So, I've bitten the proverbial bullet and thrown a few stones in the Path of True Love. This is from a shiny new chapter. Christopher takes Grace to a Very Posh Wedding at a Very Big House. Unfortunately, one of the guests is Christopher's odious ex-girlfriend, Pippa. She rubs Grace up the wrong way and Grace returns home with a bad taste in her mouth.
Grace couldn’t shake Pippa’s words. She stared out of the window at the flat, south Lincolnshire landscape and stewed while Christopher drove on oblivious. She looked at him out of the corner of her eye and understood why Pippa found it hard to let him drop. She just wished she could forget how much could keep them apart. Grace hated that Pippa had reminded her of it. Hated that she’d reminder her that she was nothing more than a glorified shit-flicker with working hands. The man driving the smart, sporty little car was out of her league. He belonged at dinner parties in big houses, drinking port and talking about rugby. He didn’t belong with her in her little cottage, with a take away for dinner and two filet steaks in the freezer.
“Are you all right?” Christopher turned onto the Fordham Road. They were nearly home.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” It wasn’t worth explaining. Grace knew it would sound stupid. “I think I’ll just be glad to get home.”
His hand was warm on her knee. “Me too. I’m sorry I inflicted that on you. It won’t happen again.”
Grace folded her arms across her chest and watched the road. “Good.”
Back at the yard, evening stables was in full swing. The yard echoed with the sound of slamming buckets and the anxious whicker of hungry horses. Grace hurried into the house and inhaled the familiar scent of home. The faint smoky scent of bacon lingered in the kitchen and, in the living room, the cinnamon perfume of candles. Grace picked up her bag and took it into the bedroom.
“Grace?” Christopher stood in the doorway. “What’s wrong?”
She unfastened her dress and scrambled out of it. “I don’t want to talk about it. It even sounds stupid when I think about it.”
Grace sorted through a drawer for a tee-shirt. “Nothing, forget it. I’m fine.”
“Grace, darling, you are not fine. You’re sorting though that drawer as if you’re looking for something to kill.”
She pulled the shirt over her head and paused. “I would like to kill Pippa. How’s that for an answer.”
“She doesn’t mean anything to me.”
“No., perhaps she doesn’t, but she doesn’t think I’m good enough for you and maybe she’s right. I’ve just spent the weekend in your world and I didn’t much care for it because it reminded me that I didn’t belong there.” She held out her hands, palm up. “These are my hands, they’re working hands. You said that once, remember? These hands are a constant bloody reminder that I don’t belong in your world. I’m a pretender.”
“Now you’re just being silly.” Christopher took a step towards her. His hands closed on her shoulders. “The only world that matters to me is the one you’re in. This house, this room, you…this is where I belong, this is where I want to be.”
Grace lifted her chin. “I want to believe that. I really do. But look at us, look at you. You’re an officer in some posh regiment. You visit my world but you don’t belong here.”“Grace, stop talking like that. It’s bollocks.” There was an edge to his voice. His grip tightened when he drew her close, one hand cupped her chin. “Just…stop.” His mouth devoured hers, angry breaths drowned the silence. Christopher backed her to the wall while Grace braced her hands on his chest. She couldn’t find it in her to push him away, not when he pressed against her, all heat and fury. His tongue swept over hers, drawing her in, demanding her attention until she relented. Her breath fell into sync with his.