The car park is dark apart from the thin light that emanates from the security lamp over the door.
Hearing footsteps, I spin round and then immediately relax when I see Misha coming towards me.
“Are you on your own?” he demands.
“Why, Mister Lebedinsky,” I say in dulcet tones, fluttering my eyelashes. “Were you lying in wait to launch an attack on my virtue?”
“I’m about twelve years and ten miles away from a crack at that.” I laugh, and he shakes his head. “Why is it so fucking dark around here, Charlie?”
“Because night has fallen.” He stares beadily at me. “And the owner of the car park hasn’t replaced the bulb in the security light.”
“Have you told him that he needs to?”
“No, Misha,” I say sarcastically. “I thought I’d leave it to him. Maybe if I send enough good thoughts over to Malaga, he’ll realise and come straight home.”
“I’m absolutely positive that librarians shouldn’t be this snarky. Is there anyone in the building I can get to google it?”
I shove him. “We don’t google,” I say in a scandalised tone. “We utilise the skills that our very intensive library research course has taught us.”
“And then what?”
I slump. “We google.”
He laughs and holds out his hand for the cloth bag I’m carrying. I shake my head and hand it over, watching with satisfaction as he nearly drops it. “Fucking hell, have you got bricks in here?”
“Why would I be carrying bricks?” I ask, picking up my rucksack and moving over to the neatly parked and very expensive-looking silver Mercedes.
“I don’t know. Who the fuck knows what librarians get up to?”
“We are a very cosmopolitan crew,” I acknowledge.
“After picking you up from the staff Christmas do last year, I’m not entirely sure that cosmopolitan is the right word. Debauched would be nearer the mark.”
“I told Bethany not to get Sue that extra Baileys,” I say gloomily. “Can we not talk about it? I’m getting flashbacks.”
He fiddles with my bag and grins at me. “More books? Do you, or do you not have a very nice iPad with all your books loaded on it?”
“I know.” I sigh, climbing into the front seat after he clicks the locks and setting my rucksack at my feet. “I just can’t resist a new box of books.” He slides into the driver’s seat after depositing my cloth book bag in the back, and I grin at him. “It’s a bit like you resisting the last twink in a club at kicking-out time.”
“Well, why didn’t you say that?” he drawls. “Now I understand.”