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Clouds, dark as pewter, blocked the sunlight that only an hour ago warmed the tiny flat. Defiant rays struggled through the mass to touch those rushing through their errands to make it home before the inevitable summer storm released a torrent of rain. After a year in perpetually sun-soaked California, Taryn had forgotten how finicky London’s weather could be.
She leaned against the window sill, feeling the old wood cut into her thin T-shirt. Some said the pub, and the flat above it, were as ancient as their neighbor the Tower, but Taryn knew the building was even older. It’s stone fireplace, where a blaze crackled against the chill, gave away many of the building’s secrets. She’d spent too many hours in the past few months studying it and every inch of the flat, putting her archeological skills to use to stave off boredom. The flat wasn’t home in the traditional sense, more of a stopping place between their travels, but since Brandt’s unexpected retirement, it had become more of a prison than anything else.
No personal effects littered the rooms, nor were there any photos of her and her grandfather on the walls. Just a few odds and ends collected from the far reaches of the world. Even the kitchen lacked any sort of homey warmth and the dishes, Taryn shook her head as she tracked a raindrop down the length of the thick window pane, well they were almost as old as the beams that stretched across the ceiling. Chipped pieces of porcelain that she’d often thought of replacing, but could never bring herself to actually do. It was the one tangible part of her childhood she could recall. Sunday mornings sitting by the fireplace enjoying a cuppa with Brandt.