Breaking Free – A Quick Peck on the Cheek

Ever the gentleman, Al had insisted on going right up to the door of the flat. Sarah unlocked the door and as Al turned to go, she gave him a quick hug and a peck on the cheek. He blushed. She’d never seen him blush as much as that before, and thought that she had better get back inside before he realised that she had seen him. Buster glared at her as she turned the living room lights on.

“Better get used to it mate. It’s going to be me that gives you your dinners for the next month or so.”

He got up slowly, arched his back and walked off in the direction of Millie’s room. The door was shut but Sarah saw no point in tormenting him further so she opened it. Tail held very high, he walked through the doorway and jumped onto the bed, turning round three times and curling himself up into a big fat ball on Millie’s pillow. Sarah sat down in front of her laptop; feeling slightly bereft of any project planning for India now that Millie had gone. She looked at her watch. It was only just ten o’clock, and wondering if Jude had gone to bed, she sent her text. The reply came back almost immediately. Jude had been asleep for most of the day, Dan and the girls had gone to bed and she was too wide awake for her own good. Sarah rang her.

“Hang on, I’m in the living room under a blanket but I’ll shut the door so as not to wake anyone up. Is everything okay? Did Millie get off alright? Are you feeling lonely yet?”

“I’m fine Jude. We saw Millie off at the airport, then Tom at the station.”


“Al came, we couldn’t fit the three of us and Millie’s luggage in my little car, so Al from Security very kindly offered to take us in his big black car.”

A note of curiosity crept into Jude’s voice. “So, what did you do when you’d seen Tom off?”

“We both felt a bit flat, and Al offered to take me for a drink. He seemed a bit taken aback when I said yes.”

“So where did you go? Come on Sarah! Spit it out!”

“Just teasing, I know how nosey you are. We went to a little old pub in the country, near Al’s old home. It was lovely. Very eccentric and full of memorabilia, and the food was to die for. Toilets were a bit eccentric too, but you can’t have everything.”

“What did you talk about?”

“Al did most of the talking actually. He used to be in the police force. We did swap a few gory stories, but mostly I listened. He’s very good company.”

“I’ll bet. What happened next?”

“He insisted on coming up to the flat door with me. I offered coffee, but he declined. I gave him a quick hug and a peck on the cheek, and he blushed as he said goodbye. Is that a thorough enough description for you?”

“No, but I doubt if I’ll get much more out of you anyway. How are you feeling though? Lonely?”

“Not really. I got used to being alone after Andy left and rather enjoyed it, especially when I had Abigail to spar with. I’ve been so busy sorting out Millie’s trip over the past couple of weeks, I feel I’ve really neglected you all.”

“It’s okay. We understood. I missed you most though.”

“Well, I was thinking about that. If I can arrange to get you in, would you like to come up and sit in on the show sometime this week?”

“Oh, would I? You bet!”

“Would they be able to do without you for a night as well? I thought maybe Dan and the girls could bring you up at after school, we could all go out for a meal, Dan could take the girls home, and you could stay the night and come into work with me the next day, and I’ll take you home afterwards.”

“Wow! Would I get to see behind the scenes as well?”

“Yes, and meet Oliver if you’re really unlucky. No, I don’t mean that. He’s quite nice really, it just doesn’t always come over that way.”

“Oh Sarah. I would so love to come and have a peek at your world.”

“By the end of the filming you’ll be looking through your fingers, I can assure you. We’re filming on Wednesday and Friday. How about coming up on Thursday and I’ll take you home on Friday night?”

“That sounds great. Can I check with Dan in the morning?”

“Sure, I’ll sort things out at work, but I don’t think Oliver will raise any objections. I’ve just signed a permanent contract so I’d have to do something pretty dreadful to get the sack – especially with Millie away. Anyway, you sound sleepy now. Go to bed and I’ll text you tomorrow once I’ve sorted things out.”

“Night Sarah. Thank you. You just turned a bad day into a brilliant one. Will I get to meet the lovely Al too?”

“Probably. Goodnight my lovely. Sweet dreams.”


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