Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Episode 63 - In the cool of the evening

Sitting with her feet up against the patio wall Sophie stretched languorously ‘well Cassy you certainly know how to throw a party, what with Gloria’s secret and Mum’s bombshell about Michael’s arrest, it certainly wasn’t dull.’

‘We knew that Ollie was up to something’ said Cassy refilling her glass ‘but we never imagined hat he was looking for a long lost grandmother. I’m amazed that Malcolm’s taken the new so well, I had him pegged as a real old fuddy duddy.’

‘Just goes to show you never can tell. After all who would have guessed that Michael of all people was capable of murder?’

‘I know, it was a total shock. He and Sonny seemed made for each other and as for Mrs. Hale, wasn’t she a dark horse?’

‘Do you realise that you sound like a pair of old fish wives gossiping away out here’ laughed Liam

‘You can’t tell me that you weren’t shocked when you heard that Michael bumped off the old dear. Do you think that she had a thing for him and he panicked when she came on to him?’ asked Cassy

‘No you daft bat’ laughed Liam

‘I suppose it’ll all come out at the trial’ said Alistair pulling up a chair to join them ‘I’ve checked on the children and they are all fast asleep.’

‘Thank you darling, I won’t be up too much later myself, I’m absolutely exhausted. It was a great party though, thank you so much for arranging it Cassy. It would have taken us months to meet so many of our new neighbours, Wouldn’t it Alistair?’ Said Sophie nudging her husband.

‘Yes, yes, very kind’ he muttered distractedly

‘It was a pleasure’ said Liam ‘we just wanted a way to thank you for everything and to help you feel more at home here.’

‘Oh we do’ smiled Sophie ‘this is the best thing we ever did. Isn’t it darling?’

‘Er yes, absolutely, splendid.’ Mumbled Alistair

‘Well I don’t know about the rest of you but I’ve got to be up in five hours to feed the hens, so if nobody minds I’m going to turn in.’ said Cassy draining the last of her wine.

To a chorus of goodnights the four friends made their way back to their own homes.

Alistair looked at Sophie as they walked down through the olive grove. She was so happy, far happier that she had been in London. It was as if she had been storing up all her gaiety for this new life. Her face was glowing with more than the effects of the hot Spanish sun and there was a spring to her step that he couldn’t ever remember seeing before. He was shocked to think that he hadn’t ever noticed how unhappy she must have been before.

He had always thought that Sophie thrived on pressure and that she couldn’t be happy unless she was earning a huge salary to pay for the children’s’ nanny, their grand London house and her top of the range sports car. He was embarrassed to admit even to himself that he never questioned their life back then, he just presumed that his capable, professional busy wife was content with the trappings of wealth that her high pressured job brought.

‘Alistair are you coming up?’ Asked Sophie

‘In a minute, I just want to check my emails.’

‘Oh not now, it’s so late. Can’t you do that in the morning?’ She pleaded

‘I won’t be long, you go up. I’ll be up in a minute.’ Alistair answered as he walked into his study.

Sophie stood in the cool shower and tried to stop the tears from flowing. Why couldn’t tonight be different, she thought. Why can’t you leave that bloody computer for once and come to bed with me?

She didn’t know why Alistair was being like this, what has she done wrong? They hadn’t argued and she had tried her best to show him how happy she was to have made the move from London. She understood that when he managed to get home from Brussels that he was tired and that when they both had hectic schedules it probably did make sense for them to sleep apart sometimes. But things were different now, she was different. She wanted them to be a proper married couple again. OK they were never going to be the kind of people who tore each others clothes off in the hall and had sex on the stairs because they couldn’t wait to get to the bedroom. But that didn’t matter to her because she loved him, with all her heart.

Lying naked on top of the bed Sophie longed for Alistair to come upstairs and make love to her. She wanted to feel him inside her, making love together for the first time in their new home. As she lay on the cool cotton sheets, the warm gentle breeze wafting in through the open window caressing her tanned skin Sophie prayed that her beautiful considerate gentle husband wanted her as much as she wanted him.

Down in the study Alistair fired up his laptop and sat down at the desk. Absently he read through his emails and wondered how long he should wait until he could be sure that his wife had fallen asleep and wouldn’t wake when he finally climbed into bed.