‘Seeing as we never agreed on a time, then no, you aren’t,’ Molly replied testily, overwhelmingly aware of how awful she looked in the ratty old tracksuit.
‘Oh, no! I never phoned you, did I?’ He slapped his forehead with the palm of his hand. ‘I’ve been so busy moving my stuff into the cottage that it went straight out of my mind. Sorry!’
‘It’s OK.’ Molly shrugged, not wanting it to appear as though it mattered an iota. Nevertheless, the thought that she was so easily forgettable didn’t exactly cheer her up. She pushed that foolish thought aside. ‘As you can see, I’m not ready so it’s probably best if you go without me...’
‘Not at all,’ Sean said quickly. ‘There’s plenty of time for you to get changed.’ He held up his hand when she started to speak. ‘I know for a fact that Bert and Doris will be very disappointed if you don’t go tonight, Molly.’ His voice dropped, sounding so deep and seductive that a shiver ran through her. ‘Me too. I’ve been looking forward to this evening all week.’
Molly knew that she should stand firm but the note of longing in his voice was her undoing. Stepping back, she ushered him into the sitting room, telling herself that it was ridiculous to imagine that Sean was so desperate for her company. It was probably one of his many ruses, she told herself as she hurried upstairs. A trick he had used umpteen times before to get his own way. However, despite all that, she simply couldn’t find it in her heart to refuse to go with him and she sighed as she went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. Where Sean was concerned, she was like putty in his hands—pliable, malleable and far too easily led astray!
THE GREEN MAN was crowded when they arrived. It appeared that Bert and Doris had invited every single person they knew to help them celebrate their marriage. Sean grabbed hold of Molly’s hand as they made their way through the fray to where their hosts were seated, not wanting them to become separated. It had been pure good luck that he had managed to persuade her to come tonight after that mistake he had made and he didn’t intend to waste a single precious second of her company.
He glanced at her, feeling his heart lift as once again he found himself thinking how lovely she looked. She had chosen a slim-fitting deep green dress for the occasion. If he’d been better versed in fashion-speak he would have been able to describe it in detail but all he knew was that the soft velvety fabric clung to every delectable curve. She was wearing high-heeled shoes and her legs looked fabulous—long and shapely—as she led the way through a gap in the crowd.
Sean swallowed a sigh as he forced his gaze away from the enticing curve of her calves. She looked gorgeous and, what was more, she was gorgeous inside and out. No wonder he was having the devil of a job behaving sensibly. One of the reasons why he had agreed to swap shifts was the fact that it would give him a breathing space. Taking some time out away from Molly had seemed propitious and it had worked too. Or it had done until she had opened the door tonight and he had found himself right back where he had started; right back where he had left off two years ago, if he was honest. It couldn’t carry on this way—he couldn’t cope! At some point he would have to make some decisions about what he intended to do, but not tonight. Tonight he was just going to enjoy being with her.
‘So you made it. That’s grand, that is. We did wonder if you’d come as we know how busy you both must be, what with your work and everything.’ Bert Feathers beamed in delight as he stood up to greet them and Sean hastily returned his thoughts to the reason why they were there. Bending, he kissed Doris’s cheek.
‘We’ve been really looking forward to tonight, haven’t we, Molly?’ Sean said as he straightened up.
‘I...um... Yes, of course.’ Molly bent and kissed Doris then gave Bert a kiss as well. ‘Congratulations to you both. I’m sure you’ll be very happy together.’
‘Oh, there’s no doubt about that!’ Bert laughed as he sat down and squeezed Doris’s hand. ‘We plan to make the most of whatever time we have left, don’t we, love, starting tomorrow with our honeymoon.’
‘Where are you going?’ Sean asked, trying to hide his chagrin at the way Molly had hesitated. He knew that he had railroaded her into coming with him so it shouldn’t have been a surprise if she appeared less than thrilled about spending the evening with him; however, the thought that she would have preferred Humphreys’ company to his didn’t sit easily with him.