Together We Stand – Episode 43

Later that night, Tanni wearily made her way up the last few steps to the cottage on the Orme.

“Thank you, Mr Gillingham,” she said as they stopped in the darkness, just out of earshot of the policeman standing in front of the door. “I’m glad I managed to get the prints finished.”

“I’ll fetch you tomorrow morning. I can drive you to the hotel in plenty of time before your clients leave.”

“There’s no need.”

“I think there is,” Henry persisted. “You saved my sister’s life with your quick thinking. Heaven knows what might have happened if you hadn’t managed to escape. I don’t know what I would have done.”

“At least Madeleine is safe.”

“It wasn’t just Madeleine I was thinking of. Finding the tearooms open, and realising we had all been tricked . . .” He took her hands.

“I couldn’t bear it, Tanni. There are few things certain in my life, but of one thing I am certain, and that is that I can’t imagine life without you.” He pulled her close towards him.

“I can’t imagine life without you,” she whispered, meeting his kiss.

She pulled away to look into his eyes.

“I must go. Mam will be worried, and you need to get back to Madeleine.”

As if in answer, the door opened and her mother appeared, her voice anxious as she spoke to the guarding policeman.

“Of course,” Henry whispered regretfully into Tanni’s hair.

With an effort, Tanni pulled herself free, and ran across the grass to where her mother was waiting.

*  *  *  *

“Mr Banks.” Gwendolyn pushed her way into the councillor’s offices a few days later, bruising still visible on one cheek. She had a look of determination on her face.

“Mrs Humphries.” Banks stared at her, alarm turning his face a shade of pink.

“I wish to have a word with you.”

“I’m somewhat preoccupied.” He waved a wad of papers rather helplessly. “You can make an appointment.”

Gwendolyn sat down.

“I am not going anywhere. And in case you are considering sending for the police to remove me, I suggest you think twice. For your own good, that is.”

Banks flushed scarlet. He glanced at his staff, who had appeared at the door to remove the intruder, and were hanging on every word.

“Ask my next appointment to wait, will you, Mr Huws?” he remarked to his secretary, a rather pale young man who looked decidedly nervous at the sight of Gwendolyn’s umbrella held in an uncompromising manner. “I am never one to say no to a lady in distress.”

“So I’ve heard.” Gwendolyn smiled grimly.

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.