By Helen Black

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They had formed a bond during the Kelsey Brand case, when Lilly’s life imploded and Penny had proved an unlikely form of support. She was flanked by Luella, who had all Penny’s shallowness but none of her charm or compassion. ’ said Penny. ’ When Lilly didn’t reply Penny and Luella exchanged glances and ushered her inside. ’ asked Penny. Lilly shook her head. Penny ran a glass of water and pushed Lilly into a chair. Lilly gulped it down. She hadn’t even realised she was thirsty. ’ ‘And what did happen?

But,’ said Jack, ‘I’m sensing a “but”’. ’ ‘You wouldn’t want to make all those yummy mummies jealous,’ he said. ’ She sauntered to the football pitch where Sam, in goal, was in position to save a penalty. Lilly hardly dared watch, even though it was only a practice session. ’ ‘Same old, same old,’ he said. ‘Oh,’ she groaned, as Sam batted the ball clear of the goal, the slap of the leather against his skin audible even from the touchline. Though it was undoubtedly uncool for a nine year old to show any pain his middle-aged mother couldn’t help herself.

Whose birthday was it? ’ she called, all faux bonhomie. Rupinder held out a glass of bubbly. ‘Your application for rights of higher audience. ’ Earlier that year, Rupes had come under pressure from her colleagues to give Lilly the boot because of her propensity to speak her mind and take on cases that would add little to their pension funds. Rupes had resisted but had agreed to improve her bottom line. One suggestion was that money should stop being wasted on barristers and that Lilly should handle her own advocacy wherever possible.

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A Place of Safety by Helen Black
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