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“I’m just saying, if you’re going to spy on me, at least—”

“Grant Britton!”

GB wasn’t the only one who stiffened at the shout, though likely for an entirely different reason than the others. He turned on his heel to see an older woman in a blue cardigan and matching pillbox hat determinedly bearing down on the group. “Mum?!”

006 had time to repeat, “Mum?” while 003 murmured, “Grant?” before he found himself yanked into a crushing embrace.

* * *

“I was afraid someone would find you dead in a ditch.”

GB stared down into his cup of tea, the sadness and guilt of the past few days a familiar lump in his chest. They’d relocated to a nearby pub, a light lunch providing GB with something to give him time to think. If only so he could think of a proper revenge on his traitorous teammates who’d disappeared as soon as they’d realized exactly what was happening.

“If I hadn’t read the reviews, would I have even known you’d resurfaced?”

“I’m sorry, mum. I wasn’t planning to be in town that long…”

The glare he received told him exactly how well that excuse went over. “And where have you been?”

“Rehab.” While she blinked at the lie, he rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. “And after I got out, I needed some time to figure things out. So I’ve been traveling.”

She made an intrigued sound. “With your friends from before?”

“Yes. We’ve been…” He laughed, relaxing away from the lies and half-truths. “We’ve all been going through some hard times. Being there for each other when we can has helped.”

She made that sound again, slowly sipping the last of her tea and setting the cup down with a sharp click. “You are coming home to dinner tonight.”

“Yes’m.”

“And bring your friends. If you’re traveling with them, I’d like to at least meet them.”

“Yes’m.”

She nodded sharply and stood up, rounding the table to drop a kiss on his head. “I’m glad you’re safe, my darling boy.”

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