. He did not…  

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