Rose stepped out of the travel agents she worked in. She loved that job plus living in a small seaside town made it even better. Her friend had gone on holiday and she was looking forward to her coming back. Rose didn't go out much, went to the gym once a week with her other friend Beth and had the odd dinner date with a good looking guy who was on holiday but she never went out more than twice.
She had been hurt before she arrived in the town and wasn't falling for that trick twice. She'd know if she found that special someone and had no luck so far. Heading towards the café, she went past the Police Station hoping to see Ellie and just spotted her getting in her car, with a tall man who had a scruffy beard. Rose waved and Ellie stopped.
"Hey, did you have a good holiday?" Rose asked.
"Did until I came back, now I'm stuck with DI smart-arse over there." She nodded to the other side of the car where the tall man was putting his seatbelt on and pointing to his watch. "Plus he's a Scot and to make things worse, he got my job."
Rose smiled. "Lucky you, oh I don't mean about the job, sorry," she said, eyeing Ellie's passenger.
Ellie was watching her. "Get your eyes back in your head you, he's the enemy and he's my new boss."
"Well, he's not mine, who is he?"
Ellie didn't get chance to reply as her passenger sounded the car horn, pointing at his watch again. Ellie just looked up with her eyes and said, "I'll catch up with you later, come round for dinner one night, I can invite DI smart-arse if you want."
Ellie got in the car and waved and Rose stared at the stranger who was probably chastising Ellie for standing talking. Rose went off to lunch then back to work but just as she was leaving, Ellie rang, apologising for her rude boss and told her she would set up a night to get together. Rose thought nothing else about it until two afternoons later when Ellie rang again.
"Rose, can you come to dinner tonight? Only I opened my big mouth and invited my boss and I don't want to be outnumbered. Can you rescue me?"
Rose agreed, looking forward to the prospect of meeting him again.
"Oh and can you pick him up outside the Trader's at 7.20? I've told him what car you drive and his name's Alec Hardy," Ellie added.
That agreed, Rose went home to get changed, she normally had plenty of notice when going out so had to settle for something very quickly that would suitably impress Ellie's new boss. She set off for the Trader's and recognised the tall Detective standing outside so she let the passenger window down and he came over.
"Hi, Ellie Miller asked me to give you a lift to her house, you won't arrest me for soliciting will you?" she joked. It didn't go down well as he got in the car and put his seatbelt on.
"So, you are?" he asked as she drove off. "I'm Rose, Ellie's friend. Her house is a bit awkward to find if you don't know the area although it is quicker to walk along the coastal path then over the field."
He never replied so five minutes later Rose pulled up behind Ellie's car and they got out. Ellie made Rose sit next to her at the dinner table so they could talk and told her all about their holiday while Ellie's husband and her boss talked amongst themselves.
Ellie's husband, Joe decided to embarrass Rose by saying to Alec, ''Rose never goes out with the locals and never more than twice with men on holiday.''
Ellie thought it was funny. Rose tried to worm her way out of it, much to Alec's amusement, who by now had drunk two glasses of wine as Joe refilled his glass, Rose refusing as she was driving.
''Why don't you go out with local men?'' Alec asked her.
''Because it's a small town and they would brag about me to their mates.'' Rose replied.
After they'd finished their meal, Rose was asked to show Alec into the front room while Ellie was getting coffee and sat on the sofa and much to her surprise, Alec sat next to her, casually putting his arm on the back of the sofa. They started talking, Alec asking where she was from.
''You don't sound local Rose.'' Rose laughed.
''You could talk, where are you from, Glasgow?''
They were laughing by the time Ellie and Joe joined them and Ellie went to get Rose a present she had brought back, a fancy bottle of perfume
''I told her not to bother since Rose hardly goes out.'' Joe said.
They all laughed and around ten, Rose said she should be off and asked Alec if he wanted a ride back.
He accepted so they said their goodbyes and once on their way Alec asked, ''Rose would you have a drink with me at the Trader's, it's still early,'' he said.
''I shouldn't drink any more since I'm was driving, I don't want you to arrest me for drink driving, you shouldn't encourage me.''
Alec looked at her. ''You could just have tonic water.''
Rose reluctantly agreed and parked in the Trader's car park and they walked into the bar which for a change was quite full so Alec got the drinks and asked if she wanted to sit in the lounge which was usually only for residents but Becca, the hotel owner said it was ok. They talked for a while then Rose said she really had to go so Alec said he'd walk her to her car. Some of the locals were standing outside including one that she found slightly obnoxious called Nige who was always chatting her up.
He shouted to her as she crossed to her car but she ignored him. ''Not good enough for you then? You're talking to an outsider though.''
Rose just concentrated on the man she was with, she was very interested in him. They waited a while and the locals got into various cars and vans and drove off.
Alec just said, ''It was a good thing he's gone before I got out my ID and called for backup.''
Rose laughed saying "My Hero."
She stood by her car and was just about to unlock it when Alec put his hand on her arm and turned her towards him.
"So, Rose, can I see you again?" he asked.
"Well tomorrow night is my gym night but I'm free on Friday night," she replied.
"Oh, which gym is that?" he asked.
"At the sports centre up in the town. I'm there from half seven until nine so it's a bit late for going out plus I won't be dressed for going out."
Alec said it was a pity.
Just as she was about to try to unlock her car again, she said goodnight and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. He didn't want her to go, so he asked her not to.
"Rose, I don't suppose you'd want to come up to my room would you? We could talk some more. I'd really like to get to know you better." His eyes were looking like he was almost begging her.
He leaned over, about to kiss her cheek when she turned and their lips met for a few seconds.
"Alec, I have to go to work in the morning and I make it a point not to go to a man's room on a first date. Why don't we meet on Friday?"
"Are you sure you're not free tomorrow night?"
Rose shook her head.
"Well why don't we meet outside here on Friday night or better still, come up to my room, 203 ok?"
Rose nodded and they said goodnight after exchanging phone numbers. Neither of them could get the other out of their heads all night, Alec was tempted to call her, ask if he could go to where she lived then jump in a taxi but he then planned to find out where the sports centre was and go meet her, whether she thought she was dressed for going out or not. They both went to work the next day, Alec saying nothing to Miller but found out where the sports centre was and just after eight thirty, getting a taxi there and waited in reception. Rose came out and was talking to her friend when she noticed him, sat on a chair outside the swimming pool viewing area and she stopped as he got up. Beth asked if she was ok and she nodded and told Beth she knew him.
"You are persistent, Detective," she said.
She was dressed only in an unbuttoned polo shirt and grey leggings and flat canvas shoes, her hair tied back and Alec was staring at her. They walked to her car and Alec asked if he could drive, he was driven around all day and hated it. So they drove back to the Trader's, Rose giving him directions and they went inside and sat in the lounge again.
"So, you never go out with locals?" It was more of a statement from Alec than a question "and you never go out on more than two dates? So what happens if you go out on a third? Do you run away?"
Rose smiled and said, "It never gets to a third date, I usually wait for them to leave town but since you're not a local and you're not on holiday, it doesn't really count does it?"
Alec just smiled, thinking he was definitely in with a chance but she was a friend of Miller's, had she been warned off him? No, this was his chance to find out. Rose was only drinking tonic water again but when it was time for her to leave, he stopped at the foot of the stairs and cornered her.
"Any chance you might want to come to my room tonight or do I wait and see if I get a third date? Tell you what, you come up with me and I'll make sure you're not late for work in the morning," he said as charming as he could although he admitted to himself he was out of practice with this sort of thing. It had been a while since he had chatted a young blonde woman up. It was working as Rose relented.
"OK but just for a while, it's already gone ten and I have things to do when I get home," Rose replied, hoping she wouldn't regret it.
It had been some time since her last sexual encounter, already suspecting the detective had more than talking on his mind but was willing to give him a chance since she had fancied him a few days ago sat in Ellie's car. Ellie would go mad when she found out. They walked up the stairs, Alec allowing her to go first, admiring Rose's bum on the way up and was half tempted to touch it but thought better of it. They got to his room and Alec took his jacket off and Rose spotted a half bottle of wine on the table and he offered her a drink which she accepted.
"So, I guess you didn't ask me up her to just talk, did you?" she asked hopefully, feeling she was way past having some fun and was due some probably within the next hour or so, judging by the way now he was casually unfastening his shirt buttons revealing a white t-shirt underneath which she thought was a pity but she waited to see what he'd do.
Rose sat on the edge of the bed and put her glass down thinking if he offered to refill it she'd have an excuse to stay since technically he could detain her under the prevention of allowing her to drive over the legal limit, so to encourage him, she finished her drink and held out her glass, expectantly.
Alec obliged by pouring them both another drink as he took off his shirt and sat next to her on the bed as they both started laughing Alec said, ''I am now officially entitled to take your car keys and I would be neglecting my duty if I now let you drive home and I would have to arrest you.''
Rose replied saying, ''I was rather hoping you would hold me on suspicion of being over the two glass limit'' and held her glass out again, knowing she would regret it in the morning if he did.
He didn't. Instead he took her glass from her and put it down next to his and said, ''I want you to have a clear head.''
They both looked at each other and Alec leaned over and put his hand on her leg, feeling the thinness of the fabric of her leggings. Then Rose reached out her hand and put it up the front of his t-shirt. Alec pushed her down on the bed, Rose tore his t-shirt off over his head, feeling the hairs on his chest and he lay on her and leaned down and snogged her. Now he was over her, she could feel him touching her and she quivered at the feeling as he worked his way up across her tummy and pulled her t-shirt over her head, revealing her low cut bra as he reached his hands round to undo it then pulling down the thin leggings, taking her cotton knickers with them.
After tossing and turning, Alec relieving himself of his trousers and boxers, Rose collapsed on top of him with a massive sigh of pleasure as she lay right on top of him, her head now muzzling his neck as she bit him. They kissed again, finding each other's tongues as they moved together. They both fell asleep exhausted, Rose spread over his slim body, Alec with both his arms around her, a massive smile on his face. They woke the next morning to Alec's alarm at seven and they kissed again.
Alec asked her, ''Are you ok? You don't regret any of last night?'' She said no. ''I don't either, we can still meet later Rose, come up to my room and we'll go out.''
He walked her downstairs and they kissed goodbye, not noticing Becca had seen them but she couldn't complain, the detective was paying for a double room and she knew Rose had never stayed the night before so this must be serious and was thinking good on her. Rose drove home and got ready for work feeling better than she had in a long time, thankful she was still taking the pill for reasons other than having casual sexual encounters but she knew it wasn't just that. She knew she had found the one but how was Ellie going to take it? She wouldn't tell her, not until she was sure Alec felt the same way, which given his amorous performance last night, seemed more than likely and he had followed her to the gym when she'd said she was going, not expecting him to waiting for her but was glad he had been. For the rest of the day she couldn't wait to see him later, sneaking text messages with innuendos to him during her breaks. It was Friday, no work tomorrow, she could stay again or take him back to her house, she'd never invited a man back before. She rented a two bedroom house up above the cliff top so her mother could come down during the holiday periods.
She'd got it cheap and she wasn't in debt and there was only her so she managed. She was assistant manager at the travel agents so she got free travel when she fancied a holiday, on the provision she did a holiday review and often took her mother with her. She was about due for another, she was thinking and maybe she'd invite Alec this time. Rose avoided anyone noticing the bite on her neck by wearing her scarf a different way which no-one bothered to question, she was the one who never dated anyone more than twice, why would she be hiding anything?
She bumped into Ellie on her way to lunch, she noticed.
''What's with the scarf Rose?''
Rose just said, ''I fancied a change'' and shrugged it off.
Alec wasn't with Ellie. ''Have you seen Hardy again?''
''He met me after the gym last night and we had a drink.'' She left it at that.
Rose was out of the door like a shot at closing time, normally taking her time and looking slightly suspicious, saying she had somewhere to go. She got changed, finding the skimpiest of underwear, received a message from Alec saying he was on the way back to his hotel and if she was quick he was going to take a shower so she set off. Getting a sly look from Becca as she made for the stairs.
''Was that your car in the hotel car park last night?''
''Sorry, yeah,'' Rose replied. Becca grinned at her.
Rose knocked on Alec's door.
He opened it, minus his shirt and pulled her inside.
''I was going to get changed and get a shower.''
''Well don't hurry,'' she replied as she slipped her arms around him, pulling him close. ''Can I come and watch?''
Alee just grinned. They fell on the bed, kissing. He eventually got changed and they went out, getting a taxi up into the town to a Chinese restaurant Rose knew of.
''Did Ellie say anything about us?''
''She did but I avoided her fortunately but she wanted to know why I had a stupid grin my face all day like a two year old.''
Rose asked him about where he came from, he didn't want to talk about it.
''Something went gone wrong and I needed to get away in a hurry and this was the only place they'd been able to find at short notice, I wasn't exactly the cop of the year,'' he said.
''Did you leave anyone behind when you left?''
''No, I'm divorced, rather happily because she was a right cow and had been cheating on me since more or less we had been married. We had no kids, she was always making excuses her career was too important. We had both been Detective Sergeants together and I got promoted just after our wedding and she was bitter I'd got the promotion and she hadn't.''
Alec asked about Rose.
''I had someone, he ran off with my best friend after an argument at a party when I wouldn't have sex with him because he was drunk so he went off with my best friend instead afterwards and I only found out when I went out a few nights later and someone told me. I confronted him and he slapped my face and told her me was finished with me, I was glad to get rid of him. I got offered a transfer and a promotion and took it, having to move to Broadchurch. I didn't know anyone and Ellie took me her under her wing, she's like a big sister and watches out for me.''
They got a taxi back to the hotel and went back to his room, Alec tearing her clothes off as soon as the door was closed, her tearing his off all the time moaning her name. They tossed and turned on the bed, both groaning with pleasure as they called out, encouraging each other to do more.
Rose had fallen asleep eventually, so he reached for his mobile and turned the alarm off, then fell asleep himself. It was after eight when he woke up, Rose entangled in him, nuzzling his chest. He was liking this very much, it had been a long time since he'd had a close relationship, making do with the odd one night when he'd got drunk and hadn't cared and then the women had always gone before he'd had the chance to ask them out again, not that he'd wanted, he was glad some of them had gone, some had even sneaked out when he'd been asleep. He'd always been cautious, being a Policeman, not to give his full name, always locking his wallet and ID away in a safe in his wardrobe before going out and just carry enough for the night. He'd not bothered last night, he could tell Rose was different.
He woke her up, first trying to kiss her neck but she just stirred slightly so to get her full attention, he bit her neck and made his mark. She jumped at his bite. When they finally stopped, Alec turned on his side, running his hand down her hips.
''You are amazing, I've not had sex like that ever before.''
Rose didn't believe him then confessed, ''It's been over four years since I let a man touch me like that.''
''I'm honoured then.''
Rose reached her hand round and smacked his bum so he pulled her around onto her side and did it to her.
They then kissed some more, well more like a proper snogging until Alec said he was hungry and they went to get some breakfast. It was almost eleven when they reached the café by the Police Station but they were still serving breakfast. They were just eating, Alec trying to get Rose to let him have the last piece of toast and was fooling around when they were discovered by Ellie who had just walked in with her eldest boy, Tom. Rose and Alec just stopped, Rose with her hand on the toast, trying to take it from his mouth so she just went "Oops" and let go, leaving Alec with the toast stuck out of his mouth as he took hold of it with his hand and just looked at Ellie.
Ellie just stared at them as Tom was now laughing, thinking it was funny as he knew Rose quite well and knew she didn't have a boyfriend. Ellie was telling him to stop and to go out to his dad so he said a quick "Hello Rose" and left, still giggling and dying to tell his friend Danny he had caught her with a man, they would be able to keep that gag going for weeks for their amusement then Danny would tell his sister so that was another week. Alec finished eating his toast, washing it down with the rest of his mug of tea and Rose was looking kind of sheepishly at her friend. It had been quite clear to Ellie this was a bit more than a friendly outing having breakfast and could tell instantly there was something going on between them, choosing to fool around so casually in a café and she'd been the one who had introduced them only a few nights ago. She was wondering how things had progressed so quickly.
Ellie took the chair opposite Rose. ''Why are you two making such a display of yourselves in public?''
''Oh lighten up Ellie,'' Rose said. ''We're only having breakfast.''
Ellie replied, ''Fine but do you have to make it so obvious in public you two have a 'thing' for each other?''
Alec was getting slightly miffed that he couldn't enjoy himself being out with his new girlfriend and told Ellie as much.
Ellie wanted to know, ''How have you become so familiar towards each other in a short space of time?''
Alec lost it. ''Keep out of our business Miller.''
It didn't go down well. ''Rose, come to the ladies room so I could talk to you and you, DI Hardy are old enough to know better than act like a love sick schoolboy in public. I'm only watching out for my friend.''
Alec said he'd wait outside for Rose as she and Ellie went off to the ladies.
Ellie really lay into her. ''Tell me you're not having sex with him? What are you doing? You've put me in a very bad position, I have to work with him, the new smart-arse Detective that pinched the job I was meant to have and now we can't afford to have the extension built we needed. How could you get involved with him so fast, he's only been in the town just over a week?''
Rose came to her own defence. ''It's nothing to do with us being friends Ellie, technically it's your fault for inviting us to dinner. I thought you were playing cupid since you thought it was funny that your husband had told Alec I never went out with anyone more than twice so don't put the blame on me.''
''You hardly know him, he pinched my job after getting thrown out of his last job.''
''Get your facts straight Ellie, he chose to leave and he hadn't asked for your job in particular, you should talk to your Superintendent, not have a go at me and if I am having sex with him it was nothing to do with you.''
Rose stormed out of the ladies saying, ''I'm not going to choose between our friendship and my new relationship with Alec Hardy because for the first time, a man is treating me with decency and I like the fact he's older than me because I need someone like that.''
Alec was waiting for her outside, talking to Ellie's husband. Rose tousled the hair of Ellie's young son, Fred and told Alec she was ready to go. They walked off down the coastal path until he sat her on a nearby bench and asked what happened. She told him and said he'd talk to Miller, as he called her.
''It doesn't matter, I'm not going to choose between you, I want to be with you.''
He told her she was the first woman who he had met that hadn't wanted anything from him, telling her all about his ex wife and his quick divorce six months ago.
Rose said, ''You're the first man I wanted to break my two date rule with, I don't need any stupid rules now.''
''Good, because I'm no good with rules either.''
They both laughed, then Alec took her hand and they walked back to the hotel and had more fantastic playing around, Alec saying he was saving the best bit for later. He did, after Rose tossed another rule out that she never invited men back to her house.
Over the next week, things were estranged between Rose and Ellie making it difficult for Alec to work with her, choosing to spend as much time in his office as possible without actually going out with her. Rose met him every evening, waiting for him to finish work, sitting on the sea wall across from the Station, she watched him walk down the steps and cross over to her, putting his arms around her and kissing her cheek as they'd walk off hand in hand, sometimes getting fish and chips, other times, getting into her car and Rose would make dinner for him, Alec helping her clear up, always putting his arms around her waist and moving with her as she washed the dishes, telling her she should get a dishwasher. Rose said she couldn't afford one, she was only just getting by, no money to spare for luxuries. She even told him she only got to take holidays because she got them free. She told him she had thought about sharing but that her mother came down every bank holiday so she couldn't let the room apart from having a student and didn't fancy sharing with someone who came and went with term times.
The weekend came, Alec went to get some spare clothes from his hotel room to stay at her house for the weekend, told her he'd drive her up the coast on Sunday but wanted her to go shopping with him on Saturday, first to the supermarket, getting loads of extra food and him paying despite her protests, then down to a shopping mall about ten miles away and took her into an electrical store and told her to chose a dishwasher, he having taken the measurements while she was busy doing something else and telling her not to make a scene about it and she could thank him later. She did and several times over, getting him even more worked up than usual and glad they weren't in the hotel. They were getting far more adventurous in the bedroom, sometimes even doing it on the floor before going upstairs and doing it again.
He'd asked Rose if she was ok with him being older, she said it was ok but to watch out for her mother who went after anything in trousers so he said when he met her he'd wear a kilt and they'd gone to bed with Rose saying she wanted to see him wearing one sometimes and that he'd better make it traditional.
Sunday morning, Alec drove them to a nearby seaside town up the coast and over lunch, he told her he loved her. ''I want to look after you Rose and if you're struggling to get by, let me move in with you, I'll even take the spare room and pay all the bills and the rent for you.''
She didn't need to think about it. ''Yes then, I love you too, you don't need to take the spare room do you?''
They called to get the rest of his things from the hotel and he checked out, leaving Rose's address, much to Becca's amusement, it would get all around the town now.
The May bank holiday was next weekend, her mother was coming down, was Alec ready for it? He didn't particularly look forward to it but it had to be done since they were now living together. He put money into Rose's bank account to pay the bills, changing some of them to his name and the Friday came and Rose was picking her mother up from the train station. Alec went with her, she was arriving just after six. Rose was surprised how the two of them got on well with her mother never even thinking he was too old for her and told Rose she needed someone to look after her so she didn't have to worry about her. She never even said anything about them sharing a room.
Rose booked a holiday, properly this time, Alec paying for it, he said he'd had nothing to spend his money on until he met her, so she booked a two week holiday to a resort in Spain for the end of July. It soon came around, Alec telling her to buy a new bikini he'd seen her looking at and couldn't wait to see her in it so he made her try it on for him when they got home. Rose said it was a waste of time since he was just going to take it off her. They'd fooled around and they'd ended up having sex on the bedroom floor after they didn't quite make it to the bed and after they'd fallen about laughing.
They set of on holiday, driving to the airport and leaving the car. They arrived late and slept in the next morning then spent the rest of the day by the pool, Alec giving the evil eye to any man who dared to look at her. After dinner, he took her to a quiet corner at the end of the pool, went in his shorts pocket and pulled out a diamond ring and asked her to marry him. She flung her arms around him and yelled "Yes" so loud that everyone who was still around heard and looked at them and all clapped. Alec had researched the town where the resort was before they had set off and there was a Magistrate who was willing to marry them so the next morning, Rose went to buy a new dress and they went off to find the court.
Using a translator and borrowing a witness, they got married in front of them and got their marriage certificate later the same day, staying in the town until it was time. That night was the night of their lives and if Rose thought Alec was good in bed until now, she was about to change her mind as he did things they had never done before, making love until almost dawn when they had to finally fall asleep, both of them trying desperately to be the last one, wrapped up in each other that you couldn't tell one from the other.
They had the rest of holiday as a honeymoon and Rose told Alec she was going to stop taking the pill if he wanted and he agreed, saying he always wanted kids but his ex hadn't. Rose rang her mother with the good news they'd got married and they broke it gently to Ellie when they got back and she came round and they all made up with a celebration dinner.
The following July, just after their wedding anniversary, Rose gave birth to a healthy baby girl and they named her Maria because of their honeymoon in Spain. They eventually had to move when they went on to have another girl named Louise eighteen months later and a boy called Jason two years after, who followed his father into the Police force.
Rose often looked back with Alec about her two date rule and he always reminded her that rules were meant to be broken.