Country Wives

Country Wives by Rebecca Shaw Read Free Book Online

Book: Country Wives by Rebecca Shaw Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rebecca Shaw
believed for you to have loved her so much Janey must have been perfect. But she wasn’t. So I shan’t feel like I did anymore.”
    “You’ve no need to at all. You’re everything to me, since the day we met.”
    “Thank you. Me too. I loved you that first day and have worshipped you ever since.”
    Mungo tenderly placed his hands either side of her face and kissed her lips. “I am forever in your debt.”
    “And I in yours for rescuing me from such a lonely life and for loving me with a love I don’t deserve.” Miriam gently released herself from his grasp and leaned back in her chair. Staring into the fire, she said, “We’ll get over this problem with old Askew. You’ll see. I’m so pleased we made the move and got this place built. It not only gave me something to fill my mind after the children died, but businesswise it was the rightthing to do. Everything works so well. Rhodri and Graham and Valentine and you and Colin and now Dan. With Zoe back we shall make a good team. Where we would be without Joy I don’t know, and she is such a good friend to me. We shall miss Kate when she goes, though. She’ll make a good vet. Kate will be like you and Dan: dependable, strong, clever, caring.”
    He thought of how it pained him when he first realized that Kate’s face reminded him so much of Janey’s; but having shared his anguish with Miriam, he felt it no longer seemed to matter. “Nice girl. I hope she makes it.”
    “So do I. I’m sure she will.”

Chapter
• 3 •
    W e’ve had the most horrendous day at the practice. I’m shattered; but I’ve chemistry to do for tomorrow night, and I’ve got to press on with it.” Kate leaned her elbows on the kitchen table and waited for some sympathy from her father.
    Gerry thumped his fist on the table. “Think of the rewards! I’ll be so proud.” He reached across and patted her arm. “There’s no father could be prouder of his daughter than me. When you go to college I shall tell everyone I meet.”
    “Dad! Please, you won’t say a word, will you, till we know for certain?”
    “I’m not daft. I can bide my time. I never thought when you were born that you’d grow up to be a vet.”
    “What did you think I’d be?”
    “I never gave it a thought, I was too busy being amazed at what I had produced. A miracle you were to me. An utter miracle!”
    Watching his face glowing with his memories, Kate wondered about asking him what her mother had felt on that day. The subject had been taboo all her life, but there came atime … “And my mother, what did she think of me when she saw me?” Kate knew she was in uncharted waters with her question, but she had to ask it; she had to know. For the first time in her life she saw her father’s eyes fill with tears. She watched him take out his handkerchief and blow his nose, saw when he’d finished that he was too filled with emotion to answer. “Sorry, Dad, it doesn’t matter if you can’t…”
    Gerry shook his head. He got up from the table and went upstairs. Kate could hear his footsteps climbing right up to the attic and then the whirr of his train set starting up, and she knew that certainly tonight she wasn’t going to hear about that elusive mother of hers. She shrugged her shoulders.
    Mia came in from the supermarket loaded with shopping. “Give me a hand, love, will you?” Mia gave her a couple of bags. “Thanks. Where’s your dad?”
    Kate put the bags down and pointed to the ceiling.
    Mia looked resigned. “Train set? Do men ever grow up? Just think if I were still playing with a doll’s pram. They’d be taking me away!”
    “I’ve never thought about it like that. I wouldn’t let them, though. I’d look after you.”
    “Thank you, that’s a relief to know. I suppose we have to be thankful he isn’t a train-spotter! I couldn’t be married to a train-spotter, could you?” Mia wrinkled her nose in disgust, half laughing, half serious.
    “Certainly not.” Kate had to laugh.

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