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She resented his apology for the display of power it was. The silence had been building for some miles, compressed by the confined space of the car, and it was clear the thin statement of contrition was on its way. He had the tilt to his head that signaled an imminent announcement on a difficult subject. Changing lanes to come off the main road, he began.
‘I have to say,’ he said in a tone that suggested the very opposite of obligation, and carried on to throw out a checklist of reasons for his behaviour, forming a trellis of self-supporting justifications to which his excellent opinion of himself would be able to cling. The apology came in the midst of this soliloquy. It slipped out sotto voce, as the slip road arced them away from the motorway, under the flyover, and onto the B-road that would lead them to the foothills and their destination.