Chapter Forty-Six

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"It's this one," Hannah said, pointing to her left.

Tucker pulled the car over, switched off the engine and they both looked around. The street was bathed in the artificial orange glow of the street lamps. Immaculately presented homes were positioned comfortably apart on either side, set back off the road, behind long lawns and herbaceous borders. Whilst not as affluent as the area where Diana and John lived, Pretta Heights was still a place of privilege and more importantly of high SPR scores. The particular property they were concerned with had a single driveway leading to an integral garage, set into a small, bungalow, with two bay-windows either side of a darkly painted front door. A low light came from one of the windows.

"Ok, so are we gonna sit here all night, or what?" Tucker asked.

Hannah took a deep breath, opened the door and climbed out, her eyes glued to the small home.

"I'm sure I've been here before," Hannah said

"These places all look the same, Hannah."

"I guess, but I am sure my mum brought me here when I was little."

They walked up the driveway and along the small path leading to the front door.

Hannah gripped the door knocker, rapped it twice and waited. No one came. She knocked again.

"It's late, Hannah, maybe she doesn't answer the door after dark."

Hannah bent down and lifted the letter box and called in.

"Mrs Holland, Mrs Anne Holland. I need to speak to you urgently." She waited and was sure she heard movement just out of her line of sight. "Mrs Holland, please it's very important that I speak to you right now."

"Go away," a frail voice called out to her.

"Please Mrs Holland, my name is Hannah Green and I really do need to speak to you."

A light came on behind the door, shining through the opened letter box. Hannah closed it and stood up straight. A shuffling noise could be heard the other side of the door followed by a chain being lifted and several locks being turned.

A small woman, leaning on a cane opened the door and looked Hannah up and down. She briefly turned her attention to Tucker and tutted loudly.

"I suppose you'd better come in then," she said and moved to the side.

Hannah entered first, followed by Tucker and the woman closed the door behind them, replacing the chain and turning both locks.

"Head into the sitting room, first door on your right," she instructed.

Hannah and Tucker entered the room, hit immediately by a fierce heat radiating off an open fire. The room was simply furnished; two wingback chairs on either side of the fire and a small sofa in the centre, positioned behind a small coffee table.

"Please, sit," the woman said, indicating to the sofa, as she carefully lowered herself into one of the armchairs.

"Well, I must say, Hannah, you have grown into a fine looking young woman."

"Thank you," Hannah replied. "I'm sorry to bother you at such a late time, but this really couldn't wait any longer."

Hannah looked closely at the woman. Short and slight of build, her clothes hung off her elderly frame. Anne Holland looked to be in her late seventies, possibly older. Her silver hair was tied up in a bun and the remnants of a plum-coloured lipstick stained the creases around her mouth. Behind thin-framed spectacles, her pale eyes studied Hannah for a long time and then turned their attention to the fire, seemingly transfixed by the flickering flames and glowing coals.

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