The End Of The Rainbow – Episode 81

Constance stared at the panel that she had worked on for weeks, brushing away a tendril of hair that was clinging damply to her forehead. It was warm in the big cluttered room, sunlight streaming through the windows. Most of the students at the art school had departed for the summer. The place was quiet, but Peregrine still paced round his territory, checking up, sorting things out, and stopping at Constance’s workplace every now and then to offer words of encouragement.“Keep to your usual style these elongated, richly ornamented figures. They’re distinctive and original, your artistic signature, so to speak.”The panel was one of her commissions, a design for a stained-glass panel in one of the big West End mansions near Uncle William’s.Constance stepped back and regarded it critically. It showed a girl with flowers spilling out of her arms, glancing up at a rainbow. The end of the rainbow was obscured by a distant hill.She bit her lip. Was the rainbow too much? Were her inner emotions pushing their way into her work? She sighed, pushing her hands through her hair in distraction. She did not hear the click of the door as it opened, and she started as a familiar voice spoke behind her.“Constance.”Her name, nothing more. She turned, and there was Adam. Jacketless, his shirt snowy white against the bronze of his skin, his hair bleached almost white by the sun.She was aware of no movement, yet somehow, she was in his arms, her face upturned for his kiss. It was a kiss that seemed to last for ever, that made her cling to him as if she would never let him go, a kiss that took them both to a place where there was no time, no past and no people. Just the two of them, together.At last, Constance and Adam drew apart a little, their arms still around each other. Constance touched his cheek with her fingertips.“You came back . . .” she began, her eyes luminous with tears of joy.When he answered his voice was rough with emotion.“For you, Constance. There’s never been anyone else. There could never be anyone else.”She reached up and put her finger gently on his lips,“Hush, Adam. No words. Just us, here. No questions, no answers. I have all I need.”The tears of happiness spilled over. Tenderly, Adam wiped them away, and kissed his Constance again.They had lost track of time when, at last, Constance took Adam’s hand and almost shyly brought him to the panel she had been working on. Smiling, she traced the line of the rainbow.“We’ve found the end of the rainbow,” she said quietly.Smiling, he put his hand over hers. There was a small silence. Then Adam looked round the room, almost in wonder. “Surely this is . . .” he began. She nodded, eyes dancing.“Where it all began. The picnic in that corner, the day we first met.”Suddenly, for both of them, that dusty, cluttered art room became the most beautiful place in the whole world.Taking her hand, Adam led her into a broad shaft of sunlight.“Constance Tarrant-Smyth, will you marry me?”“Adam Gray, the answer is yes.”He swept her into his arms once again and whirled her round that room, where it had all begun, in a rapturous, sunlit, impromptu dance. Then he paused, and fixed her with a mock-serious look.“When?”“Tomorrow!” came the reply, as her eyes shone and the sun coaxed silver-gilt from her hair. And they danced on.


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