One Summer In France – Episode 43

Back at the auberge, Libby made some coffee. Lucas, after admiring the cake, insisted she shared a slice with him.

“You are still coming to the jazz down in Châteauneuf? I picked up the tickets today,” Lucas said.

“Definitely. I’m looking forward to it,” Libby replied. “And to meeting your friends.”

“How’s your daughter? Is she enjoying her job?” Lucas asked.

Libby nodded.

“She seems to be doing really well. She’s promised to come over soon, but I’m not holding my breath.” Libby sighed. “She’s really busy at work and now she’s got a boyfriend her social life has also taken off.”

She glanced at Lucas.

“Do you have any children?”

“Never been married, so no. I have a niece and a nephew, though, both about to start uni. My sister is already fretting about them leaving home.”

“I know how she feels,” Libby said.

“Luckily she’s got our mother living nearby,” Lucas said. “She’ll make sure she doesn’t have time on her hands.”

“Where in France do they live?”

“Bordeaux,” Lucas said. “My parents moved there when they retired to be near Veronique and her family. I was busy being a locum here, there and everywhere, and basically had no idea where I was going to end up.”

“Where are you from originally?”

“Paris. But for the last twenty-odd years I’ve lived all over France – Burgundy, Dordogne, Provence, and now here I am up in Brittany. Finally managed to set up my own practice.”

“Does that mean you’re settled up here for good?” Libby asked. “Or do you plan to build up the business and sell it on? I should imagine it’s very different from all those other French départments –  especially the South of France ones.”

Lucas cut another slice of cake and offered it to Libby. When she shook her head he put it on his own plate.

“Sell up? No, I don’t think so. After the crowds of the south it’s wonderful here,” he said. “Mind you, I do miss the constant sunshine but I’d had my fill of over-pampered pets. Now I’ve got a real mixture of animals to deal with – domestic, farm and even the occasional wild one. Which reminds me. We’d better go and check up on our fawn.” Lucas looked at his watch. “He’s had long enough to recover now, I think.”

Libby glanced up at the kitchen clock. She’d lost track of time chatting to Lucas and was surprised to see it was over an hour since Lucas had pulled the fawn out of the fence.

Dusk had given way to darkness and this time they did need the torch as they made their way along the canal path. Silently they turned into the field and Lucas shone the torch to where he’d left the young fawn.

There was no sign of either him or the doe.

“Good,” Lucas said. “Mum has obviously taken him off somewhere safer.”

Walking back to the auberge, Libby missed her footing in a pothole and would have fallen if Lucas hadn’t grabbed her and then taken her by the hand.


Lucas didn’t answer, but he didn’t let go of her hand either.

As the moon appeared from behind a cloud, outlining the auberge, Libby breathed a sigh of relief. She gently but resolutely removed her hand from Lucas’s clasp. Her hand had felt far too comfortable resting in Lucas’s capable one, and she didn’t want to give him any ideas.

She meant what she’d told Helen – she didn’t need a man in her life. However gentle and attractive that man was.



Margaret Scott

Margaret is a sub-editor within the Production Team on the "Friend". Her main job is to work on the stories and make sure the magazine leaves us in its best possible guise. When not doing that, however, she either has her head buried in the old “Friend” volumes or is out and about giving talks or going on Warner trips (fab!). She hates cheese.