Author's Note. Not a chapter.

Just a quick update for any of you lovely and intrepid souls still interested in this story.

I haven't been hit by a bus.

I had intended to update by Christmas, then by the end of this month and now it will firmly be in February. It would beggar description what's gone on in the past month in my real life.

That said, this new update will be monstrously long. I've bored people to tears and despair with chapter length in the past and I know it. Prepare for even worse than what I've put you through before.

I hope you're all having a good start to the new year. I hope none of you are currently frozen in the US and/or are healthy and safe wherever you are in the world.

Thanks to all who remain interested. Your kind words have meant so much and have often felt far more than I deserve for anything I could possibly ever have offered you.

More even if I'd written a million pages.

Sometimes it seems to me-and undoubtedly to you as well-as if I had.

See you soon.

If I don't get hit by a bus!