DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
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Heather found herself alone in Anna's flat with nothing but the clothes on her back and her handbag. After waking up on Anna's hospital bed with the three other members of the Lynch family looking on and smiling, the doctor had insisted that they all go home and get some proper rest. Brendan Lynch had handed Heather the keys to Anna's flat and they dropped her off there before making their own journey back to Melrose . She took in her surroundings, it felt strange to be standing here without Anna, like an invasion of privacy, but it made sense for her to stay in Anna's flat for the time being. She had earlier spoken to one of the community education officers informing them that she would be taking the upcoming week off work.
She tentatively wandered around the apartment getting her bearings. Opening the door to Anna's bedroom, she initially stood in the doorway. The bed had been made, after a fashion; the duvet had been haphazardly thrown over, the pillows still askew. A book lay open, pages down on the bedside table next to a solitary lamp. Heather walked over, clicked the lamp on and picked up the book inspecting the cover, ‘Helen of Troy : Goddess, Princess, Whore' by Bettany Hughes. Heather smiled and perused the open pages before setting the book back down as she had found it. She opened Anna's wardrobe in search of something to wear. Finding a robe, she stripped off her clothing and put it on. Next stop was the washing machine; with no other clothes to wear she needed to wash the ones she had on. She left her jeans out, they would do another day and she was sure Anna wouldn't mind her borrowing a t-shirt. She slipped under the duvet and was immediately surrounded by the sweet scent of Anna; it wasn't difficult to find sleep after that.
The following day at the hospital Heather found out that Anna had been moved to another ward, which was a very good sign.
“One more day in here, then I can go home.”
“That's great news, Anna.”
“They just want to make sure I don't suffer any kind of relapse. Well the other thing is, I'm only allowed home if there is someone going to be with me for the next few days, so I will have a word with my mum when she arrives.”
“Actually, if it's all right with you, I've taken the rest of the week off work, so I will be around, if you want someone to stay with you.”
Anna looked strangely at Heather; “You would do that for me?”
“I would love to.”
“That's great. Thanks.”
Anna continued to look Heather over, frowning.
“Is there something wrong?”
“I have a t-shirt, just like that one. Weird isn't it, we must have similar tastes.”
Heather blushed, “Ah, not as weird as you think. This is your t-shirt, I spent the night at your flat, your dad said it would be okay and since I didn't bring a change of clothes with me, I didn't think you would mind if I borrowed something.” Heather stopped when she became aware she was rambling.
“It's perfectly fine, honest.”
“I need to go shopping if you are getting home tomorrow, is there a supermarket near your flat? I also need to find somewhere to buy some clothes.”
“There is an Asda at The Forge not far from here, it does food and clothing.”
“What bus do I get there?”
“Bus? You don't have your car?”
“No, Greg drove me down, but he needed to drive the car back to Havensburgh yesterday morning, he was due out on the boat.”
“My car is parked back at my flat, it's a silver Audi, you can't miss it, it's in my parking space opposite the stair entrance. If you're not sure, just point the key and press, it will soon chirp.” Anna instructed Heather on where to find her car keys.
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely.” Anna changed the subject, “Have you seen my head yet? They had to shave some of my hair off.” She complained.
Before Heather could say anything a male voice interrupted. “Well your mother did say it was getting long.”
“How are you feeling, girl?” enquired Brendan Lynch.
“Definitely better, should be getting home tomorrow.”
“I ah, I'm going to head off and do a bit of shopping, but I will be back later.”
“Don't let us rush you out the door, Heather.” Fay Lynch stated.
“Not at all, I need to go shopping before tomorrow, so while Anna has you both for company, I'll nip away.”
After Heather had gone Anna tried to explain the arrangements she had made to her mum. “So Heather has volunteered to stay with me for a few days. I hope you don't mind?”
Fay Lynch smiled fondly at her daughter, “Not at all, Anna, I made the suggestion to her myself, yesterday.”
“She's a lovely girl, Anna.”
“Yes, she is, Dad.”
Heather returned to the hospital later that evening bringing with her a set of clothes for Anna to wear home the following day.
“Jeans, a long sleeved top, underwear, training shoes and a jacket. I figured that would cover your needs until you get home.”
Anna smiled at Heather's thoughtfulness. “Just perfect. The clothes I had on when I was admitted aren't exactly wearable any more.”
“You have them?”
“Yes, in a sealed bag. My top and bra won't be of any use to me again. They cut them off me. I liked that t-shirt as well.”
“I'm guessing from the amount of them you have at home, you won't miss it.”
“What can I say, I love t-shirts.” Anna shrugged.
“Would you like me to take the bag of clothing away and dispose of it? I'm guessing the clothes will be messy from your head wound.”
Anna thought about Heather's offer for a moment. She hadn't considered that point. Her clothes could well be blood stained. “Eh, the jacket was black and can be put in the washing machine, the jeans will still be in one piece as will my trainers. The rest can go in the bin.”
Heather smiled. “I hadn't realised you were so frugal.”
“I'm not, I just like my clothes, I get used to them and hate when they wear out.”
Heather went to the locker that held Anna's belongings and easily located the yellow plastic bag that was adorned with warnings of hazardous material. She thought that was a bit much, but understood the necessity in terms of preventing the spread of disease.
“I'll put the salvageable stuff in the washing machine.”
Heather kissed Anna lightly on the lips. “I'll see you tomorrow.”
Heather watched Anna carefully as she negotiated the stairs to her flat. She seemed steady enough on her feet, but she had looked a little pale on the journey home from the hospital. Opening the door to Anna's apartment, she ushered her inside and insisted Anna sit down on the sofa and put her feet up.
“Please, just rest. Is there anything you need?”
“Nothing right now, thanks.”
Anna seemed subdued; Heather decided she was most likely worn out from the day's activities. She put the television on and handed Anna the remote, then watched as she flicked through the channels, never settling on one for more than a few minutes.
“Is there something in particular you are looking for?”
“Huh?” Anna had been miles away. “Oh, not really, in truth I don't watch much telly, usually the news.”
“So, what do you do in your spare time?”
“Go to the cinema, sometimes the gym.”
Heather frowned. “Well both of those activities are out for the next few days at least. What about a DVD?”
Anna smiled and made to get up from the sofa, but Heather stopped her.
“I'm here to do things like that. Where are they?”
Anna pointed to the long, low cabinet upon which her flat screen television sat. “In there.”
Heather opened the middle cabinet door and inside she found both shelves were crammed with DVD's. Out of curiosity she went to the next cabinet door and found it to be the same. Turning to look at Anna she indicated the five cabinet doors.
“Are they all like that?”
“There are so many,” Heather stated wide-eyed. “Which one would you like to watch?”
Heather looked again in the middle cabinet. There were old movies next to classic and new titles. Anna's taste was clearly eclectic. There were some she had never heard of, but she spotted one she had wanted to see in the cinema a few months ago and settled for that. Reaching for the case, she removed it from the shelf and held it up for Anna's approval. She nodded and Heather put the DVD into the player.
The pair settled down on the sofa to watch ‘The Reader'. As Heather started to get into the movie, she smiled when she heard light snoring coming from her companion. Anna was still asleep when the credits started to roll, so Heather eased herself gently from the sofa and went to the kitchen to prepare dinner.
After dinner, later in the evening, Heather noticed that Anna was becoming restless. “Are you in pain?” The strain was showing around Anna's eyes and Heather guessed pain to be the cause.
“Just a little, but I'm trying to put off taking the painkillers for just a little longer.”
“I wanted to wait until I was ready to go to bed, then I might be able to get a few hours sleep without waking up and needing more.”
Heather considered this. She understood Anna's logic, but didn't like the idea of her friend being in pain. “Why don't we have an early night?”
“I suppose we could both do with one.”
“Won't do us any harm, that's for sure. I'll go get the painkillers and a glass of water.”
With the tablets taken, it was just a matter of going to the bathroom and then bed. Anna really was tired and that was all that was on her mind. Taking care of her bathroom needs and brushing her teeth, Anna went to her bedroom to find her bedding changed and the duvet folded down waiting for her to get into bed.
“What do you usually wear to bed?”
“Just a vest and some knickers.” Anna was already removing the items from a drawer before Heather could ask where they were.
“Do you have extra bedding?”
Anna frowned, “Why?”
“Ah, I was going to make up the sofa.”
“Oh.” Anna genuinely hadn't considered their sleeping arrangements.
“I do, but why don't you share with me? It's a king-size bed, plenty of space for both of us. Unless of course you don't want too, I'll understand.”
Heather hesitated for a moment, and then nodded. “I'd like to share, thank you. I'll just pop to the bathroom and give you some privacy to you know,” she gestured to Anna's sleeping garments.
Heather returned from the bathroom wearing a long t-shirt that she had purchased the day before. She slipped under the duvet and found herself facing Anna. They were both tired after the previous three days.
“Thanks for being here to take care of me.”
“It's my pleasure.” Heather laid a warm palm on Anna's cheek and leaned in to kiss her. The kiss quickly turned passionate for just a few moments before tapering to a gentle caress.
“Good night, Heather.”
Anna awoke to the smell of breakfast cooking. She put on her robe and went to the kitchen where Heather looked well in control of things.
Heather turned and smiled at Anna. “Did you sleep well?”
“I did thanks. Do I have time for a quick shower or is breakfast ready?”
“You have five minutes.”
Anna stood under the hot spray, the shower cap Heather had purchased, firmly in place. She wasn't allowed to wash her hair until the staples were removed from her head, which was going to be Friday, another three days to go. Freshly showered, Anna put on a T-shirt and some track bottoms then went back to the kitchen.
“Thank goodness for some decent food. The stuff in the hospital was tasteless.”
Heather had seen it and she couldn't disagree. “How's the head?”
“Well, apart from being in need of a good wash, it's okay. The painkillers I took earlier this morning are still working.”
“It won't be long until you are allowed to wash your hair.” Heather said with sympathy.
Anna sat at the table and began eating. “I feel up to taking a walk after breakfast, you want to come?”
Heather paused, her fork halfway to her mouth. “Well I'm certainly not letting you go out for a walk alone. Are you sure you are up to it?”
Anna grinned. “Yeah, I'll take it easy.”
After breakfast, the pair put on their shoes and jackets, Anna put a hat on her head and they left the apartment. Again, Heather watched Anna carefully on the stairs and, when they got to the bottom, Heather opened the stair door for her and they exited into a cold day.
Anna hesitated a few seconds as the sights and sounds of a busy Glasgow morning assaulted her. The low sun seemed especially bright. She was also aware that she was standing in pretty much the same place as when the attack had happened.
“Are you okay?”
Anna nodded, but in truth she felt shaky and strangely disorientated. She took a deep breath and started walking. Heather linked arms with her, for which Anna was grateful, and she felt the uneasiness begin to pass. They strolled, arm in arm, towards Royal Exchange Square .
“Why did you choose an apartment here?”
“The area has always appealed to me, has its own unique character.”
Heather had to agree, “I really like it. It's in the middle of the city, but it has a relaxed, detached feel to it.”
Heather saw an empty bench and steered them towards it, Anna didn't protest. They sat snuggled closely together, watching the pedestrians walk by.
“I'm going to call my brother. I thought since I was here in Glasgow for a few days, I could meet up with him.”
“Are you sure you are ready?”
“I doubt I could ever feel ready for it, but I want to meet him, there doesn't seem any point to delaying it.”
“That's a very brave decision.”
“I'm nervous, and I don't know what to expect, but I suppose it's better not to have any expectations.”
Anna thought about Heather's dilemma. She had met Glen twice and he seemed like a decent bloke, but she knew nothing of the relationship Heather and Glen had shared in the past, nor of the hurt that Heather had endured. It was hard to imagine what that must be like. She took Heather's hand and gave it a squeeze.
“I think you will handle it just fine. Just take things slowly and see what happens.”
Heather squeezed back, grateful for Anna's words of support.
Anna watched Heather walk back into the room after calling her brother.
“Do you know the Italian Centre?”
“Yes, it's literally around the corner.”
“I'm meeting Glen in a café there on Thursday afternoon.”
Heather sat on the sofa next to Anna; she was quiet.
“You look dazed.” Anna observed.
“I think I am a little. Just hearing his voice gave me goose bumps.”
Heather moved into Anna's welcoming arms and immersed herself in the warm embrace being offered.
“Your family are so great, Anna. I wish I had that.”
Anna listened to Heather's heartfelt words, full of emotion and honesty.
“I know that I am very fortunate to have wonderful parents and a loving brother. That said, Heather, as a family we have never been faced with any great difficulty. If we had, then who knows? In a lot of ways, I admire you. You have been faced with adversity and look at you, a well-rounded individual with a caring heart. And your mum and dad, look what they have been through. I know your mum can be overbearing, but who can blame her? Through no fault of hers, her son went off the rails and there was nothing she could do to stop it. That must be very difficult to come to terms with. You and your dad have had to contend with losing Glen and to a certain extent, a part of your mum too. I think you are both remarkable people.”
Heather turned to look at Anna. “Thank you.” She then kissed her gently and pulled back to look into Anna's eyes, they were open and honest, drawing Heather back in for more. Kissing Anna passionately, Heather wanted to devour her. As her hand crept up the back of Anna's neck and into her hair she was shocked back to the reality of the situation as her fingers found the shaved hair and staples.
“God, Anna I'm sorry.”
“Do you hear me complaining?”
Heather smiled. “I got carried away.”
“Well, as far as I'm concerned, you can get carried away any time you like.” Anna attempted to kiss her again.
Heather lightly slapped her on the arm. “Behave, you only got out of hospital yesterday.”
“Trust me, if you keep that up, I will be back on my feet in no time.”
Before Heather could reply the intercom buzzed. They both looked at each other and Heather was first to get up and answer.
Heather depressed the button to allow the visitor entrance to the stair; it was obviously someone who knew Anna.
“Who is it?” Anna asked.
“I'm not sure, a female who asked for you. I let her in.”
The doorbell rang and Heather answered.
“Hi, is Anna in?”
“Thanks.” The blonde haired woman cut Heather off before she could finish her sentence.
Anna watched as Angela Davidson walked into her sitting room with a spray of flowers.
“How are you feeling?”
Angela put the flowers on the table in front of Anna. “I see you have a little friend,” she remarked sarcastically.
Anna had finally lost patience with Angela and decided it was time to call a halt to her flirtations and innuendo. “Heather is my girlfriend. Heather, meet Angela Davidson, she works at the station.”
Angela blinked, then caught up. She shook Heather's hand. “Nice to meet you.”
Heather shook the hand offered, but in truth, she didn't much like this young woman.
“Well, anyway, I can't stay. I just popped by to see how you are doing and if there is anything you need.”
“I have everything I need, thank you, Angela.”
“I see that.”
“Heather is taking good care of me.” Anna smiled lovingly at Heather.
“I'm sure. Well, I'll see you back at work soon I hope, Inspector.”
“Yes, you will.”
Finally the line had been drawn and Angela was stepping back on the correct side of it.
After she was gone, Anna turned to Heather. “I'm sorry about that. She has been chasing me for a little while now. I think she has finally got the message.”
Anna smiled, she hadn't realised Heather could be a little feisty. She liked it.
Heather made the short walk to the Italian Centre with a feeling of trepidation. Her mouth was dry and her stomach was churning but, despite her nerves, she remained optimistic. Glen wanted to see her, which was a good omen. Entering the café, she looked around the place hoping to recognise her older brother. She saw a face looking back at her, one she found familiar, despite the years that had passed. Glen smiled and stood up from his chair and watched Heather walk towards him. With each passing step Heather felt her heart beat faster and then, almost before she knew it, she found herself standing right next to him.
He nodded and instinctively went to hug her, but hesitated, uncertain as to what was appropriate in the circumstances. Sensing his predicament, Heather took the lead and briefly hugged him.
“Hello, Heather,” he rasped, his voice tight with emotion.
They parted and took a seat, sitting opposite each other. A silence hung between the siblings as they both found themselves lost for words. Heather took in Glen's appearance. She knew he was thirty-two but, in truth, he looked a little older than that. He was casually dressed with a little stubble and something told her that this was his preferred look. The important thing, Heather thought, was that he looked healthy.
“How are you?”
“You have grown up.”
They both spoke at the same time, creating an awkward, clumsy moment, which was covered with nervous laughter.
Glen spoke first. “Sorry, let's start again. You look great, Heather, beautiful in fact. When I last saw you, you were my annoying little sister, now look at you.”
A waitress arrived at their table to take their order, interrupting Heather's reply. After ordering a tea and a coffee the pair continued.
“You look well.”
Glen smiled, “Thanks, I've been taking good care of myself these last few years.”
“So Anna tells me.”
Glen nodded, “She tells me the two of you are involved romantically.”
“Yes. I was engaged up until recently, but it wasn't working out. I spent a lot of time with Anna over the summer and I fell for her.” Heather shrugged and smiled.
“She's a lovely woman.”
“Thank you, I think so too.”
The waitress returned with their order and Heather watched as Glen took a sip of his black coffee. He looked around the café and she could tell he was as nervous as she was.
“Do you have anyone special in your life?”
The question relaxed Glen a little. “I have a girlfriend, Josie, we have been together almost five years. She's a little older than I am.” Glen paused, “We have a two year old daughter, Lilly. You'd really like them.” Glen waited for Heather to absorb the new information.
“I'm an Auntie?” Heather was shocked having never considered that possibility.
Glen's smile got wider, “Yes, Lilly Keith- Harvey . We gave her both our surnames.
“It's a lovely name.”
Glen hesitated before asking his next question. “Will you come and meet them before you return to Havensburgh? I know you said on the phone that you would be leaving after the weekend.”
Heather didn't hesitate. “I would love to.”
“What about Saturday, you could bring Anna too, we could all have lunch at my place?”
“I will definitely come, unless Anna needs me. I'll ask her, but after the attack she might not feel up to it.”
Glen frowned, “What attack?”
“That's the reason I'm in Glasgow . Anna was hit over the back of the head on Friday night. She was unconscious for almost twenty-four hours, but she is home now and recovering well.” Heather watched as Glen paled in front of her.
“Do the police know who did it?”
“Yes, a man who just got out of jail. It was retaliation for something that happened over thirteen years ago.”
Glen blew out a long breath. “I'm sorry, I still worry about my past catching up with me and, after my recent contact with Anna, well, you know.”
“I understand. After what has just happened to Anna, I definitely understand.”
“Send her my best.”
“Thanks, I will.”
There was silence once more as Glen hesitated about asking the question he'd been dreading.
“How are mum and dad?”
Heather sipped her tea before answering. “They're both well.”
“Do they ah, ever, you know, mention me, or…” Glen trailed off, unable to properly finish his question.
“It's a complicated situation.”
Glen nodded, “That's very diplomatic of you. I'll take that to be a no, can't say that I blame them. I wasn't exactly a good son.”
Heather clasped her hands in front of her on the table and gave Glen her full attention. “Like I said, it's complicated. Dad never says anything judgmental and mum is in total denial. If anyone asks about you, she tells them you are working in the United States .”
“Well, I understand why she would do that. No one wants to admit that their son, who they handed every opportunity to, turned out to be a drug addict and a thief.”
Heather heard the guilt and regret in Glen's voice. “It hasn't been easy on us, Glen, I'll admit to that, but you have turned your life around. I have a niece and they have a granddaughter. I want to get to know you and your family and I'm sure, with time, they will too.”
“It's more than I deserve, but it's what I want.”
“Everyone deserves a second chance. When I get back home, I will speak with them and tell them that we met up. I'm not exactly sure how they will react to the news, but it will give them time to think about the situation and let it sink in.”
Glen wiped at his eyes. “Thank you, Heather.”
“You're very welcome.”
Glen composed himself and sat back in his chair. “You know, I have a feeling that one of my biggest regrets is going to be not having known you for the last few years. You've turned into an exceptional human being.”
Now it was Heather's turn to cry at her brother's heartfelt words. “We can make up for lost time.”
“I'm looking forward to that.”
“So what do you think?”
“Well he seems really genuine about wanting to get to know you and your parents. So long as he doesn't let you down, that's good enough for me.”
“And what about lunch, will you come with me?”
“Of course I will.”
Heather threw her arms around Anna. “Thank you.”
“I'm really pleased for you, I hope it all works out.”
“I'm concerned about how my parents will react, especially my mum. I shouldn't say this, but with a grandchild in the equation, it might make a difference.”
Anna had leaned back on the sofa and closed her eyes.
“Is everything okay?” Heather asked, immediately concerned. Now that she looked closely, Anna seemed tired. “Are you in pain?”
“No, I'm fine, honest.”
“Something is wrong. Did something happen?”
Anna sighed, “I went for a walk while you were out and I had a little panic attack as I was leaving the stairwell. It's stupid, it will pass.”
“You've have had a little trouble at that same spot for the last two days.”
“I know, and without you there, linking arms with me, it was a little more severe this time. I hadn't realised that was making a difference. I have been feeling safer with you around.”
“What did you do?”
“Took a few deep breaths to help me relax, then I told myself it was broad daylight and I wasn't in any danger and then I went for my walk. It wasn't pleasant. What am I going to be like when it's night? I have to get over this!” Anna was clearly frustrated with her body's reaction.
“Anna, you only just got out of hospital after a serious assault, you are still recovering. It's not surprising that you are suffering; you have been through a lot. Not just the assault, there was Pete getting shot as well.”
Anna rubbed her face, “I suppose. I'm sure it will pass; it was just a bit disconcerting. It's thrown me off balance.”
“Isn't there a psychologist at work for issues like this?”
“Yes, but I won't be telling anyone on the force about this.”
Heather frowned. “I think you're being stubborn. Isn't it compulsory to see someone after what happened to you? Surely Pete has been getting help from someone?”
“Not that I would know of.”
“You could ask him.”
“I don't think so.” Anna sounded petulant.
Heather got up from the sofa and went into the open plan kitchen. She started to make the evening meal, with a little more energy than was necessary, but the cupboard doors would live. Anna remained in the living room, staying out of Heather's way. She knew Heather was mad at her, but Heather didn't understand. She flicked on the television and put on the news on.
Anna joined Heather at the table. “Thanks, it looks wonderful.”
Heather didn't acknowledge Anna's compliment and proceeded to stab her pasta. Anna watched her; she didn't have much of an appetite after their difference of opinion.
“You don't understand, Heather.”
Heather looked at her companion, “What don't I understand?”
“The nature of my job. It's difficult enough being a woman in the police force; you always have to work that much harder for whatever comes your way. It's a very macho environment. I can't be seen to be weak.”
Heather thought about what Anna was saying. “So this isn't about you being stubborn or attaching any stigma to any kind of mental health issue?”
“Absolutely not.” Anna said firmly.
“Then see someone privately, outside of the police force.”
Anna knew she had just been totally outmanoeuvred by Heather. She was impressed but, at the same time, she was kicking herself.
“How about I give it a few days and see if things improve?”
“It's your choice, Anna. I can't make you do it and I certainly won't push you either, but I am asking you to seriously consider seeking help if you need it.”
Heather looked at Anna; she was surprised to say the least. “Why are you thanking me?”
Anna smiled. “For caring and for not over reacting.”
Heather looked bashful. “Well I was a little angry.”
“I noticed, but I think my kitchen utensils are up to it.”
“Eat your dinner, it's getting cold.”
They both sat there, grinning like idiots, whilst they finished their pasta.
That night they went to bed early and lay awake chatting.
“Staples out tomorrow.” Heather remarked.
“I wonder how they do it?”
“Eww, I don't want to think about that.”
Anna laughed, “Don't think I haven't noticed that you won't look at them.”
“I know, I'm just a bit queasy with that sort of thing.”
“It's okay, I won't make you look.”
“I will hold your hand if you like, when they are taken out.”
Anna looked horrified at the thought. “Ah, thanks for the offer, but I'll be fine.”
“You are a brat.”
“Just a little.”
Anna leaned on her hand, facing Heather. “I was thinking.”
“See, I knew you were getting better.” Heather's eyes danced around.
“Hey!” Anna protested and tickled her bedmate.
“Stop! Please, stop. I give in.”
The pair took a minute to get their breath back.
“Anyway, as I said, I was thinking and I have a question.”
“If your parents had gone beyond two kids, I wonder what the names would have been?”
“Well, Heather and Glen, I mean, come on. What was next? Loch ? Ben Nevis ? Bluebell? Thistle?”
Heather laughed with Anna, “It is a thought, isn't it?”
Anna pulled Heather closer to her. “I'm so glad that you are here with me. Getting to know more about each other.”
They kissed slowly, languidly, taking the time to explore the other's mouth fully. Anna rested a hand on Heather's hip and slowly moved down towards her thigh, massaging the muscle and caressing the skin. She manoeuvred Heather onto her back and gently settled her longer frame on top of her. Heather's legs parted and Anna's lean thigh nestled between her lover's. She rolled and pushed her hips into Heather and the blonde gasped with the pleasure she felt. Anna continued to seek stimulation on Heather's thigh and was breathing heavily. Their mouths parted as they both sought more air. Anna's hand covered one of Heather's breasts, the nipple instantly hardening under the touch of her finger and thumb.
“Anna,” Heather whispered. “Oh, God, we should stop. You're not, the doctor…”
“Shhh, I just want to taste you.” She implored.
Heather bit her lip as she watched Anna move down her body, sliding her underwear down her legs on the way. She grinned at Heather before nestling her head between her thighs. Heather groaned as she felt Anna's tongue slide over her clit, then circle it. It wasn't long before her orgasm was ripping through her body and Anna was pinning her hips to the bed.
As Heather lay quietly recovering from her exertions, Anna moved back up to her, her lips glistening. Heather kissed Anna, tasting herself, which she enjoyed immensely. She had never been with a woman before, but Anna was so soft and giving, Heather was eager to explore her. She reached out and caressed one of Anna's cotton covered breasts. She was hesitant at first, but was soon encouraged by Anna who lifted her top to expose them. She looked at Heather, inviting her to touch. Anna hissed when Heather became bolder and pinched her nipple.
“Did I hurt you?”
“Only in a good way, they are very sensitive.”
“Use your mouth.” Anna suggested.
Heather took one of Anna's nipples into her mouth gently sucked on it. She was encouraged by the noises of pleasure coming from her lover and the way Anna pushed her breasts into Heather's mouth. Anna parted her thighs and thrust against Heather's leg while the blonde sucked her nipples, the combination of stimuli quickly bringing her to climax.
Rolling off Heather's body, Anna lay on her back catching her breath.
“How do you feel?”
Heather giggled, “That's not quite what I meant. How is your head?”
“It's fine, really.”
“Good.” Heather was quiet for a moment. “That was…”
Anna turned to her lover. “Amazing, fabulous?”
She frowned, Anna hadn't been thinking about making love, it had just happened and she hoped Heather wasn't disappointed at how quick it had been. “In a good way I hope.”
“Oh, most definitely.” She replied.
Anna stood under the hot spray luxuriating in the feel of the water rinsing the shampoo from her hair. It was her third wash and rinse, but she hadn't been able to wash her hair for a week and wanted to make sure it was clean. It was also the first time she had actually touched the wound on the back of her head and was relieved to find it didn't feel too bad. A little bumpy, but that would settle down in time and the hair would grow back.
Anna stood on the bath mat and gently rubbed her wet hair with a towel. Having the staples removed that morning had been a fairly painless exercise. Heather had accompanied her, but had looked away whilst they were being removed. That had made Anna smile. She hadn't realised that Heather was squeamish until the previous night. She thought back to what had happened, they had made love and, wonderful as it was, it had been quick and rushed due to the suddenness of it. They would have time to rectify that before Heather returned home. Anna didn't want to think about that, but she knew Heather would be leaving soon.
Pulling on her robe, Anna put her feet into a pair of flip-flops then made her way to the bedroom. Taking the hairbrush from her bedside cabinet, she began to gently brush her damp hair.
“Need some help?”
Heather came into the bedroom and took the brush from Anna's fingers, then began to carefully brush her hair.
“Let me know if I hurt you.”
“'Kay.” Anna mumbled, too busy enjoying Heather's gentle ministrations. It was a secret pleasure of hers, having her hair played with and Heather's fingers smoothing over her locks was close to perfect.
“Would you like me to dry it?”
“Huh? Oh, yes, thanks.” Anna had been miles away.
Heather briefly moved from her position on the bed behind Anna to get the hair dryer. She returned and started to dry Anna's hair, using the soft touch of her fingers to help. Anna was close to heaven and let out a soft groan of pleasure.
The hairdryer stopped. “Am I hurting you?”
“God no, it's fantastic.” Anna's tone practically pleaded for Heather to continue.
Heather resumed her activity. “Your hair is so soft and silky.” she remarked, as her fingers ran through the long strands. She caught sight of the healing scar as the hot air blew the top layer of Anna's hair away from the back of her head. Heather ran a finger over the scar. Switching off the hair drier, she asked, “Can you feel that?”
“Not really. I'm aware that you are touching the scar, but the sensation is dull.”
Heather put the hairdryer to one side and used both hands to continue to massage Anna's scalp, careful to keep her touch light. Anna's head moved into her touch as she released another groan of pleasure. Encouraged, Heather moved her hands down to the back of Anna's neck and massaged the muscles there, pushing the robe from Anna's shoulders to allow her access.
“Your skin is so soft.”
“Mmm.” Anna was beyond anything more coherent. Heather's touch having reduced her to jelly. When she felt Heather's lips trail kisses along her neck and shoulders and her hands move round towards her breasts she began to tremble with need, struggling to remain passive. Anna just wanted to pin Heather to the bed and ravish her, but she knew Heather needed the time to explore, so she grabbed two fistfuls of duvet and willed her body to stay in place.
Heather slowly trailed her hands down towards Anna's breasts, she wasn't tentative, she was filled with a mixture of curiosity and wonder. As she felt the nipples harden under her palms, she kneaded both breasts, encouraged by the sounds emanating from her lover. Anna turned her face towards Heather's and they kissed passionately, Anna's knuckles turning white from the effort needed to keep her hands from grabbing Heather and taking control. Heather had no such difficulties as she deftly manoeuvred Anna onto her back, taking a moment to look directly into her eyes, which were full of trust and want.
Anna watched as Heather untied her robe. She was pleasantly surprised by this turn of events, the bold move from her lover who was leaning over her, taking in every part of her naked flesh with hungry eyes. Anna sighed with pleasure when Heather took one of her nipples into her hot mouth. Anna was desperate to feel Heather's bare skin against her own. Grabbing the hem of the blonde's T-shirt, she quickly pulled it off over her head. Heather stopping what she was doing just long enough to allow the garment's removal before returning to her task, becoming more and more emboldened with each new murmur elicited from Anna. Anna shuddered as she felt Heather's breasts touch her stomach, the nipples drawing crazy patterns across her sensitised skin, moving ever closer to her pelvis, her thighs parting in anticipation.
Heather ran her hands down the sides of Anna's body, marvelling at the softness of her skin. She dipped her tongue into Anna's navel as she moved ever closer towards her goal. As she reached Anna's pubic hair, she noticed that it was very short, trimmed in a neat ‘v' shape, her labia protruding ever so slightly. She wanted to savour the moment a little longer and took her time to kiss and caress Anna's inner thigh, enjoying the sounds coming from above her. No longer able to hold back, Heather tasted her lover for the first time.
Anna looked down at the blonde head between her legs. God, she couldn't believe this was really happening after all they had been through. Her head flopped back onto the pillow as she felt Heather's tongue caress her clitoris. It was hard to believe this was her first time. She had assumed Heather would be more hesitant and this turn of events was both unexpected and mind blowing. Anna's hand found its way into Heather's hair and her hips pushed upwards to meet Heather's mouth.
“Oh God, I'm going to come.”
Anna's orgasm tore through her and she groaned loudly as her body became rigid with pleasure. Heather continued to use her mouth until Anna released her head and flopped back onto the bed. She laid her head on Anna's thigh and looked up at her lover in wonder. Anna's response to her had been amazing and had left Heather feeling giddy. Heather decided the lazy, contented smile Anna was sporting was the sexiest thing she had ever seen
“Come here.” Anna rasped as she slowly regained her senses.Heather joined Anna and they shared a slow, passionate kiss. Anna lazily draped a hand over Heather's buttock, pulling her closer, urging her to lie on top of her. Anna held on to Heather's ribs as she used her tongue and lips on her breasts. A long, taut thigh slid between Heather's legs as she continued to stimulate her breasts. Heather moved urgently
against Anna's thigh, panting, her hands planted on the mattress. Anna slipped a hand between Heather's legs and entered her with two long fingers. Heather cried out and continued to thrust frantically. Anna could feel Heather pulse and tighten around her fingers and then she was coming, jerking against Anna, teeth gritted, before letting out a scream of sheer pleasure and slumping down on top of her. Her muscles so relaxed she was no longer able to support herself. Anna felt Heather mould into her and held her lovingly. It was sheer bliss.
“Are you sure?” Heather was still a little concerned about Anna after the blow she'd had to her head.
Anna smiled indulgently. “Isn't it better that I get back behind the wheel while you're still around?”
“That does make sense.” Heather conceded.
“Is there anything I can help you with?” Anna looked at the items Heather was juggling in her arms.
Heather nodded towards the coffee table. “Could you take the flowers down to the car?”
“Of course, why don't I take that bottle of wine from your hands as well?”
Heather blew out a breath that lifted the front of her hair. “Too much?” she asked, referring to the items she had purchased that morning.
“I'm sure your gifts will be very much appreciated.”
“I'm sorry, I'm a little nervous.”
Anna kissed Heather on the cheek. “Don't worry, it will be fine.”
Anna drove over to Kelvinside, one of the more affluent areas of the city. Heather looked pleasantly surprised as they drew up outside the property. A two-storey mews cottage with its own gardens.
“It looks lovely.”
Anna nodded, “It's a great area, full of academics due to its close proximity to the university.”
Heather smiled as she took in the quaint exterior and the busy garden. She was tempted to sit on the pale green bench that sat under one of the front windows it looked so inviting. She turned back to Anna who was removing Heather's gifts from the boot of the car.
“I know, you have told me already.”
“It's a good nervous I think.”
She could sense the anticipation coming from Heather in waves. “Yeah, I think it is.” Anna handed Heather the flowers and wine, taking the other parcels herself. “Come on, let's do this.”
Heather took a deep breath and knocked on the white front door. She waited just a moment then heard the door being opened from the inside. Glen stood smiling at her with his daughter balanced in one arm.
“Heather, Anna, come on in.” He moved aside to allow them access, then closed the door behind them. “Come on through and I'll make the introductions.”
They followed Glen into a bright sitting room that was banked with windows on one side, all looking out onto the back garden. The smell of home baking filled the house; someone had been busy. A woman in her mid to late thirties joined them. She was carrying a tray full of food, which she proceeded to deposited on the large, wooden coffee table before turning to greet them.
“Heather, Anna, this is my partner, Josie. Josie, this is my sister Heather and her partner Anna.”
“Pleased to meet you both.” Josie stated as she shook both their hands with a confident, firm grip. “Glen has told me a lot about both of you. Welcome to our home.”
“Thanks for inviting us.” Heather replied as she handed Josie the flowers and bottle of wine.
“Thanks, how sweet.” Josie smiled politely, “I'll just get a vase.”
Anna watched the woman leave the room; something about her response had irked Anna. She looked around the room, it was full of various types of robust green foliage in big planters and there were lots of candles and decorative pots and plates. Mixed with the smell of herbs and spices, she decided the room had a distinctly earthy feel to it.
“Lilly, I want you to meet someone very special, this is your Auntie Heather.”
The little girl looked shyly at her new Auntie. Heather was instantly smitten. Lilly was beautiful; a heart shaped face surrounded by a mop of light brown curls and two large brown eyes the size of saucers peered at her.
Heather held out her hand, which was gingerly taken by a much smaller one. “Pleased to meet you, Lilly.” She said softly, giving the child her full attention.
“Hello,” replied a shy little voice.
Glen was moved by the moment and planted a soft kiss on his daughter's head. “She's usually a bit shy to begin with, but she will soon warm up.”
“I have a present…for Lilly.” Heather said hesitantly, “Would now be a good time?”
Glen nodded and placed Lilly on the floor. “Auntie Heather has some presents for you.”
The child's eyes lit up and she walked towards her Auntie. Anna handed the parcel to Heather who knelt down to be closer to Lilly. The little girl looked suspiciously at the parcel, but was soon enticed by the bright wrapping paper. Glen joined the pair and helped Lilly open her gifts.
“I didn't know exactly what would be appropriate, so I got a few items for her age group. I hope that's okay?”
“Absolutely. Thanks, Heather, she will love them.”
They looked on at Lilly who was already enthralled with the books and crayons, not yet taking an interest in the larger items, a wooden shape stacker and a Miffy tote bag.
“Say thank you to Auntie Heather, Lilly.”
Lilly looked up at her father who nodded towards Heather, “Go on.”
“Thank you.” Her small hand returned to the task of selecting a crayon, which she held in a little fist.
Josie returned and put the flowers that were now in a large vase on a table by the windows. “Have a seat, make yourselves comfortable. I'll take your jackets.”
Anna and Heather removed their coats and handed them to Josie. Anna again had to wonder what the woman's problem was as she gingerly took her leather jacket and held it away from her as if it had the plague.
With Lilly fully occupied, Glen took the opportunity to get some food from the kitchen.
“I hope you're hungry,” He stated, returning with the starters in his hand. “I've made some bruschetta and a sun dried tomato and olive tapenade. Tuck in, but remember to leave some space for the main course.” Glen cautioned. “Can I get you both something to drink? We have wine, water, home made lemonade?”
“I'm driving so I'll have some water, thanks.”
“I'll have some white wine, please.”
“Glen says you are a policewoman, Anna?”
Anna nodded as she finished her mouthful of tapenade. “That's right, drug squad.”
Anna eyed Josie, something was nagging at her. She watched as the woman slipped her bare feet from her sandals and folded her legs on the sofa beneath her long floral skirt.
“It can be.”
“I'm a social worker, that's how I met Glen.”
“Josie has helped me through a lot. We met prior to my release from prison.” Glen added, as he put their drinks on the table.
“What is it you do, Heather, youth work?”
“I'm a community worker.”
“Here in Glasgow ?”
“No, back home in Havensburgh.”
Josie nodded as she sipped her wine. “You never think about taking on a bigger challenge? Moving to an inner city project?”
Anna waited to hear Heather's response, but she was tempted to answer Josie herself.
“In the future I might want to work in another area but, for the moment, I'm in the right place.”
“Havensburgh has a sense of community the likes of which you would never find in the inner city.” Anna had caved, no longer able to hold her silence.
“I'm sure, but does it not get a little mundane?” Josie directed the question back to Heather.
“Not for me, I find that a community like Havensburgh brings with it a unique set of circumstances.”
Josie frowned, “Like what?”
“Well one of the biggest problems at the moment is the loss of the young people to larger cities. There is no affordable housing and jobs are at a premium. The professions that had, in the past, been the lifeblood of a community like Havensburgh are dying out. We are in danger of losing the very heart of our community within a generation.”
Anna bit into her bruschetta to prevent the words falling out of her mouth that she so dearly wanted to say and also to hide her delight with Heather. Josie had no answer to Heather's reply. Not everything was about dysfunctional families. While Anna would have been that blunt, Heather had much more finesse.
“That's what I miss most about living in Glasgow , that sense of community.” Glen added. “Where did you grow up, Anna?”
“ Melrose .”
“Looks like you're the only city girl here, Josie.”
“Yes, I grew up here in Glasgow .”
“Hungry.” Lilly climbed up on the sofa next to Josie.
“Looks like it's time for the main course.” Glen remarked, smiling at his daughter. “Let's all go through to the kitchen.”
The kitchen was big, with a large, rustic wooden table sitting easily within it. The room was warm from the oven and the smells wafting from that were heavenly. The table was set; all that was missing was the main course. Anna and Heather sat next to each other smiling at Lilly who was waiting patiently in her high chair for the arrival of her food.
“She is adorable, Josie.”
“Thanks, Heather, we think so too.”
“She looks a lot like you.”
“I think she has Glen's temperament, which is probably a good thing, but yes, she does tend to look more like me.”
“Will you be having any more?”
Glen turned round from where he was removing the dish from the oven to look over at Josie.
“Well if it was up to Glen we would have a few more, but I'm getting on a bit, I think one is it for us.” She smiled at Glen before returning her attention to Anna and Heather. “What about you two, are you planning to have any kids?”
Both Anna and Heather were stunned by the question; they looked at Josie, and then stared at each other. It was Glen that came to the rescue.
“I think it's a bit early in the relationship for them to be discussing children.”
“Oh, I don't know, what if they don't and a couple of years down the line one of them wants to start a family? I always think it's best to get these things out in the open.” She turned her attention back to Anna and Heather. “So, do either of you see children in your future?”
“No – ah, maybe.”
All eyes were on Anna, including Lilly's, but only because everyone else was looking at her.
“That is to say, I hadn't ever really thought about children until recently.”
Heather's eyes were glued to Anna's, Glen looked sympathetic and Josie looked eager.
“I really do like kids but, I'll be honest, I have never considered a future with them in it and I certainly have never considered becoming pregnant. The prospect of carrying a child is completely alien to me.”
“It's a wonderful experience, bringing life into the world,” Josie enthused.
“I'm sure it is, I just don't feel the need or urge to experience it for myself.”
Heather intervened, “Childbirth isn't for everyone, not all women feel the pull of it.”
“But you do.” Josie stated.
“Yes, I see children in my future, I always have.”
Josie sat back in her chair. “Well, that's certainly something for the two of you to chat about.”
“And we will,” Anna concluded as she took Heather's hand and smiled at her. She turned back to Josie, “It's not like we have to worry about Heather accidentally falling pregnant.” She felt a reassuring squeeze of her hand from Heather.
“Lunch,” Glen declared, happy to move proceedings along. He served each of them a large slab of vegetable Lasagne.
“There is a bean salad and crusty olive bread on the table. The Parmesan there is vegetarian.”
“We're vegan's, Glen cooks most of what we eat. He made everything we are having today, including the bread.”
Anna now understood why Josie had acted the way she did when they had arrived. They had handed her dead flowers and a dead animal. She clamped her jaws shut to prevent her laughter bubbling up.
“As you can see, I have swapped one addiction for another, but this one is better for me. I'm at the local health food shop buying fresh ingredients almost everyday.”
“I've been a vegan since I was a teenager, Glen decided to join me and has never looked back.”
“I hope you don't mind the lack of meat.” Glen remarked.
“It's never been a problem for me.” Anna said with a grin on her face.
Glen laughed, while Josie and Heather just looked puzzled.
“Well, what do you think?” Heather asked as they made their way back to Anna's flat.
“I like Glen and little Lilly is adorable, but the jury is out on string bean.”
“Anna, don't be petty.” Heather tried to remain serious as she told Anna off.
“Okay, Josie then, but I remain to be convinced.”
“Well, in truth, I have to agree with you. They want to eventually meet mum and dad. Josie and Mum are never going to get along.”
“Not in a million years.”
“You don't have to sound so happy about it.”
“No you're not.”
Heather smiled indulgently at Anna. “Did you enjoy the afternoon?”
Anna concentrated on the road ahead. “I did. Even the verbal sparring with Josie, I liked that too.”
“So you don't dislike her?”
“Hmm, no, not dislike. Obviously as people, Josie and myself are very different, but I don't see that as a problem. On the other hand, I don't think we are ever going to be best buddies either. What's important is her part in Glen's life and they seem to have a solid relationship.”
Heather nodded, ‘They do, I like that.”
“Not forgetting that food. Your brother can cook. I never imagined that vegan food could taste so wonderful. That lasagne, I wanted to ask if I could take the leftovers home with me.”
“It really was a lovely meal. I'll ask for the recipe and cook it for you sometime.”
Anna beamed a hundred-watt smile at Heather, before turning back to concentrate on the driving. “Thanks.”
“I am going to miss you so much.”
Anna hugged Heather as they stood together on the platform of the Queen Street train station. Heather's train would be departing for Aberdeen in ten minutes.
“I'm going to miss you too.”
“I wish you had let me drive you home.”
“Anna, it's a six hour round trip, I just think it's too soon, I would be worried about you.”
“I know, but still.”
“I'll be home in less than three hours, I'll call you when I get there.”
“Thank you so much for spending the week with me.”
“I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.”
She kissed Heather on the cheek, wanting so much more. Her mind was screaming the words ‘Please don't go' but she knew Heather had to get back home. People were boarding the train and their time was running out. Anna looked around nervously, uncertain if her next move would be received well by Heather. She needn't have worried; Heather laid the palm of her hand on Anna's cheek and kissed her softly. The both lost track of where they were, only interested in each other as they kissed passionately on platform twenty-three, in full view of everyone.
“Well I never!”
Anna looked behind Heather to find a woman in her late fifties staring at them, a look of disgust on her face.
“I'm sure you haven't, but you don't know what you're missing.”
The woman tutted and looked away and Anna turned her attention back to Heather. “Don't mind her, she probably hasn't been laid in years.”
Heather laughed, “Behave.”
They shared a long look, one full of passion, want and promise. Heather sighed, “I have to go.”
Anna nodded and picked up Heather's bag, there wasn't much in it, but she had accumulated a small amount of possessions whilst in Glasgow .
“I'll call you.”
Anna nodded and they walked towards the train.
“Take care of yourself, Anna.”
“I will, you too.”
Heather took her bag from Anna and turned to board the train, only to be stopped by a hand on her arm. Heather dropped her bag and they kissed again. Anna's hand moving into Heather's hair, she didn't want to let her go.
“I love you.”
Anna looked stunned by her own words, but Heather smiled her delight.
“I love you too.”
They kissed once more, but time had run out.
“I know, go.”
Heather grabbed her bag and boarded the train. Anna watched as she found a seat, the train was already starting to pull away. Heather waved and blew her a kiss, and then she was gone.
Anna reversed her car into her parking spot opposite her building. It was already getting dark as she sat in her car staring at the spot where she had been assaulted just over a week ago. She wasn't looking forward to going home now that Heather was gone. Anna unclipped her seatbelt, but changed her mind; removing her mobile phone from her pocket instead.
“Hi, it's Anna, are you busy?”
“No, not really, what's up?”
“Just looking for a little company. Do you mind if I come over?”
“Not at all.”
“I'll bring some food, Chinese okay?”
“Great, see you soon.”
Pete opened his front door to let her in and found Anna holding up the bag of Chinese food. “King Prawn Chow Mein, a portion of barbeque spare ribs and prawn crackers.”
“Oh, my favourite.”
“I remembered.” Anna replied as she walked into his living room.
Pete grinned, “You'll make someone a good wife.”
“Do you want to wear this or eat it?”
He laughed, “I'll get some plates.”
Anna looked around the living room and something caught her eye, there was a hair clip on the bookcase.
Pete returned with plates and cutlery, “How are you feeling?”
“Not bad,” Anna looked towards the hair clip, “You get lucky?”
Pete shrugged, “It's Mary's.”
“So, you persuaded her to sleep with you?”
Pete finished his bite of spare rib. “Actually we're kind of seeing each other.”
Anna raised her eyebrows. “Dating? I didn't think that was your style.”
“It wasn't yours either.”
They ate in silence for a few minutes.
“You gave us all a scare.”
“Davidson knows about Heather by the way.”
Anna nodded, “Okay, she said she met him.” She put a forkful of chicken and rice into her mouth.
“No, I mean he knows exactly who she is. As in, the ex fiancée of a previous suspect.”
Anna stopped chewing and stared at Pete. “Shit.”
“That's one conversation I'm not looking forward to having.”
“Sorry, Anna, when he heard Greg and Heather were from Havensburgh, there was no denying it. He bloody cornered me in the hospital, demanding answers.”
“No need to apologise, Pete. If I hadn't been assaulted, he would have been none the wiser.”
“That was my thinking exactly.”
“Well, I will face the music tomorrow.”
Pete looked confused. “You're coming back tomorrow? Is that not a bit too soon?”
“Heather has gone home. What would you have me do, sit around my flat all day thinking about what happened?”
“I see your point.”
“Do you?” She held eye contact with him.
“Aye, I do.”
“Did Davidson, you know, make you see anybody?”
Pete nodded, “He will refer you and make it clear you have to go.”
“How did you find it?”
Anna nodded, “You know what it's like, if you go you are thought of as not being up to the job.”
“I didn't have a choice and neither will you. This isn't self-referral and it's confidential.”
“Yeah, I suppose.”
“Anna, what we've gone through isn't easy, and I know talking it through isn't for everyone, but if it's helpful, you should make the most of it.”
“I'm finding it tough to walk out of my building, how stupid is that?” The frustration was evident in her voice.
“Not stupid at all considering someone tried to murder you there just a few days ago.”
“When you put it like that.”
“That's the cold hard fact.”
Anna had eaten enough and sat back from her food. “Doesn't bear thinking about too much, does it?”
“I'm with you on that.”
Anna sighed, “Well I'm off home, I'll see you tomorrow.”
“You not going to finish that?” Pete pointed to her lemon chicken with fried rice.
“Help yourself but, I have to say, you might want to watch the waist line a bit closer.”
Pete frowned and looked down at his stomach. “Cheeky bitch.”
Anna laughed, “I'll see myself out. Oh, you don't happen to know of a good tobacconist, do you?”
“Yeah, St Vincent Street . What do you want a tobacconist for?”
“To say thank you to a Good Samaritan.” She stood to leave, “I'll see you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, oh and Anna.”
She could still hear him laughing as she closed his front door.
Heather parked in front of her parent's house, she had decided that there was no time like the present. She had taken a taxi home from the station, dropped her bags off and driven straight there in her car.
“Hi, girl, I've missed you.” Heather received her usual welcome from the golden retriever. She bent down to rub Milly's shiny coat. “Aren't you beautiful.”
“Heather, is that you?”
Agnes Keith appeared in the hallway. “Where on earth have you been? No word from you, just a quick call to say you would be gone for a few days!”
Heather gave the dog one final pat. “Let's go through to the sitting room.”
Her mother gave her a puzzled look and followed.
“Hi, Heather, how are you?”
“I'm good thanks, Dad.”
“She is just about to tell us just what on earth she has been up to.”
Heather took a seat on the sofa opposite her parents, who were both looking at her expectantly.
“I was in Glasgow looking after Anna.”
Malcolm Keith registered his acknowledgement straight away, but his wife was puzzled. “Anna?” she questioned, and then it dawned on her, “The policewoman?”
“Why would you be looking after her?”
“She was attacked last Friday and received a nasty blow to the head. I stayed in Glasgow for the week to make sure she would be okay.”
Mrs. Keith was still puzzled. “But why would you be looking after her ?”
“Because I love her.” Heather stated simply as she dropped the bombshell.
“What?” Her mother stated, the word came out in a stunned croak.
“I'm in love with her, Mum.”
Agnes Keith turned to her husband and muttered his name helplessly. “Malcolm.”
He in turn looked at her with a mixture of sadness and practised patience. “Agnes, the girls have settled their differences. Heather can't pick and choose who she falls in love with and she has fallen for Anna.”
“But she is a woman!”
Malcolm Keith nodded, “Yes and that is something you will have to learn to accept and respect.”
“You knew!” Agnes Keith accused.
“I knew Heather had feelings for Anna, yes.”
“I don't believe this! How can you be so calm and accepting? Your daughter is a lesbian!”
“Our daughter is a lesbian,” He replied forcefully, much to his wife's shock.
Agnes Keith had a face like thunder, but he waited her out.
“Yes, I do.”
“But it's wrong, Malcolm.” She stated, pleading with him.
He shook his head, “I disagree, I've never understood the problem people have with same sex relationships. I think it's small minded.”
Heather was surprised to hear her father make such a judgmental statement, but she was glad he had. It was so unlike him, he was always so diplomatic but, on this issue, he clearly had something to say. She watched as her mother sat slack-jawed staring at her husband. In that moment Heather made a decision, she didn't want to have to go through all this again when she told them about Glen, it might as well all come out now.
“There is something else I have to tell you both.”
Agnes Keith looked fearfully at her daughter. “What else could there possibly be?” She thought for a moment, “Are you pregnant?”
Heather took a deep breath, the look of concern on her face made Malcolm Keith move closer to his wife, fearful of how she might react to whatever Heather had to say. He himself was perplexed.
Heather swallowed nervously, and then spoke. “On Saturday, I had lunch with Glen…my brother.”
Agnes Keith paled so quickly Heather thought she might faint. The woman sat back as if someone had landed a physical blow to her face, She looked absolutely shocked. Malcolm Keith had a look on his face Heather had never witnessed before.
“Goodness, that is a piece of news.” Malcolm Keith ran his hand over his neat, thinning hair, showing a rare lapse in composure.
Heather looked cautiously at both her parents. She was biting her bottom lip, knowing this news was an awful lot for them both to take in, but she couldn't keep it from them.
“How?” Agnes Keith muttered.
Heather cleared her throat. “Anna came across Glen as part of an investigation.”
“I don't want to know.” She cut Heather off immediately.
“Mum, it's not what you think. Glen has got his life together.”
“Then why would a drug officer be talking to him?” She accused.
“I don't know the details, but it was to do with something in his past.”
“Tell us more, Heather.” Malcolm Keith requested.
Heather nodded, “Glen has been clean for over ten years. He has a partner, Josie, she is a social worker.” Heather paused, becoming a little emotional. “They have a daughter, Lilly, she is absolutely adorable.”
“I'm a grandmother?”
Agnes turned to look at her husband, “I'm a grandmother. We're grandparents.”
Malcolm Keith nodded and smiled at his wife, who began to cry.
Heather watched as the floodgates finally opened. Her mother was sobbing in her husband's arms. She went over to the sofa and sat on the other side of her mother.
“I know there will be a lot more to talk about, but I'll leave you both to have some time to think about what I've told you. Give me a call and if I don't see you before, I'll be over on Wednesday as usual for dinner.” Heather rubbed her mum's back and laid a gentle kiss on her cheek. “I love you both.”
Agnes Keith was too upset to respond, but Malcolm Keith looked up at his daughter. “I'll call you tomorrow, Heather, we love you too.”
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