Chapter Thirty-seven: Shopping Trip

Delia woke up with a headache, feeling dirty and grubby and desperately needing to use the bathroom. For a moment she couldn't remember where she was. Ah, Lucian's flat, that was it. Dancing all night had been fun, and then she remembered the prayers, everyone holding hands. Bed came next, falling on a cot in Lucian's spare room and grabbing an hour or two of sleep. Delia still felt very tired, on top of having a pounding headache. She loved going out. But she clearly wasn't meant for late nights!

No-one seemed to be up yet, so the groggy redhead crept into the tiny bathroom. She tried to freshen herself up as best she could, but there was no soap, no hot water, and very little toilet paper. All Delia could do was splash her face and rinse her mouth with a trickle of cold water. The girl in the mirror looked dreadful. Her thick, tangled red hair was all snarls, like an absolute rat's nest. Her green eyes were bloodshot, with heavy, sagging lids.

By the time she stumbled out of the bathroom, Delia felt slightly more awake. But her friend Daisy was busy with two girls she didn't know, praying and holding hands on the serenity rug in the cluttered living room. They were all in white robes, and Delia suddenly felt very shy and out of place. The girls on the rug all had their eyes closed. They were in a trance, simply miles away. Delia sensed that they didn't even know she was there!

"Is everything all right?" Lucian walked in holding a coffee cup. He hadn't shaved, and he looked as sleepy as Delia felt.

"Oh! Lucian, you scared me. I think you've run out of toilet paper, and also, there's no soap in the bathroom." Delia blushed, because she wasn't used to talking about such things with boys.

"Send Delia to the market!" Daisy came out of her prayers at once, shouting from across the room without opening her eyes. "She's a bright, rising young star and she has tons of money."

"Well, actually, I didn't bring much with me . . . my purse . . ."

"D'accord, I give you money." Lucian about dug twenty Euros out of his filthy jeans, and told Delia to walk to the corner market and buy whatever she needed.

Walking to the market gave Delia a chance to clear her head. She really had been very foolish, staying out all night without even telling Lady Violet where she was. If she was tired of being a guest at Lady Violet's villa, and wanted to go home to London, she needed to say so like an adult, and not simply run away.

The only problem was Delia didn't trust Lady Violet, or her housekeeper Mrs. Huddleston. Frowning, the redhead pushed her tangled red hair back from her freckled face, wishing she could buy a comb and perhaps some aspirin as she entered the store. But that wouldn't be fair, because Lucian's money was for things he needed in his flat, such as toilet paper and soap. It was funny how a boy who was so clever with computers didn't seem to keep up with his shopping, or his monthly hot water bill. Delia shrugged, telling herself that was how it was to be on your own.

On the walk back, hugging a bulky bag of toilet paper and feeling very on top of things, Delia caught sight of a couple of winking red and blue lights outside Lucian's apartment building. It took a moment for her to realize that the lights were actually sirens on top of a police van. Delia felt a bit uneasy, but she didn't truly understand the situation till she got a bit closer, and saw Lucian and Daisy and the two other girls all being led out of the building. It was clear they were being arrested. The police were loading them into the van, and then someone caught sight of Delia too. There were a lot of voices, shouting at her in French and English.

Delia threw down her bulky grocery bag and ran for her life!