Never Love Another…
Copyright © 2011 by Suzy Stewart Dubot
Published by Suzy Stewart Dubot
ISBN : 979-10-91560-08-5 EAN : 9791091560085
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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St Albans, summer of 1816 Louise quickly dropped the third hot pan of freshly baked bread on the table next to the other two. She loved this day each week when yeast merged with flour to fill the cottage with the comforting aroma of fresh bread, an aroma that took her back to her childhood. Her gestures had duplicated those of her grandmother’s and probably those of women for thousands of years. A brisk knock at the door had her automatically wiping away the brown wisps of hair stuck to her damp forehead before calling to ‘come in’. Mary peeked around the door before crossing the cottage’s threshold. “Is this an awkward time for you? Shall I come back later?” “No, you have come just at the right moment because the bread is out of the oven and I was going to make myself some tea. Have some with me before Leo wakes. Felicity is with Joan’s children and will be back a little later.” Mary didn’t need encouraging. She pulled out a chair at that end of the table farthest away from the cooling bread and the hot oven. She was already warm enough, having hurried from the other side of the small town to tell Louise the news. Now she was savouring the wait as the tea steeped in its pot. Louise brought out two mugs for the brew, not standing on formality with her friend. She then sat at the corner next to her. “Well, what is it you’re dying to tell me?” she said with a laugh. “Is it that obvious?” Mary grinned. “You’re not usually out of breath when you visit, so I guessed you’d hurried.” Mary put a hand on Louise’s unconsciously before continuing. “Felix Atherton is home and in a sorry state too, from all accounts!” She had wanted to surprise Louise but she’d hardly expected her reaction. Her chin had fallen to her chest and she didn’t move again or utter a sound. And then Mary heard her sobs before they took hold of her body and had her shuddering as she tried to contain them. Without hesitation Mary rose to put her arms around Louise. She spoke to her softly. “I am very sorry Louise. I really had no idea that it would affect you so or I would have chosen my words more carefully.” Louise brought both her hands to her face and cried. She wasn’t aware that Mary had looked for and found a soft cloth on one of the cupboards. It was as she encouraged her to take it that she was once again aware of the room. She wiped her eyes viciously with it before blowing her nose on a corner. “I was afraid he was dead.” It was the only explanation she offered and Mary felt it wasn’t the moment to push for more. She’d been aware that Louise had known Felix from childhood but had thought that the years separating their lives had removed any feeling of intimacy that might have existed between them in that distant time. “Listen, I’ll come back tomorrow and we can talk if you like.” “Don’t go, Mary. You’ve not had your tea and I’ll be all right now. It was just a bit of a shock as I really thought he must have...