‘Mmm, this is delicious. Did you pick up one of these?’
Sean showed her a tiny pastry tart filled with cream cheese and prawns and Molly shook her head then swallowed as a wave of nausea suddenly struck her.
‘No? Then have this one. I picked up two, greedy guts that I am, so it’s only fair that I share them with you.’ He went to pop the tartlet on her plate but Molly pushed his hand away.
‘No! I...I don’t like prawns,’ she muttered, using the first excuse she could come up with to explain why she’d been so abrupt.
‘Really?’ Sean frowned, his dark brows drawing together as he stared at her in surprise. ‘Since when? You used to love prawns. Why, they were your favourite sandwich filling. Whenever I asked you what you wanted from the canteen, it was always a prawn mayonnaise sandwich.’
‘I probably ate so many that I sickened myself of them,’ Molly said snappily, wishing that he didn’t have such excellent recall. Was he going to dredge up every itty-bitty scrap of information about her? she thought sourly, then realised how contrary she was being. The fact that Sean remembered which sandwiches she had liked should have been a boost to her ego. It proved that he hadn’t simply dismissed her from his mind the minute he had left Dalverston, as she had imagined.
The thought was unsettling, far too unsettling to explore at that moment. Molly concentrated on her supper and managed to eat at least some of the food on her plate. Sean was tucking in with gusto and sighed with contentment when the last morsel had disappeared.
‘That was delicious. Best food I’ve eaten in days. I love living in the cottage but I haven’t quite got to grips with the Aga yet.’ He groaned. ‘I didn’t think it was possible to burn water but I managed it. Or rather I burnt the potatoes that were supposed to be boiling in it!’
Molly laughed as well, thinking how handsome he looked as he sat there, his deep blue eyes filled with self-mocking laughter. Sean had never taken himself too seriously. He had such an easy manner about him that both staff and patients alike were always comfortable when he was around. He was very different in that respect from Adam Humphreys. Adam tended to stand very much on ceremony—he was the doctor and he wanted everyone to remember it too. She couldn’t imagine Adam laughing at himself like that and it was the last thought she needed when, every time she compared the two men, Sean came out on top.
‘You need some lessons,’ she said, hurriedly steering her thoughts down a less dangerous track.
‘If that’s an offer, then yes, please. Both me and my poor stomach would be eternally grateful if you could give me a few tips on how to master the wretched thing.’
‘Oh, I...um...’ Molly floundered, caught completely off-guard by the suggestion.
‘How about tomorrow morning? You’re off this weekend and I’m on a late on Saturday so it would be perfect.’
He looked so hopeful that Molly found the refusal dying on her lips. After all, what harm could there be in giving him some pointers about the art of Aga cooking?
‘All right. Around ten, shall we say?’
‘Brilliant!’ He rolled his eyes lasciviously. ‘Oh, I can’t wait to cook myself a meal that doesn’t taste—or smell—as though it’s been cremated!’
Molly laughed. Even though he was hamming it up for all he was worth, it was good to know that she could help him at least with regard to his cooking skills. As for the rest, well, there was very little she could do about that.
Thankfully, there was no time to dwell on that thought as the best man called for silence just then and asked everyone to raise their glasses to toast the happy couple. Once that was done, music began to play and Bert and Doris took to the floor in a stately and surprisingly accomplished waltz. Other people started to join in and Molly jumped when Sean touched her lightly on the arm.
‘Fancy a go?’ He grinned at her. ‘I can’t promise not to tread on your toes but I’ll give it my best shot.’
‘Why not?’ she said because it seemed churlish to refuse when everyone else was dancing. She followed him onto the dance floor, steeling herself when he took her in his arms. Even though he was holding her at arm’s length, it wasn’t easy to ignore the powerful attraction of his body. They completed a full circuit of the floor, their steps fitting so perfectly that there was no danger of him trampling on her toes. Tossing back her hair, Molly treated him to a mock-fierce stare.
‘I think you were spinning me a line, Sean Fitzgerald. You’re an excellent dancer so what was that rubbish about not treading on my toes all about?’