White slumped in his chair. “Tea would be lovely, thanks. And a bite to eat? Not bacon, obviously.”
“How about some scrambled egg?”
“On toast? Like a sandwich?” White shook his head at her grimace. “Give me the illusion, at least. I'm changing my lifestyle but you've got to allow me the illusion.”
She patted his shoulder. “All right, love. Coming up.”
He waited until she'd left the room before going to the front hall to ferret in his work overcoat. His car keys were in the pocket. Could he get out to his car and back without Beryl noticing? Probably not. He'd have to wait until she was better occupied. He used the downstairs lavatory as cover for his absence from the living room and returned, jut as Beryl brought in his mug of tea.
“There you go, love. No sugar, I'm afraid.”
White grimaced. “Did I did and go to Hell? No bacon sarnies. No sugar. What's the point of going on?”
“I'm quite hurt by that, actually, Cameron. I'm doing my best. I've been trying to get you to cut down for years, haven't I? If you'd listened to me then you'd have been fine now.”
He sighed, his lips tight as an airlock as he nodded capitulation. “You're right, love. I'm sorry. I'm behaving like a child when I could have avoided all this by listening to you in the first place.”
“Well then.” Beryl seemed somewhat mollified by his contrition.
“Is that the eggs burning?”