A Country Affair

A Country Affair by Rebecca Shaw Read Free Book Online

Book: A Country Affair by Rebecca Shaw Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rebecca Shaw
Tags: Fiction
some of the food left over from the lunch buffet.
    “Otherwise Mungo and I will still be eating it this time next week, so you must. I insist.”
    Joy said Miriam had provided far too much and Miriam’s reply, spoken with her face alight with laughter, was that her generous nature was to blame.
    Mungo, who’d been out on a call during the afternoon, was back, tucking into the food. Whatever it was Kate had done to upset him seemed to have been forgotten, and he appeared relaxed and amused them all by relating the funny side of the call he had just made. Before she left, they’d all decided that after they’d indulged themselves with Miriam’s food they didn’t need to eat, so they’d all go out for a drink together. Only Kate had declined, saying she had arranged to go out with Adam.
    “Bring him with you,” said Stephie. “We’d like to get to know him and it’s a good chance for you to meet everyone too. Go on, give him a ring on his mobile.”
    “He hasn’t got one.”
    Stephie thought about this and said, “If he’s at your house waiting for you, go home and tell him we’re going to the Fox and Grapes. He’ll jump at the chance, believe me.”
    So she did just as Stephie said. She tapped on the car window. “Hi!”
    Adam wound it down and snapped, “Where have you been? I’ve been waiting ages.”
    “I’m sorry. Miriam asked us all up to the apartment to finish off the food. It would have been discourteous not to have accepted her invitation. If you hadn’t gone off in a huff, you could have gone upstairs too. Anyway, I’m here now. Come in while I get changed and have a wash because we’re all meeting up for a drink and you’re invited.”
    “I’ve not eaten yet.”
    “You can eat at the pub. They do lovely food there.”
    “I thought we were celebrating tonight, just the two of us.”
    “Look, I’m the new girl and I want to belong and I don’t yet, so going out with them all will help. It’ll be such fun. So please, for my sake.”
    Adam didn’t reply, but stared straight ahead, ignoring her.
    “Please, you’ll like them all. I know you will; they’re such a friendly lot. Go on, please. Come in and wait. I shan’t be long.”
    “I think you’d best go on your own. I’ll be here tomorrow at twelve as usual.”
    Incensed by his refusal to indulge her, Kate said, “Don’t bother, Adam, thank you.”
    “Not go out for lunch? But it’s Sunday!”
    “I know what day of the week it is. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were jealous.”
    “Of what?”
    “Heaven alone knows. Go on, then, spend Saturday night with your mother. I’m sure she’ll enjoy your company, which is more than I would with you in this mood.”
    Kate slammed into the house, absolutely furious with him. She went to the Fox and Grapes, fully intending to have a good night. Which she did and later, in bed, she decided that she’d enjoyed herself an awful lot more than she would have if she’d gone out with Adam. Then she felt guilty, then decided she didn’t care if he didn’t come around ever again, changed her mind and wished she had gone out with him, and changed her mind again when she finally came to the conclusion that Scott and Graham and Rhodri were much more fun, to say nothing of the two Sarahs, who were such an incredibly funny double act they’d had her in stitches. She was in so much turmoil that it was two o’clock before she got to sleep.
     
    A ROUND that time Duncan came home. Joy had gone back straight from the practice, expecting to find him waiting for his meal, but he hadn’t been there. She made it for him anyway and kept it under a plate, ready for the microwave when he did finally decide to return. But two o’clock in the morning was excessively late even for Duncan.
    Joy leaped out of bed when she heard his key in the door and went downstairs dreading what she would find. If it was possible, he appeared wearier than ever, his dark stubble emphasizing the exhaustion in

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