She turned to Skulduggery and held out her arms. "Come here, you." He tilted his head. "My hugs are for special occasions only." "Hug me." "I prefer the old tradition." "Hug." "Would a handshake do?" "Hug." "A pat on the back?" She stepped forward and wrapped her arms round him. "Hug," she said. He sighed, and his hands settled on her shoulders. The others were warm and their embraces strong "" with Skulduggery the hug was cold, and there were areas on his jacket that gave way beneath her fingers, and she could feel the emptiness within. She didn't mind.

She turned to Skulduggery and held out her arms.