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‘You can’t do that.’

Winter shrugged. ‘I just did.’ His voice hardened. ‘Now get out. You don’t belong here.’

‘Take some time to think about this. Don’t rush into anything. I understand that right now you’re feeling raw but—’

‘You don’t understand anything. And I’m not going to repeat myself. Leave this place.’

The Ipsissimus got to his feet. He smoothed down his robes and nodded. ‘Very well. When you change your mind, come and find me.’

‘I won’t change my mind.’ Winter’s tone brooked no argument.

The Ipsissimus waited a beat, as if he still expected a sudden change of heart. When none was forthcoming, he turned round and left.

Winter collapsed back into the chair. This was all his fault. He’d brought Ivy here. If he’d been paying more attention, he would have known what was going on. He was a damned fool.

Yet another door opened. This time Winter didn’t even bother looking up.

‘Are you here for Ms Wilde?’ a voice enquired.

Winter’s head snapped up. The doctor, wearing a white coat and a serious expression, was addressing him. He swallowed. ‘I am. Is she going to be alright?’

She smiled.

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