Last time Bill returned from his first day of investigating and comforted Allie.
Allie stirred the next morning, and was surprised to feel something warm and breathing beside her. She opened her eyes and allowed herself a small smile and buried herself a little closer to him, enjoying the feeling of being close to someone. She hadn’t been close in bed with anyone since her husband died and it felt nice.
Bill lifted an arm and draped it over her, a small hum of contentment escaping his lips. He pressed himself closer to her, too, and then as he woke more fully he realised that things were starting to veer towards the exact impropriety he had been trying to avoid. The sun was creeping around the curtains enough that he knew it wasn’t particularly early, so he cleared his throat noisily as he carefully put a little space between them again.
Allie stretched out, and rolled over, “Bill?” she blinked sleepily, reaching over to him.
“Who else were you expecting to find in your bed?” he asked with a laugh.
“I thought you’d slip back to your room,” she murmured. She sat up a little. “Did you get any sleep? I didn’t many your arm go numb did I?”
“Well, I did plan to,” he admitted, answering her first question first. “But I fell asleep and I slept quite soundly, I think.” He lifted his arm and tested it out. “No, I can still feel it. I don’t think you were lying on it all night.”
Allie smiled shyly and reached for her dressing gown, making a move to start getting dressed. “I hope you don’t think I was too forward asking you to be here last night?”
“No, I think that your reputation is still intact,” he assured her with a smile. “I didn’t mind.” He got up and retrieved his shoes. “I’ll see you at breakfast.” He returned to his own room where he quickly messed up the bed to make it look slept in and then went to the little bathroom to wash and shave before dressing in fresh clothes for breakfast.
Breakfast was plentiful and fresh like every other morning, and Mrs Evans catered for the masses, even if she was only feeding two. Bill was down first and was swotting up on his map, having skimmed the morning papers before Allie came down, clean and presentable as always. He winked at her as she set down and Mrs Evans bustled in to see if Allie wanted a cooked breakfast and what the plan was for Bill today.
There had been nothing in the papers about the children – not that he expected there to be, he had kept it quiet – and nothing about any funny business with helicopters. Newspapers, as a general rule, didn’t arrive at the farm until later in the day or sometimes later in the week, as they came whenever there were other things to be delivered, or Effans made a trip down into Merthyr. However Bill liked to keep up to date with current events, and had asked for the local paper as well as one or two national ones to be delivered daily, in the morning, at no little cost.
He was gratified to see that Allie accepted Mrs Evans’ offer of a cooked breakfast. “Not a big one,” she added, though it would be a hopeless request.
Mrs Evans then dished up what she clearly considered to be a dainty breakfast, there being only two sausages, two eggs, two slices of toast and so on.
Allie smiled wryly at Bill as he lit his pipe. “Small isn’t a word Mrs Evans knows is it?” she said with an understanding smile. She felt that Mrs Evans was very kind but wished she didn’t have to serve up such big portions.
He smiled back in a conspiratorial way. “Apparently not.” He wanted to add that she could probably do with eating a good meal but thought it wouldn’t be wise, it would probably out her off eating more than anything. “I’d offer to take some of that for my lunch but I think she’s already filled a basket for me.”
“She was very worried when you left your lunch yesterday, she wouldn’t stop wringing her hands,” Allie teased him gently. “She’s probably wanting to make sure you have enough food today!”
“She probably thought I would starve to death,” he joked, folding the map and tucking it into his pocket. “Anyway, I’d best be off. I’ve got a fair bit of ground to cover today.”
Allie nodded and swallowed her mouthful of food. “Take care,” she said as he lent over to kiss her. “And good luck!”
Bill grabbed the basket Mrs Evans was preparing for him and made a hasty exit, calling a thank you over his shoulder before she could put anything else in. It weighed a ton already. He slung the basket onto the passenger seat and carefully drove down the rutted farm road towards the bigger road that connected Merthyr in the south to the towns and villages on the other side of the Brecons. Instead of turning towards Merthyr today, he turned northwards, in the direction of Abergavenny.
To be continued…