“Lady in Red,” croaked a familiar and unwanted voice.
It would be. Andy Wolf. Why did he have to be here? Spoiling everything. It had all been going beautifully to plan. She was wrapped up warm in her new red duffle coat with the retro toggles and the lovely warm fake-fur-lined hood. She and Tom were going for a walk in the snow and then they were going to have a pub meal. Now she’d got to get rid of this pest first.
“You been round your grandma’s recently? You should go an’ check up on her.”
What? Had he been harassing her grandma again? Andy Wolf’s gang was notorious for playing tricks on the old folk on the estate. She’d better go and check. She took out her mobile to ring Tom to warn him she’d be late only to find that the battery was dead.
Darn! She’d better be quick.
Twenty minutes later she arrived at her grandma’s house. She found the key under the flower pot but was surprised to see that the door was already open. She’d have to tell her about that. It could be dangerous, especially with people like Andy Wolf around.
But she needn’t have worried. There was Grandma, safe and sound, wrapped up in layers of blankets. She felt a weight lift from her chest.
“Oh, Grandma, you can put the heating on you know. And you shouldn’t leave the door unlocked.”
Grandma turned and growled at her. Only it wasn’t Grandma. It was Andy Wolf. He must have got there on his motorbike. He roared and sprang up at her.
“What have you done with my Grandma?”
“Oh not a lot compared with what I’m going to do with you.” He grabbed her arm.
The front door suddenly burst open.
Not more of them, she thought. She was sure she was going to pass out.
“Put her down,” shouted another familiar but this time welcome voice.
Tom! But how did he know where she was?
Andy ran for the front door. It was useful having a boyfriend who was policeman. The local wild boys respected him even when he wasn’t on duty.
“What’s going on down here?” Grandma shuffled down the stairs. So Andy hadn’t hurt her thank goodness. Her face cracked into a wide grin when she noticed Tom. “Oh I see you’ve brought your young man again.”
“What do you say?” whispered Tom. “We come and live here with your grandma when you become Mrs Forrester?”
Her cheeks burned. She was sure they must match her coat. Did he really mean what he thought he meant?
“Well, will you?” His eyes twinkled.
Grandma looked bemused. She probably couldn’t hear what they were saying. Just as well really.
“Of course,” she whispered. “But how did you know I’d come here?”
“You said you’d got a new red coat. You can see it a mile off. I just followed you. Practising my detectives skills, see. I’m after promotion.”
“I don’t know what you two are on about but I’m going to put the kettle on. I like your new coat, by the way. Very smart. That’ll keep the wolves away.”