Carey had been browsing some of the more touristy shops in Briesau, and, having nearly succumbed to a dirndl skirt in bright blue, was about to leave when someone tapped her on the shoulder. It was Peter, although not the Peter she had come to know. His face was pale and tense, and she felt a sudden twinge of unease.
“Peter? What’s wrong?”
“I need to talk to you about something.” Still concerned, Carey allowed him to lead her from the shop and up the hill towards the church. There were fewer people around, and it had grown chillier.
“Has something happened?” Carey asked, as they walked quickly along, over the brow of the hill, and down through the meadows at the back of the old school, until they were the only two within earshot.
“Look, Carey, I think you should go back to England.”
“I just… trust me, can’t you?” Carey made a small, bewildered sound.
“I do. But… I don’t want to go back to England; not yet, anyway. I told you, I’ve just found my family and—”
“Well, that’s just it!” Peter seemed to seize on the excuse. “I’d hate to see you get hurt.” He took her hand. “I mean, what do you know about them?”
“I know they wouldn’t hurt me!” exclaimed Carey, pulling away. “What’s this about, Peter? You’re not making much sense, you know.”
“Christ, Carey!” He ran his hands through his hair. “Haven’t you ever heard the expression, ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’? Sometimes it doesn’t do any good, raking up the past.”
“Raking up the-- Peter, do you know something about my mother?” Carey shook her head, almost as if she was trying to clear. “No, that’s stupid, how could you? We’ve only just…” She tailed off as she saw the expression on his face. “You do, don’t you? We didn’t meet by accident, did we?” She laughed, bitterly. “I thought you… you… God, never mind! I’m such an idiot.”
“No, you’re not. Carey—” He reached out, but Carey took several stumbling steps back.
“Don’t touch me. Who are you?”
“I told you. My name’s Peter Shawcross. I wasn’t lying about that.”
“So what were you lying about?” Peter looked away, marshalling his thoughts.
“I didn’t lie about anything. I just didn’t mention some things that I probably should have done.”
Carey looked at him warily. “Go on, then. What sort of things?”
“Well, just the one, really.”
“Bloody hell, Peter, just get on—”
“I’m your brother.”