“Package for you, madam,” the desk clerk calls out to Stella as she crosses the Merchant’s lobby.
“Thank you.” Stella’s stomach turns in fear that the paper-wrapped parcel could be a bomb—one never knew with Paul Spector and any other number of nutters on the loose.
She sighs in relief when she recognizes her name printed in familiar slanting capitals.
Upstairs in her room,
Stella unwraps the plain square box to reveal the treasures within: a box of homemade salted caramels; a package of her favorite ginger and orange biscuits; dried lavender from the garden;
a soft pashmina the crème and pale gold color of Jane’s hair.
There is no note, of course. Neither of them would ever be so sentimental.
Stella kicks off her heels and hops on the bed, wrapping herself in the soft wool of the pashmina, wishing it were Jane’s arms about her instead.
She reaches for her mobile, breaking one of her own cardinal rules.
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