The Secret of Trefusis Cove – Episode 39

They turned right off the main road and went along the path leading to Tangara, then another right turn to the rough road leading to Aircut’s cottage.

Tonight the moon presented a bright orange glow with dark clouds skimming across it, making patterns on the full tide like an artist’s brush strokes.

Alex pulled Polly to a halt and they sat in silence except for the mare’s breathing and occasional snort.

“How beautiful.” Val smiled.

“I never noticed before how lovely this place is; always in a hurry, me. No time to stop and stare.”

“What about Australia? Aren’t there beautiful places there?”

“No doubt, but not where I make a living, on the Gold Coast. It’s noisy, colourful and fun most of the time. Not like here. Here makes you stop and think, like in the outback.”

He sighed.

“If it wasn’t for you, Val, I’d have never noticed this at all.”

“According to your current plans all this won’t last much longer,” Val said quietly. “We were wondering why you’re doing all these renovations to Tangara if you mean to pull it down.”

“I don’t know, either. I suppose I felt guilty about scaring you two and making things uncomfortable. Anyway, a few dabs of new plaster can hardly make any difference. It’s no bother to my bank account.” He offered his arm.

“Do you want to get down now so we can walk Polly the rest of the way?”

Alex held out his arm and Val grasped it. He lowered her to the ground and she felt his strength as he did so.

He dismounted and stood beside her.

They looked out over the water of the cove.

“I always regarded all this as an enterprise,” Alex said, “but since I’ve known you, Val, I’ve looked at things with new eyes.”

“Has it changed your mind about your plans?”

“Afraid not,” he said quietly. “I can see this place will appeal to a lot of people: holidaymakers and such.

“There are a few more legalities to sort out, then things will begin to change. I just have to persuade Peter John to sell Tangara to me, then the deal will be done.”

He looked down at her.

“Don’t let’s talk about my plans, Val. I have to tell you something right this minute, but you may have realised it already.”

Val looked up into his eyes, her heart beating hard.

“You must have guessed that I’m in love with you,” he whispered. “I never thought it could happen to me again, but it has.

“Ever since I nearly mowed you down on the top road behind Tangara, I haven’t been able to get your frightened little face out of my mind.”

“You can’t be!” she whispered back “We’ve known one another for such a little time.”

“How much time do you think it takes to feel this way? And I know you feel it, too.” He pulled her gently into his arms.

“Alex, maybe you just think you’re in love. This is such a romantic place and we’ve been thrown together by such strange circumstances. Maybe it’s not real . . .”

She was silenced by his lips pressing gently against her own and she didn’t pull away.

In that moment she knew that it was what she wanted, too.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.