“I think we need to talk,” Mirren announced from the doorway.
At the sound of her voice Bannoc closed up whatever it was he was doing on the computer. “What about?” He was as brusque as he had been for months.
“Us. You. Me.” Mirren leaned against the door frame. “Are we still an item or not?”
“I told you,” he glanced at her and then turned his attention to the keyboard, “You don’t want to be with me.”
“That’s your stated opinion, yes.” Mirren’s eyes were fixed firmly on his face. “So, I’m allowed to be with someone else?”
“Of course.” His head snapped up in surprise.
“Then why is it that every time I go out with someone else you break gym equipment in front of them?” She tapped her foot, “I’ve had complaints – every time I get dumped. In fact, I get accused of playing games and I don’t play that sort of game!” She glared at him.
“I don’t mean-“
“Then why do you do it?” She wasn’t leaning against the door frame any more. “You won’t go out with me, you won’t sleep with me and you won’t let anyone else do those things with me either. Where does that leave me?”
Bannoc looked as if he was trying to come up with an answer and failing.
“It’s not as if I expect you, or anyone else for that matter, to marry me,” she snapped at him, “but I thought we were good. I thought we could be happy together for years...”
“Wait-,” he was confused again. “Why wouldn’t I marry you? I mean, me, if you knew-. But me not marry you?”
“No-one marries the women in my family,” Mirren was stone-faced, forced to talk about something she always tried to ignore, “we’re not good enough, trash. Always have been.”
“Who’s been telling you that?” Bannoc was on his feet. “I’ll kill him. Do you want to see the body?”
“The world. All my life. I don’t want there to be a body.” She smiled tiredly. “So what’s with you? Tell me.”
Bannoc sat down and his face crumpled. “I killed them. I believed Trode and I killed them. All the babies in Rensa’s family.”