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Home > Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6)(15)

Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6)(15)
Author: Samantha Young

I got nothing.

“Did you know it used to be the fourth-largest city in Europe?” I rambled on. “That was quite a feat, considering how tiny we are as an island. I think it was the largest after London, Paris, and Berlin, and it was also called the ‘Second City in the British Empire’ in the Victorian era, and of course it’s Scotland’s largest city and the third largest in Britain, so it’s really no wonder I haven’t seen much of it, I suppose, although I lived in London and managed to see quite a bit of that growing up. I could ha—”

“Grace,” Logan interrupted. His eyes were still focused on the road in front of him, but I could see he was struggling not to smile. “We’ve got it. Glasgow’s big.”

I heard a small giggle from the backseat, and instead of feeling embarrassed by my nervous ramblings, I smiled. I’d gotten a giggle out of Maia. Or Logan had. Or we had. It didn’t matter who or what; it just mattered that on an exceptionally trying day, the shy little lost girl in the backseat had laughed.

I turned a little in my seat to look behind me. Maia’s sad eyes stared into mine. “Do you do well in school, Maia?”

She nodded cautiously.

I had a feeling she did. I gave her a smile of encouragement. “What subjects do you enjoy?”

“I like maths and physics. Mum doesn’t get it. She liked art at school.”

“I liked maths and physics,” Logan said quietly. “I was good at maths and physics.”

Maia stared at the back of his head and offered shyly, “I get A’s.”

I watched his face soften. “Good,” he murmured.

That awkward silence began to fall again.

“Well, I’m rubbish at maths and physics,” I said. “I had a tutor.” I made a face. “He was this horrible pretentious boy in the year above me.” I’d hated him. Lawrence Trevelyn. Sebastian had dared Lawrence to put his hand up my skirt and cop a feel during a lesson. I’d felt violated and frightened by the whole thing, and it had taken me a good while to let a boy get near me again.

I shuddered.

“You all right, Grace?” Logan suddenly asked.

I caught him glance at me quickly, his brows puckered. Surprised by his perceptiveness I couldn’t say anything for a moment.

“Grace?”

“I’m fine.” I turned to Maia and smiled again, brushing the memories off. “Do you like English?”

She shrugged. “It’s okay. I’m not as good at it. I only get B’s.”

“Well, I’ve got a degree in it if you ever need help. I’m a freelance book editor.” I said it without thinking, and I sensed Logan tense beside me.

Maia, however, looked hopeful. “Really? That’s cool. And you’d help me, really?”

Oh bugger. I’d gone and put my foot in it now. Logan had only just met the girl. He had no idea what was going on, what the future held, and here was his silly neighbor attaching herself to his… possible child. Feeling guilty, I had no recourse, however, but to say, “Of course. I’ll give you my number so you can give me a ring if you ever have a question.”

Some of the light dimmed in Maia’s eyes. “Right,” she muttered, and looked away.

I turned back around and caught Logan’s annoyed look. I flushed and glanced away.

Perhaps silence was best after all.

I don’t know what I’d been expecting. Rumors of the dangers of Glasgow were just that. It was like any big city. It had its crime, its good areas, and its not-so-good areas. It was often exaggerated. I was reassured about the exaggeration as we drove through the well-kept council estates of areas that had been depicted in the media as “rough.”

Even when we drew up to the high-rise flats Maia had directed Logan to, I was filled with optimism. Part of me wanted to put Maia in the “overly dramatic teenage girl” file. Was her mum really a junkie, or was she just making stuff up because she’d had an argument with her mum and was upset about finding out who her dad was at such a fragile age?

I ignored my gut, which told me Maia wasn’t that kind of teenager.

I didn’t want anything she had said to be true.

For her.

And for Logan.

There was graffiti on the walls of the high-rises, but you got graffiti in lots of places these days. That didn’t mean anything.

When we entered one of the high-rises, the smells of garbage and urine hit my nostrils and my stomach began to sink. When we reached the first floor, I came to a complete standstill at the grim sight of the heavy-duty iron gate that had been attached over the front door of a flat.

What kind of place was this that you needed that kind of security?

Logan nudged me. “Come on.”

“Why?” I pointed at the gate before hurrying to catch up with them.

The muscle in his jaw clenched. “Either the flat of a well-known criminal, or because of their close proximity to the ground floor, they’ve suffered numerous break-ins.”

“This isn’t a nice place, is it?”

“No, it’s fucking not.” Logan’s gaze followed Maia as she led us up to the next floor, and I could see his concern mounting.

Maia stopped halfway down the long corridor of the third floor and drew in a shaky breath. “This is it.”

Although it had no metal grill over the front of it, the door had been kicked in at one point. Not only were there rubber marks from the soles of shoes, but the wood had buckled and cracked near the bottom of the door. The words “hingoot,” “junkie hoor,” and “brass monkey slut,” among others, were graffitied on the door. I didn’t understand what anything but “junkie” and “slut” meant, but I could tell by the darkening of Logan’s expression that the other stuff wasn’t good.

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