Esther stares solemnly at Artemis for a moment, then a smile blooms across her face. She kisses him with as much enthusiasm as she can get away with in public, and reaches for his hand, intertwining her fingers with his.
“She really was an insane old harpy,” she tells Jane. “Arty wasn’t the one anyone should have been worried about. All the while he was ‘corrupting’ me, I was carrying on behind everyone’s back with Uncle Dennis’s lawyer’s son.” She frowns. “Bastard that he turned out to be- He saw me in the throes of one of my fits and called me unnatural, and that was the end of that.” She shakes her head, but the momentary bitterness subsides within seconds as another thought occurs to her. “Uncle Dennis seemed happy when we became friends -I think he hoped that he’d help bring me out of my shell. After all, we met just after I’d started talking again and I wasn’t really used to being around people very much. He always thought highly of you,” she says, turning to Artemis. “I remember one night, I must have been about seventeen, when you’d walked me home and after you’d gone he started to talk about how even though how life for my generation was so much more difficult than it had been for my parents in so many ways, society had changed and that I should keep in mind that in certain significant aspects, I was freer than they were.”
“I didn’t quite understand what he was talking about.” She laughs and squeezes Artemis’s hand, then rests her head on his shoulder, an expression of deep contentment on her face. “I really was a bit dense.”