He had parked again on the farm track that gave a good view of the road. He sat in the darkness, the rain drumming on the roof of the car. He turned the ignition key and switched on the windscreen wipers. In an almost hypnotic metronomic swish-swish they revealed a glistening road.
His hands rested on the steering wheel. They were dirty, streaked with black oil. He could feel the damp gradually seeping its way through his jacket and shirt where he had lain on his back on the wet gravel.
He saw the headlights first, cutting through the dark. Then the blue Hillman Minx appeared and turned down Break Neck Hill. He watched as it gathered speed, faster and faster.
As it approached the hairpin bend at the bottom his own feet jammed down hard on his brake, his hands tight on the wheel. The Hillman tried to turn but it careered sideways, hit the low wall and flipped over it. He saw two beams of light, two cones in the night sky. Then they were extinguished.
He swayed forward and rested his forehead on the steering wheel.
The police decided it was a fatal road accident, probably caused by driving too fast in wet conditions and possibly with defective brakes. Neither Olivia nor David attended the funeral, although Olivia sent a wreath.
A few weeks later David was driving back from completing the sale of Holly Mount. Everything was settled now.
As he pulled up at traffic lights he glanced to his left and saw the Bentley. It was in the car park of a new roadhouse, the Silver Dollar. He indicated and pulled into the car park.
Perhaps she was celebrating the sale of the house, perhaps having lunch with a friend.
He went in. It was all chrome and glass, large pictures of sky scrapers on the walls, and jazz music was playing. There was a long bar, a barman in white shirt and black bow tie. Around the wall were semi-circular booths where a sprinkling of customers drank and chatted.
Olivia was in one of the booths facing him. She was leaning forward and smiling, laughing. She looked so happy.
He walked towards her, smiling. She glanced up and saw him. Her face froze.
David felt as if he was in a dream. His stomach was turning over. She was looking up at him in dismay, fear in those dark eyes. Then she pulled herself together.
“David, you know Jack Rees.”
“Yes, I know Jack Rees. How do you know him?”
“Sit down, David,” she said. “I intended coming to see you. Honestly, I did. Sit down, please.” She moved over in the booth. David sat down and glanced at Rees.
“David, there’s no easy way to say this. I love Jack. We met over eighteen months ago. Andrew found out.”
“He soon made sure I was drummed out of the Force. That’s why I became a private investigator.”
Olivia hurried on.
“I did come to see you genuinely about the car accident.”
“Recommended by a friend.”
“David, dear, I didn’t know that you would fall in love with me. I couldn’t help that.”
“You didn’t stop me, Olivia, did you?”
“No.” She looked down at the table.