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Love has no limits.

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It was late evening on the cobbles of Coronation street and Sally was running around her house like a headless chicken trying to get it spotless for the arrival of her new lawyer, Paula a friend from school. Well when we say friend Sally was almost jealous of how popular and cool she was back then.

“Gina for the love of god will you put a nice top on? You look like you’ve been pulled through a hedge backwards” Sally said urging Gina to smarten herself up.

“I will but she’s not the queen she’s one of us remember” Gina replied in a huff as she walked upstairs to put a nicer top on.

“Sal just calm down you’re wearing a hole in the carpet where you are pacing back and forth” Tim joked.

“I can’t help it. This is a very important meeting, one where I’m hoping she’ll be able to tell me that I’m going to win this case and not end up in jail”.

“I know how important it is but I don’t think she will be interested in the canapés you have made for her. Shes one of us not some posho”.

“And how would you know this Tim? Have you ever met her?” Sally sarcastically replied.

“Well no I haven’t met her but I mean who goes to a meeting at their friends house expecting canapés? We don’t live in Beverly Hills”.

“Tim’s right sal. You need to just relax, I can remember Paula and she was down to earth, not stuck up” Gina added.

“Look I just want to make a good impression, I’ve not seen her for god knows how many years. I just want her to think I’m the good guy not the person Duncan is portraying me as” Sally explained as she took some of the canapés out of the oven.

“God help us” Gina whispered to Tim as she sat back down on the sofa.

“Please behave” Tim said pleaded with Gina to be on her best behaviour.

“I always do...”

“We know that’s a lie” Tim replied as the doorbell went.

Sally immediately took off her apron, straightened her skirt and sorted her hair out while Gina opened the door.

“Gina, how are you?” Paula said as Gina opened the door.

“Paula, you’re looking amazing. Come on in” Gina said.

“Sally long time no see” Paula said giving Sally a hug.

“Welcome, thanks for coming to see me” Sally replied giving Paula a good look up and down. Noticing that she was wearing trainers, she tried to keep the look of disgust off her face but Sally wasn’t known for being able to control her facial expressions.

“Ah don’t worry I always have a pair of heels in my bag, these are just for when I’m running around” Paula explained.

“They look absolutely fine” Gina added.

“And who is this fine specimen of a man?” Paula asked looking at Tim.

“That’s Tim, my husband” Sally said emphasising the word my just in case Paula got any ideas.

“Well it’s nice to meet you Tim” Paula replied shaking his hand.

“Likewise, I’ve heard a lot about you...”

“All bad I hope” Paula joked.

“Our sal thinks the sun shines out of your backside” Gina added.

“GINA” Sally immediately replied.

“Could I use your bathroom?” Paula asked as she had come straight from a meeting.

“Of course, I’ll show you where it is” Gina said as she showed Paula.

While Paula was upstairs using the bathroom, Sally wanted a quick word with Gina.

“Please don’t say anything else embarrassing, or you can go out for the evening”.

“Relax woman, she knew I was only joking”.

“Regardless I’d prefer it if you didn’t”.

“Lighten up Sally” Tim said.

Sally didn’t have time to reply as Paula was back downstairs ready to make herself comfortable on the sofa.

“Glass of wine?”

“Just a small one please” Paula replied.

“Canapé...”

“Ah I’m ok but I’d love a bag of crisps or a biscuit if you’ve got any?”

Sally looked at Paula as if she were crazy, turning down delicious canapés for a bag of crisps.

“I’ll see what I can do...” Sally replied through gritted teeth.

Paula sat there reading the file she had been provided with, a slightly concerned look appeared on her face.

“What’s wrong?” Sally asked.

“Pardon?” Paula replied.

“The look on your face. You look worried”.

“Oh no sorry, I just remembered that I forgot to tell my daughter her dinner was in the fridge. My mind often wonders off...”

“Oh right... Tim could you help me in the kitchen for a minute” Sally said.

Tim reluctantly got off his chair and went to help Sally in the kitchen.

“What’s wrong?” Tim asked.

“Her mind is all over the place, she should be concentrating on reading my file not what her daughter is going to eat”.

“Sal you said it yourself she’s a bloody good lawyer now just stop worrying and let the woman do her job. Ok?”

“Fine. But she needs to put 100% into this”.

“And she will!”

Both Sally and Tim returned to their seats as Paula finished her reading.

“So, but the looks of things we have a strong case but it’s going to take a lot of work. We would be in a much better place if someone hadn’t have got rid of the burner phone when they found it...” Paula explained looking at Gina.

“Oh sorry” Gina said looking very guilty.

“But I’m positive we can win and I would love to represent you if that’s what you want?”

“That would be wonderful” Tim replied.

“Yes! That would be thank you”.

“Perfect then. I will pop round on Monday and we will look at your case in further detail but right now I think we should just have a good old fashioned catch up” Paula said.

“Sounds good. I’ll open another bottle” Sally replied with a big smile on her face.

She felt a giant sense of relief come over her, as Paula had managed to put her mind at ease. While Gina and Paula were catching up on the sofa, Sophie rushed through the front door.

“Only me mum, just need to grab my jacket I must have left it here...oh sorry didn’t realise you had company” Sophie said as she walked into the lounge noticing her mum had a guest.

“No worries love, this is Paula my lawyer” Sally said introducing Sophie to Paula.

“Nice to meet you, Sorry I can’t stay I’m due at work” Sophie said as she smiled in Paula’s direction whilst grabbing her jacket off the side.

“Nice to meet you too” Paula replied giving Sophie a quick look up and down.

Sophie was oblivious to what Paula even looked like as she was in such a rush but it was clear that Sophie had definitely caught her eye.

“Bye” Sophie said slamming the door behind her as she rushed off to work.

“What does she do if you don’t mind me asking?” Paula asked Sally.

“She works in a local Pakistani restaurant, I think she enjoys it but it’s not what she wants to be doing”.

“What does she want to do?”

“Honestly? No idea. She’s had a rough ride has our Soph...” Sally began to explain.

“I don’t think she’d want you explaining it all...” Tim said trying to stop Sally from telling Paula, Sophie’s life story.

“She won’t mind. See our Soph is a lesbian and hasn’t had any luck with her previous relationships, in fact she’s had her heart broken many times. I mean she was nearly married at 16 but that all went tits up and if I’m being honest I don’t think she’s ever felt like that since. I mean there was Maddie but she didn’t seem as happy with her as she did with Sian...”

As Paula was listening to Sally speak about Sophie’s love life she almost felt a sense of sadness for Sophie as she had been through a lot even at such a young age. Paula was intrigued by Sophie and knew she needed to find a way to spend some more time with her without Sally realising what she was doing.

“Wow she sounds like she’s had a rough ride with her relationships” Paula replied.

“Oh she has but she’s come out the other end tougher and stronger for it. She’s a good girl is our Soph”.

“Shall I let you into a little secret?” Paula said.

“Go on then...”

“My daughter is also gay, maybe they could meet up for a drink or something?” Paula said as Sally’s eyes lit up.

“What a coincidence that we both have a gay daughter, what are the chances that two good friends have two gay daughters?” Sally replied thinking all of her Christmases had come at once hearing about Paula’s daughter.

“Good friends?” Gina muttered under her breath.

Luckily neither Sally or Paula heard Gina, but Tim did. He didn’t respond to Gina he just gave her the look of death.

“Shall we arrange a drink or something then? Introduce them to one another?” Paula asked.

“It can’t do any harm can it? I mean you never know they could fall madly in love” Sally replied hoping and praying they would hit it off.

“Shall we say tomorrow lunchtime?” Paula said wasting no time in being able to see Sophie again.

“That’s fine by me, I don’t think Sophie is working. Shall we say the bistro at 1?”

“Sounds perfect. I should probably get going, there’s a few files I need to read for your case. It’s been really lovely to see you again though Sal and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Was lovely to see you as well Gina and of course to meet you Tim” Paula responded.

“Ah yes it’s been lovely thanks again for agreeing to take on my case, I really do appreciate it” Sally said giving Paula a big hug treating her like her best friend now.

“Anytime, see you” Paula said as she let herself out.

“She’s not changed one bit, she’s still the down to earth cool chick I always remembered” Gina said with a smile on her face.

“I mean her style has changed a little bit but no she’s still the Paula I remember” Sally replied referring to her dodgey choice in foot wear.

“I thought her trainers were very hip” Tim joked knowing it would wind Sally up.

“You would as you have absolutely no sense of style whatsoever” Sally sarcastically replied.

“Now now you two” Gina said as she could sense the tension between them.

Instead of Paula heading straight back home to work on Sally’s case, she sat down on the bench and took her trainers off, slipping on her heels ready to check out this restaurant Sophie works in. Fixing her hair and applying her lipstick, Paula strutted in finding a seat at a table near the bar where Sophie was stood.

Sophie didn’t notice Paula at first but she was in no rush to go home so decided to look at the menu as she was feeling a bit peckish. The restaurant was busy and no one had noticed that Paula was waiting for her order to be taken. It wasn’t too long before Sophie noticed.

“Hi there welcome to Speed Daal, my names Sophie and I’ll be you’re waitress. Can I get you a drink?” Sophie said without taking much notice to who she was talking to.

“We meet again...” Paula replied.

Sophie immediately looked up from her note pad to see Paula sat there smiling away.

“Paula? Isn’t it?” Sophie said.

“Yes, your mother’s lawyer”.

“I see you managed to escape before she could chew your ear off...” Sophie joked.

“I wanted to check out the place where her daughter worked as I’ve been told so much about you”.

“Oh really? What’s she been saying?” Sophie replied thinking the worst.

“Aww just the usual, doting on you, saying how wonderful you were. She mentioned a few failed relationships but you are young and gorgeous so I’m sure you won’t have issues in that area” Paula said.

Sophie was shocked to hear her mums lawyer call her gorgeous but she wasn’t complaining as Paula wasn’t bad herself.

“Thanks. So what can I get you to drink?” Sophie replied quickly before she started to blush.

“I’ll have a coffee please, Black no sugar”.

“Coming right up”.

As Sophie walked away Paula took a good look at her from behind, Sophie had a beautiful figure, one that Paula wanted to get her hands on.

“Here we go, enjoy” Sophie said as she placed the coffee on the table.

“Thanks”.

“I’m sure I’ll see you around, thanks again for helping my mum out. God knows how she’s got herself into this mess”.

“No worries, she’s a good friend. I’ll do my very best to get her out of the mess and yes I’d like to see you around” Paula replied subtly flirting with Sophie who seemed to be oblivious to it.

“Enjoy you’re evening” Sophie said.

Paula had a little chuckle to herself, she knew that Sophie had absolutely no idea that she had been flirting with her. Whilst she drank her coffee she needed to come up with a more obvious way of flirting with her without Sally noticing.

Back over at the house Sally was still raving about how amazing Paula was and how close they were back in school. Gina found it funny though as she knew that they weren’t that close at school but because Paula is going to help Sally, she’ll be claiming that they are inseparable.

“Can you believe how successful she is? I mean she has her own law firm? Amazing really when you think about it...”

“Wonderful” Tim sarcastically replied as he took a swig out of his beer.

“Who would have thought one of my best friends would have been so successful?”

“Not me that’s for sure, I’ve never heard her name be mentioned”.

“Oh don’t be daft, of course you have”.

“I can assure you Sal I haven’t”.

“I mean let’s be honest Sal you weren’t that close with her at school? I mean you were friendly but not best pals like you are saying” Gina commented.

“Gina you’re wrong”.

“I’m not but oh well. Another beer Tim?” Gina said as she went to the fridge to get herself another drink.

“I’d love one, thanks” Tim replied holding his empty bottle in the air ready for Gina to put it on the side.

Sally was annoyed by how Gina and Tim always seemed to gang up on her, Tim was her husband and should always be on her side.

Paula was taking her time to drink the coffee, she was mesmerised by Sophie yet had only spoken to her twice and neither of those times had been in depth. She knew that she shouldn’t have any interest in Sophie but she just couldn’t help it. Paula was the type of lady whose heart always over ruled her head no matter what the situation was, in this case was she prepared to risk her friendship and potentially her career to get to know Sophie a little bit better?

Chapter Text

Paula finally finished her coffee, taking one last look at Sophie before making her way home. As she looked over towards Sophie, Sophie caught her eye and smiled. The feeling in the pit of Paula’s stomach was one she hadn’t felt in a very long time. She made her way home with a very big smile on her face but part of her was anxious, worried even about what could potentially happen between the two of them.

“You do realise that woman had her eye on you...” Yasmeen said as the two of them began to tidy up after a very long shift.

“Who?” Sophie replied oblivious to anyone who had been eyeing her up.

“The lady in the fancy suit”.

“No she wasn’t, I’m pretty sure she’s married with children my age” Sophie replied laughing as she couldn’t understand what Yasmeen was going on about.

“Since when has that stopped anyone in the past”.

“Yasmeen don’t be ridiculous, she’s old enough to be my mum”.

“And is age a big deal for you?”

“Well no I don’t think it would be but I’ve never even thought about it and don’t need to because she definitely wasn’t interested” Sophie explained.

“Sophie I have one piece of advice for you, if you ever find someone that you fall head over heels for hold onto them because you never know how long they will be around for. A cherished every moment I had with my husband but I wish more than anything I had spent more time with him. Now I’m not saying this woman who has taken a shining to you will be that person but pay attention to people because you never know when they might pop up” Yasmeen explained.

“You loved him more than anything didn’t you?” Sophie replied.

“I did yes and we argued and we fought but i would have done anything for that man. So promise me you will keep your eye out for that one special person...”

“I promise but I’m happy being free and single at the moment. Truth be told Kate messed me around and it broke my heart. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy for her and Rana but she used me and she’s lucky I’m a forgiving person because not many people would be friends with someone after what she did to me” Sophie explained.

“You are more forgiving than many people I know but that’s what makes you Sophie Webster. The kind hearted young lady who treats everyone how we should all treat people”.

“Oh Yasmeen stop you’ll make me blush”.

“I’ll stop but just live your life Sophie and don’t let anything stop you from being happy”.

“I won’t don’t you worry. Now let’s get this place cleaned up so we can get home” Sophie replied as she handed Yasmeen the mop.

“I see you give me the rubbish job” Yasmeen joked.

“Fine I’ll do that you can count the till and do all the paperwork”.

“Deal”.

The two of them got their heads down and quickly finished up so they could get home after a very busy night at the restaurant.

“Night Yasmeen, I’ll see you Sunday” Sophie said as she put her jacket on and grabbed her bag.

“Goodnight my love, see you soon” Yasmeen replied giving Sophie one of her big smiles.

Sophie walked the short distance home thinking about everything Yasmeen had said to her, was her mums lawyer really flirting with her? Or was it Yasmeen reading way too much into someone being friendly?

While running herself a bubble bath, Sophie poured a large glass of white wine to enjoy after a hard day on her feet. Once in the bath Sophie allowed herself to unwind and switch off for the evening. She still couldn’t believe that Yasmeen thought that Paula was flirting with her, as far as Sophie was aware Paula was married with kids.

A new day dawned and Sophie woke with a smile on her face and a new found energy in her step. She hadn’t had such a good night sleep like the one she had had for a very long time.

“Morning Dad” Sophie said as she walked downstairs to find Kevin cooking Jack breakfast in the kitchen.

“Morning, you’re in a happy mood” Kevin replied.

“I’m always happy...”

“Not recently you haven’t been and I know we’ve been through a lot but you’ve not been yourself recently”.

“I know things have been tough but we are all healthy again so it’s time to focus on myself and being happy” Sophie explained.

“Good it’s about time you focused on yourself and stop worrying about us”.

“I can’t help it dad you two mean the world to me”.

“Yes but we are both fine aren’t we Jack?”

“Yep” Jack said with a smile on his face giving his sister a thumbs up.

“Oh you’re mum said something about needing to see you” Kevin explained.

“Ok, I’ll pop there now. I’ll see you both later” Sophie said as she nicked a piece of her brothers toast and headed for the door.

“Hey that’s mine” Jack shouted after her.

“Love you” Sophie replied taking a bite out of her toast.

Over at Sally’s house she was on the phone trying to book a table for lunchtime at the bistro.

“Table for 4 please Michelle” Sally asked.

“Sure thing, do you want a table or a booth?” Michelle replied.

“Table please”.

“Ok, so that’s a table for 4 at 1 pm. See you later”.

“Thank you. See you later” Sally replied.

“Where you off to later?” Sophie asked as she arrived to hear the end of the phone call.

“Oh Sophie hiya. Oh I was just booking a table at the bistro for lunch” Sally replied.

“Who you off there with?”

“Well I was hoping you”.

“Me? Why? What do you want?” Sophie asked knowing there would 100% be a reason as to why her mum was taking her for lunch.

“Nothing, just want to treat my daughter to a spot of lunch”.

“You’re paying as well, I smell something fishy”.

“Nothing fishy! I just want to spend some time with you”.

“Ok, ok! I’ll have lunch with you. What time?” Sophie asked.

“1?”

“I’ll see you at 1 then...”

“Wear something nice...” Sally said.

“You are definitely up to something” Sophie replied as she walked towards the door.

“See you later” Sally said with a huge smile on her face. She knew her plan was all coming together nicely, she just needed Sophie and Isla to get on well.

Sophie had absolutely no idea what her mother was up to but she knew that something was going to happen this lunchtime.

Sally texted Paula to let her know that everything was a go for lunchtime.

*Hi Paula, just to let you know we’re on for lunchtime, Sophie will be there. Let’s just hope the two of them get along. Sally xx*

Paula was sat at her desk when her phone went off, a smile appeared on her face as soon as she read that Sophie was going to be there. Suddenly she was all nervous, how was she going to make it clear to Sophie that she was interested without Sally or Isla noticing. You’d think she would be a seasoned pro at flirting at her age but even the pro’s got nervous.

“James how do I look?” Paula asked one of her staff members.

“Is this a trick question?” James replied.

“You won’t get into any trouble for the answer you give, I just need you’re honest opinion”.

“I mean you look very professional...” James replied.

“Professional? That’s not what I was hoping for, try again?”

“You look nice...”

“James for god sake, do i look hot or not?” Paula asked being demanding.

“It’s not your best suit, you’ve got nicer ones” James nervously replied.

“Ok, so I need to get changed then?”

“Well it depends where you are going? Do you have a meeting?” James asked.

“Not a meeting of sorts, just need to look hot”.

“Then yes I’d change”.

“Thank you for being honest James, now get back to work” Paula joked.

“Yes boss” James replied sitting down and typing away at his keyboard immediately.

Paula quickly went to the bathroom to check for herself whether or not she liked the outfit, I mean what would James know he’s a guy. Checking herself out from multiple angles she came to the conclusion that yes she needed to change.

“Right Ive finished for the day, if any one needs to get hold of me only do it if it’s an emergency. I will see you all Monday” Paula explained to the office as she got ready to leave to find the perfect outfit for her lunch date with Sophie, or should we say Sophie’s lunch date with Isla.

“Have a nice time with whoever it may be you are trying to impress” James bravely replied.

“Watch it you” Paula joked pointing her finger straight at James.

With a spring in her step and a smile on her face Paula got into her car and zoomed home so she could change. All she could think about on the way home was looking her absolute best to impress Sophie.

“Mum is that you?” Isla asked as someone walked through the front door.

“No it’s the bogey man! Of course it’s me” Paula joked.

“What time are we going for lunch?”

“Table is booked for 1”.

“I’ll start getting ready then, why did you pick the bistro? I’ve never even heard of it”.

“One of my clients lives there and said we should give it a go. She might even join us for lunch”.

“Oh god she’s not annoying is she?” Isla asked.

“She’s a little strange but aren’t we all...” Paula replied.

“True!”

“Go get ready then and I’ll do the same”.

“What’s wrong with what you are wearing?” Isla asked.

“I spilt some tea on it earlier” Paula replied thinking on her feet as to why she would need to change.

“Fair enough” Isla said as she disappeared to get changed.

Paula opened her wardrobe and just stood there staring at the clothes in it, nothing was screaming out at her. This never happened to her, why was she so worried about finding the perfect outfit to wear, she barely knew Sophie yet felt like she had to look good for her.

“You’ll do” Paula said to herself as she picked out a black trouser suit with kaki green jacket.

Paula slipped into the outfit and checked herself over in her floor length mirror, she liked what she saw.

“Aww you look nice mum” Isla said as she walked past her mums room.

“Thank you sweetheart, so do you”.

“Hair up or down?” Isla asked.

“How about half up half down? I always love it when you wear it like that”.

“Me too”.

“Isla?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you think you could drive? It’s just I might stay after for a drink with Sally” Paula said hoping that she would actually be having a drink with Sophie not Sally.

“Sure, we can head off whenever you are ready” Isla replied.

“Thanks, I won’t be long just need to sort my hair out and I’ll be ready”.

“Ok, I’ll wait downstairs”.

Paula quickly straightened her hair so that it looked perfect, reapplied some make up and picked out a neutral lipstick to wear.

“Stay calm Paula you’ve got this” Paula said to herself as she took one last look in the mirror before walking downstairs.

The two of them headed into Weatherfield, Paula was like a nervous school girl trying to stay calm so Isla didn’t notice. While the two of them were on their way, Sophie had fallen asleep on her bed whilst trying to find an outfit to wear. Sally who was already at the bistro had been ringing her non-stop for the last 10 minutes but still no answer.

“Sophie when you get this hurry up, I don’t want to keep them waiting. I mean I don’t want to have to wait for you” Sally said leaving a message on Sophie’s phone.

As Sally put the phone down Paula and Isla walked through the door.

“Hey Sally” Paula said giving her a hug.

“Paula, lovely to see you again”.

“This is my daughter Isla. Isla this is Sally, a friend from school”.

“It’s lovely to meet you Sally” Isla said shaking Sally’s hand.

“It’s nice to meet you too. Sophie shouldn’t be long I think she’s been held up at work or something” Sally replied making up an excuse for Sophie.

“Whose Sophie?” Isla asked.

“My daughter, she’s joining us as well. Can I get you both a drink?”

“I’d love a glass of wine please Sal” Paula replied.

“Diet Coke for me please”.

Sally took herself off to the bar to order the drinks, while she was away Isla had a couple of questions for her mum.

“Please tell me this isn’t a set up?”

“What do you mean?” Paula replied acting all innocent.

“Is Sophie gay mum?” Isla asked.

“I don’t know, I mean she might be”.

“This better not be a plot to try and keep me from going travelling... you know I’m not ready for a relationship after Hannah” Isla replied.

“Isla sweetheart we are purely having lunch with a client and her daughter. Even if she is gay it doesn’t mean I’m trying to set you up, I just wanted you to get out of the house”.

“Fine!” Isla replied in a bit of a huff.

“Here we go ladies...” Sally said as she placed the drinks on the table.

“Thanks” Isla replied.

“Do we know where Sophie is?” Paula asked as she began to panic she wasn’t going to turn up.

“I’ll give her another ring...” Sally said as she dialled Sophie’s number.

The vibration of her phone eventually woke Sophie up, she looked at her phone to see 10 missed calls and 3 voicemails.

“Shit, I’m late” Sophie said to herself as she jumped off the bed and found something to wear.

*on my way* Sophie messaged her mum saying.

Sally’s phone went off and Paula took a deep breath in, she was hoping that the text wasn’t going to be Sophie cancelling.

“Aww she’s on her way” Sally announced much to Paula’s delight.

Sophie was frantically trying to find her other boot to put on, once she had found it she headed straight to the bistro only to walk in to find her mum sat there with Paula and someone she thought must be her daughter.

“Sophie” Sally said as she saw her daughter.

“Hi... sorry I’m late” Sophie replied confused as to why Paula and her daughter were there.

“Nice to see you again Sophie” Paula said with a smile on her face and making sure she made good eye contact with Sophie.

“Nice to see you again too” Sophie replied as she sat down at the table.

“This is Paula’s daughter Isla”.

“Nice to meet you Isla”.

“Likewise...” Isla replied.

“You and Isla have a lot in common Sophie...” Sally began to say.

“Oh right and what’s that?”

“You are both lesbians” Sally proudly announced.

“Oh wow, wasn’t expecting that to be a conversation starter” Sophie joked as she felt a little awkward.

Chapter Text

Sophie was beginning to understand why her mum was so desperate to get her at the bistro for lunch, so she could try and set her up with Isla.

“So, Isla what do you like to do in your spare time?” Sophie asked trying to make conversation so there wasn’t an awkward silence.

“Umm I don’t really have time to do much at the moment, I’m currently planning my road trip” Isla replied much to the disgust of her mum who rolled her eyes as soon as she mentioned the trip.

“Oh where you planning on going?” Sophie asked. But she had noticed that Paula didn’t exactly look thrilled about the idea.

“I want to travel around Cambodia and Vietnam, I’m quite a spiritual person and feel like I could really find myself out there”.

“Wow! Sounds amazing. I’m jealous” Sophie replied.

“Sorry to ask but couldn’t you do this spiritual journey here in the UK?” Sally asked as she was desperate to find Sophie a decent girlfriend.

“Well yeah I could but it’s not really the same though is it?” Isla replied.

“Mum! Of course she couldn’t do it here. Finding yourself in a Buddhist temple compared to a little church in a village in the middle of nowhere they don’t even come close” Sophie said.

“Sophie is right! I just wish you were planning to travel with someone or with a group of people” Paula replied looking at Sophie as she said it and giving her a little smile.

In the back of her mind Sophie couldn’t stop thinking about Yasmeen said to her yesterday about Paula flirting with her.

“Mum the whole point of me traveling is to clear my head and have some alone time. I need this you know I do”.

“I know you do sweetheart I just wish you could do it in this country that’s all. I’ll worry about you”.

“Sophie’s had many many heartbreaks and she’s managed to bounce back and clear her head without leaving the country”.

“Mum! I didn’t just bounce back. It took me a long time for me to recover and to be honest with you I didn’t do it a very healthy way. I just stayed in my bedroom eating ice cream and watching trashy movies. You are probably best to go a clear your head in the middle of a foreign country as you’ll have more time to think. I thought about travelling once but only got as far as buying a book, you are more than welcome to have it if you like?” Sophie explained.

“Thanks that would be great” Isla replied.

Paula looked at Sophie in a different way , she couldn’t believe how mature and wise Sophie was for her age.

“I didn’t know you were planning to go travelling?” Sally said with a shocked look on her face.

“I didn’t tell you because you would have kicked up a right fuss” Sophie replied.

“Mother’s hey?” Isla joked.

“Tell me about it...” Sophie said rolling her eyes.

“See how well you two are getting on, maybe you two should exchange numbers and see how things go” Sally said hoping they’d both be up for it.

Paula panicked as she could see that Isla and Sophie were actually getting on very well, she knew she had to say something to stop things from progressing.

“I don’t think there’s much point, it’s pretty clear that Isla has made up her mind about travelling. Sophie is right, you need to get away and clear your head and enjoy yourself” Paula explained smiling at Sophie when she mentioned her name.

“Are you being serious?” Isla replied shocked as she couldn’t believe what she had just heard.

“Yes, I probably will worry every single second you are away but go for it”.

“Thanks mum, I love you” Isla replied.

A smile appeared on Sophie’s face as she knew her wise words had helped Isla get what she wanted. Sally looked at Sophie and gave her a sarcastic smile as Sally knew Sophie had just ruined a good opportunity to get to know a lovely single female.

As their lunch arrived Sophie took it as an opportunity to try and figure out if Paula was flirting or if she was just a friendly person.

“So Paula, how did you become a lawyer?” Sophie asked.

Paula looked happy that Sophie was taking an interest.

“Well my dad was a lawyer and he always went on and on at me that it’s what I should do as a career as I was always good at arguing my point. At first I was too sure but once I started studying it I fell in love and haven’t looked back” Paula explained taking a sip of her wine.

“She’s a very good lawyer, one who is going to win for me” Sally added trying to make sure Paula knew how wonderful she thought she was.

“Oh Sally you make me sound like some saint”.

“Believe me she isn’t” Isla joked.

“Oh really... that sounds like a story we should all hear” Sophie said smirking across the table at Paula.

“It’s really nothing exciting. Maybe another time” Paula replied.

Sophie didn’t know if that was a hint that Paula wanted to see her again or if it was just Paula making conversation.

“How’s your husband Paula?” Sally asked.

Sophie’s face lit up, she knew she was about to get some answers to the million questions running through her head after her chat with Yasmeen.

“Husband?” Isla said.

“Oh I thought you were married, I’m sorry” Sally replied shocked to hear that Paula wasn’t married.

“I was married for many years but yeah we broke up a while ago now”.

“And why was that mum?” Isla replied in an angry manner.

“I cheated on him” Paula said looking annoyed that this story had come out over lunch.

“Shall we move on... any plans for this evening?” Sophie replied trying to change the subject as she could see Paula was uncomfortable talking about it.

“I’m off into town with some friends to celebrate a birthday” Isla announced.

“Ooh you should go with her Soph” Sally joked.

“Mum give it a rest” Sophie replied trying not to make eye contact with Paula as she was embarrassed.

After a while longer of small talk, Paula made an excuse to cut the lunch short.

“Today’s been lovely but I really need to head off. There are a few errands I need to run, before a meeting. It’s been a pleasure to meet you properly Sophie and Sal it’s been fun as always” Paula explained.

“Yeah I should get back to work or Carla will be on my back for taking too long” Sally replied.

“Is it ok if I do some work at yours mum? It’s a lot quieter than dads” Sophie asked.

“Of course it is, just don’t make a mess” Sally replied.

The 4 of them gathered their belongings and headed for the exit, they had all enjoyed themselves apart from Sally being cringe as usual trying to set up the two of them.

“I’ll see you all later” Sally said as she headed straight back to work.

“Sorry about her...” Sophie said once Sally was out of ear shot.

“She means well, plus I think under different circumstances we could have made a good couple” Isla replied.

“Yeah it’s a shame but you make sure you have an amazing time travelling and I hope you find yourself out there” Sophie said as she gave Isla a hug. Whilst the two were embraced Sophie wanted to see the look on Paula’s face, it was one of jealousy.

“Thanks Sophie. Bye mum I’ll see you later” Isla said giving her mum a hug.

Finally the two of them were left alone, Sophie took a deep breath in as the nerves kicked in.

“Sorry about Mum, she can be such an embarrassment sometimes...”

“It’s ok, she means well”.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m the parent and she’s the child”.

“I wonder if Isla thinks the same about me?” Paula replied interested to hear Sophie’s reply.

“I doubt that...”

“What makes you say that?”

“I dunno you just seem pretty cool”.

“Well you seem pretty cool too” Paula replied smiling at Sophie. “So...I should probably head back to work” Paula said knowing full well she had no work to get back to.

“Yeah. I need to do some work as well” Sophie replied as the eye contact between the two of them intensified.

“It’s been a pleasure to meet you properly, I hope to see you very soon”.

“Yeah me too” Sophie replied as she watched Paula walk away.

Sophie definitely clocked on that Paula was flirting with her but why? She couldn’t understand why was a successful business woman flirting with her? She didn’t want to over think things too much but the fact that someone seemed interested in her again put the biggest smile on her face. Sophie headed to her mums to get on with some work she needed to do.

Paula didn’t have any errands to run she just wanted the opportunity to come up with a reason as to why she would need to see Sophie again. Taking a seat in the cafe, Paula was biding her time trying to make sure she didn’t look to desperate.

“Can I get you a coffee?” Roy asked.

“Yes please, sorry I was miles away” Paula replied.

“Anywhere nice?”

“Yes, somewhere very nice”.

“Well I’ll grab your coffee and let you get back to that place”.

“Thank you” Paula replied as she continued to stare into space thinking of ways she could see Sophie.

As she drank her coffee she suddenly remembered that Sophie had offered Isla the book on travelling she had. A smile appeared on her face, she knew that within the next 10 minutes she would be in the company of Sophie again.

A nervous Paula slowly walked towards Sally’s front door, she paused for a split second to think about what she was getting herself into. Taking a few deep breaths Paula rang the door bell, it was clear to see that she was visibly nervous.

Sophie opened the door shocked to see Paula stood there.

“Hiya?”

“Hi. I was just in the area and thought it would be a good time to collect that book you were on about... for Isla” Paula replied knowing full well she didn’t care about the book.

“Sure come on in” Sophie said trying hard to stop the big smile from appearing on her face.

Paula walked through the door and into the living room.

“You’re mum not in?” Paula asked being hopeful.

“No, no just me” Sophie replied.

“Oh right”.

Sophie walked over to the book cabinet to grab the book, while Paula made herself at home plonking herself down on the sofa.

“Here we go...” Sophie said handing the book over.

“Thank you. Isla will love this. I should be all excited for her but part of me feels physically sick every time she mentions it”.

“She’ll be ok. From what I’ve seen of her she seems pretty level headed and sensible”.

“She is, she’s amazing and I know she’ll be fine. I mean I was and I had a wonderful time”.

“Where did you go travelling?” Sophie asked wanting to hear everything.

“I backpacked my way through Europe which was incredible, the amount of historic monuments I saw was just amazing. We then went to Africa, ended up in Cape Town. I mean it was the best time of my life but you know the world was a safer place back then and I wasn’t on my own”.

“She’ll be ok, she’s been brought up well knowing what’s right and wrong she won’t get herself into any trouble”.

“If she’s anything like me when I was younger she will constantly be in trouble”.

“Go on...” Sophie said intrigued to hear what Paula was like when she was younger.

“I’ll never forget when I was in Rome with my girlfriend at the time, we wanted to take a picture in front of the Trevi fountain kissing but the policeman on duty wasn’t best pleased. So I got my girlfriend to translate our argument and well we were let off the hook. It was hilarious because I guarantee deep down he enjoyed seeing two young women kissing” Paula explained.

Sophie’s heart began to race as soon as she heard Paula mention that she had had girlfriends in the past.

“No wonder you became a lawyer then, sounds like you could tal your way out of anything” Sophie joked.

“I don’t know about that but I would give it a good go” Paula replied smiling.

“Would Isla be as good getting herself out of a tricky situation?”

“No! She would no doubt burst into tears, she’s not the best when it comes to confrontation”.

“Me either”.

“Hence why I’m worried, I just need her to be ok”.

“She will be, she’s your daughter isn’t she. I mean you are bound to be worried as you’re not there to protect her but she’ll be ok I know she will”.

“You’ve got a very smart head on you Sophie”.

“At least I’ve got something going for me”.

“Don’t put yourself down you’ve got plenty going for you” Paula replied.

“I don’t know about that...” Sophie said trying her best not to blush.

Paula knew that now would be the perfect time to be open and honest with Sophie, now was time to just go for it.

“Can I be honest with you?” Paula asked.

“Yeah, Of course” Sophie replied as she sat back on the sofa.

“I didn’t come here for the book...”

“Oh”

“I came here because I wanted to see you again”.

Sophie looked shocked, everything Yasmeen has said was true. Paula was flirting with her last night, how could she not spot the signs.

“Blimey you don’t waste any time do you...” Sophie replied biting her lip as it was something she did when she was nervous.

“Well I don’t see the point wasting any time, if I see something I like shouldn’t I just go for it” Paula said maintaining eye contact with Sophie throughout.

Sophie’s heart rate was on the rise, no one was ever interested in her like this. She decided to take Yasmeen’s advice and just go for it.

“Would you like a glass of wine?” Sophie asked hoping that Paula would say yes.

“I’d love a glass...”

Sophie got up and walked into the kitchen, glancing back as she got two glasses out of the cupboard. She couldn’t believe that Paula was interested in her, she felt all warm inside a feeling she had felt for a long time.

Chapter Text

Sophie returned from the kitchen with two glasses and a bottle of red which was one of her mums best.

“Now that’s a fancy bottle of red you’ve got there” Paula said as she noticed how expensive the bottle Sophie had picked was.

“Oh is it? I just picked one out of the cupboard” Sophie replied.

“Well it’s a very good bottle”.

Sophie sat down on the sofa next to Paula and poured them both a large glass of wine.

“So... does my mum know you’ve had relationships with women?” Sophie asked.

“You know what I don’t think she does, she only ever saw me when I had boyfriends or when I was married”.

“Would you call yourself bisexual then?”

“Yeah if I had to label myself then yes bisexual would be the correct term but I just love people. Men, women, people. Are labels important to you?” Paula asked as the younger generations seemed so hung up on labelling themselves.

“Well being a lesbian who is also a Christian I’m proud of my label. There aren’t many of us around” Sophie proudly announced.

“Wow, good for you! So tell me about your past relationships then?” Paula asked even though she knew some of Sophie’s past from Sally.

“Oh god how long do you have?”

“I’m not going anywhere” Paula replied sipping her wine whilst maintaining eye contact with Sophie.

“Where to start...”

“How about we start with, when did you know you were gay?”

“Growing up I always felt really close to my girl friends but never really knew why I mean I had boyfriends but it never felt right. I became really close with a girl called Sian, we were almost inseparable. Over time it turned into something romantic and I fell head over heels for her, until I made a stupid mistake a kissed another girl a couple of days before our wedding and everything went tits up” Sophie explained.

“I’m sorry to hear that. Do you think the two of you would have lasted?” Paula replied.

“I loved her with every inch of my body but truthfully, no I don’t think it would have lasted. We were so young and naive back then, I’ve changed a lot”.

“I bet you have. Anyone after Sian?”

“A couple of minor relationships and then we get to Maddie. I could see a future with her, I mean we weren’t perfect but we worked. But unfortunately she died which set me back a long way and took me a very long time to get over” Sophie explained trying not to get upset.

“Sophie I’m so sorry to hear that, no one should have to lose a loved one” Paula replied putting her hand on Sophie’s leg.

As Paula’s hand came in contact with Sophie’s leg, goosebumps flew through her body.

“Recently I’ve been massively put off relationships as I fell for someone deeply but she messed me around and fell for someone else”.

“I’m sorry”.

“Don’t be! I’m ok. So what about you? What was Islas dad like?”

“He was amazing, I loved him more than anything. I felt like I had found my forever man but throughout our marriage he changed. He became possessive and jealous, which didn’t help with my job as I was constantly with different people. As you heard earlier I ended up cheating on him with my squash partner which I massively regret now but you can’t change the past”.

“What did he do?” Sophie asked biting her lip.

“He didn’t react well but even he knew that it wouldn’t have been his best to hit a judge” Paula joked.

“No that probably wouldn’t have been wise. Do you still see him?”

“I mean we are civil to each other for the children’s sake but we will never be friends, too much history”.

“Children?”

“Ah yes I have 2, Isla and Theo. God I feel so old when I talk about my children”.

“You’re only as old as you feel” Sophie replied.

“How are you so wise at such a young age?”

“I’m really not”.

“One thing I have noticed is that you are very hard on yourself, when someone gives you a compliment you should take it”.

“I’ve just never really had much confidence i guess. I mean up until not long ago I was cleaning my neighbours windows for a living” Sophie said showing Paula her business card.

“Don’t ever be ashamed of what you do to earn money, we’ve all go to do it and I’m sure you were the best window cleaner around. And you should because my god you’ve got a lot going for you...”

“Yeah like what?”

“Are you kidding me? The amount of courage it must take to go to your church every single week knowing full well that you are being judge purely on the fact that you are gay. I don’t think you understand how strong and courageous you truly are” Paula explained turning to face Sophie more.

Sophie didn’t really know how to respond, she was lost in Paula’s eyes. The two of them just sat there looking at one another when suddenly a phone went off.

“Excuse me...” Paula said as she turned to get her phone out her bag. She was very annoyed that her phone went off at such a time when the intimacy between the two of them was so read hot.

“Everything ok?” Sophie asked as she watched Paula scroll through her phone.

“Yeah it’s just work. You’re mums case actually”.

“Oh anything important?” Sophie asked.

“Nothing that cant wait but I probably should go” Paula said with an almost disappointed look on her face.

In that very moment Sophie decided just to throw caution to the wind and follow what her heart was telling her despite what the consequences could be. Sophie lent forward and went in for a kiss. It was a gentle kiss, one that showed how nervous she was. Paula kissed her back before pulling away to quickly think about what she was getting herself into.

After looking over at Sophie, Paula wasted no time in kissing Sophie right back. This time the kiss was more passionate, more intimate. Paula’s hands were caressing Sophie’s face as Sophie moved closer towards Paula things began to heat up. With both of their hearts racing the two were interlocked in the passion but Paula pulled away for a second so she could catch her breath.

“Wow, this is definitely not how I saw today turning out...” Paula said.

“Are you sure about that? I know what you were doing at speed daal last night...” Sophie joked.

“Oh yeah and what was that?”

“Checking me out” Sophie said smirking at Paula.

“You caught me” Paula replied pulling Sophie closer to her in order to kiss her again.

As the fire between was reignited, Sally walked through the door talking to herself. Both Paula and Sophie stopped kissing immediately and jumped back to their sides of the sofa.

“Oh hi Paula, you looking for me?” Sally said shocked to see that Paula was at the house.

Paula was frozen she didn’t know what to say or do, luckily Sophie was switched on and knew exactly what to say.

“Umm no she popped in to collect the book for Isla that I mentioned at lunch” Sophie replied trying to keep her heart rate down.

“I could have dropped it off to you, saving you the trip”.

“It was no bother, I had a meeting in the area so just stopped in on the way home” Paula replied.

“Pour me a glass Soph, I could do with one after having to listen to Gina go on and on and on”.

“Sure...” Sophie said as she got up to pour her mum a glass of wine.

“I should probably start thinking about heading off, I’ve got a tonne of emails to make my way through from Duncan’s lawyer” Paula said as Sophie looked over from the kitchen with disappointment all over her face.

“Who imran?” Sally asked.

“Yes the current bane of my life. All he ever seems to do is email me, I mean if he wasn’t so annoying he might actually be handsome” Paula sarcastically replied.

“You don’t have time for a personal life, not with my case on your books” Sally joked but deep down she was being deadly serious.

“Don’t be stupid mum of course she can have a personal life” Sophie snapped back.

“Don’t forget Sally that I am a woman and can indeed multitask. Obviously your case is my main priority but if that special someone happened to pop up then I’ll pursue it” Paula said looking over at Sophie subtly.

Sally being Sally had a brain wave in that very moment, she thought she would try her hand at matchmaking again and see if that spark was there between Paula and Kevin.

“Would you like to stay for dinner Paula?” Sally asked hoping Paula would say yes so that she could invite Kevin.

Before she answered the question she wanted to try and work out what Sophie wanted. As she looked over, Sophie gave her a little smile which she took as a yes.

“Yes that would be lovely” Paula replied smiling knowing she would be able to spend more time with Sophie. She felt like a teenager again with butterflies in her stomach.

“Perfect, I just need to pop to the shop so Sophie can you continue to entertain Paula for me. I won’t be long” Sally said oblivious to the sexual tension that was in the room right now between her daughter and her best friend.

“I’m sure I can manage that” Sophie replied looking at Paula like she was a piece of meat she wanted to devour.

“See you in a jiffy” Sally said as she shut the door behind her.

Sophie wasted no time at all making her way straight back to the sofa to take off where they finished when they were interrupted. Kneeling on the sofa so she was taller than Paula, Sophie leant over lifting Paula’s chin up, kissing her gently on the lips. Paula looked into Sophie’s eyes and just smiled, she could see that she was a beautiful human being inside and out.

“What?” Sophie asked as Paula just sat there looking at her.

“You... you’re absolutely mesmerising” Paula replied.

Sophie dropped down onto her bum, she couldn’t believe that someone found her mesmerising.

“What is it?” A worried Paula asked.

“I’ve just never been called mesmerising before”.

“We’ll get used to it because that’s exactly what you are”.

The smile on Sophie’s face told a thousand stories, she hadn’t felt like this in a very long time and it was obvious that she was excited to see if things could progress.

“We should probably behave, we don’t want another moment like earlier” Sophie joked.

“Probably best”.

“I’ll put the tele on, so mum suspects nothing”.

“Good idea, although I don’t think she has a clue that we were going at it 30 seconds before she walked in”.

“That’s Sally Metcalfe for you” Sophie sarcastically replied.

The evening arrived, Sally was busy working away in the kitchen at one of her masterpieces trying to show off to Paula who Sally had always seen as an upper class lady but really Paula was as down to earth as anyone.

“Dinners ready can everyone take their seats please, apart from you Sophie I need you’re help” Sally announced.

“Why are there 6 seats Sal?” Tim asked.

“Kevin will be here any minute...”

“I didn’t realise dad was coming” Sophie said as she helped her mum in the kitchen.

“Well I had a thought earlier...”

“Oh Jesus, go on then. Spill this thought you had?” Sophie replied knowing full well her mum was about to come out with something stupid.

“See I thought tonight would be the perfect opportunity to see if there was a spark between your dad and Paula”.

Sophie put her head in her hands, she couldn’t believe what her mum was doing.

“Don’t you think you’ve done enough matchmaking for one day?” Sophie asked.

“I just want your dad to be happy and I mean Paula would be perfect for him don’t you think?”

“I don’t know”.

“You like her though don’t you?”

“Yeah she seems lovely” Sophie replied looking over in Paula’s direction.

“Good, let’s see how tonight goes”.

Before Sophie could reply the front door bell rang, it was Kevin arriving for dinner.

“Evening everybody” Kevin said as he handed Sophie a bottle of wine to open.

“Kev!” Gina shouted across the room.

“Pipe down Gina, he is in the same room as you”.

“Sorry Sal”.

“Kevin this is my lawyer Paula, Paula this is Kevin he’s a mechanic”.

“Nice to meet you Paula”.

“Likewise, I need a new mechanic so might need to ask you a few questions” Paula replied.

“See... a spark already” Sally whispered to Sophie.

“Since when has talking to someone been a spark” Sophie sarcastically replied as she walked over to her seat next to Paula.

Gina also made her way to the table taking a seat next to Paula, but Sally didn’t want that she wanted Kevin to sit there.

“Gina I need you please” Sally immediately said before Gina could sit down.

“Coming Sal” Gina replied.

“Kevin why don’t you move round, in case I need Gina again”.

“Sure thing” Kevin replied oblivious to what Sally was trying to do.

The 6 of them tucked into the meal Sally had cooked them, it was slightly over cooked but edible.

“It’s very nice Sally thank you” Paula said as she took another mouthful.

“It’s burnt chicken” Tim replied.

“Yes it’s a little well done I’ll give you that” Sally said.

“So Paula what do you like to do for fun?” Kevin asked trying to get the subject off Sally’s dodgy cooking.

“Lots. I enjoy watching films, going for long walks, spending time with loved ones. I’m up for anything really” Paula replied as she slyly moved her hand onto Sophie’s leg under the table.

Sophie flinched as she wasn’t expecting it.

“You alright Sophie?” Sally asked.

“Yeah... I’m fine. Just a shiver, is no one else cold?” Sophie replied thinking on her feet.

“I think it’s just you” Sally said.

Paula’s hand was still resting on Sophie’s leg, she was being extra careful to make sure no one noticed what was happening under the table.

“Excuse me a moment I just need to send a work email” Paula said as she walked over to her bag to send a text to an unsuspecting Sophie.

Using the business card Sophie showed her earlier, Paula sent her a text. Sophie’s phone beeped, she picked it up shocked to see that Paula had sent her a message.

*Turn your phone to silent*

Sophie did just that, turned her phone to silent before the next text came through.

*Can I see you sometime without your mum?*

The smile that arrived on Sophie’s face was one of pure beauty, her heart began to race as she looked over to where Paula was stood. The eye contact between the two of them was so intense, it really was a surprise no one else had noticed it.

Chapter Text

“Sophie phone down at the table please” Sally said.

“Sorry” a flustered Sophie replied.

“Everything ok?” Sally asked Paula as she returned to the table.

“Yes, just needed to send an email to a client I’ve been trying to pin down” Paula replied looking directly in Sophie’s direction.

Sophie couldn’t help but smile, she knew she needed to be careful as someone could cotton on to the two of them.

After everyone had finished eating, Sophie began to clear the table so that they could all relax and unwind on the sofa’s talking about boring stuff she didn’t have much interest in. While Sophie was washing up, Paula couldn’t keep her eyes off her, she wanted to speak to her before heading home.

“I’m going to head off shortly” Paula whispered as she helped dry up.

“Do you have to? It’s still early...”

“I know but I’ve got court in the morning and have drank quite a large amount of wine already”

“You’re not regretting anything are you?” Sophie asked with a hint of nervousness in her voice.

“Not at all, are you regretting anything?”

“Not one bit”.

“Good, I’m glad. Don’t want you being embarrassed to be seen with a distinguished lawyer” Paula joked.

“So when can I see you again?” Sophie asked feeling hopeful.

“I’ll... text you. But”

“But what?”

“Can we keep this between the two of us as I don’t want things to get complicated as I’m representing your mum...”

“Of course. That’s fine by me” Sophie replied with a coy little smile on her face.

“I look forward to it” Paula said as she subtly touched Sophie’s hand.

“Me too” Sophie replied.

“Paula come sit down, Sophie can do all of that” Sally shouted from the sofa.

“It’s ok, I’ve finished now anyway. I’m going to head off now, I’ve got court early tomorrow and need to do a little bit more preparation. Thanks for a lovely day Sal it’s been brilliant” Paula explained.

“You must come over again soon and I’ll promise not to burn the food next time” Sally replied giving Paula a hug goodbye.

“Sounds good, it was so nice to see you all” Paula said looking directly into Sophie’s eyes.

“Was nice to properly meet you Paula, see you soon” Sophie replied.

Paula left the house with the biggest smile on her face, today went better than she could have ever hoped for. Sophie is amazing and she can’t wait to see where things could go even if it did mean risking her professional and personal relationship with Sally.

“So Kevin what do you think of Paula?” Sally asked.

“I mean she seems a lovely lovely lady but she’s way out of my league” Kevin replied.

“Don’t be ridiculous no she isn’t Kev, you could have anyone” Gina said.

“I’m going to head home, there’s a few things I need to do before bed” Sophie said as she didn’t want to sit around listening to everyone try and set her dad and Paula up.

“Aww ok sweetheart, I’ll see you tomorrow. Thanks for all your help this evening” Sally replied.

“You’re welcome, see you all soon” Sophie said as she gathered her things and headed home.

On the short walk home she decided to text Paula, she didn’t want to come on too strongly but all she wanted to do was talk to her.

*I can’t stop thinking about you* Sophie typed, she hesitated for a split second before deciding to just go for it.

When Sophie arrived home the first thing she did was collapse on her bed, she lay there staring up at the ceiling trying to figure out if today had actually happened. She smiled every single time when she thought about Paula, the feeling she got was one she hadn’t felt in a very long time.

Sophie’s phone beeped, she had never moved so quickly to reach for it.

*Sorry new phone, who is this?* Paula replied whilst she was lay on her bed thinking about the day. She hoped the text would make Sophie laugh.

It worked as Sophie lay there with the cheesiest grin on her face.

*I must have got the wrong number, I was looking for the hot lawyer but I must have typed the number in wrong* Sophie replied.

“You cheeky little” Paula said to herself.

“Mum who you talking to?” Isla asked as she walked past her mums bedroom.

“Just a client who sent a funny email” Paula replied smiling at her phone.

“Ah I see, did you have a good evening? What did you get up to?” Isla asked as she sat on the end of her mums bed.

The last thing Paula wanted to do right now was talk to Isla about her night, all she wanted to do was continue to talk to Sophie.

“I ended up having dinner at Sally’s, a few glasses of wine. Nothing too exciting” Paula replied.

“Sounds nice. She’s a funny one isn’t she Sally?”

“She’s lovely but doesn’t know when to stop sometimes. Her heart is in the right place though...”

“Sophie’s nice though, it’s a shame I’m not ready to see anyone because I think we would work” Isla explained.

Paula’s heart stopped for a split second, hearing her daughter talk about Sophie like that was hard because the last thing she wanted to do was hurt her baby but she couldn’t help the feelings she was experiencing.

“There will be other Sophie’s out there, I mean you never know who you might meet whilst travelling” Paula replied emphasising that she could meet someone out there.

“I’m so glad you’re ok with me going Mum, you don’t know how much it means to me” Isla explained.

“I just want you to be happy and if that means you travelling the world then we’ll I’ll just have to get over it. Promise me one thing?”

“Anything...”

“You’ll contact me as much as you can, to let me know you are safe?” Paula replied.

“I will don’t you worry but I can’t promise it won’t cost a fortune”.

“I’ll sort the bill out, just go and have the best time of your life” Paula said giving her baby girl a big hug.

While the two of them were having a heart to heart, Sophie was still lay on her bed worrying about why she hadn’t had a reply from Paula yet. That was one thing that Sophie had always been, a worrier. She needed to try and play it cool when it came to Paula, she didn’t want to scare her off before anything had really happened.

Putting her phone on the side, Sophie decided to get into some comfortable clothes and put a film on to try and relax. She didn’t want to be constantly checking her phone every 2 minutes to see if she had a message.

“Mum are you free tomorrow night? I was hoping we could look at flights to Cambodia” Isla asked.

“Of course, I’ll make sure I’m free” Paula replied.

“Thanks mum, must dash there’s a film on I want to watch. Sleep well”.

“You too sweetheart” Paula replied as Isla left the room.

Paula finally had time to reply to Sophie.

*Oh do you mean the hot highly distinguished lawyer? If so you’ve found her* Paula replied.

Sophie was tucked up in bed watching a romcom on the tv when her phone finally went off. The smile appeared instantly on her face as she realised it was from Paula.

*well I’m glad I’ve found you. When can I see you again?* Sophie said deciding to be straight to the point.

*Tomorrow? We could find a little pub somewhere and have a drink?*

*sounds perfect. I can’t wait, I’ll find somewhere and text you the details*.

Paula smiled, she was excited to see Sophie again.

*its a date then, ill see you tomorrow* Paula replied.

*i look forward to it* Sophie added.

The two of them lay there with the biggest smile on their faces, eagerly anticipating their date tomorrow. Sophie spent the next 20 minutes trying to find the perfect location for their date, she wanted somewhere that was nice but also was far enough from home so no one she knew would walk in. She managed to find a quaint little pub in a small village not too far from the cobbles, it looked romantic from the pictures which would be perfect for their first official date.

Sophie put a face mask on to ensure that her skin was looking radiant for tomorrow, she also painted her nails and began to look for an outfit.

Pulling out her sexiest pair of black skinny jeans Sophie had found the bottom half of her outfit, now she just needed to find a nice top. After trying on about 30 different tops she finally stumbled upon the one that made her feel good about herself, it was a plain black top which would go perfectly with her jeans and heeled boots. She was content that she was prepared for tomorrow so got back into bed ready to fall asleep.

The morning arrived and the sun was shining, Paula had been up for hours fitting in some work before her big date with Sophie. She was sat at her dining room kitchen reading over some case notes but realistically nothing she was reading was processing due to her mind being else where.

“Morning mum” Isla said as she walked into the kitchen come diner.

“Good morning” Paula enthusiastically replied.

“You’re in a good mood for someone who is working”.

“I am, but I have nearly finished work for the day. I am off to meet up with a client for a yummy lunch” Paula said covering up the fact she was actually off on a date.

“Another lunch? I swear that’s all you ever seem to do these days” Isla joked.

“I’ll have you know I work bloody hard to make sure you and your brother get everything you want”.

“I know and we both appreciate it. Hey I love the fact you have a social life, it’s about time you found someone special because I don’t want you to be alone when I’m away travelling” Isla explained.

“I won’t be alone don’t you worry” Paula replied hoping that she would be spending a lot of time with Sophie while Isla was away.

“Do you have someone on the go?” Isla asked as her mum was being a bit shifty.

“And why would you ask that?”

“Because you seem happy and a bit secretive...”

“I’m snowed under with work I don’t have time to be secretive” Paula replied.

“Ok, ok I believe you. I just want you to be happy”.

“I am, I am” Paula insisted.

“Good. So I’ll see you later then, to book the flights?”

“Yes I will see you later” Paula replied as she was busy on her phone stalking Sophie’s Instagram account. Paula didn’t even have Instagram but she had made an account to see the sort of outfits Sophie might wear on their date so she could wear an appropriate outfit.

Paula decided on smart black trousers, a white blouse and a black jacket, she looked very hot. Grabbing her handbag and car keys Paula headed to the pub which Sophie had texted her about earlier on in the morning.

Sophie was doing the same but as she left the house to walk to her car someone shouted her name.

“SOPHIE” Sally shouted across the street.

“Not now mother I don’t have time for this” Sophie muttered to herself as she continued to walk in the opposite direction pretending she hadn’t heard her mum.

“Sophie wait!” Sally said as she ran after her daughter.

“Oh sorry mum I didn’t hear you”.

“You need to get your ears syringed then, I was screaming at the top of my lungs” Sally replied.

“I’m in a rush mum so what do you want?” Sophie said trying to get rid of her mum quickly.

“That’s no way to speak to the woman who carried you for 9 months now is it...” Sally sarcastically replied.

“Sorry but I’m in a rush”.

“Well where are you off to?” Sally asked being nosey.

“I’m.... I’m off into town to meet up with a old school friend” Sophie said stuttering as she wasn’t very good at this lying malarkey.

“Ooh anyone I know...”

“Probably not” Sophie replied.

“Well what’s their name, that way I can tell you if I know them or not”.

“Her name is... Umm Pippa” Sophie said plucking a name out of thin air.

“Pippa? I don’t remember a Pippa”.

“I don’t think you ever met her mum, look I’d love to stay and chat but I don’t want to be late”.

“Ok, is it a date or just a friendly catch up?” Sally shouted at her daughter as Sophie had began to walk off to her car.

“A friendly catch up mother” Sophie replied with a cheeky smile on her face.

Paula had already arrived at the quiet little village pub, she picked a table in the back where they could have some alone time and no one could see the, just in case on the off chance someone they knew walked in.

Her palms were sweaty, her heart was racing and for some reason she felt more nervous today than she had for a very long time. Ordering herself a drink to try and calm the nerves, Paula sat there anxiously looking towards the door waiting for Sophie to arrive.

Sophie eventually appeared round the corner looking radiant with a nervous smile on her face.

“Hi” Sophie said as she sat down opposite Paula.

“Hey, you look very nice” Paula replied giving Sophie a cheeky look up and down.

“Sorry I’m late mum wouldn’t stop going on and on at me”.

“It’s ok, I’ve not been here long. You look very nice. Oh wait I’ve already said that haven’t I” Paula said repeating herself due to nerves.

“Thank you. You look... Wow” Sophie replied making Paula blush.

“Let me get you a drink, what do you fancy?”

“Just a Diet Coke would be lovely, thanks” Sophie said as Paula got up to go to the bar.

Sophie sat down and took in several deep breaths, she couldn’t believe that she was on an actual date with one of her mums best friends but more importantly her mums lawyer. She didn’t want to mess this up, she wanted Paula to like her for her, the good and bad.

Chapter Text

Paula returned from the bar with a drink for Sophie, she couldn’t keep the smile off her face.

“Here we go...”

“Thank you”.

“I must admit I was very nervous about today” Paula admitted.

“Phew, So was I. I think I tried on about 17 different outfits trying to find the perfect one” Sophie joked.

“Well I have to say you chose the right one. Isn’t it funny that we’re both so nervous yet yesterday it felt like we had known each other for years”.

“It’s because the word date has been used, once that word is said I become a barrel of nerves” Sophie replied.

“Let’s take that word away then, we’re just two women who happen to like each other meeting up for a drink and a good old natter” Paula explained.

“So you like me then...” Sophie shyly asked.

“I thought that was a given, did I not make myself clear enough yesterday” Paula said as she gave off a little laugh.

“Well yeah, but sometimes people get caught up in the moment”.

“I think we were both very much caught up in the moment but I do like you and I am very excited and interested in getting to know the real Sophie Webster”.

“Are you not worried what it could do to yours and my mums friendship?” Sophie asked.

“I’m hoping that everything will be fine, I’ve learnt in life that if you see something you want then just go for it because life is too short not to. You know I don’t think she’d be very happy that I was on a date, I mean having a drink with her daughter but I couldn’t not take the risk because to me you are worth that risk” Paula explained as she looked deep into Sophie’s eyes.

“You think I’m worth the risk? You’ve only known me a day or two”.

“In my job its a lot about judging someone’s character and first impressions, I know when I meet someone who is genuine. When I saw you that night when you walked into your mums house, I was captivated by you straight away and I don’t think we even made eye contact but something inside was telling me I needed to go see you. So I did and I’m personally very glad I did, aren’t you?”

“Yeah of course I am”.

“Good. Are you worried about what your parents would say if they knew you were with me right now?” Paula asked intrigued to hear what Sophie’s reply was.

“My parents have never really liked anyone I’ve dated I’ll be honest. I mean they blamed Sian for me being gay for a very long time but grew to love her towards the end of the relationship. They always bang on about how they want me to be happy and as long as I am then they will be happy but I know my mum. No one will ever be good enough for her baby” Sophie replied.

“Not even me?” Paula joked.

“I know that once they saw with their own eyes that I was happy and in love that they would eventually be happy with any relationship I was in. At least I hope that would be the case”.

“I’d be the same with Isla, I mean if I found out she was seeing Sally behind my back I know my initial reaction wouldn’t be great. But I’d come round because I know that you can’t help who you fall for, that’s just life” Paula replied giving Sophie one of her infectious smiles.

“I’m happy with just taking it day by day, I can deal with them if and when I need to” Sophie replied.

“You up for some lunch?”

“I’d love some, my stomach is rumbling like mad”.

“I thought I could hear something”.

“Shit is it that bad?” Sophie instantly replied as she started to turn red.

“I was joking” Paula said as she reached across the table for Sophie’s hand.

Goosebumps covered Sophie’s body as soon as Paula touched her, could she really be falling for someone the same age as her mother?

The two of them continued to talk whilst they were waiting for the food they had ordered. The eye contact between the two of them was intense, neither wanted to look away not even for a split second. Their body language had completely changed as well, the two of them were leaning in across the table which felt a lot more intimate than at the start of the date.

“So where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Paula asked.

Sophie began to panic as she didn’t want her answer to scare or put Paula off her.

“Well I’d love to be living in my own place in a happy, loving, stable relationship. Job wise I want to set up my own business I just don’t know what doing yet which is a bit of an issue. I just want to be happy and healthy” Sophie replied.

“Happy and healthy, that sounds a good plan to me”.

“How old were you when you set up your law firm if you don’t mind me asking?”

“I was 32, my father helped me set up the business before we fell out but that’s a story for another time. So yeah it’s been going now for nearly 15 years. God that makes me feel old” Paula replied.

“Wow so you must be very successful then?”

“Lucky I think the right word is. I’m good at arguing for people and lucky for me I get to make a career out of it”.

“Do you have to wear one of those funny wigs?” Sophie asked as she let out a little laugh.

“I do yes, they aren’t the most flattering things in the world but I reckon I rock it”.

“I bet you do. You’ll have to show me it one day”.

“You can count on it” Paula replied licking her lips in a seductive manner.

“Ladies here is your food, sorry for the slight delay. Can I get you any sauces?” The waitress said placing their food down in front of them.

“I’m ok thank you” Paula replied.

“Me too” Sophie added.

“This looks gorgeous” Paula said as she looked at her warm chicken and bacon salad.

“Look at you all sophisticated with a salad, then there’s me with a good old burger” Sophie joked.

“With a figure like yours you can get away with eating that, when you get to my age it’s not so easy”.

“Don’t be silly you have an incredible body” Sophie replied giving Paula the eye.

“You think so?”

“Yes I do. If I have your figure when I’m your age I’ll be over the moon”.

“That’s nice of you to say. I’ve got a question, but don’t feel like you have to answer it if you don’t want to...” Paula said.

“Sure go for it...” Sophie replied anxious to what Paula was going to ask her.

“Does my age scare you?”

“Scare? No it doesn’t scare me but like I know you’ve probably lived an incredible life so far, you’ve had two amazing kids, you’ve been married. Im just worried I wouldn’t be able to offer you anything” Sophie explained.

“You’re worried, I’m worried I wouldn’t be able to offer you anything. I mean do you want kids? Do you want to get married?”

“Steady on we’ve only just met...” Sophie joked.

“I mean in general” Paula replied smirking.

“Yes I’ve always wanted to have a family and marriage is something I see in my future, for sure”.

“Good to know” Paula replied.

“Good to know? As in you’re in the clear to run now or you wouldn’t be against either of those things?” Sophie asked.

“I’d never rule anything out, especially if it was with someone I loved” Paula replied.

Sophie couldn’t help but smile, she was glad to know that Paula was open to anything if the relationship did progress a lot further.

“Why does it feel like I’ve known you forever?”

“I guess in life you meet people you instantly click with and feel like you’ve known them since the very start. I feel like I could tell you anything and you wouldn’t judge me”.

“I’ve got no right to judge you”.

“That’s such an amazing attitude to have”.

While the two of them continued to get to know each other, Sally was at home racking her brains trying to remember who the hell Pippa was.

“Here Tim can you remember Sophie ever mentioning a girl called Pippa?” Sally asked as she scrolled through Sophie’s Facebook friends.

“I can’t say I have but then again I switch off half the time when you two are talking” Tim replied being brutally honest.

“Charming”.

“Sorry but I am a bloke. Why do you need to know who this Pippa girl is?”

“I’m just curious, that’s all”.

“So you are being nosey”.

“I’m her mother I’m allowed to know who she is meeting up with in town”.

“You are her mother yes but she is an adult now and can do what she likes. You need to just chill a little bit” Tim tried to explain carefully making sure Sally didn’t go mad.

“Chill a bit? I just want my daughter to be happy and I want to be able to help wherever and whenever I can” Sally replied back in a slightly angry manner.

“Look why don’t you and Gina head over to the bistro for a girls night tonight? That might relax you a little bit take your mind off Sophie and her imaginary friends”.

“That’s a good idea, might see if Paula is up for it...” Sally suggested.

“There we go. Get and text her” Tim replied hoping for some piece and quiet.

*Paula, are you free for a drink at the bistro tonight? There’s a spare bed at ours if you don’t want to fork out for a taxi... let me know. Sally x*

“Sent it. Right I’m going to run myself a nice bath” Sally said as she headed upstairs.

“Enjoy” Tim replied with a smile on his face as he knew he would finally get some peace and quiet.

Back over at the pub the sparks continued to fly between Sophie and Paula, the conversation was non stop. The pre-date nerves had definitely gone, there was no stopping the two of them now.

Paula’s phone went off in the bottom of her bag.

“Is it ok if I just check that?” She asked Sophie.

“Of course it is” Sophie replied.

“Oh it’s from you’re mum... she wants to know if I want to go for a drink with her and Gina later. She’s even offered me the spare bedroom in case I get too drunk” Paula explained.

“You should do it, would give me another excuse to bump into you...” Sophie replied smirking.

“I was supposed to look at flights with Isla tonight, I wonder if she would mind?”

“It’s worth a shot...”

“It’s a shame you don’t live at home anymore” Paula said winking across the table.

“You mean you could sneak in for a cuddle?” Sophie joked.

“A cuddle... yes. Is it ok if I quickly ring Isla?”

“Yes, you don’t have to ask for permission”.

“I know but I’m spending time with you I don’t want you to think I’m being rude”.

“Just ring your daughter”.

“Yes boss...” Paula sarcastically replied as she dialled Islas number.

“Mum everything okay?” Islas asked as she picked up the phone.

“Yes sweetheart I’m just with a client and it looks as though this meeting could take a lot longer than expected, we might have to postpone looking at flights until tomorrow evening? I’m really sorry but this is an opportunity I can’t miss” Paula explained as she told a few white lies.

“Ah that’s ok. I understand that you are busy, we can do it another night. Plus if I find good flights I can just book them and send you the information” Isla said in a slightly disappointed manner.

“I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you, I promise”.

“I know you always do” Isla replied.

“So I’ll see you when I see you?”

“Yeah see you soon mum”.

“Love you” Paula said knowing that she had just let her daughter down.

“Love you too” Isla replied which put a smile on Paula’s face.

“All sorted?” Sophie asked.

“Yeah, I hate letting her down but sometimes you have to make sacrifices”.

“Well I’m sure my mum will appreciate it”.

“Oh I didn’t do it for your mum. I’m expecting you to show your face this evening, even if it’s across the room I still want to be able to look at you” Paula replied.

“I’ll have to check my diary...” Sophie joked.

“Let me guess, you’re busy washing your hair?”

“Something like that” Sophie replied as the pair of them laughed.

“Was everything ok with your meals?” The waitress asked as she cleared away the plates.

“They were lovely thanks, could we grab the bill” Sophie asked.

“Sure I’ll bring it over for you” the waitress replied.

“I’m getting this Sophie” Paula insisted.

“No you’re not. I am. I found the pub so I’m paying” Sophie replied with authority.

“Ok. I won’t argue but I’m buying next time” Paula said.

“Next time? Being pretty presumptuous don’t you think?” Sophie joked.

“I’m being hopeful but I’d love to take you out again” Paula replied.

“Yeah I’d like that too” Sophie said smiling like a Cheshire Cat.

“Do you have time for maybe a walk along the river?” Paula asked hoping Sophie would say yes as she didn’t want their first date to finish.

“I’d love to. I even brought my jacket just in case”.

“So did I... great minds think alike” Paula replied.

Sophie paid for their meal, leaving a decent top behind as she knew how annoying it was when customers don’t leave tips. The two of them gathered their things and headed outside, this was usually the awkward moment on a first date where it’s the will they won’t they kiss. But luckily for both of them their date wasn’t over yet and they still had time to figure that out.

They began to walk down to the river, side by side. Their hands brushing together as they walked, goosebumps covering their body as their skin touched, heart rates rising as the chemistry grew. It wasn’t long before Sophie plucked up the courage to interlock her fingers with Paula’s so that they were holding hands as they walked along the river.

Paula just looked down at their hands and smiled to herself, neither of them saying a word, they just continued to walk.

Chapter Text

The two of them were still enjoying their romantic walk down by the river, walking hand in hand both with smiles plastered over their faces.

“It fits perfectly doesn’t it?” Paula said.

“What does?” Sophie replied confused.

“My hand in yours” Paula said as she looked at Sophie.

“God that was cheesy” Sophie joked making fun of Paula.

“It was wasn’t it... as soon as I said I knew it was a mistake”.

“I mean it was cute but incredibly cheesy” Sophie replied.

As the two of them continued to walk, Paula started to notice that they were getting a few weird looks from passers by. The weird looks didn’t bother her as she could rise above it but she didn’t want Sophie to be put off the idea of them being something just because randomers were staring.

“Shall we head back?” Paula asked trying to go somewhere quieter before Sophie noticed the people looking.

“Um yeah we can do... everything ok?” Sophie replied.

“Yeah everything’s fine”.

“If you are worried about me noticing the looks we’ve been getting it’s fine they don’t bother me” Sophie replied.

“Ah so you had noticed them”.

“Yeah it’s kind of hard not to, but like I said I don’t care. As long as I am comfortable holding your hand I couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks. So you don’t need to worry” Sophie explained as she squeezed Paula’s hand tighter.

“Well that’s ok then, I just didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable”.

“I reckon we should give them something else to look at” Sophie said as she stopped to face Paula.

She wrapped her arms around Paula’s waist, pulling her in closely before passionately kissing her. The spark between the pair was electric, Sophie had never felt like this before in her life.

“Wow” Paula said taking a deep breath as she stopped for air.

“Wow indeed, you certainly know what you are doing” Sophie replied as she couldn’t believe what a good kisser Paula was.

“I’ve had a lot of practice” Paula said.

“I bet you have” Sophie replied being cheeky.

“Oi you” Paula said as she tickled Sophie.

“I take it back I take it back”.

“Ticklish are we?”

“Very, you don’t even understand how badly”.

“Good to know, if I ever need to get you to do something I can just tickle you until you do it”.

“Now that’s just mean...” Sophie said as she grabbed Paula’s hand and dragged her to one of the benches looking over the water.

The pair made themselves comfortable on the bench, Paula placed her hand on Sophie’s leg as they snuggled up.

“So I guess this was a pretty successful first date then” Paula said.

“It’s the best first date I’ve ever been on”.

“Really?”

“Yeah most of my first dates have been disasters, I’m normally really awkward on dates. I think this has been an exception”.

“I wonder why that is?” Paula asked.

“There’s an instant connection between us and honestly it excites me”.

“Me too. Will you be popping in to the bistro tonight then?”

“Just try and stop me!” Sophie replied as she rested her head on Paula’s shoulder.

“Good. I have another question?”

“Yeah” Sophie said looking up at Paula.

“Would you like to go on another date?”

“I think you know the answer to that”

“Yes?”

“Most definitely” Sophie replied as Paula lent her head down to kiss Sophie.

“Ooh you’re mums ringing me...” Paula said as she got her phone out of her pocket.

Sophie quickly sat up as part of her was worried that her mum was around watching the two of them.

“Sally, hi” Paula said as she picked the phone up.

“Paula, I was just ringing to see if you had decided whether or not you were coming for drinks tonight?” Sally asked.

“Yeah sorry I got distracted and forgot to text back. I’d love to come for drinks and that spare bedroom might come in handy” Paula replied giving Sophie the eye.

“I was hoping that would be your answer. Come over whenever you are ready, I’ll get the drinks ready” Sally excitedly said.

“Will Sophie be joining us?”

Sophie’s face was an absolute picture, she had no idea why Paula was asking if she’d be joining them.

“Don’t blow our cover” Sophie whispered as her eyes widened, Paula just looked at her and smiled.

“I can see if she can join us, at the moment she’s in town with some girl I’ve never heard of, I do wish she would tell me more information”.

“Oh dear is she off galavanting with a random lady” Paula joked.

“Oh my god” Sophie mouthed.

“Well god knows who she’s with, I just hope it’s someone nice” Sally replied.

“I’m sure whoever she’s with is someone that she wants to spend time with” Paula explained.

“Hopefully. Anyway I’ll see you soon” Sally said.

“See you soon Sal” Paula replied as she put the phone down.

As soon as Paula put the phone down Sophie playfully slapped her leg.

“What you playing at...” Sophie asked as she couldn’t believe how she had just been on the phone with Sally.

“What? I was only having a bit of fun...”

“She’s now going to ask a million questions about who I was with today, she knows when I’m lying” Sophie replied.

“Relax would you, she’ll have absolutely no idea you’ve been with me”.

“I just don’t want this to jeopardise anything to do with the court case, as it’s too important”.

“It’s not going to jeopardise anything I promise you. Trust me, ok?”

“Ok, I trust you”.

“Come on lets head back to the cars” Paula said as she stood up and held her hand out waiting for Sophie to grab hold of it.

Sophie took hold of Paula’s hand and the pair of them headed back towards their cars, both with beaming smiles on their faces. As they reached Sophie’s car, Paula pushed her up against the door ready to give her a goodbye kiss she wouldn’t forget.

Holding Sophie around her waist Paula kissed Sophie gently squeezing her, moving her hands slowly around the back pulling her in tightly. It was a kiss of pure passion and lust.

“So I’ll see you later then” Paula said as she abruptly stopped the kiss, hoping it would leave Sophie wanting more.

Sophie stood there catching her breath after Paula just took it away, her heart was racing.

“Yes you will...” Sophie replied licking her lips in excitement.

“Bye” Paula said as she got into her swanky Mini Countryman, smiling from ear to ear. As she drove off she waved at Sophie who was still trying to compose herself by her car.

Sophie just stood there with the biggest smile on her face, she couldn’t believe what had just happened. Did she really just have the best date ever with Paula someone the same age as her mum? Did she care about the age difference, no she didn’t, because Paula made her feel so special. The excitement of what the future could hold was too much for her to handle right now because she was still recovering from the kiss.

“You’ve still got it girl” Paula said to herself whilst she drove to the cobbles to meet up with Sally. She had had the best time with Sophie and could genuinely see them having a bright future together, she also couldn’t wait to get her hands on her when they have some alone time.

Back on the cobbles Sally was still fretting over who Sophie was in town with, she had looked through all of Sophie’s Facebook friends and there wasn’t a single Pippa on there.

“I don’t understand why she lies to me” Sally frustratingly said.

“What’s she done now?” Gina asked as she had absolutely no idea what Sally was going on about.

“Sophie, she said she was off into town with her friend called Pippa but she doesn’t have a friend called that”.

“Well how do you know she doesn’t?”

“I’ve been through her Facebook friends” Sally replied.

“So? Not the whole world are on Facebook you know. I mean I’m not” Gina said.

“Yes but you are old, Sophie isn’t”.

“Age doesn’t even come into it. Are you on it?”

“Well no, I’m not. But that irrelevant” Sally stuttered.

“Exactly so she could be with a girl called Pippa. Just trust her Sal she’s a good kid who you really have no reason for not trusting” Gina explained.

“I just worry about her...”

“Why?”

“She’s been through so much and I just don’t want her to get hurt again” Sally replied.

“She won’t and if she does she will bounce back from it just like she always does. Now stop worrying and pour us both a glass of wine, Paula will be here soon” Gina said.

“You’re right, I’m worrying for no reason. White or red?”

“Let’s go for white” Gina replied.

Sally went to grab a chilled bottle of white wine, pouring herself and Gina a large glass as they prepare themselves for a night on the tiles.

“When you lot off out then?” Tim asked as he was having Tyrone and Kevin over for a lads night.

“Not yet, probably in an hour or two” Sally replied.

“The lads will be over in a bit, so can’t you go out a bit earlier”.

“Tim we will go out when we are ready” Sally replied.

“Bloody hell” Tim replied as he got himself another beer.

“Plus if Kevin is here it gives me a bit more time to try and set him and Paula up”.

“Why don’t you just let them see if it works naturally, without trying to force it?” Gina replied.

“Because they both need a push in the right direction” Sally said.

“I agree with Gina just leave them both to it” Tim added.

“Fine” Sally replied knowing full well she wouldn’t stop until she got the two of them to at least go on a date.

“Sal I mean it, just leave them to it”.

Before Sally could reply there was a knock at the door.

“That’ll be Paula, now neither of you mention anything about Kevin. Ok?” Sally said as she headed to the door.

“Yes boss” Gina sarcastically replied.

Sally opened the door to a very smiley Paula.

“Welcome, come on in”.

“Thank you Thank you” Paula replied walking through the door.

“You seem in a good mood...”

“Oh I am Sally I am. I’m ready for a drink and to have some fun”.

“Well come on in, Gina pour Paula a glass would you”.

“Thanks Gina. Hiya Tim you alright?” Paula said as she took her jacket off.

“Hiya love. I’m good thanks you?” Tim replied.

“Marvellous thanks” Paula said.

“Here we go” Gina said handing Paula a glass of wine.

“Thank you, I have been looking forward to this drink. So what’s the plan for tonight then ladies?”

“I thought we could head over to the bistro for some cocktails or wine? Whichever takes your fancy...” Sally explained.

“I love a good cocktail me...” Paula joked winking at Gina.

Gina couldn’t help but laugh, she found Paula’s sense of humour and sarcasm just hilarious.

“The bistro it is then” Sally said.

“So Paula when was your last relationship?” Gina asked thinking she was doing some good by helping Sally with her mission to get her and Kev together.

“Last relationship, blimey let me have a think” Paula said giving herself some time to come up with some good reasons as to why she hadn’t been in a relationship for a while and why she didn’t want one now even though she wanted one with Sophie.

“That long ago hey?” Gina joked.

“We’re probably talking 3 or 4 years but I just don’t have time for relationships at the moment. I’m snowed under with work and I’m happy how I am” Paula explained.

“You must miss the company though?” Sally replied.

“I guess so but I do have the odd wild night here and there. Don’t worry about me I’m fine”.

“Would you like to be in a relationship in the future?” Sally asked.

“Umm Yeah I think if I found the right person then yes I would love to be in a committed loving relationship” Paula replied with only one person on her mind.

Of course Sally was also thinking of one person, she was determined to get Kevin a date.

Over the other side of the street Sophie had popped into work to ask Yasmeen for some advice.

“Ah Sophie what are you doing here on your night off?” Yasmeen asked as Sophie entered the kitchen.

“I need to talk to you...” Sophie replied.

“Everything ok my love?”

“Things couldn’t be better...”

“How so?”

“So it turns out you were right!”

“About?” Yasmeen replied, she couldn’t remember what she was right about.

“About that lady giving me the eye the other night”.

“Ahh the posh lawyer in the swanky suit who couldn’t keep her eyes off you. Has something happened between you?”

“Maybe” Sophie replied with a huge smile on her face.

“That’s a yes, you’re face says it all. So do you like her? Does she like you? I need details Sophie”.

“I do I really do and yeah she likes me”.

“Why does it sound like a but is coming?”

“I’m just worried about getting hurt again. I know I fall for people so quickly and I can already feel myself falling for her, I just don’t want her to break my heart”.

“Something we can never predict is the future, you have to decide whether or not she is worth the risk. Sophie you are young and so beautiful and anyone would be lucky to be with you, from what I saw the other night the way she looked at you she has feelings there. Ones I think are genuine” Yasmeen explained.

“So what should I do?”

“Go for it. Judging by the look on your face when you walked in here you already have gone for it”.

“We went on a date today, it was amazing”.

“There is your answer” Yasmeen replied giving Sophie a hug.

“You won’t tell anyone will you? It’s just we want to keep it on the down low for a while especially as Paula is representing my mum”.

“My lips are sealed darling and if you ever need to talk you know where I am. Ok?”

“Thanks so much, it means everything to know you are here”.

“Always. Now get out of here or I’ll make you serve some tables” Yasmeen joked.

“I’m going I’m going. Ill see you tomorrow” Sophie replied as she headed towards the exit.

Yasmeen stood there looking at the spring in Sophie’s step, she was happy to see the smile back on her face.

Chapter Text

With a smile on her face Sophie headed home to freshen up before she was planning to accidentally bump into Paula and her mum while they were having drinks at the bistro.

She wanted to make sure that when Paula saw her, her jaw dropped to the floor and eyes popped out of her head. The sexual tension between the two of them was palpable, Sophie knew that as soon as the opportunity arose the two of them would jump at the chance to have sex. And frankly Sophie couldn’t wait as it had been a while.

Changing her top and reapplying her make up, Sophie was ready to knock Paula’s socks off.

What Sophie was unaware of is that the ladies were still at Sally’s drinking wine, much to Tim’s annoyance as the lads had arrived.

“Sally isn’t it about time you were going?” Tim said loudly so the giggling girls would hear.

“The night is still young dear...” Sally sarcastically replied.

“Not if you want to watch a couple of avengers films it’s not”.

“Give us 10 minutes and we’ll be out of here” Sally said.

Paula did a quick check of her phone to see if Sophie had been in contact. She had been smart and saved her number under a different name to stop anyone suspecting a thing.

“You keep looking at your phone... who you expecting to hear from?” Gina asked.

“No one in particular just habit I guess. I’m always checking emails to see if anything urgent has come through, I just can’t help myself” Paula replied.

“Makes sense, but tonight you are off work and having fun. So phone away” Sally insisted.

“Yes boss” Paula replied reluctantly putting her phone away.

“Mind if I come join you ladies?” Kevin asked.

“Not at all, come sit” Sally instantly replied making sure Kevin sat down right next to Paula.

“How are we all?” Kevin asked being his usual friendly self.

“Very good thanks. How about you? How’s jack?” Paula asked.

Sally clocked on straight away that Paula was taking an interest in Jack, she saw that as a sign that Paula was interested. When really she was just being polite.

“He’s doing much better, settling in and getting used to a daily routine I think. I can’t even begin to imagine what’s going through his head, we’ve just got to try and make sure he communicates with us so he doesn’t become depressed. As that’s a major risk” Kevin explained.

“Yeah, it’s bound to be tough for him. Give him my love and you know if there’s anything I can do, just let me know ok?” Paula replied as she placed her hand on Kevin’s arm as a gesture of kindness.

But of course Sally saw it as Paula being forward and flirty, oh how wrong she was.

“Shouldn’t we be setting off?” Paula asked as she began to worry that Sophie would be waiting for her.

“We’re in no rush are we?” Sally replied.

Paula desperately wanted to blurt our yes but she had to remain cool and calm to keep up the act.

“No, no rush. Just wanted to make sure we got a table that’s all”.

“She’s got a point Sal, the bistro does tend to get quite busy” Gina replied.

“We’ve still got time”.

“Great” Tim said giving Sally a very unimpressed look.

“What’s the deal there?” Tyrone asked looking at Kevin and Paula.

“Don’t ask, one of Sal’s genius plans to match make them”.

“Oh dear it’ll only end up in tears like the rest of them” Tyrone joked.

“Tell me about it. She doesn’t bloody listen though when I warn her. They are both old enough and wise enough to work out if they like on another”.

“She means well but does interfere rather a lot”.

“That she does. It’s Sophie I feel sorry for, her every movement is tracked by her mother”.

“I suppose she’s just being a loving parent”.

“Yes but there’s a limit and Sally often exceeds that” Tim replied.

“I’ve got an idea, if we put the film on it’ll soon get rid of them” Tyrone suggested.

“Jesus, why didn’t I think of that we could have had them out of here ages ago” Tim replied getting up off the sofa to put on one of the films.

“Tim what you doing?” Sally asked.

“Boys night is about to begin whether you like it or not”.

“Fine, we’ll be off in a minute” Sally replied through gritted teeth giving Tim the evil eye.

Tim knew he would be getting a mouthful at some point from her but right now he didn’t care as he wanted to drink beer, eat crisps and watch marvel films with his pals.

Over at the bistro, Sophie walked in hopeful to see the ladies sat there drinking wine. But when she got there they hadn’t even arrived yet. Sitting herself down in a booth, she texted Paula to see where they were.

*Where are you? I’m at the Bistro looking hot and you are nowhere to be seen. X*

While she waited for a reply Kate walked over to take her drinks order.

“Hiya Soph, can I get you a drink?” Kate asked.

“I’ll have a gin and tonic please” Sophie replied.

Things between the two of them hadn’t been great since Kate dumped her for Rana. Sophie always managed to be the bigger person and forgive and forget but she had her heart broken so it was taking a bit more time to get back to normal with Kate.

“I’ll bring it over for you. I must say you’re looking very nice tonight” Kate said.

“Thanks”.

“Meeting anyone?” Kate asked being nosey.

“Not specifically, just fancied a drink” Sophie replied.

“Ok, well I’ll bring you your drink over”.

As soon as Kate left, Sophie checked her phone to see if Paula had replied, still nothing but it had only been a couple of minutes.

Back over at the house the ladies were just finishing up their drinks before getting ready to grab their coats and walk over to the bistro. The anticipation to see Sophie again was eating away at Paula, she was beyond excited to see her.

“Right have a nice evening then...” Tim said hurrying them all out the door.

“Thanks Tim, I’m sure we will” Paula said with a smile on her face eager to get to the bistro.

“You’re being very rude to our guest Tim” Sally angrily replied as he ushered them towards the door.

“You don’t mind do you Paula?” Tim asked.

“Not at all” Paula replied. She was glad Tim was pushing them out the door, because she couldn’t wait to see Sophie.

“See! Have a nice time” Tim said as he shut the door behind them.

“That man drives me mad sometimes” Sally moaned.

“He only wanted som manly time with Kev and Tyrone” Gina replied.

“Plus the bistro do good cocktails, so let’s go” Paula said linking arms with the two of them.

Meanwhile Sophie was sat staring at her phone waiting to hear back from Paula.

“Here we go, one gin and tonic” Kate said placing Sophie’s drink down on the table.

“Thanks” Sophie replied giving Kate a smile.

“Can I sit down for a minute? There’s something I need to say and it can’t wait any longer” Kate said.

“Sure, go for it” Sophie replied.

“Firstly I want to apologise again for how things ended with us, I know how I treated you was bang out of order and I massively regret what I did. I was just going through so much with Rana and I needed an escape from it, I shouldn’t have used you because it wasn’t fair and we used to be so close. I know we will probably never be as close as we were but I just want you to know how sorry I am” Kate explained, speaking right from her heart.

“It’s ok. I get it must have been hard with everything that was going on with Rana but I just don’t understand why you pretended to care about me knowing full well you were in love with someone else” Sophie replied.

“I didn’t pretend to care for you, I genuinely had feelings for you Sophie. I have done ever since we kissed when I was with Caz, but it’s different with Rana. It’s hard to explain”.

While Kate and Sophie continued to talk things through, Sally, Paula and Gina arrived grabbing one of the last remaining tables.

“Grab that table Paula, I’ll get the drinks in” Sally said.

“Sure thing” Paula said as she sat down she saw Sophie talking to Kate but she had no idea who Kate was.

“Ah there’s our Soph, Oh dear I wonder what that conversation is about...” Gina said knowing how badly Kate hurt Sophie.

“Who is that with Sophie?” Paula asked wanting to know everything.

“That’s Kate, her ex. Things didn’t end well” Gina explained.

“I see” Paula replied as her eyes lit up with jealousy and worry.

Back over at the other table the conversation was continuing.

“I don’t see how you can of cared for me, to do that to me? You used me to make Rana jealous, knowing full well I was in love with you. I get it was tough and you were confused but it was a mean thing to do” Sophie replied visibly angry.

“I was a selfish idiot who only thought of myself. I’m so sorry”.

Paula couldn’t keep her eyes off the pair of them, she wanted to know what was being discussed but more importantly she wanted to make sure Sophie was ok as she looked upset.

“It’s fine. Let’s just forget about everything and try and go back to being friends, I can’t promise we will be as close as we were but I forgive you. Ok?”

“You do?”

“Of course, it would be against my faith not to” Sophie replied.

“Thank you it means a lot. I’m glad we’re ok again” Kate said as she gave Sophie a hug.

Paula hated seeing Sophie in the arms of another woman even if it was just a little hug.

“Please tell me that isn’t happening...” Sally said as she put the drinks down.

“What do you mean?” Paula replied trying to make it sound like she wasn’t panicking.

“We do not want Sophie to go back there, Kate broke her heart and quite frankly I don’t like her” Sally explained.

“She wouldn’t go back there though... would she?” Paula replied.

“I’d like to think she wouldn’t but who knows” Sally said as she watched Kate leave Sophie at the table on her own.

Sophie also left the table to go to the bathroom.

“I’m sure she’ll be over in a few minutes...” Sally said as she took a swig of her drink.

“Can you remember the school trip to the chocolate factory in year 9? Wasn’t it you that caught with your boyfriend in the toilets Paula?” Gina asked.

“I don’t remember that, but sounds like something I would have definitely done” Paula replied.

“Wasn’t that jean?” Sally added.

“Oh yeah I used to get you two confused all the time” Gina replied laughing.

“Excuse me a moment I just need to visit the little girls room” Paula said getting up to go after Sophie.

“Try not to be too embarrassing Gina” Sally said as she didn’t want Paula thinking they were riffraff.

“Sorry Sal I was only having a laugh”.

Paula walked into the bathroom to find Sophie stood in front of the mirror sorting her hair out.

“Hello Sophie you ok?” Paula said in a friendly manner just in case there was someone else in the bathroom.

“It ok were alone” Sophie replied.

“Are you ok? That chat looked intense” Paula said placing her arm around Sophie.

“Yeah I’m fine, just didn’t really want to have the conversation but it’s all sorted now and you’re here so I have a reason to smile” Sophie replied.

“I’m glad you’re ok! I was worried. Part of me just wanted to walk over there, take you by the hand and leave with you”.

“I wish you had of but we all know that wouldn’t have gone down well”.

“Next time hey? When we don’t have to hide anymore!” Paula replied.

“I better go back out otherwise mum might start to suspect something, I’ll see you out there” Sophie said as she gave Paula a peck on the cheek.

Paula just smiled she was so glad that Sophie was ok, the jealousy she felt watching Sophie with Kate was ridiculous, she had never been a jealous person before. Maybe the reason as to why she was jealous was just too good to lose this time.

“Room for another one?” Sophie asked.

“Come join, drag a chair over” Gina encouraged.

“Did you bump into Paula in the bathroom?” Sally asked.

“Uh no I didn’t” Sophie replied lying through her teeth hoping her mum wouldn’t realise.

“What were you and Kate talking about?” Gina asked being super nosey.

“She was apologising for everything”.

“About time. Only a month too late” Sally replied.

“At least she’s done it now and we can just put everything behind us and try and be friends again”.

“That’s the attitude, time to get back on the horse” Gina said proud to see that Sophie was being so mature about the situation.

“She’s got to find someone first” Sally joked.

“Sophie, hiya” Paula said returning to the table.

“Paula, hi” Sophie replied as she gave Paula a hug, squeezing that little bit harder than a friend would hoping no one would notice.

“How are you?”

“She’s much better than she was 5 minutes ago” Gina joked referring to the conversation that went on between her and Kate.

“I’m good thank you” Sophie replied.

“It appears to be my round, what’s everyone having?” Paula asked.

“Same again please” Gina said as she raised her glass.

“Yeah same for me” Sally added.

“I’ll have a g and t please” Sophie said.

“Coming up”.

Paula headed to the bar, she knew now would be the perfect opportunity to meet the infamous Kate. Paula was never one to judge people before meeting them but the fact Kate had hurt Sophie in the past left a nasty taste in Paula’s mouth. She wanted Kate to know that if she ever hurt Sophie again there would be a problem.

Chapter Text

“I’ll be with you in a minute love” Kate said to Paula who was patiently waiting at the bar.

Paula didn’t like the fact that Kate was calling her love, not because she found it patronising or anything, purely because it was Kate saying it.

“No worries, I’m in no hurry” Paula replied making sure she got a good look at Sophie’s ex.

Meanwhile back at the table Sally was busy asking Sophie a million questions about her day, hoping to find out who Pippa was.

“So how was your day with Pippa?” Sally asked.

“It was lovely to have a catch up, it’s been a while” Sophie replied confidently to put Sally off the scent.

“Remind me what she looked like again?”

“About my height with blonde hair and glasses. She used to hang around with me and Sian”.

“No I don’t remember her at all”.

“Well you’re memory isn’t what it used to be Sal” Gina joked.

“We weren’t super close but it’s nice to keep in contact with people, you never know when you might need a friend” Sophie explained.

“Do you have a picture of her?” Sally asked.

“No mum I don’t. Next time I see her I’ll make sure I ask for a selfie so my mum knows who I’m with, ok?” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“Oh that would be great love!”

“I was JOKING” Sophie replied rolling her eyes.

“Oh. Well it would be nice to know who you were off galavanting with” Sally said using the word Paula used earlier which made Sophie smile.

“I wasn’t off galavanting with anyone. I met up for a coffee and a spot of lunch, now just chill out so we can enjoy our evening” Sophie replied forcefully.

“That’s you told” Gina sarcastically joked knowing full well it would wind Sally up.

Back over at the bar, Kate was finally free to serve Paula.

“Sorry for the wait, what can I get you?” Kate asked politely.

“Can I have 2 gin and slim line tonics, a glass of white wine and a sex on the beach please” Paula said.

“Of course, I see you are a friend of Sally’s?”

“I am a friend of Sally’s I’m also a friend of Sophie’s, I see you are too?”

“Yeah we are again now, we went through a stage where we fell out but we’re back in track. Thank god”.

“Oh no what happened?”

“I was an idiot but I’ve apologised and luckily she’s forgiven me” Kate explained.

“That is very lucky, Sophie’s an amazing girl and you are lucky to have her friendship” Paula replied.

“Oh I know that don’t you worry” Kate said.

“But I do worry. See I don’t like when people close to me get hurt, so make sure you don’t hurt her again or we could have a problem” Paula said quietly.

“Are you threatening me?” Kate replied confused as to why this random woman was sticking up for Sophie.

“Oh not I’m not threatening you, just a friendly warning” Paula said with a huge smile on her face.

“That’s £16 then please” Kate said completely ignoring what Paula had just said to her. She didn’t know who this woman thought she was but she wasn’t being spoken to like that.

“Keep the change...” Paula said winking to Kate as she left the bar.

“Who the hell does she think she is...” Kate muttered quietly to herself.

“Here she is” Sally said as Paula returned to the table with a tray of their drinks.

“You were up there for ages, weren’t giving Kate a piece of your mind were you?” Gina joked.

“Not at all, I was just asking her about her day. Turned out she wasn’t having the best day” Paula replied looking in Sophie’s direction.

“I still can’t believe her nerve, I mean who does she think she is” Sally said.

“Look can we for one night please not bring up Kate or any of my exes? That would be great” Sophie replied hoping that her mum would give it a rest for the evening.

“I promise not to bring them up” Paula immediately replied.

“Pinky promise” Gina added.

“Mum?”

“Fine, Sophie all I want is for you to be happy”.

“I am happy” Sophie replied giving her mum the cheesiest grin she could do.

“So Gina, how is your love life?” Paula asked hoping that the heat would come off Sophie and focus onto someone else.

“We could be here a while” Sophie joked.

“My love life currently is non existent. I was in a wonderful relationship with Dev but I think he had had enough of me and my antics” Gina replied with a sad expression on her face.

“I’m sure that was the reason...”

“Trust me Paula it was. You see I tend to do stupid things once I’ve had a drink or forget to take my meds, which these days seems to be happening rather often. I’m a live wire me” Gina explained.

“You’ll find the right one, I know you will. I believe that in life there is that one person you are destined to be with regardless of anything that may get in your way. I thought my ex husband was that person for me but I was clearly wrong, don’t give up Gina because you never know when they might pop into your life” Paula replied sneakily trying to make eye contact with Sophie.

Sally oblivious to everything believed that Paula could be talking about Kevin, she wasn’t going to stop until the two of them had been on a date.

“You honestly believe that?” Gina asked.

“I do. People come into our lives for a reason and you’ll know when you find the one who you are supposed to be with. The connection will be so strong that you just want to spend every waking minute with them. Unfortunately sometimes it can be complicated as the person may be married or younger than you or older. But I believe if it’s meant the be then it will happen regardless of anything”.

Sophie got goosebumps listening to Paula talk, she didn’t want to jump to conclusions but she believed that Paula was talking about her.

“Have you ever been with anyone younger?” Gina asked intrigued to hear more.

“One night stands, yes but full on relationships no. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t. Age is just a number and as long as the other person wants to be with me then I couldn’t care less whether they were 20 years older or younger” Paula replied.

“You have such an amazing outlook on everything, we all need to take a leaf out of your book” Sally said.

Both Paula and Sophie were happy to hear Sally say that, would it mean that she would be ok with them dating? Or was it just Sally being up Paula’s arse.

“I just think we should be prepared and open to anything” Paula replied smiling.

“I think that’s amazing” Sophie said.

“Well we had to be prepared for anything when Sophie came out to us. I won’t lie it was a shock and took a while to get my head around but now everything’s fine isn’t it Sophie?” Sally explained.

“Yeah now it is...” Sophie replied.

“I remember when you had a crush on Paula, Sal” Gina announced.

“No I didn’t” Sally immediately replied.

“Yes you did. You were obsessed with her” Gina said.

Paula didn’t know where to look she was flattered Sally had a crush on her back in their school days but it was a bit embarrassing for Sophie to have to hear about it.

“GINA, I was not obsessed, I just wanted us to be good friends” Sally replied with a bright red face.

Sophie just looked over at Paula and smirked, the two of them were doing their best to try and keep the eye contact down to a minimum. They knew they had to be sly around people as they didn’t want to be caught out.

“I had crushes on most people back then Sal it’s nothing to be ashamed of” Paula said trying to reassure Sally that it wasn’t a big deal.

“Weren’t you with James through high school though?”

“I was yes, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t find other people attractive”.

“You two made such a lovely couple, head girl and boy weren’t you?” Gina asked.

“That’s right. God knows why though he was a pot head”.

“We all smoked a bit of wacky backy back then though didn’t we” Gina replied.

“Did we? I know I didn’t” Sally said.

“Why doesn’t that surprise me...” Gina sarcastically replied.

“I have to admit I did enjoy the odd puff here and then but James was horrendous, I wonder where he is now?” Paula said.

“Can’t you just look him up on Facebook?” Sophie suggested.

“Not a bad idea, could you do that for me? I’m not on it” Paula replied as she scooted round the table to be closer to Sophie.

“Yeah of course, what’s his name”.

“James Kirkpatrick”.

“That shouldn’t be too hard to find” Sophie replied looking directly into Paula’s eyes causing her heart rate to rise rapidly.

While Sophie helped Paula search for James, Gina and Sally were having a little conversation of their own.

“See Sophie just admitted that everyone’s on Facebook... so why isn’t this Pippa?” Sally quietly said to Gina.

“Not this again for Christ sake” Gina replied.

“I’m just looking out for my daughter”.

“No you are being nosey and intrusive”.

“I’m not!” Sally replied abruptly.

“Sal I know you love her but she’s a grown adult who can do what she likes, the fact you stalked her Facebook is one thing but the fact you keep going on about it is another, just let it go” Gina explained.

Oblivious to the conversation the two of them were having Sophie was scrolling through Facebook trying to find Paula’s ex. Paula loved having an excuse to be so close to Sophie without it looking suspicious, the subtle touching and looks made the pair want each other more.

Behind the bar Kate was still furious at the way Paula had spoken to her, she didn’t even know Kate so what gave her the right to talk to her like she did?

“What’s up? You seem angry?” Daniel asked.

“Nothing, I’m fine” Kate replied.

“Ok, then” Daniel said as he got back to work.

“I just don’t understand why people think they can talk to you like shit when they don’t even know you?”

“So there is something wrong?”

“Yes I just told you...”

“Alright! Women they say one thing when they actually mean something else” Daniel sarcastically replied.

“Don’t start Daniel”.

“What? I’m trying to be supportive and help, I can’t win. Look whoever spoke to you like that I’m sure they were just having a bad day or something, I mean who could have it in for you?”

“Many people” Kate joked.

“I’m sure it was just a mistake, don’t let it ruin your day”.

“I’ll try not to” Kate replied as she stared over to where Paula was sat.

Back over at the table, Sophie had managed to find James.

“Found him” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

“Let’s see the man I thought I would marry one day” Paula replied.

Sophie handed her the phone and she was shocked to see what he looked like now.

“Wow, he has not aged well at all. How are we the same age?” Paula said showing the others the picture.

“Oh god he hasn’t has he. You wouldn’t know that was the same man” Gina replied shocked to see how different he looked.

“You caught a lucky break there” Sally joked.

Paula handed them the phone so they could get a closer look, as she lent over the table she accidentally on purpose slipped falling into Sophie’s lap.

“Steady Paula you alright?” Sally asked worried in case she had hurt herself.

“I’m just fine don’t you worry” Paula replied as she grabbed onto Sophie to get herself up.

“Here let me help you” Sophie said trying her best to keep a straight face, she knew exactly what Paula was up to.

“Thank you” Paula replied winking at Sophie.

Sophie just looked at Paula in a certain way making sure she knew she needed to behave herself.

“Whose round is it then?” Gina shouted.

“I’ll get these” Sophie replied.

“Are you sure Soph?” Sally asked.

“Yes mum I can afford to buy everyone a drink” Sophie replied grabbing her bag and heading to the bar.

A small part of Paula was worried that Kate might say something to Sophie about what she had said to her but really she didn’t care as she would tell Sophie exactly what she said.

“What can I get you Sophie?” Daniel asked.

“Same as last time please, 2 g and t’s, white wine and a sex on the beach” Sophie replied.

“You don’t happen to know what’s wrong with Kate do you?” Daniel asked whilst he poured Sophie’s drinks.

“No idea, last time I saw her she seemed happy as we had had a chat and sorted things, so no I have no idea I’m afraid” Sophie replied.

“Not to worry, I’m sure she’ll get over whatever has put her in a bad mood. Quite frankly I don’t even want to hear about it” Daniel sarcastically replied.

“Just remember she has been through a lot with Rana, it can’t have been easy for her”.

“Sophie you went through just as much no thanks to her”.

“Oh well I’m over it. On to new and exciting things” Sophie replied turning back to quickly look at Paula.

“Well I’m glad, if anyone on this street deserves to be happy it’s you”.

“That’s really sweet of you to say, why you being so nice to me?”

“I don’t really know... I like to make sure I don’t live up to my surname all the time” Daniel joked as the Barlows were known for being mean, well not all of them.

“Well I appreciate it, so thank you” Sophie replied.

“Here’s your drinks”.

“How much do I owe you?”

“On the house, it’s good to you smiling again” Daniel replied.

“Aww Thanks, means a lot” Sophie said as she carried the drinks back to the table.

Chapter Text

Time had passed and the ladies were well and truly on their way to being drunk. Gina had already had one too many but that wasn’t going to stop her, she never knew her limit. Sally was finally letting her hair down, resulting in her not being so stuck up which was always a good thing. And we’ll Paula and Sophie were doing their best to not flirt or make too much eye contact, which was becoming more and more difficult the more they drank.

“We should play a drinking game” Gina said as she slurred her words.

“YES” Sally shouted.

“I am not playing a drinking game with my mother” Sophie replied.

“Oh go on you know it’ll be fun” Paula said giving her the eyes.

“Fine but nothing too rude please, I can’t handle knowing the ins and outs of my mums sex life”.

“Right I’ll go first, you have to drink if you have done it. So for example I have never been married? We have to drink because we have whereas you Soph don’t” Gina explained.

“We know how to play GINA” Sally replied.

“I was just explaining in case someone didn’t know how to play. Seeing as though you are quick to open your mouth why don’t you go first” Gina sarcastically said to Sally.

“Fine I will, I have never been caught having sex” Sally said.

“Why did you have to go straight in for the rude ones?” Sophie asked as she put her head in her hands.

“Oh lighten up Sophie it’s just a bit of fun” Sally replied.

All of them drank for that question, Sally had caught Sophie with Sian many years ago. Paula and Sophie looked at each other hoping that the same fate wouldn’t come to them.

“My turn, I have never kissed someone of the same sex...” Gina asked.

“Now that’s not fair” Sophie replied.

“It’s only a game Sophie, plus I love it when you a drunk. You’re mouth gets the better of you” Gina explained.

“Now that I have to see” Paula joked.

“Mum did you just drink... have you kissed a woman”.

“Back in the day yes, we all did but not in a sexual way just as a greeting, isn’t that right Paula?” Sally said.

“Umm I guess so, yes we did” Paula replied knowing full well she didn’t kiss woman as a greeting she did it because of an attraction.

“I’m the only straight one here by the looks of things” Gina joked.

“Looks that way” Sophie replied laughing at how drunk Gina was.

“Oh it’s my turn, ok... I have never been arrested” Paula asked.

“Oh great we all know who is going to be drinking now...” Sally said as she clinked glasses with Gina.

Paula was intrigued to see if Sophie drank, she wanted to know if she had a good girl or a bad girl on her hands.

“Sophie you need to drink” Gina said.

“No I don’t, that was Rosie not me” Sophie proudly replied.

“Oh yeah and what did Rosie do?” Paula asked.

“Best you don’t ask” Sophie replied.

“It can be a story for another time” Paula whispered as she bent down towards Sophie pretending to pick something off the floor.

“Go on Sophie you’re turn...”

“I have never had an affair?” Sophie asked knowing it would stitch Paula up.

As Paula drank she gave Sophie the eyes, she knew exactly what Sophie was playing at.

“Quick toilet break” Gina shouted.

“Ooh I’ll come with you...” Sally replied as the pair of them headed to the loo giving Sophie and Paula some alone time at last.

“My god you look hot tonight” Paula said as she bit her bottom lip.

“You need to stop because I am struggling to keep my hands off you. It is taking every single ounce of control I have” Sophie replied.

“Glad it wasn’t just me then”.

Kate spotted the two of them having a cosy little chat, she wondered what was going on over there.

“So you staying at my mums tonight?” Sophie asked.

“I am yes”.

“So you’re technically sleeping in my bed”.

“Shame you won’t be there with me” Paula replied as she placed her hand on Sophie’s leg.

“Steady on, we don’t want anyone to see” Sophie replied paranoid they were being watched.

“Right this second I don’t care who sees”.

“I do because it can’t get in the way of the court case” Sophie explained.

Kate was slyly watching the whole interaction, she knew that something was going on between the two of them. She realised that must have been why Paula threatened her when it came to hurting Sophie again.

“Who wants another drink?” Sally asked as she returned from the toilet.

“Count me in” Paula replied turning round to give Sally a smile.

“Go on then I’ll have another, I’ll get them though Mum. You come and sit down” Sophie insisted.

“That’s very kind of you, thanks” Sally said as she sat down.

Sophie made her way over to the bar where Kate was waiting to serve her with a mischievous look on her face.

“What can I get you?” Kate asked.

“Same again please. You ok now? Daniel said something about you being angry earlier?” Sophie replied.

“It was just something someone had said to me”.

“Oh well I hope it wasn’t anything too bad”.

“Just a close friend of yours warning me not to hurt you again” Kate said.

“What do you mean?” Sophie replied confused.

“I know there is something going on between you and her over there...” Kate said.

“You won’t say anything will you?” Sophie replied panicking.

“No of course I won’t but I don’t appreciate her threatening me”.

“I’m sorry she threatened you, she’s just looking out for me. Please don’t say anything”.

“I won’t. Sophie I want you to be happy, now if that means it’s with her then perfect. Just tell her not to talk to me like she did, I didn’t appreciate it” Kate explained.

“I will, I’m sorry” Sophie replied. Deep down Sophie knew that everything Paula would have said to Kate would have been the truth, she couldn’t be angry at her for that.

“I’ll bring your drinks over” Kate said.

“Thank you” Sophie replied heading back to the seats with a worried look on her face.

“Where are the drinks?” Gina asked.

“Kate is bringing them over” Sophie replied.

“You two looked deep in conversation, I take it everything is ok with the pair of you now?” Sally asked.

“She was just telling me about a customer she served earlier who told her a few Home truths that’s all” Sophie replied looking at Paula.

“She probably needed to hear them” Paula responded.

“She most definitely will have needed to hear them” Sally added.

“Let’s just drop it” Sophie said.

Paula couldn’t work out if Sophie was in a mood with her or not for talking to Kate, part of her was panicking as she didn’t want to upset Sophie. Needing to know if things were ok, Paula grabbed her phone and sent Sophie a text.

*Are you mad at me? I just didn’t want her to hurt you again. I’m sorry, look at me* Paula sent.

Sophie felt her phone go off in her pocket but knew that if she read it straight away it would look suspicious.

“You’re drinks ladies... just to let you know it is last orders” Kate said giving Paula one of her nicest, fakest smiles.

“Thanks Kate” Gina replied while Sally and Paula did their best to ignore her.

“Enjoy” Kate said leaving them to it.

As they drank their drinks, Sophie checked her phone. Once she had read the text she looked over to Paula who was giving her the loving eyes she was so good at giving.

*Im not mad im flattered that you care, it’s just she now knows about us. She’s promised not to say anything but what if she does?* Sophie replied.

“Who are you texting Sophie Webster?” Sally asked.

“Ryan if you must know, he wants to know if I’m up for a night out next week” Sophie replied semi telling the truth as he did ask earlier on in the day.

“Oh god you’re not friends with him again are you? After his stupidity nearly cost you your life...” Sally asked.

“Mum he’s changed ok? No ones perfect but he’s trying”.

“He sounds a nice boy” Paula sarcastically replied.

“Like I said he’s trying...” Sophie repeated.

“Just be careful”.

“I always am these days” Sophie replied.

Paula slyly read the text as she sipped out of her drink. As soon as she read that Kate knew about her and Sophie she spat her drink out.

“Everything ok?” Sally asked.

Wiping her mouth, Paula composed herself and came up with something to tell Sally.

“Just an email from a client, I read something I never thought I’d see from her”.

“Ooh do tell...” Gina asked being nosey.

“I would but client confidentiality and all that” Paula replied.

Paula looked at Sophie, her eyes widened, she knew the pair of them could be in deep trouble is Kate blabbed.

“Do you mind if I quickly reply?” Paula asked.

“Not at all but do you think it’s wise after the amount of alcohol we have drank?”

“This can’t wait...”

*How does she know? Oh god I shouldn’t have threatened her, now she’ll probably use it as blackmail or something. Why did I open my big mouth?*

“I think I’m going to be...” Gina shouted as she ran to the bathroom covering her mouth.

“GINA...” Sally shouted as she ran after her.

“How the hell does Kate know about us?” Paula whispered to Sophie.

“I don’t know but she does. She’s promised she won’t say anything but no one else can know. That’s two people now”.

“TWO? Two... who else knows?” Paula asked trying to keep the volume down.

“Yasmeen, I work with her at the restaurant. In all fairness though she noticed you were flirting with me before I noticed” Sophie explained.

“No one else can know Sophie otherwise everyone is going to find out. This can’t come out before the court case”.

“I know it can’t”.

“Ladies I’m going to have to take Gina home, Sophie you’ll let Paula in won’t you?” Sally said.

“Of course, I might even stay on the sofa. I don’t want to wake jack up, not after he’s got into a routine” Sophie replied.

“Sure love, see you both tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your evening!”

“We will, night” Paula replied.

Sally who was doing her best to hold Gina upright, headed back home to tuck Gina into bed.

“Finally were alone, wanna get out of here?” Paula asked giving Sophie the eye.

“And head where?”

“I dunno we could find a hotel?”

“I’d love to but after tonight and Kate finding out I don’t think we should risk it...” Sophie explained.

“No you’re probably right. Well let’s finish these off and call it a night” Paula replied.

“I’m as disappointed as you are trust me, I want more than anything to be able to spend the night alone with you” Sophie said looking at Paula intensely.

“Once Islas gone I’ll have a free house every night...”

“When’s she leaving again?”

“Not for a few weeks...”

“I can’t wait that long!”

“Me either, we’ll find a way don’t you worry”.

“We better”.

“Do you think I should have a word with Kate?” Paula asked.

“I think it’s wise if you leave that alone, I appreciate what you did but Kate doesn’t take well to threats”.

“Ah, good to know” Paula replied.

“Shall we head back then?” Sophie asked.

“Sure”.

They both gathered their belongings and headed for the exit. Outside checking the the coast was clear, Sophie grabbed Paula’s hand so they could walk home interlocked with each other.

“This is nice, ending an amazing day with a drunken stroll hand in hand along the famous cobbles” Paula said looking over at Sophie.

“I couldn’t agree more”.

“You better give me a good night kiss before we get inside...”

“What if someone sees?”

“Just deny it, usually works” Paula joked.

Sophie placed one of her hands on each of Paula’s cheeks, caressing her face as she passionately kissed her, she lingered right by Paula’s lips and whispered.

“My god you are gorgeous” Before kissing her again.

The kiss lasted for well over a minute before the pair decided they should probably head inside before someone saw them.

“I need you to show me to where I’m staying” Paula whispered.

Sophie grabbed her hand and quietly led her upstairs, showing Paula to her room.

“This is cute” Paula joked.

“I haven’t decorated since I was about 18” Sophie replied trying not to go red in the face.

“I like it”.

“I’ll find you a top you can wear in bed” Sophie said as she hunted through her draws for a baggy top Paula would feel comfortable in.

Whilst Sophie’s back was turned, Paula took her top off. Standing in her bra, she patiently waited for Sophie to turn around.

“Here we go” Sophie said as she turned around to see Paula stood there in her sexy purple lace bra.

“Oh shit, that’s not fair you can’t do that to me...” Sophie replied all hot under the collar.

“What’s not fair? I’m just getting changed” Paula innocently replied knowing exactly what she was doing,

“How am I supposed to keep my hands off you when you look hot stood there right in front of me”.

“You’re not...” Paula replied stepping closer to Sophie.

“No stop don’t come closer” Sophie said holding her t-shirt out in front of her to block the view of Paula out.

“Why not? You know you want to” Paula replied.

“I do more than anything but my mum is literally in the room next door and we can’t risk it. You need to cover up, now”.

“Fine give us the t-shirt then”.

Sophie gave Paula the t-shirt who threw it on the bed before grabbing Sophie and pulling her in close.

“We can’t” Sophie whispered.

“Just...one...more...kiss” Paula said pausing between every word to give Sophie a peck on the lips.

“Fine, one more kiss and then we need to stop” Sophie reluctantly said as she looked at Paula in her bra, her heart was racing.

The pair kissed, getting very passionate.

“I’ve got to go” Sophie said as she headed to the door to sleep on the sofa.

Paula didn’t say anything, she just stood there with a frown on her face. She knew Sophie going was the best option but it didn’t stop her from being disappointed.

Chapter Text

The house was silent, Sophie lay there on the sofa listening to the tick of the clock. She couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that Paula was lay in her bed upstairs and she couldn’t be with her as it was too risky.

Sophie closed her eyes to try and get some sleep but nothing was working, the room was spinning slightly from the amount of alcohol she had consumed but she just couldn’t stop thinking about Paula.

Sophie’s phone vibrated on the table next to her, she reached over to see who it was.

*You awake?* Paula had messaged.

Paula was lay in Sophie’s top, in Sophie’s bed without Sophie. There was a space next to her in bed that needed to be filled.

A smile appeared on Sophie’s face, part of her didn’t want to reply as the temptation to go upstairs would grow and grow the more they texted back and forth.

*I am now...* Sophie replied.

Paula laughed to herself, she knew there was no way that Sophie was asleep after seeing her in her sexy bra.

*So I’m lay here in your bed which is very comfortable but there is one thing missing. You.*

Sophie’s heart raced whilst reading the text, she was so tempted to go upstairs.

*Just cuddle Mr snuggle he’ll take care of you* Sophie replied.

Paula looked around the room for Mr snuggles, she found a bunny with a top hat on, she presumed that was him. Posing with the bunny, Paula took a selfie to send.

*Found him, you are no longer required...* Paula sent along with the photo.

The photo was a rather racy one, Paula had whipped Sophie’s t-shirt off and placed Mr snuggled between her boobs as if he was giving her a motorboat.

Sophie’s heart stopped when the photo came through, she immediately locked her phone. Looking at the photo was absolute torture for her, all she wanted to do was get her hands on Paula. Sophie decided not to reply for a while to see what Paula’s next move was.

Paula was slightly annoyed that Sophie hadn’t replied to her last message. Deciding to take matters in her own hands, she got out of bed heading downstairs to get a glass of water. Her plan was to turn on one of the lights but to completely ignore Sophie seeing how she would react to see Paula in her lingerie.

As soon as Sophie heard footsteps she pretended to be asleep just in case it was her mum or Tim. The light turned on, she wasn’t sure who it was and was too scared to look. As the person got closer she knew it was Paula because she could smell her perfume. She opened her eyes to see Paula walking past her in her lingerie, her eyes widened, heart rate rose and jaw dropped.

“What are you doing?” Sophie whispered.

Paula stuck to her plan and ignored Sophie, she made sure that Sophie was looking when she bent down to reach for a bottle of water out the fridge.

“Oi, I know you can hear me” Sophie said as she got off the sofa.

“You need to go back upstairs quickly before anyone sees you...” Sophie said approaching Paula.

Paula was still sticking to her guns by ignoring Sophie, she stood there sipping her water.

“Is this what you want?” Sophie said as she pushed Paula up against the counter, grabbing her body sensually.

“Oh I didn’t see you there...” Paula whispered.

“Just shut up and kiss me” Sophie replied.

Paula liked the fact that Sophie was being demanding, she found it extremely hot and an absolute turn on.

“Yes boss...” Paula said as she pulled Sophie’s face towards her, kissing her.

The pair couldn’t keep their hands of each other, even though the passion was there, all Sophie could think about was someone walking in on them. It was kind of killing the mood.

“Maybe we should... go upstairs” Sophie suggested in between kisses.

Paula pulled away for a split second to reply.

“I’ve been saying that for the last hour woman”.

“Shh keep your voice down”.

“You are so bossy” Paula replied.

“Just get upstairs, quietly” Sophie said.

The look on Paula’s face was one of pure lust, she couldn’t believe that the two of them were finally going to get some alone time even if it was in the same house as Sally.

The pair of them quietly walked upstairs, trying not to trip up or make any noise on the way. Once in Sophie’s room, Paula wasted no time at all in taking off Sophie’s top.

“We’ve got to be quiet” Sophie said letting Paula take off her top.

“I will be, scouts honour” Paula sarcastically replied.

Paula stepped back to get a good look at Sophie, she was blown away by how incredible she looked.

“What?” Sophie asked shyly.

“My god you are a just... wow” Paula replied trying to catch her breath.

“Stop It you’re making me blush”.

“I can’t help it, Jesus you’re going to give me a heart attack”.

“Well you’ve got to be careful at your age” Sophie joked.

“Oi!” Paula replied grabbing Sophie pushing her onto the bed.

“Ouch” Sophie shouted as she hit her head on the bed frame.

“Shhh” Paula replied covering Sophie’s mouth in case she screamed.

“Shit that hurt” Sophie said as she lay there in pain.

“I’m so sorry, I only meant to push you onto the bed. Not into the bed frame” Paula replied as she sat down on the bed to make sure Sophie was ok.

“It’s not your fault, I just think the world is trying to tell us something” Sophie said.

“I agree, how about we just settle for a cuddle in bed for a little while before you need to go back downstairs? We can arrange to have some fun another time...” Paula explained.

“Sounds like a good idea” Sophie replied as she slowly sat up, rubbing her head where she hit it.

“Here let me kiss it better” Paula said.

“Thank you” Sophie replied with a sad look on her face.

The two of them got cosy in bed, wrapping their arms around each other, Sophie rested her head on Paula’s boob as frankly it was very comfortable. Paula lay there playing with Sophie’s hair, they felt so comfortable with each other.,

“Well this is nice, hows the head?” Paula asked.

“It’s much better, I’m sorry I ruined the moment”.

“You didn’t ruin anything, we’ve got plenty of time for the perfect first time. I don’t plan on going anywhere”.

“You don’t?” Sophie asked looking up at Paula.

“No! You’ve sucked me in Sophie Webster, I can’t stop thinking about you which is crazy because we’ve known each other for a couple of days yet I can’t imagine not knowing you” Paula explained.

“I feel the exact same way” Sophie replied.

“Good” Paula said kissing Sophie on the head as she closed her eyes squeezing Sophie tightly.

It wasn’t long before the pair of them were fast asleep in each other’s arms, they both looked so peaceful.

The sun began to rise and the pair of them were still fast asleep, neither of them were aware that it was the morning and people were going to start waking in the house.

A door banged in the house waking Paula, she was disorientated because it was so bright in Sophie’s room. She scrambled for her phone to check what the time was, her heart dropped when she saw that it was 6:45.

“Sophie... Sophie” Paula said trying to wake her up.

“Sophie” Paula repeated shaking Sophie.

“What?” A grumpy Sophie replied.

“It’s morning and I can hear people up and about” Paula explained.

“Shit!” Sophie replied leaping out of bed and finding her top to put back on.

“Calm, just breathe. We still need to be as quiet as we can” Paula said calmly, but deep down she was freaking out majorly.

“How can I be calm, I could be about to walk out of this room to my mum sat downstairs wondering where the hell I am?”

“Or you could walk out of this room to no one and make it back to the sofa in time”.

“Wish me luck” Sophie said taking a deep breath in before opening the door and legging it down the stairs.

Paula held her breath waiting in anticipation to hear some form of shouting. But she heard nothing, did that mean that Sophie had made it back to the sofa successfully?

Paula quietly put her clothes on, she wasted no time in making sure everything was ok downstairs with Sophie.

*All ok?*

Sophie managed to get downstairs without being seen, she got under the covers to try and make it look like she had been there all evening.

*Yeah no one saw me. My god that was too close for comfort but totally worth it! I must say your pillows are very comfortable* Sophie replied being cheeky about Paula’s boobs.

“Morning Soph, heavy night?” Tim asked as he walked down the stairs.

“Hiya, Yeah was a bit crazy. Gina threw up at the bistro, I was too drunk to take myself home so thought I’d just crash here” Sophie explained.

“Standard Gina these days, good night though?”

“Yeah it was an amazing night, good fun” Sophie replied thinking about her antics with Paula.

“Cup of tea?” Tim asked.

“I’d love one”.

“Be a darl and go see if Paula wants one?” Tim said.

“How do you know she’s up?” Sophie asked.

“I heard movement in there so I’m guessing she’s up...” Tim replied.

“Sure I’ll go see if she wants one” Sophie said getting off the sofa to head upstairs.

Sophie knocked on the door, causing Paula’s heart to race.

“Who is it?” Paula asked.

“Sophie”.

Paula opened the door and dragged Sophie in.

“What you doing here?” Paula immediately asked.

“Tim asked me to see if you wanted a cup of tea”.

“How does he know I’m awake?”

“He heard you”.

“You mean he heard us?” Paula replied worried.

“No he heard you, I was downstairs. He knows nothing ok?” Sophie explained.

“Phew, that was close. And by the way I know these bad boys are comfortable” Paula joked pointing at her boobs.

“They are, I mean who needs a pillow when those are right next to me” Sophie replied.

“It’s my turn next time, I had to deal with a dead arm all night! That’s your job next”.

“Fine by me”.

“I’d love a cuppa thank you” Paula said loudly hoping Tim would hear.

“I’ll let Tim know” Sophie replied pecking Paula on the lips before going back downstairs.

“Does she want one?” Tim asked.

“She’d love one, she’ll be down in a minute”.

“I’m glad Sal is spending more time with her friends, it’s important especially at the moment with the court case and everything. It’s good that she has something to take her mind off it”.

“Yeah it’s important she keeps busy, we don’t want her overthinking the court case”.

“She’s got a great lawyer in Paula though whose attention is on the case so everything will be fine” Tim replied.

Sophie felt a little guilty when Tim said that, not all of Paula’s attention was on the case, in fact right now none of it was. The last thing Sophie wanted was her mums case suffering all because the pair of them couldn’t keep their hands off each other.

“Paula’s got this don’t worry”.

“Paula’s got what?” She said walking down the stairs.

“We were just saying how good it is that you were back in Sally’s life and that you had her back in this case” Tim explained.

“Yeah I’ve got it don’t you worry” Paula replied sitting down on the sofa next to Sophie.

“Sophie move your shit so Paula can sit down comfortably”.

“Sorry” Sophie said pulling the duvet out from underneath Paula.

“It’s ok, I don’t need any special treatment” Paula replied.

“You do, you are a very important part of our lives at the moment” Tim explained.

As Tim said those words, Paula and Sophie looked at each other, they were in a little world of their own.

“Yeah Tim is right, you are very important to us” Sophie emphasised.

“Sophie you don’t mind keeping Paula company do you while I nip in the shower before work do you?”

“Not at all...” Sophie replied.

“You’re a good kid”.

“Less of the kid thanks” Sophie said. She didn’t want Tim to embarrass her in front of Paula.

Tim disappeared upstairs, leaving the two of them alone once more.

“You’re a good kid” Paula joked.

“Don’t you start”.

“Sorry couldn’t resist”.

“Plus i need a nickname for you, kid would work well”.

“Umm no it wouldn’t”.

“I should probably head off, I’ve got some making up to do to Isla for missing last night. Plus I should actually do some work for your mums case”.

“Do you have to go?”

“I should! But I’ll see you soon? Text me, might even send you another cheeky picture. Mr snuggles loved every second of being in bed with me” Paula joked.

“I could see that”.

“Had to get your attention some how”.

“It worked” Sophie replied.

“I must go. I’ll see you later” Paula said squeezing Sophie’s thigh as she got up off the sofa.

“Bye” Sophie replied showing Paula out.

“I’d give you a kiss but don’t want anyone to see” Paula said.

“I’ll forgive you” Sophie replied.

“Bye”.

You could see by the looks on both of their faces that neither of them wanted to say goodbye to one another. They had both had an incredible 24 hours, making a real genuine connection, you could tell they were both excited to see what the future held.

“Was that Paula leaving?” Sally asked as she walked down the stairs.

“Yeah she had some work to do” Sophie replied.

“That’s a shame, she’s so lovely though isn’t she?”

“She is”.

“I’m glad you two get on well, she might be around quite a lot over the next few months with the court case and everything” Sally explained.

“That’s fine, I don’t mind” Sophie replied.

Sally was pleased that Sophie didn’t mind her being around, it meant that she had the green light to go ahead with setting up Paula with Kevin.

Chapter Text

Sophie headed home with the biggest smile on her face, she needed to get ready for work as she was working a double today. She hadn’t had much sleep but that didn’t bother her as nothing was going to kill her mood today.

“Morning Buddy how are you feeling today?” Sophie asked Jack as she walked through the door.

“Hiya Soph, where have you been?”

“Stayed at mums last night, got in late and didn’t want to wake you”.

“Were you drunk?”

“I was yes!”

“You’re funny when your drunk”.

“I’m always funny though aren’t I?” Sophie asked.

“Not really” Jack replied.

“You cheeky little...” Sophie said playfully hitting him over the head.

“That’s me” Jack replied.

Sophie was glad to see Jack getting back to how he was before his incident, she hated seeing her little brother upset and sad so seeing him like this was amazing.

“I’ve gotta go get ready for work but how about tomorrow we have a movie night?” Sophie suggested.

“Popcorn?” Jack replied.

“As much popcorn as I can buy from Dev’s”.

“Deal” Jack replied with a smile on his face. He loved spending time with his sister, unfortunately he didn’t get to do it as much as he liked.

“Amazing, have a think about what you want to watch, ok?”

“Ok. Sounds good” Jack said.

Sophie ran upstairs to jump in the shower as she needed to be at work. But in her rush to get upstairs quickly Sophie had left her phone on the kitchen table right next to where Jack was sat. It wasn’t long before her phone vibrated, Jack being nosey took a peek at what it was.

*Can’t wait to see you again. X*

It was a text from Paula, luckily for Sophie she had saved the number in her phone as ‘P’ which meant nothing to Jack, he had no idea who the text was. He was however happy that Sophie was back in the dating game after everything with Kate.

“Way to go Soph” Jack quietly said to himself.

After Sophie had finished in the shower she realised that her phone was missing, she started to panic as she didn’t want it falling into the wrong hands.

“Jack have you seen my phone” Sophie shouted down the stairs.

“It’s on the table. It’s been going off quite a lot”.

Sophie immediately ran down the stairs in her towel to collect in, she didn’t want anyone to see incase the messages were a bit raunchy.

“It’s ok Soph I haven’t read them” Jack replied with a smile on his face.

“How do you know they are texts if you haven’t read them?” Sophie asked.

“Umm well... I” Jack stuttered.

“You mustn’t look at people’s phones Jack, it’s rude” Sophie explained to him.

“I know, I’m sorry. But if you must know I’m very happy that you are seeing someone again” Jack replied.

Sophie looked at the messages on her phone, she was relieved that none of them were rude.

“Can we keep this between the two of us? I don’t want my mum or dad to make a big deal out of something that’s so new”.

“Don’t worry you’re secret is safe with me” Jack replied raising his little finger to pinky promise with his sister.

“Pinky promise” Sophie said as the two of them interlocked their little fingers.

Sophie made her way back upstairs, her heart rate had just about got back to normal after that little scare.

*Jack just read your texts to me! Luckily I saved you in my phone as P so he had no idea who you are but Jesus that was too close. We need to be more careful* Sophie replied to Paula’s text.

Sophie finished getting ready, grabbed all her things making sure she had her phone this time.

“I’ll see you later buddy, behave for your dad” Sophie said to Jack as she kissed him on top of his head before leaving the house.

“I always do” Jack joked.

Over at Paula’s house Isla was ready and waiting to know where she had got to last night, she may have had urgent business to attend to but that didn’t mean she had to stay out all night.

“And where have you been?” Isla asked as her mum walked through the front door.

“Isla, morning! You alright?” Paula asked trying to change the subject.

“Where have you been? Surely you’re meeting didn’t run all night?”

“So my meeting did run long but then we decided to go for drinks and it got a bit messy so I stayed in their spare bedroom” Paula replied feeling like a little girl being told off by her mum.

“Who even was it?” Isla asked.

“Sally...I know I’ve been spending a lot of time there but this case is extra special to me”.

“You don’t have a crush on her do you?” Isla asked.

“No I do not” Paula replied.

“I was just checking, you never normally mix work and your social life”.

“I didn’t really have much of a choice, I had to represent her we’ve been friends for god knows how long. I’m sorry I had to cancel our plans but I’ll make it up to you. Did you find any flights?” Paula asked.

“Yeah and I booked them...” Isla replied.

“What? When you off?” Paula asked with an anxious look on her face.

“Saturday”.

“This Saturday?”

“Yes this Saturday...”

“That’s way too soon, you’re not ready!”

“I am ready, you just don’t want to accept that I am”.

“Wow, ok! So this is actually happening... stay calm Paula stay calm”.

“I’ll be fine I promise you” Isla replied.

“Right tomorrow night we are spending together, I don’t care what I have to cancel. I need to spend time with my baby before she jets off” Paula explained giving her daughter a big bear hug.

“Sounds good. We can get a takeaway and relax” Isla said.

“Perfect. I need to hop in the shower as I am already running late for work, lucky for me I’m the boss so it doesn’t matter” Paula said giving her daughter a sloppy cheek kiss before running upstairs to get in the shower.

Isla had noticed the look in her mums eyes, she knew that look well. It was the look of her mum hiding something from her, she was determined to find out what before she left to go travelling.

“My god my head is pounding” Gina said as she slowly made her way down the stairs.

“I’m not surprised the amount of alcohol you drank last night...” Sally replied making sure she was louder than usual.

“Oh Sal keep the noise down”.

“Oh sorry I didn’t realise I was shouting” Sally said shouting.

“Did I do something bad last night? Is that why you are punishing me?” Gina asked.

“Well apart from throwing up in the bistro and telling Paula I had a crush on her no you didn’t...”

“You had a crush on Paula? Oh that’s right you were obsessed with her weren’t you. Did I tell her?”

“Yes you did!” Sally abruptly replied.

“I am so sorry, I’m sure she didn’t mind though. I mean her daughter is gay so she’s fine with all that sort of thing” Gina replied.

“It’s not that, it was just embarrassing” Sally said.

“She probably can’t even remember the conversation, I mean we were all pretty bladdered”.

“No Gina, that was just you”.

“Oh sorry Sal. I better apologise to Paula”.

“It’s fine, you don’t need to. Just next time try not to get so wasted that you throw up in the toilets ok?”

“I’ll try” Gina replied giving Sally a smile.

Over at Speed Daal, Sophie was busy setting up the restaurant for the day when Yasmeen turned up.

“Good morning Sophie, how are we today?” Yasmeen asked.

“Tired but apart from that I’m on cloud 9. You?”

“Would a certain lawyer have anything to do with that?”

“Maybe...”

“That’s a yes then! How’s it going?”

“Things are going well, I mean we are still getting to know each other but I’m finding myself wanting to spend every waking moment with her” Sophie explained.

“Ahh that’s feeling. I remember it well, but be prepared it doesn’t last forever. Even with my husband there were days when I didn’t want to even look at him yet the following day I wanted to spend every second with him. Keep hold of the feeling you get now, because it is the best feeling in the world” Yasmeen explained with a big smile on her face as she remembered the good times with her husband.

“Don’t you worry I will hold on to it because I know as soon as my parents find out they will not be happy. I mean it wouldn’t stop me from wanting to see her but I wouldn’t want to ruin my relationship with my parents”.

“Sophie you’re parents love you more than anything, with time they would come around. Just like they did when you told them you liked girls, they soon got over it, just like they will with this. It just takes time”.

“I hope you are right”.

“I am always right. Come on let’s have some breakfast before we open” Yasmeen said as she took Sophie under her wing walking to the kitchen.

As the pair waited for their breakfast, Sophie was contemplating telling Yasmeen about the fact that Kate knew about her and Paula, but she was worried that Yasmeen would say something to Kate.

“So Kate told me that things between the two of you were good again...” Yasmeen said.

“Oh she did?” Sophie replied.

“Yes, isn’t that the case?”

“No it is, it’s just she knows about me and Paula”.

“She does? How did she find out? Sophie you need to be careful if you want to keep it a secret”.

“Long story short, Paula gave her a friendly warning not to hurt me again... she noticed the looks between the two of us and used her gaydar to put two and two together to make four” Sophie explained.

“A What dar?” Yasmeen replied with a very confused look on her face.

“A gaydar? It’s like a radar for gay people”.

“Is it an app or something?”

Sophie couldn’t help but laugh.

“No, it’s not an app. It’s supposedly a thing where people who are gay can spot other gay people from a mile off”.

“Oh i see, well I can tell you this much. Your gaydar is broken” Yasmeen replied.

“No need to be mean now” Sophie joked.

“Well I had to tell you that Paula was flirting with you, without me you’d have been clueless”.

“That is true”.

“Don’t worry about Kate she won’t say a word, I’ll make sure of it” Yasmeen replied reassuring Sophie.

“Thank you, I appreciate it” Sophie said.

“She needs to concentrate on her own relationship anyway, things are a bit rocky with her and Rana at the moment. But I didn’t tell you that”.

“Ah no I’m sorry to hear that”.

“They will work it out, just need to communicate more”.

“Well I’ll have my fingers crossed for them” Sophie replied.

“After everything she did to you, you still want them to work. You are such a kind soul”.

“I try. I don’t see the point in being bitter over things it just makes you unhappy. I don’t want to be unhappy anymore I want to opposite”.

“Well it looks like you are” Yasmeen replied.

“I’ve just got to hope it’s the real deal and not a little fling” Sophie said.

“You want something long term?”

“Most definitely”.

“Tell me if I’m over stepping the mark by asking this question, what about children?”

“I’ve always wanted children but it’s not like I have to have them to be happy if that makes sense?”

“Yeah it makes total sense”.

Sophie sat there thinking about how Paula hadn’t dismissed her yesterday when she mentioned that she wanted kids and to get married. That was surely a positive thing?

“I’m trying not to think too much about everything, I don’t want to put any pressure on the us. I mean we’re not even an us at the moment, well at least I don’t think we are. Just taking it a day at a time and let’s see where we are in a couple of weeks” Sophie explained.

“That’s the best way to be” Yasmeen replied. She couldn’t believe how mature Sophie was being about everything.

Paula had finally had chance to read the text Sophie had sent her earlier, she was very thankful that Sophie had saved her number under an initial and not her name.

*We really do need to be careful, Isla is away from Saturday so I’ll have a free house to do whatever. So you’ll have to come up with an excuse to come for a sleepover. Hope you’re having a good day x*

When Sophie read the text, her heart began to race at the thought of Paula having a free house in less than a week. She couldn’t wait to spend some quality alone time with her, they just needed to be able to keep their hands off each other until then. Which was going to be easier said than done.

*Book me in for Saturday night then, because I can’t wait to get my hands on you x* Sophie replied smiling away.

“Someone’s texting you know who” Yasmeen joked as she placed Sophie’s breakfast down in front of her.

“Just arranging to meet up again” Sophie replied.

“Wasting no time, good for you”.

“I can’t physically wait, it’s that bad! Ah thanks for the breakfast it smells amazing” Sophie replied.

“It’s not bad, it’s exciting” Yasmeen said.

The two of them continued to chat as they ate their breakfast before opening the restaurant for the lunch rush.

Chapter Text

After a good old natter over breakfast Yasmeen and Sophie were ready to open restaurant in time for the lunch rush, they were expecting a busy day due to a special they were running.

“It’s going to be mad today, I hope you’ve got your comfy shoes on” Sophie said as she I clipped the bolt on the door.

“I put on my trainers for today, there’s no way my feet are getting sore”.

“I went for heels, god what a stupid mistake” Sophie replied.

“I wonder why you’ve got those on?” Yasmeen said raising her eyebrows.

“No I didn’t just wear them incase I had a visitor, they are my favourite pair of shoes but I’m regretting it now”.

“Go quickly change them, you’ve got 5 minutes”.

“I’ll be 3” Sophie replied.

Sophie ran as quickly as she could to change her shoes, unfortunately on her way she bumped into her mum who was on her lunch break.

“Ah Sophie, where you off to?” Sally shouted across the road.

“Changing my shoes, can’t stop” Sophie replied.

“Surely you have a minute to talk...I need to ask you something”.

Sophie was worried about what Sally wanted to ask her, so made sure she didn’t stop.

“I can’t, I’ll see you later” Sophie replied opening the door to the house.

“But Soph...ie” Sally shouted as the door slammed.

Sally had no time to chase after her, she was needed back at the factory to help with a huge order they had had. Now Carla was back in charge wages were being docked for lateness to try and stop people from slacking.

Sophie quickly changed her shoes and ran back to the restaurant. When she arrived she was shocked to see a lot of people already in there, they’d only been open 15 minutes max.

“Ah Sophie, can you seat Audrey and David please?” Yasmeen asked.

“Sure thing, do you both want to follow me” Sophie said.

“We’d love to. You look nice...” Audrey said complimenting Sophie’s appearance.

“That’s nice of you to say Audrey, Ive been using a new shampoo”.

“Ooh which one?” David asked as he had also noticed the shine on Sophie’s hair.

“The blue bottle of bed head, I can’t remember what it’s for but I can check next time I use it if you like?”.

“No you’re alright I can just check online, thanks though” David replied.

“We might have to get some of that in David, because it looks lovely”.

“Thank you. What can I get you to drink?” Sophie said.

“One of those passion fruit smoothie things please” Audrey replied.

“I’ll have the same”.

“Two passion fruit smoothies coming right up” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

“I do like Sophie, she’s such a kind human” Audrey said to David as Sophie walked away.

“She used to be a little shit though let’s me honest. She also had the rebel phase, don’t you remember she fell of the church roof because she was drunk?” David joked.

“Oh David she could have been seriously injured, she’s been through a hell of a lot and managed to actually come out of the other side a decent human being”.

“We’ve all been through a lot gran, but yes I agree she’s a nice girl” David replied.

“I am sorry David”.

“For what?”

“I don’t really know you just seem annoyed and I’m guessing that my fault” Audrey replied.

“I’m not annoyed I’m just saying remember that everyone goes through things”.

“Ok, ok” Audrey replied.

“Here we go” Sophie said placing their smoothies on the table. “Have we decided what we are eating?”

“Well have the special deal that’s in at the moment” David replied.

“Was that mild, medium or hot?” Sophie asked.

“Hot for me” David said.

“Mild love, I don’t think my tummy can handle anything hot”.

“Gran we don’t need to hear about your tummy thanks”.

“I’ll go place your order” Sophie replied.

While placing their order Sophie checked her phone to see if Paula had replied.

*I can’t wait for you to get your hands on me either. Sat here at work trying to focus but all that’s running through my head are possible excuses to come and see you. Give me a reason to work and not sit here thinking of you x *

Goosebumps covered Sophie’s body, she still couldn’t get over the fact that this beautiful, successful, incredible woman was interested in her.

“Sophie table fives food is ready” Yasmeen ordered.

“Coming” A flustered Sophie replied putting her phone back into her pocket.

“Focus woman”.

“Sorry” Sophie said smiling at Yasmeen.

Over at her office Paula was sat with her with her feet up staring into space trying to find the motivation to do work, but all she could focus on was the imagine she had in her mind of Sophie stood there in her bra.

“Knock knock” James said as he walked into Paula’s office.

“Yes?” Paula replied as she snapped out of her daze.

“I was looking for the Metcalfe file? I’ve got some paperwork that needs to go into it. Do you know where it is?”

“I do, it’s only my desk somewhere...” Paula replied looking at her desk which was covered in paper.

“Can I make an observation?” James asked.

“Go for it” Paula replied intrigued to hear what James had to say.

“You seem a bit distracted” James nervously said.

“I am if I’m honest with you”.

“Well sort it out because this isn’t the Paula Martin I work for, this is an imposter pretending to be you” James said being brutally honest.

“Christ don’t hold back. I’ve only been like this for the last couple of days, calm down”.

“What’s even distracting you?”

“It’s Nothing...”

“And I’m supposed to believe that am I? Just tell me, anything we say in this office stays between us. I promise you that”.

“Fine but you tell anyone and I’ll kill you, ok? Shut the door”.

James shut the door and sat down, he couldn’t wait to hear what Paula had to say.

“I’m seeing one of my best friends daughter, she also happens to be my client” Paula explained.

“Shut the front door...” James replied with a shocked look on his face.

Paula just looked at him.

“You’re being serious aren’t you?”

“Deadly, serious”.

“This explains a lot! Why you were so desperate to look good the other day, taking ages to reply to emails, the mess on your desk. You’re mind is all over the place”.

“I know it is and I need to sort myself out but I can’t stop thinking about her. James I haven’t felt like this in years, I’m talking since I first met my ex husband”.

“Christ you are in deep...”

“I know. What do I do?”

“If you’re feelings are this strong then go for it but sort yourself out. Make sure you put your work first until things quieten down here, you’re a woman you can multi task can’t you?” James joked.

“Well I thought I could but obviously I’m doing a shit job” Paula replied.

“How about I get all your emails done while you clear up this mess and make sure all of Sally’s files are sorted. That case needs to be your priority, especially now you are involved with her daughter” James explained.

“Thanks, I really appreciate it” Paula replied.

“Anytime”.

Paula felt relieved that she had finally told someone about Sophie, it felt good to have it off her chest. She knew that James was right, she needed to get her shit together and focus on her cases as well as Sophie, otherwise things were not going to work out. Paula’s phone went off just as she began to tidy her desk, it was Sophie giving her the kiss up the backside she needed.

*Focus woman, my mum needs you. I mean I need you too but I can wait, my mum can’t. Just know I’ll be thinking of you x*

“Get to work” James shouted banging on the window of Paula’s office.

“Give me a second” Paula replied as she quickly sent Sophie a reply.

*You’re right. I need to focus! So we can’t talk until I’ve done everything I need to do here, I’m so far behind and it’s all you’re fault for being too damn sexy. I promise I will text you as soon as I’ve finished, hope work isn’t too busy for you X*

Paula put her phone on silent and shoved it in the draw where it couldn’t be seen, she was finally ready to do the work she should have already completed.

Whilst Paula was busy sorting the mess out in her office, Sophie read the text from Paula, she was disappointed that they wouldn’t be talking as much but she knew it was important because at the end of the day her mums case had to come first.

“Sophie you alright?” Rana asked. She had come to help out in the restaurant as they were short staffed.

“Yeah I’m fine”.

“You’re face says something different...”

“Just some bad news, don’t worry I’m fine and need to get table 12’s food out” Sophie replied wanting to keep herself busy.

“Is she ok?” Rana asked Yasmeen.

“She’s fine, I doubt you are high on her list of people to talk to though” Yasmeen replied.

“I do care you know. I know what Kate did to her was horrendous but it’s not my fault, I didn’t tell Kate to do it. I think everyone is over reacting, none of this was my doing, I just want her to be ok” Rana replied sternly.

“If you are here to work the aprons are over there, if you are here to gossip and play the victim then the door is that way” Yasmeen said.

Rana reluctantly walked over to where the aprons were and put one on. She hated the fact that everyone blamed her for what Kate did to Sophie, she couldn’t help the fact that Kate was still on love with her.

“Sophie sweetheart what’s wrong?” Yasmeen asked as she pulled Sophie to the side.

“Nothing, I’m fine like I told rana”.

“I don’t believe you!”

“I just had a message explaining that we can talk to each other until she has sorted things at work, which is fine it’s just a bit annoying”.

“Well you won’t be able to talk to her anyway while you are here so don’t let it get you down” Yasmeen explained hoping that Sophie would see that she wouldn’t be able to talk anyway.

“I suppose you are right”.

“I am always right”.

“I don’t know what I would have done without you over the last few days, I know I’ve said it before but thank you so much”.

“Come here you” Yasmeen said as she stood there with her arms open wide ready to give Sophie a hug.

While Yasmeen was making sure Sophie was okay, Rana got to work serving customers. One of which was Kate who had popped in for a quick dinner to spend sometime with her girlfriend who she very rarely got to see these days.

“What’s going on over there?” Kate asked looking over at Yasmeen and Sophie.

“God knows, Sophie seemed upset. I asked her if she was ok and then got a mouthful from Yasmeen. I only wanted to know if she was ok” Rana explained.

“What is it with people having a go at us recently? Just fed up with it”.

“What do you mean? Whose had a go at you?” Rana asked.

“Just a customer”.

“Who...” Rana asked knowing that Kate was hiding something.

“Sally’s lawyer”.

“What the hell did she want?”

“She was just warning me not to hurt Sophie again”.

“Why would she be doing that?”.

“Babe it doesn’t matter... it’s all sorted now”.

“No, it does matter” Rana said storming off to get Sophie.

Rana dragged Sophie into the kitchen to have a word.

“Ouch” Sophie said.

“Why is your mums lawyer friend having a go at Kate?” Rana asked in an angry manner.

Sophie just looked at Kate...

“She was just looking out for me” Sophie replied.

“I get that what Kate did was wrong but where does she get off having a go at her? She doesn’t even know Kate...”

“What on earth is going on in here?” Yasmeen shouted as she stormed into the kitchen.

“I don’t need this right now” Sophie replied.

“Rana just leave it” Kate said trying to protect Sophie’s secret.

“I’m sorry but this has gone on long enough, Kate knows what she did to you was wrong and she has apologised a thousand times. Can’t we just move on from it now? We don’t need some hot shot lawyer interfering when really it’s non of her business”.

“Non of her business?” Sophie said.

“Sophie don’t do this...” Yasmeen replied.

“That hot shot lawyer happens to care about me very much, more than Kate ever did. I’m sorry that she spoke to you the way she did but quite frankly I’m glad, no one should ever me used like I was. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy that you two have finally got your shit together and admitted that you love one another, I forgive you Kate I do because you know what I’m the happiest I have been in years right now and that is all because someone is showing me what it’s like to be treated correctly. I deserve to be happy and I am damned if either of you are going to ruin that for me again” Sophie explained storming out of the kitchen needing time to herself.

“Babe I told you to leave it” Kate replied going after Sophie.

Kate felt really guilty that Sophie just had to explain herself, yes Rana didn’t know the full story but even she could put 2 and 2 together.

Chapter Text

“Sophie wait” Kate said running after an upset Sophie.

“Why? I’m really not in the mood to talk” Sophie replied.

“Just stop” Kate said grabbing Sophie’s arm.

“What...”

“I’m sorry Rana went off on one. I tried to stop her and I promise you I didn’t tell her that you and the lawyer we’re a thing. I wouldn’t do that to you” Kate replied.

“I just want to forget that me and you ever happened because it makes me feel like shit every time someone mentions it. I want to just be happy with someone who wants me, but unfortunately the woman I have found is my mums lawyer...if my mum found out she would be absolutely livid with us. I can’t have anything jeopardise mums case and now that all 3 of you know the likelihood of someone saying something is higher. I just need to clear my head” Sophie explained.

“I won’t say anything, I promise. I’ll also make sure Rana keeps her mouth shut too” Kate replied rubbing Sophie’s arm in support.

“I’m just worried and now it’s making me question everything” Sophie said.

“Don’t question anything. The way the two of you were looking at each other the other night gave me goosebumps the intimacy was off the charts. Now I’ve never seen it like that before, I mean don’t get me wrong I felt like that with Rana but it wasn’t as strong as the vibe I get off the two of you. If you’re worried about age being an issue, don’t let it be. As long as you are comfortable and happy then who cares what anyone else thinks. Sophie I just want you to be happy, I care too much to see you upset like this. I know I’ve not done the best job in showing you I care over the last few months but you’ve always been there for me so it’s my turn to be there for you” Kate explained.

“It’s not the age, it’s purely the fact that she’s mums lawyer and friend. You know Sally she’s a right pain in the ass 99% of the time, I know she means well but she could make my life a misery if she wanted to”.

“Soph you’re a grown adult who is capable of making her own decisions, I say just go for it. As long as she does a good job with your mums case nothing else matters” Kate replied.

“You’re right! I just need to put myself first for once” Sophie said.

“You really do” Kate replied.

“I’ll come back down in a few minutes just need a minute to myself” Sophie explained.

“Ok, you sure you are alright?” Kate asked.

“Yeah I’m fine, thank you” Sophie said.

“I’ll see you in a few minutes” Kate replied as she headed back down into the restaurant.

Sophie stood there taking a few deep breaths in, she knew she wanted to be with Paula it was just the constant worrying about being caught.

“Where’s Sophie?” Yasmeen asked Kate as soon as she appeared.

“She’s just having a few minutes to herself”.

“Is she ok?” Rana asked.

“She is, I did tell you to leave it though...”

“I know I’m just fed up with everyone making you the bad guy”.

“I was the bad guy, I treated her like shit for no reason. So next time I say leave it please just listen to me” Kate replied.

“Ok, I will” Rana said.

After composing herself, Sophie walked back over to the steps down to Speed Daal, as she took the first step her ankle gave way causing her to fall down the rest.

“Sophie” Yasmeen shouted as she ran across the restaurant to get to her.

Kate and Rana weren’t far behind, Rana took charge as she was the nurse.

“Sophie can you hear me? Sophie...” Rana said trying to check if Sophie was conscious.

“Shall I ring an ambulance?” Kate asked with a worried look on her face.

“Yes” Rana instantly replied.

“What can I do?” Yasmeen asked as she stood there feeling useless.

“I need you to come and support her neck to make sure she doesn’t move it. I need to check her airway”.

Rana did just that she checked to make sure Sophie’s airway was clear, which it was.

“Sophie can you hear me?” Rana repeated.

Sophie groaned in reply.

“Can you open you’re eyes for me Sophie?”

Sophie managed to open her eyes, she lay on the floor with Yasmeen holding her neck still.

“Ou...ch” Sophie mumbled.

“Can you tell me what hurts?”

“My head and my bum” Sophie replied.

“Ok, try and stay still for me the ambulance will be here shortly” Rana said as she squeezed Sophie’s hand.

“I’ll go upstairs and wait for the ambulance” Kate said trying to make sure she was being helpful.

“It won’t be long sweetheart” Yasmeen said reassuring Sophie who was visibly in pain.

“Will someone tell my mum and dad?” Sophie asked.

“Of course we will but first we need to make sure you are ok” Yasmeen replied.

In no time the ambulance drove down the cobbles, stopping right outside the restaurant with their sirens on and lights flashing. The commotion attracted the attention of many of the residents, including Sally who was always one of the first to know what was happening.

“Kate what’s happened?” Sally asked as she crossed the road.

“Sally come with me...” Kate said as she grabbed Sally’s hand.

“It’s Sophie isn’t it?” Sally replied.

“Just come with me” Kate said as they followed the paramedics down the stairs.

The paramedics were hard at work checking that Sophie hadn’t done any damage to her spin or back, they also had her on oxygen just as a precaution.

“Sophie” Sally said as soon as she laid eyes on her daughter.

“Mum I’m ok...” Sophie mumbled through the oxygen mask.

“Stay back please” the paramedic said urging Sally to stay out of the way.

“That’s my daughter”.

“I know she is but right now we need to give her our full attention and not be worried about you getting in the way. I’ll let you know when you can see her” the paramedic replied.

“Ok, just do what you need to do” Sally replied.

Kate could see that Sally was physically shaking with fear, she had been through all of this before with Sophie when she was hit by the car. She didn’t want her daughter to have to go through anything like that ever again.

“She’s going to be ok sal” Kate said giving her a hug.

After making sure Sophie’s neck and back were ok, the paramedics decided to move her onto a chair so they could check the rest of her over. As soon as they moved her Sophie went all dizzy, it was from where she hit her head when she landed at the bottom of the stairs.

“Sophie stay with us...” the paramedic said as Sophie began to doze off.

“She was complaining about her head” Rana informed the paramedics.

“Right were going to take Sophie into hospital, we’re a little bit worried about the knock she got to her head and the fact she keeps going in and out of consciousness” the paramedics explained as they transferred Sophie onto the stretcher to move her to the ambulance.

“Can I come with you?” A worried Sally asked.

“Of course, you can ride in the back with us”.

“Thank you” Sally replied.

Sophie was transferred into the ambulance, Sally climbed on board making sure she was with her daughter when she needed her most. As the ambulance drove away the number of worried on lookers increased when the sirens turned on.

“I’m here sweetheart” Sally said as she held Sophie’s hand tightly.

“Right I think I’m going to close the restaurant, I can’t concentrate on work right now” A worried Yasmeen said to Kate and Rana.

“Well help you clear up” Rana replied.

“Kate can you go and find Kevin and let him know what’s happened?” Yasmeen asked.

“Of course I’ll go do that now. If you hear anything can you ring me immediately please”.

“No problem, I’ll let you know straight away”.

Kate headed off to try and find Kevin to let him know what had happened to Sophie, she knew that after everything he had just been through with Jack he was bound to jump to conclusions thinking the worst.

“Kev?” Kate said knocking on the door of the garage.

“Won’t be a second” Kevin replied. He was busy under the bonnet of one of the cars.

“Kev it’s quite urgent” Kate stuttered.

“What is it? Kate?”

“It’s Sophie she fell down the stairs at the restaurant, she’s ok but she’s on her way to hospital with suspected concussion”.

“I’ve got to go” Kevin replied as he dropped his tools and ran straight to his car.

“What about the garage?” Kate said as he had just left it all unlocked.

“Right now I don’t care, I’ll sort it later” Kevin replied getting into his car to rush to the hospital.

Kate didn’t really know what to do so she just closed the door hoping no one would know it was unlocked.

Unaware that anything had happened to Sophie, Paula was busy reading some important paperwork for Sally’s case. Her desk was clean and tidy and all paperwork had been filed correctly, her afternoon had been very productive.

“I’m grabbing some dinner from the pub over the road do you want anything?” James asked peering his head around the corner.

“You working late as well?” Paula replied.

“Yeah need to prepare for court tomorrow”.

“Stevens?”

“Yep”

“Feeling confident?”

“I’ll explain all over dinner, the usual?” James asked.

“Yes please” Paula replied.

While James was away Paula quickly checked her phone to see if Sophie had messaged her, she was disappointed to see no message but she didn’t know the reason why there wasn’t a reply. Deciding not to read too much into it, she got straight back into work as she knew she had a lot to get through.

Meanwhile Sophie had arrived at the hospital, she regained consciousness in the ambulance much to the delight and relief of Sally. She was moved straight into a a cubicle where the doctors could immediately do some tests to see what she had done to her head.

“Sophie my name is Dr Singh, what happened today then?”

“I fell down the stairs at work and hit my head” a very groggy Sophie explained.

“Where did you hit your head?”

“On the back of it I believe”

“Let’s have a look” Dr Singh said as he took a closer look at Sophie’s head.

“Ouch” Sophie said.

“Yeah you’ve got a nasty bump back there. Any dizziness? Headache?”

“Both, the dizziness is going but the headache is bad” Sophie replied.

“What I’m going to do is get some painkillers for you and also arrange a CT scan just to check that everything is ok in there. Does that sound ok?”

“Sounds good” Sophie replied as she lay back to rest her head.

“Get some rest and I’ll be back with those painkillers in no time”.

Once the doctor had left Sally rushed over to Sophie’s side, reaching for her hand Sally held it tightly.

“Don’t ever do that to me again, I was so worried about you” Sally said.

“I’m sorry my foot just gave way” Sophie quietly replied.

“I’m just glad you’re ok, well all being well with the scan”.

“It will be, don’t worry”.

“Sophie” Kevin shouted as he ran over to her bed. “What happened?”

“She fell down the stairs, the doctor wants to do a scan to make sure everything is ok but other than a few bruises she’s ok”.

“I can’t tell you how scared I was when Kate came and told me you had fallen, my heart was racing. I’m just so glad you are ok” Kevin replied giving his daughter a big kiss on her forehead as she tried to rest.

“I’m sleepy” Sophie mumbled.

“I’m sure you are babe, just try and stay awake until you are given the all clear” Sally replied.

“Sophie were ready to take you for you’re CT scan, we shouldn’t be too long. You’ve probably got time to grab a coffee if you want to”. The nurse explained to Sally and Kevin.

“Thanks, take care of my baby” Sally replied.

“We will”.

Sally and Kevin did just that, they went to get a coffee while they waited for Sophie to return from the scan.

“Here we go boss” James said as he handed Paula her dinner.

“God that smells good” Paula replied.

“I made sure they put extra chillies in there for you”.

“Legend! So tell me about tomorrow’s case, you prepared?”

“I think so yeah, I’ve gone over my argument and perfected it. I’m just worried the opposition will call a certain witness and if they do that we’re a bit screwed” James explained.

“How so?”

“They claim they saw Mr Stevens handle the gun in detail including what he was wearing but the only good thing is we know that the witness has a grudge against him. So I have that to argue but honestly I think we are up the creek without a paddle if they bring them out”.

“Shit! But I’ve read your argument it’s strong, there is no physical evidence that places him at the crime scenes, the witness might claim to have seen him hold the gun but without proof or scientific evidence they have not much to go on” Paula replied trying to help James with his confidence.

“Fingers crossed, I feel confident about it it’s just this one witness”.

“James you’ve grown as a solicitor so much in the last couple of years, I believe in you” Paula replied.

“Thanks. How’s ignoring your new girlfriend going?” James joked.

“One she is not my girlfriend, not yet anyway! And I’m not ignoring her I just needed to focus on work for a little while. Plus she’s not even replied so I dunno what’s going on”.

“She’s not? Oh dear, I’m sure she’s just busy”.

“Yeah you’re probably right, I mean who wouldn’t be interested in this” Paula joked as she pointed to herself.

“Exactly”.

The pair tucked into their dinner whilst talking about James’ case tomorrow, for some reason he was really nervous about it even though Paula knew he was going to smash it. Although Paula was listening to James she couldn’t stop thinking about why Sophie hadn’t texted her, she desperately wanted to message but didn’t want to look desperate.

Chapter Text

Time past and Sophie had finished in the CT scan, her headache was slightly better as the pain relief had began to kick in. The doctors were busy checking the scans to make sure that everything was how it should be, Sophie was tired but all she wanted was her phone to text Paula.

“Mum do you have my phone?” Sophie asked.

“Sophie now is not the time to be using your phone, you’ve got a head injury”.

“I’m fine, I need my phone”.

“Well I don’t have it, it didn’t come with us to the hospital” Sally replied.

The look of disappointment on Sophie’s face was clear to see, she needed her phone.

“We have some very good news, the scans are all absolutely fine. We do want to keep you in over night for observation just because of the couple of times you lost consciousness, it’s purely precautionary” Dr Singh explained.

“So I’m ok though?” Sophie replied.

“You are, you were a very lucky girl to escape from this fall with a few cuts and bruises. Next time go steady ok?”

“I will don’t you worry” Sophie replied.

“Thank you so much Dr, we both really appreciate you looking after our daughter” Sally said shaking Dr Singh’s hand.

“You’re very welcome! Take care Sophie, get some rest”.

“Thank you” Sophie replied as she snuggled down in bed hoping to get some rest.

“Well that’s good news isn’t it?” Kevin said with a smile on his face.

“Very! Right can we get you anything? Some food? Water?” Sally asked.

“All I want is my phone”.

“Sophie you can manage without your phone for one night, we will let everyone who is important know” Sally replied.

Sophie didn’t have the energy to argue with her mother, she just lay back and shut her eyes.

“Well leave you two get some sleep sweetheart. I’ll see you at home tomorrow ok?” Kevin said.

“Thanks dad, thanks mum. I’ll see you tomorrow” Sophie replied.

“Bye” Sally said kissing her daughter on the forehead before heading towards the exit.

Sally didn’t want to leave her baby girl on her own but she knew that Sophie needed to rest.

While Yasmeen was finishing tidying up the restaurant she spotted a phone by the bottom of the stairs, she picked it up to take a closer look. She soon realised that it was Sophie’s phone, as she clicked to see if she had any messages she saw a message from ‘p’. Yasmeen put two and two together and realised that p stood for Paula.

*Guess who has finished for the night, I’m sorry I had to not speak to you for a while. Work is hectic and I needed to concentrate. I’m free now if you fancy a chat? Hope work hasn’t been too busy for you x*

Yasmeen knew it was wrong to read people’s messages but she thought today was an exception, she just didn’t know what her next move should be. Does she reply or does she try and get the phone to Sophie?

Deciding to reply to the message, Yasmeen needed to work out how to use the phone, she wasn’t very good with technology.

*Hi Paula, this is Yasmeen I work with Sophie. I just wanted you to know that Sophie is currently in hospital. She’s ok but fell down the stairs at work and hit her head. I believe they are keeping her in overnight, she doesn’t have her phone as I have it but I’m sure she would love to hear from you. I know this is none of my business but I just want to thank you for putting a smile back on her face because my god she is beautiful when she smiles. Thanks*

It may have taken her 20 minutes to write the message but Yasmeen had finally written it and sent it to Paula. She knew she had made the right decision to let her Paula know.

“My god I am full” Paula said as she ate the last mouthful of her chilli con carne.

“Was it good though?” James asked.

“It was delicious” Paula replied as her phone went off.

Paula immediately reached for her phone hoping and praying that it was Sophie, her face lit up as soon as she saw her name.

“Let me guess... lover girl?” James asked as Paula read the message.

As she read it her facial expression changed, she couldn’t believe what she was reading.

“Oh my god”.

“What?”

“It’s Sophie she’s in hospital”.

“Whose Sophie?” James replied being thick.

“I’ve got to go...”

“Stop for a second and breathe. What’s happened?” James said as he sat Paula back down.

“Sophie, the woman I’ve been seeing is in hospital with a head injury. I need to go and see her, I need to know she’s ok” Paula replied in a real panic, with tears almost in her eyes.

“What if her family are there? How are you going to explain it to them?” James asked thinking sensibly.

“I don’t know and right now I don’t care, James I need to see her”.

“Fine go but just be careful ok? You don’t want this ruin the case or your relationship” James replied.

“I’ll be careful don’t worry”.

“Drive carefully, we don’t need you getting injured either do we”.

Paula grabbed her things quickly and got into her car, even though Yasmeen had told her that Sophie was ok, she needed to see Sophie with her own eyes.

“Come on MOVE” Paula shouted at the traffic jam in front of her.

“I DONT HAVE TIME FOR THIS” She screamed deciding to do a u-turn in the middle of the round to find a different route.

Abandoning her car in one of the car park spaces, Paula rushed into the hospital.

“Can I help you?” The receptionist asked.

“I’m looking for Miss Sophie Webster”.

“And you are?”

“I’m her lawyer, I need to speak to her immediately about her fall” Paula replied thinking on her feet.

“Ok but not for too long. Her head injury means she could be quite groggy and sleepy”.

“Don’t worry I won’t be too long. What room is she in?”

“Room 17”.

“Thank you very much, you’ve been very helpful” Paula replied.

She quickly made her way to the hospital shop to buy Sophie something that would put a smile on her face. She couldn’t buy her flowers as it was against hospital protocol but she could buy her a fluffy teddy.

Paula quietly walked into the room where Sophie was sleeping, she stood beside her and held her hand. Sophie began to wake up, she was still groggy from her fall but soon had a smile on her face when she saw Paula.

“Hello you” Paula quietly said as she moved Sophie’s hair off her forehead so she could give her a kiss.

“How did you know I was here?” Sophie mumbled.

“You’re friend Yasmeen messaged me, I was so worried. Drove like a mad man to get here. How you feeling?”

“Rough but better now you’re here” Sophie replied smiling.

“What happened?”

“I was walking down the stairs and my foot gave way. Next thing I knew I was at the bottom with lots of people around me. All I wanted to do was text you and tell you but I didn’t have my phone”.

“I am so glad you are ok, there was me worrying that you hadn’t messaged me because you’d gone off me. I had no idea you’d hurt yourself. I got you a little friend to cuddle while you were here, I’ve named her P”.

“I wanted to message you all day but didn’t want to pester you. Aww P is cute, I’ll make sure I cuddle her all night”

“You could never pester me and make sure you do, I’ll have to replace her one day”.

“You might regret saying that”.

“About pestering you? Or cuddling you?” Paula asked.

“Both”.

Sophie couldn’t stop yawning, she was so tired. The bump on her head certainly hadn’t helped but all Sophie wanted to do was sleep.

“You get some rest, I’ll stay here for a while” Paula said as she held onto Sophie’s hand.

“I’ll stay awake, I want to talk to you”.

“Sleep. Now. You need the rest” Paula replied.

It wasn’t long before Sophie was spark out, she looked so peaceful when she slept. Paula sat there with a smile on her face because she knew that Sophie was safe and sound, she didn’t want to leave her but knew no one could know she was here.

“Sweet dreams” Paula whispered into Sophie’s ear kissing her goodbye.

Paula walked to the door, before she left she looked back at Sophie and smiled, she was falling for her.

Paula arrived home mentally drained from today, she had got a lot of work done but also the whole situation with Sophie had taken it out of her emotionally. Pouring herself a very large glass of wine, Paula ran the bath so she could sit back and unwind for a short while before getting the rest she needed to function properly tomorrow.

While she was sat in the bath, Paula wanted to thank Yasmeen for letting her know about Sophie.

*I just wanted to thank you for letting me know about Sophie. I managed to go and see her, she’s doing ok. Just very tired and a bad headache. I agree with you, her smile is absolutely beautiful and makes me smile every time I see it. Thanks again, I hope to meet you properly one day. P*

Paula got into bed after her bath, she lay there looking at the empty space in the bed next to her wishing more than anything that Sophie was beside her.

“Do we know how Sophie is?” Rana asked Kate.

“As far as I know she’s fine just a headache” Kate replied.

“That’s good then, it was a hell of a fall. She wS lucky not to break anything”.

“I feel like the fall is our fault...”

“Why? What makes you say that?” Rana replied.

“It’s just if we hadn’t been pestering her about things she wouldn’t have gone outside for some air and it never would have happened”.

“Babe it could have happened at anytime, this is none of our fault”.

“I just feel bad about everything”.

“You need to stop feeling bad. Ok? What you did was horrendous yes but you’ve apologised and she’s forgiven you. You’ve got to stop beating yourself up about this, plus we are happy. We’re in love is that’s what you wanted?” Rana asked.

“Yes its what I wanted and it’s still what I want. I love you more than anything I just guess I feel guilty”.

“Well stop and come to bed. We can visit Sophie tomorrow and make sure she’s ok”.

“I’ll be there in a few minutes, just going to finish my cuppa” Kate replied.

“Ok” Rana replied as she looked a Kate with worry in her eyes.

Kate wanted to text Sophie to see how she was, she had no idea that Yasmeen actually had her phone.

*Hey Soph, hope you’re feeling better. I’m sorry for everything today yet again it all seems to be my fault. I’m sorry I promise I’ll get my shit together and stop causing you stress and pain in your life. I really do hope you are ok and I wish you well with you’re lady. See you soon Kate x*

As soon as she finished sending the text she headed to her room to get her head down after a very long day.

Over at Yasmeen’s, Sophie’s phones was going crazy as the texts from Paula and Kate came through at a very similar time. Yasmeen knew she shouldn’t look but couldn’t help herself.

“Now how do I...ah” She mumbled to herself.

She read the message from Kate first, she was glad to see that Kate was remorseful for everything that had happened between the two of them but she was angry at her for blaming herself. Sophie falling down the stairs was no ones fault, it was a freak accident.

Yasmeen also read the text from Paula which was actually meant for her, she felt good reading it. She had a good feeling about Paula, she could tell that she cared about Sophie very much already and they had only known each other a few days. Yasmeen sat there with a big smile on her face, excited for what the future held for the two of them.

Chapter Text

The sun rose on a beautiful, yet crisp morning in Weatherfield. Sally was up early to make sure everything was ready for Sophie’s arrival home, even though Sophie didn’t live at home anymore, Sally was moving her back in for a few days to look after her.

“Sal I don’t think she’s going to want to stay here, she has a perfectly good bedroom 100 yards across the street” Tim explained as Sally began to hoover Sophie’s room.

“She’s got a head injury, she needs to be looked after” Sally replied.

“I understand that but can’t you just pop your head in a few times a day, I honestly don’t think she will want to stay here”.

“Why? This is her home...”

“She’s a grown adult who will want her privacy so she can recover, she won’t want you pandering to her every 5 minutes”.

“I don’t pander her” Sally abruptly replied.

“You kind of do Sal, which is understandable as she is your baby but she’s also an adult. Just let her make up her own mind about where she sleeps tonight”.

“Why the bloody hell are you hoovering at 7 o’clock in the morning, some of us were trying to sleep” Gina said aggressively as she walked past Sophie’s room.

“You’ve got work to get to, so I thought you’d like the wake up call” Sally sarcastically replied.

“We don’t have to be at work until half past 8” Gina shouted as she slammed the bathroom door.

“She’s such a child sometimes” Sally mumbled.

“Sal just promise me that you’ll let Sophie decide where she stays tonight? I don’t want you to force her to stay here and for it to cause an argument. This family needs to stay strong at the moment with the court case and everything, we don’t need silly arguments happening” Tim explained trying to get through to Sally.

“Fine I promise but I know she’ll want to stay here” Sally replied.

“Ok...” Tim said. He had enough of this conversation so made his way downstairs to make a cup of tea.

Paula was also wide awake making herself some breakfast, she hadn’t had the best night sleep due to worrying about Sophie even though she knew she was ok.

“Morning” Isla said cheerfully as she walked into the kitchen.

“Good morning, how are you?”

“Excited. I’m off into town today to get the last few bits for my trip, including all my money” Isla explained.

Paula tried to look excited for Isla but after what happened to Sophie a couple of hundred metres from her own house, Paula couldn’t help but worry about what might happen to Isla on the other side of the world.

“That’s exciting” Paula replied through a fake smile.

“You could at least try and look excited” Isla said.

“I’m sorry sweetheart, I am excited for you I’m just being a mother and worrying already”.

“I promise you I’ll be sensible and look after myself”.

“I know you will, I just worry about what could happen around you. There are a lot of strange people out there and I can’t stop them from doing anything to my baby”.

“I know there are but I’ll be on red alert. I’ll message you everyday that I can, please just try not to worry and just be excited for me”.

“Ok, I’ll try” Paula said as she gave her baby a cuddle.

“We still on for this evening?” Isla asked with an hopeful expression on her face.

“Of course we are, I thought we could order a pizza, grab a bottle of wine and watch trashy chick flicks together? How does that sound?”

“Perfect” Isla replied with a big smile on her face.

“Good! I’ve got to get going soon but I should be home by about 6? So we can get the food ordered and chill” Paula replied as she grabbed her toast.

“No problem I’ll probably be home around the same time, meeting up with Craig for drink”.

“Aw I love Craig give him my love” Paula replied.

“Will do”.

“Right must dash, see you later” Paula said grabbing her coat and kissing Isla goodbye on the way out.

“Bye” Isla replied.

Paula was heading to work but she wanted to see if she could pop into see Sophie before she is discharged. She knew it was risky as Sally would be floating around at some point today but it was worth the risk in her eyes.

Over at the hospital where both Sally and Paula were heading, Sophie was awake still feeling a bit groggy after her fall.

“How are we feeling today?” One of the nurses asked.

“Much better, I’ve still got a headache though? Is that normal?” Sophie replied.

“Yeah it should go within the next few days. It should also decrease in intensity by the hour”.

“That’s good”.

“Do you need any painkillers?”

“No I think I’m ok. Will I be able to go home today?”

“You will yes, we are currently doing your discharge papers so as soon as a lift is here for you, you can go” The nurse explained.

“Thank you so much. I hate hospitals, spent way too much time in here already in my life” Sophie replied.

“Well you’ll be out of here very soon” the nurse said as she left Sophie to it.

Sophie didn’t really know what to do with herself, she had no phone to look through, no paper to read, she just couldn’t wait to get home.

“Knock knock” Paula said as she knocked on the door much to Sophie’s delight.

“Hey, this is a nice surprise” Sophie replied as her eyes lit up at the sight of Paula.

“I just wanted to quickly come and see how you were” Paula said as she walked over to Sophie’s bed.

“I’m ok, just want to go home as I’m bored but this is a very nice surprise”.

“It’s good to see that beautiful smile back on your face”.

“Stop you’ll make me blush”.

“Good because you look cute with rosey red cheeks”.

“So what do you have planned today then?” Sophie asked Paula as she turned onto her side so she could get a better look at Paula.

“I have a rather large pile of paper work to fill out for a case that has just closed, then I’m spending the evening eating junk food with Isla and watching trashy films” Paula explained.

“Sounds fun, well not the paperwork but the rest does”.

“What id do to be cuddle up on the sofa watching films with you though...”

“One day I promise” Sophie replied.

“I very much look forward to it. So are you going to promise me that when you get home you are going to take it easy for a few days?” Paula asked.

“I will, but I go stir crazy when I have to sit still and do nothing”.

“Just take it easy, otherwise I’m going to be worrying about you and not being able to do anything will kill me” Paula replied.

“Who says you can’t do anything...?”

“Well I could probably do something but not what I want to do” Paula replied smirking.

“Behave you, the doctor told me I cant have too much excitement for a few days because of the concussion”.

“Boo, that’s no fun”.

The two continued to flirt with one another, the intimacy between the two of them grew by the second, they could barely keep their eyes off one another.

“I can hear my mum...” Sophie said panicking.

“What? Don’t be silly”.

Sophie was right, out in the hallway Sally was having a quick chat with one of the nurses to find out how Sophie was.

“You need to go...” Sophie said as her heart rate rose through the roof.

“Where? I can’t go through there she’ll see me” Paula replied.

“In the bathroom”.

“What? That’s ridiculous”.

“Go” Sophie insisted pushing Paula towards the bathroom.

“Fine, just hurry up and make sure she doesn’t come anywhere near here. I’ve never been good at being quiet” Paula replied as she shut the bathroom door.

Sally walked through the door with a huge smile on her face, she couldn’t wait to see her daughter.

“Soph you’re looking a bit brighter this morning”.

“I feel much better, I can’t wait to go home to be honest with you” Sophie replied.

“I was thinking you could stay at mine for a few days, just while you recover”.

“That’s a lovely offer mum but I promised Jack I’d spend the evening with him”.

“You can do that another time, right now you need to be resting”.

“Mum I promised him, I’m not backing out. I’ll be fine, it was only a bump on the head”.

“Soph...”

“Stop, I just want to go home and chill with my little brother”.

“Fine, but I’ll be checking on you regularly” Sally insisted.

“Ok but right now can you go and get us two coffees because I am in desperate need of caffeine” Sophie said trying to get rid of Sally so Paula could escape from the bathroom.

“I will, let me have a quick wee first” Sally replied as she walked towards the bathroom.

“NO” Sophie shouted immediately as her heart was thumping.

Paula’s heart was racing, she was doing her best to stay as quiet as she could but her breathing was out of control. Covering her mouth with her hand Paula hoped that Sophie would come up with a good enough excuse to stop Sally from walking into the bathroom.

“Why not?” Sally replied. She had absolutely no idea why Sophie had just shouted at her.

“The toilet is broken and it stinks in there. They won’t even let me use it” Sophie explained trying to make up a good reason.

Paula managed to start to slow her breathing down, she couldn’t believe how close that was, Sally was literally 2 meters away from discovering the truth.

“Oh I don’t want to go in there then, typical NHS can’t even fix a blocked toilet” Sally replied being a snob.

“Coffee please?” Sophie replied.

“Yes I’m going, anyone would think you were trying to get rid of me” Sally joked.

Sally left Sophie’s room to head to the cafe to get them both a coffee, she had no idea that Sophie was indeed trying to get rid of her.

“Psst the coast is clear” Sophie said to Paula who was stuck in the bathroom.

“Thank god I was starting to suffocate in there” Paula joked.

“You have to go” Sophie replied.

“I know I know. I’ll text you later” Paula said giving Sophie a quick kiss goodbye.

“Yeah I’ll text you” Sophie replied as she let go of Paula’s hand.

Paula walked out of the room and round the corner as Sally walked in the opposite direction. Luckily for Paula, Sally was so focused on trying not to spill the coffees that she didn’t notice her. Paula felt slightly sick, she can’t believe how close they came to being found out yet again.

“Here we go, a nice and hot coffee” Sally said handing Sophie the coffee.

“Thanks, I’m just going to get changed quickly and then can we get out of here?”

“Yes we can” Sally replied smiling away.

“I won’t be a second” Sophie said as she got out of bed to get changed in the bathroom.

“I thought it smelt in there...”

“It does but I’ll just hold my nose” Sophie replied as her mum looked at her like she was crazy.

Sally decided to pack up Sophie’s things, not that she had much with her. She noticed the teddy that was led on Sophie’s bed.

“Whose the teddy from?” Sally asked.

“There was a guy last night going round handing them out” Sophie replied lying through her teeth.

“Aww that was nice of him, it’s very cute”.

“Isn’t it just” Sophie replied thinking of Paula.

“Was it free?” Sally asked.

“I believe so. I didn’t have to pay anything”.

“Again another reason the NHS is struggling if they are handing out free teddy bears”.

“Give it a rest mother” Sophie replied walking out of the bathroom.

“Have you got everything? We should get going” Sally said.

“I think so it’s not like I came here with very much did I?” Sophie joked as she didn’t even have her phone with her.

“We can get your phone on the way home ok? I’m pretty sure Yasmeen has got it”.

“Yes can we please...” Sophie replied.

“Anyone would think there was someone you needed to talk to?” Sally said trying to get some information out of Sophie.

“No mum, I want my phone because I’ll have emails, messages etc...”

“Fine!” Sally replied giving Sophie the look.

The two of them left the hospital, heading back to the cobbles. Sophie’s head was still a bit sore but the pain was easing.

Jack had made a get well soon card for Sophie, as well as helping Kevin to make her some cupcakes. Neither of them knew what they were going to taste like but it’s the thought that counts.

“Sophie!” Jack said as soon as his big sister walked through the door.

“Hey buddy. You ok?” Sophie replied.

“Never mind me. Are you ok? I was so worried” Jack explained.

“I’m ok, just a bit of a sore head”.

“Come sit down, we’ve made you some cupcakes. Dad bring them over” Jack said instructing Kevin.

“Hiya love, you’re looking brighter this morning” Kevin replied as he gave Sophie a cupcake.

“Thanks you two these look yum”.

“Is there one for me?” Sally asked. She didn’t want to be left out of anything.

“I suppose but only 1, the rest are for Sophie” Jack replied.

“I only want one, I’m keeping an eye on my waist line” Sally said.

“I hate to be the party pooper but I’m going to go lie down for a while”.

“No problem, I’ll go get your phone as soon as Speed Daal opens” Sally replied. They went on the way home from the hospital but it wasn’t open yet.

“Thanks mum. Thanks buddy for the cupcakes I can’t wait to eat it later” Sophie said smiling at her little brother.

Sophie made her way to her bedroom where she got into bed to have a little rest, she was hoping the headache would disappear soon as it was making her very tired.

Chapter Text

Sophie lay resting in her bed thinking about how lucky she had been not to do more damage to herself when she fell down the stairs. She also knew she needed to thank Kate, Rana and Yasmeen for helping her and making sure she got the help she needed. But mainly she couldn’t wait to thank Yasmeen for getting in contact with Paula to let her know what had happened.

Over at the restaurant Sally had made her way there to collect Sophie’s phone.

“Sally, how is Sophie?” Yasmeen asked as soon as she saw Sally.

“She’s home resting, she’s got a headache but she’s ok”.

“I am so glad, I was worried about her. I’ve got her phone, it must have fallen out of her pocket when she fell. The battery has run out and I didn’t have the correct charger to charge it for her”.

“No worries I’ll drop it off with her and she can charge it. She probably won’t be at work for a few days”.

“Thats ok, tell her to take her time and I’ll pop by to see her when I get a free minute”.

“I’m sure she would love to see you” Sally replied.

“Well once her phone is charged I’ll send her a message and see when she’s free, that’s if I can work my phone” Yasmeen joked.

“Technology these days, I struggle myself”.

“I stand no chance then...” Yasmeen replied.

“I must dash, Carla will be on my back if I don’t get to work ASAP”.

“I’ll see you soon”.

“Bye” Sally said as she headed back to Kevin’s to give Sophie her phone.

As Sally left the restaurant she was surprised to see Paula’s car parked outside her house, she was worried that she had forgotten a meeting or something. She quickly rushed back home to see what Paula wanted.

Gina had made a cup of tea for Paula and the two were having a chat until Sally burst through the door.

“Paula? I didn’t know you were coming. Is everything ok?” Sally said out of breathe as she had ran across the street.

“Sorry for just dropping in, I was in the area and needed you to sign a few bits of paperwork” Paula explained.

“Ah no worries, I don’t actually have much time right now. The last 24 hours have been manic and I’m late for work” Sally replied.

“Oh dear what’s happened? Is everyone ok?” Paula said knowing exactly what had happened.

“It’s Sophie she had a fall at work, she’s ok just a bit bruised and a massive headache”.

“Oh no bless her. I hope she’s ok” Paula replied.

“She will be she just needs her rest”.

“We can do the paperwork another day if it’s more convenient?”

“That would be a massive help? I’m free tomorrow evening? Maybe would could do the paperwork and then have drinks? Or Thursday I could do the morning before work?”

Paula didn’t particularly want to go for drinks with Sally without Sophie there, she thought that she could do weds morning and then see if Sophie was free while Sally was at work.

“Thursday morning would be perfect if that’s ok with you?” Paula replied.

“Sounds great, I’ll pop it in my diary just incase I forget”.

“Well I will leave you to it, thanks for the cuppa Gina and I’m glad Sophie is ok” Paula replied.

“See you soon” Gina said as she showed Paula out.

“She’s so attentive isn’t she Gina? I mean she could have sent one of her workers to sign the paperwork but no she came round herself. We struck lucky that she was able to represent me”.

“We definitely did, she’s all over this case Sal. You’ve got nothing to worry about” Gina replied with confidence.

“Right we both need to get to work before out wages are docked, I need to run this over to Sophie. She’s been without it for a whole 24 hours and she’s freaking out, kids these days” Sally said rolling her eyes.

“You forget she’s an adult though...”

“I can’t help it, she’s my baby girl. I’ll still see her as that when she’s 40 and I’m in a care home”.

“I know that’s what worries me” Gina sarcastically replied.

“Come on” Sally said dragging Gina out the door with her.

Sally quickly run the phone over to Sophie, she quietly put the phone on the side in Sophie’s room and left. Sophie was fast asleep, she looked so peaceful.

Paula arrived at work to find a coffee on her desk and a mountain of new paperwork to complete.

“I take it the coffee is to soften the blow of the huge pile of paperwork?” Paula asked James as she stood in the doorway of her office.

“Yeah I thought it might help and I had a feeling you might need a pick me up after last night. How is she?” James asked knowing that Paula won’t have slept very well due to worry.

“She’s ok, battered and bruised but had a lucky escape, the worst of her injuries was a concussion”.

“Wow she was lucky. I bet she was glad to see you”.

“She was very glad to see me but not as glad as I was to see that she ok. I even went this morning to see her” Paula replied.

“You didn’t? That was a bit risky wasn’t it?”

“Very, but I couldn’t help myself. I had to hide in the bathroom while Sally was around”.

“The Mum was there?” James replied as he sipped his coffee, it was like he was listening to a soap opera.

“Yeah, it was a close call but my god it was worth it” Paula replied with the biggest smile on her face.

“Jesus woman, you two need to be careful otherwise it’s going to all go tits up”.

“I know I do, don’t worry. Right leave me be I need to get through this paperwork so I can get home to spend the evening with Isla” Paula explained.

“Yes boss, let me know if you need a hand. I’m doing a lunch run if you want anything” James replied.

“Just the usual please” Paula said as she sat down at her desk to get on with the paperwork.

Sophie finally woke up feeling much better, her headache had nearly gone and she was ready to do something with her day. Hopping in the shower, Sophie washed her hair, sticking it in a bun when it was wet to save the hassle of drying it. While she was changing she noticed her phone had appeared on her dressing table, she plugged it in to charge so she could check the messages she had received.

Reading the conversation between Paula and Yasmeen put a smile on her face, she loved the fact that Yasmeen had her back no matter what. Sophie also saw the message from Kate, she knew the two of them were back on good terms but she didn’t want Kate blaming herself for this.

Sophie headed downstairs to an empty house, deciding that she felt good enough to go for a walk she headed to work for a coffee. As she reached the stairs she grabbed on tightly to the rail and walked slowly down them.

“Sophie, shouldn’t you be in sleep resting?” Yasmeen said as she rushed over to Sophie to help her over to a seat.

“I’m fine, honestly. Just a slight headache” Sophie replied.

“Sit down and I’ll make you a coffee”.

“Thank you” Sophie replied.

Yasmeen got one of her employees to make the pair of them a coffee so they could have a little chat.

“I was so worried about you, i felt so helpless”.

“You helped me more than anyone else”.

“Ah you mean Paula...”

“I do. Thank you so much for letting her know what had happened to me, I know she appreciated it as did I. She came to visit me last night and this morning which put a smile on my face” Sophie explained.

“It was my pleasure, she needed to know so I took it upon myself to do it. I’m glad she went to visit, she actually messaged me to thank me. She seems a wonderful lady” Yasmeen replied.

“She is, I’d like you to meet her one day soon”.

“I’d like that, we could do dinner or something at mine? We’d have to be careful but I think we could manage” Yasmeen said.

“I’d like that, I’ll speak to Paula next time we speak”.

“Sounds good”.

“I probably won’t be at work today or tomorrow but I’ll be back Thursday”.

“There is no rush, you come back when you are ready”.

“I’ll be here, you know how crazy sitting still makes me. I’ll just take it nice and easy” Sophie replied.

“Ok, well I look forward to it. Do you want anything to eat?”

“I’d love one of Rav’s spicy wraps if he’s working today?”

“He is, I’ll go get him to make you one” Yasmeen replied.

“YES, thank you” Sophie replied. She loved when Rav was working as he always made her free food that was super yummy.

While she waited for her food Sophie decided to send Paula a message, she knew she was busy working but couldn’t help herself.

*I know I shouldn’t be messaging because you have lots to do today but I couldn’t help myself. I’m sat here waiting for my food and all I can think about is you. Also Yasmeen is you’re biggest fan she loves you and wants to meet you, she suggested dinner at hers one night, I said it would be nice but only if it’s ok with you! Counting down the seconds until I get to see you again x*

“My god this smells good, I might have to have a bite” Yasmeen said as she placed the plate in front of Sophie.

“Come sit you can share it with me” Sophie replied.

“I shouldn’t but go on then...”

While the two of them tucked into their lunch, Kevin had returned home from work to check up on Sophie, he obviously had no idea she wouldn’t be there.

“Soph? Do you want some lunch?” He shouted up the stairs.

There was no answer which didn’t worry him at first as he thought she would be asleep.

“SOPHIE?” Kevin shouted louder. He knew that Sophie was a light sleeper, so was worried when she didn’t reply.

Kevin ran upstairs because all sorts of thoughts were running through he head, why wasn’t she replying? Opening the door Kevin was relieved to see that she wasn’t there, since the incident with Jack he was extra protective over his children as he didn’t want anything to happen to them.

Even though he was thankful everything was ok, he was slightly annoyed at Sophie for not being at home resting after the doctor had said that’s what she should be doing.

“Sophie it’s your dad, you’re supposed to be resting yet I’m at home and your not here. Please just take is easy. See you soon” Kevin said leaving Sophie a voicemail as her phone was on silent and she was too busy eating her lunch.

Hard at work Paula hadn’t even noticed that Sophie had messaged her, it wasn’t until she finally sat down to eat her lunch that she looked at her phone. As soon as she saw a message, goosebumps covered her body she felt like a teenager again.

“Someone’s got it bad” James joked as Paula sat there with a ridiculously happy look on her face.

“Shut up would you. I don’t have it bad but she is extremely special too me” Paula replied.

“Exactly... you’ve got it bad”.

“You’re a good lawyer James but not too good that I can’t fire you” Paula joked.

“I think you’ll find that would be unfair dismissal”.

“I’m sure I could find a way around it, I’m a bloody good lawyer remember?”

“Ok, ok you don’t have it bad but you are falling. I just hope there is a crash mat at the bottom waiting for you for when her mother finds out”.

“So do I, more than anything. As soon as the case is over we’re going to tell her” Paula explained.

“And how longs that going to be?”

“God knows, weeks could be months! I mean there’s nothing to even say we will still be together then, I mean I hope we are but who knows”.

“I’ll be able to tell if you two will last, let me see the two of you together and I’ll let you know”.

“Who are you? A bloody psychic?” Paula joked.

“No, don’t be ridiculous. But I know when two people have a connection. I remember when my brother introduced me to his girlfriend back when he was 18 and I said that it wouldn’t last more than 2 months, on their two month anniversary they broke up. There was no connection between them and I spotted it. Oh go on it could be fun” James explained.

“Fine... but you do it at distance. I don’t want you saying anything stupid and putting her off me” Paula replied.

“Deal. So when is this going to happen?”

“I’m hoping to meet her for lunch on Thursday, so you can come”.

“Sounds good, text me. I must dash I need to get to court” James replied.

“Good luck, you are going to smash it” Paula said.

“Thanks” James replied grabbing his suit jacket and heading for the door.

Paula finally had the peace and quiet she needed to reply to Sophie.

*You can distract me anytime you want to, you’re supposed to be sleeping not catching up with Yasmeen. Please take it easy! Dinner sounds good, let me know when and I’ll be there, also was thinking about lunch Thursday? I need to see you! Let me know what you think? X*

Chapter Text

Sophie had finished her lunch, she fine had time to check her phone now that her mind wasn’t on eating her food as quickly as she could.

“I wonder why my dad’s rang? I hope Jack’s ok? You don’t mind if I ring him back do you?” Sophie asked Yasmeen as they were at lunch together.

“Of course not ring away, it could be something important” Yasmeen replied.

Sophie dialled her dad’s number, part of her was nervous incase it was something to do with Jack.

“Sophie where are you?” Kevin said answering the phone.

“I’m at Speed Daal with Yasmeen, why what’s happened?” Sophie replied.

“You are supposed to be resting not galavanting around, you need to take care of yourself” Kevin explained.

“Dad I’m fine, I’ve had lunch it’s not like I’ve just been for a 10 mile jog” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“After everything with Jack please just take it steady for a few days incase there are any repercussions or they might have missed something”.

“Cheers dad way to scare me. I can’t put my life on hold because Ive got concussion, I feel fine but don’t worry as soon as I’ve finished here I’m off home to put my feet up and watch some films with Jack”.

“Just make sure you do otherwise you won’t just have your mother on your back, I’ll be there too”.

“Fine, but please stop treating me like a child” Sophie said putting the phone down in anger.

“What’s happened?” Yasmeen asked.

“Just fed up with everyone treating me like a child. I know they are only doing it because they care but my god it’s annoying” Sophie explained.

“Just try not to let it get to you”.

“I’m trying” Sophie replied.

“I know it’s not ideal but if you ever need to get out the house you are more than welcome to come see me” Yasmeen explained.

“Thank you, I might just take you up on that”.

“Anytime”.

“I best get back home before I get a phone call from mum asking me where I am” Sophie said.

“Probably best, I’ll see you soon and remember you are always welcome at mine”.

“Thank you, see you soon” Sophie replied.

Sophie made her way towards the house, on her way home she saw Kate walking towards the bistro.

“Kate” Sophie yelled across the street.

Kate turned facing Sophie immediately before quickly crossing the street to see how she was.

“Soph, I must say you are looking a lot healthier today” Kate replied.

“Thank god, I was worried for a while”.

“So was I! It was tough seeing you at the bottom of the stairs, not being able to move. It really put a lot of things into perspective for me”.

“I got your text, sorry I didn’t reply Yasmeen had my phone and I only just got it back”.

“No worries, I just needed to send it to get it off my chest” Kate replied.

“I want you to know that none of this is your fault, we had sorted everything before I fell, so none of this is your fault. I want to be mates, we’ve been through too much together not to be friends. I forgive you for everything, I just want to put it behind me and move on, I’m all aspects of my life” Sophie explained.

“I want that too” Kate said.

“Good, I must go though before mum has a go at me for being out of the house” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“Oh god! Good luck with that” Kate said.

“See ya”.

“Bye” Kate replied with a smile on her face.

Sophie opened the door to find both Sally and Kevin sat at the table with a coffee waiting for her to return.

“Before you start I’m fine and I’m home” Sophie said knowing exactly what was about to come her way from both her parents.

“I don’t think you understand young lady, you suffered a major head injury yesterday. It’s not even been 24 hours and you are off having lunch, you are supposed to be resting” Sally replied.

“Give it a rest mum, I am fine and I did rest. I slept all night and slept until lunch time. I can’t sit around and do nothing, I did enough of that when I couldn’t walk. I’m not doing it again...” Sophie said.

“Sophie your mum is only trying to look out for you” Kevin added.

“I know and I appreciate it but I am a grown woman, I know what is best for me. I don’t need to be mollycoddled all the time” Sophie replied. She had had enough of being treated like a 2 year old.

“That’s not fair” Sally said.

“I love you both more than anything in this world but please just let me deal with things my way. I promise you I know what I’m doing, I know my own body” Sophie explained.

“I just want to make sure you are ok, that’s all” Sally replied.

“I know and I appreciate that”.

“Ok, I will try and back off a little bit. I can’t promise it’ll last long but I will try” Sally explained.

“Thank you, that’s all i ask” Sophie replied smiling at her parents.

Back over at the office Paula was speedily making her way through all of the paperwork she needed to complete, she couldn’t wait to get into a comfy pair of pyjamas, eat crap food and spend time with her daughter.

“Tricia, are you making coffee?” Paula shouted from her office.

“I’m not but I can make you one” Tricia replied.

“White one sugar please”.

“You act like I don’t make you one every single day” Tricia sarcastically replied.

“True, Sorry! You are the best coffee maker in the entire office” Paula said trying to stay in Tricia’s good books.

“Keep the compliments coming” Tricia joked as she got up to make the coffees.

Paula laughed to herself, she had such a good team that worked with her, people she genuinely liked. She kept checking her phone to see if Sophie had replied but nothing, she sat there thinking about what James had said to her earlier, maybe she did have it bad? Should she slow things down? Or just follow her heart?

“One coffee madam” Tricia said as she curtsied as she entered Paula’s office.

“Why thank you” Paula replied giving her the royal nod.

“You look like you have a lot on your mind...”

“I do. I feel like I’m 21 again and life is just beginning for me” Paula replied.

“Explain?” Tricia said closing the door.

“I think I’m falling for someone, very fast and very very deep”.

“And? What’s the problem with that?”

“She’s nearly 24”.

Tricia’s face dropped, I don’t think she was expecting to hear such a young age come out of Paula’s mouth.

“Wow, 24...”

“Yeah. Young isn’t it?”

“Quite young yes but as long as the two of you are happy together it shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks”.

“I just don’t want to fall for her and then her to realise I’m too old for her and that she needs someone more her age” Paula replied.

“She’d be lucky to have someone like you”.

“You have to say that...I’m you’re boss”.

“I don’t have to say anything. I say just follow your heart and go for it, life is too short to think about the what ifs and buts” Tricia explained.

“Yeah I think I might just do that” Paula replied.

While the two of them continued to talk Paula’s phone went off, Sophie had replied to her message. Tricia could see by the look on Paula’s face that Sophie meant the world to her already, even after such a short period of time.

*Im taking it easy, don’t you start. I’ve had both parents on at me today and quite frankly I want to scream but would hurt my head. I’ll let Yasmeen know we are keen for dinner, id love to have lunch on Thursday but I’m supposed to be working. I could maybe multi task and do both? I hope you have a lovely time with Isla x*

The text made Paula laugh, she could just picture it now Sally having a go at Sophie because she didn’t have her feet up doing absolutely nothing. She loved Sally but knew she was over protective of her daughter and knew that could cause problems down the line.

While Paula was replying to Sophie’s message with the biggest smile on her face, Tricia was watching to see if she could spot anything from Paula’s body language.

“You are smitten” Tricia said.

“What?” Paula said as she didn’t quite hear what Tricia had said.

“Judging from the look on your face right now you are totally smitten with her”.

“I am, I really am. She’s all I think about which is driving me mad because I have so much work to do but I just can’t concentrate for long enough”.

“You’ve got it bad” Tricia replied.

“God I just hope she feels the same way” Paula said with a worried look on her face.

“Well maybe you need to sit down and have a conversation with her?”

“Chance would be a fine thing, it’s complicated. We’re having to keep it a secret due to several reasons so finding time to see her is hard...”

“Oh wow ok? So that definitely makes things a little more complicated. Look if it’s meant to be then you will find a way to see one another, you’ll make it work” Tricia explained.

“Yeah you’re right, I need to just chill out a little bit and take it a bit slower” Paula replied.

“Just take it a day at a time” Tricia said.

“Yeah I will. Right I best get back to this paperwork or I will never get home”.

“I’ll leave you too it, remember that I’m always here if you need an ear”.

“Thank you” Paula replied.

*They are only looking out for their baby, I’d be the same. Plus if I was with you right now you really would be doing nothing apart from snuggling up on the sofa. I can be patient so lunch Thursday it is, I can’t wait to see you! Xx*

Sophie was busy relaxing on the sofa at home waiting for Jack to get home so they could start watching their movies, Kevin was in the kitchen making them both dinner.

“Lasagne alright for tea Soph?” Kevin asked.

“Yeah anything I’m not feeling that hungry” Sophie replied.

“Are you feeling ok? You are always hungry”.

“I feel fine dad stop fussing, I had a big lunch”.

“Ok, well if you’re sure that’s all it is?”

“Yes, I’m sure! I’m just not hungry” Sophie replied with her focus solely on her phone.

“Ok” Kevin said knowing that her focus was somewhere else and that he wouldn’t get a proper conversation out of her.

Sophie was busy looking through her Instagram, she couldn’t wait for the day where she would be able to upload a photo of her and Paula. Instead she decided to upload a photo of a quote, “When you love what you have, you have everything you need”. Sophie knew that the quote would probably leave some of her followers asking questions but she didn’t care, she was the happiest she had been in a long time and didn’t care who knew.

Once she has read the message from Paula, Sophie decided to be a bit cheeky. She headed upstairs to her bed to take a cute photo of herself resting in her bed, after she had taken the photo she edited it placing her ultimate woman crush Angelina Jolie in the bed besides her. She sent the photo along with a little message.

*See I am doing nothing, although I’m afraid you’ve been upgraded. I couldn’t resist when she offered to look after me. It’s been fun...xx* Sophie sent it with a cheeky grin on her face.

“Sophie, Jacks home” Kevin shouted up the stairs.

“Coming” Sophie replied.

Jack was excited for their movie night, he had the perfect film for them to watch Moana.

“Hiya Soph, I’ve got the film”.

“What did you choose?” Sophie replied.

“Moana” Jack said with a smile on his face.

“I love that film. Good choice buddy” Sophie replied as she helped him out of his wheelchair into the sofa.

“Isn’t Moana a really girly film?” Kevin asked.

“And your point dad?” Jack sarcastically replied.

“Well I was going to watch it with you but I don’t know if I can sit through it”.

“You’re loss if you don’t! It’s great film” Sophie replied.

“Does it have singing in it?”

“It does indeed and we know the words don’t we Jack?”

“We do!”

“Oh god no I can’t cope with you two singing, I might go to the pub” Kevin replied.

“Well go then, we don’t need you here. More popcorn for us” Sophie said.

“Yep and sweets” Jack added.

“Fine then! I will go to the pub” Kevin said knowing that neither of his kids were bothered if he was there or not.

“How long until dinner? I’m starving” Jack asked.

“5 minutes” Kevin replied.

“Just a small portion for me” Sophie said.

“You’ll get what you’re given” Kevin replied. He had no plan to give her a small portion, he knew she needed to keep her energy levels up.

“I won’t eat it!” Sophie said.

“I’ll have a big portion dad, I’m a growing boy” Jack replied.

Sophie helped her brother to the table where their dinner was ready for them, it looked delicious. Lasagne was one of the only dishes that Kevin had perfected over the years, he wasn’t known for his amazing cooking skills.

Chapter Text

It was early evening, Sophie and Jack had both made their way back to the sofa to get comfortable for their film. They were so full after their delicious plate of lasagne, neither knew if they would be able to fit any popcorn in at the moment. Kevin had changed his shirt ready to head to the pub, he needed to change because he had spilt his dinner all down him.

“How do I look?” Kevin asked while he did a twirl for the kids.

“You look like you did 10 minutes ago but with a blue shirt on instead of a grey one” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“You couldn’t just say I looked nice could you?”

“You look nice...”

“That wasn’t difficult was it?”

“It kinda was. Anyway why you getting dressed up to go to the pub? Who you hoping to meet in there?” Sophie asked.

“Well no one in particular but you never know who might be in there. I mean last time I was there Sally was in there with Paula, I might get lucky and see her again” Kevin explained.

Sophie couldn’t believe what she had just heard come out of her dad’s mouth. Did he really just admit that he fancied Paula?

“I doubt it, plus Paula is out of your league dad” Sophie replied trying to put Kevin off her.

“I know she is but I still want to look presentable in case she is in there”.

“I think you’re wasting your time but whatever” Sophie replied rolling her eyes.

“Thanks for the confidence boost” Kevin joked as he grabbed his coat leaving the house.

Sophie felt bad for being a bit harsh to her dad but she needed to get his attention else where otherwise it was all going to end up in tears.

The film began and the two of them were immediately hypnotised by the film, they both loved it.

Meanwhile Paula had just arrived home from a busy day at work to find her daughter fast asleep on the sofa.

“Isla, wakey wakey” Paula said quietly into Islas ear.

Isla stank of alcohol, she had met up with one of her best friends for a boozey lunch which by the looks of it had finished her off for the day.

“ISLA” Paula said there was still no reply.

Paula was mad at Isla for getting drunk, tonight was supposed to be their night before Isla went travelling. She made her way to the kitchen to pour herself an extra large glass of red wine, she sat there thinking that this must have been how Isla felt on Sunday when she blew her off for Sophie.

Checking the fridge to see if she had any food in, Paula managed to make herself cheese on toast which was one of her favourite things to eat. As she sat there tucking into both her food and her wine, Paula noticed she had another text from Sophie, she got excited when it was a photo.

A smile arrived on her face when she saw the photo, she was glad to see that Sophie was listening to everyone and resting but she was extremely jealous of the fake Angelina Jolie who was lay beside her.

*Its good to see at least one of you are looking hot, it’s a shame I’ve been upgraded. I mean Angelina is beautiful but can she make you smile like I can? She’s a good actress, good with her mouth but I’m good with my tongue... xx*

Paula was feeling mischievous, so sent the text, she couldn’t wait to see what the reply from Sophie would be.

Sophie and Jack’s eyes were both transfixed in the film, they were singing along and even acting out some of the dance moves. She loved seeing her brother smile again after everything he had been through, she knew his life would never be normal again but if he could be the same happy boy he once was then that was close enough.

“Soph your phones lit up” Jack said because Sophie was too busy singing along out of key.

“It can wait!” Sophie replied.

“Well what if it’s your new lady friend?” Jack said.

“She can’t wait” Sophie replied as she continued to sing along.

“I’ll read it then...” Jack joked as he lunged for Sophie’s phone.

“Uh no you don’t. What did I say about reading other people’s phones?”

“That is was rude and I shouldn’t do it...” Jack replied.

“Exactly, I’ll read it in a minute”.

“You don’t want to keep her waiting” Jack explained trying to make sure Sophie didn’t mess up what was making her so happy.

“Jack I’ll reply now ok?”

“Sorry to go on at you I just want you to stay happy forever” Jack replied.

“Why are you so cute? I can’t promise I’ll be happy for ever but as long as you are here by my side I’m pretty sure I’ll be content” Sophie explained. She loved her brother more than anything.

“Well that’s ok then because I’m going no where. I want to be there on your wedding day by your side”.

“You will be don’t you worry” Sophie replied.

Sophie shoved a handful of popcorn into her mouth before opening the message, she instantly regretted it though because she nearly chocked on it when she read the text.

Sophie sat there coughing, Jack gave her a whack on the back as he thought she was actually chocking.

“Thanks buddy” Sophie said as the coughing slowed.

“It’s ok, are you alright?”

“I’m fine, don’t worry” Sophie replied blushing from the text.

*So I just chocked on my popcorn reading that. Jesus woman, nearly killed me. There is no other woman right now I would want beside me, it’s only you. How’s your evening with Isla? I bet it’s nice to spend some time with her, me and Jack are watching Moana, don’t judge me I love the songs. Xx*

“Did you reply?” Jack asked being nosey.

“I did”.

“What’s her name?”

Sophie’s mind went blank, she knew that Jack had spotted that it was from someone whose name begins with a p but she couldn’t think of anyone other than Paula. Then she remembered about Pippa, the friend she had made up to cover for their first date.

“Her name is Pippa” Sophie replied.

“That’s a nice name”.

“It is yes, but remember our little secret” Sophie replied hoping Jack would agree.

“Don’t worry my lips are sealed”.

Paula was on her third glass of wine, she was sat there watching her drunk daughter sleep, angry that their evening had been wasted. A smile soon appeared on her face when the text from Sophie came through, butterflies appeared in her stomach when she read that the only woman she wanted was her. That made her feel very happy and wanted.

*Thats good because the only person I want is you. Isla is fast asleep drunk on the sofa so might night is great! I love Moana although don’t tell anyone because it will ruin my reputation, I even know all the words. Is it Thursday yet? I can’t wait to get my hands on you xx*

Deciding she had had enough Paula headed upstairs to get into bed to finish off a bit of paperwork she needed to do. She put on the radio on in the background to keep her entertained, it wasn’t long before she was singing along.

*Good to know, that you love Moana and only want me. Thursday will come soon enough, I’m counting down the minutes. I just want to kiss those lips of yours xx* Sophie replied.

By this time Jack was tucked up in bed fast asleep, Kevin was still at the pub and Sophie was in her room waiting for a text from Paula.

*Is that all you want to do to me? Xx* Paula teased.

*No but it is the first thing I want to do to you. I then want you to take your top off showing me that sexy bra of yours, I’ll do the rest. All you need to do is just lie there in anticipation of getting all hot and bothered xx*

*What if I like to be in charge? xx* Paula replied, she wasn’t used to people taking charge in her life.

*For once in your life you are going to have to do as someone else says xx* Sophie messaged back deciding to take charge.

Paula’s heart was racing as she sat there with the biggest smile on her face, she loved the fact that Sophie was being bossy and taking charge. It was so different to anything she had ever had in the past as she was normally the bossy one.

*Yes boss. I’ll do anything you say xx*

*Thats more like it I promise you won’t be disappointed! We need to stop flirting over text because it’s driving me crazy, the fact you are alone in bed and I’m alone in bed yet we can’t be together. I can’t cope xx* Sophie replied being totally honest with Paula, hoping she would feel the same way.

Paula began to write the text back when Isla stormed through her bedroom door shouting.

“MUM WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” Isla shouted.

“I’ve been here since 6 like we arranged yet you were drunk, fast asleep on the sofa. I tried to wake you but nothing so decided not to waste my time and do something productive with my evening” Paula replied in a slightly shitty manner.

“Well you should have tried harder to wake me then” Isla said slurring her words.

“I wouldn’t have had to try harder if you hadn’t of got smashed at lunch time”.

“Well I’m sorry for having fun with one of my best friends”.

“It’s not about that but you go away for 3 months on Saturday, I’m working late the rest of this week because of this case I have. Tonight was the only time I had that I could spend with you...” Paula replied angrily.

“I’m sorry what more do you want me to say?” Isla sarcastically replied.

“You could at least sound like you are bothered...”

“I am but right now I can see two of you and when you are angry that’s not good” Isla joked.

“Just go to drink water and go to bed” Paula replied with disappointment in her voice.

Isla didn’t reply she just gave her mum a sarcastic wave and headed to her bedroom, which annoyed Paula even more.

While that conversation was going on Sophie was beginning to worry about being honest in her previous text because Paula was taking a while to reply.

“Sophie why have you ruined things yet again?” Sophie said to herself. She didn’t know whether to text again or wait for reply even if that meant waiting. Sophie did her best to distract herself, she checked her Instagram to see if anyone had commented on her post. The only comment she had was a heart emoji from Kate who obviously knew what it was about.

Paula had finally calmed herself down after her little run in with Isla, she could finally finish the text.

*Sorry for the delay Isla woke up and decided to get mouthy, you can tell she’s my daughter. I agree we need to stop flirting because it annoys me that I can’t have you when I want you. I just can’t wait for this case to be over so that we don’t have to hide anymore, that is if you still want that? xx*

Sophie was beginning to fall asleep when her phone vibrated on the pillow next to her, she immediately reached for it knowing exactly who the message would be from. Sophie’s heart rate rose when she read that Paula wanted to make things official, well at least that is what she thought the message meant.

*I want to be official if that’s what you are asking me? I want to be your girlfriend! xx*

*That is exactly what I meant. So that’s that then, we are officially a couple. God my cheeks hurt from smiling so much xx*

Paula was literally on cloud nine, she hadn’t been this happen in a very long time.

Sophie was too scared to read the reply in case she had got the completely wrong end of the stick. After taking a few deep breaths in she read it, the look of worry soon disappeared when she saw that Paula wanted them to be official too.

“Hello you...” Paula said answering her phone.

“Hi. I thought I’d give you a quick ring” Sophie replied.

“God it’s good to hear your voice, just wish I could see that face of yours”.

“I’d face time but it’s a bit risky incase anyone sees”.

“I can deal with just your voice. So we’re officially an item then?”

“We are, I have a girlfriend. It almost sounds too unbelievable, me Sophie Webster happy with a girlfriend? I mean who would have thought it” Sophie replied.

“I can’t stop smiling, it’s crazy we’ve not even known each other a week but I’ve never felt like this before, ever”.

“I know my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. People say that when you know you know and my god I know that we have something special” Sophie explained.

“We do indeed. One more day and I get to see you, luckily I’m in court tomorrow so that will go quickly, then Thursday you are all mine”.

“No! You are all mine. Remember I’m in charge” Sophie joked.

“Sorry I forgot you were the bossy one, that’s normally my job”.

“Get used to it”.

“I can’t promise I’ll be able to let you be in charge all the time, I like to get hands on” Paula said.

“Hands on? I like the thought of that” Sophie replied.

The two of them continued to talk for a little while longer, before saying their goodbyes. They both fell asleep with the biggest smile on their face and the warmest of feelings in their hearts.

Chapter Text

Thursday morning arrived after a very boring and uneventful Wednesday. Sophie woke early to make sure she had enough time to make herself look beautiful today as she was finally seeing Paula again after what had felt like a month. She had spent the last 20 minutes straightening her hair only to put it up in a bun in the end because she didn’t like how it was looking.

Sophie was dressed in her work uniform, which consisted of black jeans, and a black t-shirt, she didn’t have many ways of sexing it up. She added a couple of bracelets, a necklace and her heels, although she wasn’t 100% sure the heels were a good idea as she would tower over Paula.

Over at Sally’s, Paula had already arrived with all the paperwork that Sally needed to sign, half of which Paula had made up just to have an excuse to go to the cobbles.

“Can I get you a coffee? I’ve got one of those fancy machines in the cupboard where you just shove one of the pots in and it makes it for you” Sally asked as Paula sat at the table sorting through the paperwork.

“I’d love one thanks. How’s Sophie? She about?” Paula replied.

“She doing much better, I think the headaches have finally gone. She should be popping her head in sometime today, I think she’s back to work later”.

“I’m so glad she’s ok, must have been a shock for you”.

“It was horrendous, especially after she was hit by a car and nearly never walked again. That was hard seeing her have to go through that” Sally explained.

Paula had no idea that Sophie had been through so much, it hurt her to hear what Sophie had been through.

“Wow she’s a tough cookie your Sophie”.

“She is. So what paperwork did you need me to sign?” Sally asked as she needed to head to work soon.

“Just a couple of statements you’ve made and then just a sheet saying that I’m representing you etc”.

“Perfect, I’ll get and do that now as I’ve got work soon. Carla is a right stickler if we are even a minute late”.

While Sally was busy signing the paperwork Sophie walked in, pretending to be shocked to see Paula sat there.

“Hiya...” Sophie said as soon as she walked through the door.

“Hiya Sophie were in here” Sally replied.

“Oh hiya Paula” Sophie said pretending to be shocked.

“Hi Sophie how are you?” Paula said giving Sophie the eye.

“Very good thank you” Sophie replied smiling away.

“I was sorry to hear about your accident but glad to hear you are alright”.

“I’m glad I’m alright too” Sophie replied.

The two of them couldn’t stop gazing into one another’s eyes, they needed to be careful so that Sally didn’t spot them.

“Is there anything else you need me to sign?” Sally asked causing the two of them to snap out of their intense eye contact.

“No I think we’re all sorted, I couldn’t just use your loo could I?” Paula asked.

“Of course, you know where it is don’t you?”

“Yeah, just at the top of the stairs” Paula replied.

“Make sure you check out my new pedestool mat it’s from John Lewis” Sally bragged.

“Ooh very fancy” Paula joked as she walked up the stairs.

“A pedestool mat? Who even has those in 2018?” Sophie asked.

“Sophie as long as men still stand up to urinate they are a necessity” Sally replied.

Sophie just stood their and rolled her eyes.

“Have you noticed how Paula keeps coming over, I think she’s got a soft spot for someone” Sally said.

“Who?” Sophie replied.

“Your dad of course...” Sally said.

“Give it a rest mum”.

“Well why else would she keep coming round?”

“Look I just need to grab my jacket out of my room” Sophie said as she ran up the stairs hoping to bump into Paula.

“It’s your room you can get anything you like...”

Sophie stood waiting outside the door ready for Paula to open it and as soon as she did she would pounce on her girlfriend. Paula opened the door and was surprised to see Sophie stood outside, Sophie pushed Paula back into the bathroom and quietly closed the door.

“Is this you being bossy?” Paula whispered as Sophie moved towards Paula ready to plant a gentle yet sensual kiss on her lips.

“This is nothing” Sophie replied as she lingered close to Paula’s lips.

Paula didn’t like being teased, especially when all she wanted was Sophie to kiss her. She grabbed Sophie round the waist and pulled her in close, kissing her passionately.

“I have to go downstairs or your mum will think if got the shits or something” Paula joked.

“One more kiss...” Sophie replied as she tapped her lips with her finger.

Paula gave her a peck on the lips before brushing past Sophie to head downstairs. Leaving Sophie stood in the bathroom with a very large smile on her face.

“I must say I love your pedestool mat, it’s very nice” Paula said as she walked into the kitchen.

“You like it? I thought it was such a lovely colour” Sally replied proudly.

“Yeah it’s lovely, I don’t use one at home myself but if I did I’d probably get the same” Paula said.

Sophie walked down the stairs empty handed, she forgot that she was supposed to be looking for her jacket, she must have got caught up in the moment.

“No luck?” Sally asked.

“With what?” Sophie asked.

“Finding your jacket?”

“Oh yeah...umm no I couldn’t find it” Sophie replied nervously.

“I must dash, Paula it’s been a pleasure as always, Soph I’ll see you later” Sally said as she headed towards the door.

“I’ll just get my things together and be on my way” Paula replied.

“No worries, bye” Sally said shutting the door behind her.

The two of them looked at one another, making sure the coast was clear Sophie pounded on Paula pushing her up against the wall. Paula’s heart was beating uncontrollably, the two of them finally had time to be alone.

“Soph Stop a minute” Paula said whilst Sophie was kissing her.

“What? What’s wrong?” Sophie replied.

“Call me old fashioned but I kind of want our first time to be in a bed...”

Sophie smirked, she liked the fact that Paula was traditional.

“That’s a little bit cute” Sophie replied.

“You’re taking the piss aren’t you...”

“No! Not at all, honestly. If you want our first time to be in a bed then that’s where I’ll first time will be” Sophie said as she caressed Paula’s face.

“Do you have time now?” Paula asked feeling hopeful.

“I wish I did but I should have been at work 10 minutes ago”.

“That’s a shame but at least I can come and distract you at work and then maybe we could find somewhere after?”

“Deal. We should arrive at the restaurant separately though?”

“I agree, I’ll grab my things and head there now” Paula replied playfully slapping Sophie’s ass.

“Hey... watch it you” Sophie replied.

“Or what?” Paula said as she walked backwards towards the door.

“You just wait and see” Sophie replied.

“Oh I shall wait and see...” Paula said closing the door and making her way to Speed Daal.

Sophie let out a deep sigh, she was so sexually frustrated all she wanted to do was rip Paula’s clothes off. Fixing her hair, Sophie made her way to work.

Paula walked into the restaurant, as soon as she arrived Yasmeen spotted her from behind the desk, she just had to introduce herself.

“Paula?” Yasmeen said making her way over.

“Yes, you must be Yasmeen?” Paula replied shaking her hand.

“I am yes” Yasmeen said.

“Can I just thank you for everything you did for me the other day, I massively appreciated it and I know Sophie did too”.

“It was my pleasure, I knew she’d want you to know what had happened. Plus I can tell from the way she talks about you that you’re very important to her”.

“That’s good to know, she’s very important to me. I feel like I have hit the jackpot meeting her” Paula explained.

“Can I get you a drink? She should be here any minute”.

“I’d love a coffee please? I’ll sit just over here” Paula replied.

“One coffee coming up” Yasmeen said as she left Paula to find herself a table.

Paula sat herself down at the table, she thought she would take the opportunity to do some work while she waited for the perfect opportunities to distract Sophie. As she checked her emails, she noticed an urgent email from Imran who was representing Duncan, for the moment Sophie was going to have to wait as this was important.

Sophie walked into work with a smile on her face, she spotted Paula immediately, she looked so sexy when she was working especially when she had her glasses on. Sophie hoped that Paula would notice her but Paula was too busy writing an essay of a reply to Imran.

“Sophie welcome back” Yasmeen said as she made Paula’s coffee.

“Hiya, have you met...”

“Paula, yes we met a moment ago. She’s as lovely as you have described and she cares about you. I can tell”.

“I’m so glad you like her. I actually have some news...” Sophie said.

“Do tell”.

“We made it official! So we’re girlfriend and girlfriend” Sophie replied with a look of pure joy on her face.

Yasmeen eyes lit up, she was over the moon to see Sophie so happy.

“Congratulations. Like I said the other day, when you know you know” Yasmeen replied giving Sophie a big hug.

“You’re a very wise woman, I’ve always thought that”.

“Flattery will get you everywhere! Now go take that coffee over to your girlfriend” Yasmeen said winking at Sophie.

Sophie didn’t reply she simply picked up the coffee and made her way over to Paula, who was still flat out writing this email.

“You’re coffee madam” Sophie said putting on a posh accent.

“Thank you” Paula replied without looking up to see it was Sophie.

“Umm hello you’re girlfriend is here wanting attention” Sophie whispered with attitude as she pointed at herself.

Paula immediately stopped what she was doing, looking over to Sophie.

“I am so sorry. I was miles away replying to Imran. Forgive me?”

“Everything ok? Is it to do with my mums case?” Sophie asked with a worried look on her face.

“Nothing I can’t sort out, so don’t worry ok?” Paula replied placing her hand onto Sophie’s.

“Steady...” Sophie replied moving her hand away.

“Sorry I forgot we’re still hiding. I think it’s because we’re official I just forgot that we can’t be together until after the court case” Paula explained.

“It’s ok, but could you try and make sure you win for my mum so that it’s over as soon as possible. I’m sick of hiding when all I want to do is be affectionate with you” Sophie replied.

“I promise to do my best” Paula said as she looked intimately into Sophie’s eyes.

“I will let you finish the email and then I’ll come and distract you again” Sophie replied winking at her girlfriend.

“I look forward to it”.

Sophie walked back to the kitchen, every single inch of her was checked out by Paula along the way. Paula took in a big sigh, she couldn’t believe how incredibly gorgeous Sophie was.

Fanning herself off, Paula got straight back to work making sure the email she was sending to Imran was worded just perfectly.

Meanwhile over at the factory Sally and the rest of the team had finished the job and were being given the afternoon off. Sally decided to head for one of her favourite juices from Speed Daal, it also gave her the opportunity to talk to Sophie about setting her dad up with Paula. Which is what she wanted to talk to Sophie about the other day before she had the accident.

“Oh here she is everyone the ex mayor of weatherfield Sally Metcalfe. Get those tip jars covered you never know when she might put those thieving hands of hers in them” David sarcastically joked as Sally walked into the restaurant.

“David pack it in” Audrey replied slapping him on the arm.

Sophie and Paula both noticed Sally over the other side of the restaurant, they were both doing the best they could to remain calm.

“I’d be stood here all day if I have to explain all the crimes you’ve allegedly committed, I say allegedly as I am innocent” Sally replied sticking up for herself.

“We all say we’re innocent when really we ain’t” David chirped back.

Sally chose to ignore him, as she looked around the room she noticed Sophie and Paula talking to each other.

“She’s coming over...” Sophie whispered to Paula with a nervous look on her face.

“Act normal” Paula replied.

“We can’t seem to get rid of you today” Sally joked looking at Paula.

The pair of them nervously laughed hoping Sally wouldn’t ask anymore questions.

“So what are you two talking about?” Sally asked.

“Umm.. well... umm we were just...” Sophie said mumbling away nervously.

“Sophie had a couple of questions about your case that she wanted to ask, so we’ve been going through them” Paula explained.

“Sophie why didn’t you talk to me about it?” Sally replied.

“I just didn’t want to worry you or bother you” Sophie said.

“You could never bother me, you’re my baby”.

“Mum please less of the baby” Sophie replied trying not to get all embarrassed in front of Paula.

“Neither of you need to worry because we went through it all and I have reassured Sophie that I’ve got it and that we are going to fight until the very end” Paula explained giving Sophie a cheeky wink.

“How about we head to the bistro for a drink? We could make an afternoon of it, don’t you finish soon Sophie?” Sally asked.

Sophie looked over to Paula with a disappointed glint in her eye, she knew that the two of them were going to get to spend some time alone but now Sally had suggested drinks she couldn’t really get out of it.

“Yeah, I do. Sounds good to me” Sophie replied smiling to try and hide her annoyance.

Chapter Text

Sophie begged Yasmeen to let her finish work early so that she could make sure her mum didn’t say anything embarrassing or rude to Paula. Yasmeen being Yasmeen of course said yes as she wanted Sophie and Paula to be able to spend as much time together as they could even if Sally was third wheeling.

The three of them had made their way over to the bistro for happy hour cocktails, Sally couldn’t wait to ask Paula about Kevin. She could really see spark between the two of them. However the only spark that was present was between Sophie and Paula.

“You two find a table and I’ll get the drinks in” Paula said. She had spotted that Kate was working she just wanted to clear the air with her after the other night.

“Ill have a strawberry daiquiri please” Sally asked.

“I’ll have a mojito” Sophie replied giving Paula the eyes. She looked at her in a certain way as if to say please don’t say anything else to Kate.

“Coming right up” Paula said winking at Sophie, she knew that Sophie was worried about what she was about to do.

“What can I get you?” Kate asked being civil.

“A strawberry daiquiri, a mojito and a espresso martini please. And to give me chance to apologise for the other day” Paula replied.

“It’s fine you don’t need to apologise”.

“I do. I was rude and I shouldn’t have threatened you the way I did, so I apologise. I was only trying to look out for Sophie”.

“I totally understand why you said what you said. I’d have done the same for someone I care for. I just want you to know that all I want is Sophie to be happy, you’ll get no trouble from me” Kate replied.

“I appreciate that a lot! And I promise that I will behave and not let the lawyer inside me come out and threaten you again” Paula said with a smile on her face.

“Good! So we’re all good, just take care of her”.

“I plan to don’t you worry” Paula replied trying to reassure Kate.

Kate smiled as she continued to prepare the drinks for them.

“So I’m going to ask Paula if she’ll go on a date with Kevin” Sally whispered to Sophie.

“MUM, you can’t!” Sophie immediately replied.

“What’s the harm? They are both single, they are the same age, I think it could work really well” Sally explained.

“Did you not learn anything from the last time you tried to play match maker? It doesn’t work when you try and force two people together, trust me I don’t think she’s interested” Sophie replied trying to stop her mum from setting her girlfriend up with her dad.

“If at first you don’t succeed, you try try again. So try I will” Sally said.

Sophie just looked at her and rolled her eyes, she was not looking forward to the next hour or so.

“Sorry I took so long, I couldn’t make my mind up about what drink I wanted” Paula explained as she gave the ladies their drinks.

Sophie knew that Paula and Kate had had a conversation, she just hoped it was very different to last time.

“So how’s everything going with my case?” Sally asked.

“How about we leave the case for today and just let our hair down?” Paula replied.

“Of course, but everything is ok isn’t it?”

“Yes! I’m on top of everything, don’t you worry” Paula replied.

“Phew. So I did have something to ask you, but it is quite personal...”

Sophie knew exactly what was about to come up in conversation, she took a large gulp of her drink to try and calm her down.

“Go on, What is it?” Paula replied.

“You can say if it’s too personal...”

“Just spit it out Sal!” Paula said loudly.

“Well it turns out that you have a little admirer...” Sally started to say.

With a look of pure worry in her eyes, Paula took a deep breath and replied.

“Oh really?”

“Yeah. Kevin has taken a real shining to you”.

“Mum!” Sophie said trying to stop her mum from talking.

“So I was wondering if I could give Kevin your number so the two of you could maybe go on a date?” Sally asked with a smile on her face.

“Mum just stop dad doesn’t need you acting like his pimp, plus he’s not ready to start dating again” Sophie replied with a sense of annoyance in her voice.

“Sophie he needs to move on eventually so why not now...” Sally said.

Sophie was giving Paula the eyes, almost pleading with her not to even reply to her mum.

“Sure” Paula replied avoiding eye contact with Sophie.

“Really?” Sally said.

“What?” Sophie said at the same time as Sally.

“Absolutely, why not” Paula replied.

Sophie was furious she couldn’t believe that Paula had agreed to giving her dad her number.

“Amazing, Oh he will be pleased. I’ll pass it on to him and then hopefully the two of you can arrange a date” Sally explained.

Paula gave Sally a fake smile, she could feel the glare coming from Sophie, she was almost worried to look over there. Sophie was doing her best to remain calm, the only way she knew how to right now was to down her drink.

“Anyone need another?” Sophie asked as she pushed her chair back scraping it along the floor to show her frustration.

“Jesus Sophie you drank that quickly, slow down” Sally replied being a nagging mum.

“So I’ll take that as a no then...” she sarcastically replied as she headed over to the bar.

“Sorry about her she’s just very protective of her dad, she always has been” Sally explained to Paula.

“It’s ok...”Paula replied. She knew that Sophie was obviously upset by what had just happened but she had good reason for doing it.

Over at the bar Sophie stood there waiting to be served.

“Same again?” Kate asked.

“Make it a strong one...” Sophie replied.

“Uh Oh, problems?”

“Just my mum trying to play match maker for my dad and Paula”.

“You’re joking me?” Kate replied trying her best not to laugh.

“It’s not funny, I’m being deadly serious”.

“Shit! That’s awkward and very complicated”.

“Tell me about it. I guess I just have to sit there with my mouth shut so that mum doesn’t find out. She’d go mad”.

“Just remember you can’t hide forever” Kate replied.

“We’ve just got to wait until after the court case, then we can tackle everything else and just be together”.

Paula noticed that Sophie and Kate were talking, she knew she had nothing to worry about but part of her was jealous.

“Look just go back to the table and concentrate on drinking your drink and trying not to let your face show how you are feeling. From memory you’re rubbish at that, you can tell exactly how you are feeling just by looking at you”.

“Shit! Wish me luck”.

“Good luck, raise you’re arm if you need rescuing” Kate joked.

“Make sure you’re watching because I might need you” Sophie said picking up her glass and heading back to the table.

“That looked cosy” Paula said as Sophie arrived back.

“We were just talking”.

“I hope she doesn’t go getting any ideas, she’s had an affair once what’s to say she wouldn’t again” Sally replied.

“Mum, that’s not fair” Sophie said.

“What? I just think you need to be careful”.

“I don’t need to be careful, me and Kate are finally on good terms again as friends and nothing more ever” Sophie explained whilst looking over in Paula’s direction.

Paula felt relieved that Sophie had said that, she could see how gorgeous Kate was and didn’t want anything to come in between them.

“Ok, ok. I believe you. Anyway I must dash need to pop into town to do some last minute shopping, Sophie you coming?”

“Actually do you mind if I borrow her for a little while longer? I could do with picking up some information about Kevin for our date...” Paula asked.

“Of course, what a good idea! You could learn a lot from this woman Sophie” Sally replied.

“I know I could” Sophie sarcastically replied as she downed the rest of her drink.

“Well I’ll see you later, keep an eye on that Kate for me would you? Part of me just doesn’t trust her” Sally asked Paula.

“Oh Don’t you worry I will” Paula replied smirking at Sophie.

“God Mum you are so embarrassing” Sophie abruptly replied as Sally just laughed.

Waiting until Sally was out of the restaurant, Paula lent over the table to ask Sophie something.

“Another cocktail?” Paula asked with a smile on her face.

“You can shove your cocktail where the sun don’t shine” Sophie angrily replied.

Paula was surprised by Sophie’s reaction, she knew she was mad at her but didn’t quite realise to what extent.

“What do you think your doing? You can’t give my dad your number!” Sophie said.

“Oh I can...” Paula replied.

“No you can’t”.

“Yes I can, the sooner I go on a date with your dad the sooner I can report back to your mum that there is absolutely no chemistry there whatsoever. That way Kevin can explore pastures new and you’re mum can stay well out of our way. I think that’s a win win don’t you?” Paula replied getting quite animated.

Sophie’s clogs were busy processing what Paula had just said, she quickly realised that Paula was doing all of this for her.

Paula was slightly annoyed that Sophie thought that she had given Kevin her number for a genuine romantic connection.

“So that was your plan all along?” Sophie asked.

“Yes, you’re dad seems like a lovely guy but there is only one person around here I am interested in and that’s you. But I am willing to go on a boring date with your dad if it means Sally will get off my back and stop trying to set me up with people I have zero interest in”.

“You’ll be nice to him though?” Sophie replied.

“Of course I will, I’m a nice person. I mean I have my moments but I am a nice decent human being”.

“I know you are I just don’t want my dad getting hurt”.

“I promise you I will not even flirt. We will have a nice chat and then we will go our separate ways as friends and we can focus on us without your mum constantly on my back”.

“Ok... so you getting me another cocktail or what?” Sophie joked.

“So you’re not mad at me?” Paula replied.

“No I’m not mad I just hate the thought of you and my dad going on a date”.

“It’s not a date...Ok?” Paula said as she slyly touched Sophie’s hand.

“Ok, lets just not talk about it”.

“Same again?”

“Yes please” Sophie replied.

Paula got them both a drink and made her way back to the table.

“So, when are we going to finish what we started this morning?” Sophie asked.

“I have a free house Saturday?” Paula said.

“I don’t know if I can wait that long...” Sophie replied biting her bottom lip.

“I mean we could always get a hotel? Or we could risk it at mine? I never know Islas schedule these days” Paula said.

“It would feel like we were cheating if we got a hotel room, maybe we should just risk it? I mean she wouldn’t tell anyone would she?” Sophie asked.

“No I don’t think she would but I don’t think she would take it well, especially as she had a soft spot for you”.

“She does?” Sophie replied with a shocked look on her face.

“Well she said if she wasn’t off travelling then she would have pursued it”.

“Good to know just in case I get bored with you” Sophie joked winking at Paula.

“You’re a cheeky little shit you know that right...”

“Well you know I’ve got to keep my options open” Sophie replied laughing as Paula gave her a gentle kick under the table.

“You can keep your options open but trust me you won’t want to use them once I’ve shown you a good time” Paula said smirking.

“Let’s get out of here then...” Sophie replied as she downed her drink, slamming it on the table to show that she was ready to leave.

“Christ let me finish my drink first” Paula said.

“Well hurry up woman” A tipsy Sophie cheekily replied.

Paula deliberately sipped her drink as slowly as she could, she could see that it was annoying the hell out of Sophie which was amusing her greatly.

“Could you drink that any slower?” Sophie asked.

“Now you’ve come to mention it, I probably could”.

“Don’t you dare!”

“Or what?” Paula replied leaning over the table so she was closer to Sophie.

“I’ll... ummm ill. I dunno” Sophie said getting all flustered because Paula was so close to her, all she wanted to do was kiss Paula.

“I didn’t think you’d have the answer” Paula replied as she downed her drink.

Sophie’s eyes lit up with excitement.

“Come on then let’s go” Paula said with a smile on her face.

The two of them headed to find a taxi as the pair of them had both had too much to drink. The avoided using a local taxi firm just in case it was Tim or Steve driving the car.

When they got into the car, Sophie slid her hand across the seat, taking hold of Paula’s hand. Interlocking their fingers the pair looked at each other and just smiled whilst looking lovingly at one another. The car journey wasn’t too long, they arrived outside Paula’s house. Sophie was shocked to see how big and impressive her house was.

“That’s your house?” Sophie asked looking out of the window.

“Yep”.

“Holy shit it’s a mansion...”

“It’s not that big, come on let me show you round” Paula said opening the door, pulling Sophie out behind her.

Chapter Text

Sophie stood there outside Paula’s house staring at how incredible it was, it kind of made her feel a bit inadequate though. Sophie had a rubbish job and still lived with her dad, whereas her girlfriend lived in this mansion and owned her own business.

“Wow, I can’t get over this place”.

“I get a bit embarrassed when I show people my house, it’s a bit excessive isn’t it?” Paula replied.

“Don’t be! You’ve worked hard to get this house you should be proud of it. So you going to show me round then?”.

“Yeah, come on” Paula replied.

The first thing Paula noticed as they walked up the drive was the fact that Islas car wasn’t there, that was a good sign as it meant she wasn’t likely to be home. Opening the door, Sophie couldn’t believe how beautiful the house was, it was spotless and so modern.

“Jesus, this place is incredible” Sophie said turning round to look directly into Paula’s eyes.

“You like it?”

“I love it! You have impeccable taste”.

“That I do” Paula said grabbing Sophie around the waste, pulling her in tightly.

“Oh yeah?” Sophie whispered before passionately kissing Paula.

“Shall we take this upstairs?” Paula asked.

Sophie pulled away, making Paula wait even longer.

“Not before you show me the rest of this house” Sophie replied as she walked into the kitchen.

Paula stood there frustrated with Sophie who knew exactly what she was doing.

“Come here you” Paula said as she ran after Sophie.

“You’re kitchen is legit the size of my house”.

“Don’t be ridiculous it’s not” Paula replied putting her arms around Sophie from behind her.

“How many ovens do you need?” Sophie asked as she walked over to the ovens, once again leaving Paula stood there sexually frustrated.

“Probably too many but I love to cook, well when I have time”.

“Cook me something?”

“Now?” Paula replied.

“Yeah”.

“You’re doing this on purpose aren’t you?”

“Doing what?” Sophie replied with a smile on her face.

“You are driving me mad. I finally have you somewhere where we can be alone and get up to all sorts and you want me to cook you something?”

“Yeah? Isn’t that what girlfriends do for each other?” Sophie replied knowing she was skating on thin ice.

“It is what we do for each other but I can tell you many other things that we also do for one another...” Paula replied walking towards Sophie.

Sophie’s heart rate was rising the closer Paula got to her, she desperately wanted to keep up this game of winding up Paula but she just couldn’t. She had to give into temptation because she couldn’t resist any longer.

“Well I guess you better show me you’re room then...” Sophie said.

“Follow me” Paula replied.

Sophie followed Paula up to her gigantic bedroom, the bed was huge which excited Sophie. Sophie remembered that she promised to take control of their first time because she knew it would annoy Paula.

Once they were both in the bedroom, Sophie grabbed Paula’s shirt by the buttons, she pulled Paula towards her whilst trying to undo the buttons. She slowly opened the shirt revealing Paula’s bra and midriff, she gently ran her hands over Paula’s body causing her shiver with excitement. Sophie pulled Paula’s shirt down her arms, throwing it on the floor once it was off, by this time Paula’s breathing had increased.

“You are absolutely gorgeous” Sophie said as she grabbed Paula’s face with both of her hands and passionately kissed her.

Sophie pushed Paula onto the bed, Paula just looked up at Sophie and smiled. As she stood there she took off her top, throwing it away, she then proceeded to climb on top of Paula who had lay down on the bed.

“Spread your legs...” Sophie ordered Paula.

“I love it when you talk dirty” Paula replied as she spread her legs letting Sophie put her leg in between.

Sophie started at Paula’s lips kissing them gently, making her way down Paula’s neck, to her collar bone, down to her chest then finally to Paula’s zipper on her suit trousers. Using nothing but her mouth Sophie managed to unzip her trousers causing Paula’s body to shake in anticipation of what was to come.

Sophie stood up, ready to pull Paula’s trousers off her while she lay there with the biggest smile on her face. Sophie whipped the trousers off, she stood their admiring the body of her girlfriend, her eyes looking up and down with a look of pure lust on her face.

Sophie grabbed Paula’s legs pulling them towards her so that they were hanging off the bed, Sophie knelt on the floor ready to show Paula what she was made off. Sophie removed Paula’s lingerie slowly sliding them down her legs, Paula was struggling to maintain her cool and calm exterior.

“You ready for this?” Sophie asked.

Paula was speechless, she couldn’t find the words to answer. She just lay there and nodded her head.

Sophie was nervous but she didn’t want Paula to know she was, this bossy confident exterior wasn’t the usual Sophie but she wanted to knock Paula off her feet and thought this would be the best way.

Taking a deep breath in, Sophie was ready to show Paula exactly what she could do with that tongue of hers. It wasn’t long before Paula began to moan, it had been a while since she last had sex let alone with someone she actually had genuine feelings for which made it 10x better.

While Sophie was hard at work, she reached across the bed trying to find Paula’s hands, she wanted to hold them to feel Paula squeeze them as she got more and more excited. When their hands touched the connection between the two of them was electric.

“Don’t stop” Paula said as Sophie cake up for air.

“My tongues getting cramp... it’s been a while”.

“Honestly you can’t stop” Paula replied.

“It didn’t say I was stopping...” Sophie said as she started to please Paula with her fingers.

“Ohhhhh... Jesus” Paula shouted as she grabbed on to the sheet both sides of her.

Sophie was wasting no time which pleased Paula causing her moans to get louder and louder.

“Oh my... god” Paula screamed as she climaxed, her chest rising up and down rapidly.

Sophie lay on the bed beside Paula, covering the both of them with the sheet. Turning onto her side Sophie moved the hair from Paula’s face, gently caressing it before planting a sensual kiss on her lips.

“How was that?” Sophie asked confidently. But really she was anxious to know if she had done a good job.

“Wow... just wow. I’ve not felt like this in a very long time” Paula replied still trying to catch her breath.

“You’re not just saying that?” Sophie asked.

“I wouldn’t lie to you, not over this” Paula replied holding onto Sophie’s hand as they just lay there.

“So I guess it’s my turn in a minute?” Sophie said taking her jeans off.

“Yes it is!” Paula replied siting up ready to make her move.

Paula had no time for messing around with tongues today, she just wanted to get straight into the nitty gritty with those fingers of hers. As she moved her hand in between Sophie’s thighs the front door slammed.

“What was that?” Sophie said jumping out of her skin.

“That’ll be either Isla or Theo” Paula replied covering herself up with the sheet stealing it off Sophie.

“Don’t worry I’ll just lay here half naked” Sophie sarcastically joked.

“Quick... in the bathroom” Paula said to Sophie pointing at her en suite.

Sophie didn’t reply she just ran to the bathroom and shut the door behind her. Paula stood there and panicked for a few seconds, should she quickly try to get changed or pretend she had just come out of the shower. Running to the bathroom she opens the door grabbing the nearest towel to wrap around herself, only to realise she grabbed the hand towel.

“Sophie chuck us one of the big towels!” Paula quietly said.

“Which one? I’ve never known a bathroom to have so many different towels” Sophie replied confused.

“Any towel that will fit around my body”.

“Here” Sophie said launching a massive towel at Paula.

Paula quickly wrapped herself up in the towel before Isla walked in without knocking.

“Hiya... oh sorry didn’t realise you were in the shower” Isla said.

“Just finished” Paula replied trying to calm her breathing down.

“You’re hair is dry?”

“Yeah didn’t feel like washing it...”

“Fair enough, I feel like that every time”.

“Can I help you with something?” Paula asked.

“Charming...you moan at me that I don’t spend enough time with you so I came home early to see if you wanted to do something tonight?” Isla explained.

Sophie could hear the conversation from inside the bathroom, she was hoping to god that Paula finds an excuse to get rid of Isla so she could put some clothes on she was freezing.

“Umm tonight?” Paula replied.

“Let me guess you’ve got plans...” Isla said rolling her eyes.

Paula could see that Isla was getting annoyed with her, she didn’t want to let her daughter down but at the same time she wanted to finish what she was about to start with Sophie.

“Well nothing set in stone but how about you let me finish getting ready and we can do something?” Paula said hoping Isla would leave the room.

“Ok, well hurry up. I’ll pour us both a glass of wine” Isla said as she turned round to head towards the door.

Paula stood there with a relieved look on her face she was glad that Isla was leaving she just had to get Sophie out of the house without Isla noticing.

“Mum?” Isla said as she stopped by the door.

“Yes sweetheart?” Paula replied.

“Whose jeans are those? Because I know for a fact they wouldn’t fit you”

Paula’s face dropped, how they hell was she going to explain this to Isla?

“Are you calling me fat?” Paula joked.

“Of course not... just answer the question”.

“Fine, just promise me you won’t go mad” Paula replied as she walked towards the bathroom.

“Mum... what have you done?” Isla said.

Paula opened the bathroom door, Sophie was hid around the corner.

“What are you doing?” Sophie whispered.

“I don’t have a choice, I don’t want to lie to my daughter” Paula replied as she held her hand out hoping Sophie would take hold of it.

Sophie grabbed a towel to cover herself up, took a deep breath in and reached for Paula’s hand.

“It’s going to be ok...” Paula said trying to reassure Sophie.

The two of them walked out of the bathroom in matching white towels, the expression on Isla’s face changed as soon as she saw that it was Sophie her mum was with.

“What is going on?” Isla asked.

Sophie didn’t know where to look, she couldn’t make eye contact with Isla.

“Mum, what’s happening?” Isla said again getting that little bit louder.

“Sophie and I are dating” Paula proudly replied as she squeezed Sophie’s hand tightly.

“You’re joking me?”

“No, I’m being deadly serious”.

“She’s my age mum... it wasn’t long ago you were trying to set us up”.

“Let me be clear it wasn’t me trying to set you up it was Sally, I just fancied a spot of lunch”.

“I can’t get my head around this, you’re ok with dating a woman old enough to be your mum?” Isla asked Sophie, who was keeping very quiet.

“It doesn’t bother me, especially when I have real feelings for your mum. I know this must be a shock but it’s the real deal...” Sophie replied looking directly into Paula’s eyes.

“I feel the same way Isla” Paula added.

“Ugh, I can’t even look at either of you right now” Isla said as she stormed out the room.

“ISLA” Paula shouted.

“Go after her” Sophie replied.

Paula quickly put on some clothes and chased after Isla who was trying to find her car keys, she had put them somewhere when she arrived home but she couldn’t remember where she had put them.

“Isla Stop! Just let me explain” Paula shouted as she ran down the stairs.

“What’s there to explain? You’re dating a 23 year old...it’s wrong”.

“It’s not wrong, we are both grown adults we can do what we like”.

“Yeah you are a grown adult, Sophie is barely out of nappies”.

“Isla don’t be ridiculous, I thought you just wanted me to be happy”.

“I do but can’t you find someone you’re own age?”

“Pot kettle black? How old was your ex? You didn’t see me making a big deal about it. Look I don’t want anyone other than Sophie right now, I really like her and can genuinely see a future together” Paula explained.

“Don’t bring her into this, that’s different! Does Sally know?”.

“How is it different Isla? And No, she doesn’t but we will tell her after the court case has finished, I don’t want anything to jeopardise that”.

“But late for that... if you didn’t want anything to jeopardise the case then you shouldn’t have got involved with her DAUGHTER” Isla shouted.

“I couldn’t help it, I didn’t want to fall for someone but it’s happened. I won’t apologise for being happy” Paula replied.

“Well just know I’m not ok with this but I guess I can’t say or do anything to stop you” Isla explained as she began to walk away from her mum.

“No there isn’t anything you can say or do but I don’t want us to fight over this, I don’t want us to fall out before you go away for 3 months. I love you more than anything in the world but I want a chance at genuine happiness, and right now Sophie is my happiness. I can’t ask for you to be happy with this but please don’t say anything to anyone, I want to give this a go” Paula pleaded with Isla as she followed her outside.

“I won’t say anything but it’s clear to see where your loyalty lies” Isla replied slamming her car door and driving off.

Paula was going to shout after her but she just thought what’s the point, she wasn’t going to listen no matter what she had to say.

Chapter Text

Paula headed back inside to find Sophie, it didn’t take long for her to find her as she had made her way into the hall way.

“I should go...” Sophie quietly said with a sad look on her face.

“No I don’t want you to go” Paula replied giving Sophie a warm embrace.

“I don’t want you to fall out with your daughter before she goes away and you saw how upset she was”.

“We’ll be fine, we argue all the time. Plus I’m not allowing her to ruin my happiness because she doesn’t approve of who my girlfriend is”.

“Are you sure? You do realise my mums reaction will be 10 times worse” Sophie replied.

“Together we can handle it, if you want to that is?” Paula asked.

“I do, I really do” Sophie replied looking straight into Paula’s eyes.

“Good, so how about you stay and I cook you some dinner?”

“Sounds good” Sophie replied pecking Paula on the cheek.

“What do you fancy?” Paula asked.

“Well what do you have?”

“Let me look... I could do a nice steak and chips? With a home made peppercorn sauce? Would you eat that?”

“Umm YES. That sounds incredible” Sophie replied taking a seat on one of the stools at the breakfast bar ready to watch Paula cook up a storm.

“Good. You pour the wine and I’ll get cooking” Paula said.

“I’ve got a question... were you expecting Isla to react like that?” Sophie asked as she poured their wine.

“Honestly, no. I thought she would understand, you see her ex was 12 years older than her so she must know what it’s like to fall for someone where there is an age gap”.

“I guess her mums girlfriend being the same age as her was a shock too far” Sophie replied.

“I guess it was but like I said she’ll get over it”.

“She won’t say anything to anyone will she?” Sophie asked.

“No, she promised. She goes away in two days so I don’t think we have anything to worry about” Paula replied hoping and praying that Isla didn’t say anything.

“It’s a shame she walked in when she did, I was looking forward to seeing what you were made of”.

“Well I’m sure I’ll be able to show you later on”.

“I’ll hold you to that” Sophie replied biting her lip in anticipation.

While Sophie watched her girlfriend show off in the kitchen, Sally had made her way over to Kevin’s to let him know the good news about Paula.

“What can I do for you Sal?” Kevin asked as he opened the door.

“I thought I’d come and see how Jack was getting on and I may also have some good news about a possible date” Sally replied.

“Jacks fine, he’s in there if you want to go and see him. And a date? With who?” Kevin asked with a smirk on his face.

“Paula” Sally replied as she walked through to the kitchen to sit down with Jack.

“How did you manage that?” Kevin asked as he followed her.

“What’s this?” Jack said.

“I’ve manage to get your dad a date with Paula, my lawyer”.

“That’s awesome dad. So both you and Sophie will be dating, meaning you’ll both be in good moods” Jack replied not thinking about what had just come out of his mouth.

“Sophie’s dating?” Sally immediately asked.

Jack knew he had messed up, he didn’t know what to say now.

“Umm no I don’t think I just meant if she started dating...” Jack said trying to cover up his mistake.

“Why do I feel like you are hiding something?”

“Sal lay off him” Kevin replied.

“If he knows something about Sophie’s love life I want to know...”

“All I know is that she’s happy” Jack replied.

“And that’s all we can hope for” Kevin added.

“I’ll find out don’t you worry...”

“Of course you will” Kevin muttered under his breath.

“Anyway back to Paula, I’ve given her your number and she’s going to text you to arrange a date” Sally excitedly said.

Kevin’s eyes lit up when he thought he had a chance with Paula, realistically he knew she was way out of his league.

“Nice one sal, that will be nice”.

“Just make sure you don’t screw it up, it’s not very often you get a chance with a hot shot lawyer” Sally replied.

“Don’t worry I will be on my best behaviour and wear a nice shirt”.

“Good! Aw I do hope the date goes well”.

“I’m sure it will” Jack said trying to give his dad so,e confidence.

“Thanks buddy” Kevin replied.

“Now I need to ring Sophie and see what’s going on with her and this mystery girlfriend” Sally said reaching for her phone.

“No please don’t she’ll know I said something” Jack immediately replied.

“Ah so there is someone” Sally said.

“Ok yes there is. Her name is Pippa, but please just leave her too it because she is happy and I haven’t seen Sophie happy in ages” Jack said pleading with Sally.

“Fine, I won’t! Like you I just want Sophie to be happy I just wish she didn’t keep it all from me”.

“Yeah but you know why that is don’t you?” Kevin replied.

“Why’s that?” Sally said with a confused look on her face.

“Because you interfere”.

“I do not” Sally replied raising her voice.

“You kind of do! I know you are only looking out for her but it does come across as you being interfering”.

“Well she is my baby Kevin”.

“You forget she’s mine too”.

“Fine I won’t interfere...” Sally abruptly replied as she headed towards the door.

“Please don’t, Sophie will never trust me with her secrets again” Jack said as he wheeled himself after her.

“I won’t” Sally replied giving Jack a hug.

“Thanks for arranging the date with Paula, well giving her my number. I really do appreciate it” Kevin explained.

“Anytime, I just want to see you happy” Sally said giving Kevin a hug before she headed back home.

It didn’t take her any longer than 30 seconds to dial Sophie’s number to get the low down on what was happening between her and this Pippa girl.

“It’s my mum...” Sophie said as her phone rang.

“Pick it up, I promise not to say a word” Paula replied as the steaks sizzled in the pan.

“Mum? Hey what’s up?” Sophie said answering the phone.

“So I just heard something very interesting...”

“What did you hear?” Sophie replied. Her heart rate rapidly rose as she had absolutely no idea what her mum was referring to.

“I heard that you have yourself a lady friend” Sally said.

Sophie’s facial expression dropped, her mum knew. What the hell was she going to do?

“I have myself a lady friend do i?” Sophie replied looking at Paula with panic in her eyes.

Paula dropped her utensil when she heard what Sophie just said.

“What was that?” Sally asked as she heard a crash on the phone.

“Something fell on the floor...”

“Where are you?” Sally asked.

“At a friends house” Sophie replied trying to keep calm.

“Would this friend be Pippa by any chance?”

Sophie breathed a big sigh of relief, she thought for a split second that Isla had told her about Paula.

“Pippa... yes why?”

“Whose Pippa?” Paula whispered.

“Shhhh” Sophie replied waving her hand in the direction of Paula to tell her to be quiet.

“Are you and Pippa a thing?” Sally asked.

“Maybe, But we’re taking things slow” Sophie replied.

“When can I meet her?” Sally asked with a smile on her face.

“I don’t know mum, anyway I need to go. Bye mum” Sophie said hanging up on her mum.

“Sophie? Sophie?” Sally said as she looked at her phone to see why Sophie wasn’t there. She soon realised that Sophie had hung up on her.

“Who the hell is Pippa?” Paula asked.

“You you muppet! Remember I had to tell Jack who P was” Sophie replied.

“Ohhh makes sense, there was me thinking you had another girl on the side” Paula joked as she flipped the steaks over.

“No of course I don’t... is that steak nearly cooked because I am starving, worked up an appetite didn’t I” Sophie said winking at Paula.

“That you did. Come give me a hand” Paula asked.

“Sure what can I do?” Sophie said as she hopped off the stool heading over to Paula.

“Plate those chips up for me, they should be nice and crispy”.

Sophie did just that although she just piled them on instead of placing them nice and neatly, Paula just laughed.

“What you laughing at?”

“How you’ve put those chips on the plate”.

“Well how would you place them?”

“In that little dish there...” Paula said pointing to a chip cup.

“But what’s the point? You’re only going to tip them out when you start to eat” Sophie replied.

Paula loved how blunt and to the point Sophie was, it was a breath of fresh air, Paula walked over to Sophie and just kissed her.

“What was that for? Not that I’m complaining”.

“You just make me laugh, I love having you around me” Paula replied.

“The feeling is very much mutual”.

“Let’s eat” Paula said as she picked up both the plates and took them over to the table.

The two of the sat down at the table to eat the gorgeous meal that Paula had cooked.

Sally arrived home fuming with Sophie for hanging up on her, she was mad that her daughter had also been keeping important things from her.

“Where have you been?” Tim asked her.

“Telling Kevin some good news but then finding out that Sophie has a girlfriend and has been keeping it a secret from me” Sally explained.

“Sophie has a girlfriend...way to go” Tim replied with a smile on his face.

“No not way to go why didn’t she tell us?”

“You should be happy for her. Look she’s a grown woman she can keep secrets from you sal, she doesn’t have to tell you everything”.

“I know but something like this I should know about” Sally replied.

“Just leave Sophie and her love life alone, ok? Promise me you won’t interfere” Tim said begging Sal.

Sally didn’t reply she just poured herself a glass of wine before sitting down on the sofa.

“Sally promise me you won’t interfere?”

“I can’t promise anything, she’s my baby Tim”.

“She is but you’re baby is 23 and looking to find that special someone. Ever since Maddie and Kate she’s been so unlucky in love so if she’s happy with this girl then that’s all that matters” Tim explained.

“I suppose you are right, I should be happy for her” Sally replied.

“I’m always right that why you love me” Tim sarcastically said.

“Don’t push it” Sally replied as she cosied up to him on the sofa.

“You know I’m right”.

Back over at Paula’s house the food was going down a treat, with both the ladies eating everything present.

“Wow, that was delicious. That steak was cooked perfectly and those chips you can cook for me again!” Sophie explained.

“I will cook for you whenever you like”.

“You’ll regret saying that”.

“Oh will I? You going to be round here all the time then?” Paula asked.

“If I’m welcome...”

“You know you are always welcome here” Paula replied reaching across the table to hold Sophie’s hand.

“I’ll be taking you up on that offer. But first I need to do the washing up” Sophie said as she took the plates over to the sink.

“Hey I’ve got a dishwasher for that. Pop them in there and then come snuggle on the sofa with me” Paula replied.

Sophie stood there with a smile on her face she felt like the two of them had been a couple for ages yet it still hadn’t been a week. She really was on cloud nine and nothing was going to ruin that feeling.

“I’ll be over in a minute” Sophie said.

The two of them snuggled up to one another on the sofa, they found a trashy film to watch on the tv to enjoy. After a short while Isla quietly walked back into the house without her mum or Sophie hearing. She stood in the doorway looking at how happy the two of them looked, she hadn’t seen her mum look like this for a very very long time.

“Mum?” Isla said quietly.

The pair quickly turned their heads to see Isla stood there in the doorway, Sophie sat up, so that Paula could walk over to her.

“Isla...”

“Can we talk?” Isla asked.

“I’ll give you both some space” Sophie said.

“No, it’s ok. I’d like you stay if that’s ok?” Isla replied.

“Yeah of course” Sophie replied.

“I’m sorry for how I reacted earlier, it was a bit of a shock to see you both together. I’ve had some time to think and I have no right to tell either of you what you should be doing. I want to apologise if I came across as rude earlier, I wish I could take it all back...” Isla began to explain.

“Oh sweetheart you have nothing to apologise for, I know how much of a surprise it must have been. I’m sorry i didn’t tell you sooner” Paula replied.

“I understand why you had to keep it a secret, I really do. All I want Mum is for you to be happy and when I walked in a minute ago I could see how happy the two of you are. I have no right to get in either of your way, just promise me you will take care of each other?” Isla said.

“Don’t worry I promise” Sophie replied as she looked over to Paula.

“Come here you” Paula said as she gave her baby a big hug.

“I love you mum, just be happy” Isla replied.

“I love you too! Thank you for being ok with this! It means a lot coming from you, I promise I will take good care of her, I’ve not felt like this in a very very long time”.

“Good. I will leave you to it, I need to finish packing” Isla replied trying not to get emotional.

“Thank you” Sophie said once again.

“Welcome” Isla replied as she went upstairs to pack.

“I did not see that coming” Sophie said as Paula wrapped her arms around her.

“Me either, but my god it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders” Paula replied giving Sophie a kiss.

Chapter Text

After spending the night at Paula’s, Sophie had made her way back to the cobbles as she was on the early shift at work. The smile on Sophie’s face was as wide as humanly possible, she was in the best mood after what could only be described as an amazing day yesterday.

“Someone seems happy” Yasmeen said observing the smile on Sophie’s face.

“Very happy”.

“And would this be down to a certain lawyer?”

“Maybe”.

“That’s a yes then”.

“Yes, we had a really nice evening. I mean her daughter did find out about us which caused a bit of mayhem but it was all sorted in the end and she’s given us her blessing which was really important to Paula” Sophie explained.

“Well I’m happy it all went well, just the tricky job of your family now”.

“Yeah that won’t be for a while though because of the case. I’d tell her today if I thought it wouldn’t effect her case but I know my mum she’s a drama queen and like to over react to everything”.

“You never know she might surprise you”.

“I doubt that” Sophie joked.

“Yeah so do I, but we can hope and pray” Yasmeen replied.

“Fingers crossed”.

“So I just came in to let you know that you are running the joint today, well until I’m back in later but that won’t be until about 3 if that’s ok?”

“Absolutely fine, I quite like the extra responsibility” Sophie said.

“Good. Well I will see you later any problems I’m on my mobile” Yasmeen explained.

Over in the cafe, Paula was meeting up with Sally before her pre trial hearing which was happening very soon.

“So how’s everything looking?” Sally asked Paula.

“Everything is looking good, we’ve got a few things we need to clear up and clarify but we’ve got a strong case”.

“That’s good, it’s been keeping me up at night”.

“Try not to worry ok? We know the truth we just have to convince the judge that Duncan is framing you which won’t be easy but I am quietly very confident”.

“I just wish I knew why he was doing this to me?”

“We will probably never know Sal, you do realise that?” Paula replied.

“Yeah I know, he just makes me so angry”.

“Me too...”

“So have you heard?”

“Heard what?” Paula replied intrigued to what Sally was about to tell her.

“Sophie’s got a girlfriend” Sally proudly announced.

“She does? That’s good but we really need to concentrate on the case we don’t have long left” Paula replied trying to change the subject.

“Yeah sorry...”

“Can you read through this and make sure I’ve not left anything out” Paula asked.

“Sure thing” Sally replied.

Kevin walked into the cafe, Paula spotted him immediately. She thought that now was the perfect opportunity to ask him out on that fake date, especially with Sally being right there. Paula stood up and walked over to Kevin.

“Kev, Hi. How are you?” Paula asked.

“Hiya, good thanks you?” Kevin replied shocked to see Paula.

“Good Thanks. So I was wondering if you wanted to catch that drink later? I’ve got a meeting in the area so could do 3pm at Speed Daal?” Paula asked.

“Sounds good, yeah it’s a date” Kevin replied with a huge smile on his face.

Paula managed a little smile, she did feel bad for leading Kevin on but she knew it was a means to an end.

“Perfect well I’ll meet you there later then?”

“You will, see you later” Kevin replied.

Paula made her way back to the table where Sally had been watching the whole interaction between the two of them.

“What was that about?” Sally asked as soon as Paula arrived back at the table.

“We were just arranging to meet for coffee”.

“Like a date?” Sally replied.

“Yeah like a date”.

“Ohh how exciting”.

“Have you gone over that statement yet?” Paula asked.

“Not yet sorry I got distracted”.

“You mean you were being nosey” Paula joked.

“Can you blame me? I just think the two of you would make a good couple”.

“Even though I’ve told you I’m not looking?”

“Yeah but who goes looking for love? Isn’t it best when it finds you...”

“Just read the statement” Paula replied.

They finished their meeting after Sally had finally stopped asking questions about her upcoming date with Kevin. Paula had a meeting with another client close by before her coffee with Kevin, she had deliberately chosen Speed Daal as the location for the date as she knew Sophie wasn’t working this afternoon.

Sophie had finished her shift so was making her way home to get some lunch, as she made her way home she bumped into a very smiley Kevin.

“Hiya Soph, finished for the day?” Kevin asked.

“Sure have. Just heading home to get some lunch. You seem very happy, what’s happening?” Sophie replied noticing her dad was smilier than usual.

“I’ve got myself a date”.

“Oh check you out. With who?” Sophie asked through gritted teeth knowing exactly who the date was with.

“Paula” Kevin said with a huge smile on his face.

“How exciting...”

“Very. Anyway I can’t stop need to head into town to buy a new shirt”.

“Well good luck and I’ll see you later” Sophie replied.

Sophie felt so bad that her dad was getting all excited for a date that wasn’t actually a real date. She just hoped to god that her dad didn’t get his feelings hurt by Paula. Deciding not to even think about the date, Sophie made herself some lunch so she could chill for the rest of the day.

As she watched the tv, her phone rang. It was Yasmeen.

“Everything ok?” Sophie asked.

“Is there any chance you can come back to work?”

“Yeah I suppose I can, can I at least finish my lunch first?” Sophie replied.

“Of course, I appreciate this so much Sophie. Next time you need time off I will make sure you get it” Yasmeen said.

“It’s fine don’t worry. I’ll see you shortly” Sophie replied.

Sophie finished her lunch before heading back to work for another shift, Yasmeen needed her to sort out part of the restaurant for a big party they had coming in.

“Soph I thought you had finished work...” Kevin said as he walked into the restaurant.

“I had but Yasmeen needed me to come back in. Please tell me your date isn’t here?” Sophie replied in panic.

“It is Yeah, that’s ok isn’t it? Not too embarrassed to be seen with your dad are you?”

“No but I’ll be serving you, I don’t really want to serve you while you’re on a date. It’s weird” Sophie replied anxiously.

“It’s just coffee, nothing serious” Kevin replied.

The look on Sophie’s face was priceless, she didn’t want to see her girlfriend on a pretend date with her dad. It was just going to be beyond weird.

“I’m just going to go to the bathroom, my hands are so sweaty. I’m nervous for some reason” Kevin said as he walked over to the bathroom.

Sophie turned away and continued to do the job she was doing before her dad walked in. She was annoyed and couldn’t believe that this was happening to her.

Without a care in the world, Paula walked down the very stairs Sophie had fallen down just days ago. She walked in to see Sophie stood there in her works uniform, she began to panic.

“Sophie... you’re not supposed to be here!” Paula said loudly walking over to her.

“Shhhhhhhhh, my dad’s over there”.

“Well what are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be working” Paula replied as her heart rate sped up.

“Had to come back to work, you can’t have your date here you need to go somewhere else” Sophie explained.

“I can’t do that, that’ll look odd”.

“Yeah well watching you and my dad on a date isn’t?” Sophie replied with a hint of annoyance in her voice.

“Look... I’ve told you I’m going to let him down gently, one quick drink and that’s it. Oh and I’ll make sure he realises that there is no romantic connection” Paula replied.

“Just promise me that you’ll be nice to him? He was really excited about this date”.

“Yes of course I’m going to be nice to him. I promise”.

“Good because I can’t bare to see him get hurt, he’s been through so much recently”.

“He won’t be! You do trust me don’t you?” Paula replied.

“YES”.

“Good. So let’s both just breathe, take a deep breath and act normal” Paula said taking hold of Sophie’s arm.

Sophie just looked at her and took a deep breath in.

“Well sit on that table over there...” Paula said as she walked over to a table near the back of the restaurant.

Sophie watched her girlfriend walk over to the table, she couldn’t get over how good she looked in a suit, especially when she wore it with her trainers.

“Paula, nice to see you again” Kevin said as he sat down.

“Likewise” Paula replied.

“How was you’re meeting?” Kevin asked trying to start a conversation.

“Very boring, it was with a client I’m not the biggest fan of so it dragged. I was happy to get out of it to be honest”.

“Ah that’s a shame. Shall we order?” Kevin said as he looked over to Sophie giving her a wave.

Sophie braced herself, as she walked over. She didn’t want to make too much eye contact with Paula as she knew she wouldn’t be able to keep the smile off her face.

“What can I get you?” Sophie asked looking down at her note pad.

“I’ll have a coffee please Sophie” Paula replied.

“I’ll have the same” Kevin added.

“Coming up” Sophie said returning quickly to the bar.

Sophie returned with their coffees, placing them on the table before returning to the bar to continue watching them on their date.

“So tell me about Jack? How’s he doing?” Paula asked trying to find things that they could talk about.

“He’s doing so much better than he was a few weeks ago. I mean I just can’t even begin to imagine what he has been through, losing his leg at such a young age especially when all he wanted to be was a footballer. It’s been really difficult but he’s slowly getting there. I couldn’t have done it on my own, everyone has been so amazing, especially Sophie. She really has been my rock” Kevin explained.

“She seems like an amazing human being” Paula replied looking over in Sophie’s direction.

“Oh she is! I mean she’s been through a lot in her life but nothing seems to phase her. I couldn’t be prouder of the woman she has turned out to be”.

Paula loved hearing Kevin talk about Sophie, it made her even more excited for their potential future together.

“Sorry look at me banging on about my life and my problems, that’s your fault you know...”

“Me?” Paula replied sipping from her coffee.

“Well it’s your job isn’t it, making people spill their guts”.

“Hmm well usually I’m trying to cover things up” Paula replied glancing over in Sophie’s direction.

Paula noticed that Sophie couldn’t keep her eyes off the two of them, but also noticed the look of anxiety on Sophie’s face, which she didn’t like to see.

Pretending to check her phone, Paula knew that now was the time to wrap this date up.

“Speaking of which I must dash to my meeting...”

“Oh are you sure you can’t stay for another?” Kevin replied with a disappointed look on his face.

“Do you know what? I can’t but I’ve had a really lovely time, so thank you” Paula said.

“Yeah me too. Maybe we could do it again sometime?”

“Well I would love to but...”

“Oh the dreaded but...”

“It’s just that things are really complicated for me at the moment”.

“Let me guess you’re not looking for a relationship”.

“I did try and tell Sally but you know what she’s like. She was very determined to try and set us up”.

“Yeah tell me something I don’t know” Kevin replied deflated.

“I’d like it if we could be friends though?”

“Yeah id like that”.

“Ok, well I’ll see you later then?” Paula replied as she grabbed her bag and left the table.

Sophie immediately stopped what she was doing, walking over to casually bump into Paula.

“So?” Sophie quietly said.

“I told you I’d handle it” Paula replied.

“You let him down gently yeah?”

“Yes...” Paula replied with a smile on her face.

“I feel awful”.

“Would you rather I had led him on?”

“No of course not”.

“Good. So I’ll see you later then?” Paula asked brushing her hand up against Sophie’s.

“Yeah” Sophie replied with a smirk on her face.

Paula headed for the exit, looking forward to seeing Sophie later. She was also looking forward to reporting back to Sally with the bad but good news that her and Kevin had zero chemistry.

Sophie slowly walked over to her dad cautiously, she felt really bad that he had been rejected by Paula.

“How did it go?” Sophie asked.

“We had a nice time but it won’t be going anywhere further” Kevin replied.

“I’m sorry”.

“Don’t be. There just wasn’t the spark there” Kevin replied.

“You’ll find someone dad, I know you will” Sophie said.

“I know I will. Anyway I best be off, the money for the coffee’s is on the table . I’ll see you at home” A dejected Kevin replied.

“I’ll see you later” Sophie said.

Paula wasted no time in letting Sally know how the date had gone, the sooner she was off their backs the better.

*Hey Sal, just a quick update. Kevin is a lovely guy and I had a great time but there just isn’t any chemistry there. I really hope he finds someone but unfortunately that someone isn’t me. Speak soon Paula x*

Paula again felt like a weight had been lifted, she know didn’t have to worry about Sally trying to set her up with Kevin or anyone for that matter. Now she could just concentrate on her relationship with Sophie and the court case, but mainly Sophie.

Chapter Text

“Sal I think your phone just went off” Gina said to Sally.

“Wonder who that could be”.

“Well why don’t you look...” Gina sarcastically replied.

“Good idea”.

“I’m full of good ideas me” Gina replied.

“Oh it’s Paula, NO!” Sally said loudly.

“What... what’s wrong? Is it the case?”

“No it’s not the case it’s the date between her and Kevin. It didn’t go well, she said there is no chemistry there, I’m so mad” Sally explained.

“You can’t force chemistry if it’s not there” Gina replied.

“I know but I just wanted it to work, I need to ring Paula and find out what was wrong”.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea...”

Sally ignored Gina’s warnings and rang Paula.

“Sally how can I help you?” Paula said as she picked up the phone.

“I just wanted to know how it went with Kevin” Sally asked.

“Didn’t you get my text?”

“Text? No...I think my phones been playing up recently” Sally said lying through her teeth.

“Sal what you doing?” Gina whispered.

Sally threw the nearest pillow at Gina to tell her to shut up.

“Oh well I sent a text basically just to say that we had a lovely time on the date but there just isn’t the spark”.

“Ah no that’s a shame. Don’t you think that another date might help?”

Paula rolled her eyes, she knew she needed to be a bit blunt with Sally now to make sure she got the picture.

“No I don’t think another date would help. I just don’t see him like that, he’s a lovely guy but not my type and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Look I know you mean well but I think the match making needs to stop”.

“That’s fair enough. I get the message, I’m not very good at match making” Sally replied.

“You’re not the best but it’s ok”.

“I’ll see you soon then” Sally said.

“Yeah I’ll see you soon” Paula replied.

“Sal why did you just ring her when you knew exactly what had happened” Gina asked.

“I needed to hear it from her mouth” Sally replied.

“You need to stop. Just let people find their soulmates the natural way”.

“Don’t you start Ive already had this from Tim”.

“Exactly so if more than one person is saying it then it must be true”.

Sally didn’t reply she just headed upstairs to run herself a bubble bath, she was annoyed that her plan hadn’t gone the way she wanted it to.

Paula returned home to find Isla doing some final preparations for her trip.

“Anything I can help with?” Paula asked as she put her things down before joining Isla at the table.

“Yes actually, can you read both these descriptions and tell me which trip looks and sounds better?” Isla replied pushing her laptop over to her mum.

“Sure thing” Paula said as she began to read the descriptions.

“Thank you” Isla replied.

“I think the first one sounds the best, you’re getting more for your money and the trip to the waterfall sounds beautiful”.

“I agree, plus think of the photos I can take”.

“Think of the time you can spend clearing your head as you watch the water fall”.

“That’s for being ok with me going, I know it wasn’t easy” Isla said.

“Well thanks for being ok with me and Sophie, I know that definitely wasn’t easy”.

“It’s was a bit of a shock but I just sat there in my car thinking about how all I want is for you to be happy and if that’s with Sophie then I can’t not be ok with it. I mean she’s a gorgeous girl and she nice with it, so I’m happy for you” Isla explained.

“I love you” Paula said giving her baby a hug.

“Love you too”.

“So how about we make a yummy dinner? Sophie is coming round later if that’s ok? I thought maybe we could have dinner together before you fly tomorrow?” Paula asked feeling hopeful.

“Sounds good. Can we have one of your curries?”

“Yes we can, I’m just going to get changed and then I’ll get started. Open a bottle and put some music on would you?”

“Sure thing” Isla replied.

Isla opened a bottle of Champagne and put on some old school tunes started with a bit of Stevie Wonder.

“I love this song” Paula said walking into the kitchen.

“It’s the best isn’t it” Isla replied as the pair of them were listening to Superstition.

“How hot should I make the curry?” Paula asked.

“You know my taste, so I guess that’s up to Sophie?”

“I’ll give her a ring quickly” Paula said.

Sophie was just finishing her shift at work when her phone started to ring.

“Hello you, I was just thinking about you” Sophie said picking up her phone.

“You were? All good I hope?”

“Of course”.

“How hot do you like you’re curries?” Paula asked.

“Hot. Like a madras hot”.

“I wasn’t expecting you to say that”.

“Why? Do I remind you or a korma girl? Boring and bland?” Sophie joked.

Paula stood there with a smile on her face, Isla could see the positive effect Sophie was having on her mum.

“No you are not boring and bland, you are the complete opposite. Anyway get your ass around here, I’m making a curry for us to enjoy. Plus Isla has just cracked open the Champagne, so you better get here quickly because we drink it like water” Paula explained.

“Islas joining us! That’s good I’m glad the two of you are back to normal”.

“Yeah me too” Paula replied.

“I’ll be there in 20 minutes”.

“I cant wait to see you”.

“Me either” Sophie replied putting her phone down.

“You two are a bit cute aren’t you?” Isla said as her mum put her phone on the table.

“Stop it you”.

“What? I’m being serious. I can see how you’re face lights up when I mention her name let alone when you are actually taking to her. It’s cute”.

“I can’t help it, she makes me feel all warm inside”.

“It’s good to see you smiling again mum”.

“Now before you start to make me blush, chuck us over an onion”.

Isla threw not one but 4 onions at her mum, she loved when the two of them could have a laugh with each other.

“You little...” Paula replied launching one of them back in Islas direction.

“Don’t make me throw one of these tomatoes at you” Isla said as she picked up one ready to throw.

“No don’t, we need all of them for the curry” Paula replied sternly.

“Ok, ok I won’t throw it at you”.

“Good now come and chop it up for me”.

While the two of them were hard at work making the curry, Sophie had rushed home to get changed, she needed to have a little word with her brother.

“Oi you” Sophie said as soon as she saw Jack.

“I’m sorry, it just slipped out” Jack replied knowing exactly what Sophie was talking about.

“I’ll forgive you this once, but only because I know how good my mum is at getting information out of people”.

“She really is, but I’m sorry. I really am. It hasn’t ruined anything has it? With Pippa?” Jack asked with a worried look on face.

“Everything is fine, in fact I’m off there now. So I need to go and get changed” Sophie replied.

“Good, have fun!”.

“Have fun where?” Kevin asked as he walked down the stairs.

“I’m off to my friends house for dinner” Sophie replied.

“Friend?”

“Yes friend, don’t you bloody start Ive already had mum on my case I don’t need you on it as well”.

“Don’t worry it’s got nothing to do with me, you are a grown up and can see whoever you want” Kevin explained.

A smile appeared on Sophie’s face, it was good to hear her dad say that she can see whoever she wanted to. Especially when he finds out exactly who she was dating.

“Thanks dad, it means a lot” Sophie replied giving her dad a hug before running up the stairs to get changed.

“It’s good to see her smiling isn’t it dad?” Jack said.

“It really is” Kevin replied.

“Right I’m off now” Sophie said as she stood by the front door.

“You look nice” Kevin replied.

“Thanks”.

“Have a nice time and I’ll see you later” Kevin said as his daughter left the house looking a million dollars.

With a spring in her step Sophie walked to her car, ready to drive over to Paula’s house. She couldn’t wait to see Paula again, it had only been a few hours but she just couldn’t wait to see that smile of hers.

“Can you get that?” Paula said to Isla as the front door bell went off.

Isla opened the door to a nervous looking Sophie, she could see that Sophie was nervous so decided to put her at ease.

“Sophie come on in, Ive got a glass of champagne ready for you” Isla said welcoming Sophie into the house with a smile on her face.

“Thank you” Sophie replied.

“Here she is” Paula said as soon as she saw Sophie.

She walked over to her immediately giving her a hug and a kiss.

“You look amazing” Paula whispered to Sophie.

“I know I do” Sophie joked.

“Here’s your drink” Isla said handing Sophie a drink hoping it would break up the two of them being cute.

“Thank you, is there anything I can help with?” Sophie asked.

“Nope, I’ve got it all covered” Paula replied as she made her way back to the stove to stir the curry.

“It smells amazing”.

“You wait, mums curries are incredible”.

“I can’t wait, curry is like my favourite thing ever”.

“Mine too” Isla replied.

“You all packed?” Sophie asked.

“Yeah pretty much, just the usual to pack last minute. No doubt I’ve forgotten something though”.

“Well as long as you have the important things it shouldn’t worry too much” Sophie replied.

“Yeah, money, passport, visas, chargers, your phone. They are the essentials” Paula added.

“Don’t worry mum I’ve got all of those already packed”.

“Good, that way you will be able to contact me and let me know you are ok”.

“I will I promise”.

“I am very jealous” Sophie said.

“You’ll have to follow me on Instagram so you can see all the photos I take” Isla replied.

“That’s a good idea, I’ll do that now”.

Paula loved the fact that her girlfriend and daughter were getting on so well, especially how Isla reacted initially to the two of them.

“Dinner is ready” Paula said.

She had plated up the curry beautifully on the plate, you could see that she took real good care in everything that she did.

“This look absolutely incredible” Sophie said.

“This is how you plate food properly” Paula joked after Sophie’s or attempt yesterday.

“Is that a dig at me?”

“Yes it is” Paula replied.

“You’ll get used to the digs” Isla joked.

“Oi”.

“Oh will I? Anything else I should know?” Sophie asked.

“Isla don’t even think about it” Paula immediately replied giving Isla the look of death.

“She’s a neat freak as you can probably tell, she snores...”

“Isla stop it...” Paula replied.

“No please carry on” Sophie said.

“She hates feet, she’s a snob when it comes to public transport” Isla continued to spill.

“Right stop now before you put Sophie off me”.

“I don’t think she could ever do that” Sophie replied looking lovingly at Paula.

“But even if she does have a few floors, she’s an amazing human being who will do anything for those she cares for. So yeah you’ve got a goodun Sophie”.

“Aww that was very kind of you to say” Paula replied.

“Just the truth” Isla said.

“Well I have a lot of floors, a lot” Sophie replied.

“I doubt that” Isla said.

“I agree, I doubt you have lots of floors” Paula added.

“I’m sure you’ll find out soon enough” Sophie replied.

“Well I look forward to it” Paula said.

The three of them finished off their dinner, it went down a treat with all of them.

“Thanks for dinner mum, I’m going to have a shower and then head to bed. Gotta be up at 3, you still ok to take me to the airport?”

“Of course, I wouldn’t miss waving you off for the world” Paula replied.

“It’s been nice to see you again Sophie, I hope mum treats you well. I guess I’ll see you in three months” Isla said to Sophie.

“I’m sure she will. I hope you have the most magical time away and I hope you manage to clear your head, I look forward to seeing the photos and yes I’ll see you when you are back” Sophie replied.

“Enjoy the rest of your evening and keep the noise down” Isla joked.

“We will” Paula replied giving Sophie the eyes.

As soon as Isla left the room, Paula got up making her way over to where Sophie was sat. She sat down on Sophie’s lap, wrapping her arms around Sophie’s neck.

“Did I tell you how gorgeous you look tonight?” Paula asked.

“You did but you can tell me again if you like”.

“You look absolutely gorgeous” Paula said.

Sophie just smiled, moving her head towards Paula planting a sensual smooch on her lips.

“Shall we take this upstairs?” Paula asked.

“Yes but let’s tidy away first just so you don’t have to do it tomorrow when you are tired, after getting back from the airport”.

“Yeah good plan”.

“You’re going to need to get off me if we are going to tidy up?” Sophie joked as Paula was still sat on her lap.

“I don’t want to”.

“The quicker it gets done the quicker we can go upstairs” Sophie replied.

Paula literally jumped off Sophie’s lap springing into action, cleaning the kitchen quicker than she had ever cleaned it before. Once the two of them had finished tidying up, they headed upstairs to take off where they finished the other day. Sophie closed the door behind her making sure it was shut fully so they had no interruptions this time. She stood there in front of Paula who had sat down on the bed and stripped off to her underwear, she wasn’t wasting anytime.

Chapter Text

Paula sat there admiring Sophie, she couldn’t believe her luck.

“How did I manage to get you?” Paula asked.

“Stop you’ll make me blush again”.

“It’s true, I’m old and you are gorgeous. I am so lucky that you even looked at me let alone gave me a chance”.

“What are you taking about? Paula Martin you are absolutely bloody gorgeous, you are an amazing lawyer, you have 2 beautiful kids. You are just incredible and I’m the lucky one” Sophie explained.

“We’re never going to agree on whose the lucky one, are we?”

Sophie stood there and shook her head.

“Nope, never” Sophie replied making her way over to straddle Paula who was sat on the edge off the bed.

Paula placed her arms around Sophie while looking up at her, Sophie moved the hair that was in Paula’s eyes and tucked it behind her ears. The two sat there in silence staring into each other’s eyes, with smiles on their faces. The silence was broken by the noise of Sophie’s bra strap pinging against her back.

“Ouch” Sophie said as her bra strap hit her.

“Sorry, I was trying to be all smooth and sexy. But it really didn’t work” Paula replied.

“No it really didn’t work. Here let me get it” Sophie said as she went to undo her bra.

Paula pushed Sophie’s hands away.

“I’ve got this” Paula replied taking charge.

“Ok” Sophie said laughing quietly.

It took Paula at least another minute to undo Sophie’s bra, Sophie sat there on her lap trying her best not to laugh too much.

“Gotcha” Paula shouted as she finally managed to undo Sophie’s bra.

“10 minutes later, I mean talk about a mood killer” Sophie joked.

“Mood killer? So you’re telling me you don’t want any fun tonight?” Paula sarcastically asked.

“Well...” Sophie replied as she lay on the bed next to Paula.

“Well what?” Paula said turning to face Sophie.

“I’m ready...” Sophie replied winking at Paula.

Paula wasted no time, she lay beside Sophie kissing her passionately whilst caressing her body. Sophie’s heart rate rapidly began to rise as she had been waiting for Paula to sensually touch her for days.

Goosebumps covered Sophie’s body as Paula’s hand slowly started to move down her body, finally reaching Sophie’s underwear. Paula looked at Sophie one last time before sliding her hand into her underwear showing Sophie exactly what she was capable of.

It was long before Sophie began to moan, she was very conscious about keeping quiet as Isla was just down the hallway. Paula knew that Sophie was trying her best to be quiet, so she decided to take it up a couple of notches on the speed scale.

“Fu.....ck” Sophie screamed.

A smile appeared on Paula’s face when she knew that Sophie was enjoying herself.

“Right there...Oh Jesus” Sophie said as she climaxed. Her heart was racing, her breathing out of control.

“I said quietly” Isla shouted from down the hallway.

“You’re in trouble” Paula joked lying down next to Sophie.

“It’s your fault, Jesus that was something else” Sophie replied.

“In a good way?”

“What do you think?”

“Judging from the scream I’d go with good” Paula replied.

“Very good”.

“So you staying tonight?” Paula asked feeling hopeful.

“If you want me to?”

“I’d love you to”.

“Then it’s a deal” Sophie replied kissing Paula on the lips.

Sophie headed for a quick shower, while Paula needed to finish a bit of paperwork. She got into her silk pyjamas, climbed into bed and turned her laptop on. Sophie borrowed an old baggy t-shirt of Paula’s to wear in bed, she joined Paula in bed resting her head on Paula’s shoulder while she continued to work.

“What you working on?” Sophie asked.

“A case I’ve been asked to look at but I’m not sure if I have the time to take it on. Just trying to figure out which of my staff would do the best job”.

“Your staff? Don’t you sound all posh. How many people work for you?”

“I think there’s 7 of them. I lose track, they are never always in the office at the same time. Thank god otherwise no work would get done”.

“I’ll have to come visit you at work”.

“You will, James is dying to meet you. As is Tricia to be honest”.

“How many people have you told?” Sophie asked.

“Just them, I needed some friendly advice”.

“About what?”

“Never you mind young lady” Paula replied.

“Go on... Tell me” Sophie said poking Paula in her ribs.

“Just whether or not I should follow my heart. And well you can clearly see I did”.

“Well I’m glad you did. I had the exact same conversation with Yasmeen, multiple times”.

“We both followed our hearts and I couldn’t be happier”.

“Me either” Sophie replied as she snuggled into Paula’s shoulder.

“I’ll be a couple more minutes and then I’ll stop working I promise” Paula said.

“No worries”.

Before long Sophie was fast asleep on Paula’s shoulder, Paula did her best not to wake her when she put all of her work away. Sophie didn’t wake but turned over to face the window. Paula climbed back into bed, set her alarm and cuddled Sophie from behind acting like the big spoon.

It felt like no time at all had passed when Paula’s alarm went off waking the pair of them.

“What time is it?” A half asleep Sophie asked.

“Too early, go back to bed” Paula replied gently kissing Sophie on the back of her head.

“I can come with you to the airport if you want?”

“It’s a sweet offer but you get some sleep” Paula replied as she quietly got out of bed to put some clothes on.

“Drive carefully” Sophie said as she yawned.

“I will. See you shortly” Paula replied.

Paula left her room, quietly closing the door behind her.

“Morning sweetheart” Paula said to a very smiley Isla.

“Morning, I made you a coffee, I put an extra shot in there as I think you’ll need it”.

“Thank you. My god it’s early”.

“Tell me about it. I’m hoping I’ll manage to sleep on the plane, you know me I can sleep almost anywhere”.

“I’m sure you’ll manage, when you get to the check in desk ask if there are any seats left into first class they might give you an upgrade...” Paula replied.

“I doubt they would give me an upgrade”.

“Well probably not but it’s worth a go”.

“Ok, I’ll give it a go”.

“So you sure you’ve packed everything? Passport? Boarding pass? Camera? Phone charger? Tablets? Everything?” Paula asked.

“Yes mum I’ve triple check both bags” Isla replied.

“Look at my baby girl all grown up! I’m very proud of you you know?” Paula said as she gave her baby girl a big hug.

“I know you are! Thank you for being you” Isla replied as a tear rolled down her cheek.

“Don’t start crying! We’re not even at the airport yet! No tears until then ok?”

“Deal” Isla replied wiping the tear away.

“Come on then let’s go” Paula said as she picked up one of Islas bags.

“What the hell have you got in here?” She aid as she struggled to pick the bag up.

“Just the essentials” Isla joked.

“I need to get back to the gym”.

“You won’t need to know you’ve got Sophie whipping you into shape” Isla joked.

“You cheeky little...” Paula replied walking out the door after her daughter.

The two of them headed towards the airport, it wasn’t a long drive but long enough for Isla to fall asleep. Paula couldn’t stop looking over at her beautiful daughter, she had brought her up to be a wonderful young lady and she really couldn’t be any prouder of her.

They arrived at the airport where the goodbyes began, Paula was doing her best to keep strong for Isla.

“Bye mum, I’ll miss you”.

“I’ll miss you so much. Please make sure you make regular contact and upload photos, I’m sure Sophie will show me now you two are friends on that Instagram thingy” Paula replied squeezing her daughter tightly.

“I will don’t you worry. I really do hope it works out between the two of you, you deserve to be happy”.

“Thanks I do too. Now you make sure you have the most amazing time and make sure you clear your head because that ex of yours is a waste of space. You deserve someone 10 times better” Paula explained as she gave her daughter a kiss goodbye before hugging her one last time.

“Thanks mum. I love you” Isla replied picking her bags up.

“I love you too” Paula said as the tears began to flow.

Isla began to walk away, she couldn’t stop the tears flowing either, she was going to miss her mum a lot as they were extremely close but she knew this is what she needed right now. She turned one last time to wave to her mum who was in bits stood by her car.

“I love you baby girl” Paula said quietly to herself as she waved to her daughter one last time.

Isla disappeared into the busy airport, that was it. The last time Paula would see her daughter for over 3 months, she was sad but knew it would be an incredible experience for Isla.

Composing herself she got back into her car, wiped the tears away and headed back home to see Sophie who she knew would put a smile on her face. The journey back home was taking longer than she first thought it would as there had been a accident on the motorway.

Sophie woke to an empty bed, she realised that Paula must have been caught in traffic. Deciding to cook her girlfriend a fry up for when she arrived home, Sophie headed downstairs to get started. She wanted to go all out, sausages, bacon, fried bread, eggs, beans, mushrooms and tomatoes, all of which Paula had in her fridge. It was one of the best stocked fridges she had ever come across.

Sophie had lay the table, poured the orange juice, the tea was brewing and the food was nearly cooked. All she needed now was Paula to walk through the front door. Five minutes passed and the door opened, it was a sad looking Paula with heavy eyes from the early morning and the crying.

“Welcome back are you ok?” Sophie said as she gave her girlfriend a big hug.

“I’m ok, it was emotional but I’m ok. Something smells incredible”.

“So I’ve cooked us a fry up, it’s all ready so all you need to do is take a seat and I will bring it over for you” Sophie replied.

“Wow, thank you. This is amazing. As is you in that pinny” Paula said as she span Sophie around getting a good look at her in her apron.

“I aim to please” Sophie replied as she curtsied.

Paula took a seat at the table which was looking beautiful after Sophie had laid it.

“Here we go, I hope everything is cooked to your liking. I wasn’t sure how you like you’re eggs so I went for one dippy and one hard” Sophie explained as she placed the ginormous plate of food in front of Paula.

“Wow. This looks delicious. Come here” Paula said as she gave Sophie a peck on the lips.

“I hope it’s yummy” Sophie replied as she sat down next to Paula at the table.

“It will be” Paula said as she tucked into the fry up.

“Did Isla get off ok?” Sophie asked.

“Yeah we were both a bit teary but yeah she’s off about to have the time of her life and I have things to look forward to here...” Paula explained.

“And what would those be?” Sophie asked hoping one of the answers would be her.

“Well I’ve got a new desk being delivered at work next week and a new chair...” Paula said winking up Sophie.

“A desk?”

“Well there is a certain bombshell named Sophie who I’m excited about spending more time with...”

“Thats a better answer” Sophie replied.

“I just hope she stays safe out there, the world is a scary place these days”.

“It is but she’s a smart girl and plus she might make friends out there like you did” Sophie replied.

“I hope so! I really do”.

“How’s the fry up?”

“Absolutely delicious, you can stay more often if I’m going to get this treatment!”

“We can’t be eating too many of them though we need to stay in shape”.

“Well maybe we could go on a run, when I say run I mean like a fast walk” Paula joked.

“Let’s do it. I don’t have to be in work until 4 are you free to go on one after our breakfast has gone down?”

“I can make myself free” Paula replied.

“Good!”

The pair finished their humongous breakfasts and lazed around on the sofa while they waited for it to go down. After a couple of hours the two of them were both ready to head for a walk through the countryside behind Paula’s mansion.

“My trainers are in my car, give me two seconds” Sophie said as she quickly changed into her trainers.

“Snooze you lose” Paula shouted as she ran off getting a head start.

“I thought we were running” Sophie shouted back as she struggled to get one of her trainers on.

Paula was wasting no time she had travelled quite a distance while Sophie was faffing with her trainers.

“I’m coming” Sophie shouted as she ran after Paula.

Sophie couldn’t see Paula, that’s because she was hiding behind a tree ready to scare Sophie half to death.

“Paula where are you?” Sophie shouted.

Sophie continued to run, keeping her eyes out for Paula.

“Oi GRANDMA where are you?” Sophie joked knowing she would get a reaction from Paula calling her grandma.

“Boo” Paula shouted as she jumped out from behind the tree.

“Jesus. Don’t do that to me! I’ve watched far too many scary films and all sorts of ideas were running through my head”.

“Did you just call me grandma?” Paula asked.

“Maybe?” Sophie replied.

“You cheeky little shit” Paula said picking up a handful of leaves off the floor ready to throw them at Sophie.

“Catch me if you can” Sophie replied as she ran off away from Paula.

“Don’t you worry I will, used to be a cross country runner” Paula shouted back.

“I’ll believe it when I see it...” Sophie joked as the distance between them grew.

Chapter Text

Paula was still doing her best to catch up with Sophie who was actually pretty speedy for someone who had never been particularly good at sports. Although the pace from both of them was starting to drop due to tiredness.

“Can we stop I’m shattered?” Paula shouted hoping Sophie would say yes.

“We can but you have to say that I win before we stop”.

“Yeah ok...” Paula replied.

“No I need to actually hear you say those words”.

“Fine you win” Paula said through gritted teeth she hated losing.

“YES” Sophie replied as she did a little victory dance before stopping to get her breath back.

“Next time I’ll get you”.

“Yeah yeah keep telling yourself that” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“You really are cheeky aren’t you?”

“I know I just can’t help it. You bring it out in me”.

“I’m not complaining I like it. Fair play we didn’t run far but my god I’m dead” Paula said.

“I know right maybe next time we should just go for a nice stroll, hand in hand?”

“Sounds perfect” Paula said reaching for Sophie’s hand.

“Can you believe it’s only been just over a week since we met?” Sophie said.

“I really can’t. I mean so much has happened, it’s crazy” Paula replied as the pair headed back to the house.

“Crazy good though yeah?”

“Crazy incredible if you ask me” Paula said with a stupidly big smile on her face.

“Can you imagine that if my mum hadn’t have been set up by Duncan we never would have met”.

“I don’t want to imagine that, that makes me sad”.

“Luckily we don’t have to even think about that”.

“We really don’t. You nervous about you’re mums pre trial hearing?” Paula asked Sophie.

“I won’t lie I’m bricking it. I mean I know she is innocent but I have no idea what the court will think”.

“She’ll be ok! I’m bloody good at my job and we have a strong case, she’ll be fine don’t you worry” Paula explained squeezing Sophie’s hand a little tighter.

“I hope you’re right. I just want it to all be over, I can see how stressed it’s making her, which I hate seeing”.

“Maybe you should spend tomorrow with her? I’m sure she would love spend sometime with her baby before the trail on Monday”.

“Yeah I might just do that, I’ll see her when I get home before work and see if she wants to do something. Keep her mind busy” Sophie replied.

“Good idea! I’m sure I’ll be ok, in my ginormous house all on my own” Paula said trying to make Sophie feel bad for her.

“Well you never know I might be able to pay you a visit in the evening” Sophie replied.

A smile appeared on Paula’s face, she looked forward to every single opportunity the two of them had to spend time together.

“I’d love that” Paula said.

“We would have to make sure we were careful the following morning, in case anyone say us”.

“Don’t worry I’m good at being careful, it comes with the job”.

The two of them returned to the house, Sophie decided that she should probably get back to the cobbles in case her mum began to ask more questions about where she had been.

“I should go but I’ll see you tomorrow? No doubt I’ll text you very shortly”.

“I look forward to both” Paula replied.

“Well it has been lovely as usual to spend alone time with you, don’t work too hard. I’ll miss you” Sophie explained as she gave Paula a smooch.

“I will miss you too” Paula replied pinching Sophie’s bum.

“Ouch” Sophie joked.

“You have a marvellous bum by the way”.

“So I’ve been told”.

“By who?”

“Lots” Sophie joked as she got into her car ready to head back home.

The look on Paula’s face was a jealous one, she knew deep down that Sophie was joking but the thought of anyone having their eyes on Sophie made her very very jealous.

“I’ll see you later” Paula said waving as Sophie drove off.

Sophie honked the horn a couple of times, Paula just stood their and smiled.

Paula headed back inside to clear away the rest of the mess Sophie had made whilst making their breakfast. She might be good at making a greasy fry up but she seemed to use every single pot and pan in the entire kitchen. After she had made the kitchen spotless again, Paula headed for a shower. The music was blaring and the dance moves were in full swing whilst she was in the shower, nothing was going to knock the smile off of her face.

“Hiya dad” Sophie said walking through the front door.

“Hi love, Where have you been? Or is that me being too much like your mother?” Kevin replied.

“I spent the night at a friends house” Sophie said.

“Well I hope you had a nice time”.

“Thanks” a shocked Sophie replied, she was expecting her dad to ask more questions about who she was with.

“Me and Jack are off to the footy tonight, I thought it might cheer him up a little”.

“Is he ok?” Sophie asked.

She felt bad that she hadn’t spent more time with her little brother but she was completely and utterly caught up in the whirlwind that was her and Paula’s relationship.

“Yeah he’s fine, I just think he wants to get out and do more. Which is easier said than done because when we are out he then doesn’t want to do anything. I think it’s going to take a while but he’s getting better day by day”.

“We need to find him a sport that he can enjoy regardless of his disability” Sophie replied.

“Yeah, that would be good”.

“Well when I’m on my break later I’ll do some research and see what I can find in the area” Sophie replied.

“Thanks Soph you are a gooden, most of the time” Kevin joked.

“I know” Sophie replied as she headed upstairs to get changed, ready for work.

Before heading to work Sophie wanted to find her mum to arrange to do something with her tomorrow to keep her mind off the court case. She checked at home but she wasn’t there, she knew she wasn’t at work so the only other place Sally had been a lot recently was the bistro. Sophie had noticed that Sally was becoming a great lover of wine, probably because it helped her to de-stress when it came to the case.

“Mother I’ve been looking everywhere for you” Sophie said walking into the bistro to find both Sally and Gina half cut.

“Well I am terribly sorry I didn’t realise you needed to know where I was every minute of the day” Sally sarcastically replied.

“Ummm pot kettle...black” Sophie abruptly responded.

“Oh don’t ruin my fun Sophie. What do you want?”

“I came here to ask if you wanted to do something with me tomorrow? But now I kinda wish I hadn’t bothered”.

“Aww that’s nice of you Sophie” Gina replied.

“So you remember I exist then?” Sally asked.

“Of course I do. Sorry I’ve been busy recently but I’ve been working a lot”.

“Working?” Sally sarcastically replied using her fingers to mock Sophie.

“Do you know what forget it. You can spend tomorrow on your own nursing a hangover” Sophie said as she stormed out of the bistro.

“Sal now look what you’ve done” Gina said.

“I was only joking...”

“But you weren’t. You moan when Sophie doesn’t have a social life and you moan when she does... make you’re mind up woman”.

“Oh be quiet and get the next round in” Sally replied.

She knew she was in the wrong but she didn’t want to admit that she was freaking out about the hearing on Monday. The only way she knew how to deal with it all at the moment was by drinking and pushing everything else to the back of her mind.

“No. I think you’ve had enough Sal” Gina replied.

“Fine I’ll get it myself” Sally said as she stumbled over to the bar.

“You alright Sally?” Kate asked with genuine concern as she had never really seen Sally this drunk at 3:30 in the afternoon.

“I’m fine, not that it’s any of your business. Glass of white wine please” Sally replied.

Kate was doing her best not to bite back as she knew Sally was going through a lot, she also knew that Sally wasn’t her biggest fan.

“I’ll get you your wine but it’s the last one ok?”

“Last one? Why? I’m absolutely fine” Sally mumbled back.

“Trust me I’m looking out for you” Kate said.

“You don’t look out for anyone other than yourself... you certainly didn’t look out for Sophie did you?” Sally shouted back.

“Come on Sal I think we should go home” Gina said as she got up from the table trying to get Sally to leave.

“I’m not going anywhere...” Sally replied.

“I know you’re having a hard time at the moment but trust me alcohol isn’t the answer. When Aidan died I buried myself in a bottle of vodka wondering what I could have done to stop him. All the alcohol did was make things a hell of a lot worse” Kate said trying to help Sally.

“I’m sorry, Aidan was a wonderful man” Sally quietly replied as she began to tear up.

“Why don’t we go have a chat over there? I’ll get you some water...” Kate said hoping Sally would agree to it.

“Yeah ok...” Sally replied.

The look on both Kate’s and Gina’s face said it all they couldn’t believe that Sally had agreed to talk to Kate, let alone about what’s happening in that head of hers.

“Here we go” Kate said as she place a glass of water down in front of Sally.

“Thank you. I’m sorry for what I said back there, I just have so much going through my head right now I don’t know what to do”.

“Talk to me, what’s up?”

“Im just so scared that the court won’t believe me, I’m worried they will believe Duncan and that I’ll end up in jail” Sally explained.

“I’m sure that won’t happen, everyone around here knows you are innocent, I’m sure that the judge will see that too” Kate replied.

“I hope you are right because I’m not cut out for jail”.

“Sally you need to be thinking positively, you’ve got a great lawyer from what I’ve heard. I’m sure she’ll be able to make sure that doesn’t happen”.

“I hope so. Promise me one thing?” Sally asked.

“Sure anything...” Kate replied knowing she had no other choice than to do what Sally said right now.

“If I do go to jail make sure you watch over Sophie for me. I’d never forgive myself if anything happened to her”.

“I promise” Kate replied as she took hold of Sally’s hand squeezing it in compassion.

“Thank you. Now I should probably do as you’ve told me and go home. I’m sorry about earlier, just scared” Sally said.

“I know you are but just remember you’re not alone. We are all here for you” Kate replied.

“Thank you”.

“Shall we get you home Sal?” Gina said as she helped Sally to her feet.

“Take care Sally” Kate said.

“Thank you” Gina mouthed as the two of them headed to the door.

Kate wasted no time in letting Sophie know how much her mum was worrying about the case.

*Hey Soph, just had a heart to heart with your drunk mother but I thought I should let you know that she is beyond worried about this court case. She’s scared about ending up in jail, maybe you could try and ease her mind, or take her mind off it? Hope you’re ok! Kate x*

Sophie who was unaware of what had just happened over at the bistro was busy at work, making sure all the customers were happy.

“2 onion bhajis and 2 naan bread chicken wraps please” Sophie said telling the chef what she needed to be cooked.

“Yes boss” The chef cheekily replied.

“Hiya Sophie table for 2 please” Steve asked.

“Sure thing, follow me” Sophie replied.

“Thank you” Steve said.

“I’ll be over in a few minutes to take your order” Sophie replied giving both Steve and Tracy enough time to have a look at the menu.

While she was behind the bar she quickly checked her phone. She immediately saw the text from Kate, she wasn’t surprised that her mum wasn’t coping but didn’t know how to deal with her when she was in one of her moods.

*Thanks Kate, I’ll have a word with her after work. I just wish she would open up to me instead of blocking me out or being rude to me. I’ll sort her out. Thanks again. Soph x*

“Something wrong? You have a concerned look on your face” Yasmeen asked.

“Just mum she got plastered and broke down to Kate about the court case”.

“Go home...”

“No I can’t leave you in the lurch”.

“You can! Go... she needs you” Yasmeen replied.

“Thank you. I promise I will make it up to you” Sophie said.

“I know you will” Yasmeen joked.

“Bye” Sophie said as she headed home to check on her mum.

*If I don’t message much tonight it’s nothing personal, mums drunk and very emotional about the case. I’m off home to try and calm her down, so yeah I’m not ignoring you just need to take care of Mum. xxx*

Sophie wanted to let Paula know, just in case she thought that Sophie wasn’t messaging her enough.

What Sophie didn’t realise is that Gina had already spoken to Paula and Paula was on her way over to Sally’s to try and put her mind at ease.

Chapter Text

Over at Sally’s Paula had arrived to try and reassure Sally that everything was going to be ok.

“Sal you need to trust me ok? I’m good at what I do” Paula said reassuring Sally.

“I know you are but what if that’s still not enough?”

“We can’t think like that because if you show one sign of weakness or guilt they will eat you alive. Duncan has wrapped Imran around his little finger and the fact that he has managed to convince him you are guilty, he can convince anyone. You need to be strong and you need to focus. So stop the drinking and focus on Monday” Paula replied with a bit of force.

“Steady...” Gina added.

“Look I’m being brutally honest right now. You need to get your head on straight because they are going to question you and any slip up or mistake they will twist to make you look guilty. But that’s where I come in, i will be able to defend you and show them that you are not capable of doing anything like this”.

“Ok...” Sally replied.

“So sober up and let’s focus” Paula said.

Gina got Sally another glass of water to try and help her sober up. Tim had gone with Kevin and Jack to the football so had no idea that any of this was happening.

As soon as Sophie turned the corner onto the road her mums house was on she spotted Paula’s car, she had absolutely no idea what it was doing there. Letting herself in, Sophie walked in to find a very drunk looking Sally doing her best to sip the water, Gina sat next to her propping her up and Paula looking slightly annoyed.

“Sophie I need to apologise to you” Sally said slurring her words.

“Mum, What have you done?” Sophie replied as she walked straight over to her mum, sitting down on the coffee table in front of her.

“You’re mums just having a little panic over the case, nothing we can sort out” Paula explained smiling at Sophie.

“I just don’t want to end up locked up” Sally mumbled.

“Mum you can’t think like that! You need to be positive otherwise you’ll end up looking guilty” Sophie replied.

“That’s exactly what Kate told you wasn’t it” Gina added.

“See she’s not all bad is she?” Sophie replied.

Paula felt on edge whenever Kate’s name was mentioned. Even though the two of them had cleared the air, she was still wary of her especially as she knows the Sophie was madly in love with her.

“No, she spoke a lot of sense today... I’m gunna be si...ck” Sally replied as she ran up the stairs, tripping up half way.

“Come on Sal quickly” Gina said trying to get Sally back on her feet so that she didn’t throw up on her carpet.

After a few crashes and bangs Sally made it to the toilet just in time.

“Im sorry you were dragged here” Sophie quietly said to Paula.

“It’s no problem, it’s not like I had anything else to do. Plus it means I get to see your face again”.

“I didn’t know she was worrying so much”.

“She had kept it in, you weren’t to know”.

“I should have spent more time with her, I should have realised she was struggling”.

“Sophie, you’re mum is a very stubborn lady. She will only have told you on her terms and you can see that she wasn’t ready to let it all out. Luckily Kate managed to get her to open up a little” Paula explained.

“I need to just sit down with her and let her know that we are all here for her no matter what”.

“That’s all you can do! I promise you I will do everything I can”.

“I know you will” Sophie replied smiling at Paula.

“Look I’m going to head off, give you some alone time with your mum. Give her my love and let her know that I’ll see her Monday morning. And I’ll see you tomorrow evening?”

“Yeah you will! I’ll see you out” Sophie said as the pair of them got off the sofa and headed into the little hallway area.

“Good luck” Paula said as she gave Sophie a kiss goodnight.

“Thanks. I’ll message you in a bit” Sophie replied.

“Good” Paula said as she walked over to her car.

15 minutes passed and Sally had finally finished throwing up, she really had drunk a hell of a lot of alcohol in a short space of time. Something that Sally wasn’t used to.

“How is she Auntie Gina?”

“I think she’s feeling better, if put her into bed. Go up and see her if you like. Paula gone?” Gina replied.

“Yeah she didn’t want to get in the way. I’ll go see her but only if she has brushed her teeth, I don’t wanna be breathed on if she has sickly breath” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“Don’t worry she’s brushed her teeth. Look just go up there and tell her you love her”.

“I will I will, don’t worry. Let’s just hope she doesn’t have another go at me”.

“She won’t! Cut her a bit of slack Sophie”.

“I know I’m sorry”.

“She sticks her nose in, in places that it doesn’t belong but she only does it because she cares”.

“I know, I’ll go see her” Sophie replied heading up the stairs.

Sophie quietly knocked on the door before entering her mums bedroom. Perching on the end of the bed Sophie asked how her mum was doing.

“You alright?” Sophie asked.

“I feel awful but I’m just embarrassed” Sally quietly replied.

“Don’t be we’ve all been there done that got the t-shirt. Just promise me before you go and get wasted again, come and see me so we can talk through how you are feeling. I’m here for you Mum”.

“I know you are but recently you’ve been so busy”.

Sophie felt really guilty hearing her mum say that, she had been busy but she thought her mum knew that she would always come first.

“I know I have but you always come first regardless of anything”.

“I just didn’t want to get in the way”.

“Mum you often get in the way but I wouldn’t want you any other way. You are a pain in my ass 90% of the time but I love you more than anything in this entire world and would do anything for you” Sophie explained.

“I love you Sophie Webster”.

“I love you too. Get some sleep because my god you are going to have a killer hangover very shortly”.

“Thank you”.

“For what?”

“Being here” Sally replied.

“You’re welcome”.

Sophie went and sat in her old room for a few minutes, just to think about everything. She felt really guilty that her mum felt like she was on her own, even though she was surrounded by people who cared and supported her. Part of Sophie wanted to cool things off with Paula until after the court case but the other part didn’t because she couldn’t get Paula off her mind.

After going over several different scenarios of what she could do in her head, Sophie came to the conclusion that her and Paula were actually doing nothing wrong. They were both grown adults who had feelings for one another, it was just unfortunate that Paula was Sally’s lawyer.

Sophie returned home to an empty house, she would usually wait up for her brother and dad to get back from football but she was so tired so just headed straight to bed.

*Getting an early night, sleep well. Speak to you tomorrow xxx* Sophie sent to Paula before turning her phone on silent and getting some much needed sleep.

Sunday morning came and it was a gloomy day, it looked as dark and grey as Sally felt this morning. She was massively regretting drinking the amount of alcohol that she did as she felt like she had been hit by a bus. Sally gingerly walked downstairs to see Tim, Sophie and Gina all sat round the table waiting for Sally to appear so that they could eat breakfast together.

“Morning, you look rough” Tim said in his usual manner.

“I feel rough”.

“That’ll teach you to drink so much won’t it” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“I know I know. I regret it completely”.

“Get this down you. It always helps me” Gina said putting down a green sludge like drink in front of her.

“What the bloody hell is it? Looks like the Incredible Hulk took a dump in my glass” Sally joked.

“Just shut up and drink it” Gina replied.

Sally held her nose and slowly began to down the drink, her face said it all. She wasn’t enjoying it one little bit.

“It’s not that bad is it?” Gina asked with a beaming smile on her face.

“It’s delicious” Sally replied trying to stop herself from gagging.

“Enough of the green sludge, get this fry up down you. It’ll make you feel a lot better. Then we are going to spend the day watching films and pampering each other ok?” Sophie explained.

“I’d love that” Sally replied.

“Can I join in?” Gina asked.

“Of course you can” Sophie replied.

“Thanks Soph” Sally said giving her daughter a big smile.

The afternoon arrived, Sally was feeling much better after demolishing the cooked breakfast that had been made for her. Tim had made himself scarce so the woman could enjoy a girly afternoon.

*Make sure you have a wonderful afternoon with your mum! I can’t wait to see you this evening! Don’t worry I’m spending my day making sure I am 100% ready for tomorrow. See you later xxx*

It meant a lot to Sophie that Paula was rechecking everything for tomorrow that she had already checked over before. She really was taking this case very very seriously, which meant the world to her.

The ladies spent the afternoon watching trashy films that made Sally laugh and eating junk food which made them all feel better. Sophie also treated her mum to a manicure ready for tomorrow, along with a face mask to help her feel refreshed. It was only 8 o’clock but Sally was ready to call it a night, she knew that tomorrow was going to be a very long and draining day.

“Thanks for today Soph, it meant a lot to me” Sally said giving her daughter a big hug.

“Anytime. I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow ok? Make sure you get some sleep” Sophie replied.

“I will, see you tomorrow” Sally said as she took herself off to bed.

“It was good of you to do what you did for your mum today. I know she appreciated it a lot” Gina explained.

“It was my pleasure. If she’s feeling good within herself it can only help for tomorrow can’t it”.

“Very true. You get off I’ll clear up here” Gina said.

“Thanks, early to bed for me I think” Sophie replied knowing full well it wouldn’t be an early night.

“Good idea. See you tomorrow hun” Gina said.

Sophie grabbed her things and walked towards her house, when she reached the front door she continued to walk round the corner where Paula was waiting in her car to pick her up.

“Hello you” Paula said welcoming Sophie with a kiss.

“Careful you don’t know whose about...”

“Oh yeah sorry”.

“Don’t be, my god I can’t wait to get my hands on you”.

“You don’t have to wait long” Paula replied as she put her foot down on the accelerator.

Arriving at Paula’s the pair wasted no time at all making their way to the bedroom.

“Wait here I e got a surprise for you” Paula said as she headed to the bathroom to put on some new lingerie she had brought.

“I’m going nowhere don’t you worry” Sophie replied as she lay on the bed.

Paula took out this gorgeous silky black and red matching lingerie set with lacy suspenders. She was so excited to get into it because she knew it was going to drive Sophie wild.

“Hurry up” Sophie shouted.

Paula was struggling with the suspenders, they kept pinging off the clip as soon as she moved.

“Shit I got the ones for extra short people” Paula quietly said to herself.

Deciding to scrap the suspenders, Paula quickly took them off throwing them back in the bag so she could get to Sophie as soon as possible.

Setting the scene Paula played some sexy music over her speaker system as she slowly opened the door. She dangled one of her legs out of the door in a sexy manner, followed by the other one.

“You ready?” Paula asked.

There was no reply...

“Sophie, darling? You ready?” Paula said a bit louder.

Paula peered her head around the corner only to find Sophie fast asleep in the foetus position on the bed. She quickly turned off the music and covered herself up with her bath robe.

Sitting down beside a sleeping Sophie, Paula couldn’t help but just watch her sleep, she looked so peaceful and content. Paula managed to get the duvet out from under Sophie so that she could wrap her up making sure she was warm enough. After getting herself ready for bed, Paula climbed in next to Sophie, snuggling up to her.

“I’m awake” Sophie mumbled as Paula wrapped her arm around Sophie’s waist.

“Let’s just sleep, we have plenty of time for sexy time” Paula replied.

“Night” Sophie said as she kissed Paula’s arm that was holding her tightly.

“Night” Paula said squeezing tightly.

The two of them had got used to sleeping next to each other so quickly, it felt weird when they weren’t next to each other. This really was the beginning of something special and they couldn’t have been more excited.

Chapter Text

The morning of Sally’s pre trial had arrived, the sun was beaming through the window of Paula’s bedroom shining directly onto the two of them. Sophie woke in the arms of Paula, she was so comfortable everything just felt right.

“Morning” Sophie whispered as she looked over to Paula.

“Good morning you. Did you sleep well?” Paula replied.

“I did. It’s funny I always sleep so much better when I’m in bed with someone instead of being on my own. Even if I do hog the duvet” Sophie said.

“You do I noticed that. Woke up during the night and I was freezing, look over and you had it all. A quick tug was needed to make sure I didn’t freeze to death”.

“I’m sorry”.

“Don’t be, I’d rather have no duvet and you by my side than a duvet on my own” Paula said as she gave Sophie a kiss on her forehead.

“We should probably get up, todays a big day”.

“It is, I’m fully prepared though but yes we should head over there before your mum starts to panic”.

“Too late for that she will already be panicking” Sophie joked.

“So...shower?” Paula said winking at Sophie.

“Id love to but we don’t have time... it’s 8:30 and we are supposed to be at mums for 9:15”.

“Shit is that the time, right up you” Paula said slapping Sophie on the thigh under the duvet.

The two of them rushed to get ready extra speedily, but they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. As Sophie put her shirt on Paula couldn’t resist grabbing her around the waist caressing her body and going in for a cheeky kiss. The connection between the two of them was indescribable, the spark was off the charts.

“Stop ok... we’re running late” Sophie said as she tried to push Paula off her.

“I just can’t help it, I can’t keep my hands off you”.

“Well you are going to have to. You’ve got 3 minutes and then we need to leave” Sophie said being bossy.

“I thought I was the bossy one...”

“No. I wear the trousers today. Well actually I’m wearing a dress later but still” Sophie replied.

“A dress? How do you expect me to be able to keep my eyes off you and concentrate on the case?”

“I don’t know but you are going to have to” Sophie replied.

“Yes boss” Paula said saluting towards Sophie.

Whilst the two of them finished getting ready, Sally had already been up for hours trying to sort out what she was going to wear for court. She couldn’t decide between a colourful flowered shirt or a plain blue one, it was stressing her out.

“Sal you are going to wear a hole in the carpet if you don’t stop walking backwards and forwards on it” Tim said.

“Sorry I just don’t really know what to do with myself”.

“Why don’t you nip over to the shop for a paper and anything else you might want to calm the nerves”.

“A bottle of wine?” Sally replied.

“We all know that’s a bad idea after your little show the other day”.

“I know I know. But you’re right fresh air might do me some good” Sally replied.

“Just go for a little walk, clear you’re head” Tim said.

“I will, I’ll be back soon” Sally replied grabbing her coat and heading for the door.

Sally headed to the shop to waste time before Paula arrived to go through the final preparations for today. As Sally walked into the shop, Paula parked her car around the corner so that Sophie could quickly get out without anyone seeing her.

“Uh... give me two mins yeah?” Sophie said as she opened the door.

“It’s only a short walk of shame” Paula replied.

“It’s not about the shame, it’s about...”

“Yeah I know... your mum” Paula replied giving Sophie one of her loving smiles.

Sophie gave Paula a huge smile goodbye.

As Sophie walked away Paula couldn’t help but admire her girlfriend up and down, the look in her eyes was one of admiration. She couldn’t believe how gorgeous Sophie was. Paula waited a couple of minutes before driving round the block a couple of time before parking outside Sally’s house.

Sally had visited the shop but got bored so went for a coffee in the cafe where Imran was with Toyah, she was trying her best not to make eye contact with him as today was a big day. But she did over here them talking, Toyah was furious with him because he had been sleeping with both Toyah and Leanne. Sally couldn’t believe what she was hearing, she was disgusted.

The two of them got up from the table and headed for the exit, Sally noticed that a piece of paper had fallen out of his file. She didn’t want to make any sudden movements for it, so bided her time before slyly reaching for it.

Looking at the piece of paper Sally realised that it was a witness list for the court case, she couldn’t believe that one of her old colleagues was on it. Part of her wanted to give the piece of paper back to Imran but the other half of her didn’t because of what he had just done to Toyah and Leanne.

Sophie had arrived at her mums only to find that her mum wasn’t there.

“Where’s mum?” Sophie asked.

“I told her to go and get some fresh air, she barely slept and quite frankly was driving me mad” Tim replied.

“Fair enough, god I hope today goes well”.

“Right I’m going to cook everyone some breakfast what do people want?” Geoff asked.

“Anything thanks dad” Tim replied.

“Yeah I’m not too fussy” Sophie added.

Paula finally parked up in front of Sally’s house, just as Sally appeared from the cafe.

“Morning Paula” Sally shouted with a smile on her face after finding this list.

“Good morning, you ready for today?”

“I am!”

As the pair chatted Leanne and Toyah walked past, Sally couldn’t help but have a little dig at the pair of them.

“I didn’t realise sisters had to share their fella as well...” Sally said to the two of them as they walked past.

Neither of them replied, they just smiled and continued to walk past.

“What’s that about?” Paula asked with a confused look on her face.

“Well you see they’ve been sleeping with the same man”.

“No way... did they know?”

“No I don’t think so. It was Imran... I hate how people with power think they can do anything and get away with it. Like they are morally better than us...” Sally explained.

Paula didn’t reply.

“I mean the deception and lying that must have gone on between the three of them, it disgusts me”.

Paula felt horrendous because her and Sophie were doing exactly that, lying to Sally about their relationship. Putting a smile on her face Paula followed Sally into her house.

“Hiya Paula” Gina Immediately said.

“Hey” Paula replied.

“Hi Paula” Sophie said as she popped her head round the corner.

“Hey Sophie” Paula replied with a smitten smile on her face.

“Surely you are changing Gina, I need you and Tim to both look smart today”.

“I don’t think it really matters what we wear Sally, does it Paula?” Gina replied.

“A smart top and trousers will be fine” Paula said as she took a seat on the sofa.

Sally walked into the kitchen to put the milk she got from the shop away in the fridge.

“I need you all here ready for 11 ok?” Sally announced.

“Mum will you stop stressing out, we will be ready. Also Jack has made you a good luck card, I’ll go get it in a bit” Sophie replied.

Sophie’s reply got Paula’s attention immediately, would it be an opportunity to have a little fun before the case started.

“Luck isn’t what she needs right now...” Time said.

Paula couldn’t stop yawning, which wasn’t going unnoticed by Sally.

“No you’re right we don’t need luck we just need Paula” Gina replied.

“How do people want their eggs?” Geoff asked.

“No one wants your FLAMING EGGS” Tim shouted aggressively.

“You need to curb that anger around Duncan” Sally replied.

“I will, I’m sorry” Tim said.

“Maybe we should go somewhere a little quieter. There are a few things we need to run through...” Paula suggested.

“How about the cafe?” Sally replied.

“Perfect”.

“Remember ready for 11” Sally said loudly to everyone.

Paula grabbed her things and walked towards the door, before she left the house she turned to Sophie and slyly gave her a look. A look that covered Sophie in goosebumps, Sophie couldn’t help but smile back making sure no one else noticed.

Over at the cafe, Sally wasted no time at all in showing Paula the list Imran had dropped earlier.

“Surely this changes everything?” Sally asked as Paula studied the list.

“Well not really... where did you get this?” Paula replied.

“Not important” Sally said being very dismissive.

“Sorry it is kind of important” Paula abruptly replied.

“Shouldn’t you be mor worried that he has my ex colleague on his witness list, Judith Bishop?”

“What that she overheard you and Duncan on the phone?” Paula replied.

“Ridiculous” Sally said as Paula’s phone went off.

*Come over I’ve got a free house, everyone’s out xx*

“I don’t quite know what she thinks she heard” Sally said as Paula was miles away.

It was a text from Sophie, Paula had to do her best not to smile in case Sally caught on to anything. All Paula was thinking about right now was being able to make a good enough excuse to get her ass over to Sophie’s right now for some alone time.

“PAULA?” Sally shouted trying to get Paula’s attention.

“Ummm, don’t worry he’s unlikely to call her as a witness. Anyway if he does I’ll be there to question her” Paula replied as she put her phone down.

“That’s no good! You should be calling her and putting her straight”.

“That’s the last thing we need to be doing, I don’t want Imran getting in the way of anything. We just need to concentrate on the case and what we know. You need to stop trying to do my job for me and just trust me that I’ve got this” Paula said as she yawned.

“I’ll get us some more coffees shall I?” Sally said looking down her nose at Paula for being tired on one of her most important days.

“No, I’ll get them” Paula replied.

The pair continued to talk with Paula answering any questions or concerns Sally had. Paula was desperate to get out of there as quickly as she could because Sophie finally had a free house.

“I just need to pop back to the office but I’ll meet you at yours at 11? Ok?” Paula said.

“No worries, see you then” Sally replied. She was slightly concerned that Paula seemed a bit distracted today, but she trusted her.

Paula rushed over to Sophie’s, she couldn’t wait to get her hands on her.

“You took you’re time” Sophie said as she opened the door pulling Paula in quickly so no one saw.

“Sorry but your mum was asking a million questions and I didn’t want her to get suspicious” Paula replied.

“We don’t have long” Sophie said taking Paula’s jacket off.

“I know we don’t” Paula replied.

Sophie dragged Paula into the lounge by her shirt, they wanted no time in getting frisky with one another.

“The door is locked right?” Paula quickly asked as she pulled away from Sophie for a second.

“Yes it’s locked...” Sophie replied pulling Paula towards her so that she could carry on kissing her.

Paula could finally relax, she wasted no time pushing Sophie on to the sofa, she looked at her up and down before getting ready to lie on top of her. There wasn’t time to get too frisky but that didn’t stop the pair of them getting hands on with one another. Paula couldn’t stop kissing Sophie’s neck which she knew drove Sophie mad with excitement.

The time was slowly ticking on and Sophie realised that the two of them needed to stop, otherwise they were never going to be ready for 11.

“Oh come on...” Paula said kissing Sophie’s neck.

“I have got to get ready for court” Sophie said as she tried to put her slippers on.

Paula couldn’t keep her hands off Sophie.

“Hmm me too. I don’t think the judge would appreciate my current look” Paula replied sat there with her shirt open and bra on show.

Sophie stood there looking at Paula like she was a dessert, she couldn’t believe how stunning she was.

“Well what a stupid judge...I’m going to go get changed” Sophie said leaning in for a kiss.

Sophie ran upstairs to quickly change, whilst Paula got up to check her phone which had just gone off. As she checked her phone, Sally walked quietly through the front door, shocked to see Paula stood in the kitchen.

“Oh...” Sally said.

Paula had never turned round so quickly in her life, the look of panic on her face was clear, her heart was racing, was this really happening.

“Sa..lly” Paula replied trying to hide the panic in her voice.

Sally stood there with a smile on her face because she immediately jumped to the conclusion that Paula had been getting intimate with Kevin, which was what she wanted in the first place.

“This is a surprise” Sally said.

“Right back at you” Paula replied quickly buttoning up her shirt that was open.

“Well... what are you? I didn’t think that you and Kevin had clicked?” Sally said as Paula did her best to remain as calm as she could.

“Uhhh” Paul replied as she didn’t know quite what to reply.

“Don’t get me wrong I’m absolutely delighted. Listen I’ll get out of your hair” Sally said with a beaming smile on her face.

Paula looked relieved that Sally was finally going, she couldn’t believe how close the two of them had got to being caught.

“I only came over because Sophie hasn’t materialised...”

“Oh she left... she must have got waylaid” Paula replied immediately.

There was a moment of silence before a bang upstairs caught the attention of both of them. Paula began to panic, she desperately didn’t want Sally to find out about her and Sophie.

“KEV...” Paula shouted in a slightly croaky voice. “Sal’s here”.

Sally couldn’t keep the smirk off her face she couldn’t have been happier that her match making skills had finally worked.

“Ill leave you to it” Sally said winking at Paula.

“Thanks” Paula quietly replied nervously smiling away. She felt relieved that they were going to get away with it... or were they?

Chapter Text

“Actually can I ask you something?” Sally asked with a smile on her face.

“Mhmm” Paula replied just wanted Sally to leave.

“What do you think of this blouse? It’s not too loud is it? I don’t want to give the judge the wrong impression” Sally asked as she opened her jacket to show Paula her very colourful flowered blouse.

“It’s great, you look lovely! I’ll see you later then yeah” Paula replied with a smile on her face trying to get rid of Sally as quickly as she could.

“Yeah...” Sally said as she walked towards the door.

The look of relief on Paula’s face was clear to see, she couldn’t believe how close that was.

“Bye KEV” Sally shouted up the stairs pausing for a second in case she got a reply. After no reply she turned to open the door.

Sally was shocked to see Kevin opening the door from the other side, Paula’s face dropped immediately as she knew the shit was about to hit the fan.

“What you doing here?” Kevin asked with a very confused look on his face.

Sally looked at Kevin then turned round to look at both Paula and Sophie, she couldn’t quite understand what the hell was going on.

“But... you said...” Sally said.

Sophie slowly walked down the stairs looking extremely guilty, she was doing her best not to make eye contact with her parents. She looked over to Paula who gave her a little reassuring look, but they knew it was all about to come out.

“Will someone tell me what’s going on?” Kevin asked.

Sophie and Paula looked at one another with very guilty looks on their faces, they didn’t know what to say.

“Am I missing something here?” Sally asked as she looked at the two of them.

Kevin knew immediately what was happening, he wasn’t daft.

Sophie was sat on the steps, with her arms folded making eye contact with nobody. Paula was stood there with half her shirt tucked in and the other half hanging out, her hair was all messy after the fun her and Sophie had just had.

“But you’re not even gay...” Sally said.

A look of anger and disgust arrived on Paula’s face, to her it didn’t matter what gender the person she was falling in love with was, all that mattered is that they were both happy.

“Can we not do this now?” Kevin said knowing Sally was about to explode, saying something she was probably going to regret.

Sophie sat there looking across at Paula, she knew that Paula was about to get shit from her mum and that there was nothing she could really do.

“You’re my age...”

“Look I know this is a bit of a shock” Paula replied.

“You could say that...” Kevin said.

The look on Sally’s face was one of pure anger, she couldn’t believe what was happening.

“I mean one minute you’re dating my ex husband, the next his daughter. My DAUGHTER! We were at school together for goodness sake” Sally said getting louder and louder, aiming the last part directly at Sophie.

“I can’t even talk to you when you are like this” Sophie replied aggressively with her arms folded.

“Sally the last thing either of us wanted to do was drop a bombshell on you just before you go into court” Paula said trying to calm the situation down.

“Like I said now is not the time” Kevin said repeating himself.

“And when I was going on about Imran deceiving people, berating him for his dishonesty and all the time you just stood there and said nothing, knowing that you were just as bad”.

“I’m sorry” Paula replied.

“Oh you legals think you are better than everyone else...”

“That is so out of order” Sophie replied trying to stick up for her girlfriend.

“Me out of order?”

“Sal it’s none of our business” Kevin replied.

“I am worried sick about this court case and instead of doing her job she’s been screwing our daughter” Sally furiously explained.

“MUM” Sophie shouted back.

“Sally you really need to calm down” Paula replied trying her best not to bite back at Sally.

“We’ll hear this, if I lose this case it’s because you took your eye off the ball” Sally replied storming out of the house, slamming the door behind her angrily.

Paula looked at Sophie who just put her head in her hands, she couldn’t believe what had just happened.

“I should go...” Paula said walking towards her stuff.

“Don’t leave on my account, at least I know there was a genuine reason as to why you didn’t like me” Kevin joked trying to lighten the mood.

“Kevin, I’m so sorry. Sally wouldn’t stop pestering me, I genuinely did have a lovely time and I do think that you are a wonderful person” Paula replied. She felt so bad for going on a fake date with Kevin but she knew it was the only way to get Sally off her back.

“I’m sorry too dad” Sophie said as she walked down the stairs.

“What are you both sorry for? Finding someone that you click with? I can’t be mad at either of you for following you’re heart. I just wish you had felt comfortable enough to tell me Soph, I know it must have been tough with the whole court case situation but I’d have kept you’re secret” Kevin replied.

“I guess I was just scared of your reaction...”

“Sophie as long as you are happy, I am happy” Kevin replied.

“Thanks dad I love you” Sophie said giving her dad a big hug.

“I love you too princess. Oh wait sorry is that embarrassing?”

“A little but I’ll let you off” Sophie replied with a smile on her face.

“Look after my baby girl” Kevin said to Paula.

“I will don’t you worry. Thank you for understanding” Paula replied with a very relieved look on her face.

Sophie walked over to join Paula, reaching for her hand she grabbed it and held onto it tightly. Kevin could see that the two of them were happy together, he didn’t fully understand the age gap thing but he supported it because he wanted his daughter to be happy.

“Right you two need to get ready and hope to god that Sal has calmed down by the time you both go over there. Good luck with that one by the way. I’ll see you both later” Kevin said deciding to give the two of them some space.

“Come here you” Paula said turning to face Sophie, giving her the biggest hug.

“That was not how I wanted mum to find out” Sophie replied letting out a big sigh.

“Me either, my heart sank when she walked in and genuinely didn’t know what to do with myself. I’m pretty sure the look on my face was one of pure panic. She seemed very happy though when she thought it was your dad I was sleeping with” Paula explained.

“Of course she did, that way her match making skills would have worked”.

Paula laughed.

“At least we don’t have to hide anymore” Paula said with the biggest smile on her face.

“I can’t wait to be able to hold your hand and walk down the cobbles just like any other normal couple would. I can’t wait to take you for a drink in the bistro and be able to play footsie with you under the table. I can’t wait to be able to take you for dinner somewhere fancy and kiss you t the end of the night without constantly having to check over my shoulder in case my mum was there” Sophie explained kissing Paula afterwards.

“That was a little bit cute, have you been practising that little speech?” Paula joked.

“Maybe a little bit. But it’s true I don’t want to hide anymore”.

“Good because neither do I” Paula replied.

“We need to get ready though, otherwise that will be another thing Mum will be pissed at us for” Sophie said.

“Yes go get into the sexy dress of yours” Paula replied winking at Sophie as she walked up the stairs.

Sally returned to the house slamming the door behind her, she was furious. She couldn’t even comprehend what she had just uncovered, I mean how could they both lie to her like that.

“Where’s Sophie?” Tim asked. He was confused as the whole point of Sally going over to Kevin’s was to find Sophie.

“Oh she had her hands full” Sally replied.

“What do you mean?” Tim said.

“She was busy canoodling with my lawyer” Sally replied angrily.

“Wait what?”

“Sophie is having a fling..an affair with Paula” Sally shouted.

“You’re joking” Geoff replied.

“Does it look like I’m joking? My lawyer and my daughter are a thing...”

“No way!” Tim said as he stood their with his mouth wide open.

“I just can’t believe they have both lied to me, Sophie’s having an affair with someone my age. It’s just wrong” Sally replied.

“Sal they aren’t really having an affair are they? They are both single and free to do what they want”.

“Thats beside the point, Paula should have been concentrating on my case but instead she was sleeping with my daughter”.

“Right now we need to do just that, concentrate on the case so I need to go and speak to them and get them here” Tim explained as he left the house to head over to Kevin’s.

Sally was so angry at Paula, she had been dismissive of everything that Sally has suggested, included ringing Judith.

“Geoff can I borrow your phone?” Sally asked.

“Ok, but what’s it for?” Geoff replied.

“Just work business...” Sally said.

“Sure thing”.

“Judith, it’s Sally. I just wanted to ring you and ask why you are lying for Duncan...” Sally said.

Over at Kevin’s, Tim had arrived.

“You dirty dogs” Tim joked as he walked through the front door.

“Don’t start Tim! I’m really not in the mood” Sophie replied.

“I did not see this one coming ladies, I mean Paula I didn’t even know you swung that way”.

“I fall for people not genders” Paula replied in a stern manner.

“Oh sorry I didn’t mean anything rude by it” Tim said.

“It’s ok”.

“So... how long has this been going on?”

“Does it matter?” Sophie replied.

“Umm I guess not but it would be nice to know?”

“Since the first time we met”.

“Wow! You two wasted no time, did you?”

“Look we weren’t looking to go behind everyone back but we just couldn’t stop the feelings from developing like they have. I know we probably should have told Sally straight away we just didn’t want it affecting the case”.

“Bit late for that isn’t it, especially as it’s all come to blows on the day of the case”.

“My main priority is Sally right now. So we need to head over there now to prepare” Paula replied.

“Good plan” Tim said.

“I swear to god though if she kicks off again I won’t stand there and be quiet” Sophie replied.

“Soph come on, we don’t need anymore drama today” Paula said touching Sophie’s arm.

“Ok, but I won’t let her be rude to us”.

“I’ll try and make sure she isn’t” Tim added.

The three of them headed over to Sally’s to get ready for court. As they walked through the door they could see that Sally was in an heated phone conversation with someone. Alarms bells rang as soon as Paula heard Sally mention Judith’s name, she quickly placed her stuff on the table before doing her best to get Sally to stop the call.

“The fact of the matter is, Judith, you most certainly did not hear me arrange anything with Duncan...”

“Sally no, No” Paula said trying her best to get the phone out of Sally’s hand.

Sally pulled away from Paula, so that she could carry on the conversation.

“Yes I do say so, and if you continue to contort my words I can assure you that there will be serious consequences...” Sally continued to say as Paula grabbed the phone and ended the phone call.

“What are you doing?” Paula asked.

“It’s really none of your business” Sally angrily replied ripping the phone out of Paula’s hand.

“Mum do not be like that...” Sophie said as she stood behind Paula backing her up.

“For your information I’m doing what you should have been doing, only you were too busy” Sally replied as she looked over towards Sophie.

“You can threaten a witness, she could report you...” Paula explained.

“I know what I’m doing” Sally replied.

“Do you?” Tim added realising that Sally had just made a huge mistake.

Sally didn’t reply she just walked upstairs to finish off getting ready. Paula, Sophie, Tim and Gina were all looking extremely concerned, they couldn’t believe what Sally had just done.

“Please tell me she hasn’t just ruined her chances of getting off?” Tim quietly asked Paula.

“Let’s just say she’s made my job a whole lot harder, Imran will have a field day if Judith reports the phone call”.

“Bloody hell Sally, I suppose I should go and see if she’s ok” Tim replied making his way upstairs.

Sophie sat down at the table, she was beginning to worry about today, Paula could tell she was panicking.

“I’ve got this... “ Paula said as she sat down next to Sophie at the table.

“Why would she jeopardise everything? I don’t understand” Sophie replied.

“She was angry at me and did something that she thought I should have done already. I promise you that I will do everything I can to help her ok? Just trust me” Paula explained reaching for Sophie’s hand to comfort her.

Gina was watching from the kitchen, she could see that the two of them had genuine feelings for each other, she just didn’t understand why they kept it a secret. Tim came back downstairs as Sally didn’t want to talk to anyone while she was getting ready.

“So how longs this been going on?” Geoff asked being extra nosey.

“I don’t think we need to talk about that now do we...” Tim replied.

“You should have said something...” Gina quietly said to Paula.

“I know!” Paula replied looking at Gina, who then looked over at Sophie and gave her a little smile to reassure her that she wasn’t judging them.

“We should probably get going...” Paula explained.

“Yeah you’re right... SAL” Tim shouted up the stairs.

Sally walked down the stairs in a different coloured shirt, with an angry expression on her face.

Chapter Text

There was an awkward silence in the room, no one knew what to say or do.

“You look nice” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

Sally just completely ignored her and carried on getting her stuff ready.

“I thought we could go over a few things in the car...” Paula said.

Sally slowly turned round whilst holding onto a file, she had absolutely no expression on her face.

“That won’t be necessary. I’ve decided I won’t be requiring you’re services in court...” Sally explained.

Sophie stood up immediately, she couldn’t believe how petty her mum was being.

“What?” Sophie replied.

“Sally, I know you’re upset but I really don’t think that’s a good idea” Paula said with a very anxious look on her face.

“Upset... disappointed... betrayed” Sally replied moving closer to Paula and Sophie in a slightly aggressive manner.

Sophie wasn’t going to just stand there and listen to her mum talk like this.

“But it was all ok when you thought Paula was sleeping with me dad but now it’s me...” Sophie replied raising her voice.

The look on Paula’s face was a mixture of anger, disappointment and guilt.

“Don’t even go there!” Sally said.

“NICE” Sophie replied nodding her head in anger.

Gina had had enough of listening to Sally try and jeopardise his case.

“Look whatever you think about... you need Paula to get you through the day” Gina said.

“Sally you’ve got to let me help you. Because if you phoning that witness comes up in court...”

“Help me? It’s a bit late for that you have not been across this case and now I know why. Too busy with my daughter...” Sally angrily replied.

“Sal, give it a rest” Tim said.

“Paula has put nothing but her time and effort into this case, you should see how much work she actually does. So don’t you dare say she hasn’t been on top of this case” Sophie replied sticking up for her girlfriend.

“Soph, it’s ok” Paula said trying to stop Sophie from causing another argument.

“No it’s not ok. You are acting like we have done something wrong? We haven’t, we’ve followed our hearts” Sophie explained.

“I don’t have time to listen to this, because I have a case to win. Luckily I know this case inside and out and that is why I will be representing myself.

“For god sake will you stop being so flaming stubborn” Sophie angrily replied.

Paula didn’t know what she could say or do to stop Sally from making such a big mistake.

“Sally please...” Paula said.

“Timothy lets go...I’d prefer it if you didn’t come either” Sally said directly looking in Sophie’s direction as she walked out the door.

Sophie had a look of utter shock on her face, did her mum really just ban her from going to court. Gina headed towards the door, looking at the pair of them she wanted to say something but didn’t know what.

Paula put her head in her hands, she knew that Sally would over react when she found out about the two of them but she had no idea she would take it this far.

“We’ve got to change her mind” Sophie said to Paula as she grabbed her hand.

“Love, I don’t know what else I can say or do” Paula replied.

“We’ve got to try something, please”.

“Ok...” Paula said as she walked Sophie over to the door to give it one more go.

Sally was stomping her way to the car, she was furious. Tim knew that Sally wasn’t thinking straight and had made a very stupid decision.

“Sal..?” Tim said walking after her.

“SALLY” Paula shouted.

“You can’t do this” Sophie added.

“Who says?” Sally replied.

“I think you’re making a really big mistake” Paula explained.

“Do you know what I would appreciate it if you kept out of my business from here on in”.

“But you don’t know what you are doing love” Tim replied.

“Don’t I?”

“Just have a rethink” Tim said.

“Don’t go making any hasty decisions” Geoff added.

“Do you know what it would be nice if I could get a little bit of support from someone. But I’ve come to realise the only person I can rely on at the moment is myself” Sally explained much to Gina’s annoyance as she had been there for Sally throughout everything.

“Hey, I’ve been there for you” Gina replied.

“I’m with you Sal, I just think you’ve made the wrong decision” Tim said.

“Well if you are with me get in the car then” Sally replied getting into the car.

Sophie and Paula just stood there, watching as the car drove off. They both knew that Sally was going to court with a massive disadvantage now representing herself. Sophie gently interlocked her fingers with Paula’s.

“What have we done?” Sophie quietly said resting her head on Paula’s shoulder.

“Oh love, we haven’t done anything wrong, yes we probably should have been up front at the beginning but we thought we were protecting her” Paula replied.

“And look how that’s turned out. She’s ended up going to court with no one helping her”.

“She didn’t have to sack me”.

“I know she didn’t, that’s Sally Metcalfe for you stubborn as they get” Sophie replied.

“Sophie I need to warn you that today might not go her way, especially if Imran gets wind of her threatening Judith”.

“How bad could it get?”

“It depends on the judge, it depends how Sally answers the questions. It just depends”.

“Well we need to go to the court then...” Sophie said looking at Paula directly in the eyes.

“You heard her she doesn’t want me anywhere near the court or you for that matter. I think it’s best that we just stay out of the way and trust her when she said she knows what she’s doing” Paula explained.

“I feel so guilty”.

“Me too. Look I’m going to head into work for a couple of hours but I’ll meet you for a coffee in the cafe at 2?” Paula said to Sophie.

“Sure, we should have heard something by then shouldn’t we?” Sophie replied.

“Yeah we should know something by then. Remember this isn’t our fault”.

“Sure feels like it is at the moment”.

Paula gave Sophie a kiss on the forehead before getting into her car and speeding off. Sophie knew that Paula was angry at how Sally had just treated her, she also knew she felt very guilty.

Paula was furious, she had never in her whole career been sacked by a client, yes she probably shouldn’t have got involved with Sophie but they didn’t actually do anything wrong. Paula arrived at the office, she sat in her car for a few moments trying to compose herself.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” Paula screamed as she hit her steering wheel several times.

James happened to be walking by at the very time Paula started screaming.

“Everything ok?” James asked as he knocked on the window.

Paula took a deep breathe and wound down the window.

“Just perfect James” Paula sarcastically replied.

“Shouldn’t you be in court?” James asked.

“Yes I should be but I was sacked”.

“Sacked? Let me guess she found out about you and Sophie” James replied.

“She did, she actually walked in on me getting dressed. Thinking I had been sleeping with her ex husband, only for him to walk through the front door. It’s been a great morning” Paula sarcastically explained.

“Oh wow. That shit could be made into a movie”.

“No helping James”.

“Come on let’s get a coffee” James said as he opened the door for Paula.

The two of them headed up the Paula’s office, James made them both a extra strong coffee with a splash of something a little stronger in it.

“Get this down you” James said handing Paula the coffee.

“What a day and it’s not even lunchtime yet” Paula replied.

“I mean it’s not the best thing to be sacked on the day of a pre trial but you need to realise you technically haven’t done anything wrong. It’s a major over reaction if you ask me”.

“I understand the reaction I do and I get that she would be pissed off with me but I didn’t expect to be sacked. I’d put everything into this case, yes I had spent a lot of time with Sophie but I always made sure that her case was up to date. This case meant everything to me” Paula explained with a sad expression on her face.

“I know it did. My question is would you do anything differently if you could start again?” James asked.

“What as in starting something with Sophie?”

“Yeah and keeping it a secret?” James replied.

“I’d change nothing, the last week and a half has been the best time of my life for a very very long time and that is all down to Sophie. I wouldn’t want to change anything, yes I didn’t want Sally to find out like this but shit happens. I’ve just got to hope and pray that Sally gets some sort of miracle and manages to get herself out of this hole she’s in. You know she rang one of the witnesses and threatened them?”

“You’re joking! Why and how?”

“She found a witness list and thought it was a good idea to speak to her, only that turned into her threatening her unless she told the truth. If they find out she’s screwed”.

“Shit! She’s got no chance, have you told Sophie?” James asked.

“No of course I haven’t. How am I supposed to tell the woman I’m falling for that her mum might end up in Jail all because she sacked me because we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. It would break me to see her face drop”.

“Well she’s going to need you if that does end up happening”.

“Don’t worry I’ll be there every step of the way, I’m not going anywhere” Paula replied.

“Speaking of which you should go be with her, I’m sure she’s upset that her mum found out like she did. Go be there for her” James said.

“You’re right, thanks! I’ll see you later” Paula replied as she grabbed her phone and left to head back to the cobbles.

Over at the court case Sally was in the stand waiting for the whole thing to begin. She looked down to where Paula should be standing, a disappointed look came to her face she knew deep down she had done the wrong thing by sacking her.

The judge was shocked when Sally told him that she was representing herself, as did Imran who thought he had hit the jack pot. He knew that without Paula, Sally didn’t have a chance at winning this case. After several questions, Imran finally got to ask Sally about the phone call she made to Judith earlier on in the day. Sally being Sally held nothing back and answered the question honestly and openly, landing herself in big trouble.

Tim and Gina knew that things weren’t going Sally’s way they knew that she needed Paula and without her it was all going to go wrong. The judge took a short break after listening to all of the evidence, Sally could hardly breathe, she was beyond nervous.

Meanwhile back on the cobbles, Paula had arrived at Kevin’s to pick up Sophie to take her for a coffee.

“Hi” Sophie said as she opened the door to Paula.

“Hey love, I just wanted to make sure you were ok”.

“I’m alright, just worried about mum. Knowing nothing it making it ten times worse”.

“We should hear soon enough, come on” Paula said holding her hand out hoping Sophie would grab hold of it.

Sophie grabbed hold of it and the pair of them walked over to the cafe.

“This feels so nice to be walking down the road holding your hand without a care in the world” Sophie said smiling away.

“Tell me about it, you sure you’re ok with this?” Paula asked.

“Why are you having your doubts?”

“No not at all, I want this more than anything I just want you to be sure. You’re mum isn’t going to be ok with us being together I just don’t want that to ruin the close bond you have”.

“She’ll have to get used to it because you are going nowhere” Sophie replied.

They reached the cafe and Sophie ordered the drinks in, the pair were getting a few strange looks from some of the locals who were trying to be nosey.

“Looks like we’re the talk of the cafe today” Paula joked.

“Yep! Doesn’t bother me though, I can finally hold your hand in public without worrying mum would find out” Sophie replied.

Back over in court the judge had finally returned with his verdict, Sally was shaking she was so nervous. She looked back at Tim and Gina and gave them a half smile which was all she could manage.

Sally’s face dropped as she heard the judge say that she was guilty of perverting the course of justice, she couldn’t believe she had been so stupid.

“I have no other choice than to place you on remand until the court case...” the judge announced.

The words took a while to process with Sally, she couldn’t believe that she was being put in Jail.

“Take her down...” the judge ordered.

“No, no! I’m sorry... I’m so sorry” Sally shouted as she nervously stood up waiting be taken to jail.

She looked up towards Tim and Gina who couldn’t believe what they had just heard.

“I don’t want to go to prison... no I don’t wanna go” Sally shouted a they took her down the stairs.

Imran had noticed the smirk on Duncan’s face, he knew that there was something he was hiding. He felt horrendous for being the main cause of Sally going to prison, he didn’t know how he was going to fix this.

Chapter Text

“Shouldn’t we have heard something by now?” Sophie said worrying out of her mind.

“These things can take there time, I mean they might have been running late from a previous case. Well know as soon as something happens” Paula replied holding onto Sophie’s hand tightly.

“I can’t handle this I just need to know how it’s gone”.

“Why don’t you give Gina a ring?”

“I doubt she’d pick up”.

“She seemed ok with us, so did Tim. I just think it was a bit of a shock”.

“Ok, I’ll give it a go” Sophie said as she dialled Gina’s phone number.

Sophie took a deep breath in before pressing the button to ring Gina, her heart was pounding. She hoped more than anything that she was going to hear good news.

“Auntie Gina?” Sophie said.

“Sophie...”

“Any news?”

“Sophie I’m afraid it’s not good news”.

“What’s happened?” Sophie asked.

Paula knew deep down exactly what had happened, her heart sank because she knew that she could have potentially stopped it from happening.

“You’re mums in prison, Soph. On remand until further notice”.

“No! This isn’t happening” Sophie replied as the tears began to fill her eyes.

“I’ve got to go Sophie. See you soon” Gina said putting the phone down because Tim was giving her the evils.

Tim was furious, he knew that this was all down to Sophie and Paula, it was all their fault.

“Sophie what’s happened?” Paula asked even though she knew exactly what had happened.

“She’s in prison” Sophie replied running out of the cafe in tears.

“Soph...” Paula shouted after her.

Paula took a moment to herself before chasing after her, she felt horrendous. Sally was in prison all because she was too stubborn to let Paula continue working the case. Paula finished her coffee, then left to find Sophie.

Paula had no idea where Sophie had gone but she was determined to find her.

Tim hadn’t said a word since Sally got sent down, he was in shock. Gina didn’t know what to say to him, she had never been very good with words so didn’t want to put her foot in it.

“I’ll get us a chippy tea when we’re home” Gina said trying to start a conversation.

“I’m not hungry” Tim replied.

“You’ve got to eat Tim”.

“Fine do what you like...”

“I’ll get us some cans as well. God knows we need it” Gina added.

“You’ll need to a lot”.

“We will get her out of this I know we will” Gina said trying to reassure Tim.

“How? The only chance she had she sacked all because Sophie couldn’t keep her knickers on”.

“This isn’t Sophie’s fault”.

“No it’s not her fault it’s both of their faults. I am so angry at them both, I mean how could they do this”.

“I don’t know but right now we just need to focus on Sally” Gina replied trying to change the subject. She didn’t blame Sophie or Paula, she blamed Sally for sacking her at the most crucial time.

Paula still hadn’t found Sophie, she had looked everywhere apart from Speed Daal. As she walked down the stairs she immediately spotted Sophie talking to Yasmeen. She didn’t want to walk over the straight away in case they were in the middle of something important so she decided to stay hidden for a few minutes.

“This is all our fault Yasmeen” Sophie said as the tears rolled down her face.

“No! It’s not your fault. You and Paula didn’t make your mum ring that witness, you didn’t make her threaten her. That was all her doing! Yes she might have been upset but that doesn’t justify breaking the law” Yasmeen replied.

“What are we going to do? She’s not going to let Paula help her? Adam won’t help because of Imran, I just want her to be free”.

“She might change her mind about Paula you never know but right now you need to make sure you are ok. Don’t you dare push Paula away because of the disapproval from your mum or any guilt you might feel”.

“But I do I feel so guilty. If we hadn’t of become involved then mum wouldn’t be in jail right now”.

“Sophie if Sally hadn’t of sacked Paula she wouldn’t be either. This is not your fault”.

“I suppose so”.

“You can’t let this get in the way of your happiness, I won’t let you. Speaking of which I spy with my little eye someone’s girlfriend looking very concerned over there. I’ll go get her” Yasmeen said pointing out Paula.

“Thanks Yasmeen” Sophie replied.

“She’s all yours” Yasmeen said.

“Thank you, is she ok?”

“Feeling guilty but she’ll be ok now you are here” Yasmeen replied.

Paula made her way over to Sophie, sitting down next to her so that she could wipe the tears away.

“These tears need to stop. None of this is your fault” Paula said as she gently wiped away Sophie’s tears.

“I just wish she was here having a go at us for being a couple rather than being locked up in a prison cell”.

“So do I! You know that I’m happy to still represent her I just need her to say the words and then I’m all over it again” Paula replied reassuring Sophie that she would help in anyway she can.

“She’s so stubborn I can’t see her asking for your help again”.

“Well I’m there in a flash if she does”.

“Thank you” Sophie replied gently kissing Paula on the lips.

“That was weird being able to kiss in you’re place of work. Weird as in amazing”.

“I know it’s about time I say. I want to shout it from the rooftops that I am dating PAULA MARTIN and I couldn’t be HAPPIER” Sophie said emphasising some of her words loudly.

Yasmeen heard her from the other side of the restaurant, a smile appeared on her face she loved seeing Sophie being carefree.

“You young lady are far too cute for your own good” Paula replied romantically kissing her girlfriend.

“And you are far too sexy for me to even comprehend”.

“How about we head off and get you out of the dress...” Paula said.

“I’d love to” Sophie replied.

The two of them left the restaurant hand in hand, with smiles on their faces. However that was short lived as they were met by Tim and Gina parking up the car.

“Well I’m glad to see that you two are happy and having a good afternoon, shame you’re antics have landed your mum in prison” Tim furiously said.

“That’s not fair” Sophie replied.

“I’ll tell you what’s not fair Sophie, the fact your mum is in a prison cell right now” Tim said.

“Tim this isn’t helping right now. If Sally hadn’t of sacked me then she wouldn’t be in prison it’s as simple as that” Paula replied.

“I just don’t get how the pair of you could lie to her face, how could you do that to her?”

“We had no choice, we wanted to keep things as simple as we could” Sophie replied.

“Turned out well didn’t it Soph...”

“Tim stop...” Gina said trying to calm Tim down.

“No, all the pair of you have been thinking about the last couple of weeks is yourselves. No one else apart from yourselves. You couldn’t just wait until the case was over?”

“That could be months...”

“So? If the feelings were real then you would have been able to wait”.

“I get that you are furious right now but having a go at us is not helping the situation. We have done nothing wrong, we were both single women who started dating because we have genuine feelings for each other. Why should we have to wait? We followed our hearts and I’m not going to apologise for that” Paula explained.

“It’s just selfish if you ask me”

“Tim come on let’s go home before we make anything worse” Gina said knowing that this conversation was only going to cause more problems.

“Selfish? Are you kidding me?” Sophie replied getting angry.

“Come on let’s go” Paula said taking Sophie away from the situation.

“Babe do you mind if I just go home, I’m really not in the mood” Sophie quietly replied.

“Of course I don’t mind, you need to rest up and get some sleep. I’m here if you need anything ok? Just a phone call away” Paula said giving Sophie a big hug and a kiss.

“Thank you. I’ll text you in a bit” Sophie replied.

“I’m sorry about today”.

“Don’t you dare apologise” Sophie said.

“I’ll see you soon” Paula replied.

Sophie headed inside to tell her dad the bad news about Sally and Paula walked to her car to go home to an empty house.

“Hiya Soph, how did court go?” Kevin asked unaware of everything.

Sophie walked into the lounge with a sad look on her face.

“Sophie what’s happened? You’ve been crying” Kevin replied.

“Mum is in prison” Sophie quietly said.

“What? How did that happen? I thought Paula was all over it...” Kevin replied.

“Well mum sacked her. This was all after mum had already screwed up her chances by ringing up one of the witnesses and threatening her”.

“What? Why would she do that?” Kevin asked. He couldn’t believe that Sally had been so stupid and petty to sack Paula.

“I don’t know, but she’s really gone and done it this time. Everyone now hates me and is saying it’s all my fault. I just want today to start over so I could change things...” Sophie replied with a sad expression in her face.

“Look I can’t pretend that seeing you with Paula wasn’t a massive shock because it was but you’re mum ruining her chances of having an excellent lawyer is no ones fault other than her own. It would be your fault if Paula had quit but she wouldn’t have been stupid enough to do that. I just can’t believe how silly Sally has been, I mean what’s she going to do?”

“I guess she’ll have to find another solicitor, Paula has said she’s quite happy to represented her but you know mums she’s as stubborn as they come” Sophie replied.

“Well that’s very nice of her to say she’ll still represent her. A lot of people wouldn’t not after how she’s been treated for doing nothing wrong. How’s Tim taken the news?”

“As badly as you’d expect. He hates me, I can’t have the guilt of this as well as Jack” Sophie replied as she began to get upset.

“Don’t you dare we’ve been over that. You did everything you could for Jack, it was down to others that Jack lost his leg not you! Come here” Kevin said giving his baby girl a big hug. He hated that Sophie still blamed herself for what happened to Jack, thanks to Sophie he survived.

“I think I’m going to head to bed” Sophie replied taking herself upstairs.

“I love you” Kevin said.

“Love you too” Sophie replied quietly.

Sophie got changed into some comfy pyjamas and lay on her bed thinking about everything that had happened today. She couldn’t help but feel so guilty for everything, yes everyone kept telling her it wasn’t her fault but whose fault was it?

Paula had arrived back her house, she didn’t even bother to get herself a glass of wine she had decided to drink straight from the bottle as it was easier. She felt like shit, she couldn’t come to terms with how today had panned out, none of this would have happened if Sally had of just listened to her.

“Hey baby girl, I hope you are having a wonderful time. I miss you already and it’s only been 2 days. I’ve had the day from hell, Sally found out about me and Sophie and proceeded to sack me. I’ve never been sacked in my entire life from a case and guess what she represented herself and is now in prison on remand until her next court case. Now I’m worried Sophie won’t want to be with me because Sally will blame me, oh Isla now I wish you were here right now. Anyway you don’t want to hear me moan. I hope you’re safe, message or ring me whenever you can. I love you” Paula said leaving a message on Islas phone as she swigged from the bottle.

Part of Paula was really worried that after having some time to think Sophie would come to the conclusion that they should stop seeing each other because of what’s happened. Paula didn’t want that to happen because she was falling for Sophie and was scared she was going to lose her. Taking the bottle of wine upstairs, she decided to run herself a bath to try and relax.

Sophie meanwhile couldn’t stop thinking about her mum locked up in a cell scared and alone. She couldn’t wait to speak to her, that is if her mum wanted to after today. Sophie stared at her phone for a couple of minutes contemplating whether or not to text Paula, she wanted to but she also knew that she had a lot of thinking to do. Should the two of them be together? Was it wrong like Sally had said?

Chapter Text

A new day dawned and Sally woke up to the noise of her cell mate snoring extremely loudly. She never ever thought she would end up in prison because she had always prided herself on being a good honest person. Sally hadn’t slept a wink as her mind was doing overtime trying to work out what the hell her next move was.

Deciding to start the day as she started most of the others, Sally sat on her bed crossed legged and began to do her meditation. The strange breathing immediately woke up her cell mate who was not best pleased.

“Could you keep it down please?” Her cell mate politely asked.

“I didn’t say anything” Sally replied keeping her eyes closed.

“You’re breathing is extremely loud and very irritating”.

“Oh sorry but this is my meditation it helps me to relax”.

“I don’t care what it helps you do, it is annoying me and I’d like you to stop” Her cell mate said sitting down next to Sally on her bunk.

“I’ve only got two more minutes to go and then I’ll be quiet, is that ok?” Sally replied unaware that her cell mate was threatening her.

“What are you even in for?”

“Fraud but I didn’t do it. I was set up, see I was the mare of Weatherfield and I was tricked into signing over some money”.

“We all day we didn’t do it! So you were quite important then?” Her cellmate asked rubbing her fingers together.

“Oh yes I was very important” Sally proudly replied not knowing that the more information she gave away the more trouble she as going to be in.

“So do you have lots of money then?”

“I wouldn’t say lots but I live a comfortable life”.

“I think we are going to be friends” Her cell mate replied with a smile on her face.

Sally was happy that she had made a friend, it made her feel a bit safer in the prison. But what Sally didn’t realise is that her cell mate was going to use every little piece of information Sally just gave her against her.

Paula had also been up for hours, she had been at the office since the crack of dawn to make sure she was fully prepared for Sally’s case just in case she got the phone call rehiring her.

“I thought you might like a coffee” James said as he popped his neck round the door.

“What are you doing here so early?” Paula replied.

“I could say the same for you. The alarm went off at 5:45 to tell me someone was in the building, I checked the camera and bang there you were. I didn’t think you were on her case anymore?”

“I’m not but I’m hoping and praying for Sophie’s sake and her own sake that she swallows her pride and just asks me for help. So I’m just preparing myself”.

“Paula you know this case inside and out! You look absolutely shattered so go home and get some rest” James replied.

“Thanks for that. You saying I look rough?”

“No I’m not but you do look like you haven’t slept”.

“I couldn’t sleep, I was worried about Sally but mainly Sophie”.

“Sophie? I mean I know she’ll be worried about her mum but she’ll be ok”.

“I’m worried that she’s going to want to end things with me” Paula said with a worried look on her face.

“Why would she do that? She thinks the sun shines out of your ass for some reason” James replied.

“Because her mum is in jail and she thinks it’s because we are together. Sophie is always looking for her mums approval and she doesn’t have that, I’m just so worried James, I haven’t felt like this for years and I don’t want to get my heart broken”.

“From what you’ve said about Sophie she is absolutely falling for you too. I’m sure she won’t break up with you over this, even if she mentions it you need to make sure it doesn’t happen. The two of you deserve to be happy and from what I can understand that with each other. Go and speak to her...” James replied.

“Ok ok I will, just let me finish my coffee and then I’ll go and see her” Paula said.

“Good!” James replied.

Sophie had woken up with doubts in her head about her relationship, she wanted to be with Paula more than anything but didn’t want it to jeopardise her relationship with her mum. She knew she needed to have a conversation with Paula about everything.

*Hey babe, can we meet for a chat? Xx* Sophie sent to Paula.

“See here we go... from Sophie...can we meet for a chat?” Paula said as she read the text to James.

“Look the pair of you just need to be honest with each other and I guarantee you will come to the same conclusion” James replied.

“Why do I feel sick? This is pathetic I’m a grown woman for god sake”.

“Because you are falling for her if not fallen for her, that’s why” James explained.

“Right wish me luck, if you get a text from me saying SOS it means bring a bottle of whiskey round to mine ASAP” Paula joked.

“Oh shut up, I guarantee this evening the two of you will be busy with one another”.

“I hope so” Paula replied as she got her things and made her way to her car. She felt sick, she really didn’t want this to be the end of something she knows could be beautiful.

Sophie had made her way to the cafe, she had made sure she looked good for when Paula arrived. Like Paula, Sophie also felt sick, she didn’t want to have this conversation with Paula.

“Hi love” Paula said with a smile on her face as she greeted Sophie with a kiss.

“Hey! You ok?” Sophie replied.

“I’ll be honest with you for some reason I feel very nervous...”

“Me too!”

“Part of me feels like you are about to break up with me” Paula said with a worried expression on her face.

“I just think that now isn’t a good time, we shouldn’t have done what we did when we did it” Sophie replied.

“I know we should have be honest from the start and that this is all really bad timing but I honestly willing to lose everything we have?”

“Well no I don’t want to but right now I need to concentrate on trying to get my mum out of prison and I just think if we continue to date then it’s just going to cause more problems”.

“Sophie listen to me, I want your mum out of prison more than anything. But if we break up you are going to be sad, as will I! How is that going to help? We’ve got something really special and I’m sorry but I’m not willing to give that all up because your mum couldn’t keep her mouth shut” Paula replied.

“You’re right”.

“I am and you also need to stop blaming us for this, we didn’t help the situation I’ll agree but in no why whatsoever is it our fault. Ok?” Paula explained taking hold of Sophie’s hand.

“Ok!” Sophie replied as a little smile appeared on her face. She placed her hand on top of Paula’s and leaned in for a kiss just as Imran walked in.

Imran was shocked to see the two of them kissing, but put two and two together and worked out that this was probably one of the reasons Sally represented herself.

“I don’t even know how you can dare to show your face in here after what you it did to my mum” Sophie angrily said a Imran walked past.

“Sophie now really isn’t the time” Paula quietly said trying to calm Sophie down.

“Look Sophie I’m really sorry, I didn’t realise they were going to put her in prison” Imran replied.

“Yeah... Of course you didn’t” Sophie sarcastically said.

“We should go...” Paula replied taking Sophie by the hand and leading her out of the cafe.

“Please don’t leave on my account” Imran shouted after them.

“You’ll get used to the hate, Well I did” Shona said.

“I feel awful but I was technically only doing my job” Imran replied.

“Do you genuinely believe Sally is guilty?” Shona asked.

“I can’t answer that” Imran replied knowing deep down that he had a very strong feeling that Duncan was guilty and Sally was innocent.

“Because I’ve known Sally a while and I just don’t think she has it in her”.

“Coffee please... do you know how long Sophie and Paula have been dating?” Imran asked being nosey.

“No idea, but fair play to her not letting age get in the way of finding happiness” Shona replied.

“I couldn’t agree more...” Imran said. He knew he needed to speak to Paula about Duncan but needed to do it slyly.

Sophie was annoyed that Paula had dragged her out of the cafe where they hadn’t even finished their coffee.

“Why did we have to go?” Sophie asked.

“Because I didn’t want anyone to say anything else that could effect this bloody case. Especially if I’m going to get your mum out of prison” Paula replied.

“What do you mean?”

“I need you to persuade your mum that I am the only person than can help her. Mainly because I am and I want get see her walk free but I want to do this for you! I want you to have your mum by your side, annoying you asking you stupid questions about your relationship with me! And to do that she needs me in her corner” Paula explained with passion in her voice.

Sophie didn’t reply she just grabbed Paula round the waist and pulled her in tightly to kiss her. No one had ever been in Sophie’s corner before fighting for her and her family, it had always been the other way round.

“See aren’t you glad we didn’t break up?” Paula joked.

“Very much so” Sophie replied as her phone began to ring. It was a number she didn’t recognise.

“Pick it up it could be the prison” Paula said.

“Hello?”

“Sophie...” A very quiet voice mumbled.

“Mum?” Sophie replied.

“Sophie I need your help” Sally managed to say through the tears.

“Mum? What’s happened?”

“Sophie is everything ok?” Paula asked with a worried expression on her face.

“I’ve been beaten up, I need you to beg Paula to help get me out of here. I need her Sophie. I need Paula” Sally begged.

“She’ll do it for you, she’s going to get you out of there Mum! Stay strong” Sophie replied trying her best not to get upset.

“Sophie I’m not strong enough to stay here”.

Sophie couldn’t reply she was too busy crying, Paula grabbed the phone off of Sophie to speak to Sally, she knew there would be much time left.

“Sally listen to me, you stay strong! Keep your head down and your mouth shut, just get through each day, I will get you out ok? I promise you” Paula replied trying to reassure Sally.

“I will, take care of my Sophie” Sally said as the phone cut off. Sally was doing her best not to burst into tears as it would be a sign of weakness.

“I will....” Paula began to reply but the phone cut out before she could.

Paula wasted no time whatsoever in comforting Sophie, she could see that she was absolutely distraught after hearing her mum had been beaten up.

“She’s going to be ok, I’m going to help her” Paula said as she held Sophie in tight.

“I hate hearing her upset”.

“I know, but right now we don’t have time to be upset ok? We need to concentrate on finding how we are going to prove that Duncan is framing her. I need to head to the office and speak to James see what our next moves are but come for dinner this evening? And we can set out a plan” Paula explained.

“Ok! I need to go and tell Tim and Gina about Mum and we will probably go and visit her. I’ll see you later, thank you”.

“For what?” Paula replied.

“For not letting me ruin the best thing that has happened to me in a very long time” Sophie said referring to her relationship with Paula.

“That was never an option you do realise” Paula replied.

“Oh so you were going to hold me captive were you?” Sophie joked.

“If it meant we were still a couple then yes, I need to make sure I see that beautiful smile of yours as much as humanly possible” Paula replied.

Sophie stood there with a smile on her face, Paula wiped the tears away, kissed her on the lips and headed to her car to go find James. Sophie needed to go let Tim and Gina know that Sally had been in contact but mainly to let them know she had been beaten up.

Tim and Gina were quietly having a cup of tea in the cafe when Sophie rushes in.

“What is it Soph?” Gina asked as Tim still wasn’t really speaking to Sophie.

“Mum rang!”

“She did?” Tim immediately replied.

“She did! But she’s been beaten up but someone, she wouldn’t tell me who but she’s not in a good way. She wants us to go and visit her” Sophie explained.

“You’re joking?” Gina replied shocked to the core that her sister had been beaten up.

“I wish I was, she’s reinstated Paula who has gone to her office to crack on with the case. She’s promised she will do everything she can to sort this” Sophie said.

“I need to apologise because none of this is her fault or yours for that matter. I’m sorry” Tim replied.

“It’s ok, we just need to focus on getting mum out of there” Sophie said.

“I agree let’s go” Tim replied following Sophie out of the cafe.

As they were walking towards the car, Imran was walking in the opposite direction. Tim’s blood began to boil, he couldn’t believe what Imran had done. Tim ran in airman’s direction, punching him in the face with a right hook.

“TIM” Sophie shouted as she ran after him.

“I’m sorry ok... I really am” Imran explained trying to get Tim off him.

“Sorry? My wife is in prison for something she didn’t do and part of that is down to you” Tim said as Sophie and Gina managed to yank him away from Imran.

“I’m sorry” Imran replied as he sat there on the floor holding his face in pain.

“Come on let’s go” Sophie said dragging Tim away towards the car.

Sophie felt guilty for leaving Imran on the street injured but right now she knew her family were priority.

Chapter Text

Paula arrived at work, she had a very determined look on her face.

“Sorry to interrupt this little doughnut meeting but I need James, it’s good to see you all by the way” Paula said as she interrupted all her employees.

“Would you like one?” Mark asked.

“Trying to watch my figure” Paula replied.

“You look different? But I can’t put my finger on what is different?” Harriet added.

“She’s in looooove” James replied emphasising the word love.

“Shut it you! In my office now...” Paula said trying to stop herself from blushing.

“Ooh in love? Do tell...” Harriet replied.

“I’m not in love but I am happy”.

“Whose the lucky fella?” Mark asked.

Paula stood there and rolled her eyes, as did James.

“Who says it’s a fella? It is the 21st century after all...” James replied sticking up for his boss.

“Oh sorry I didn’t mean anything offensive, I just didn’t think”.

“That’s the problem with men, they often don’t think” Harriet joked.

“Her name is Sophie and I am very happy” Paula replied with a smile on her face.

“That’s a young sounding name...” Mark said.

Paula rolled her eyes again, she didn’t want to be having this conversation right now, she just wanted to speak to James in her office.

“She is young but it doesn’t matter because we are happy” Paula replied as she headed to her office,

“JAMES” She shouted as she sat down at her desk.

“Coming... I might be a while so carry on without me” James said as he nicked another doughnut and headed to Paula’s office.

“Jesus what was that 20 questions, I tell you if Mark wasn’t a good lawyer he would not be working for me. He’s such an ass” Paula said as James sat down and made himself comfortable.

“Tell me about it, you’re lucky you’re in this office, I have to sit next to him all day” James replied.

“Unlucky! Anyway news... I am officially Sally’s lawyer again. She rang Sophie and begged to get me back, turns out she was beaten up earlier this morning by a prisoner which has inspired her change of heart. Now I don’t care how we do it but we need dirt on Duncan and we need it fast! Sally’s safety is now a priority, nothing can happen to her. So we need to get digging, I don’t care how many members of the team it takes we just need something” Paula explained.

“Shit is she ok?”

“From what I understand she’s got a few bumps and bruises but she’s just frightened mainly. So I need you to go through everyone Duncan has worked with in the last 5 years there has to be something he has slipped up on”.

“I’ll get on it right away, might ask Harriet to help if that’s ok?”

“Anyone, just not Mark” Paula joked.

“On it! I’ll go brief her and then we will get straight to it” James replied as he went to get Harriet to inform her about the case.

Paula quickly checked her emails before making some phone calls, she had a strange email from an unknown source. The email was titled Duncan, Paula opened the email immediately.

*You need to dig deeper into Duncan, I believe that he is very much guilty and that your client Sally Metcalfe is innocent. I don’t know how you can prove it but there has to be some evidence somewhere! Please dig deep*.

Paula had absolutely no idea who this was from.

“JAMES GET IN HERE NOW” Paula shouted.

“What... What is it?”

“I’ve just got a very interesting email”.

James learnt over the desk and read the email, he immediately set out to try and track down who the email came from. Looking at the IP address and trying to track the origin down.

What neither Paula, James or any lawyer in the office knew was that the email had come from Imran. Imran knew that Duncan was guilty he just didn’t know how to prove it. After seeing Duncan’s face when Sally got sent down he knew that he needed to slyly try and help Paula get him sent down instead of Sally.

Talking of Sally... Tim, Sophie and Gina were all waiting in the meeting area for Sally to appear. They couldn’t wait to see her but they knew she was going to look battered and bruised.

“We don’t mention what just happened with Imran ok? Mum doesn’t need the extra worry” Sophie whispered to the two of them.

“I agree, she doesn’t need to know not just yet”.

“Fine but I hate lying to her” Tim replied.

“I don’t exactly love it” Sophie said.

“Well you were doing a good enough job for the last 2 weeks” Tim sarcastically replied.

“Tim! Stop!” Gina aggressively said.

“Sorry Sophie I didn’t mean that. I’m just so worked up right now”.

“Here she comes” Sophie quietly said.

Sally slowly walked over with her head down, she didn’t want them to see how bruised her face was.

“Mum!” Sophie said as soon as Sally arrived at her chair.

“I don’t even know if I’m allowed to hug you” Sally replied with a sad look on her face.

“Oh love who did that to you” Tim asked.

“It doesn’t matter, I just need to keep my head down and my mouth shut! Just like Paula said earlier”.

“It’s good news that she’s back in the case isn’t it” Gina said.

“Let’s just hope she can get me out of here” Sally replied.

“She will do everything she can” Sophie said giving her mum a smile.

“You’re very quiet Tim, everything ok?” Sally asked.

“Just hate seeing you stuck in here” Tim replied reaching for Sally’s hand.

“What happened to your hand?” Sally asked looking very concerned.

“He punched the wall” Gina immediately replied trying to stop Sally from learning the truth.

“You punched a wall?” Sally said confused.

“I can’t lie... I didn’t punch a wall. I punched Imran” Tim replied.

“You punched Imran? Why would you do that?” Sally furiously asked.

“Because it is his fault you are in here, he’s just so smug I couldn’t bare seeing him smiling” Tim replied.

“It’s not his fault, it’s my fault for being an idiot. I over reacted like normal and messed everything up” Sally said getting upset.

“Mum don’t worry we’re going to sort this” Sophie replied reassuring her mum.

“I can’t do this right now” Sally said as she stood up and walked over to the warden to be let back in to go to her cell.

“Mum?”

“Sal? Come on come back” Tim said.

“Leave her, she’s made her mind up” Gina replied.

Sophie was gutted that she didn’t get the opportunity to properly talk to her mum about everything, including Paula. She wanted to explain some things which might help Sally to understand why the two of them were together.

The three of them headed back to the cobbles feeling very dejected after seeing Sally battered and bruised but also the fact she left before the visiting time was over.

“I’m going to go home” Sophie said with a sad expression on her face.

“You sure you don’t want to come over for some food?” Gina asked.

“Thanks but you’re alright”.

“Soph I’m sorry for earlier, I seem to be putting my foot in my mouth a lot the last few days. I just miss her Soph and seem to be taking it out on everyone. Forgive me” Tim explained.

“I miss her too! But we need to work together at the moment, so no more blaming anyone. Certainly not me or Paula because whether you like it or not we are together and that’s the way it’s going to stay and I’d love it if you could support me on that” Sophie replied getting quite emotional.

“You’ve got my support love” Gina said giving Sophie a hug.

“Thanks Auntie Gina”.

“You’ve got mine too” Tim replied.

“Really?” Sophie said.

“Come here...” Time replied with open arms.

Sophie and Tim gave each other a hug.

“I just want you to be happy” Tim whispered.

“Thanks” Sophie replied.

Tim and Gina headed home to sort some dinner out, while Sophie popped in to speak to Yasmeen about somethings.

“Here’s my favourite person” Yasmeen said as soon as she saw Sophie.

“Hey!”

“I was sorry to hear about your mum, she doesn’t deserve to be in prison for something she didn’t do”.

“Thanks, it gets worse. She was beaten up pretty badly today”.

“No way? Sophie I’m so sorry!”

“Not your fault. On the plus side she’s taken Paula back as her lawyer, so fingers crossed that she will be able to make something happen”.

“Of course she will, she’s one of the best so I’ve heard”.

“She really is! I was close to finishing things with her earlier, purely just to please people. But then Paula reminded me that we should be following our hearts and not worrying what anyone else thinks” Sophie replied.

“I’d have slapped you silly if you had of broken it off, Sophie I can clearly see you two have something special. I would not have been happy if you had ruined that” Yasmeen said.

“Don’t worry from now on I am going to put myself first”.

“Hallelujah about time” Yasmeen replied punching the air.

While Sophie and Yasmeen continued to catch up, Paula and James were busy trying to track from where this email had come from.

“Anything yet James?” Paula said pacing around the room. She couldn’t keep still, she knew that this could be the big break they needed.

“Nothing. Whoever sent this email know exactly what they are doing” James replied.

“Whose our usual tech guy?”

“We use lots of different ones, I can try one of them if you want”.

“I think we’re going to have to” Paula replied.

“It won’t be cheap”.

“I don’t care how much it costs, we need to know who sent this email” Paula explained.

“Mark get Jimmy on the phone” James shouted through the door.

“Sure thing” Mark replied as he dialled Jimmy’s number.

Paula sat on the edge of the seat in her office, with her hands together hoping that he would be able to do something.

“I might have a potentially lead” Harriet shouted from across the room.

“Who... tell me everything” Paula replied.

“His names Gareth Jenkins and he used to work with Duncan. Says here he was unfairly dismissed after being accused of money laundering” Harriet explained.

“We need an address, now” Paula said as her eyes lit up.

“That could be a stumbling block, his last known address wasn’t far from here but that was over 3 years ago”.

“Ok, let’s work on trying to find his location”.

“Yes boss” Harriet joked.

“It might be a late night tonight guys if that’s ok? I’m happy to order some food in?” Paula said to the gang.

“Fine by me” Harriet replied.

“Me too” Tricia added.

“Yep” James said putting his hand up as Mark nodded whilst he was on the phone.

“Pizza it is then” Paula replied.

Paula knew she was supposed to meeting Sophie tonight, she thought that this would be the perfect excuse to introduce her to her work colleagues. Paula dialled Sophie’s number which she now knew off by heart.

“I was just thinking of you” Sophie said as she picked up the phone.

“Well that’s nice to know. Hey we’ve had a little breakthrough with your mums case so we’re all working late tonight but before you get eggy with me how about you come help”.

“Me eggy? You’re joking I’m never eggy. But yes I’d love to”.

“Excellent I have lots of people here who are dying to meet you”.

“Really? Me?”

“Yes, plus they want you to collect some pizzas on the way” Paula replied.

“Oh I see you’ve got an ulterior motive” Sophie joked.

“Well kind of but I do really want to see you, because it’s only been half a day and I miss that face of yours. Plus I need to know how it went with your mum” Paula replied.

“Not good! Text me through the order and you’re work address and I’ll be there as soon as possible”.

“Thank you and don’t worry we will get your mum out” Paula added.

“I’ll see you soon” Sophie replied.

As soon as Paula put the phone down the joking began.

“It’s only been half a day and I already miss your face” Mark said putting on Paula’s mushy voice.

“I actually hate you” Paula replied.

Mark added some fake kissing noises.

“You pull any of this shit when Sophie is here and I’ll be giving you a disciplinary” Paula said threatening Mark.

“Yeah yeah...” Mark replied laughing thinking that Paula was joking.

“I’m being deadly serious”.

“She really is” James added backing Paula up.

“Shit sorry, I was just having a joke” Mark replied looking like he was about to cry.

Paula let Sophie know the pizza order, she couldn’t wait to see that beautiful smile of hers. While the others waited for the pizza to arrive, Jimmy arrived to take a closer look at this email.

“This email is sent from a pro, it’s almost intractable” Jimmy said tapping away on his laptop.

“Almost?”

“Well unfortunately for them they forgot to take off the locator on the original email”.

“Jimmy speak English...” Paula sarcastically replied.

“Basically give me 15 minutes and I’ll be able to tell you where the email was sent from” Jimmy explained.

“I could kiss you right now...” Paula shouted as Sophie walked through the door holding a pile of freshly baked pizzas.

“I hope you don’t” Sophie joked.

“Hey love” Paula replied as she walked straight over to Sophie, took the pizzas off her and handed them to James so that she could give Sophie a welcome kiss.

James could immediately see the spark between the two of them, he couldn’t keep the smile off his face.

“Everyone this is my girlfriend Sophie” Paula announced to the room.

“Hi everyone” Sophie replied giving them a little wave and a smile.

“I’m James” James said shaking Sophie’s hand.

“Nice to meet you James”.

“Harriet”.

“Nice to meet you Harriet”.

“You’re just like Paula described” Tricia said giving Sophie a hug.

“So she talks about me then?” Sophie jokingly asked.

“All the time” James joked rolling his eyes.

“Good to know” Sophie replied as she looked over to Paula and smiled.

“Let’s tuck in before it goes cold...” Paula said trying to change the subject.

Chapter Text

Over at the office everyone was tucking into the pizza that Sophie had delivered, you could tell they were all enjoying it as the room was pretty silent.

“There not that bad are they?” Paula whispered to Sophie about her employees.

“They seem lovely and very welcoming”.

“They asked me about 20 questions when I mentioned I had a girlfriend”.

“I hope you were nice with the answers” Sophie joked.

“Of course I was, I’ve only got nice things to say about you”.

“So what was so important that you’re all working late?” Sophie asked.

“I was sent an anonymous email earlier today saying that I need to dig a lot deeper into Duncan because he is guilty and Sally is innocent. We’ve got the whole team trying to work out where this email came from. Jimmy is hard at work trying to find its original location, basically where the email was sent from. We’ve also found a man named Gareth who used to work with Duncan but he was unfairly dismissed after being accused of money laundering”.

“That’s amazing” Sophie said interrupting Paula before she could finish explaining.

“Unfortunately we can’t find an address for him”.

“Give me a computer, I can find anyone” Sophie replied.

“What do you mean?” Paula said with a confused look on her face.

“I’m like an FBI agent when it comes to finding people, the majority of the world these days have a social media site, trust me give me a couple of pieces of information about him and I’ll find him” Sophie replied with a real sense of confidence.

“Can someone give Sophie a laptop” Paula asked the office.

“Here have mine” James replied.

“Thanks James” Sophie said giving him a big smile.

James was doing everything in his power to be nice to Sophie, he wanted to make a really good impression as he knew how important she was to Paula.

“Kiss ass” Mark quietly said to James as he sat back down.

“That’s me “ James replied with a smirk on his face.

Both Sophie and Jimmy were busy tapping away trying their best to get the results that Paula was desperate for.

Back over on the cobbles Imran was icing his face after Tim gave him a shiner earlier on in the day. He knew he deserved it but he just wasn’t expecting it.

“How did you get that?” Yasmeen asked as Imran had gone over to hers for some ice.

“Tim” Imran replied.

“You did deserve it” Yasmeen said.

“I know. No one feels worse than I do about Sally being in prison. There’s nothing more I can do, the ball is now in Paula’s court”.

“What do you mean?”

“Promise me you won’t repeat any of this?” Imran asked.

“I promise” Yasmeen replied.

“I have a very strong feeling that Duncan is the guilty one. You should have seen his face when Sally got sent down, it just not how my clients usually react. So I sent Paula an email explaining that she needs to dig deeper to find something that can put him away and help Sally get out. But she won’t know that the email is from me so I just hope she takes it seriously” Imran explained.

“What? You think he’s guilty?” Yasmeen replied.

“I do, I really do!” Imran said.

“Well you need to tell Paula then!”

“I have, I sent her the email. I can’t put my name to it though because she won’t believe me”.

“Oh I see, hopefully she will take it seriously then. Are you going to do some digging?”

“Of course I am but I have to be careful in case he realises what I’m doing. Look I know you are quiet close with Sophie can you drop a few hints that they need to look into him further”.

“I will, I’ll speak to her tomorrow at work” Yasmeen replied.

“Thank you! I feel awful that Sally is suffering inside I just want to help to free her” Imran explained being extremely genuine. He really did feel bad about everything that he did in the court room.

Tim and Gina had sat down to eat their dinner, Gina had whipped up posh beans on toast as neither of them were exactly the best cooks in the world.

“Ah thanks Gina this looks lovely” Tim said as he covered his food in ketchup.

“I hope it’s not too bad. I wonder what the grubs like inside?” Gina asked.

“I don’t even want to think about it, I’ve watched enough documentaries to know that the food will be disgusting. I just want to give her a hug” Tim replied.

“I know so do I! Can’t even imagine what’s going through her head right now”.

“Probably the fact that she should have kept her mouth shut” Tim added.

“We all know that isn’t in Sally’s blood, mine either let’s be honest”.

“Yeah I need to learn to keep mine shut and keep my anger in check”.

“You were only trying to protect her Tim, I do understand why you hit him. I mean you shouldn’t have but I don’t blame you. Sally will understand that what you did was for her, she’ll see that” Gina explained.

“I hope so! I really do”.

“Paula will do everything in her power to get her out. We’ve just got to trust her”.

“I need to apologise to her, I was rude”.

“You were worried about Sally she’ll understand”.

“I hope so because right now she is our only hope”.

“I’ve got faith in her. We should probably invite her over for dinner in the week just to clear the air” Gina said.

“Yeah no that would be good, it would be nice to see the two of them together”.

“I could see they had a connection well I thought it was just Sophie with a crush but turns out it was both ways. I’m happy for them both they just needed to be more open about things” Gina replied.

“Yeah but we both know Sally would have reacted the exact same way” Tim said.

“That’s true”.

Back over at the office Sophie was still tapping away on the laptop trying to track down Gareth.

“Anything yet love?” Paula asked as she watched over Sophie’s shoulder.

“Give me a chance woman” Sophie replied.

“Jimmy you got anything?” Paula asked.

“Nearly, I will have a location in 3 minutes precisely” Jimmy replied.

“Perfect!” Paula said getting excited about the fact they might have two possibly leads very quickly.

“Gotcha” Sophie shouted.

Everyone in the office quickly moved around the laptop Sophie was using.

“Gareth Jenkins, aged 41 currently working in a supermarket as a cashier after he was wrongfully accused of Money laundering. He currently lives in Rochdale, I’m sure we can find an address”.

“I could kiss you right now” James excitedly replied.

Sophie just sat there and laughed while Paula did just that, kissed her girlfriend for being amazing.

“You mean like that” Paula joked.

“Just like that” James replied.

“Hmm that’s strange” Jimmy said out loud.

“What is?” Paula immediately replied as she walked over to Jimmy.

“The email was sent from weatherfield” Jimmy said.

“What? How?” Sophie replied confused.

“Are you sure Jimmy?” Paula asked.

“110% sure”.

“Any other information?” Paula asked.

“I’m afraid not, everything else they have covered their back but they forgot to protect the location”.

“I don’t get it why would someone in Weatherfield send me an email about Duncan? It wouldn’t be Tim or Gina... who else knows Duncan on the cobbles?”

“From what we’ve found doing our checks not many people, I mean people know of him but they aren’t exactly close with him” Harriet explained.

“Sophie do you know anyone?” Paula asked desperately hoping Sophie had an idea.

“No I’m sorry I have no idea. I swear mum was the only person who knew him well” Sophie replied.

“Ok, let’s do a search and see if anyone is linked with him?”

“Yes boss” James replied getting straight to work.

Paula sat down next to Sophie, wrapping her arm around Sophie’s waist.

“You don’t think it could be Imran do you?” Sophie quietly asked.

“Why would he be trying to help us?” Paula replied.

“I don’t know but I can’t think who else it would be. Like maybe he has realised what a dick Duncan is and he finally wants to do what’s best for everyone” Sophie said.

“Potentially, he did seem very sorry when we saw him earlier. You might be on to something love” Paula replied giving Sophie a kiss.

Paula reached for her phone, she decided to ring Imran to ask him outright.

Back at Yasmeen’s, Imran began to panic as Paula rang his phone, he didn’t know whether he should pick up or not.

“Imran you’re phone is ringing”.

“I know. It’s Paula”.

“Well pick it up then...”

“Hello?” Imran said answering the phone”.

“Imran it’s Paula. Now I’ve got a couple of questions and I know you probably won’t be able to give me the answers I’m looking for... but if you could give me anything that may help I’d appreciate it” Paula replied.

“Ok, I’m listening” Imran said.

“I received an email earlier from an anonymous source, now I have reason to believe it’s from you trying to help us. If I were to be correct with this information should I be looking at his past employment”.

“Yes” Imran replied.

Paula got so excited she could barely sit still, Sophie immediately turned around to look at her. She knew it must be good news by the gigantic smile on her face.

“Do you suspect that he has set people up in the past like he’s doing now with Sally?”

“I do”.

“Do you think he would ever admit it to you?” Paula asked.

“He’s too smart, he wouldn’t” Imran replied.

“Ok! Are you willing to help us out if we need something very specific from him? Like a name or something?”

“If it means the right person goes to prison then yes” Imran replied.

“Perfect. Thank you for your help. Speak soon” Paula said as she hung the phone up.

Paula just sat there with a smile on her face.

“It was Imran who sent the email, he believes that Duncan isn’t innocent and he is willing to help us in anyway he can to find the truth” Paula explained to the office.

“YES” James shouted as he jumped in the air.

“You are amazing” Sophie said looking at her girlfriend with loving eyes.

“You’re the one who thought of Imran” Paula replied.

“That’s true so technically I just did all of your jobs for you” Sophie bragged.

“Yes you did” Paula replied.

There was a real buzz around the office, they all knew that things were looking up for this case and for Sally to be out of prison hopefully soon.

“Let’s call it a night then everyone. Thank you so much for all your help tonight, we can pick it up tomorrow. I’d love it if as many of you could help, this case I very important to me” Paula explained as she looked over at Sophie when she mentioned how important it was.

“I’ll be here” James immediately replied.

“Me too” Harriet added.

“I know I’m a pain in the ass but I’ll be here if you need me” Mark said.

“Thanks guys. We’re going to head off as I promised to spend the evening with this one. I will see you all tomorrow”.

“It was nice meeting you all” Sophie said to everyone.

“Right back at ya” James said with the others agreeing.

Sophie helped Paula carry all of her files to work before they got into the separate cars to head to Paula’s. Sophie couldn’t wait to spend some quality alone time with Paula especially as the conversation over the last couple of days had all been about her mum and the case, she just wanted to think about something else for a change.

“Drink?” Paula asked as the two of them walked through the front door.

“A large cold glass of wine please” Sophie replied.

“Coming up, take a seat I’ll bring it over”.

Sophie took her boots off, running and jumping onto the sofa getting comfortable. It was one of the most comfortable sofas she had ever sat on.

“I see you are making yourself at home” Paula said looking at Sophie practically lay on the sofa.

“Sorry, got carried away” Sophie replied.

“Honestly it’s totally fine, in fact it’s great. I love that you are so comfortable here” Paula said.

“What’s not to love? This place is incredible”.

“Move over then, my bums not that small” Paula joked.

“It’s not but my god it’s a good ass” Sophie replied biting her bottom lip.

“You think so?”

“I know so. In fact I’d say it’s one of you’re best features”.

“You mean I have bad features?” Paula replied with a confused look on her face.

“Well... no I wasn’t saying that” Sophie nervously responded.

“I’m joking you don’t need to look so worried”.

“Phew! But seriously you don’t have any bad features well maybe the farting in bed” Sophie joked.

“I don’t fart lots do I?” Paula said being highly embarrassed.

“You do but I guess that’s the old age...”

“You cheeky little shit” Paula replied as she pounced on top of Sophie.

“Watch the wine” Sophie said trying to avoid spilling it.

“Put it down then because you’re not getting away with that one” Paula said referring to the age joke.

Sophie placed her drink on the side before Paula began to tickle her.

“Stop not the tickling... please” Sophie said in between screaming and laughing.

“I won’t stop until you apologise” Paula replied as she continued to tickle Sophie.

“But it’s true... I read about it”.

“It may well be true that the older generations fart more but I am not that old just yet” Paula replied.

“Please stop”.

“Say you’re sorry” Paula said as she continued to tickle a very wriggly Sophie.

“Fine I’m sorry” Sophie shouted.

“That’s better, see if you are nice to me I’m nice to you” Paula said as she stopped tickling Sophie and kissed her passionately while sliding her hand up Sophie’s top grabbing her boob.

“I’ll remember to be nicer to you more often then” Sophie replied as she started to get all hot and bothered.

Paula continued to show Sophie just how being nice to her would benefit her in the long run.

Chapter Text

After a wild night of passion on the sofa, the two of them had eventually made their way upstairs to the comfort of Paula’s bed to try and get some sleep. Sophie as per usual had hogged the majority of the duvet, but Paula didn’t mind because she got to cuddle up to woman she was falling in love with.

Paula woke early to try and get some more work done while relaxing in bed, she made sure she was as quiet as she could be so she didn’t wake up a sleeping Sophie. Imran had sent another cryptic email with the names of some of Duncan’s work colleagues from the past, she was very thankful to Imran he was risking his job to try and help Sally.

Paula had already got James on the case looking into every name Imran had given them. Paula felt so confident about this case now the ball was finally rolling, she couldn’t wait to reunite Sophie and her mum.

Sophie was beginning to wake, as she turned over she smiled at Paula who was busy working already.

“Good morning beautiful” Paula said in a soft voice.

“Morning, you don’t waste anytime do you” Sophie replied.

“I don’t! I can’t... being a lawyer is hard work and I struggle to switch off resulting in a lot of work getting done at home”.

“Anything new?”

“I’ve had another email from Imran with some more names to look into, so it’s all positive at the moment” Paula replied.

“That’s good then! So whose turn is it to make a brew?” Sophie asked fluttering her eyelids at Paula.

“Hmmm yours I believe”.

“No way... I made them the other morning”.

“But I’m busy” Paula said pointing at her laptop.

Sophie picked up the laptop closed it and placed it on the floor beside her.

“Now you’re not...” Sophie sarcastically said.

“It’s a good job I had saved all the work I had done” Paula replied playfully squishing Sophie’s cheeks together.

“It is! Anyway so now that you aren’t doing any work, does that mean you can make the tea?”

“Well I possibly could but you know with my age and everything my bones are so creaky in the mornings it’s a bit risky” Paula joked poking fun at her own age.

“See that doesn’t surprise me, but I’ve read online that the more you move and walk the more it helps with the creaking. So I think you should go” Sophie explained.

“You read a lot of stuff online don’t you. Did you know that google isn’t always right”

“It is when I google it” Sophie joked.

“Sophie Webster I am not getting out of this bed, surely you don’t want your girlfriend to die from dehydration do you?” Paula said kissing Sophie.

“I heard it takes a couple of days to die from dehydration...” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“You’ve got an answer for everything don’t you”.

“I do”.

“I’m still not making the tea”.

“There’s only one way to settle this...” Sophie said.

“I’m listening...” Paula replied with intrigue.

“First to pin the other down, whoever loses has to make the tea” Sophie said looking directly into Paula’s eyes.

Paula knew she was onto a winner with this one, she knew Sophie that Sophie’s weakness was being tickled. Whereas Paula wasn’t very ticklish so knew she was going to win this one.

“Sure why not. So what’s the starting position?” Paula replied taking this very seriously.

“On our knees. Be careful of them though... we don’t want you to get an injury” Sophie joked.

“You’re going down” Paula replied.

The two of them knelt in the middle of Paula’s giant bed and got ready to begin.

“3,2,1... GO” Sophie shouted as the two of them began to wrestle trying to pin each other down.

Sophie was stronger than she looked, Paula had underestimated her opponent it was time to use her special move.

“No that’s cheating” Sophie shouted as Paula began to tickle her.

“You didn’t say any rules” Paula replied managing to get Sophie on her back.

It didn’t take Paula much longer to pin Sophie down, Sophie gave in in the end as all she wanted to do was kiss Paula.

“You win” Sophie said as she reached up to kiss Paula’s lips.

“Told you I would” Paula replied.

Paula knew Sophie was ready for sexy time but Paula wanted to play hard to get to make sure she actually got the cup of tea. Paula sat up on her side of the bed, picking up some of the papers on her bed side table to read.

You could see the disappointment on Sophie’s face, she thought she was about to get lucky.

“I’ll go get the brew then...” Sophie said getting out of the bed.

“Ta love” Paula replied knowing that Sophie was annoyed.

Sophie reluctantly walked down the stairs to make them both a brew, Sophie thought it would be funny to make an awful cup of tea so that she didn’t have to make anymore in the future.

“Here we go” Sophie said handing Paula the cup of tea with a cheeky grin on her face.

“Aww thanks love. Come and get snuggled then, I need your help again to find a couple more people” Paula said tapping on the bed next to her.

“Sure, you’ll be offering me a job next” Sophie joked.

Paula didn’t think that that was such a bad idea, Sophie seemed to know what she was doing.

“I might just do that” Paula replied before taking a sip from her tea.

Sophie was doing her best not to laugh because she knew that Paula was about to go mad.

“What the bloody hell is this?” Paula asked with a grimace on her face.

“A cup of tea...” Sophie replied.

“You’re joking? This is like cat piss...” Paula sarcastically said.

“Oh” Sophie replied with a sad look on her face.

“I’m sorry love I didn’t mean to offend you but I can’t drink this” Paula said making sure that Sophie was ok.

“It’s ok, I guess you’ll just have to make the tea from now on” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

“Oh I see what’s going on here, this was all done on purpose wasn’t it? You clever little shit” Paula replied.

“Not as dumb as I look am I?” Sophie said as she smirked at Paula.

“You are extremely beautiful and so much smarter than you realise”.

“That was cute. Now who I am finding?” Sophie asked getting ready to play FBI again.

As Sophie got to work, Paula couldn’t help but watch her. Maybe giving her a job was a good idea? Maybe Sophie had finally found something she could excel at? It was definitely something that Paula was going to give serious thought to.

Over in prison Sally was waking up to another morning stuck in the hell hole. Every little noise was making her jump, she genuinely feared for her life. The only thing that was keeping her going was the fact that Paula, Gina and Tim were coming to see her today, hopefully with good news.

“Boo” Sally’s cellmate said as she peered her head around the corner scary Sally.

“Good morning” Sally replied trying to act normal and try to hide the fact she was shitting herself.

“You got my money yet”.

“I can’t”.

“Why can’t you? You’ve got a mouth which means you can ask your hubby for some money. It’s as simple as that”.

“I won’t I’m afraid” Sally said standing her ground.

“Has anyone ever told you the colour purple suits you?”

“No why?” Sally replied confused.

“Because if you don’t get me some money you’ll have another shiner, like I said the purple bruise looks good on you” Sally’s cellmate replied as she jerked forward trying to scare Sally.

Sally’s immediate reaction was to move backwards out of fear, she wanted to cry but knew she couldn’t. She had never been so scared in her entire life, what did she do to deserve this?

Luckily it was time for phone calls, Sally needed to talk to Tim, she needed to hear a friendly voice.

“Sal?” Tim said as he picked up the phone.

“Oh Tim, I can’t do this” Sally replied trying her best to keep it all together.

“We’re all working hard to get you out. I heard that Paula and the team were at the office until the early hours last night working hard for you love” Tim said trying to reassure Sally that everything was going to be ok.

“That’s good. So I’m being blackmailed by cellmate, she’s asking for money. What do I do?” Sally whispered down the phone.

“You don’t give in ok? We’ll talk to Paula and see what she says to do. Just try and stay out of her way” Tim said.

“I’ll try but it’s quite hard when she sleeps on top of me” Sally replied.

“On top of you? Is she interested in you that way?” Tim said getting the wrong end of the stick.

“As in on a bunk bed Timothy” Sally replied.

“Oh of course I knew that!”

“I don’t have long left but I can’t wait to see you later, I’m sorry about how I reacted yesterday it was just a bit of a shock to hear you punched Imran”.

“I’m sorry for being an idiot and doing it. I completely understand why you walked off I’d have done the same. I just can’t wait to see you Sal, stay strong and keep out of her way” Tim explained.

“I will. I love you”.

“I love you too” Tim said as the phone cut off.

Sally hung the phone back on the hook, as soon as she turned around her cellmate was right there waiting to hear when the money would be coming in.

“So when’s it going to be in my account”.

“I’m not getting your money, now if you’ll excuse me I have somewhere to be” Sally replied with confidence. Her phone call with Tim had given her the courage she needed to get through the day.

“Keep your eyes open...”

Sally kept walking away, she didn’t look back or say anything she just walked as quickly as she could.

“How you getting on?” Paula asked Sophie as she arrived back in the bedroom with a fresh cup of tea.

“I’ve found Henry he lives in America now though so unless we Skype him we won’t be seeing him. The others are proving a bit harder to find but I’ll get there. Did you make me one?” Sophie asked.

“Of course I did” Paula said as she handed over a cup.

“Thanks” Sophie said giving Paula a cheesy smile.

“Ooh James is ringing” Paula said reaching for her phone.

“I’ve got an address for Gareth” James excitedly said.

“Please say it’s local” Paula replied.

“42 minutes away with normal traffic” James said.

“This is music to my ears. Right I’ll go there today, we can’t waste anytime”.

“Need me to come with?” James asked.

“I might see if Tim is free, could do with bonding with him now I’m dating his step daughter” Paula said as she gave Sophie the look.

“Good idea. He’ll be able to see how amazing you really are” James replied.

“You can keep giving me compliments James but you are not getting a raise” Paula joked.

“Was worth a try” Jame said.

“I’ll keep you updated, good work James” Paula replied.

“Laters” James said putting the phone down.

“What was that about?” Sophie asked.

“We have an address for Gareth. I’m going to head there today, I’m going to ask Tim to come with me? If that’s ok?”

“I think it’s a great idea” Sophie replied.

“Ok, well I’ll give him a ring in a minute. I need to get changed but you carry on being amazing”.

“I will” Sophie replied smiling as she continued to try and find these people.

Paula found an outfit to put on, Sophie was rather distracted from her work as Paula got dressed in front of her.

“Focus” Paula joked snapping her fingers at Sophie.

“How am I supposed to with you looking like that in front of me?”

“You like?”

“Like... you are just incredible” Sophie replied.

“I am aren’t I?” Paula joked.

“Yes you are! Now hurry up and get changed because I need to concentrate” Sophie replied.

“Yes boss”.

“Do you want Tim’s number?” Sophie asked.

“Oh yes chuck us your phone...” Paula replied.

Sophie threw her phone across the room so that Paula could speak to Tim.

“Sophie you ok?” Tim asked.

“It’s Paula. I’ve got a lead on a possible witness I’d like it if you’d come with me?”

“Umm Yeah sure” Tim replied.

“Perfect. Well I’ll come and pick you up in 20 minutes. Make sure you look presentable I want him to think you are a lawyer” Paula explained.

“I’ll pick out a suit, I won’t let you down” Tim replied.

“Ok. We’ll see you soon” Paula said.

Tim felt honoured that Paula wanted his help, it gave him the opportunity to apologise but also to get to know Paula, especially if her and Sophie were the real deal.

“Mission Tim & Paula is a go” Paula said to Sophie.

“You’ve got to come up with a better name... how about dumb and dumber” Sophie joked.

“It’s a good job I have to go right now otherwise you’d be in deep shit young lady” Paula replied giving Sophie the evils.

“Or how about... tweedle dumb and tweedle dee” Sophie said.

“It’s a good job you are gorgeous...” Paula replied blowing Sophie and kiss and heading for the door.

“What about the OAP’s” Sophie shouted.

“How about your dumped” Paula replied laughing.

“Yeah yeah you wouldn’t you like me too much”.

“I can go off people easily” Paula replied.

“Yeah but not me” Sophie joked.

“We’ll see about that...” Paula replied as the door slammed.

Sophie just sat there with a smile on her face, she loved the banter they had between each other.

Chapter Text

Paula arrived at Tim’s to collect him ready for their day of investigating in Rochdale. Paula was hoping and praying that he looked half decent as she was going to blag he was a lawyer.

“Good morning” Tim said as he walked out the house in a suit looking very smart.

“You scrub up well” Paula replied.

“Am I the next on your list of people to date” Tim joked thinking he was hilarious.

“Just get in” Paula said rolling her eyes.

“Sorry that was a dumb joke that sounded so much beige and funnier in my head” Tim mumbled as he got in the car.

“It’s ok, but I only have eyes for one person right now” Paula replied with confidence.

“Yes about Sophie, I owe you more apologies. I was rude and I’m sorry”.

“It’s fine you’ve already apologised as far as I’m concerned we are all good”.

“That’s good then. I just don’t want to see her get hurt”.

“My intentions with Sophie are pure and from the heart. She’s a very very special woman who I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Yes there’s a big age gap but as long as she feels comfortable and happy with me then that’s great. I don’t intend to hurt her” Paula explained.

“Good to hear! So whose this guy we are off to hunt down?”

“His name is Gareth Jenkins and he used to work with Duncan. He was dismissed from the company for money laundering something that he has always claimed wasn’t him. We’re pretty sure Duncan was behind that one too. So we’re hoping to speak to this Gareth to see if he is willing to give us any information that may help with Sally’s case” Paula explained.

“Fingers crossed” Tim replied as the pair of them headed off to Rochdale in search of Gareth.

Meanwhile Sophie was still hard at work in Paula’s bed, she was determined to find these other people to impress her girlfriend. Sophie had never in her life felt so needed, Paula was trusting her with some important business for the case. It made her feel good about herself.

After another hour of work Sophie had managed to find current locations for both of the possible witnesses, she quickly needed to get ready as she had work in a short while. The top that Sophie had packed in her overnight bag had a stain on it, she had no choice than to look through Paula’s wardrobe to find something suitable, she knew Paula wouldn’t mind. She managed to find a plain white shirt which fitted perfectly, it smelt of Paula which put a smile on Sophie’s face.

Once Sophie was ready she made sure the house was tidy before heading back to the cobbles for work, she couldn’t help but wonder how the OAP’s were getting on in Rochdale.

“That’s the house over there” Tim said as they arrived outside what they thought was Gareth’s.

“There doesn’t look to be anyone living in it” Paula said with a dejected look on her face.

“Let’s go knock, you never know we might get lucky” Tim replied.

The two of them walked towards the door, Paula knew that this wasn’t going to be a successful trip. Tim knocked on the door, they waited but there was no answer.

“Should we try the neighbours?” Tim asked.

“Worth a shot, you go that way I’ll go this way” Paula replied.

They each went to a separate front door, no one answered the door Tim went to But an elderly lady opened the door for Paula.

“Can I help you?” The elderly lady asked.

“I was wondering if Gareth still lived next door?” Paula said.

“He doesn’t I’m afraid he left about 2 months ago now. Work problems I believe”.

“You don’t happen to know where he moved to do you?”

“No idea I’m afraid he was quite a quiet person after everything happened”.

“What happened?”

“He was arrested for money laundering, he was found not guilty but he was sacked from his work and I think it knocked his confidence a lot”.

“You don’t happen to know the name of the person that accused him do you?” Paula asked hoping this lady knew.

“I don’t I’m afraid, like I said he was very private after it happened”.

“Thank you for you’re help!” Paula said as she headed back to the car.

“Any luck?” Tim asked.

“He doesn’t live there anymore, moved about 2 months ago. She did however mention about the money laundering, but she didn’t know the name of the person who accused him. I’d bet you my life savings it was Duncan”.

“Won’t that be on the courts records...”

“Potentially but if Duncan is as clever as I think he is he will have covered that up as well”.

“So that’s it we head back home without any new information?”

“Pretty much, yes. But it’s given me a few new ideas. We’ve got to be positive, somewhere he will have made a mistake we just need to figure out where” Paula explained.

“Gina and I were wondering if you and Sophie wanted to come to dinner one evening, so we can talk strategies and everything?” Tim asked.

Paula was shocked that Tim had just invited them for dinner, she thought it would be a good opportunity for the two of them to see how much her and Sophie genuinely cared for each other.

“We would love to. Let us know when and we will be there” Paula replied.

“Perfect. I can’t promise the food will be great though, Sal’s the good cook” Tim joked.

“I’m sure it will be just lovely” Paula said.

Over at the prison Gina was nervously waiting for Sally to arrive, Gina knew that Sally would be disappointed that it was just her visiting today.

“Where’s Tim? Where’s Paula?” Sally immediately said before she had even sat down.

“There are both in Rochdale trying to track down a potential witness” Gina replied.

“That’s good I guess I just really needed to see Tim”.

“He’ll come visit tomorrow, How are you?” Gina asked.

“Scared shitless! Every little noise I jump a mile. I was hoping Paula would be here with some news for me”.

“She would have been here but they needed to go chase up this lead! She’s doing everything in her power to get you out”.

“It’s about time” Sally sarcastically replied.

“Just stop! Paula has been all over this case from the very beginning, she’s doing everything she can to fix the mess you created! You are all for her spending time with Kevin when you thought it was him she was interested in. You need to stop all of this because Sophie and Paula are happy and none of this is there fault” Gina replied with anger.

“Fine I will, I mean I still don’t get what Sophie sees in her but...” Sally began to explained.

“See here you go again... Sophie is genuinely happy for the first time in a very long time let’s not even think about why she has fallen for the person she has fallen for let’s just be happy for her. Now I don’t want to hear anything else negative about them” Gina furiously replied.

“Fine! My lips are sealed”.

“Good!”

“Can you make sure that Tim is looking after himself, he’s useless without me” Sally said.

“Don’t worry he’s got me, I’ll make sure he’s ok” Gina replied.

“Thank you, I owe you a lot for being on my side throughout this”.

Finally Gina was getting the recognition she deserved for being by Sally’s side throughout everything, yes the whole phone thing didn’t help Sally but no matter what she had always been there for her.

“It’s what sisters are for” Gina replied.

Tim and Paula arrived back on the cobbles, both with dejected looks on their faces, they were annoyed nothing major came out of today’s trip. Imran spotted the two of them, he desperately wanted to know what was going on but knew he had to be careful. Paula spotted him out of the corner of her eye, she wanted to speak to him but didn’t want Tim to see.

“Thanks for today Tim, I promise you we will get there” Paula said.

“I know we will. I’m off for a pint do you want to join me?” Tim asked.

“I’ve got to head back to the office to continue working otherwise I would have loved to”.

“Another time...” Tim said as he started to walk to the pub.

Paula waited until the coast was clear, she slowly walked over to Imran. The two of them hid out of plain sight to speak to each other.

“Any leads yet?” Imran asked.

“Nothing substantial, we were just in Rochdale trying to find Gareth but no luck! I honestly think he would be our best hope we just can’t find him”.

“Damn it! I sat down earlier trying to remember anything unusual or out of the ordinary that he might have said during our meetings but nothing stuck out” Imran replied.

“He’s a pro, he does this for a living. He knows what to say and what no to say” Paula replied.

“He just sounded so convincing, he must have gone over and over it in his head, every little detail was so clear”.

“Look I know this is a long shot but is there anyway you could speak to Judith again? Maybe if she realised you had your doubts about him she would tell you the truth...” Paula asked.

“I can give it a go, I just can’t have anything getting back to Duncan” Imran replied.

“Yeah, just be careful. Thanks” Paula said as she headed to Speed Daal to see Sophie.

Sophie was busy cleaning tables, she was unaware that Paula would be popping in for a visit. Paula quietly sneaked up behind her, wrapped her arms around Sophie’s waist and shouted.

“BOOO”.

“Holy shit! Don’t do that to me” Sophie replied jumping out of her skin.

“Language Sophie” Yasmeen shouted across the restaurant.

“Sorry” Sophie replied.

“Yeah Sorry Yasmeen” Paula added.

“How did you OAP’s get on?” Sophie cheekily asked.

“We didn’t find him, turns out he left a while ago. But we won’t give up we will continue to look. How did you get on?”

“Yeah managed to find both of them, I emailed them to you. Ones pretty local but the other one lives in Scotland” Sophie explained.

“You’re an actual angel, you’re really quite good at finding people aren’t you? It’s a bit scary. Would dread to think what you could find out about my past”.

“Already looked there wasn’t anything interesting apart from a couple of photos from when you were a lot younger. You were very cute, not sure about the hair cut though...” Sophie joked.

“Oh god you didn’t? Was it awful? I had some really bad haircuts when I was younger”.

“You really did but you were just as beautiful back then as you are now”.

“Flattery will get you everywhere. Dinner tonight? You me and a fancy little place?”

“I’d love to! It’s about time we had our second date”.

“It is. So I will pick you up at 6:30, wear something nice even though you always do and I’ll see you later” Paula said giving Sophie a kiss on her way out.

“I will, I’ll make it extra special” Sophie replied with a smile on her face.

As Paula left the restaurant her phone rang, when she saw it was Isla her face lit up.

“Baby girl” Paula said as she answered the phone.

“Hi mum, sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner the signal out here isn’t that great. I got your message I’m sorry to hear about your job is everything ok now?” Isla replied.

“God it’s good to hear you voice. Yeah things are ok, I’m back on her case and me and Sophie are really good. How are you? How’s Cambodia?”

“Well I’m glad things are back on course! Yeah Cambodia is absolutely beautiful Mum you’d love it. I’m hiking up a mountain tomorrow with some guys I met at the hostel, I can’t wait. I’ll send you some photos” Isla replied with in an excited manner.

“Oh wow, sweetheart enjoy every moment. I think you’ll be able to do a lot of thinking when you get to the top of the mountain, the air will clear everything”.

“I hope so I really do! Say hi to Sophie from me, I think she needs to upload a selfie of the two of you to her Instagram to make things official now that everyone knows” Isla replied.

“We will take one just for you” Paula said.

“Make sure its a good one, remember what I taught you about taking selfies”.

“Yes yes it’s all about the angles and lighting” Paula joked.

“Exactly! You’ve got it!”

“Don’t worry it will be a good one, Sophie won’t allow it to be anything other than good” Paula replied.

“I’ve got to go but I’ll message you tomorrow. I love you” Isla replied.

“Love you too. Stay safe” Paula said.

Paula was happy that she had heard from her daughter, knowing that she was safe and had already made some friends helped to put her mind at ease. She couldn’t wait to see the photos from her trip and she was going to do exactly that and upload a selfie of the two of them to Sophie’s page, that is if Sophie agrees to it.

Chapter Text

Paula had arrived at work, her mood was extremely good after speaking to her daughter, she was hoping for some more good news from the gang at work.

“Paula, how did it go?” James asked as soon as Paula stepped through the door.

“Jesus let me sit down first” Paula replied.

“Sorry, we could do with some good news” James said.

“Oh god really? What’s happened?”

“Literally nothing, I’ve been digging and digging and nothing has come up. So please tell me you had more luck”.

“Not really, he wasn’t there. He’s moved house and no one knows where to. The only good thing is that his neighbour said that he left because of what happened with the money laundering. We need to find a connection between that and Duncan. We know they worked together but we need something” Paula explained.

“Police reports?”

“Worth a look. Imran has agreed to have another chat with Judith to see if he can get the truth out of her as I am sure she is lying to help Duncan. Now I don’t know if he blackmailed her or bribed her there has to be something”.

“Oh so you spoke to him?”

“Yeah I bumped into him earlier, he’s on our side”.

“Well it’s about time, it clear that Sally is being set up” James replied.

“We’ve just got to prove it. Been meaning to ask you what do you think of Sophie then?” Paula asked.

“Shes amazing! And I can see exactly why you are infatuated by her, plus I like that she’s kind of the boss” James explained.

“What do you mean?”

“She has you wrapped around her little finger”.

“She does and I love it. But she can be so unbelievably cheeky, like sooooo cheeky” Paula explained.

“Stop there before it goes into details that I really don’t need to hear” James joked.

“Are you sure? I can go on to explain how INCREDIBLE the sex is...” Paula replied.

“Blah blah blah I can’t hear you” James said covering his ears leaving Paula’s office.

Paula stood there and laughed, she loved winding up James it was one of her favourite things to do.

“Jack buddy what do you fancy for dinner?” Kevin asked a sad looking Jack.

“Don’t care” Jack replied.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing”.

“Jack come on you can talk to me”.

“I don’t want to talk to anyone, I’m going to my room” Jack said as he wheeled himself off to his room.

“Jack please buddy” Kevin pleaded with him.

It seemed that the only person who could get through to Jack these days was Sophie, Kevin was hoping that she would be home soon so that she could talk to him. What Kevin didn’t realise is that she was off on date night with Paula.

Sally was reading a book in her cell when the door slammed, her cellmate was not in a good mood. Sally knew that something was about to happen but she needed to remember to be strong and stand up for herself.

“I’m still waiting for that money”.

“I’m afraid you’ll be waiting for a very long time” Sally replied.

“You really do not want to mess with me...”

“Then leave me alone”.

“Oh you’re a feisty one aren’t you. I don’t think you’ll be so feisty in a minute” her cellmate said as she walked towards Sally.

“Go on then... whatever you do to me doesn’t mean that I’m going to give you the money”.

“Are you sure about that?”

“Positive!” Sally replied showing her cellmate that she’s not a push over.

“Like I said earlier watch your back! Because I will be getting that money” her cellmate said staring right into Sally’s eyes.

Sally didn’t blink, she didn’t even move. She wanted her cellmate to know that she was tough and not to be messed with. Her cellmate left in a huff, Sally could finally breathe, her heart was racing but she was proud of herself for being as calmed and collected as she was.

Paula couldn’t stop yawning, this case was taking a lot of her energy but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“You should go home!” James said to Paula through the door.

“I’m off on a date” Paula replied.

“Ooh where you taking her?”

“Her? No this is a date with Trevor the man in my life” Paula said with a dead straight face giving away nothing.

“What? Since when...” James asked.

“For about 3 months now” Paula said trying her best not to smile.

“Get out, you’re not”.

“I’m in open relationships, I can date whoever I want”.

“Does Sophie know?” James asked with real concern on his face. He was believing every word Paula was saying.

“No I haven’t broached the subject with her yet...”

“Don’t you think you should before she falls in love with you?” A confused James replied.

Paula couldn’t help but laugh, she couldn’t believe how guileless James was for a first class lawyer.

“You were winding me up the whole time weren’t you?” James said rolling his eyes.

“Of course I was you muppet. As if I’d date someone called Trevor” Paula sarcastically replied.

“I hate you!”

“No you don’t! Plus I wouldn’t do that to Sophie, she means too much to me”.

“Someone’s falling in love... someone’s falling in love” James sang as he did a dance around the office.

“Goodbye James I’ll see you tomorrow” Paula replied ignoring his stupid dance.

“Paula and Sophie sitting in a tree... KI..SS..ING...” James sang as the door slammed.

Paula stood outside the office door for a few moments listening to James finish the song. She stood there with a smile on her face, she knew he was right she was falling in love with Sophie.

Paula rushed home to pick out a hot outfit for the date, she needed to look good because she knew Sophie would look incredible. Finding her sexiest suit, Paula slipped into it and found her favourite pair of killer heels.

“Damn you look good” Paula said as she looked at herself in the mirror.

Paula decided that she looked so hot tonight that she was going to take a selfie, she wasn’t really one for photos but she couldn’t miss out on this opportunity. Remembering what Isla had said she made sure the lighting and the angle of the selfie was perfect to make sure she looked the best she could.

*Not bad for an OAP xx* Paula messaged Sophie along with the photo.

Sophie was finishing up cleaning her last remaining tables before being able to leave to get ready for her date, she couldn’t wait.

“Sophie you’re phone is buzzing” Yasmeen said waving Sophie’s phone around.

“Coming” Sophie replied making her way over to get her phone.

“Is it you’re lady?”

“It is indeed, she’s sent a photo. Woah” Sophie said as she stood there with her mouth open.

“Let’s see? Oh wait it’s not naughty is it?” Yasmeen asked before looking at the photo.

“It isn’t naughty. It’s a selfie” Sophie said turning her phone around to show Yasmeen.

“She looks absolutely beautiful”.

“Doesn’t she just. I think I’m having a hot flush” Sophie said as she fanned herself down.

“You’re too young for those believe me. What are you still doing here?”

“I’ve got to clean up...”

“Go! Go make yourself even more beautiful than you do right now” Yasmeen said ordering Sophie to go get ready.

“Yes boss. I’ll see you tomorrow” Sophie replied giving Sophie a hug.

“I need pictures please! But nothing risqué”.

“As if I’d do that!” Sophie said winking at Yasmeen,

“I dare to even think what you young ones get up to these days”.

Sophie just laughed as she grabbed her coat and ran home because she didn’t have much time. As soon as she walked through the front door she could tell something was wrong. Jack was in his room and her dad was sulking at the kitchen table.

“What’s happened?” Sophie asked knowing that this was about to eat into her preparation time.

“It’s Jack he just won’t open up to me, he’s not eating, he won’t spend any time with me. He’s not my little boy anymore” Kevin replied with the saddest look on his face.

“It’s going to take time Dad, he’s been through more than any kid should ever have to go through. Do you want me to have a word with him?” Sophie asked.

“Only if you don’t have anything else to do?” Kevin replied.

Sophie took a deep breath in, she desperately wanted to say that she didn’t have time but she knew that her brother was more important to her than anything.

“Of course not, all that can wait” Sophie said.

“Thank you” Kevin replied managing to give Sophie a smile.

Sophie quietly knocked on Jack’s door before opening it slowly.

“Can I come in?” Sophie asked.

“Sure why not” Jack replied.

“What you playing?”

“Fifa”.

“Can I have a go?” Sophie said.

“But you’re rubbish” Jack joked.

“I know I am but at least you have someone to play against”.

“Ok, I suppose you can”.

The two of them started a game, Sophie knew she was going to get beat by about 10 goals but she hoped that he would open up to her about what was going on.

“So how’s school?” Sophie asked.

“Rubbish”.

“Why? What’s happened?”

“No one talks to me or plays with me anymore. They all just want to play football and I can’t so I get left on my own. I hate it I don’t want to go anymore” Jack explained.

“I’m sorry bud! I know football is your passion, maybe you could referee or something? So that you are still involved?” Sophie replied.

“They don’t want me getting in the way”.

“Come here you” Sophie said giving her brother a hug.

“I just want my leg back, I’d do anything”.

“As would I. I’d do anything for you to have you’re leg back, literally anything” Sophie explained trying her best to not cry.

“I know you would. So how’s Pippa?” Jack asked.

Sophie had forgotten that Jack had no idea that the truth had all come out, she now needed to tell him the truth hoping he wouldn’t get angry with her.

“So Pippa’s name is actually Paula and there’s something you need to know about her...”

“Paula that’s a nice name” Jack replied.

“It is, isn’t it! So Paula is quite a bit older than me”.

“So? Does that matter?”

“Well no it doesn’t matter to me but to some people they see it as being wrong”.

“As long as you are happy Soph that’s all that matters”.

“When did you get so smart? How did you get so smart?”

“I must have got it from you because I certainly didn’t get it from Dad” Jack joked.

“That’s true! I love you little man”.

“I love you too! I’d like to meet Paula if that’s ok? I need to tell her something” Jack said.

“Oh do you now? You’ll probably get to meet her very shortly as she’ll be picking me up to go on a date”.

“You can’t go on a date looking like that” Jack replied.

“And whats wring with what I look like?”

“You’ve been at work all day... you need to go get changed” Jack said just as the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it” Kevin shouted.

“No, I’ll get it dad” Sophie replied.

Sophie knew as soon as she opened this door a look of disappointment would appear on Paula’s face.

“Hey... you” Paula said noticing that Sophie wasn’t ready.

“Wow you look incredible...” Sophie replied taking a good hard look at Paula.

“And you look not ready...”

Sophie took a step outside and closed the door too.

“It’s a long story. Jacks having a hard time and he only opens up to me. I didn’t get back from work that long ago and I’ve been trying to see what was going on with him. I am so sorry, I can go get ready I’ll be 5 minutes” Sophie replied.

“You’re 5 minutes is about 3 hours” Paula joked.

“I am so sorry, honestly”.

“Don’t be! We can go to a restaurant anytime, there’s no rush. Why don’t we order take out and I could finally meet Jack?” Paula said.

“Really? You’d be ok with that?” Sophie asked.

“Of course I would. I understand how important Jack is to you and well you are just as important to me. So I may be extremely over dressed for fish and chips on the sofa but I think it’s about time you invited me in” Paula explained.

“Would you like to come in?” Sophie asked.

“I’d love to” Paula replied grabbing Sophie’s hand, following her into the house.

Jack was nervous, he stayed in his room until Sophie was ready to come and get him.

“Paula, nice to see you” Kevin said.

“You too”.

“Dad you can go to the pub if you want, we’re going to get fish and chips and spend some time with Jack” Sophie said.

“You sure? I’d bloody love a pint”.

“Go we’ve got this covered” Sophie replied.

“Thank you! Have fun ladies and good luck with mr grumpy in there” Kevin said as he grabbed his jacket and headed to the pub to de stress.

“You ready to meet Jack? The most important man in my life?” Sophie asked.

“I am, god I’m so nervous” Paula replied.

“Don’t be, he will love you. Stay here I’ll be two minutes”.

Sophie headed back to Jack’s room to get him.

“So do you want to come and meet my girlfriend?” Sophie asked.

“Yes” Jack said as he nodded.

“Come on then” Sophie said as she wheeled him into the lounge where Paula was sat waiting.

Her palms were sweaty and her heart rate was racing, she couldn’t believe she was so nervous to meet such an important person in Sophie’s life.

Chapter Text

“Jack this is Paula” Sophie said pushing Jack’s wheelchair into the lounge with a nervous smile on her face.

Paula’s heart rate was racing, she wanted more than anything for Jack to like her.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Jack. I’ve heard a lot about you” Paula said as she crouched down to give Jack a high five.

“I think I’ve heard a lot about you even I did think you’re named was Pippa” Jack replied.

“She’s sneaky that sister of yours isn’t she” Paula said looking up at Sophie.

“She is but she’s also my best friend” Jack replied.

Sophie couldn’t help but smile hearing Jack call her his best friend, the two of them were extremely close, even closer after she nearly lost him.

“Are you going to let me in on all her secrets?” Paula asked winking at Jack.

“Depends what’s in it for me” Jack cheekily replied as a smile appeared on his face.

“How about some fish and chips and a fifa marathon. I promise I’m not as bad as Sophie is on it” Paula said.

“Hey, I’m not that bad am I?” Sophie asked.

“You’re rubbish” Jack immediately replied.

“See my son Theo taught me a few tricks of the trade so I think I’ll be a bit better than Sophie” Paula said.

“Ok deal, but I don’t eat fish so can I have a sausage?” Jack asked.

“Of course you can” Sophie replied.

“I might join you, I think I’ll have a sausage too. It’s got to be a jumbo one though...’ Paula said winking at Sophie.

Sophie just stood there and gave Paula a look. She knew exactly what Paula was referring to.

“Soph can you help me set up the Xbox in here?” Jack asked.

“Let me quickly get the food and then I’ll do it” Sophie replied.

“I’ll get the food. Give me 10 minutes and I’ll be back with lots of yummy food” Paula said as she stood up.

“You sure?” Sophie asked.

“Of course! Do we want salt and vinegar?” Paula asked.

“Not for me please” Jack replied.

“Me either. Thanks babe” Sophie said giving Paula a cheesy smile.

Paula headed out to get dinner, she was struggling to walk on the cobbles in her high heels. Deciding that she didn’t want to break her neck she took her heels off and walked bare foot.

“Long day?” Chesney asked noticing that Paula had taken her heels off.

“You could say that! Just can’t get the hang of walking on those cobbles in heels, I don’t know how people do it” Paula joked.

“I don’t know how you ladies walk in them full stop!”

“I try to limit my use of them to as little as possible”.

“So what can I get you?” Chesney asked.

“Two jumbo sausages and chips and a fish and chips please” Paula replied.

“Coming right up. I’ve not seen you around here much, you’re Sally’s lawyer aren’t you?”

“I am, well I was then I wasn’t now I am” Paula replied.

“Sounds complicated” Chesney said as he sorted the food out.

“Oh it has been, all because of who I chose to date”.

“Which was?”

“Sophie!” Paula replied with a smile on her face.

“You’re Sophie’s new lady. That’s awesome” Chesney said.

“Thank you! We are both very happy”.

“I can see that, Sophie’s actually walking around with a smile on her face again”.

“And what a beautiful smile it is” Paula said.

“It is! Here we go that’s £9.50 then please”.

“There you go” Paula replied handing over the money.

“See you again soon” Chesney politely said to Paula as she began to leave.

“You too”.

While Paula was at the fish and chip shop, Sophie was busy setting up the Xbox.

“So what do you think of Paula?” Sophie asked.

“She’s cool, I like her” Jack replied.

“She is cool isn’t she!”

“Plus she puts a smile on your face and she’s very beautiful” Jack added.

“I can’t disagree with that. Right check I’ve done this right? Plus go easy on her when you play fifa, she probably thinks she’s good but really she’s probably just as bad as me”.

“I will don’t worry and no one is as bad as you. You’re players are running in the wrong direction half of the time” Jack joked.

“Oi you don’t be mean” Sophie said throwing a pillow at Jack.

“Mean? I’m being truthful”.

“Right that’s it you...” Sophie said as she began to tickle Jack.

“No stop, you know I hate it when you tickle me” Jack replied.

Paula walked in to see the two of them having fun, in that very moment Paula knew that she had found someone she could spend the rest of her life with. There just wasn’t a bad bone in Sophie’s body, she genuinely was the nicest person in the world.

“Dinner is here” Paula said hoping to interrupt their play fight.

“Soph that means get off me” Jack replied.

“Only if you agree I’m not that bad at fifa...”

“I can’t because it’s not true”.

“Then I won’t stop tickling you”.

“I’ll plate up shall I?” Paula sarcastically asked as the two of them continued to fight.

“That would be great, we will be there soon. Jack will cave in eventually” Sophie replied.

“I won’t” Jack said through the laughter and screaming.

“It’s getting cold...” Paula replied.

“Ok, Sophie you are excellent at fifa” Jack shouted.

“Finally” Sophie replied.

The pair of them joined Paula at the table ready to tuck into their delicious chippy tea.

“Thank you for going to get this” Sophie said.

“It was my pleasure. I will admit that I did have to take my heels off, I was too scared of falling over on the cobbles” Paula replied.

“You walked to the chippy bare foot?” Jack asked laughing.

“I did and I got a few looks on the way” Paula joked.

“I know what those looks are like I get them every day” Jack replied quietly.

Sophie looked at Paula with a sad face, she hated that Jack felt like this.

“I know you probably won’t believe me but they will get less and less, to the point where eventually you won’t even realise that people are looking” Paula explained.

“When? It’s been over a month now and people still stare at me like I’m a freak” Jack said.

“Unfortunately I don’t know how long it will take but I promise I will be right by your side throughout, until then ok?” Paula replied.

“That might be a long time” Jack said.

“I don’t plan on going anywhere” Paula replied.

“Buddy they will stop, I promise. And like Paula said we will be there whenever you need us” Sophie explained reaching over the table to hold both Jack’s and Paula’s hands.

“Thank you. I don’t suppose either of you know how to play football in a wheelchair? At least then I’d be able to join in with them” Jack asked.

“I don’t but I do know of a different sport you could try? It’s really fun, I even have a go at it. I mean I’m not very good but I do have a laugh” Paula explained.

“What is it?” Jack replied as his eyes lit up slightly.

“It’s a game called sitting volleyball, it’s like standard volleyball but everyone is sat on their bums”.

“Well how do you move?”

“Ah, you have to used your arms to help scoot your bum around the course” Paula explained.

“I bet you look funny doing that” Jack joked.

“I do, I’m the one on the team that just sits there and waits for the ball to come near them” Paula replied.

Sophie hadn’t seen Jack this involved in anything for a very long time, he had expression in his eyes for the first time in ages. She just sat there and watched the two of them interact.

“Does it ever come to you?”

“Not very often but that doesn’t worry me too much means I won’t break a nail”.

“I won’t have that problem” Jack said showing Paula his short nails.

“So you going to come with me one night?” Paula asked hoping the answer would be yes.

“Sophie will you come as well?” Jack asked.

“Of course, we can go on a little adventure just the three of us” Sophie replied smiling at the two of them.

“Then sure why not. Let’s give it a go” Jack said with a smile on his face.

“Maybe we could go for some food after?” Paula replied.

“Pizza?” Jack said all excited.

“Pizza it is” Paula replied.

“Yes” Jack said fist pumping the air.

Sophie looked over at Paula and smiled.

“Thank you” Sophie mouthed.

Paula didn’t need to mouth anything back she just winked at Sophie and gave her one of her best smiles.

The three of them continued to eat their dinner, once they had finished Sophie tidied up while Jack set up the Xbox ready to beat Paula at fifa.

“What team do you want to be?” Jack asked Paula.

“Promise you won’t judge me” Paula replied.

“Oh god is it going to be a rubbish team...”

“Can I be Arsenal?” Paula asked waiting to see Jack’s reaction.

“Really? I suppose you could have picked worst” Jack replied.

“I’ve supported them since I was a little girl”.

“I’ll let you off then”.

“So what does the winner win then?” Paula asked.

“I dunno, I don’t have anything” Jack replied.

“How about dessert?” Sophie said from the kitchen.

“That’s a good idea”.

“What is it?” Jack asked.

“Well what would you like?” Sophie replied.

“Ice cream” Paula immediately replied.

“Chocolate” Jack said at the same time.

“Both?” Sophie asked.

“Yes”.

“So the winner gets some ice cream and chocolate, get my bowl ready love” Paula joked.

“We’ll see about that” Jack replied as the game kicked off.

The room went silent as the pair of them concentrated. Jack started off by going easy on Paula, but he soon realised that Paula wasn’t joking when she said she was good. She really was good.

“So whose winning?” Sophie asked as she sat on the sofa to watch the game.

“Shh” They both shouted.

“Alright keep your wigs on” Sophie replied.

“Shhhhh”.

“Right then. I know my place” Sophie quietly said as she sat there on the sofa.

The score was 1-1 and there was less than a minute left, Paula had a free kick on the outside of the box she desperately wanted to score but wanted to keep the boost of confidence Jack had. Deliberately losing the ball, Paula allowed Jack to get the ball and run down the other end and score to win the game.

“YES” Jack shouted as the ball hit the back of the net.

“Damn it” Paula replied pretending to be disappointed.

“Is it over?” Sophie asked.

“Jack won. It was a very good game. I’d like a rematch please” Paula said.

“What now?” Sophie replied rolling her eyes.

“Yes now” Paula said giving Sophie a look to tell her to shh.

“You can sort the pudding out Soph” Jack replied.

“Yes boss” Sophie said with a smile on her face. It was good to see Jack back to his old self.

The two of them continued to play football until Sophie arrived with the pudding, they soon paused the game to demolish the yummy pudding.

“Thanks sis” Jack said licking his lips.

“You’re welcome, so shall we watch a film or something?” Sophie asked hoping they would stop playing on the Xbox as she felt left out.

“We’ve got a game to finish” Jack replied.

“Just one more, then we can do something else” Paula added.

“Ok” Sophie reluctantly replied heading to the kitchen.

Paula quickly got up to have a word with Sophie, she didn’t want her to feel left out. Putting her arms around her girlfriend and giving her a gentle kiss on the cheek, Paula soon put a smile on Sophie’s face.

“We will be finished soon, I just want that smile to stay on his face and right now me playing Fifa with him is working. I promise I’ll make it up to you” Paula whispered in Sophie’s ear.

“You don’t need to make anything up to me! You have been incredible tonight, I’ve not seen him like this in ages and that’s all down to you” Sophie replied.

“He’s a wonderful young man and I can’t wait to get to know him more”.

“So this volleyball thing, he’ll enjoy it won’t he?”

“He’ll love it I promise you” Paula replied.

“God I hope so”.

“I better get back then...” Paula said as she rushed back to the sofa to continue the game.

Kevin walked through the door and could immediately hear Jack and Paula having fun in the lounge. Sneaking past them Kevin headed to the kitchen to join Sophie who was still watching them.

“I see these two have hit it off, how did you manage to get the smile back on his face? Kevin asked.

“Nothing to do with me, it was all Paula” Sophie proudly replied.

“Really?”

“Yeah. She’s even managed to get him to try out sitting volleyball”.

“No way! That’s amazing. God it’s good to see him with a smile on his face again”.

“Tell me about it! He’s a completely different boy when he smiles”.

Back over on the sofa Jack and Paula had finally finished their games, Jack had something he wanted to say.

“Thank you for making my sister happy” Jack said to Paula giving her a hug.

“You are welcome, you need to also thank your sister for making me very happy” Paula replied.

“I will don’t worry. So this volleyball is everyone disabled?” Jack asked anxiously.

“Not everyone, it’s probably a 50/50 mix. You don’t have to be nervous though because I will be right by your side throughout. You’ll be able to laugh at how bad I am” Paula explained.

“You promise no one will stare at me?” Jack asked.

“We are all very friendly at the club, especially the person who runs it. Her name is Caitlin and she’s amazing. She will make sure that you feel comfortable and happy throughout the session and if you ever have any problems she’ll be there to help”.

“Is she disabled?”

“She’s not no but she’s got plenty of experience helping those that do”.

“Well I look forward to meeting her” Jack said with a smile on his face.

“Hey buddy you had a good evening?” Kevin asked as they joined them in the lounge.

“Really good! So much fun. I’m sorry about earlier I was rude to you, I’m sorry” Jack said to his dad.

“All is forgiven, I’m glad you had a good evening but it’s past your bedtime so say goodnight and let’s get ready for bed” Kevin explained.

“Night you two. It was lovely to meet you Paula I can’t wait to see you again” Jack said.

“Right back at you” Paula replied as Kevin carried Jack to his room.

“Night bud” Sophie shouted.

Chapter Text

While Kevin was helping Jack get ready for bed, Sophie finally had some alone time with Paula.

“Have I ever told you how incredible you are?” Sophie said as she sat down right next to Paula.

“Hmm I’m not sure you have! Go on...” Paula replied.

“Well you have just been an absolute star tonight, Jack hasn’t been this happy in such a long time and that’s all thanks to you. Plus you look absolutely stunning this evening”.

“I do don’t I!”

“I had the perfect outfit for this evening, it’s a shame you didn’t get to see me in it”.

“I’ve already rebooked the restaurant for tomorrow night, I spoke to Yasmeen and she’s given you the time off”.

“Really? You must have really wanted to see me looking my finest!” Sophie said smirking at Paula.

“Oh I did! The effort I’m going to have to go through again tomorrow to make sure I look this good better be worth it” Paula joked.

“I’m sure I can make sure you are rewarded. Again I can’t thank you enough for tonight, plus I’ve finally found someone that can give Jack a decent game of football”.

“There must be a game you are good at? No need to thank me it was my pleasure”.

“I’m quite good at shooting zombies, that I can do but Jack gets bored of playing that game, plus football is his passion”.

“I can see that! I’m hopeful that he will really take a liking to this volleyball team and that can become a passion. It’s great fun, it’s hard work and the people that go are a great bunch”.

“God I want more than anything for him to fall in love with it. So I heard you telling Jack about someone called Caitlin? Does she run the scheme?” Sophie asked.

“Yes I’ve known Caitlin for a long time, she used to go to school with Theo. She’s not disabled herself but she has a sister who lost a leg due to illness when she was a baby so wanted there to be something she could enjoy sports wise. Not only that she wanted her to be able to meet friends and just build confidence. She’s a lovely girl and I really think her and Jack will hit it off...” Paula explained.

“Wow I’m sorry to hear about her sister, but that’s amazing that she turned a negative into a positive and now helps so many others”.

“It’s great fun but you have to promise me not to laugh at how bad I am at it” Paula said putting her hand onto Sophie’s leg.

“I’ll try but I can’t promise anything. I’ll probably be just as bad as you if not worse” Sophie replied.

“I doubt that” Paula said.

Kevin walked back into the lounge, Paula moved her hand off Sophie’s leg immediately, she didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable in his own home.

“You don’t need to move on my account” Kevin explained.

“We just want to be respectful” Paula replied.

“Look this is Sophie’s home and if she wants to be sat on the sofa with her girlfriend holding hands then that is fine by me. Plus I have a lot to thank you for” Kevin explained.

“Do you?” Paula replied.

“I’ve not seen Jack smile like that in a very long time, I’d forgotten what he looked like with a smile on his face. So thank you and thank you for offering to take him to this volleyball club, he’s really looking forward to it. He wouldn’t shut up about it when I was helping him get ready for bed, you’ve certainly made an impression on him and you’ve confirmed what I already knew about you. You’re an amazing woman Paula and thank you for making my Sophie happy and also my Jack” Kevin said trying not to get emotional.

Sophie grabbed Paula’s hand in excitement she knew that her dad had just given Paula the seal of approval.

“It was my pleasure and I can’t wait to take him to play. You might never get the old Jack back but the new and improved Jack will be 10 times better than the old one” Paula explained.

“As long as my boy has a smile on his face I’ll be happy” Kevin replied.

“Trust me he will Dad, I truly believe it” Sophie added.

“I’m going to leave you ladies to it, thank you again for everything! Both of you! See you soon Paula, just so you know you are welcome here anytime” Kevin explained as he headed off towards the stairs.

“Thank you Kevin. I appreciate it” Paula replied.

Paula couldn’t believe that Kevin was totally fine with their relationship, she knew he had said he was but everyone says things they don’t mean when they are caught up in the moment. But the fact that he has repeated it over and over and been so kind, she knew he meant every word.

“So my dad definitely approves of us” Sophie said as she rested her head on Paula’s shoulder.

“He does! At least someone does...” Paula joked.

“Oi, there are lots of people who approve of this relationship!” Sophie replied.

“Go on then...”

“Well there’s Yasmeen, Kate, Rana, Dad, Gina... Tim will come around”.

“Chesney thinks we make a good couple” Paula added.

“He does...?” Sophie asked with a confused look on her face.

“He sure does. He pretty much thanked me for putting a smile back on your face”.

“Well there you go that’s another person then! Anyway I don’t even care who approves of us and who doesn’t... I couldn’t be happier right now and I don’t want that to ever end” Sophie explained leaning in to give her girlfriend a kiss.

“That’s good because I feel the exact same way”.

“I can’t blame you I mean look at me... I’m a catch” Sophie joked as she played with Paula’s hair.

“You are a catch, feel free to say no to this but how would you feel coming to do some work for me?” Paula asked. She knew that Sophie had a real gift for the investigative side of the job.

Sophie didn’t think she heard Paula correctly.

“You want to offer me a job? Did I just hear you correctly?” Sophie asked with a shocked look on her face.

“You heard me correctly, I mean it won’t be full time, it’ll be whenever we need you. But yes the job is yours if you want it?”

“I’d love to!” Sophie replied.

“Correct answer! I honestly think you have a real talent and I personally can’t wait to see you flourish” Paula explained.

“Come here” Sophie said pulling Paula towards her, kissing her passionately.

The pair began to get frisky on the sofa, Paula wasn’t too sure whether this was a good idea after all it was the sofa Sophie’s family sit on daily.

“Love I don’t think we should do it on your sofa” Paula whispered into Sophie’s ear.

“Why not?” Sophie replied unbuttoning Paula’s shirt.

“You’re family have to sit on this...”

“Well come up to my room then” Sophie replied.

“Let’s go then!” Paula said instructing Sophie to move.

Sophie stood up looking over at her girlfriend who was lay there half naked. Sophie pulled Paula up off the sofa forcefully, something which Paula liked she liked being bossed around. Sophie led Paula up the stairs, trying to be as quiet as they could be making sure they didn’t wake Jack. Unfortunately them trying to be quiet didn’t work very well as Paula tripped up the stairs landing flat on her face.

“Babe are you ok?” Sophie asked trying her best not to laugh.

“I think so...” Paula said sitting down on the step.

“Babe don’t move I need to go get you some tissue”.

“Why? Am I bleeding?” Paula asked.

“Yes you’ve cut your lip, don’t move I’ll be straight back” Sophie said as she ran to the bathroom to get some tissue.

“Come here...” Sophie said as she gently placed the cold compress onto Paula’s lip.

“Ouch. It’s not bad is it? I’m not very good with blood”.

“Nothing I can’t take care of” Sophie replied sitting next to Paula on the stair.

“What did I do to deserve you?” Paula asked looking lovingly into Sophie’s eyes.

“I don’t know, you are one very lucky lady” Sophie joked.

“I am I really really am” Paula replied as she grimaced while Sophie tried to patch her up.

“I’m sorry I’m hurting you” Sophie replied as she held Paula’s face gently making sure she was ok.

“How do I look? Like I’ve been in a fight with Mike Tyson?” Paula asked.

“It looks pretty deep... but I’m sure you’ll live” Sophie joked.

“Pass me you’re phone” Paula said.

“Now probably isn’t the best time for a selfie...”

“I just want to see how it looks” Paula said taking Sophie’s phone off her.

Paula opened the camera taking a closer look at her lip, it didn’t look too bad but it hurt like hell.

“Can we take a silly selfie so I can send it to Isla?” Paula asked.

“Of course, we don’t actually have a photo of us yet do we?” Sophie replied.

“We don’t and this one wont count as a proper selfie either because I look awful. But tomorrow if I can cover this up with make up can we take a proper one so I can have it as my background on my phone?” Paula asked.

“Of course we can, you don’t have to ask to take a photo with me. I can’t wait to put one up on my social media’s to tell everyone that I am happy in a relationship with the most wonderful person I know” Sophie replied.

“Really? You want everyone to know about us? All you’re friends...”

“Are you kidding me? You are the best thing to happen to me in years and I just want to shout it from the rooftops. I know I was a bit worried about us when mum went to prison and everything but like you said were both happy it doesn’t matter about anyone else’s opinions. We’re doing nothing wrong, so I’ve decided to embrace it and I’m ready to tell the world” Sophie explained.

“So that just gave me butterflies...” Paula quietly replied.

Sophie didn’t reply she just put her arm around Paula and pulled her in tightly, Paula rested her head on Sophie’s shoulder.

“Let’s take a selfie then” Sophie said holding the camera up in front of them.

The two of them smiled as Sophie took the photos.

“Are they any good?” Paula asked.

“It’s cute, were cute!” Sophie replied showing Paula the photo.

“Can you send it to me?”

“Already done! I’m going to put it on my instagram, you’re lip doesn’t even look that bad. Plus the half buttoned up shirt is really doing it for me” Sophie replied.

“Oh god you can’t see too much can you?”

“No it’s not too risky, we look cute and I’m going to post it” Sophie said as the pair were still sat on the stairs.

“Shall we move back to the sofa? These stairs aren’t very comfy”.

“Yes let’s, I’ll put a film on and open another bottle” Sophie replied.

The two of them made their way over to the sofa, Sophie grabbed a cold bottle of white put on a cheesy dvd and got ready to post the cute selfie.

“What can I caption it?” Sophie asked.

“What does that mean?”

“Oh babe you serious? You’re not down with this social media stuff are you?”

“I’m not and I’m the first to admit it. But I think I could be persuaded to get Instagram for all of our cute selfies” Paula replied.

“Let’s do it! I’m going to set you up a profile. This is going to be so much fun” Sophie excitedly replied.

“Here we go” Paula said handing Sophie her phone.

“Ok let’s set up your profile before I put our photo on. What can your username be?”

“Umm Paula Martin?” Paula replied.

“That’s taken, how about PMartin?” Sophie said.

“Go for it”.

“So we need a profile picture, do you have a recent selfie or picture you like?”

“I do actually, I took a photo earlier because I looked so hot” Paula replied.

“Show me now!” Sophie asked.

“There, you like?”

“Holy shit, I love it. I never knew I needed this photo in my life but my god I need this photo” Sophie replied looking all hot and bothered.

“I guess you’ve found my profile picture then”.

“Yes yes I have”.

Sophie finished setting up Paula’s instagram, she also gave Paula a crash course in how to use it.

“All done, so now we need your first picture, I’m thinking the selfie we just took...” Sophie said.

“Yes, so how do I do that?”

“Let me show you Grandma” Sophie joked.

“You are so rude sometimes, I’m new to this so give me a chance”.

“Ok, ok I’ll give you some time but I hope you are a fast learner because I can’t be dating a granny who can’t update her Instagram on a regular basis”.

“I’m a very fast learner and I’ve even thought of a caption” Paula proudly said hoping Sophie would shut up.

“Go on then...” Sophie replied handing the phone over to Paula.

*Sometimes in life you find that one person who makes you smile even when all you want to do is frown. Hold onto them because they don’t appear in your life very often* Paula said posting it along with the selfie, tagging Sophie in the photo.

“I think you’ve mastered the captions Grandma” Sophie replied with the biggest smile on her face.

“It’s good isn’t it?” Paula said.

“I’m going to post the same thing is that ok?” Sophie asked.

“So you’re stealing this old ladies caption...I just hope you don’t get any negative comments”.

“Even if I do I will just ignore them or write back with some sarcastic comment”.

“I don’t want you getting in any trouble”.

“But I like trouble” Sophie sarcastically replied.

Sophie posted the photo and anxiously waited for any replies. They snuggled up on the sofa and watched a film, Sophie turned her phone on silent just incase there were a lot of replies.

Chapter Text

The morning came, Paula and Sophie were fast asleep cuddled up on the sofa. Walking into the lounge Kevin spotted the two of them, he quietly sneaked past to make himself a cuppa trying to be as quiet as possible. It wasn’t long before Paula woke.

“Morning Kevin” Paula said as she walked into the kitchen.

“What happened to your face?” Kevin immediately asked as Paula stood there with a split lip.

“I may or may not have tripped up the stairs”.

“Oh you didn’t” Kevin replied laughing.

“I did! I’m such a clumsy fool”.

“I wouldn’t worry you’ll fit in well with this family, we’ve all been through the wars”.

“It’s only getting worse the older I get” Paula joked.

“I know things start to go down hill don’t they...”

“I’m hoping Sophie will be able to keep me on my toes”.

“I’m sure she will” Kevin replied.

“What will I be doing?” Sophie asked as she sat up on the sofa peering into the kitchen.

“Keeping me young” Paula replied.

“I’ll do my best” Sophie said.

“Love I need to shoot off, I’ve got a bust day at work. Off to see Sal later for a meeting to see where we go from here, I’m hoping things are ok between the two of us know”.

“Let me know how it goes, I hope she’s not too mean to you” Sophie joked.

“I’m pretty sure I can handle myself” Paula replied.

“I dunno Sal can be pretty feisty when she wants to be” Kevin added.

“Ain’t that the truth!” Sophie joked.

“Well I will play nice and hope she does too” Paula replied kissing Sophie on the forehead before heading to the door.

“Ring me when you’ve finished” Sophie shouted from the sofa as the door shut.

Paula needed to go home to freshen up and get into some appropriate clothing for her meeting with Sally. For some reason she was very nervous to see Sally again, even though she knew that she wasn’t the reason she was in prison.

“Can you plug this in for me dad?” Sophie said as she threw her phone to Kevin.

“No problem, do you want some breakfast?”

“I’m ok thanks! I’ll go see if Jack’s up for going to school today” Sophie replied.

“Thanks sweetheart” Kevin said as he plugged Sophie’s phone in to charge. He was shocked to see that she had so many notifications, some of which were not very nice. Kev didn’t know what to do, should he try and delete them? Or does he just need to let Sophie see everything?

After a few moments of deliberating he decided that he should just let Sophie see them, he wanted to protect Sophie but also realised that she wasn’t a little kid anymore.

“Jack buddy you up for heading to school today?” Sophie asked as she sat down beside his bed.

“Yeah I’ll give it a go” Jack replied much to Sophie’s surprise.

“Good! Now do you want some help?”

“Yes please. When can I see Paula again?” Jack asked.

“Well she’s taking me out for dinner tonight, then tomorrow we are off to that club. So you’ll see her then” Sophie replied.

Jacks face lit up, he really had taken a shining to Paula.

“Yes! I can’t wait” Jack said with glee.

Sophie helped Jack to get ready, it wasn’t a quick process but she wanted to get him to do as much as he could on his own so that he was getting his independence back. Sophie wheeled Jack into the lounge where Kevin had made him his favourite breakfast to try and maintain the happy mood he was in.

“Hey bud, I’ve made you dippy egg and soldiers” Kevin said as he placed the plate in front of a smiley Jack.

“Aww Thanks Dad!” Jack replied tucking into his breakfast.

Sophie was over on her phone, quietly looking at all of the comments she had got on the photo of herself and Paula.

*Whose the Grandma?*

*Isn’t she the same age as your mum?*

*I’m sorry Soph but this is wrong! The age gap is ridiculous*

Sophie didn’t want to get upset or angry by the comments because she knew that there was always going to be people who didn’t agree with it. Even though there were a bunch of negative comments there were also some positive ones.

*Soph! Ring me I need to know all the goss about you and the hot cougar. Love you R xx* Rosie said.

*Im happy for you soph* Chesney wrote.

*Beautiful couple* Kate added.

*Its good to see you both smiling. Look after her* Isla said all the way from the other side of the world.

These comments made up for any of the hate, all the people she cared about were happy for her or coming around to be happy for her. She didn’t care about what anyone else thought.

“Everything ok Sophie?” Kevin asked. He knew exactly what she was looking at on her phone.

“Yeah just some idiots being idiots” She replied with a smile on her face.

“Unfortunately there are a lot of them around” Kevin said.

“Very true!”

Sophie wanted to see what anyone had said on Paula’s profile, she felt a bit sick as she clicked on the icon in the top left hand corner. 21 likes and 5 comments, she hesitated before clicking view all comments. She was pleasantly surprised to see that all of them were positive, James had left a sarcastic comment but she knew he was just joking.

*Ive always loved a mother/daughter selfie. Although Isla has changed a little...only joking you two make a gorgeous couple* James wrote along with a winking emoji.

Sophie laughed, she loved James he was funny and truly did think they made a gorgeous couple.

“Im going to go get ready for work, Jack I hope you have an amazing day and I’ll see you both later” Sophie said as she ran up the stairs.

“Thanks sis” Jack replied.

Paula had rushed back home to have a shower and make herself look presentable for her meeting with Sally. She had arrived at the prison with plenty of time to spare, she didn’t want Sally to be able to hold anything against her, especially not putting the case first.

Paula quickly looked herself over in the mirror of her car, sorting her fringe so that it was in the perfect position.

“You’ve got this” Paula said to herself as she grabbed her bag and folders and headed inside to go through all of the security checks before being able to see Sally.

The security checks always took a while, they needed to make sure she wasn’t concealing anything on her persons that could be passed on to Sally. Once she had been given the all clear she was escorted to a room where the meeting was going to take place.

“If you just wait here we will go get prisoner Metcalfe in a few moments” The officer said.

“Thank you” Paula replied.

Paula took the time to get herself ready, place the documents she needed in the correct places so that this meeting could go as smoothly as possible.

Over in her cell Sally was nervous to see Paula, she knew she needed to keep her opinions on the relationship to herself and purely needed to focus on her case.

“Metcalfe” The officer said calling out her name.

“Yes”.

“You’re lawyer is here to see you”.

“Thanks I’ll be there in one moment” Sally said composing herself.

“Lawyer ey? Maybe you can get them to chase my money up” Sally’s cellmate said.

“There is no money” Sally replied through gritted teeth as she made her way to the door to be taken to the room.

“You are making a big mistake” her cellmate shouted, proceeding to punch the wall cutting her knuckles. She liked the pain, what Sally didn’t realise is that her cellmate was in for something a lot more dangerous than fraud.

“You don’t want to cross her” The officer quietly said to Sally.

Sally froze, she didn’t know what to reply.

“Sally, how are you?” Paula said nicely greeting Sally as she walked into the room.

Paula could see that something had spooked her, she needed to tread carefully.

“Sal?” Paula repeated.

“Paula, sorry I was miles away” Sally replied.

“Everything ok? You looked miles away”.

“Just my cellmate, nothing I can’t handle”.

“Anything I can help with?”

“Just get me out of here...” Sally replied with a scared look on her face.

“I’m trying my hardest. We’ve got a big team working this case now so I’m hopeful that the ball will begin to move in our direction”.

“I made it all worse didn’t i?” Sally asked.

Paula desperately wanted to shout “yes I told you so” at Sally but she knew that wouldn’t help anything.

“You’ve made my job a little harder but we’re going to get you out of here”.

“I’m sorry for how I reacted it was just a bit of a shock”.

“I know it was! We shouldn’t have kept it a secret we just didn’t want it to get in the way of the case but unfortunately that didn’t work. Let’s not talk about that now let’s just focus on you” Paula replied.

“Is Sophie ok?” Sally said.

“Sophie is great. Worried sick about you but she’s happy, she’s been doing her best to cheer Jack up” Paula explained.

“That’s good then. She’s a good girl our Soph, make sure you do right by her” Sally replied.

“I plan to don’t you worry, right now we need to go over a few things” Paula said smiling.

“Of course...” Sally replied.

Paula went on to ask Sally lots of questions about the people they found to have possible links with Duncan. She also went on to ask more about Judith to see if there was anything she could tell Imran to try and get the information they needed out of her.

“5 minutes warning ladies” The officer said opening the door.

“Will you do me a favour?” Sally asked.

“Of course, what is it?” Paula replied.

“Will you tell Sophie that I love her very much and will you tell her than I support the two of you even if it’s going to take some time to get used to” Sally explained.

“Of course I will and I promise you that while you are in here I will make sure that Sophie is ok and doesn’t do anything stupid” Paula replied.

“Thank you. I appreciate it”.

“Anytime. I just want what is best for her and best for you. We will win this Sal” Paula said reassuring a worried looking Sally.

“I hope so because I can’t keep up the tough guy act to my cellmate much longer”.

“What’s their name? I can look into getting you moved? You’re safety is paramount”.

“I don’t know her name but if you could look into getting me moved then that would be amazing” Sally replied physically shaking.

“Leave it with me ok?” Paula said reaching for Sally’s hand across the table.

“No contact please” The officer said as she entered the room ready to take Sally back to her cell.

“Stay strong Sally” Paula said.

Sally couldn’t even reply she looked scared senseless, Paula was really worried for her safety.

As soon as Paula left the prison she was straight on the phone to James to work on getting Sally moved cell.

“James I need you to get onto the prison and get Sally out of that cell. She’s scared for her life” Paula said before James even had the chance to speak.

“Hi, I’m good thanks how are you?” James joked.

“Nows not the time. I need her moved, I don’t care what it takes we need her to be safe” Paula replied.

“Sorry, I’ll get on it right away” James said.

“I’ll be in soon” Paula replied putting the phone down throwing it on the seat next to her.

Today was the first time that Paula thought this was all her fault. Seeing Sally in the state she was in brought it all home, if her and Sophie hadn’t have been caught that morning Sally wouldn’t be in prison, she would be at home with her family instead of being scared for her life and lonely inside.

While Paula had been in the meeting with Sally, Sophie had been hard at work.

“I saw the selfie of you and Paula last night I must say you make a very attractive couple” David said to Sophie as she served him.

“What no sarcastic comment to go with that?” Sophie replied.

“I mean who am I to judge or question you on who you decide to be in a relationship with? It’s non of my business. Yes she’s a bit older than you but the smiles on both of your faces show me that you are happy. There’s nothing to be sarcastic about” David explained with a straight face.

“That’s really nice of you to say. Thank you”.

“My pleasure! I did however see some of the idiots online trolling your photo. I say delete and block the losers”.

“But then they win...”

“Win what? They can’t be friends if they are writing such ridiculous comments on your photo. You don’t need negative people in your life they will only drag you down”.

“You’re right! I don’t need them to view my pictures. Thanks David”.

“Pleasure! So do I get this on the house then?” David asked as he sipped from his fruit smoothie.

“Go on then just this once” Sophie replied.

“You’re a legend! Thanks Soph” David said picking up his drink and his coat and heading to the exit.

Sophie quickly got her phone out and deleted all the negative comments, blocking those people as well. David was right why even let these people see your photos if they are going to be negative about something you’re happy with?

Chapter Text

James had been on hold with the prison office for over 25 minutes now and he was beginning to lose his patience. The jingle they play when they put you on hold was beyond annoying so he thought he would annoy everyone in the office by having it on speaker.

“James please turn that shit down” Mark said.

“I’m sorry but if my ears have to go through this torture then so do yours” James replied turning the speaker up.

“I quite like it but then again I’m deaf in one ear so can’t really hear it” Trisha added.

“Lucky you” Mark sarcastically replied.

A pissed off Paula walked through the door, throwing her coat on the side in anger before walking straight to her office.

“Uh oh the boss isn’t happy” Mark said pointing out the obvious.

“Mark shut up for once in your life ok?” James immediately replied.

“Keep your wig on” Mark joked.

“Trish can you keep an eye on this phone call and sort things while I go see if she’s ok?” James asked politely.

“Yeah of course, it’s about Sally being moved to a different cell because she doesn’t feel safe isn’t it?” Trisha replied.

“Yeah, I’ve written everything down that needs to be said. Thanks” James said giving Trisha a smile.

“Leave it with me” Trish replied.

James quietly knocked on the door to Paula’s office, he didn’t wait for a reply he just walked straight in because he knew she wouldn’t want to talk to him.

“Not now James” Paula said.

“Tough! What’s happened?” James asked sitting down opposite Paula.

“Seeing Sally in there scared at every little noise broke my heart because realistically it is my fault. If I had of been doing my job that morning instead of fooling around with Sophie she never would have caught us and she wouldn’t have made the stupid decision to sack me”.

“We will get her moved don’t worry! You’re bound to feel a bit guilty but like I’ve said a million times this is not your fault”.

“Then why do I feel like shit”.

“Because you’ve just visited you’re friend and mother of your girlfriend in prison for the first time. That’s never going to be easy, especially when she’s been beaten up and is scared. Don’t go down this route again blaming yourself and talking about whether or not you should be with Sophie because the answer is YES yes you should be with her! You listening to me?” James asked.

“Yes I’m listening and I don’t want to break up anything with Sophie. I just feel shit for Sally”.

“I know you do! We all do because she is innocent but if she hadn’t of been a muppet and fired you then she wouldn’t be in there”.

“I know but then if I hadn’t have been sleeping with Sophie that morning...”

“We are never going to get to a position where it is one persons fault. Now stop blaming this on yourself, we can’t change anything. What has happened has happened and as much as we want to change it we can’t we can only try and resolve it. So stop with this negativity and let’s just find the evidence we need to get her out of prison” James said loudly and assertively.

“Alright, keep your wig on” Paula joked.

“Why is that the second time someone has said that to me today? I am bald I don’t have any hair or a wig” James replied slapping his bald head.

“Because you need to chill out” Paula said.

“I need to chill out, you’re the one... do you know what I’m not even going to go there! But sort it out and focus on getting Sally out instead of why or how she’s in there. Now I’m going to go back into the office and try and get Sally moved into a different cell, before Trisha takes all the credit for it” James explained.

“Thank you James. Can always rely on you to set me straight, well as straight as this old bird gets” Paula joked.

“Which isn’t very straight” James said leaving the room.

“Ain’t that the truth” Paula shouted back.

As James walked into the office he could hear Trisha getting a bit animated on the phone.

“My client is fearing for her own life now you need to do something about that because if anything happens to her while she is in your care there will be hell to pay” Trisha said loudly.

“You go girl” James quietly said as he sat down in Trish’s chair to watch the rest of the phone call play out.

“We’ll see what we can do? That’s not a good enough answer I’m afraid. My client was in your prison for less than 24 hours before she was beaten up. Now it is not in her nature to fight, she is scared for her own safety so you need to move her now” Trish added.

“Let them know it’s Paula Martin’s client, they’ll shit themselves then” Mark said trying to be clever and funny.

James rolled his eyes immediately, he really didn’t like Mark and wondered why the hell Paula hired him.

“Mark just shut up” James said.

“Keep your...”

“You say wig and I’m going to slap you...” James said interrupting Mark before he finished his sentence.

“Will both of you shut up, stop behaving like children” Trisha said making both of them shut up.

While the three of them were being idiots in the other office, Paula’s phone rang it was Sophie. No doubt wanting to know how it had gone with her mum.

“Hey love” Paula said answering the phone.

“Hey, How did it go?” A hopeful Sophie asked.

“She didn’t kill me so that’s progress” Paula joked.

“That is progress, did she say anything about us?”

“She just told me to make sure you were ok and that I better look after you. I think with a bit of time she’ll be all for us being together”.

“That’s good then! So how is she in herself?”

“I’ll be honest with you she’s not great. She’s scared but before you start to worry we are in the process of moving her to a different cell so she feels safer and happier”.

“Was she ok though? Like she hadn’t been hurt again had she?” Sophie asked as the emotion took over her voice.

“Sweetheart she was ok, try not to worry”.

“I’m trying but not really succeeding”.

“I promise you that we are going to sort this! Completely changing the subject but did you see how many likes our selfie got?” Paula asked.

“I did. I was very impressed, you also have a lot of followers. Anyone I need to be weary of?” Sophie joked.

“No don’t be silly! They all know I’m taken by the most beautiful young lady” Paula replied.

“That’s ok then” Sophie said.

“I also saw some of the comments on your profile, I hope you didn’t take them to heart”.

“They annoyed me but I just deleted them”.

“Good! We don’t need any negativity ruining our relationship”.

“We don’t! So still on for tonight? I promise to be ready to go this time”.

“We most definitely are on for later! I can’t wait to see you in your sexy outfit”.

“Neither can I! I hope you’ve got another outfit up your sleeve because you can’t recycle the one you wore last night”.

“Damn it! Ok I better look for a different one then, I can’t promise I’ll look as hot as I did yesterday” Paula replied.

“You could wear a bin bag and you’d look hot” Sophie said.

“Stop you’ll make me blush”.

“Good!”

“I’ve got to go because Trisha is waving at me to go to her, I’ll see you shortly and I’ll let you know if anything else happens. I’ll see you later love” Paula said.

“Ok, see you later” Sophie replied.

Paula quickly rushed into the other office to see what Trisha wanted.

“The only thing they can do is put her into segregation which means she’s in a cell on her own but doesn’t get as much free time” Trisha explained.

“See I don’t know if she would want that? Can we let them know tomorrow and just hope nothing happens to sally tonight?” Paula quietly replied.

“Would be able to give you an answer tomorrow after speaking to our client?” Trisha asked as she patiently waited for an answer.

“Perfect so we will let you know tomorrow. Thank you for your cooperation” Trisha said as she put the phone down.

“Ok so I’ll get on the phone to Sally as soon as I can and see if that’s something that she would want to do. I personally think she would be stupid not to go into segregation as it would at least mean she is safe, until we can get her out of there” Paula said.

“The only thing they did mention is that Sally’s cell mate is known as one of the top dogs in there, she has a lot of contacts. I think we need to get her moved asap” Trisha replied.

“I’ll try and see if I can ring Sally now” Paula said heading back to her office to see if there was anyway she could get to speak to Sally.

Sophie had finished her shift for the day and thought it would be a nice surprise if she picked Jack up from school, she very rarely got the chance to.

“Soph What are you doing here?” Jack asked as he was wheeled over to where Sophie was standing by one of his closest friends George.

“I thought I’d pick you up today and maybe we could go for a cake?” Sophie replied.

“Oh yes please I’d love to” Jack said with a smile on his face.

“Have you had a good day?”

“It’s been good”.

“We searched sitting volleyball online at lunch time and it looks fun” George explained.

“You did?”

“Yes it looks quite hard though! I can understand why Paula isn’t very good at it” Jack replied laughing.

“I wouldn’t laugh too quickly just incase you aren’t very good”.

“Sophie do you think I could come and join in?” George asked politely.

“I think that would be a great idea” Sophie replied.

The boys high fived each other, Sophie was thrilled to see Jack smiling again.

“Thank you” George said.

“No problem, so we’ll see you tomorrow then...” Sophie replied.

“You will. See you tomorrow Jack” George said as he ran over to his mum.

“That will be fun, George being there as well” Sophie said.

“It will be. I can’t wait, let’s go get cake” Jack replied.

“Yes let’s” Sophie said as the two of them headed to Roy’s for an extra large slice of cake.

Back over at Paula’s office she was on hold trying to get through to speak to sally, an officer had gone to collect Sally so she could take the phone call.

“Hello?” Sally said hesitantly as she hadn’t been told who was on the phone.

“Sal it’s me”.

“Paula? Is everything ok?”

“Everything’s fine. I was ringing because we’ve managed to get you a cell in segregation with means you’ll be in a cell on your own away from any danger. The only down side is you get less free time. You still get to go outside etc it will just be at separate times to the rest of the prison. If I were you I’d take it, we need to keep you safe” Paula explained.

“I’ll do it. If it means I’m safe then I’ll do it” Sally replied immediately.

“Great I will get on the phone and get that sorted for you. Don’t let on to anyone that this is happening ok? Stay strong” Paula said.

“Thank you Paula this means a lot”.

“Anytime. Speak to you soon” Paula replied as the line cut out.

Sally hung the phone back up on the handle as a little smile appeared on her face, she couldn’t believe that Paula had managed to sort it so quickly. Sally now knew that she only had to wait a couple more hours until she would be safe until she was out of here, a look of pure relief was plastered all over her face.

It took Paula another 40 minutes of waiting on a phone to ensure that Sally would be moved to segregation for her own safety. She was so relieved that Sally was going to be safe, Paula knew that Sophie and the rest of the family were also going to be so relieved.

Paula wasted no time at all in letting her team know, she was so thankful to each and everyone of them for how their case was developing.

“She’s being moved into segregation later on this evening. Thank you for you’re help today” Paula announced.

“That’s great news! Well done Trish that was all you” James said giving her a hug.

“Yeah thanks” Paula reiterated.

“My pleasure! I’m just glad she’s going to be safe” Trisha replied.

“At least that’s a couple of brownie points for you” Mark joked.

“Oh Mark give it a rest” James shouted.

“Gentleman behave! It most definitely will have given me some brownie points but realistically she’s never going to be over the moon that her daughter is dating someone the same age as her but if we can get to the point where she can live with it then that would be perfect” Paula explained.

“Her loss if she doesn’t, she’ll miss out on so much” Trisha replied.

“That she will! Right I need to dash because I have a hot date with a hot bird” Paula said excitedly.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t” Mark joked.

“Oh I plan to do lots you wouldn’t do” Paula said with a smirk on her face.

“Enjoy” James added.

Chapter Text

Sophie and Jack were in Roy’s eating an extra large slice of chocolate cake, Jack had been filling Sophie in on what he had done at school today. Which was something he hadn’t done since before the incident with his leg.

“So tell me more about sitting volleyball then?” Sophie asked as she could tell Jack was bursting to tell her everything.

“It’s basically the same rules of normal volleyball but you have to have contact with the ground at all times. So at least one part of your bum has to be touching the floor. You have to get it over the net within three attempts, which sounds easy but we watched a video and it’s not” Jack enthusiastically replied.

“Oh god I’m going to be rubbish aren’t I?”

“Probably” Jack replied laughing.

“Oi! You never know i might surprise everyone and be incredible”.

“You might! It’s best of 5 sets so the game must last quite a long time”.

“How long does a set last? Like how many points?” Sophie asked.

“First to 25 points for the first 4 sets and the last set is to 15. Each set has to be won by 2 points” Jack replied with a smile on his face.

“You really did do your research! How many players on each team?”

“6 on each team” Jack replied.

“You’ll have to make sure you don’t bump into anyone”.

“I know, I can’t wait to give it a go. It’s tomorrow night isn’t it?” Jack asked.

“It is indeed. And remember we are going out for dinner afterwards. You me and Paula” Sophie explained.

“I can’t wait”.

“Me either buddy...me either” Sophie replied.

Roy quietly walked over to the table where the two of them were sat, he stood there quietly for a couple of moments.

“Everything ok Roy?” Sophie asked.

“I just wanted to congratulate you on your new relationship. Shona was telling me all about it earlier, I just wanted to give my congratulations to the two of you” Roy nervously said.

Sophie didn’t really know what to say, I mean she was glad that he was happy for her but at the same time why were they discussing her love life? Why did it come up in conversation?

“Um thank you. Do you mind me asking why it came up in conversation?” Sophie asked.

“Oh um Shona was on her phone and I simply asked her what she was doing and she showed me the photo of the two of you. It was a lovely photo. Sorry we weren’t gossiping or anything” Roy replied.

“Oh I see, that’s ok then. Thank you Roy she really is an amazing lady” Sophie explained.

“She is! You should meet her” Jack added.

“Well let her know that if she ever fancies a coffee she knows where I am” Roy replied.

“I’m sure we will be in here one day very soon. Thanks Roy” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

“There you two are...” a frantic Kevin said.

“I left a message on your phone and told Tyrone I was picking Jack up” Sophie replied.

“I know I just wanted to come and get some cake with you both as we don’t spend enough time as a family but it looks like the pair of you beat me to it”.

“I’m sure we could fit another piece in...” Jack cheekily replied.

“I’m sure you could. Soph do you want another?” Kevin asked.

“Not for me I’ve got a very tight dress to get into later”.

“Oh yes you’re date! We both promise not to mess up tonight’s date” Kevin replied.

“You didn’t mess it up yesterday! We had a really good night, didn’t we buddy?” Sophie said looking at her little brother.

“Yes we did!”

“Well that’s ok then but tonight you will actually go on your date!”

“I will, right I might go start getting ready if that’s ok?” Sophie said.

“Start getting ready? It’s not even 5pm yet” Jack replied.

“It takes a while to get this looking beautiful” Sophie said.

“No it doesn’t you are beautiful” Kevin replied.

“You have to say that you are my dad...”

“Trust me you are absolutely gorgeous and it’s time you start believing me when I tell you” Kevin said.

“Well thank you I appreciate it but I’m going now...” Sophie said. Sophie had never had much confidence when it came to her looks, she had always wondered if that was the reason so many of her relationships had been a disaster but she kept that very much to herself.

“Bye Sophie thanks for the cake” Jack replied as Sophie headed to the door.

“Bye bud” Sophie shouted.

“Right then what cake do you want this time?” Kevin asked Jack.

“A brownie please” Jack replied licking his lips.

“Coming up” Kevin said making his way to the counter.

While Jack was sat on his own Gina walked in and spotted him, running up behind him Gina shouted boo in his ear.

“Boo” Gina shouted.

Jack jumped a mile.

“Only me don’t worry” Gina said as she sat down opposite him.

“You scared me” Jack replied.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to. Ah Kev get us a coffee and some cake” Gina said winking at Kev.

“Yes boss” Kevin replied rolling his eyes.

“So Jack how was school?” Gina asked.

“It was really good!”

Gina was surprised by his reply, the last time she spoke to Jack about school he was hating it.

“That’s good, any specific reason for the big smile on your face?” Gina asked.

“Paula, well she’s taking me to a sitting volleyball club to give it a go. It looks so much fun” Jack replied.

Gina smiled to herself she was glad that Paula was making a good impression on everyone because she could see how much she truly did care for Sophie, plus it meant she would be sticking around and Gina would have a drinking partner.

“That’s amazing! When are you going to that?” Gina asked.

“Tomorrow night followed by some dinner” Jack said with. Huge smile on his face.

“I’m jealous, maybe one day I could come with you? If you enjoy it...” Gina replied.

“Yes I’d love you to”.

“Good!”

Kevin returned to the table with lots of goodies.

“What have you two been whispering about?” Kevin asked.

“Jacks volleyball, he’s been telling me how it was Paula’s idea and how they are off there tomorrow” Gina explained.

“Yes shes been really helpful, Sophie’s got herself a good one there I just hope it doesn’t all end in tears” Kevin quietly said to Gina whilst Jack tucked into his second cake.

“I’m sure she won’t. I love her I don’t have a bad word to say about the woman apart from her timing sucks” Gina joked.

“Yes it’s not one of either of their strong points” Kevin replied.

“What are the pair of you doing for dinner? Why don’t you both come round and have some food with me and Tim? It can get a bit lonely over there we run out of things to talk about” Gina explained.

“We’d love to wouldn’t we bud?”

“Sounds good!” Jack replied.

“Perfect. I can’t promise the food will be home cooked but it will be yummy” Gina said.

“We will eat anything” Kevin replied as they all tucked into their cake.

Paula had poured herself a small glass of wine to get her into the mood for her date with Sophie. She couldn’t wait to treat Sophie to one of the best meals of her life, as well as getting to see her look incredible all dressed up.

With her music on and the wine going down a treat she decided it was time to try and find an outfit that would compete with the one she wore last night. As she flicked through the outfits she came across a dress she hadn’t worn since her 40th birthday. It was a black number which she loved but didn’t think it would fit. Deciding to just go for it and try it on, Paula put her wine down and slipped into it. Much to her shock the dress fitted perfectly, she knew exactly what she was going to wear this evening.

Paula also straightened her hair for the occasion, she wanted to shock Sophie as she knew Sophie would be expecting her to turn up in her signature suit, heels and the usual hair style. But tonight was extra special which is why Paula was going the extra mile.

Unaware of what Paula was going to be wearing Sophie had just finished in the shower, she had decided to curl her hair for tonight. The smile that was plastered all over her face showed just how excited she really was for the date.

Sophie’s phone began to ring, it was Rosie trying to FaceTime her all the way from America.

“Rosie, you okay?” Sophie said as picked up the phone.

“Hey you! So why am I the last person to hear about you and this cougar Paula?” Rosie replied.

“Please don’t call her that” Sophie replied.

“Sorry, but seriously? How did that happen?” Rosie asked.

“Have you not read any of my messages? I explained it all to you...”

“Oh did you? I must have just opened them and not read them, sorry. So go on explain now” Rosie replied.

“She was mum’s lawyer, we ended up dating trying to keep it all secret only for mum to catch us the day of her trial. She sacked Paula and then ended up in jail” Sophie said.

“You’re joking! Oh my god that is so bad” Rosie said laughing.

“It’s not funny! Mum isn’t in a good place, luckily she had rehired Paula and Paula is getting her into a safer cell”.

“Well that’s good! I wasn’t laughing at mum being in prison I was laughing at the fact she caught you. Just like she did with you and Sian, you really need to get better at hiding things” Rosie explained.

“I have nothing to hide anymore so I won’t need to get better at it”.

“So are things serious between the two of you?” Rosie asked.

“Yeah they are! I really really like her like I’ve never felt like this before” Sophie replied.

“I know that face you’re in love” Rosie immediately said.

“Don’t be daft I’m not in love yet! We haven’t even known each other that long. We’re taking things slow-ish” Sophie explained.

“I know you too well Sophie Webster but if you say you’re not then I believe you” Rosie said winking at her sister.

“I’d love to stay and chat but I am currently getting ready for date night”.

“Ooh where is she taking you?”

“Some fancy restaurant in town... she hadn’t told me”.

“Ooh a surprise I love it! Well let me know and I’ll make sure I reply this time” Rosie said.

“Yeah of course you will” Sophie joked rolling her eyes. She knew how useless her sister really was.

“I will I promise...”

“Bye Rosie” Sophie said waving at her sister down the camera before putting the phone down. Sophie couldn’t help but laugh at her sister she was on a different planet 99% of the time.

Time was ticking away and Sophie was very nearly ready, all she needed to do was put on her lipstick and put her extremely sexy dress on.

“Have a nice evening Sophie were off for dinner with Gina and Tim” Kevin said shouting up the stairs.

Sophie made her way to the top of the stairs so that she could say goodbye.

“Give them both my love and tell them that Paula has managed to move mum into segregation to make sure she is safe. Paula said she had emailed the, both but just incase they hadn’t read them” Sophie explained.

“Will do. Have fun”.

“Yeah have fun and give Paula a high five from me” Jack added.

“Will do buddy. See you both tomorrow” Sophie said knowing she wouldn’t be making it home this evening.

The door closed and Sophie made her way back to her room to get into her ridiculously tight dress which looked sexy once she had managed to squeeze into it. Checking herself out in the mirror a smile arrived on her face because she liked how she looked. All that was left to do was put her lipstick on, she had gone for a red as it complimented her navy blue dress.

Making her way downstairs, Sophie slipped into her heels and found her denim jacket to wear over the dress incase she got cold. Yes it didn’t really go with her outfit but she didn’t want to be cold for anyone.

Paula had arrived outside the house, giving herself a quick look over in the car mirror Paula took a deep breath in and got out of the car. For some reason she was really nervous again, she knew that Sophie found her attractive but looking like she did tonight was a massive change which scared her a little bit.

*Knock knock*

Sophie opened the door, she stood there in shock, her eyes almost popping out of their sockets. She couldn’t believe how incredible Paula looked.

“Holy fuck!” Sophie said as her heart rate went through the roof.

“I was thinking the exact same thing” Paula said looking Sophie up and down.

“You look incredible” Sophie replied.

“As do you” Paula said holding her hand out so that Sophie could take hold.

“It’s about time you got those legs out...” Sophie replied as she admired Paula’s legs through the slit in the dress.

“I never wear dresses so you should feel privileged”.

“I do I really really do” Sophie replied.

The two of them got into Paula’s car and headed to the restaurant, Sophie had no idea the treat Paula had up her sleeve for her.

Chapter Text

Paula pulled up outside one of the most expensive restaurants in Greater Manchester, Sophie looked out the window, surely they couldn’t be going to this restaurant?

“Were not going here are we?” Sophie asked.

“We are. Is that ok?” Paula replied.

“Umm yes I’ve always dreamed of coming here but I couldn’t even afford a starter let alone anything else” Sophie said as she looked at Paula and gave her a smile.

“Well tonight is special so I thought I’d go all out” Paula replied leaning over to give her girlfriend a kiss.

“Don’t ruin my lipstick” Sophie joked stopping Paula from kissing her.

“Oh I see, you don’t want a kiss then?”

“Oh I do but for now can you do it on the cheek so that I don’t have to reapply my lipstick because it always goes on my teeth and that would be so unattractive” Sophie explained.

“I suppose I can make an exception this once” Paula replied kissing Sophie gently in the cheek.

Sophie got goosebumps as soon as Paula’s lips touched her cheek, it excited her for what was to come tonight.

There was a knock at the window of the car, Paula wound down the window.

“Ms Martin?” Frank the valet asked.

“That’s me” Paula replied.

“I am here to park your car for you. My colleague Rachel will escort you into the restaurant” Frank explained.

“Thank you very much” Paula said as she got out of the car to walk round the other side to open the door for Sophie.

“Thank you” Sophie said as she got out of the car trying to be ladylike so she didn’t flash Paula or anyone else for that matter.

“You are most welcome” Paula replied interlocking her fingers with Sophie’s as they followed Rachel to their table.

Sophie was confused as the two of them weren’t heading to the main restaurant.

“Where are we going?” Sophie whispered to Paula.

“It’s a surprise...” Paula replied squeezing Sophie’s hand.

“This place is incredible” Sophie said looking up at the chandeliers.

“Isn’t it just”.

Rachel opened the door to this quiet little room which had been set up especially for their date. The table was lit completely but candles, with rose petals scattered all over the table and the floor. It was extremely romantic with a single rose placed at Sophie’s seat with a hand written note.

“Wow. This place is gorgeous” A gobsmacked Sophie said.

“You like it?”

“Like it I love it” Sophie replied giving Paula a kiss, she didn’t care about her lipstick anymore.

“I’m glad you do. It’s not too much is it?”

“Too much? Never it’s absolutely beautiful. I can’t believe you did all of this for me?” Sophie said.

“I wanted tonight to be special because you have changed my life and I need you to know that” Paula replied.

“I’ve changed your life? More like you’ve changed mine” Sophie said as Paula pulled out Sophie’s chair for her.

“Shall we agree that we have both changed each other’s lives?”

“Yes. What’s this?” Sophie asked as she noticed the hand written note.

“That’s a little note form me. You can read it now or later if you want? It’s totally up to you” Paula replied.

“I’ll read it in a little while, right now I don’t want to take my eyes off of you” Sophie said gazing into Paula’s eyes.

“Sorry to interrupt can I get the pair of you a drink?” Rachel asked.

“Bottle of white please...” Paula replied. She knew that it was Sophie’s favourite drink.

“Thank you” Sophie added.

“Coming right up ladies” Rachel said as she left the two of them to it.

“So how did you manage to pull this off? I mean this place has a waiting list for the normal part of the restaurant let alone this room” Sophie said.

“It helps that I know the head chef and well he owed my a favour”.

“I can’t believe you went to all of this trouble for me” Sophie replied.

“Trust me you are worth it” Paula said reaching for Sophie’s hand across the table.

As the pair of them sat there, romantic music began to play in the room. That was the icing on the cake, the setting couldn’t get any more romantic than it was right now.

“So how’s my favourite little man?” Paula asked.

“Jack? He actually enjoyed school for once. Him and his friend George spent their lunch break researching sitting volleyball which excited the both of them. So I think we’ve got an extra person tomorrow if that’s ok?”

“That’s brilliant, I’m so glad he’s excited about it. It’s even better that one of his friends is interested as well, I can’t wait for him to meet Caitlin” Paula replied.

“Jack has nothing but nice things to say about you, he really is your biggest fan”.

“I thought that was you?”

“I mean I can be you’re cheerleader any day” Sophie said winking at Paula.

“Oh really? I’d love that” Paula replied.

“Remind me to get my outfit, I’ll leave it at yours so that I’m always prepared to be you’re biggest fan” Sophie said.

Paula was taken back a little, did Sophie just say she wanted to leave something at Paula’s? Things were getting serious.

“I mean that is if it’s ok to leave some things at yours?” Sophie immediately added before Paula replied.

“I would love if you would leave some things at mine. I’ll clear out a draw for you” Paula said with the biggest smile on her face.

“I would love that too” Sophie replied.

Rachel returned to the table with their wine, she also had the first course of an 8 course tasting menu. The chef had especially hand crafted the menu for their date.

“This looks delicious” Sophie said as Rachel placed the plate in front of her.

“Enjoy ladies” Rachel replied.

“It looks to nice to eat. Do you mind if I take a picture to document our date on instagram?” Sophie asked.

“Knock yourself out! Our selfie now has 30 likes on my profile, I didn’t even know that many people followed me” Paula joked.

“We’re just too damn popular” Sophie replied taking a snap of her first dish and then capturing a candid photo of Paula without her knowing.

“You have to try this...” Paula said.

“I will I will, bare with my one moment” Sophie replied. She was busy looking at the photo she just took, it was absolutely gorgeous, she couldn’t wait to put it on Instagram.

“What you doing over there...?”

“Nothing...” Sophie replied smirking at Paula.

“Why don’t I believe you?”

“Probably because I have a guilty look on my face?” Sophie replied.

“That you do”.

“Sorry, right lets try this then” Sophie said placing her phone down and tucking into the first course.

“It’s good right?”

“Oh my god it’s incredible. How can something so small have so much flavour?”

“He’s an incredible chef and a pretty decent guy too” Paula replied.

“You two were never a thing though right?” Sophie asked.

Paula looked over at Sophie and laughed, she loved that Sophie was a little jealous even though she had absolutely nothing to be jealous about.

“No we were never a thing! I dealt with his divorce from his wife let’s just say she was trying to take him for every penny he had” Paula explained.

“Good” Sophie replied taking another bite of her dish.

“Someone was a little jealous then...”

“Maybe. You’re mine I don’t want anyone in your past dropping up and taking you from me” Sophie replied.

Hearing Sophie say that gave Paula butterflies, it just confirmed that Sophie was in this relationship just as much as Paula was.

“I’m going nowhere... well I am going to pop to the bathroom but I’ll be back” Paula explained.

As Paula stood up and walked towards the bathroom, Sophie couldn’t keep her eyes off her. My god Sophie’s heart was racing just at looking at her girlfriend, the dress she was in took her from a 12 our of 10 to a solid 15.

“You checking me out?” Paula said before leaving the room.

“Oh don’t you worry I am” Sophie replied.

While Paula was in the bathroom Sophie took the time to upload the candid photo of Paula onto her Instagram. She wanted to show off her beautiful girlfriend to the world and didn’t care if there were negative comments.

*Thank you for choosing me* Sophie wrote with a yellow heart emoji.

As well as uploading the photo she also set it as her lock screen, so every time her phone went off she could see the absolutely gorgeous photo of Paula.

“Did you miss me?” Paula said as she walked behind Sophie, giving her a hug.

“I did. Stay there I want to take a photo” Sophie said reaching for her phone.

“When did you take that photo?” Paula asked as she noticed Sophie’s background.

“About 10 minutes ago. Do you like it?”

“It’s quite a nice one” Paula replied.

The two of them proceeded to take some silly photos along with some serious ones.

They demolished the next three courses in between talking and joking around with each other. Paula’s phone went off, she wasn’t fussed to look at it but Sophie insisted incase it was something important.

“Look at your phone it might be something important” Sophie said.

“Ok, I’m sorry” Paula said quickly reaching for her phone.

“Don’t apologise it’s all good babe”.

It was James...

*So you two definitely win the awards for the cutest couple! The photo is absolutely stunning by the way you should dress up more often. Have a wonderful night J x*

“Love...has that photo of me been put onto some form of social media?” Paula asked.

A smile appeared on Sophie’s face.

“Maybe”.

“James has just text me to say that we win the award for the cutest couple, I mean I completely agree with him but let me see what you’ve done” Paula replied.

“We do win the award. Here” Sophie said showing Paula the post.

A tear came to Paula’s eye when she read the caption Sophie had written.

“Thank you for choosing me? I’m the one that needs to thank you for giving me a chance” Paula said trying not to get emotional.

Sophie could see that she was about to cry, so she stood up and made her way over to give her a hug.

“Don’t you dare start because I’ll go as well and my make up took me hours today” Sophie replied.

“I don’t think you realise how much you have changed my life Sophie, well you will once you’ve read that note” Paula explained.

“Shall I read it now?” Sophie asked holding on tightly to Paula.

“Go for it” Paula replied nervously as she had kind of spilled her heart out in that note.

“Will I need a tissue?” Sophie asked.

“I dunno, maybe” Paula replied.

Sophie sat back down in her chair, composing herself before picking up the note ready to read it. She gazed over to Paula before opening it.

*My dearest Sophie, May I just say that you look absolutely gorgeous tonight. You came into my life at the most perfect time, I had been very down for the last few years burying myself into my work. I never used to go out or spend time with anyone other than the people in the office and my children. I was in a bad place and meeting you sparked a fire inside me that had been out for a very long time. You make me excited to get up everyday, you make me smile when all I want to do is frown, you really have made me the happiest I have been in a very long time and for that I couldn’t be more grateful. I cannot wait to see what is planned for our future together but I know that I hope it is a very long and happy one. Here’s to our future...xx*

Sophie was doing her best to keep the tears inside, no one had ever written her or told her anything so beautiful.

“That was beautiful” Sophie said looking over to Paula who was sat on the other side of the table with a smile on her face in anticipation.

“Wasn’t too soppy?”

“It was perfect and just to let you know I feel the exact same way” Sophie replied.

“Good”.

After finishing the rest of the courses it was only dessert left, the two of them could barely move they had eaten so much.

“I don’t know if I could fit a dessert in, this dress wasn’t designed for 8 courses” Sophie joked.

“Shall we share?” Paula said.

“Sounds good, now get your ass over here” Sophie replied urging Paula to move her seat so that she was right next to her.

“Yes boss” Paula said as she moved her chair to be right next to Sophie.

“Are we ready for dessert?” Rachel asked.

“Can we share one please?” Paula replied.

“Of course, one dessert and 2 spoons”.

“Do you know what would top off this date so that it was the perfect evening?” Sophie asked.

“Sex and lots of it?” Paula replied immediately.

“Well yes that but there’s something else...”

“Umm... I don’t know”.

“If you fed me my dessert. It’s in all the romantic films and I’ve always wanted someone to do it for me” Sophie explained.

“Well I’m sure I can do that for you” Paula replied as the dessert was placed on the table.

“Enjoy” Rachel said leaving the two love birds too it.

Paula picked up her spoon and dived into the pudding making sure she got enough on her spoon for Sophie to enjoy. As the spoon got closer to Sophie’s mouth the wider she was opening it, Paula had no intention of putting it in her mouth she was going to accidentally on purpose miss so Sophie ended up with chocolate mouse on the tip of her nose.

“You did not just do that...” Sophie said.

“Sorry my hand slipped!” Paula said reaching for her phone to capture the moment.

“Don’t you dare...” Sophie replied trying to hide her face.

“Don’t be boring” Paula said poking Sophie in the stomach so her hands moved away from her face.

Paula quickly pressed the button capturing Sophie with chocolate mouse on her nose.

Chapter Text

“Let me see the photo then...” Sophie said as she got ready to wipe the mousse from her nose.

“No don’t wipe it off” Paula immediately replied.

“Why? I’m not going to sit here with it on my face” Sophie said.

“I didn’t say you were” Paula replied leaning in close to give her girlfriend a kiss before licking the chocolate off her nose.

“I won’t lie that was a very weird sensation but I quite liked it” Sophie said.

“Ah so you have a kinky side?”

“I do yes but not quite as kinky as you by the looks of it” Sophie joked.

“I can be pretty kinky when i want to be” Paula said winking at Sophie.

“So when are we getting out of here then?” Sophie asked in anticipation.

“Well everything is paid for so we can go whenever you are ready but just so you know there is another part to this date...”

“What? Something else? No way...you can’t top this date” Sophie replied with a shocked look on her face.

“Yes something else! It’s even more romantic than this” Paula teased.

“I don’t even think it can get more romantic than this, can it?”

“You just wait and see” Paula replied kissing Sophie on the cheek.

Rachel walked back into the room with their coats as the pair were ready to leave.

“Have you had a nice evening ladies?” Rachel asked.

“It’s been perfect thank you” Sophie replied with a huge smile on her face looking over at Paula.

“Yeah it’s been fantastic. Can you let Gordon know that the food was fantastic and that I really appreciate what he did for us!” Paula asked.

“You can tell him yourself you sexy beast” Gordon shouted as he walked in giving Paula a bit of an inappropriate hug.

Sophie watched on with jealousy in her eyes.

“Gordon! How are you?” Paula asked.

“All the better for seeing you! Was everything to your liking?”

“It was lovely thank you very much”.

“I got all excited when you rang saying you were coming in, then the disappointment set in when I realised you were on a date. So where is this handsome fella then?” Gordon said looking around the room completely ignoring Sophie.

Sophie was doing her best to remain calm, Rachel gave her a quick look as if to say stay strong he’s a bit of an idiot.

“Gordon meet my girlfriend Sophie” Paula said holding her hand out ready for Sophie to grab hold of it.

“Girlfriend? I didn’t realise you were a vagitarian?” Gordon joked thinking he was absolutely hilarious.

Neither Paula or Sophie found him funny in the slightest, in fact Sophie thought he was an absolute asshole.

“It’s nice to meet you” Sophie said smiling through gritted teeth.

“How did you manage to grab yourself such a young’un?” Gordon asked Paula whilst looking Sophie up and down.

“Let’s just say we clicked” Paula replied squeezing Sophie’s hand. Paula knew that Sophie was very uncomfortable right now, she just wanted Gordon to disappear.

“Well lucky you because you are a fine young lady” Gordon said getting closer and closer to Sophie.

“Look we really need to be heading off now. But thank you for a lovely meal and your hospitality it is very much appreciated” Paula replied wanting to get Sophie out of there as quickly as possible.

“Stay for a whiskey, like the good old times” Gordon asked.

“We really can’t I’m sorry. Another time maybe” Paula said.

“I’ll hold you to that”.

“It was nice to meet you” Sophie replied making her way to the door.

“You too sugar” Gordon said winking at Sophie.

“Thanks again Rachel you’ve been brilliant” Paula said as Rachel held the door open for them.

Wrapped up in their coats, Sophie grabbed Paula’s hand and the pair of them left the restaurant. Sophie had absolutely no idea where Paula was taking her next, she was excited but also anxious because she knew that she was never ever going to be able to top this date. But first she wanted to get a few things off her chest about Gordon.

“Well he is a complete ass” Sophie said with a hint of anger in her voice.

“He is. He’s a great chef and can be a nice guy but he’s such a pig when it comes to his thoughts on women”.

“He made me feel like I was an inch tall”.

“I know I could tell hence why I tried to get out of there as quickly as I could” Paula replied.

“And don’t even get me started on when he hugged you. I wanted to rip his arms off” Sophie joked.

“I love how protective and jealous you get” Paula replied biting her bottom lip.

“I hate seeing anyone touch you, you’re mine no one else’s” Sophie said.

“I know I am. Think how I feel when I see you talking to Kate, someone who I know you were madly in love with. I want to just walk over there and whisk you away, this is how badly I have fallen for you” Paula explained.

“Don’t be jealous because you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Angelina Jolie could walk right up to me now and I’d still pick you”.

“Come on really? Me over AJ?” Paula replied.

“Every damn time” Sophie said with real conviction.

Paula couldn’t help but smile, hearing Sophie say that made her feel incredible about herself.

“Well you already know I would pick you over anyone, man or woman” Paula replied.

“Good! Anyway isn’t the car that way?” Sophie asked as they walked past the car park.

“It is yes but we’re not going to the car straight away” Paula said walking towards the park which was next to the restaurant.

“Are you taking me for a push on the swings?” Sophie asked.

“You wish! I don’t think I’d physically be able to push you in this dress. It might have fitted at the beginning of the date but after all of that food I am struggling” Paula replied.

“Well we better get it off you soon then” Sophie said putting her arm around Paula’s waist to make sure she was warm enough.

As they continued to walk through the park, music could be heard in the distance.

“Can you hear that?” Sophie asked.

“Hear what?” Paula replied knowing exactly what Sophie could hear.

“That music...”

“No I can’t hear anything” Paula said.

“Must be old age because that is definitely music” Sophie joked.

“Oi” Paula said as she stopped and stood in front of Sophie.

“What?”

“You are cheeky! I’m not old” Paula replied pulling Sophie in tightly grabbing her around the waist.

“You’re not but maybe get those ears checked” Sophie joked.

“It’s a good job I like you isn’t it” Paula replied kissing Sophie passionately before leading her closer to the music.

“Come on you can hear that right...?”

“Yes I can hear the music”.

“Wait there is like a mini orchestra up there, no this isn’t for me? It can’t be” Sophie said.

“It might be...” Paula replied as the two of them reached the orchestra.

On the floor was a picnic blanket with cushions and blankets on, along with champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries and a bunch of red and white roses. The area was lit by fairy lights and candles, Rachel was there waiting to give them both a glass of champagne.

“This is crazy! As if you did this for me” Sophie said looking at Paula.

“I did this for us” Paula replied.

“Champagne ladies...” Rachel asked.

“Thank you” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

“Thanks Rach, do you think you could do me a favour?” Paula asked.

“Anything...”

“Can you take a picture of the two of us in front of this setting?”

“Of course I can” Rachel said taking Sophie’s phone to capture the moment on.

The pair stood up, arms around one another posing for their first official couple photo. The look on both of their faces was on of pure joy and love, tonight couldn’t had gone better and it’s not even over yet.

“There we go. I took a couple so I hope they are ok” Rachel said handing the phone back over.

Sophie quickly took a look at the photos and she couldn’t help but smile.

“They’re perfect. Thank you” Sophie replied.

“Thank you for everything tonight, you’ve been amazing! I left a little something on the table back in the restaurant, just a small thank you for helping our night to be perfect” Paula explained.

“Thank you you really didn’t need to do that! It was my pleasure! Can I just say what a beautiful couple the two of you make, you really are perfectly suited. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise because my husband is 23 years older than me and we’ve been married for 4 years and we couldn’t be happier. So ignore them and continue to flourish together” Rachel explained.

“Congratulations! I’m very glad to hear that, take care Rachel” Paula added.

“Yes thank you” Sophie said as Rachel gave them a smile and a wave and headed back to the restaurant.

Once Rachel left the two of them stood listening to the music arm in arm thinking about how incredible their evening had been. Sophie decided to sit down on the picnic blanket getting nice and comfy before helping Paula to sit down too in her fancy dress. They wrapped themselves up in the blankets, watching the orchestra play, Sophie snuggled into Paula closely.

“Tonight has been perfect, minus Gordon” Sophie whispered to Paula.

“Oh ignore him, at least the food he cooks is nice! But yes It really has been hasn’t it” Paula replied as she put her leg in between Sophie’s getting cosy.

“Behave we can’t have any hanky panky under this blanket” Sophie said desperately trying to keep her hands to herself.

“Wanna bet?” Paula joked slipping her hands under the blanket grabbing hold of Sophie’s thigh.

Sophie got goosebumps as soon as Paula’s hand touched her thigh, as much as she was enjoying listening to the music all she wanted to do was rip Paula’s clothes off and have her way with her.

“How the hell am I going to beat this date?” Sophie asked.

“You don’t need to beat it, any date that I get to spend with you will be incredible. We could go ice skating? Or shopping? Or even to a garden centre... I would do anything as long as it was with you” Paula explained.

“You might regret saying that because I have a thing for garden centres” Sophie joked.

“Oh really... do explain?”

“Well I just think that they are really pretty especially in the autumn because all the leaves are changing colour and it’s just beautiful”.

“Well let’s go to a garden centre then” Paula replied.

“You sure?”

“Of course, I can buy myself an orchard I love them but can never seem to keep them alive” Paula replied.

“I’ll keep it alive for you!”

“That would require coming over to mine more often” Paula said smirking at Sophie.

“That’s fine by me. Especially now I’ve got my own draw... might even leave a toothbrush there” Sophie replied winking at Paula.

“Oh will you now, god next thing you’ll be moved in”.

“Steady on there is plenty of time for that” Sophie replied.

“That there is! Would you like a chocolate covered strawberry my lady?” Paula asked as her arms reappeared from underneath the blanket and reached for the strawberries.

“I’d love one as long as it doesn’t end up on my nose this time...” Sophie replied.

“Would I do that?” Paula said as she picked up a strawberry feeding it to Sophie seductively.

“Yum” Sophie replied exaggerating the licking of her lips.

“We need to get out of here because you are driving me wild” Paula whispered.

“Ok, so if we leave them a tip, grab the champagne and strawberries and head to the car?” Sophie suggested.

“Good plan” Paula said grabbing some money to give to the orchestra so the pair of them could get their hands on each other.

They gathered up their belongings before walking over to the orchestra to thank them all.

“Thank you so much you are all fantastic and we appreciate you playing for us” Paula said handing them over a large tip.

“You’re very welcome enjoy the rest of your evening ladies” the conductor replied.

“We will, thank you” Sophie said.

Paula had decided that she had had enough of trying to walk in her favourite heels, she took them off. The height difference between the pair of them right now was hilarious, Sophie was towering over Paula.

“Please can we get a picture of this...do you mind taking one?” Sophie asked the conductor in between laughs.

“Of course” he replied getting ready to snap the height difference.

“We get it I’m short, now take yours off too so I don’t feel like a complete idiot” Paula said.

“You’ll have to help because they are a nightmare to get on” Sophie explained.

“Sit down then”.

“Yes boss” Sophie joked.

Once they had managed to get Sophie’s heels off the pair of them began to run like lunatics towards the child’s playground.

“Shotgun going on the swings first” Paula shouted.

“Depends who is the quickest” Sophie said.

There they were in their posh frocks holding onto their heels, bags and a bottle of champagne sprinting to the swings just so the other had to push first. They really were a couple of children who loved spending time with one another.

As expected Sophie won the race but decided to be a nice girlfriend and let Paula have her turn on the swing first. They were there for about 20 minutes taking it in turns to push one another before deciding they both just wanted to sit there and look at the stars.

Paula desperately wanted to mutter those 3 words but she knew she needed to take things slowly because she didn’t want to scare or ruin things with Sophie. What Paula didn’t realise is that Sophie was thinking the exact same thing, she desperately wanted to say them but again thought it was too early.

Chapter Text

The love birds were still swinging away in the park hand in hand admiring the clear night sky. The stars were so visible tonight, it was an extremely romantic setting.

“You’re hands are freezing...” Paula said to Sophie.

“I know, it’s getting quite cold isn’t it?” Sophie replied.

“Shall we get out of here?” Paula asked.

“Yes let’s” Sophie said bringing her swing to a stop.

Paula stood up, took her jacket off, placing it on Sophie’s shoulders. She wanted to make sure her girlfriend was warm enough.

“Aww thank you babe but you need to keep warm” Sophie said worried about Paula.

“I’m warm blooded don’t you worry, plus the next destination isn’t far away...” Paula explained.

Sophie stopped walking and turned to look at Paula.

“You’re joking...somewhere else? Babe please tell me you are joking?” Sophie said with a shocked look on her face.

“I’m not joking, there is one last destination and then I promise that’s it” Paula replied.

“Where could you possibly be taking me now?”

“Now that would be telling...”

“Come on give me a hint”.

“Nope”.

“Go on just one!” Sophie replied.

“Let’s just say you won’t be going home tonight” Paula said with a smirk on her face.

“So were going to a hotel?” Sophie asked.

“Not just any hotel, the best hotel in Manchester” Paula replied.

“Where?”

“The one right there” Paula said pointing up at the bright sign illuminating the gateway of the park.

“It looks very fancy”.

“It is, come on let’s go” Paula said pulling Sophie towards the entrance of the hotel.

As Sophie walked through the door she immediately looked up to the ceiling, there was this huge beautiful chandelier lighting the hotel lobby.

“Wow, look at the size of that chandelier” Sophie said looking up as her eyes were popping out of their sockets. She had never seen something quite so beautiful.

“Pretty impressive hey?” Paula replied as she made her way to the desk.

“Hi there, can I help you?” Harry the receptionist asked.

“I’ve got a room booked under the name of Paula Martin”.

“Let me just check that for you... oh the penthouse. Good choice” Harry replied.

“The penthouse...shut up” Sophie said quietly to herself.

“Bare with me one moment and i will grab the key” Harry said as he went to get the key to the suite.

“Please tell me he’s got it wrong.. the penthouse? I swear I’m living the life of a movie start tonight, someone pinch me” Sophie said.

Paula did just that pinching her girlfriends arm.

“Ouch... What did you do that for?” Sophie asked as she rubbed her arm.

“You told me to pinch you”.

“I didn’t mean it literally I just can’t believe what has happened tonight, this isn’t something that anyone would ever do for me. So I’m having a hard time to believe it’s real” Sophie explained.

“Trust me I have only ever done this for you! Like I’ve said before I haven’t felt this strongly about someone my whole life, I want to make memories with you so I thought why not go for the most crazy, ridiculously over the top date ever” Paula replied.

“You will never truly understand how much I appreciate everything you have done for me tonight, it’s been the best night of my life and it’s not even over yet” Sophie said.

“The best is yet to come” Paula replied winking at Sophie.

Harry arrived back at the desk with a gold key attached to the most outrageous key ring.

“Here is the key to the penthouse suite” Harry said handing Paula the key.

“I’ve never seen a key like it” Paula joked taking a closer look at it.

“It’s a little over the top isn’t it? But the suite it opens is also pretty impressive” Harry replied.

“I can only imagine. Thank you for you’re help”.

“Have a lovely evening, if there is anything you need I’ll be down here” Harry said.

“Thank you” Sophie added.

With the biggest smiles on their faces the two of them made their way over to the elevator to ride it all the way up to the top. Sophie had never been past the 10th floor before, all the rooms above were way out of her price range.

“It’s a long old ride to the top isn’t it...” Sophie joked.

“It is, I’ve never been in a penthouse before” Paula said.

“Really? That surprises me”.

“Why does that surprise you?” Paula asked intrigued.

“Well I don’t know you just seem to have rich clients and live a bit of the high life” Sophie said meaning no offence by it.

“Oi, I don’t live the high life I mean don’t get me wrong I love my house and it is way over the top but it was the one thing I wanted to be perfect. Other than that I’m a down to earth lass”.

“I know I was only pulling your leg, plus I love You’re house and who knows one day it might have an extra person living there” Sophie explained.

“I hope so” Paula replied.

The elevator reached the top floor, Paula used the gold key to open the door. As the door swung open the pair stood there with gobsmacked looks on their faces, they couldn’t believe how incredible the suite was. It was made up of 5 separate rooms, a kitchen/diner which the couple were probably not going to use, a living room with the most gorgeous leather sofa. The bathroom which had a gold, old style bath tub which Sophie couldn’t wait to get into. A gym which was kitted out with all of the newest gym equipment and lastly the bedroom, which was enormous. There was a huge circular bed in the middle of the room which had a remote control that controlled everything in the room including spinning the bed around.

Sophie wasted no time at all in running over to the bed to try the spinning feature on it.

“Oh my god as if the bed spins” Sophie said as she was lay on it in the star fish position spinning round and round.

“This place is out of this world” Paula replied going straight for the fridge to open a bottle of champagne.

“Babe come join me”.

“There’s plenty I want to do before getting into bed” Paula replied.

Paula’s reply excited Sophie, she immediately stopped the bed to find Paula in this maze of a hotel room.

“Where are you?” Sophie said popping her head around every corner trying to find her.

“By the alcohol, stupid question really” Paula replied.

“There you are...” Sophie said wrapping her arms around Paula’s waist kissing her along her neck.

“Here I am indeed” Paula said holding onto Sophie’s hands while they were around her waist.

“Why don’t we run a bath...” Sophie suggested.

“A bubble bath?” Paula replied.

“Most definitely a bubble bath” Sophie said as she slowly unzipped Paula’s dress, pulling it gently off her shoulders. The dress fell to the floor leaving Paula standing there in her matching lingerie.

Sophie wasted no time running her hands all over Paula’s body, she couldn’t get enough of it.

“My god you are gorgeous” Sophie said as she slipped her hand down into Paula’s knickers.

Pushing Paula up against the sofa, Sophie wanted to repay Paula for everything she had done for her tonight by making all of her wildest fantasy’s come true. The moans began as Paula started to struggle to stop her knees from buckling underneath her. Grabbing onto the sofa Paula was doing her best to stay upright.

“Struggling?” Sophie whispered into Paula’s ear with a smirk on her face.

Paula couldn’t even reply, she was struggling to keep control of her breathing due to Sophie driving her wild. Sophie loved seeing her girlfriend enjoy every second of their love making, she could tell by the look in Paula’s eyes that she was in heaven right now.

“Oh fuck...” Paula shouted as her legs began to shake.

Sophie turned Paula around to kiss her passionately, the look between the two of them was one of love, an intense stare between two people who were falling in love with each other. Neither of them had felt like this in a very very long time.

“Fancy a bath?” Sophie asked with a grin on her face.

“Not until we’ve tested out the sofa” Paula replied.

Sophie knew that if Paula had her way they would have sex in every single possible place in the entire hotel suite, Sophie just hoped she had the energy for it.

“Show me the way” Sophie said with a spring in her step.

Paula dragged Sophie to the sofa, Sophie undressed herself. It didn’t take her very long to get the dress off, she couldn’t wait for Paula to get her hands on her.

Sophie lay on the sofa in her underwear waiting for instructions.

“Take them off” Paula said as she stood there looking at Sophie from head to toe, licking her lips in anticipation.

Sophie just lay there and nodded as she slide her knickers off, she loved it when Paula was bossy.

Licking her lips, Paula kneeled down on the floor ready to show Sophie exactly what she could do. It wasn’t long before Sophie began to moan, Paula knew the exact spot that drove Sophie wild. While Paula was busy with her tongue Sophie grabbed onto Paula’s hands, interlocking fingers making the moment that little bit more special because they were linked.

As the moans grew in volume, Paula knew Sophie was very close to climaxing, Paula decided to speed things up a little to drive Sophie that little bit wilder.

“Oh my...GOD” Sophie shouted squeezing Paula’s hands extremely tightly.

Paula raised her head in between Sophie’s legs, wiping her lips she gave Sophie a huge smile. Sophie was still recovering from her orgasm, she lay there catching her breath.

Paula disappeared, she had gone to run the bath for the two of them, she poured half a bottle of bubble bath in because nothing beat a hot bath with a million bubbles in.

Once she had recovered Sophie grabbed the bottle of champagne and headed to the bathroom to find Paula. Paula was already relaxing in the bath, Sophie slipped her bra off and climbed into the bath at the other end facing her girlfriend.

Paula’s hair was up in a ponytail, Sophie couldn’t help but stare because she had never seen Paula with her hair up before.

“What you staring at do I have bubbles on my face or something?” Paula asked.

“No nothing on your face. I’ve just never seen you with your hair up. You look beautiful” Sophie replied.

“Do I? I hate having my hair up”.

“Well you shouldn’t because it looks great”.

“I’ll bare that in mind then”.

Looking at Paula looking all sexy in the bath made Sophie realise that she wasn’t finished with sexy time yet. Sophie slid her foot across the bottom of the bath over to Paula ready to please her all over again. Sophie began to rub her foot up against Paula.

“God it’s a weird sensation in water” Paula said as Sophie began to please her.

“I wouldn’t know” Sophie replied.

“Really?”

“Nope, never”.

“Not even in the bath on your own?” Paula asked.

“Nope”.

“Well that’s about to change” Paula said moving her foot over towards Sophie.

“Oh wow” Sophie said as soon as Paula began.

“Feels weird doesn’t it?”

“It feels incredible”.

“Oh that it does”

The two of them continued to please each other from opposite ends of the bath, looking at each other intensely.

Once the two of them had finished, Sophie made her way over to Paula, spilling the majority of the bath onto the floor.

“Careful we don’t want to flood the place” Paula joked.

“Sorry but I wanted a cuddle” Sophie replied.

“I can’t blame you” Paula said smirking.

Sophie just couldn’t wait to kiss the woman she was falling in love with.

After snuggling in the bath for a while, Sophie quickly jumped out of the bath to reach for her phone. Paula had absolutely no idea what Sophie was up to but she knew it was probably something naughty.

“Sophie I don’t think photos are a good idea” Paula said as Sophie took a photo.

“Why?”

“What if they get out?” Paula asked with a worried look on her face.

“They wouldn’t!”

“How do you know?”

“Because I have a feature on my phone where I can lock photo albums, so don’t worry. I already have a few raunchy photos on my phone”.

“Oh you do now?”

“I do...”

“Show me then!” Paula replied.

“Maybe later”.

“Definitely later”.

“Fine but let’s take some photos”.

“Oh go on then...” Paula said giving into Sophie.

The pair took lots of photos, Paula started to kiss Sophie’s neck whilst Sophie posed surrounded by bubbles. The other one was the two of them passionately kissing.

“Ok we’re hot” Sophie said as she flicked through the photos.

“Let’s see?”

Sophie showed Paula the photos.

“Ok yeah we’re hot”.

“I am most definitely having that as my background” Sophie proudly replied.

“Steady on that’s risky”.

“I don’t care if anyone sees it. We aren’t doing anything wrong”.

“I know but...”

“Stop panicking and just embrace the fact that we are hot and having the time of our lives” Sophie explained.

“Ok, I will relax a little bit” Paula replied.

“Shall we order some room service?” Sophie asked hoping that Paula wouldn’t think she was being a pig.

“Oh my god I’m glad you brought that up because I know we’ve had 8 courses but I am hungry”.

“We’ve worked up an appetite” Sophie replied smirking at Paula.

“Let’s go check the menu out then”.

The pair of them got out of the bath and into their matching robes, they looked extremely wife like right now, they even had matching slippers.

Chapter Text

A rather tipsy pair of loved up women had ordered their body weight in room service, even though they had eaten 8 courses at the restaurant. They had ordered chips, garlic bread, chicken wings, potato skins and chocolate brownie for dessert.

“We are never going to eat all of what we’ve just ordered” Sophie said as she lay on the sofa with her head in Paula’s lap.

“Probably not but we can give it a go” Paula replied as she played with Sophie’s hair.

“I mean we did work up an appetite, I’m sure we will manage”.

“Even if we don’t there’s always breakfast” Paula joked.

“Potato skins for breakfast, I think I’ll pass” Sophie replied.

“Have you never tried them heated up? Oh my god they are amazing covered in mayonnaise”.

“Eww that sounds awful” Sophie replied.

“Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”.

“You ready for me to kick your ass at volleyball tomorrow night, we’ll actually tonight as it’s so late” Sophie asked noticing the time.

“Oh god is it that late?”

“It is but the night is still young” Sophie replied smirking at her girlfriend.

“I need this food it will give me another boost of energy” Paula said.

The door bell rang on their suite, it was room service. Sophie leapt off the sofa to run to the door, she was so excited for eat some greasy food, which was a massive change from the posh food they had eaten earlier on that night.

“Room service” Harry said with a smile on his face.

“You’re a legend, we are beyond excited for this” Sophie replied.

“You’ve got enough here to feed a small army” Harry joked.

“I know, we’ll manage though”.

“I’m sure you both will. Enjoy ladies” Harry replied giving them both a smile.

“Thanks” Sophie said dragging the food trolley into the room.

“You could totally be a air hostess” Paula joked as Sophie pushed the trolley seductively towards Paula.

“Oh I really could! Duty free?” Sophie said kicking one of her legs up behind her being overly dramatic.

“I’d just like a potato skin before they go cold please” Paula sarcastically replied.

“Alright bossy” Sophie said putting all the food onto the table.

“Aren’t you going to bring it over to me?” Paula asked whilst she was still sat on the sofa.

“No I’m not. Now get you’re sexy ass over here and help me demolish this feast” Sophie said throwing a chip at Paula.

They didn’t quite manage to eat all of the food but there was very little left, neither of them could move they were well and truly stuffed to the brim.

“I instantly regret eating that last slice of garlic bread” Paula said slumped in the dining chair.

“Ugh don’t, I feel so sick” Sophie replied.

“We really shouldn’t have eaten that should we?”

“Probably not! But I’ve always wanted to order room service from a proper fancy suite, I couldn’t risk wasting the opportunity”.

“I couldn’t agree more I just don’t think I can even stand up”.

“Of course you can... how about we waddle over to the bed and put the huge tv on, see if there is anything decent on that’s worth watching” Sophie replied.

“I genuinely don’t think i can” Paula said.

Sophie held her hand out ready for Paula to take hold of it so that Sophie could help pull her up. Sophie pulled as hard as she could but Paula wasn’t budging.

“You’ve gotta at least help me” Sophie joked.

“Like I said love I can barely move”.

“Come on Grandma the sooner we get you into bed the sooner you can go nigh nigh’s” Sophie joked knowing it would wind Paula up.

“You what?” Paula said sitting upright.

“You heard me... Grandma”.

“That’s it you’re dead!” Paula replied.

Sophie legged it into the bedroom, Paula wasn’t far behind her. Not bad for someone who couldn’t move.

“I thought you couldn’t move” Sophie shouted across the room.

“Well when you are being cheeky, I can’t let you get away with it” Paula replied grabbing her stomach in pain.

“Whats wrong?” Sophie asked rushing over to see if Paula was ok.

“I think I’ve got a stitch” Paula replied.

“Come on sit down” Sophie said helping Paula over to the bed.

“I’ve eaten way too much and I think I just need to lie down”.

“We can do that”.

“You sure? I know it’s a bit of a shit end to finish the date on but we have had a great time”.

“Are you joking? This has been the best night of my life and I couldn’t think of a better way to finish it. Lay in the arms of my girlfriend, it’s the perfect end” Sophie explained.

“Good, I mean I couldn’t think of a better way either but I just wanted to make sure” Paula replied.

“You get comfy and I’ll go and make us both a cuppa” Sophie said fluffing up Paula’s pillows.

“You are perfect do you know that...”

“I’ve been told it a couple of times” Sophie joked.

“I bet you have” Paula replied.

Sophie headed into the kitchen to make the pair of them a cup of tea, she couldn’t keep the smile off her face. She had never been happier in her whole entire life. Sophie was only gone for 5 minutes but when she returned she was shocked to see Paula fast asleep with her mouth wide open dribbling already. Sophie put the cups down and pulled the duvet up over Paula to make sure she was warm enough. Sophie knelt down beside Paula and played with her hair, kissing her on the forehead before climbing into bed herself.

As the sun rose Paula woke with a very sore tummy, she couldn’t believe the amount of food the two of them ate the day before. Sophie was still fast asleep, Paula lay there watching her sleep, she couldn’t believe how beautiful she was.

“I am falling in love with you Sophie Webster & it scares me” Paula quietly said as she gently moved the hair off of Sophie’s forehead.

Paula got out of bed to have a quick shower, before making a cup of tea for Sophie ready for when she woke. What Paula didn’t realise is that Sophie was only dosing, she heard exactly what Paula had just said. She didn’t understand what she meant by it scared her though.

But what did Paula mean by it scared her? Paula had fallen hard and fast for Sophie, something that hadn’t happened since she fell in love with her ex husband. Paula was scared incase for some reason the feelings weren’t reciprocated or Sophie woke up one morning and came to the conclusion that the age gap was too much. Paula didn’t want to get her heart broken not at her age, she had been there done that too many times.

“Good morning love” Paula said walking into the bedroom in her towel.

“Morning...” Sophie replied trying not to let on that she had heard what Paula had said.

“I’m sorry for crashing out last night I was exhausted after our fun little date” Paula said leaning down to give Sophie a morning kiss.

“Little date? It was a huge, incredible, fantastic, amazing date. One I will never forget” Sophie replied with a smile on her face.

“Well I am glad you enjoyed yourself”.

“You did too didn’t you?”

“Of course I did! It was the best date I have ever been on” Paula replied reassuring Sophie.

“I might nip in the shower” Sophie said hoping to give herself a few moments to think about what Paula could have meant.

“Go for it, I’ll put the kettle on” Paula explained.

Sophie was just stood there in the shower, thinking about what she had heard. Why would Paula be scared of falling in love with her? What was wrong with her? What had Sophie done to make Paula scared? All of these thoughts were running through Sophie’s head, driving her crazy.

“Soph everything ok?” Paula shouted into the bathroom.

Sophie was in a zone, as she stood there under the hot water.

“Sophie... love you ok?” Paula said again hoping for an answer.

Paula was beginning to get worried, so she headed into the bathroom to see if Sophie was ok.

“Soph...” Paula said tapping on the glass of the shower.

“Sorry I was miles away” Sophie finally replied.

“I can see... everything ok?” Paula asked.

“Yeah just tired, didn’t sleep very well”.

“I’m sorry that’s probably my fault”.

“Don’t be daft. Let me just finish up in here and I’ll be out” Sophie replied as she rinsed the shampoo out of her hair.

“Ok” Paula said leaving Sophie to it.

No matter what was going through Sophie’s head right now she knew she needed to act normal so that Paula didn’t realise anything was wrong. Sophie needed to talk to someone about what she heard just incase she was over thinking everything like she normally does. The one thing Sophie didn’t want was to mess this relationship up like she had most of the others.

“There you are” Paula said as Sophie walked into the bedroom.

“Here I am” Sophie replied sitting on Paula’s lap, kissing her passionately.

“Nice shower?”

“It was lovely, couldn’t you tell that by the amount of time I was in there”.

“Well I did think you had got lost” Paula joked.

“Sorry”.

“Don’t apologise, I love a long hot shower. Helps me think about things, were you thinking about anything in particular?” Paula asked.

“Uhh no nothing specific just thinking about the last 24 hours and how amazing they were” Sophie replied.

“Well that’s ok then, didn’t want you having any second thoughts about us or anything?”

“Don’t be stupid I could never have second thoughts about being with you” Sophie said kissing Paula on the lips before jumping off her lap to get changed.

“Good to hear” Paula replied.

The two of them got changed into the clothes that Paula had packed for them. Once they were ready they headed downstairs to check out of the hotel, Paula leaving Harry a nice tip for all of his good work.

“Thanks for the most amazing night of my life, I’ll see you later. You better be in lycra” Sophie said as Paula pulled up outside her house.

“Oh I’ll be in lycra and the most sexy sports bra you ever did see” Paula replied winking at Sophie.

“I can’t wait” Sophie said kissing Paula goodbye before getting out of the car.

“See you later” Paula replied waving goodbye before driving straight to the office.

Sophie dropped her bag off at home before heading straight to work to hopefully speak to Yasmeen about what she heard Paula say earlier. As she walked down the stairs there was no sign of Yasmeen, however Kate was in there having a smoothie.

“Sophie you ok?” Kate asked.

“I’m good how are you?”

“Great thanks! By the way just watched your Instagram story, how incredible was you’re night!” Kate replied with jealousy in her eyes.

“Kate it was just out of this world I can’t even begin to explain it” Sophie said.

“It looked it, but why does something tell me that something is bothering you?” Kate asked.

“I was asleep this morning and I heard Paula say something to me...”

“What was it?”

“She told me that she was falling in love with me but it scared her” Sophie quietly replied.

“Scared her? What did she mean?”

“I have no idea, I can’t stop thinking about that comment”.

“Well it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad... maybe she’s worried that you don’t feel the same or that something will come between you? I don’t know but honestly don’t over think things because it is clear to see that she is head over heels for you” Kate explained trying to reassure Sophie not to be worried.

“I know but she should be scared because I feel the exact same way”.

“Well maybe you need to tell her?”

“I know but I’m scared, Kate I’ve never felt like this about anyone before. The fact she is twice my age doesn’t bother me but like does she want anymore kids? Does she wanna get married? Like all these things I need to know but I don’t want to scare her off”.

“Exactly, maybe she’s thinking along the same lines and that’s why she is scared?”

“I guess, I’d never even thought of it like that”.

“Maybe the two of you just need to have a chat? It’s not going to jeopardise you’re relationship in fact it will probably make it stronger than ever” Kate explained.

“I can’t do it tonight though, tonight’s about Jack. I can’t do anything that might ruin that”.

“There’s no rush and don’t be any different around her because like she said she’s falling in love with you so that can only be positive”.

“I know I know, I just don’t want to get hurt again”.

“I’m sorry”.

“That wasn’t a dig at you at all, but it’s the truth. I’m done being hurt”.

“She’s not going to hurt you, I can honestly see the two of you being the real deal but you’ve got to communicate and tell her exactly what you are worried about and I’m sure she will tell you the same” Kate explained.

“Yeah you’re right! I’m falling for her that’s all that matters” Sophie replied.

Chapter Text

Paula had finally made it into the office after deciding to head back to her house to freshen up and get changed first.

“Here she is... I want all the goss” James said with a smile on his face as he bombarded Paula as soon as she walked through the front door.

“Let me sit down first” Paula replied.

“Coffee?” Trisha shouted from the other room.

“Oh I’d love one please! Make it strong” Paula said.

“Long night?” Trisha replied.

“Very but my god it was incredible”.

“Come on then, explain? I saw Sophie’s Instagram story which looked incredible but I want to hear it all from you” James said.

“So I took her to Paul’s restaurant in the centre of greater Manchester, the one next to the park...” Paula said starting to explain.

“Oh god not that dickhead” James replied.

“Yeah he owed me a favour so I thought I might as well take him up on the offer. Anyway we had the most amazing meal, it was flirty and romantic and just beautiful. So we then went for a walk through the park where I had organised a mini orchestra to play us some songs while we sat on a picnic blanket and watched the world go by”.

“Ooh that’s dead romantic” Trisha said.

“It was, then we went to play on the swings because that is what all mature grown ups do on a date. Then...”

“Wait there’s more?” James asked with a shocked look on his face.

“Then we walked back to the hotel I had booked, I managed to get a really good deal on the penthouse suite which blew Sophie’s mind and mine to be honest with you. We had lots of sex, ate a shit tonne of room service and fell asleep” Paula explained.

“Lalalalala I don’t need to know that you had lots of sex last night. You don’t have to rub it in that I’m single and no one wants me” James replied with a sad expression on his face.

“That’s because you never go out! You are constantly here or at home like a hermit”.

“That’s because women scare me”.

“Well the only way you are going to get any better with them is by leaving your house. Next week come out for drinks with me and Sophie, I’ll see if there are any single ladies on the cobbles we could set you up with”.

“Do I have to?” James replied rolling his eyes.

“Yes you do” Paula said.

“Fine! But you two can’t be all gooey and mushy around me because you know I’ll get jealous” James sarcastically replied.

“We will try not to” Paula joked knowing that the two of them would be super mushy around him.

“I’ll believe it when I see it”.

“Anyway enough about my amazing love life, hows the case going? Do we have any new leads?”

“We’re still trying to locate Gareth but no luck. None of the other leads checked out. Hopefully Imran will get somewhere with Judith” James explained.

“Hopefully, we just need something to go our way” Paula said with a frustrated look on her face.

“Well let’s get on it then” James replied heading to his desk to get some work done.

“Yes let’s” Paula said turning her laptop on.

The first thing Paula did was check her emails to see if Imran had been in contact with her. Unfortunately there was nothing which frustrated Paula, she didn’t want Sally to have to be in prison a minute longer than she had to.

Back over on the cobbles Tim and Gina had just got back from seeing Sally, she was in a much better frame of mind now that she was in a securer part of the prison by herself.

“Cup of tea?” Gina asked a glum looking Tim.

“Sure...”

“What’s wrong? Tim she’s much happier than she was the other day. She’s out of danger that should put you in a good mood” Gina replied.

“I’m happy that she’s safe but seeing her and then having to leave her kills me. It gets harder every single time” Tim explained.

“Yeah I know it is. Paula will get her out trust me”.

“I know she will but I need her out now, she’s innocent she shouldn’t even be in there”.

“We know that but they obviously thought differently. We just need to be positive and patient, at least we know she is safe”.

“I know! I might give Paula a ring and see if there’s been any developments” Tim replied.

“That’s a good idea” Gina said.

Tim reached for his phone, dialling Paula’s number.

“Paula Martin speaking...” Paula said answering the phone.

“Paula, it’s Tim. Sally’s husband” Tim replied.

“Hi Tim, how are you?” Paula asked.

“I’m good thanks, how are you?”

“Yes all good this end. How was Sally? She told me you were going to visit her today” Paula asked.

“She’s much better now she’s in the segregation, she’s not constantly having to look over her shoulder at every noise. I just wish I didn’t have to leave her there” Tim explained.

“I’m glad she feels safer, it means that she can just focus on herself and waiting until we can get her out. I know it must be hard leaving her but I promise you we are doing everything we can to get that little bit of evidence we need”.

“I know you are, talking of do you have any leads?” Tim asked feeling hopeful.

“We don’t at the moment, but we are exploring every single avenue and we will find something”.

“You’ll let me know as soon as you do though won’t you?” Tim asked.

“Of course, you will be the first to know. My advice to you is just to keep yourself busy”.

“Ill try! Thanks Paula” Tim replied.

“Chin up, we will get her out” Paula said putting the phone down.

“Any news?” Gina asked as soon as Tim got off the phone.

“Nothing” Tim replied in a dejected manner.

“There will be some eventually we just need to wait”.

“I just want her back Gina”.

“So do I” Gina replied as she gave Tim the biscuit tin.

Sophie had finished work and had made her way back to the house, she couldn’t wait to see Jack because she knew how excited he would be about the volleyball.

“Sophie how was your date?” Jack immediately asked as he walked through the front door.

“It was incredible, the best I have ever been on”.

“Where did Paula take you?”

“We went for some food and then for a romantic walk and then just headed to the hotel” Sophie explained.

“Sounds like fun! Was the food nice?”

“It was very nice, we ate far too much though”.

“You always do”.

“Oi cheeky!!” Sophie said poking her brother in the stomach.

“It’s true! We all love our food, I can’t wait for dinner tonight. Where are we going?”

“Ooh I don’t know you’ll have to ask Paula when she arrives”.

“When will she be here?” Jack asked with a big smile on her face.

“Soon, don’t you worry”.

“I should get ready then” Jack said wheeling himself into his bedroom.

“Do you need any help?” Kevin asked.

“Yes please” Jack replied.

Kevin went to Jack’s room to help him get ready for the volleyball session, he was so excited to finally get into some sport. He also loved the fact that his friend George was going with them.

Sophie also needed to get ready, she ran upstairs and slipped into some of her running leggings and a sports top making sure she looked hot for Paula. Sophie knew she needed to talk to Paula about what she heard this morning but knew today wouldn’t be the right time.

Paula knocked at the door, she stood there in her tight lycra leggings and baggy top.

“Paula come on in” Kevin said answering the door.

“Thanks Kevin”.

“Paula I’m so excited for tonight” Jack said smiling at Paula as she walked into the lounge.

“Hey bud! I’m excited too”.

“I’m going to kick your butt” Jack joked teasing Paula because he knew she wasn’t very good.

“Jack? Don’t be rude now” Kevin said not knowing that the two of them had banter.

“It’s alright, it’s fighting talk isn’t it jack? What’s to say I haven’t been lying to you all this time? What’s to say I’m not a pro?” Paula joked.

“Don’t listen to her Jack I’ve seen her hand eye coordination it’s nothing to be scared of” Sophie joked walking down the stairs.

Paula immediately looked up to Sophie, her eyes popping out of her head by how good she looked in sports gear.

“My hand eye coordination is brilliant thank you” Paula replied.

“I beg to differ...” Sophie said giving Paula a kiss on the cheek and a hug.

“You look nice” Paula whispered into Sophie’s ear.

“You’re ass in those leggings... sweet Jesus it looks incredible” Sophie replied whilst still giving Sophie a hug.

Paula was doing her best not to blush in front of Jack and Kevin, but she couldn’t help it when Sophie gave her compliments.

“Shall we go?” Jack asked. He was so excited to get to the place and meet Caitlin, he had missed being able to do active things.

“Yes let’s, is you’re friend meeting us there?” Sophie replied.

“Yes he is!”

“Well let’s go then!” Sophie said making her way to the front door.

“Have an amazing time buddy and I can’t wait for you to tell me all about it!” Kevin said giving his boy a big hug.

“Thanks dad, I’ll see you later” Jack replied wheeling himself to the door.

“Don’t worry I’ll take good care of him” Paula said reassuring Kev that Jack would be ok.

“Thanks, I appreciate it” Kevin replied with an anxious look on his face. He was so worried that Jack would hate it, or that he would hurt himself or that something would just go wrong. He knew he was probably being stupid but he just didn’t want anything else to happen to his little boy.

The three of them left, leaving Kevin to try and keep himself occupied until they return later this evening. Deciding that he would drive himself mad staying inside, he headed to the pub to have a couple of pints and a catch up with some of his pals.

“Here we are” Paula said as she parked up the car.

“It looks busy” Jack quietly replied. Suddenly he had gone all nervous, he didn’t want people staring at him.

“It will be quite busy but I promise you that me and Sophie we will be by your side throughout the session, well until you start to zoom across the court leaving us behind” Paula explained.

“It’s going to be ok” Sophie added giving her little brother a big smile.

“Plus as soon as we get in there I’m going to introduce you to Caitlin and George will be there”.

Taking a deep breath in Jack composed himself before replying.

“Ok let’s go” Jack said.

Paula and Sophie helped Jack get into his chair before wheeling him into the sports hall where they were greeted by a very smiley Caitlin.

“You must be Jack?” Caitlin asked as she shook his hand.

“That’s me” Jack nervously replied.

“I’ve heard a lot about you”.

“You have?”

“I have, a certain someone called Paula has been telling me that you kicked her ass at fifa, is that correct?”

A little smile appeared on Jack’s face.

“It was a close match but yes I did win” Jack replied.

“Well she’s rubbish at this so it won’t be close” Caitlin joked.

“I’ve heard she is!” Jack joked.

“Oh Paula sorry I didn’t see you there...” Caitlin said winking at Paula.

“Yeah I bet you didn’t. Telling Jack I was rubbish at this, god how dare you” Paula joked giving Caitlin a hug.

“How you been?” Caitlin replied.

“Very good thank you. Meet Sophie, my girlfriend and Jack’s big sister” Paula said introducing Sophie to Caitlin.

“It’s very nice to put a face to the name. Again Paula has told me a lot about you”.

“Has she? All good I hope? But yes it’s nice to meet you” Sophie replied.

“Mainly good” Caitlin joked.

“Oi, all good thank you very much” Paula added.

“Jack shall we go and meet the rest of the gang?” Caitlin asked.

“I just need to wait for George” Jack quietly replied.

“Ok no problem, we will wait for George and then I’ll introduce my two new stars to the gang” Caitlin said making Jack feel good about himself.

George arrived and the 3 of them headed over to be introduced to the rest of the team. There was a good number of participants, some able bodied and some not. Sophie reached for Paula’s hand as the two of them watched Jack and George be introduced to everyone, the smile on his face made their hearts warm.

“Thank you again for this” Sophie said squeezing Paula’s hand tightly.

“You are welcome, I’m just glad he’s smiling again” Paula replied.

“So am I!”

“Shall we go over?”

“Let’s give them a few minutes”.

Once the two of them had been introduced to the rest of the gang, the games began and Jack got straight into the action doing his best to get the ball over the net. He wasn’t very good to begin with but after a while he was getting into it.

“Let’s go join...” Paula said.

“Yeah let’s, babe can we talk later?” Sophie asked.

“Of course we can is everything ok?” Paula replied with a concerned look on her face.

“Yeah I just need to get a few things off my chest” Sophie said.

“Ok. Sure thing” Paula replied. She had absolutely no idea what Sophie would want to talk to her about but she was worried, the tone in Sophie’s voice wasn’t her usual tone.

The two of them walked over to the game to join in, Paula joined Jacks team and Sophie joined George’s. Paula was putting on a smile but she was so worried about Sophie wanted to get off her chest.

Chapter Text

The sitting volleyball session was in full swing and everyone was having a great time, especially Jack who was pretty good at it. Maybe he had found the sport to fill in the hole that football has left.

“You’re not as bad as I thought you would be” Jack joked as he handed Paula the ball to serve.

“I’m not very good though am I?”

“I mean you’re not as good as me... but I’m practically a pro” Jack replied.

“That you are!!” Paula said.

As the game came to a finish, Caitlin wanted to give a little pep talk at the end of the session.

“Guys that was incredible, some really good rally’s going on. I want to give a special little shout out to Jack and George whose first session it was today, but they already look like they’ve been here for ages. So welcome to the team because you are both going to be very valued members, Paula and Sophie you both need a bit of work” Caitlin joked.

“That’s true” Paula whispered quietly to Sophie.

“I was 100% better than you” Sophie replied.

“I won’t deny that” Paula joked.

The boys said their goodbyes to the rest of the gang, before heading over towards Paula and Sophie who was having a quick chat with Caitlin.

“So How did he do?” Sophie asked.

“He has taken to it like a duck to water” Caitlin replied.

“Really? God I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear that” Sophie said.

“Seriously he’s going to be a very important part of this team” Caitlin added.

“I’m so happy right now” Paula said.

“Me too. Finally something that could replace football” Sophie replied.

“Thank you so much Caitlin, looks like we will be regulars now. Well definitely Jack and George, we might just watch” Paula explained.

“Might be for the best” Caitlin joked.

“You are probably right”.

“Did you enjoy that buddy?” Sophie asked as Jack arrived.

“It was amazing! Thank you so much Caitlin I really enjoyed myself” Jack explained.

“I’m glad. So I’ll see you next week?” Caitlin asked.

“Most definitely!” Jack replied.

“Well I will see you both next week” Caitlin said as she waited for a high five from Jack.

Jack gave Caitlin a high five before they headed to the car ready for dinner. George headed home with his mum, while the others went straight to TGI Fridays to stuff their faces with food.

“So did you enjoy it?” Paula asked.

“I really did! It was so much fun, like I can’t even explain to you how I felt when I was on the court. It was like I was back on the football field” Jack excitedly replied.

“That’s so good to hear! You were really good, I’m sorry I let the team down”.

“You didn’t! I mean you could have been better but it’s not like you were the worst on the team” Jack joked.

“That’s true Andy was awful wasn’t he” Paula sarcastically replied.

“He really was” Jack said laughing.

“You two don’t be mean” Sophie added sticking up for Andy.

“Oh come on he couldn’t even hit the ball back over the net” Jack said.

“Neither could I half the time” Sophie added.

“Yes but love you were giving it your best go” Paula said reassuring Sophie she wasn’t that bad.

“Thanks but you’re just being kind”.

“Like I said you were better than me” Paula replied.

“Will you two come back with me next time?” Jack asked.

“I would love to if that’s ok?” Paula replied.

“Of course, I want it to be something we do together” Jack said.

“Sounds like a plan to me. Sophie?” Paula replied.

“Yeah that would be lovely” Sophie said anxiously. She didn’t want to promise Jack things before she had had the conversation with Paula just in case things didn’t go well.

Paula could tell by the look on Sophie’s face when she replied that something was wrong.

After they stuffed their faces with food, they headed back to Kevin’s to fill him in on how the session had gone. Kevin could tell by the look on Jacks face that he had had a brilliant time.

“Come on then tell me how amazing it was” Kevin asked.

“It was amazing, they are all so friendly and I was actually pretty good at it. Also Caitlin is so nice and she thinks I have potential” Jack replied.

“That’s awesome buddy! I’m so proud of you! Thank you Paula for even suggesting this club” Kevin said.

“It was my pleasure. Same time next week bud! Well kick Sophie’s ass again” Paula joked.

“Yeah yeah next time I won’t take it easy on you both” Sophie replied.

“Bring it on sis” Jack said with a huge grin on his face.

“Oh it’s already been brung” Sophie replied.

“Good!”

“Were going to head off now but I’ll see you tomorrow? Well done for today bud” Sophie said giving her brother a big hug.

“Thanks again both of you for today” Jack replied.

“Anytime, I’ll see you soon” Paula said giving Jack a hug.

“Can’t wait” Jack replied.

“Have a nice evening you two” Kevin said to the pair of them.

“We will, thanks” Paula replied even though she knew Sophie wanted to get some things off her chest.

“Cheers dad” Sophie added.

The pair walked out the house heading over to Paula’s car, there was a nervous energy between the two of them. The car journey from Sophie’s house to Paula’s was a very quiet one, the only noise that could be heard was the radio.

“Is everything ok?” Paula asked.

“Yeah we just need to talk about a few things” Sophie replied.

“Ok, do I have anything to be worried about?”

“I hope not”.

“Soph you are really scaring me? I thought things were going great between us?” Paula said as she pulled up onto her drive.

“So did I...” Sophie replied turning to look at Paula.

“So what’s happened?” Paula said reaching for Sophie’s hand.

“Shall we go inside to talk?” Sophie replied.

“Yeah of course” Paula said getting out of the car.

The two of them walked into Paula’s house, Sophie sat down on the sofa while Paula put the kettle on. She was stood in the kitchen trying to figure out what the hell was going on? Last night they had the most amazing date, where had things gone wrong?

“Here you go...” Paula said putting the cuppa on the table in front of Sophie.

“Thank you” Sophie replied.

Paula sat down on the opposite side of the sofa, she didn’t want to sit too close to Sophie because she had absolutely no idea what was going on.

“So... what did you need to tell me?” Paula asked anxiously, she couldn’t keep her hands still, she was nervous, she didn’t want to lose Sophie.

“Ok, here goes. So this morning, I heard you say something to me that I don’t think you wanted me to hear” Sophie said.

“What the fact I was falling in love with you?” Paula replied.

“Yes but also the fact that it scared you, like why would it scare you?” Sophie said.

“Ah you heard that bit as well”.

“I did and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since”.

“Let me explain. Ok?”

“Ok...”

“Falling for you scares me because I have never felt like this, certainly not since my ex husband which you already knew. It scares me because I don’t want to fall madly in love with you for you to then realise that I am far too old for you or that I’m not who you want. I don’t think my heart could handle being broke at my age”.

“But isn’t that the risk you take with any relationship?” Sophie replied.

“Yeah I guess it is but this isn’t any relationship Sophie, I’ve never felt like this”.

“Paula I feel the exact same way but we have no idea of whether or not we will be together in 2 months, 2 years or 10 years. We’ve just got to live in the moment”.

“I know we do and I’m trying to not think about the future but it’s hard when I feel this way” Paula replied.

“While were on the subject of the future I have a couple of questions, I don’t want you to freak out I just need to know the truth” Sophie said with a very anxious look on her face.

Paula knew that the questions coming were going to mean a lot to Sophie but she also knew she couldn’t lie to her.

“Go for it” Paula replied taking a deep breath in.

Sophie took hold of Paula’s hand, held onto it tightly.

“Would you ever want to get married again?” Sophie asked looking directly into Paula’s eyes.

“I’d never really thought about getting married again but then I never ever thought I would find someone like you. If the time came that marriage was on the cards and I was with someone I loved more than anything then yes I would get married again” Paula explained.

“Ok, well that’s good to know” Sophie said with a smile on her face, she knew the next question was going to be harder for Paula to answer.

“I think I know what the next question is going to be” Paula said quietly scared about what was coming because she knew Sophie wasn’t going to like the answer.

“Do you?”

“Do I know what the question is going to be or do I want anymore children?” Paula replied.

Sophie’s body was immediately covered with goosebumps she was so anxious to hear what Paula had to say.

“Well would you want anymore children?” Sophie asked.

“That’s such a hard question...”

“Just be honest it’s ok?” Sophie replied trying to reassure Paula it would be ok but she desperately wanted children and if Paula didn’t see that in their future what was the point of prolonging something that would inevitably end.

“Soph, I’m very nearly 50 my days of becoming a new mum are over. I have two incredible children who eventually will give me grandkids I don’t know if I could go back to the beginning and have a new born. I’m really sorry but I don’t think it would be fair on you or the child” Paula explained.

Sophie moved her hand from Paula’s.

“Sophie please...you told me to be honest and that’s what I’m being”.

“So... children are a no go?” Sophie replied physically shaking.

“Honestly I think so” Paula said with a sad expression on her face.

Sophie was doing her best not to get upset but was failing miserably. Tears began to run down her cheek. Paula moved closer to Sophie, wiping the tears away from her face.

“I’ve always wanted children, 2 I think. I can’t see my future without them” Sophie mumbled through the tears.

“You’d make a wonderful mother” Paula replied putting her arm around Sophie.

“And you already are...”

“Soph I’d be nearly 70 by the time they were 18 that’s if we had them in the next 2 years” Paula replied.

“So? What’s wrong with that?”

“I wouldn’t be around for very much of their lives, I’d be an extremely old mother. I’m sorry I just don’t think I can”.

Sophie stood up she needed some space, the tears were uncontrollable her heart was breaking.

“I’m sorry” Paula said walking after Sophie to make sure she was ok.

“I need a moment” Sophie said as she ran towards the front door.

“Sophie please” Paula shouted after her.

Sophie didn’t listen she just ran and continued to run, she was so upset. It had always been a concern of hers but she honestly thought Paula would want more kids because she was such a good mother.

Paula sat down on the bottom step staring at the door, hoping it would open and Sophie would walk through it. She knew she had crushed Sophie’s dreams but she had thought her days of becoming a new mum were over. She genuinely believed that she was too sold to start a new family.

*Please come back we can talk about this. I need to know you’re ok, p xx*

Sophie read the message straight away, she didn’t reply.

“Sophie are you ok?” Yasmeen said picking up the phone.

“No” Sophie said managing to reply through the crying.

“What’s happened! Sophie I need you to try and calm down so I can understand you” Yasmeen replied.

“She doesn’t want anymore kids” Sophie said.

“Who? Paula?”

“Yep, what future do we have if she doesn’t want anymore? We don’t have one because I want them”.

“Slow down. You two need to talk this through before making a hasty decision.

“We talked she doesn’t want kids”.

“Please just listen to me and go and talk to her before deciding that things are over. She seems like a very understanding lady just explain how you feel and what you want and see if you can work things out” Yasmeen explained.

“Ok but I know the answer will still be no” Sophie replied trying to stop crying,

“Just calm down and talk to her. I’m here if you need me” Yasmeen said.

“Thank you” Sophie said as she hung the phone up.

Paula sat there looking at a family photo that was taken last Christmas, she was so proud of her two children. They were both polite, smart people who had ambition in life, they were her proudest achievement in life. Could she have more? Would she be a good mum a second time round nearly 20 years later?

Sophie had been gone a while now, she was just sat down by the bottom of a tree thinking about what she should do. If Paula didn’t want any more children then was it worth continuing with this relationship? Could she forget about having children and just be happy with Paula?

Sophie headed back to the house to try and figure out whether this was the end of their relationship or whether the two of them could work something out?

Chapter Text

Before Sophie arrived back at the house, Paula decided that she needed to talk to someone the only person she could think of right now was James.

“Paula, what’s up?” James said in a happy manner.

“I need you’re advice and I need it now” Paula replied.

James could tell straight away that Paula had been crying by the tone of her voice.

“What’s happened? You’ve been crying”.

“Sophie heard me tell her that I was falling in love with her but that it scared me, so I told her what I mean as in I don’t want a broken heart not at my age. She understood which was a relief but then she wanted to ask me a couple of questions. The first one being would I ever get married again and the second one being would I want anymore children...”

“Let’s me guess she didn’t like the answers?” James asked.

“I said I’d get married again but I don’t know if I want anymore children, I’ve had my family. I’m nearly 50 for god sake it wouldn’t feel right raising a child at my age” Paula explained.

“Do you love her?” James asked.

“Of course I do, that’s why I can’t stop her from having what she wants. She wants to be a mum more than anything and I’m not going to stop that, I can’t I wouldn’t forgive myself if she gave up the thought of having kids just to stay with me”.

“Love and relationships they aren’t easy, if they were we would all be happy. You need to figure out if you love her enough to be able to compromise with the whole family situation”.

“How though?” Paula asked.

“You need to either get over your fear of the thought of being a geriatric mum, look at other options like adoption or fostering or you need to end things with Sophie and let her have what she wants just not with you”.

Paula took a deep breath in, she knew that James was right, she needed to make a decision.

“You’re right, I know you are. I don’t want to lose her James, in fact far from it. I want a future with her”.

“Then put Sophie and her needs first because you are a great mum and have 2 wonderful children who you should be proud of. You would be a great mum again, who cares if you are old or not. I mean Rod Stewart just became a dad and he’s in his 60’s could even be in his 70’s” James said.

“You are so right, thanks James” Paula replied.

“Good luck and don’t ruin something that is amazing because you are scared”.

“I’ll try not to” Paula replied. As she put down the phone she knew she had an awful lot to think about.

Paula tried ringing Sophie again, she was starting to get worried about her as she had been gone for quite a long time now. Paula could hear Sophie’s phone, she knew she had to be close.

“There you are” Paula said as Sophie walked through the door.

Paula immediately rushed over to Sophie to make sure that she was ok, she could see that she had been crying a lot.

“Come here” Paula said wrapping her arms around Sophie holding her tightly.

“I think we need to talk” Sophie said as she rested her head on Paula’s shoulder.

“Yeah we do...” Paula replied taking Sophie’s hand walking her into the lounge.

They both looked emotionally drained from the last couple of hours, neither of them wanted to have this next conversation but knew they needed to lay all the cards out on the table.

“So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I can’t see my future without children in it. I’m sorry but I want to be a mum” Sophie said struggling to look at Paula as she didn’t want to see the look on her face.

“The feelings I have for you Sophie Webster are indescribable, I can’t even fully begin to explain to you know much you mean to me. I don’t know if I will ever be ready to start another family and have children, but I don’t want to be the one to keep you from having a baby, it would break my heart” Paula explained.

Sophie’s eyes shut as she heard what Paula had to say, taking a deep breath in she replied.

“Then I don’t know if we have a future” Sophie reluctantly replied.

Paula was trying her best to keep her emotions in check but she couldn’t stop the tears from flowing down her face.

“Please don’t cry” Sophie said trying to stop herself from crying.

“I can’t lose you” Paula mumbled in between the tears,

“I don’t want to lose you either but we want different things. I know we are at different stages of our lives and I understand that, there are many things I would give up for you Paula Martin but having children isn’t one of them. I want to be a mum” Sophie explained becoming quite emotional.

Paula knew that if she was going to lose Sophie if she didn’t say something positive.

“What if I told you that I could think about having children? Like seriously think about it?” Paula said grabbing Sophie’s hand.

Sophie moved her hand away, she stood up she couldn’t keep still.

“Yeah but what if 5 months down the line this conversation comes up again and even though you’ve thought about it you still don’t want to have them. Both of our hearts will be broken because we will be even more in love” Sophie said as she paced up and down the room.

“Soph I can’t make any promises”.

“Then... as much as it kills me to say this but I think we should break up” Sophie replied before bursting into tears.

“NO!” Paula said as she got up off the sofa making her way over to Sophie.

“I can’t have my heart broken again. I’m 23 and it’s been broken way too many times already” Sophie replied.

“I’m not losing you” Paula said.

“I don’t see any other option”.

“I do” Paula said as she passionately kissed Sophie.

After a few moments Sophie pushed Paula away.

“Stop” Sophie said running up the stairs locking herself away in Paula’s bathroom.

Paula wanted to chase after her but knew she needed sometime on her own. Seeing Sophie like this was breaking Paula’s heart, she walked back to the sofa taking a seat. She couldn’t believe that something that was going so well, all of a sudden was on the brink of ending all because she didn’t want to be a mother again. Was she being selfish? Should she just go into this with an open mind and if this relationship gets to the stage of children just bite the bullet and go for it?

Paula headed to the draw where she kept a photograph album from when Isla and Theo were babies. She sat back down on the sofa to look through the pictures, a smile immediately appeared on her face. She loved raising her two children into the wonderful human beings they had become why couldn’t she do that again.

Paula walked into her bedroom, sitting down by the bathroom door. She quietly knocked on the door.

“Love?” Paula said quietly.

Sophie didn’t reply, she was too busy sat there with her head in her hands crying.

“Look just listen ok... I am not prepared to lose you. Not after everything we have already been through, for one thing you’re mum would never forgive us if we didn’t make this work, especially as landed herself in prison for it. If it means we get to be together and give this our best shot then let’s talk about kids, whether it’s adoption, having our own, whatever. There is no way i am losing the best thing that has happened to me in longer than I can ever remember. So let’s talk and if we’re together in the years to come and you think the time if right to start a family well then let’s do it. Let’s have a family” Paula explained hoping that Sophie would open the door.

“Do you mean that?” Sophie quietly replied from the other side of the door.

“I meant every word of it” Paula said.

Sophie slowly opened the door, wiping away the tears.

“I am not letting you go anywhere because I am falling head over heels for you” Paula replied wiping away Sophie’s tears.

“You’re not just saying this” Sophie quietly said.

“No! I’m not just saying it. But I don’t want people thinking I’m the grandma” Paula joked trying to make Sophie smile.

“I can’t promise that people won’t think that but I will be the first to set them straight” Sophie replied with a smile on her face.

“And how will you set them straight?”

“By doing this...” Sophie said kissing Paula passionately.

“So were all ok?” Paula asked anxiously.

“We are! I mean don’t get me wrong I don’t want children right this second but it’s good to know that our relationship can progress without me having to worry about the future. Who knows if we will even be together in a few years time, but at least we know it won’t have been due to disagreeing about children” Sophie replied.

“No it will probably be about you getting bored with me or the fact that everything goes south as you get older” Paula said joking about her boobs.

“Trust me you have nothing to worry about in that department. You’re figure is incredible” Sophie replied giving Paula a good look up and down.

“You’re just saying that”.

“I am not just saying that! So did you really mean it when you said you were falling head over heels for me?”

“Completely and utterly falling” Paula said looking intensely at Sophie.

“Good because so am I” Sophie replied.

“How about I make us both a cup of tea and we get into bed and watch a film?”

“Sounds good to me. I just need to ring Yasmeen and let her know that I’m ok” Sophie said.

“I will need to ring James to do the same” Paula replied.

“So James was You’re go to man?”

“He was, I wanted to talk to Isla but it’s the middle of the night”.

“So I have James to thank for talking some sense into you?” Sophie joked.

“It was yes but I also gave myself a good talking to” Paula replied making her way downstairs to make the tea.

As soon as Paula left the room, Sophie got her phone out to ring Yasmeen.

“Sophie everything ok?” Yasmeen said answering the phone.

“Yeah everything is fine, we’ve had a long chat and we’ve worked everything out”.

“So Paula changed her mind?”

“Yeah she did, I was shocked when she did but I know she’s being genuine, I could see it in her eyes” Sophie explained.

“That’s great news! But don’t rush into anything it is still very early on in your relationship”.

“Don’t worry, there will be no buns in the oven for a very long time” Sophie replied.

“Good but I know that you will make an incredible mother one day” Yasmeen said making Sophie smile.

“I will won’t I” Sophie replied with confidence.

“Yes you will! Right I will leave you two to make up I’ll see you both soon” Yasmeen said.

“Thank you for everything” Sophie replied.

“Anytime” Yasmeen said putting the phone down.

Downstairs while the kettle was boiling, Paula quickly gave James another ring.

“Paula?”

“Hey...”

“Everything ok?”

“Yes everything is just perfect. I stopped being an idiot and decided that if having more children meant that I could continue falling madly for Sophie then well so be it. I’m a great mum so why not” Paula explained.

“Thank god you saw sense. I was worried for a few minutes that you were going to ruin it all just because you were worried about your age”.

“I nearly did I won’t lie, but seeing Sophie stood there in front of me it made me realise that sometimes you have to do things for others regardless of how you may feel”.

“Like I said thank god you made the right decision” James replied.

“Thank you for your wise words, I am going to snuggle up with Sophie and enjoy the rest of our evening” Paula explained.

“Have fun” James said.

Paula headed upstairs with the tea and the biscuit tin, Sophie had already picked out a film for the pair to watch.

“I thought we could watch a comedy, Ive heard it’s hilarious” Sophie said pressing play on the dvd Girls trip.

“Right now I will watch anything” Paula replied as she handed Sophie her tea.

“Is there a custard cream in there?” Sophie asked.

“There’s only one left...” Paula replied.

“Surely you’re going to give it to me...” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

“And why would I do that?” Paula joked.

“Because you’re a good human being and want your girlfriend to have a smile on her face after tonight” Sophie said guilt tripping Paula into giving her the last custard cream.

“Oh go on then. But your not having the last bourbon or jammy dodger they are both mine” Paula replied giving Sophie the custard cream.

“You can keep them both, I’ve got the one I wanted” Sophie said dunking her biscuit in her tea.

The two of them really were like an old married couple, they were both so relieved that they were back on track after a bit of a tricky evening. Neither of them could imagine their lives without the other right at this very second as they snuggled up in bed watching a good film and eating lots of biscuits.

Paula looked down at Sophie who had snuggled herself in closely, she knew in that very moment that she had made the correct decision.

Chapter Text

The morning after the night before arrived and Sophie had to leave Paula’s house very early because she was in charge of getting Jack to school today. She didn’t want to wake a very peaceful looking Paula but at the same time didn’t want to rush off, especially after the conversations they and last night.

Quietly getting herself ready, Sophie left Paula a note so that she could explain why she wasn’t still in bed with her girlfriend.

*Morning, I’m sorry I had to rush off. I’m in charge of getting Jack to school, I wanted to wake you but you looked so peaceful. I hope you have a good day at work and message me when you wake up. Soph xox*

Kissing Paula gently on the forehead, Sophie snuck out locking the front door behind her with Paula’s keys, she then posted them through the letter box. Sophie didn’t think it would be long before she was given a key to Paula’s, well at least she hoped it wouldn’t be long.

Sophie didn’t have her car so had asked Ryan to pick her up, their relationship was slowly getting back on track after his return back to the cobbles. She still didn’t fully trust him after what happened but she was letting him rebuild that trust slowly.

“You’re chariot awaits you’re majesty” Ryan joked as he wound down the window telling Sophie to get in.

“You could open the door for me Jesus” Sophie replied.

“You’re lucky I’m even here! I mean it’s bloody early”.

“I know I’m sorry, I do appreciate you coming to get me!”

“You are welcome but I do need you to do me a favour?” Ryan said fluttering his eye lashes.

“Oh god I knew there would be a catch... go on then” Sophie replied huffing.

“You, Bethany and me were going out tonight!” Ryan insisted.

“I don’t know if I can” Sophie replied.

“Don’t tell me you have plans to visit your girlfriend at the nursing home” Ryan sarcastically joked.

Sophie immediately punched Ryan in the arm.

“Ouch” Ryan shouted swerving in the road.

“You deserved that! Enough with the age jokes” Sophie replied.

“Alright grandma sorry”.

“I’m warning you!”

“I wasn’t calling Paula one I was calling you one! Don’t be boring come out and have some fun with us” Ryan said pleading with Sophie.

“Fine, I will come out” Sophie replied.

“YES” Ryan shouted fist pumping the air.

“Hands on the wheel please” Sophie replied.

“Yes Grandma”.

Sophie could see that Ryan was making an effort with her, she just hoped that he didn’t make anymore stupid mistakes that put her life at risk.

Ryan dropped Sophie off home before he headed to work, what he hadn’t told Sophie is that his friend Cormack would be joining them tonight, let’s just say he was a bit of an idiot.

“Soph you’re here, thank god because I need to go, I have a ginormous stack of MOT’s to get through and I’m on my own today” Kevin said putting his coffee down on the table as soon as Sophie walked through the door.

“Sorry I’m a bit late, Ryan couldn’t find Paula’s mansion” Sophie replied.

“No worries! Jack’s just finishing getting ready, he’s in a very good mood today. I’m pretty sure he is still high on life after the volleyball last night”.

“Good to hear, now go and get some work done” Sophie joked.

“I’m going I’m going, see you later” Kevin replied giving his daughter a kiss goodbye kiss before rushing to work.

Sophie headed straight to the kitchen to make herself a strong coffee, even though she had got a good nights sleep she was still drained from the emotion of last night. She was relieved that Paula had come to her senses and decided that the thought of having more children wouldn’t be the worst idea.

“Morning Sophie, did you have a nice evening?” Jack asked with a smile on his face.

Sophie didn’t want to let on to Jack that anything had happened, so put a smile on her face and answered.

“Yes thanks! Did you sleep well?”

“Yeah I didn’t go to bed until late though because I was telling dad all about the volleyball” Jack replied.

“You really enjoyed it didn’t you?”

“I did it was so much fun, I can’t wait for the next session”.

“It’ll soon be here. You should ask you’re PE teachers to see if they could maybe do some sessions, so that everyone got the chance to try it” Sophie explained.

“That would be fun, I’ll speak to Mr Brown later” Jack said with a smile on his face.

“Do you want some breakfast?”

“Can I have some toast please?” Jack replied.

“Of course, you pack your books up and I’ll make it for you” Sophie said.

While Sophie made Jack some toast, Paula was waking up. As she turned over, using her hand to try and feel for Sophie she felt the piece of paper. Her heart sank immediately she thought that this was going to be a letter from Sophie ending it all. Paula quickly turned over to see what the note said, she was relieved to see that it was just Sophie explaining why she had to go.

“Thank god” Paula said to herself.

Grabbing her phone Paula tried to ring Isla to see if she was around for a chat. A smile appeared on her face when it said connecting on her phone, followed by her beautiful daughters face.

“Hello you” Paula said smiling away at the image of her daughter.

“Hi mum, how are you?” Isla replied.

“Never mind me! You look so tanned, is it everything you dreamt of?”

“It’s the most beautiful place on the earth mum, I went to a Buddhist temple today with a guy called Ben who is staying at the same hostel as me. It’s incredible how the monks live, it’s so basic yet so beautiful. This one monk had never seen an iPhone before, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing” Isla explained without stopping for air.

“Sounds amazing, I’m very jealous. Have you taken lots of photos? What’s the food like? Still got enough money left?” Paula asked being a worried mum.

“I’ve taken nearly 2000 photos already, I mean we trekked in the jungle yesterday and some of the sights I saw. I mean you’ll die when you see the photos and how spectacular this place is. The food isn’t bad, mainly like noodles and chicken. You’ve got to be careful that you don’t end up eating dog or something revolting and yes I’m being very sensible with my money don’t you worry. Anyway how are you? How’s the romance?” Isla said raising her eyebrows up and down.

“We’re good, we had a bit of a falling out last night but we are all sorted now thank god” Paula replied trying not to go into too much detail.

“Oh god what did you do?”

“Why do you always think it’s my fault?”

“Because it usually is”.

“Sophie had some serious questions she wanted to ask about the future, like marriage and children both came up...” Paula said.

“Ooh things really are heating up between the two of you” Isla joked.

“It’s not like that she just didn’t want to fall for me and then find out I didn’t want what she wanted”.

“So what was you’re falling out over then? Kids?” Isla asked.

“Yep”.

“You didn’t want anymore and she did?”

“Yep”.

“So what changed? I mean you’re an amazing mother and if you have the opportunity to bring another life into this world and love them as much as you loved me and Theo then go for it!” Isla said smiling at her mum.

“You mean that?” Paula replied.

“Yes! I mean you won’t be able to have the baby because you are old but I’d say in a year or two the two of you are in love and want a baby then do it! I’d love a little sister or brother” Isla explained.

“I must say I didn’t expect this reaction from you” Paula said.

“Me either to be honest but I can see how happy she has made you in such a short space of time so who knows how incredibly happy you’ll be in years to come. Just go for it Mum”.

“Thanks sweetheart I will! I love you”.

“I love you too. But I must go because it’s dinner time here and we’re off to the local restaurant” Isla replied.

“Well have fun! Don’t eat anything dodgy” Paula joked.

“I won’t! Bye mum” Isla said waving down the phone.

“Bye” Paula replied blowing Isla a kiss.

Paula was relieved that Isla was happy with the decision she had made, I mean Paula herself still wasn’t 100% happy with the thought of being such an old mum but she knew with time she would slowly get her head around it.

*Morning you! I was worried when I couldn’t feel you lay next to me, thought you’d done a runner! I hope Jack is still on cloud nine after last night, have a good day and I’ll see you later maybe? xx* Paula sent to Sophie.

Paula hopped into the shower to get herself ready for a busy day at the office.

Sophie had returned from dropping Jack off at school, she was so happy to see that he had a smile back on his face and she knew that that was all down to Paula. Sophie knew that Paula would make an amazing mum again, she just hoped that Paula genuinely meant what she had said last night and wasn’t just saying it so that the two of them didn’t break up.

Sophie headed straight into work where Yasmeen had been waiting for her arrival, she needed to make sure that Sophie was ok.

“Sophie sit down, I’ll bring you over a coffee” Yasmeen said as soon as Sophie’s face appeared.

“Yes boss” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

“Abdul bring the coffee over when it’s done” Yasmeen said to one of the chefs, she couldn’t wait for it to be ready, she needed to give Sophie a hug.

“Will do” Abdul replied.

“Come here you, I’m sorry you had to go through what you did last night! But I am glad that the two of you have worked it all out” Yasmeen said giving Sophie a big hug.

“It was a tough couple of hours I won’t lie, I thought it was over for the two of us but James managed to talk some sense into Paula. Thank god” Sophie explained.

“How did he manage to change her mind?”

“I have no idea, I think he will have just told her what a good mum she is etc...I don’t know but we sat and had a good conversation. We sorted things and I honestly believe we are just going to go from strength to strength” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

“I believe you will to, I’m glad things turned out the way you wanted them to” Yasmeen replied.

“Me too, I mean I’m falling in love with her there’s no way I wanted to break up with her”.

“Well just forget about last night and concentrate on the future”.

“I will don’t you worry”.

“Now finish you’re coffee and get to work” Yasmeen joked playfully slapping Sophie on the shoulder as she made her way back to the kitchen.

“Yes boss” Sophie replied taking a large gulp of her coffee. While she had a second she checked her phone to see Paula had messaged her, reading the message put a smile on her face but also knew she wasn’t going to be able to see Paula this evening because she was seeing Ryan.

*Me do a runner? Never I’m too unfit! Jack was in an amazing mood today, I’m just hoping it will last. I can’t tonight, I promised Ryan I would go on a night out with him, really sorry but coffee tomorrow? Don’t work too hard xx*

Sophie finished her coffee and got straight to work setting up the tables for today.

Over at the office, Paula had just arrived. As she walked into her office a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates were waiting there for her.

“Who are these from?” Paula asked with a look of confusion on her face.

“They are from James” Trisha shouted.

“Where is he?” Paula asked.

“He had court but he said that he wanted to put a smile on You’re face” Trisha replied.

“Thank you” Paula said as she smelt the flowers.

Without James’ help last night Paula would probably be drowning her sorrows in a bottle of vodka whilst lay in the bath. She knew that owed him for talking some sense into her, but she definitely appreciated the gesture as they did put a smile on her face.

Paula put the flowers into a vase to keep them alive and got straight down to work, she wanted to get as much done as she could so she could spend the evening with Sophie. Little did she know that there was a text waiting for her on her phone to tell her otherwise.

“Trish can you push my meeting from this evening until tomorrow please, I want to do something nice for Sophie” Paula shouted through the door.

“Sure thing, I’ll ring him now” Trish replied.

Paula grabbed her phone out of her bag, noticing she had a message. Her face dropped when she realised she would be spending the evening alone.

“Actually don’t worry, Sophie has other plans” Paula shouted in a dejected manner.

“That’s a shame” Trisha replied.

“Yes it is” Paula said quietly to herself.

*Ok no worries, I’ll see you tomorrow for a coffee then xx* Paula said sending the message to Sophie.

Part of Paula felt disappointed that Sophie had chosen her friends over her, but she needed to realise that Sophie was still a young adult who wanted to party and go drinking with her friends.

Chapter Text

Sophie was hard at work she hadn’t had time to check her phone, she knew that Paula would probably be a bit disappointed that the two of them weren’t going to be spending the evening together.

“Sophie table 3 needs their order taking, it’s only Kate and Rana so make sure you do everything else before going to them as they can wait” Yasmeen explained to Sophie.

“No worries, I’ll get the food out to the others first. Why are we so busy today?”

“I think there’s something wrong with the ovens at the bistro so we’re getting all of their trade”.

“Makes sense, right let’s go” Sophie said picking up a couple of plates to take to one of the tables.

After a few minutes Sophie managed to get to table 3 to serve Kate and Rana.

“Sorry for the wait what can I get for you both?” Sophie asked.

“Hey Soph, Everything ok now?” Kate replied.

“Yeah everything is sorted now thanks” Sophie said smiling at Kate to thank you for everything she did for her.

“I’m glad everything is fine now, you had me worried the other night” Kate replied.

“She was very worried, but she didn’t tell me what was wrong, I know that’s none of my business” Rana said.

“Rana she’s you’re girlfriend she can tell you whatever she likes. Me and Paula we had a little disagreement but we sorted it and now we are stronger than ever” Sophie replied.

“Well that is great to hear, I personally think you make a great couple”.

“As do I” Kate added.

“Thank you, what can I get you both?” Sophie asked.

Kate and Rana placed their order, Sophie got straight to it make sure the kitchen knew what they wanted.

“So what was that about?” Rana asked quietly.

“They had a talk about their future and Sophie asked two very important questions, one of which she didn’t like the answer to”.

“Let me guess kids?” Rana replied.

“Yeah, Paula didn’t want them but they had a long hard conversation about it and came to the conclusion that if they were still together in a few years time then kids would be an option” Kate explained.

“Well that’s good then because Sophie would make an excellent mum, I’ve seen what she’s like with Jack. She’s incredible”.

“So would you, you make an amazing mum. You do want kids yeah? I mean we’ve never really spoken about it...” Kate asked hoping that Rana would say yes.

“Of course I want children, I want lots” Rana replied taking hold of Kate’s hand.

“Lots? How many is lots?” Kate said with a slightly worried look on her face.

“Like 2 Or 3” Rana replied.

“Ok that I can manage, I thought you meant like 5 or 6”.

“No no god no! Could you imagine that they would have us running ragged”.

“Boys or girls?” Kate asked.

“2 girls 1 boy. Girls look after their mum more than boys do” Rana said.

“What you mean for when we are old and need help wiping our own arse?” Kate joked.

“You joke but it’s true. Boys are rubbish at taking care of their parents so we would have to make sure we have some girls” Rana explained.

“Well we better make sure we have some girls then” Kate replied leaning in to give her girlfriend a kiss.

“I love you” Rana whispered.

“I love you too” Kate replied.

Sophie returned to the table with their drinks. She quickly headed to the staffroom just to check her phone, she could see by Paula’s reply that she was a little annoyed that she wasn’t seeing Sophie tonight.

*Im sorry, if anything changes I will let you know. Work is heaving today so might not be able to message much until this evening. I hope you are having a good day, Soph xx*

“Come on Sophie stop messaging lover girl” Yasmeen shouted through the doorway.

“Coming” Sophie replied.

Over in the prison Sally was using all the time on her own in segregation to think about her life and what she wants to change as soon as she gets out. With some of her money, she had managed to purchase some paper and a pen.

One of the main things she wanted to change about herself was the fact that she quite often looked down her nose at people, judging them on the smallest of things. She knew that had to change, she didn’t want any enemies she only wanted friends.

“You’ve got a visitor” An officer said knocking on the door of her cell.

“Ok, thank you” Sally replied letting the officer know they could open the door.

Sally was taken to the visiting centre where she saw Gina sat there waiting for her.

“Hiya Sal” Gina said giving her sister a hug.

“Hi Gina, you ok?” Sally replied.

“Yeah I’m good, it’s good to see you with a smile on your face. The bruises are slowly disappearing too” Gina said.

“I feel so much safer now, I mean it gets quite lonely in my cell but it’s better than being scared all the time”.

“Are you allowed to have books or anything?” Gina asked.

“Yeah there’s a library but I’m scared to go there”.

“Can I bring you in some if they are checked over by an officer?” Gina asked.

“I don’t know you’ll have to ask someone”.

“I’ll look into it for you”.

“Thanks. So how is everyone? How’s Tim? Sophie? Have you heard from Rosie?”

“Everyone is fine, they all send their love. Rosie said that she’s going to come over and see you as soon as she can” Gina explained.

“That would be nice, if would be great to see her. Heard anything more from Paula about the case?”

“Not yet no, but just know she is doing everything she can Sal. I promise you”.

“I know she is. And her and Sophie are still a thing?” Sally asked.

“Yes, they are still a thing. I’m pretty sure they are the real deal” Gina explained.

“Well that’s good then” Sally replied with a fake smile on her face.

“It really is, Sal she’s so happy at the moment you should see her”.

“I wish I could but I’m stuck in here, do you know if she’s going to visit anytime soon?” Sally asked.

“I’ll speak to her and tell her that you want to see her” Gina replied.

“Thanks id appreciate that. How’s Jack getting on?”

“He’s really good at the moment, he went to a sitting volleyball club the other night with Paula and Sophie. He had the most amazing time and has found a sport that will hopefully replace his love for football” Gina explained.

“That’s amazing, I’m glad he’s found something that makes him happy”.

“It’s so good to see that smile on his face again. He misses you you know”.

“I miss him too”.

“You’ll see him soon Sal, we all will. Just think about the party we can throw for when you are out”.

“I don’t want a party I just want a cup of tea, my fluffy slippers and my bed” Sally replied.

“Well we can arrange that too” Gina replied.

“1 minute warning” The guard shouted.

“God that’s gone so quickly. It’s been so good to see a small glimpse of the Sally we all know and love. Stay strong and I’ll see about getting you some books, ok?” Gina said.

“Thanks Sis, I’ll be ok now I’m on my own. Just let Sophie know I’d like to see her” Sally replied giving her sister a hug.

“Don’t worry she’ll be here within the next few days”.

“I hope so” Sally replied giving Gina one last smile before heading back to her cell.

“Bye” Gina said waving Sally off.

Sally hated the moment she had to leave the room because she knew she would be going back to a quiet empty cell where she only had her thoughts to keep her company. Gina also hated seeing her sister disappear into the back of the prison because she was so used to seeing her around the house all of the time.

Gina headed back to the cobbles to find Sophie to tell her how desperate her mum was to see her.

Paula meanwhile was secretly meeting with Imran to see if he had had any luck speaking to Judith. They were meeting at a quiet little coffee shop where the likelihood of them seeing someone they knew would be very low.

“I got you a cappuccino because you seem like a woman who would like a cappuccino” Imran said placing Paula’s drink down in front of her.

“I don’t know whether to take offence from that” Paula replied.

“Oh no I don’t mean anything by it, sorry” Imran said mumbling away.

He almost seemed to be a bit intimidated by Paula, which wasn’t unusual as she had such a reputation of being this amazing, badass lawyer. Imran knew deep down that if Paula had of been there the day Sally got sent down, it never would have happened because Paula was so good at her job.

“So how did you get on with Judith?” Paula asked wasting no time getting down to the nitty gritty.

“She’s definitely hiding something, I don’t know what exactly but she seems to be scared of Duncan” Imran replied.

“Ok, how can we get the information we need out of her?”

“That I need to work out because until then we are not going to get the information we need” Imran replied.

“We keep digging, something has to be out there” Paula said.

“Well get him I know we will” Imran replied smiling at Paula.

“I hope so because he’s a smug git and there is nothing that I hate more than a smug git” Paula said.

“I’ll keep that in mind” Imran joked taking a sip of his coffee.

“You can be very smug”.

“Oh I know, don’t worry I’ll try and tone it down when I’m around you”.

“Don’t change on my account, I don’t care how you are as long as we get Sally out of prison”.

“We will, I know we will”.

While the two finished their coffees, Sophie had finished her shift. As she walked out of speed daal she bumped into her Auntie Gina.

“Oh hiya, you alright? How was mum?” Sophie said.

“She’s much better now she’s on her own in the cell and away from all the bullies. She’s desperate to see you though” Gina replied.

“I’ll go tomorrow or the next day. Work has been so busy and I just haven’t had time” Sophie said.

“Sophie you don’t have to be scared to see her”.

“I’m not...”

“Then why are you avoiding it at all costs?”

“I’m not I just don’t want the lecture from her about all things Paula”.

“She won’t give it you I promise, I’ve told her to just get used to you two because it’s not going to change anytime soon”.

“That doesn’t usually stop mum does it?” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“Well no but this time I genuinely think she will”.

“I’ll go I promise. But right now I need to go and pick Jack up from school. I’ll see you soon” Sophie said giving Gina a hug.

“See you soon” Gina replied. Gina totally understood why Sophie was avoiding going to see her mum, because like Sophie just said she didn’t want the lecture from her about what a silly mistake she was making. Sophie didn’t need to hear that right now, she just wanted to focus on what was good in her life.

Once Sophie had collected Jack and fed him, Kevin arrived home ready to take over babysitting duties so that Sophie could get ready for her night on the town. She also had time to check her phone to see if her grumpy girlfriend had replied, but nothing. Sophie had barely heard from Paula today, which annoyed her slightly.

Choosing to not let it get to her Sophie picked out a super cute outfit, made her makeup look perfect and took an incredible selfie to make sure she caught the eye of Paula on Instagram.

“You look nice Sophie” Jack said as his sister walked into the lounge.

“Thank you buddy” She replied.

“You make sure you have a fun night with you’re friends. Just make sure that Ryan doesn’t do anything moronic like last time” Kevin said.

“Don’t worry I won’t let him be an idiot” Sophie replied grabbing her coat.

“Good because I still don’t fully trust him, in fact I don’t think I will ever trust him again”.

“See you later dad, bye Jack” Sophie said not wanting to get into an argument with her dad.

“Bye Soph” Jack replied.

Sophie headed out on the cobbles to meet Bethany before the two of them headed to Ryan’s for pre-drinks before going into town.

“You look nice” Bethany said as she crossed the road towards Sophie.

“As do you, I love that playsuit” Sophie replied.

“Likewise. The dots look so good on you”.

“Thanks! So you ready to get drunk”.

“I am it’s been so long since I’ve been out with you. I guess you’re tied up these days” Bethany joked referring to Paula.

“Yeah it’s nice to be busy with her but it’s also nice to go out with you lot so I can let my hair down” Sophie replied.

“Tonight you will be able to do that don’t you worry. Just to pre warn you, Ryan’s friend Cormack is coming out with us. He’s a bit of an idiot” Bethany explained.

“Oh great...”

“Don’t worry we can stick together” Bethany replied linking arms with Sophie as they walked to Ryan’s flat.

Chapter Text

Paula was busy working on her argument for when Sally’s court case which was coming up. She kept writing parts of it and then going over it in detail only to throw the piece of paper away and to start again. She needed it to be perfect to make up for letting Sally down the first time round.

“Isn’t it time you called it a day?” James said as he arrived back at the office after a busy day in court.

“Hello you, how was court?” Paula replied giving James a big smile.

“Tough but I think it’s going our way. Tomorrow is going to be the important day so I thought I’d come and prepare” James explained.

“Bring you’re stuff into here we can prepare together if you want?” Paula replied.

“Yeah I’d love you’re eyes to go over it all for me”.

“I’ll put the kettle on” Paula said as she stood up to give James a hug.

“What was that for?”

“Talking some sense into me last night, I needed to hear it” Paula replied.

“It was my pleasure, I wasn’t going to see you throw away something that is so good in you’re life just because you think you are too old to have anymore children”.

“I know I know, you were right! I am never to old” Paula said.

Paula headed to make them both a cup of coffee before settling in for the evening to work on James’ case for tomorrow.

“Here we go, let’s get down to work” Paula said handing James his coffee.

“I’ve ordered a pizza for us” James replied.

“Oh yum! Just what I fancied”.

“Where’s love girl tonight then?”

“She’s out with her friends” Paula replied with a hint of jealousy in her voice.

“Paula Martin is jealous that her girlfriend is out with her friends, couldn’t you have joined them?”

“I doubt Sophie would want me cramping her style for god sake. It would be like going out clubbing with you’re mum”.

“I’m sure she would love to go clubbing with you, see all of you’re sexy dance moves”.

“She’s already seen my sexy ones” Paula joked.

“You know exactly what I meant” James replied.

“I do yes I was just being me”.

James was flicking through his Instagram page when a very sexy photo of Sophie popped up.

“You seen this...” James said showing Paula the photo.

“Holy shit she looks good” Paula said grabbing the phone off James to get a closer look.

“She’s a beauty that’s for sure”.

“She really is. Let’s get on shall we, otherwise we will be here all evening” Paula replied.

The two of them got down to business, while Sophie and Bethany arrived at the flat.

“You two look amazing” Ryan said as he opened the door.

“Hey babe” Bethany replied giving Ryan a kiss.

“You must be Sophie the woman dating the granny, right?” Cormack joked hoping to make Sophie smile.

“Oh ha ha you’re funny aren’t you” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“I like to think so”.

“Well let me tell you something, you really aren’t” Sophie said walking past him to help herself to a drink.

“Give it a rest Cormack” Ryan said quietly.

“I was only being friendly” Cormack replied.

“Ladies take a seat we just need to finish getting ready, we won’t be long” Ryan said as the two of them disappeared into the bedroom.

As they went into the bedroom Cormack got a pack of pills out of his pocket.

“Shall we start the night how we mean to go on...” Cormack said with a smile on his face.

Ryan desperately wanted to say no, but he didn’t want Cormack to think he wasn’t cool enough.

“Sure why not...” Ryan said taking one of the pills out of the packet.

“Tonight is going to be a good night” Cormack said popping the pill.

“Yeah...” Ryan anxiously said pretending to take the tablet.

Ryan left the room, quickly taking the pill out of his mouth. Unfortunately for him Sophie saw everything.

“You’ve got to be joking me” Sophie said rolling her eyes.

“It’s not what you think, I’m not taking it” Ryan immediately replied.

“What’s to say you haven’t already taken some?”

“Why would I? Why would I want to go back to the miserable place. It was the darkest time of my life” Ryan said.

“Then why are you hanging round with losers like him? Who think drugs are cool...” Sophie replied.

“Has had a rough time alright?”

“He’s had a rough time... you are joking. I was nearly paralysed because of your stupidity” Sophie said.

“Soph I’m getting rid of the pill don’t worry” Ryan said walking over to the sink to put the pill down it.

Just as he did that Cormack walked out of the bedroom doing up his shirt.

“How do I look ladies?” Cormack asked searching for compliments that he wasn’t going to get.

“Ok I guess” Sophie replied looking disgusted at Cormack for bringing drugs here tonight.

“Oh lighten up why don’t you have one of these they might make you less tense...” Cormack said handing Sophie a pill.

“No thanks” Sophie replied slapping the pill out of his hand.

“Watch it! That’s valuable money you’ve just thrown on the floor” Cormack angrily said.

“You know what I don’t have time for this...I’m going to give tonight a miss” Sophie said.

“No Sophie stay. Cormack pack it in, not everyone wants to do drugs” Ryan said.

“I was only being kind and offering” Cormack replied.

“I’m not risking something happening again” Sophie said storming out of the flat.

“Sophie please” Ryan shouted after her.

“Go after her” Bethany said.

“I won’t be long” Ryan said as he ran after Sophie.

Bethany immediately felt very uncomfortable being alone in the flat with Cormack who was high on god knows what.

“So are you and Ryan exclusive then?” Cormack asked walking towards her.

“Yes, I’ve got to go” Bethany said running out the door.

“Was it something I said?” Cormack said laughing to himself.

While he was all alone in the flat, Cormack decided to pop another pill. Before putting the rest of the bag into Ryan’s jacket ready for when he needed them later.

Ryan could see that Sophie had made herself comfortable on the bench, he decided that the way to her heart would be chips from the chippy.

“Portion of chips please Chesney” Ryan asked.

“Coming right up” Chesney replied.

“Thanks, make sure they have extra vinegar on”.

“I will don’t worry, you’re looking very dressed up for a portion of chips” Chesney joked.

“I was supposed to be on a night out but it’s all gone tits up so I’ve got some apologising to do and thought chips would help”.

“Who have you go to apologise too?” Chesney asked being nosey.

“Sophie...”

“Ah I’ll throw in a jumbo sausage too, they are her favourites”.

“Lifesaver, Thanks Chesney” Ryan replied.

While Sophie was on the bench trying to go over in her head what the hell had just happened, she decided to text Paula to see if she was free.

*hey babe, the night outs a flop. I don’t suppose you are free after all? I’ll make it worth you’re while xx*

Paula saw the text immediately, she wanted to give in and say yes but she knew she couldn’t always go running to Sophie when she wanted.

*Sorry love, snowed under with work. It’s going to be a late one xx* Paula replied.

Sophie’s face dropped when she realised that Paula was busy at work, she had got dressed up for no reason now.

“Room for me?” Ryan said.

“Ryan I am not in the mood for you’re shit right now” Sophie replied.

“Chips?” Ryan said handing them over to Sophie.

“Fine but don’t think this lets you off the hook” Sophie replied.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know he had drugs and I would never have done them Soph. I will never forgive myself for what happened to you, you made me get sober and I promise you if been sober since, well drugs at least” Ryan explained as he reached for a chip.

“Knock it off they are mine” Sophie joked.

“Oh go on just one, you know you want to” Ryan said.

“Fine. One! I just don’t think you should be hanging around with people who are doing drugs and pushing others to do them too. Like it’s not good for you to be around people like that” Sophie explained.

“I know I just wanted to help him try to stay out of prison, but it’s not really working. I mean I managed to even get him a job at the bistro but he still wants to pop the pills. I’m just so sorry i didn’t know he was going to have any drugs on him tonight, otherwise I’d have told him to get rid of them” Ryan said.

“Ok, ok I believe you. Just make sure it doesn’t happen again”.

“So you still going to come out?” Ryan asked.

“I did that years ago” Sophie joked.

“You know what I mean” Ryan replied.

“Nah think I might give it a miss. You have a good night though”.

“Ah ok, another time then” Ryan said.

“Yeah maybe when Cormack isn’t around” Sophie replied.

“Ok, deal. I’ll see you later” Ryan said heading back to the flat.

“See you soon” Sophie replied as she started to walk to see her Auntie Gina.

Ryan walked back into the flat to see Cormack on the floor fitting, panic set in he had no idea what to do. If he rang for an ambulance the police would get involved and he would more than likely be heading straight back to prison because he had broken his bail.

“Cormack, come on Cormack stop fitting buddy” Ryan said holding Cormack head.

Ryan quickly grabbed his phone and rang his brother, he could barely get the words out but he managed to say enough for Ali to be on his way.

“Oh shit” Ali said as he ran into the flat heading straight for Cormack who was lay there still, slowly starting to turn blue.

“Ali you’ve got to save him” Ryan said as he stood there shaking.

“Where are the ambulance?” Ali asked.

Ryan didn’t reply.

“RYAN HAVE YOU RANG AN AMBULANCE?” Ali shouted.

“I forgot”.

“Right ring one now” Ali replied starting CPR.

A panicked Ryan rang an ambulance, Ali knew that Cormack was dead but had to continue with CPR until the paramedics came.

“Why didn’t you ring an ambulance?” Ali asked.

“I don’t know I panicked. I didn’t want him to get into trouble”.

“Well don’t worry you’ve succeeded with that, he won’t get into trouble because he won’t be here”.

“What? You can save him”.

“Ryan he’s dead” Ali said continuing to do chest compressions.

“No, no no he can’t be”.

“He is, what’s he even taken?”

“I don’t know a pill, I don’t know what it is though...”

“You are an idiot sometimes” Ali said.

The ambulance crew arrived and Ali explained to them what had happened, they took over trying to revive him but he was well and truly gone. Michelle stormed in the flat running straight over to Ryan to make sure that he was ok.

“What happened are you ok?” Michelle asked.

“I’m fine. He took some drugs and I just found him lying there fitting” Ryan mumbled in between the tears.

“Please tell me you didn’t take anything?”

“No of course I didn’t” Ryan replied.

Michelle didn’t reply she just gave her son a big hug making sure that he was ok.

The paramedics left, covering the body with a sheet ready for the police to arrive to carry out their enquiries. As soon as everyone had left the flat, Ali needed to know why Ryan didn’t call the ambulance in the first place.

“Why didn’t you ring for help?” Ali asked.

“I did I rang you...” Ryan replied.

“I meant an ambulance. You didn’t ring for one until I was here and by then it was far too late. His death is your fault”.

“Ali come on now isn’t the time for this” Michelle replied.

“Why? It’s the truth! It is you’re fault he is dead”.

Before the police arrived to take statements, Ryan needed to make sure that he had his story right. He also needed to make sure that his call log matches his story, so he deleted the call to Ali so his time line checked out. Ryan also knew that he was going to need to get his time line sorted with Sophie to, otherwise he won’t have an alibi.

Michelle was furious when she found out who Cormack’s dad was, a known gangster. She couldn’t believe that Ryan had been so stupid. Once the police had taken everyone’s statements, the body was removed. They all couldn’t believe what had happened, Ryan was in shock, Ali was furious at his brother and Michelle was worried out of her mind as to what the repercussions were going to be.

Meanwhile Sophie had absolutely no idea what had just happened, she was busy watching a film with Gina and Tim, all stuffing their faces with sweets and popcorn.

Chapter Text

Sophie woke to a lovely message from Paula, who had worked extremely late at the office with James making sure he was prepared for his second day in court.

*Good morning love, I can’t wait to see you later for a coffee. I’m sorry I couldn’t come over last night, James needed my help with a case. I promise that today you are all mine. See you soon beautiful xx*

The message put a smile on Sophie’s face right away, she couldn’t wait to see Paula she just knew she had to get through work first then she would be able to enjoy the rest of her day.

Paula had the day off work, so she spent the morning pampering herself getting a manicure and pedicure which always made her feel good about herself. Once she had finished that she needed to pop to a couple of shops to do a little bit of retail therapy.

She stumbled across this beautiful ring that she knew Sophie would love but she had absolutely no idea what size she would be. Paula needed to find out...

“Yasmeen it’s Paula”.

“What can I do for you?” Yasmeen replied.

“I need you to find out what ring size Sophie is...” Paula said.

Yasmeen nearly choked when she heard Paula say that.

“Ring size? This isn’t for what I think it’s for is it?” Yasmeen asked.

“Oh no no nothing like an engagement ring, I’ve just stumbled across this gorgeous ring that I think would look beautiful on Sophie” Paula replied giving Yasmeen a little giggle.

“Ok, you had me all excited then”.

“Sorry. One day for sure but I think it’s a bit early for that at the moment” Paula replied.

“Bare with me one moment I will go and find out for you” Yasmeen said.

“No problem” Paula replied.

Yasmeen rushed over to Sophie who was busy laying the tables ready for service.

“What ring size are you?” Yasmeen asked.

“Um why?” Sophie replied with confused look on her face.

“No reason I just need to know”.

“I honestly don’t know, take that one and measure it if you like” Sophie said taking off one of her rings and giving it to Yasmeen.

“Thank you” Yasmeen said taking the ring to measure it, she was struggling to find a measure though.

“Paula let me ring you back” Yasmeen said.

“Ok no problem” Paula said.

Sophie walked over, noticing that Yasmeen was putting the phone down.

“Who are you doing this for?” Sophie asked sneaking up behind Yasmeen.

“No one! Jesus don’t scare me like that” Yasmeen replied jumping out of her skin.

“Don’t lie to me...”

“Fine it’s for Paula but no it’s not what you are going to automatically think” Yasmeen explained.

“Ok, so she’s won’t be proposing anytime soon?”

“No, not yet!”

“Thank god! I’m too young to be getting engaged”.

“I was married by your age, you are never too young well within reason” Yasmeen joked.

“How times have changed ey?” Sophie said being cheeky.

“You better not be calling me old young lady”.

“Me? Never...” Sophie joked as she went back to work leaving Yasmeen to measure her ring.

Once she had found a rule Yasmeen measured the width of the ring so she could send it to Paula so she could work out the correct size. Sophie finally got her ring back, she was excited to see what Paula was buying for her.

“I wonder what she’s getting me? I mean a ring obviously but what kind” Sophie asked.

“No idea you’ll have to wait, also try and act shocked when you receive it” Yasmeen suggested.

“I’ll try but I mean she’ll know I’m suspicious! How else were you supposed to get my ring size?”

“Well I don’t know she might think I asked to borrow your ring for a day to see if I liked it” Yasmeen replied.

“Somehow I don’t think a lawyer is going to believe that”.

“Well please just act surprised ok?”

“Yes boss” Sophie joked.

Sophie carried on setting up for service when a very tired looking Ryan walked through the door accompanied by his mum.

“Oh hiya, you look a bit worst for wear, good night?” Sophie asked.

“Not really... Cormack’s dead” Ryan replied trying his best not to burst into tears.

“He’s what?” Sophie said with a shocked look on her face.

“He took some pills and started fitting, Ryan did the best he could but he died” Michelle explained.

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked, I mean I didn’t particularly like the guy but I didn’t want him dead” Sophie said taking a seat. She couldn’t believe that he had died.

“They think it was a dodgey batch of pills” Michelle said.

“Good job no one else took any then” Sophie replied.

“I just wanted to just double check we had our story straight”.

“What do you mean? Why would we need our story to be straight?” Sophie asked.

“The two of you just need to make sure you are clear on timings” Michelle replied.

“Well I remember getting to mum’s house at about 7:35, so you must have left me about 7:30”.

“I’m sure it was 7:45 Soph” Ryan said hoping that Sophie would change her mind.

“I don’t think it was because I remember looking at the clock” Sophie said assertively.

“Look Sophie we really need you to tell the police that Ryan was with you until 7:45 ok?” Michelle said pleading with Sophie.

“Why? Why do I need to lie?”

“I didn’t ring the ambulance straight away, I tried to help him myself so he wouldn’t get in trouble with the police for having drugs on him. But I couldn’t help him and by the time I rang them it was too late. I honestly just panicked I wish I could start over so that I could have saved him” Ryan quietly explained.

“What the hell... I don’t think I can”.

“This is really important Sophie, Cormack’s dad is a bit of a big deal. He’s a well known gangster so we need to make sure that he doesn’t know Ryan had anything to do with it” Michelle explained.

“Sophie please” Ryan said pleading with her.

“Fine, but I’m not happy about this” Sophie replied.

“Thank you” Michelle said smiling at Sophie.

“I owe you” Ryan replied.

“Just go...” Sophie said. She really didn’t want to see either of them right now, she knew what she was doing for them was illegal and she could end up in trouble for lying.

Ryan and Michelle left with very relieved looks on their faces, they were so thankful that Sophie was going to back up their story. As Sophie got back to work there was a slight nervous energy surrounding her, she was making a lot of mistakes because all she could think about was lying to the police when they came to take a statement.

“Sophie sweetheart you’ve taken the wrong order out...” Yasmeen said in a calming way.

“Sorry my heads all over the place”.

“What’s wrong? It’s not Paula is it?”

“No no we’re fine. In fact we’re great”.

“Then what is it?” Yasmeen asked just as the police walked down the stairs.

“I’m looking for Sophie Webster” The police officer asked.

“Umm.. uh that’s me” Sophie replied doing her best to remain calm.

“Can we have a chat?”

“Sure, over here?” Sophie said taking the officers to a table.

“We just need to ask you a few questions about last night, is that ok?”

“Yeah of course”.

“You spent some of the evening with Ryan is this correct?”

“Yes that’s correct”.

“What time precisely did Ryan leave to head back to his flat?”

“Umm I believe it was around 7:45” Sophie replied trying to make sure she kept a straight face.

“And you are 100% certain?” The police officer asked staring at Sophie.

“Yes, yes it was definitely around 7:45” Sophie replied.

“Ok thank you for you’re time. If we need to speak to you again would you be willing?”

“Yeah of course” Sophie said as her heart was beating out of her chest.

“Thank you” The police officer said shaking Sophie’s hand.

Yasmeen hurried over to Sophie straight after the police had left, she needed to know what had happened.

“Care to explain what that was about?” Yasmeen said sitting down next to Sophie.

“They were just checking to see what time Ryan left me to go back home”.

“Oh why what’s happened?”

“One of Ryan’s friends took a drug overdose”.

“No way, that’s horrible I’m so sorry to hear that...” Yasmeen said giving Sophie a hug.

“Everything ok?” A worried Paula said as she walked into the restaurant in one of her sexy suits after a day of pampering.

“Oh yes everything’s fine, I’ll leave the two of you too it. Nice to see you again Paula” Yasmeen said.

“Nice to see you too” Paula replied giving Yasmeen a warm smile.

Sophie looked at Paula and immediately gave her a big hug.

“What’s wrong? You’re shaking” Paula said.

“The police were just here asking me a few questions”.

“What? Why?” Paula replied going into lawyer mode immediately.

“One of the lads that was at Ryan’s last night took a drugs overdose and unfortunately died”.

“Oh no, that’s a tragedy. I’m sorry to hear that. But why did they want to speak to you?”

“They wanted to know what time Ryan left me to go back to his house. Basically Ryan panicked when he saw his friend fitting and froze, he didn’t know what to do so rang his brother instead of the ambulance and basically that’s why Cormack didn’t make it. So I had to say the time he told me to say otherwise he would get into a lot of trouble” Sophie quietly explained.

“Oh Sophie please tell me you didn’t lie to the police just to give him an alibi” Paula said with a disapproving look on her face.

“I had to...He’s my friend”.

“Sophie you didn’t have to. He is a grown adult who should have known what to do in that situation”.

“I thought i was doing the right thing”.

“Oh Sophie, you could go down for this”.

“Yeah but you don’t understand. Cormack’s dad is like a well known gangster so I was trying to protect Ryan”.

“Sophie what’s his dad’s name?” Paula asked as the colour from her face began to drain, leaving her looking as white as a sheep.

“Um I think his name is Ronan or something” Sophie said.

“Oh Sophie, please tell me you’re joking”.

“What? Do you know him?”

“Let’s just say we’re in the same business, except I’m one side of the law and he’s the other. Sophie he’s an incredibly dangerous man, you need to change you’re statement now” Paula explained.

“What you mean I can actually do that? I can change my statement?” Sophie asked.

“Yes, you need to go the police station in the morning and sort this. I can’t believe a friend would ask you to do such a stupid thing. You wait until I see him”

“Please don’t do anything stupid” Sophie said.

“Love you could do down for a very long time if you don’t sort this. I mean I’m a bloody good lawyer but I don’t even think I could get you off”.

“Ok, I’ll go tomorrow” Sophie said grabbing hold of Paula’s hands.

“Promise me?”

“Yes. I’ll go”.

“So, dinner? Mine?” Paula asked.

“Sounds good. Give me 15 minutes I just need to tidy up and give Yasmeen a hand”.

“Take you’re time, get me a smoothie while you’re at it” Paula joked.

“The usual?” Sophie asked giving Paula a peck on the cheek.

“You know me too well” Paula replied giving Sophie a cheeky look.

While Paula watched her woman work, she couldn’t help but think about what an idiot she had been to give Ryan a false alibi but Paula knew that Sophie was only doing this out of the goodness of her heart. She was trying to be a good friend but she went about things the completely wrong way.

“Hiya Paula you alright?” Kate said.

“Hey, yeah I’m good thank you. How are you?” Paula replied.

“Yeah really good. I think I left my purse here earlier, forever forgetting things”.

“It only gets worse I’m afraid, as you get older” Paula joked.

“God help me. It was nice to see you again, I’m glad everything with you and Sophie are going well. I hope you don’t mind I followed you on Instagram, I know we didn’t get off to the best of starts but I think you’re great for Sophie” Kate explained.

“Yeah that’s absolutely fine, I need all the followers I can get” Paula joked.

“I better find my purse and get back to work. See you soon” Kate said heading over to the table she was sat at earlier.

“Take care” Paula replied.

“I hope you were playing nice” Sophie said as she handed Paula her smoothie.

“Of course! I’m a good girl remember” Paula replied smirking.

“You are far from a good girl...”

“I’m more of a good girl than you after todays antics”.

“Alright don’t make me feel any worse than I already do”.

“I’m sorry but you need to realise how stupid you’ve been”.

“I know I’ve been an idiot and I regret it. I’ll sort it ok?”

“Good”.

“I’ll be two minutes and then we can get out of here. Dinners on me to make up for being an idiot” Sophie said.

“Sounds good to me” Paula replied.

Sophie finished up and the two of them headed out the door hand in hand being all romantic.

“Where do you want to go then?” Sophie asked.

“Shall we get a McDonald’s?” Paula replied.

“You serious? Didn’t have you down as a McDonald’s girl”.

“I love a Big Mac”.

“Let’s go then” Sophie replied with a smile on her face.

Chapter Text

Paula pulled up outside the McDonald’s speaker, she hated using these things because they never fully understood what she was trying to order.

“Hi there what can we get you?” The McDonald’s worker asked.

“Hi, can we have a Big Mac meal with a Diet Coke and Extra mayonnaise please” Paula said.

“Of course, anything else...”

“Soph what do you fancy?” Paula whispered.

“Can I have a 20 box of chicken nuggets please” She replied.

“20? Jesus Christ”.

“Don’t judge me”.

“A 20 chicken nugget box please” Paula said loudly to the woman.

“Anything else...”

Paula looked over at Sophie, knowing that something else was coming.

“A 99p cheese burger please” Sophie said smiling away.

“Anything else...” Paula asked.

“Nope”.

“And a 99p cheese burger please”.

“Coming right up. If you can drive to the next window please”.

Paula quickly drove to the next window, she couldn’t believe that Sophie had ordered a share box just for herself.

“Do you want any sauces with the nuggets?” The McDonald’s worker asked.

“Sweet chilli please” Sophie shouted leaning across Paula.

“That’s £9.99 please”.

Sophie immediately got her card out ready to pay for the meal.

“Who says I don’t treat you” Sophie joked as she paid for their meal.

“I never said a word” Paula replied poking Sophie in the stomach as she leans over her.

“Ouch”.

“Oh give over that didn’t hurt”.

“Here is you’re meal. Enjoy ladies” The McDonald’s worker said handing their food over.

“Thank you” Paula replied pulling away from the window.

“This smells amazing” Sophie said nicking one of Paula’s chips

“Hands off they are mine” Paula replied playfully slapping Sophie’s hand away.

“Sorry but I’m hungry”.

“Well have one of your 20 chicken nuggets then...” Paula sarcastically joked.

“Don’t judge me I’m a growing lass”.

“I’m not judging just make sure you save one for me” Paula said pulling onto the drive.

Sophie grabbed the food and ran to the house, she couldn’t wait to tuck into her greasy feast.

“Do you want a plate?” Paula asked trying to be at least a little bit civilised.

“Sure why not?” Sophie replied with half a chicken nugget stuffed in her face.

“You look extremely attractive right now... let me just update my Instagram story. I’m sure my followers would want to see this” Paula said getting her phone out to take a photo.

“You wouldn’t...”

“Too late”.

“You just wait until you tuck into that Big Mac” Sophie replied she couldn’t wait to get revenge.

“Well I’ll go eat mine in the lounge then”.

“Then I will follow you”.

“Fine! One unflattering photos of me stuffing my face and then we are even ok?” Paula said getting her Big Mac ready to take a bite.

“Deal” Sophie replied with a smile on her face.

Paula posed for her photo to make sure she looked as good as she could.

“You’re never going to eat all of that surely?” Paula said.

“Watch me, I’m a beast when it comes to chicken nuggets” Sophie replied proudly.

“What and the burger”.

“It’s only a little burger, a couple of bites and it’s gone” Sophie joked.

“Are you filling your energy levels for something specific?” Paula asked biting her bottom lip.

“Yeah I thought I’d go for a run...” Sophie joked knowing that Paula wanted to hear something else come out of her mouth.

“Oh have fun! Rather you than me”.

“I am joking! There is only one thing I plan on doing tonight” Sophie replied winking.

“Oh yeah...”

“Yeah sleeping! I’m shattered”.

“Before you can sleep you need to work out what you are going to say to the police tomorrow”.

“What can I say? They are going to be so angry at me for lying”.

“Well Yeah of course they will be! You lied to a police officer during questioning it’s an offence in itself. Look you just need to go in there and explain that you think you might have got your timings mixed up after speaking to your auntie about what time you arrived. You need to just make sure that they think you simply just got confused”.

“But what if they don’t believe it was a mistake...”

“Then you are in serious trouble. Sophie lying is never the option, especially given that someone’s life was lost. Trust me you don’t want your name to be anywhere near this situation once Ronan hears the truth. He’s a very scary man Sophie who will do anything to get revenge and I mean anything. You need to tell the truth” Paula explained.

“I know but what’s going to happen to Ryan once I change my story” Sophie asked with an extremely worried look on her face.

“Right now Sophie you shouldn’t even be worrying about him, you don’t owe Ryan anything. Explain to me now why you even left...?”

“Because Cormack was trying to get us all to do drugs, including Ryan and I just couldn’t cope”.

“Why does Ryan even hang around with people who do drugs? I thought he was an ex user?” Paula asked.

“He is, last time I saw him on drugs he nearly killed me. I ended up nearly using my ability to walk”. Sophie said trying not to get emotional.

“So this so called friend that you are currently covering for risking your freedom, nearly killed you? Yet you’re worried about being a good friend to him! He deserves to get into trouble for this Sophie, he was irresponsible and he shouldn’t be dragging you along with him”.

“I know but he has changed”.

“Sophie stop making excuses for him. He’s an adult he needs to start acting like one”.

“Can we just change the subject please” Sophie asked getting into a bit of a huff.

“No not until you realise how stupid you’ve been. Sophie I honestly thought you were more mature that this...” Paula replied.

“I get it ok” Sophie said snapping back at Paula.

“But do you? I need you to understand that if you don’t talk to the police I will be visiting you and your mum in prison and I don’t want to do that”.

“I’ll talk to them tomorrow. But just drop it now, it’s beginning to irritate me”.

Paula didn’t reply she just stood up and walked into the kitchen to breathe, she couldn’t believe how blasé she was being about everything. Sophie followed her, she just wanted to forget about everything and have some fun tonight.

“Babe I’m sorry, can we just forget about earlier and just chill?” Sophie asked.

“No we can’t forget about it, you don’t get that I am worried about you right now. Ronan is the type of gangster who will kill people who have betrayed him or done something to piss him off and right now that will include you’re name”.

“I know so you keep saying, there is nothing I can do right now is there. So please let’s just forget about it or I’m just going to go home” Sophie replied.

“I’m sorry I just can’t forget about this. I thought I could but I think this just shows the age gap between us”.

“I’m gunna go I can’t deal with this right now, I’ve apologised I don’t know what else I can do right now but I’m not going to stand here and have an argument with you” Sophie replied heading to the door.

“Soph...” Paula said going after her.

“It’s fine I’ll see you tomorrow” Sophie replied as she opened the door.

“At least let me take you home...”

“Fine” Sophie said in a strop.

The car journey was a very silent one with Sophie staring out of the window, she was so annoyed that Paula had brought up the age gap. She knew she had been stupid but it was just Sophie trying to be a good friend to Ryan.

“Bye” Sophie said as she opened the passenger side door.

“Love please...” Paula replied.

Sophie turned to Paula and gave her a peck on the cheek before leaving the car. She shut the door and walked to her house, she was not in a good mood.

“For fuck sake Paula you couldn’t keep your lawyer hat off could you?” Paula aggressively said to herself as she drove off heading back to her house.

“Didn’t expect you to be here tonight” Kevin said as Sophie walked through the front door.

“Neither did I” Sophie replied in a very grumpy manner.

“Oh god what’s happened?”

“We just had an argument, it’s my fault because I did something really stupid”.

“What did you do?” Kevin asked.

“It’s probably best you don’t know”.

“Sit down, I’ll make a cuppa and you can tell me what you’ve done” Kevin said filling the kettle up.

Giving Sophie a fresh cup of tea, he sat down next to his daughter to find out what she had done.

“Come on then...spill”.

“So you know I was supposed to be going out with Ryan last night but didn’t...well Ryan’s friend died of a drug overdose. Long story short Ryan needed an alibi because he panicked and didn’t ring an ambulance straight away so I lied for him and said I was with him until 7:45 instead of 7:35”.

“You did what?”

“Don’t you start I know what I did was wrong and I’m going to change my story tomorrow”.

“Sophie you broke the law! You could end up in prison with your mum”.

“I know I know I was just trying to be a good friend but I will go to the police and sort it”.

“Sophie how could you be so stupid! Especially lying for that idiot. He very nearly ruined your life yet you are willing to risk yours for him. I thought you were smarter than that” Kevin explained.

“You sound like Paula”.

“Probably because we are both speaking the truth”.

“I’m an idiot I know I am and I’m going to fix it ok. But right now can we just talk about anything other than what an idiot I have been”.

“Fine, put a film on and let’s just chill” Kevin replied.

“You get the chocolate then...” Sophie said.

“Yes boss” Kevin joked.

Sophie put on a film they would both enjoy before getting comfortable on the sofa. Kevin filled a bowl to the brim with malteasers before sitting back down himself.

Once Paula had arrived back home she felt awful that Sophie had gone home in such a bad mood but she still couldn’t get her head around the fact that she had given the police a false statement.

*Im sorry about tonight but I just don’t want to see you getting in trouble. I’m doing my best to get your mum out of prison, I don’t want to have to work on getting you out as well. I’m sorry, Ill see you tomorrow xx* Paula sent trying to make sure that they finished the day on a good note and not falling asleep being angry at one another.

“Soph I think your phone just went off” Kevin said.

Sophie had fallen asleep watching the film, she was very tired. Kevin fetched the blanket from behind the sofa and wrapped her up in it. He continued to watch the film because he was really enjoying it.

Paula was worried that Sophie hadn’t replied, she had no idea that Sophie was asleep she just assumed the worst and thought she was being ignored. She desperately wanted to text again to check that they were ok but she didn’t want to annoy Sophie.

Sophie finally woke as the end credits ran, it was safe to say she had missed the majority of the film.

“Nice to see you back in the land of living” Kevin joked.

“Sorry I was just so tired”.

“It’s ok, you didn’t miss much but you’re phone has been going off”.

“It’ll no doubt be Paula” Sophie replied.

“Well you better look at it then. You don’t want to go to sleep being in a mood with each other” Kevin explained.

“I’ll have a look in a minute, right now I’m comfortable and don’t want to move”.

“Lucky for you you don’t need to move, I’ll get your phone” Kevin said getting up to get her phone.

“You really don’t need....too” Sophie said as her hand landed in her lap.

“Now you have zero excuse. Just read the message and reply”.

“Fine” Sophie replied rolling her eyes and opening the message.

*I know you were only looking out for me, I’m sorry for being an idiot but trust me when I say I’ll sort this. Goodnight xx*

“There I’ve replied, can I go to bed now?” Sophie asked Kevin.

“Of course you can, trust me it’s better that you go to sleep on a good note rather than a bad one because you’ll wake up in a good mood and not a bad mood. Trust me it used to happen a lot with me and your mum” Kevin explained.

“Don’t worry I have, we’ve both apologised so it’s all good. Night I’ll see you tomorrow”.

“Make sure you go to the police”.

“I will don’t worry” Sophie replied as she walked up the stairs.

“Goodnight love” Kevin said.

Sophie climbed into bed, she couldn’t wait to just sleep and wake up tomorrow to sort out the mess she had created. A smile arrived on Paula’s face when she received a text from Sophie, she could also go to sleep happy that the two of them were ok and everything was going to get sorted.

Chapter Text

The morning arrived and Sophie had woken up in a positive mood but she was also worried what might happen to her relationship with Ryan once she had changed her statement. She knew he was not going to be happy that she had gone against him, but she knew that the right thing to do was tell the truth.

Sophie headed straight to work as she was on the early shift today, she was planning on going to the police station after work. Sophie was hard at working making sure that all of the cutlery was clean and sparkly ready for the day ahead.

Paula walked down the stairs into the restaurant with a spring in her step. She was in a good mood knowing that Sophie was going to do the right thing and talk to the police.

“Hey love” Paula said as she made her way over to Sophie giving her a big hug and a kiss.

“Hiya, you alright?” Sophie asked.

“All the better for seeing you! Have you been to the station yet?”

“Not yet but im planning to as soon as I have finished work. I’m just worried that I’m going to get into trouble” Sophie said with a worried look on her face.

“The police will understand that you were pressured into it”.

“Yeah but then they will go after Ryan”.

“And... they will discover what actually happened. That’s kind of how it works Sophie...” Paula explained.

“Yeah I know but that’s getting Ryan into trouble and I don’t want that to happen he’s a mate”.

Paula couldn’t help but laugh.

“He’s a mate, that asked, well pressured you into committing a crime. Do you want to be sharing a cell with your mum?” Paula said as she stood there with her hand on her hip.

Ryan walked down the stairs, Sophie’s face dropped immediately as she knew that Paula was about to rip into him.

Paula turned around.

“HOW DARE YOU” Paula shouted pointing her finger at Ryan.

“You told her...?” Ryan replied with a disappointed look on his face.

“She’s my girlfriend” Sophie said.

“She’s a solicitor for god sake...”

“Have you any idea how serious it is to lie to the police? Or is that too much for your tiny brain to comprehend?” A furious Paula replied.

“I didn’t do anything wrong...”

“You were there when a young man overdosed and just stood there and did fuck all about it. Yet you’ve done nothing wrong?” Paula sarcastically said.

“I did do something about it, I called a doctor”.

“When you should have called for an ambulance”.

“At least I called someone” Ryan said.

“When the truth comes out Sophie could get years!!” Paula furiously replied.

“Look... I just panicked ok? I mean it’s not like I killed him or anything”.

“No you didn’t kill him but if you had of done what any other normal human being would have done then he might still be alive today” Paula explained.

“I know I should have but Ronan is a maniac and if he finds out then he will kill me” Ryan replied.

“If you mix in that world then you have to face the consequences. You do not drag innocent friends in it with you! Now go to the police and do the right thing, tell the truth!!” Paula furiously said before turning around and storming out of the restaurant.

Sophie watched her leave with a sad expression on her face, she hated seeing Paula angry but knew she had no choice but to do the right thing.

“Sophie please don’t do this. Don’t drop me in it” Ryan said pleading with an angry looking Sophie.

Sophie didn’t reply she just rolled her eyes and walked towards the staff room.

“Soph”.

Sophie just continued to ignore him.

“Look...” Ryan said showing Sophie the paper.

Sophie took a look at the paper.

“See Ronan obviously thought that this guy was the drug dealer who sold Cormack the drugs, now he’s dead. That will be me” Ryan said pointing at the picture.

“This is all too much” Sophie quietly replied.

“I didn’t want to drag you into this but I had no other choice”.

“TWO PEOPLE HAVE DIED RYAN! I can’t keep lying, I shouldn’t have even lied in the first place” Sophie angrily replied.

“This is my life Sophie, my life is at stake. My families lives are at stake”.

“Yeah mine too and it’s scary and I’m sorry” Sophie replied picking her coat up. “I’ve got to go and tell the police the truth”.

“No please you can’t” Ryan pleaded.

Sophie headed into the back to talk to the chef to let them know she needed to leave for an urgent matter.

“Sophie please don’t do this” Ryan said pleading one last time.

“I’m sorry” Sophie said walking straight past him without being able to look at him in the eye.

Ryan immediately broke down into tears as soon as Sophie walked past him, he knew that his life was about to take a dramatic turn for the worst. He was either going to go to prison for a very long time or end up dead in the bottom of a canal.

Sophie headed to the police station straight away to change her statement, she was worried about any repercussions that could happen but she knew she was doing the right thing.

“I’d like to speak to the detective in charge of Cormack’s death” Sophie said to the receptionist.

“Give me one second” The receptionist replied picking up the phone to ring the detective.

A couple of moments later the detective Sophie had previously spoke to appeared out of her office.

“Sophie, what can I do for you?”

“I need to change my statement” Sophie replied.

“Follow me”.

The two of them headed into an interview room so that Sophie could tell them the truth. While she was getting ready to tell them everything, Ryan had rushed home in a panic not knowing what his next move should be. He knew that it was only a matter of time before he was arrested.

“Woah woah woah, calm down what’s happened?” Michelle said as Ryan rushed through the door.

“I’m fucked mum” Ryan replied.

“What do you mean? Calm down and tell me what’s happened?”

“It’s Sophie she’s at the police station right now changing her statement”.

“She’s what?” Michelle replied with a shocked look on her face.

“Her snooty solicitor girlfriend has made her change her statement, I get why she has but I don’t know what to do. I’m dead” Ryan said.

“Right... What can we do?”

“I don’t know I can’t even think right now...” Ryan said as he sat down on the sofa looking very deflated.

Back over at the police station, Sophie was being asked some questions.

“So why are you here today?”

“I need to change my statement from yesterday?”

“What do you need to change?”

“Ryan wasn’t with me until 7:45 he left around 7:35” Sophie anxiously said.

“So why did you tell us that he was with you until 7:45?”

“I felt pressured into doing it...”

“By who?”

“Ryan and his mum”.

“So what made you change you’re mind?”

“I couldn’t stand the lying, it was making me feel sick”.

“Ok, well we are very glad that you have finally told us the truth, we will let you off with a warning this time but you are very lucky! If you hadn’t have come forward you could be facing a lengthy prison stay. Just think about things before lying for you’re so called friends” The detective explained.

“I’m so sorry, I realised I was stupid. Thank you” Sophie replied.

“You’re welcome, now go and enjoy the rest of your day”.

“Do you mind me asking what will happen to Ryan?” Sophie asked.

“He will be arrested”.

Sophie’s face dropped immediately, she knew that she had let her friend down. But after speaking to the detective she had realised that he should never have put her in the position he put her in. Sophie headed back to work to get on with her day, she was not looking forward to bumping into any of Ryan’s family.

Ryan was busy packing a bag, he was planning on doing a runner.

“Babe you can’t do this” Michelle said.

“If I stay here I will die, if I go into prison one of his associates will kill me. I don’t have a choice”.

“There has to be something else we can do”.

“There isn’t anything. This is the only way” Ryan said as he stuffed clothes into his bag.

“We can talk to the police, they might be able to put you into witness protection or something?”

“But I’m not a witness am I?”

“I don’t know Ryan...” Michelle shouted back.

All of a sudden there was a knock at the door. It was the police.

“Ryan Conner, you are under arrest. You do not have to say or do anything but anything you do say may be used in a court of law against you”.

“I’m sorry mum” Ryan said as the tears began to roll down his cheek.

“We will get you out babe don’t worry” Michelle replied as Ryan was taken downstairs.

The cobbles were lined with residents interested to see who was being arrested. Sophie couldn’t look, she kept her head down and walked into work knowing that Ryan had just been arrested. Everyone was shocked to see Ryan being bundled into the back of the police car, they all wanted to know what he had done.

“Any idea what he’s done?” David asked anyone who was listening.

“Not a clue, probably something to do with that guy who overdosed” Tracy replied.

“Ooh I wonder what Ryan has to do with it?” Audrey asked.

“No idea, I’m sure it won’t be long until we find out...” David replied.

“WHY DON’T YOU ALL TAKE A PICTURE IT WILL LAST LONGER” Michelle shouted from across the street at all the nosey people.

“Someone’s touchy” David whispered.

“Shall we go to the pub while we wait for gossip?” Tracy replied.

“Good idea, first rounds on you” David joked.

They all headed to the pub to wait for any news on why Ryan had been arrested.

“Where have you been?” Yasmeen asked as Sophie’s appeared down the stairs.

“I’m so sorry” Sophie replied.

“So where have you been?”

“I had to go to the police station to change my statement”.

“Sophie Webster did you lie to the police yesterday?”

“I felt like I had to” Sophie replied with a sad look on her face.

“Oh Sophie! I’m glad that you saw sense and told the truth! I’m sure Paula had something to do with that” Yasmeen replied.

“She did. We had an argument last night because of it. I know what I did was wrong but I wanted to help Ryan out, I was trying to be a good friend. But I know that I was being an idiot committing a crime myself”.

“Look just forget about it now! Why don’t you head off, go and see Paula and tell her that you’ve sorted everything”.

“Are you sure?” Sophie replied.

“Yes, Go! She’ll be wanting to hear about everything. She’ll be proud of you you know!”.

“Pfft for what lying and then going to tell the truth”.

“Yes! A lot of people would have just carried on with the lie because it was the easy option. But you didn’t so you should be proud”.

“I don’t know about that, but thank you”.

“Go on off you go” Yasmeen said giving Sophie a hug.

“Thanks” Sophie replied.

As Sophie headed up the stairs she immediately rang Paula.

“Hey love, did you go and do it?” Paula asked.

“Yeah, just got back from there. I feel awful”.

“Soph don’t! You’ve done what needed to be done! It wasn’t fair of them to put that pressure on you, in fact I’m furious with them both. How dare they put you in that position” Paula replied getting angry.

“Michelle just wanted to look after her little boy, you’d have done the same for Isla”.

“I wouldn’t have asked someone to lie to cover up something she did. I would never do that” Paula said.

“Sorry”.

“Don’t apologise, it’s ok. I’m in the pub if you want to come join me for a drink” Paula said.

“I’ll be there in about 30 seconds” Sophie said putting the phone down.

Sophie walked around the corner, giving her girlfriend a kiss on the cheek before sitting down opposite her.

“Hey you” Paula said smiling at Sophie.

“God I am glad to see you” Sophie replied.

“Was that hard?”

“Very, I hated it but I know I did the right thing”.

“You did and I’m proud of you. Fully expect some backlash from the family though...”

“Don’t worry I know Michelle will most likely have something to say to me”.

“Yeah well she’ll have me to answer to if she dare say anything rude because she was bang out order for ever putting you in that position. So trust me she’ll have a battle if she wants one” Paula replied reaching for Sophie’s hand.

“My own little Rottweiler”.

“You calling me a dog?” Paula joked.

“No of course not” Sophie replied winking to Paula.

Michelle stormed into the pub, she was fuming.

“Well it’s nice to see the two of you smiling and laughing having a good time while my son is now locked up all because of you...” Michelle said in a threatening manner.

Paula was not having any of this, she was ready to release a lot of pent up anger on Michelle.

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry Michelle...I just couldn’t lie. I was scared as to what might happen to me...” Sophie said with a sad expression on her face.

“Don’t you dare apologise. You owe nobody an apology” Paula immediately said to Sophie.

“Who are you her mother?” Michelle sarcastically asked looking at Paula up and down.

“Ha! That’s a good one, I’ve never heard that before” Paula replied.

“No seriously who do you think you are? This has nothing to do with you this is between me and Sophie...”

“Babe don’t...” Sophie quietly said looking at Paula.

“My name is Paula Martin and I am Sophie’s girlfriend and also a solicitor so I would mind what you say! And I think you’ll find that this has everything to do with me. You pressured Sophie into lying for your son, a lie that could have sent Sophie down for a good few years but of course you didn’t care about that all you cared about was your precious son who let me guess did nothing wrong?”

“Aren’t you a bit old for her?” Michelle replied laughing.

“Chelle leave it” Carla said placing her hand on Michelle’s shoulder trying to stop her from arguing.

Carla knew that Michelle was in the wrong, she never should have asked Sophie to lie for Ryan. Ryan needed to be held accountable for his actions, or lack of.

“Get off me!” Michelle replied pushing Carla’s hand off her.

“I’d maybe listen to your friend you don’t want to end up in a cell next to your son do you?” Paula sarcastically said.

“You need to watch yourself!”

“Or what? I wouldn’t go threatening a lawyer if I were you...” Paula replied.

“Look Sophie you know Ryan didn’t do anything wrong!”

“No of course he didn’t, in fact that’s the very problem he didn’t do anything. A person died because your son was too worried about getting into trouble that he didn’t call for an ambulance which is what any normal person would have done. But no of course he hasn’t done anything wrong”.

“He panicked, we all panic in situations like that”.

“Yes we do but we still manage to call for an ambulance before it’s too late” Paula replied.

Every single person in the pub was listening and watching the confrontation between them, on lookers couldn’t believe what was happening.

“Jesus this is getting good” David whispered to Tracy as they sat in the booth behind Paula and Sophie.

“As if he didn’t ring for an ambulance...” Tracy replied.

“I can’t believe they got Sophie to lie for them” Audrey added.

“Oh I can, those Conner‘s are sneaky” David replied.

“How did he die?” Audrey asked.

“I think it was a drug overdose... but I’m not too sure” Tracy replied.

“Does Ryan do drugs?” Audrey asked with a shocked look on her face.

“Yeah can’t you remember he was the reason Sophie nearly died, he was high on drugs that night” David explained.

“Oh god Yeah I remember! He’s obviously rubbing shoulders with the wrong crowd again”.

Sophie knew that there was always going to be a confrontation but she hated the fact that it was in a public place where the whole street were being nosey listening.

“Shall we just go?” Sophie quietly said to Paula.

“It would probably be best...” Michelle immediately replied.

“I haven’t finished my drink yet love” Paula said to Sophie giving her a comforting smile letting her know that it was all going to be ok.

“I’ll sort that out for you...” Michelle said picking up Paula’s drink throwing it over her.

Oooohs and ahhhh’s filled the pub, people couldn’t believe what Michelle had just done. Paula was soaked, the fact she was wearing a white shirt didn’t help as her top was now see through.

Paula wiped her face, she was furious that Michelle had thrown white wine all over her.

“Wow. You really are a classy bird aren’t you” Paula replied.

“Yeah... well. Well at least I’m not dating someone half my age” Michelle said trying to think of something she could say to Paula.

“What has that got to do with anything? Surely as long as both me and Sophie are happy being together then it is no one else’s business. Yes I’m old enough to be her mum but my god I can still show her a good time”.

Sophie couldn’t stop her face from going bright red.

“Now you need to back off and leave Sophie alone. It is not her fault that Ryan is locked up, it is not her fault that you two got caught out. None of this is her fault so back off otherwise I will report you for intimidation. I’ll send you the bill for my dry cleaning” Paula explained as she stood up getting ready to leave.

“I’m not paying for shit” Michelle replied as Paula walked past her.

“Like I said class just oozes out of you doesn’t it?” Paula joked.

That was it, Michelle had had enough of Paula thinking she was better than her. As Paula walked past her she grabbed her hair and yanked her backwards. Carla did her best to get Michelle off of Paula but there was no stopping her.

“We’re gunna get a cat fight...” David said all excited.

“David pack it in” Audrey replied.

Paula managed to get Michelle off of her, when they came face to face Michelle wasted no time in swiping at Paula’s face slapping her across the cheek. Paula wasn’t going to stand there and not defend herself, she swung her arm with her fist closed making contact with Michelle’s face. Michelle grabbed her face in shock that Paula had punched her, Michelle wasted no time in retaliating by punching Paula back, splitting her lip.

“RIGHT ENOUGH” Carla shouted as she dragged Michelle away.

“Get off me” Michelle shouted back wanting to have another pop at Paula.

Sophie rushed over to Paula to make sure she was ok, she was fine other than a split lip.

“Come on let’s go babe” Sophie said grabbing hold of Paula taking her out of the pub.

“I totally would have had her” a furious Michelle said loudly to Carla.

“Why are you even picking a fight with a lawyer when you and Ryan are completely in the wrong. You shouldn’t have pressured Sophie into lying, do you understand how serious that is?” Carla asked as she sat Michelle down to look closer at her injury.

“My sons life is at danger, I would have done anything to protect him”.

“Yeah I get that but going after Sophie and her girlfriend is not the way to do it. Ryan needs you so go get yourself cleaned up and go see him” Carla explained.

Michelle stood up, every single pair of eyes were on her as she walked towards the exit.

“Yeah go on get a good look at the crazy lady” Michelle shouted as she left the pub.

“Jesus I thought i was the crazy one around here” Tracy quietly said to herself.

“You are” David replied.

“Aww thanks David that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me” Tracy said with a big smile on her face.

“You’re welcome I guess. Did you see the punch Paula landed though? Jesus I’m surprised Michelle was still standing” David said.

“Remind me never to get in a fight with her” Tracy joked.

“Like you’d listen to me...” David added.

“That’s true. Well that’s our entertainment over for the day... I should probably get back to work. Mary will wonder where I’ve got to” Tracy said as she gathered her things together.

“I know it’s a bit of a shame it’s over, means we need to get back to work as well David” Audrey replied.

“Gran you shouldn’t be promoting violence”.

“I’m not but it was quite exciting wasn’t it”.

“Come on you..let’s go” David said as they all walked towards the door.

Sophie took Paula back to hers to take a closer look at her split lip.

“Come here” Sophie said quietly holding gently onto Paula’s face, ready to try and clean up her lip.

“I’m sorry, I just couldn’t stand how she was talking to you” Paula replied.

“Don’t you dare apologise. No one has ever stuck up for me before, it felt good to have someone in my corner. And that punch? I mean Jesus Mike Tyson calm down” Sophie explained.

“Ouch...” Paula mumbled as Sophie applied pressure on her lip.

Sophie gently tried to clean the blood to see how bad the cut was and whether it needed stitches or not.

“I wouldn’t have punched her, but I’m not going to let someone slap me and think they can get away with it” Paula replied as she grimaced.

“Sorry, I’ll be as gentle as I can be”.

“I still can’t believe she threw white wine over me? I mean who wastes alcohol in this day and age” Paula joked.

“Exactly that wine wasn’t cheap! I’ll go and get you some clothes to change into. I’m not letting you out of my sight today, never know what trouble you could get into” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“I promise no more agro from me”.

“I won’t lie I found it pretty hot if I’m honest with you and if it helps I’m pretty sure the majority of the pub were on your side. Which says something as Michelle used to run it”.

“Well that’s good then, but I know she’s in the wrong. I mean how dare she come in and start having a go at you because you told the police the truth, I mean who does she think she is! I really am proud of you for doing the right thing, even though it meant Ryan would get into trouble” Paula explained.

“At least we can both now relax knowing that Ronan won’t be coming anywhere near us” Sophie said with a very relieved look on her face.

“He wouldn’t dare come anywhere near me anyway. I know way too much about the bloke for him to piss me off” Paula replied.

“You badass. Here let me kiss it better...” Sophie said giving Paula a soft kiss on the other side of her lips.

A smile arrived on Paula’s face.

“Better?” Sophie asked.

“Nearly but not 100%. You might have to do it again” Paula replied.

Sophie did just that, kissing Paula gently on the lips again. Paula had had enough of being gentle, she wrapped her hands around Sophie’s face caressing her, kissing her passionately.

“Shall we go upstairs?” Paula asked giving Sophie the eyes.

“Yes let’s” Sophie replied.

The two of them ran upstairs, they couldn’t wait to rip each other’s clothes off, they wanted to take full advantage of a free house.

“The last two times we’ve fooled around in this house have both ended in disaster” Paula joked as she started to undo Sophie’s shirt.

“Well let’s make sure this one doesn’t” Sophie replied doing the same to Paula’s very wet shirt.

While the two of them stripped each other, Michelle had arrived back at her flat, she knew that Robert was about to give her a ear full for being an idiot and starting a fight with Paula.

“Why couldn’t you just leave things...” Robert asked as Michelle walked through the door.

“I don’t need this right now”.

“Well maybe you need to hear it! Stop looking through rose tinted glasses at Ryan, he is the one who has done something stupid and wrong. No one else, just Ryan. Yes we are all scared for his life but Jesus Christ chelle in what world did you think starting a fight with a lawyer and Sophie’s girlfriend would be a good idea? Especially after practically forcing Sophie to lie” Robert replied.

“I wasn’t thinking was I! I was scared and worried and took it out on the only person I could. But like I said I don’t need this now because I have the worst headache in the world”.

“I’m not surprised, why did you resort to violence? And we are paying for her clothes to be washed too. Carla has filled me in on everything...” Robert said.

“Oh I bet she has...” Michelle replied rolling her eyes.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Robert asked.

“Little Miss Perfect, can’t put a foot wrong can she...”

“Michelle now is not the time to be pushing away the people that love you. Ryan is locked up, Ali might lose his job so you need every friend available right now, so stop being an idiot and just grow up” Robert replied in a huff as he walked out of the flat to go prepare for the dinner service.

“I don’t need anyone, I just want my Ryan” Michelle said as she fell to her knees. Holding her head in her hands, the tears began to roll down her cheeks.

Chapter Text

“Well that was fun” Paula said as she snuggled into Sophie’s chest.

“It was very fun, good to see the injury didn’t affect you’re performance” Sophie joked.

“It would take a lot stop my performance from being a 10 out of 10”.

“Who said you were a 10?” Sophie asked.

“Wait what? I’m not a 10?” Paula replied as she looked up at Sophie with a shocked look on her face.

“I mean you are incredible and know you’re way around down there but I see a few areas for improvement” Sophie joked.

“Go on then...” Paula replied sitting up to pay her full attention to what Sophie had to say.

“Well I mean the actual movements could be more varied, like circular or up and down or just a completely random sequence. Speed also needs to be varied more” Sophie explained. She could see that Paula was slightly offended by the pointers Sophie was giving her.

“Anything else?” Paula replied in a slightly annoyed manner.

“Other than that you’re decent” Sophie joked knowing full well she was in trouble.

“So I need to work on those areas do I?” Paula asked as she slowly made her way to the other end of the bed.

“Yes you do need to work on it...” Sophie replied with a smirk on her face.

“Oh I’ll work on them...” Paula said as she disappeared under the sheet ready to take on board the pointers Sophie had just given her.

It didn’t take Paula much more than a minute to get the first moan out of Sophie, the new technique seemed to be working. Making sure to mix up the movements and the speed Paula showed Sophie exactly how good she was, even with a busted lip.

“Oh my...” Sophie said gripping on to the bed sheets tightly.

Paula suddenly stopped.

“What you doing? I was so close” Sophie said as her heart was racing.

“I’ve got cramp in my tongue, so I’m going to have to stop” Paula replied.

“You’ve got to be kidding me! You can’t stop there...”

“Blame the new techniques you made me do, this wouldn’t have happened with the old way” Paula said. Paula hadn’t got cramp in her tongue she just wanted to teach Sophie a lesson, never tell a woman how to improve her oral skills.

“Well go back to the old ones then, you have to finish”.

“Love I can’t, I can barely feel my tongue” Paula said trying to keep a straight face.

Sophie noticed the little smirk creeping through Paula’s straight face, she realised that Paula was having her on.

“Oh I see what this is! There’s nothing wrong with you’re tongue is there? You just didn’t like me giving you pointers” Sophie replied.

“Bingo...”

“I was only messing with you anyway babe, there is nothing wrong with you’re technique! I just wanted to see if you’d actually listen to what I was saying and you did” Sophie explained.

“So it was a test?” Paula asked.

“Yes and you passed it with flying colours, now enough chit chat...” Sophie said clicking her fingers telling Paula to get back to work.

“Yes boss” Paula joked as she disappeared back under the sheet.

While Paula finished off the job, Carla had gone round to see how Michelle was doing. She knew that it was pretty likely that she was going to get her head bitten off by Michelle as she always pushed away the people closest to her.

Carla walked into the flat to see both Michelle and Ali sat at the kitchen table drinking whiskey like it was apple juice.

“Coz drinking is going to solve all you’re problems isn’t it” Carla said taking away the bottle from the table.

“You are a fine one to talk...” Michelle mumbled.

“Don’t get me wrong I’m a piss head but right now you need to sober up and go see you’re son. You need to get him a lawyer and you need to try and get him out on bail so that you can keep an eye on him so that this gangster can’t get his hands on him” Carla explained.

“What good am I to him?”

“He needs you. So sober up and just go and find him a lawyer for god sake”.

“Go mum, he needs you” Ali said getting up from the table making his way to his room.

“Chelle go have a shower and just go and speak to Adam or Imran”.

“Fine!” Michelle reluctantly said heading towards the bathroom.

While Michelle was in the shower, Carla tidied around the flat as it looked like a bomb had gone off. She was worried about Ali, she still had a soft spot from him after their little fling earlier on in the year.

“Ali?” Carla said knocking on his door.

“What? I’m not in the mood...” Ali replied.

“Can I come in?”

“Even if I say no you will still come in”.

“You know me too well. Look drinking isn’t going to make anything better, is it?”

“No but right now it is helping me to forget that that twat might have cost me my career”.

“I’m sure that won’t happen...”

“Oh it already has! I’ve been suspended pending further investigation” Ali said as he downed the rest of his drink.

“Oh I’m so sorry! But they will soon realise you’ve done nothing wrong” Carla replied.

“I lied” Ali said.

“Come here” Carla said giving Ali a hug.

“I miss us” Ali replied.

“So do I, but we can’t. I’m sorry I wish we could I really do but we just can’t”.

“Why not? Sophie’s got herself a cougar why can’t i have a cougar”.

“Because you are family”.

“Hardly...”

“It would completely break Michelle, I can’t do that to her. She’s too important to me” Carla explained.

“Fine, you can go...” Ali replied.

“Don’t be like that! I’m here for you”.

“I don’t need you” Ali said pointing towards the door.

“Ok, well just know I’m here for you if you need me” Carla replied as she walked to the door taking the alcohol with her.

Carla waited until Michelle was ready so that she could take her to the police station to see Ryan. But before that they needed to speak to Adam to see if he will represent Ryan.

Sophie and Paula had finished having sexy time, they were both changed and ready for Jack to get home from school. Paula couldn’t wait to see Jack and see if he was excited for volleyball next week, she was also excited to ask him if he wanted to have some private sessions with Caitlin. Paula knew the two of them would get on well and she knew it would also give him the opportunity to confide in someone who wasn’t family about how he was coping and his life.

“Sophie I’m home” Jack shouted as he wheeled through the front door.

“Hey buddy two seconds” Sophie shouted back.

The two of them walked down the stairs, Paula looked funny because she was in Sophie’s clothes after the wine incident earlier.

“Paula!” Jack said as soon as he saw her.

“Hey you! How was school?”

“It was good! I spoke to my PE teacher and we are going to do some sitting volleyball sessions which will be fun. What happened to you’re lip?”

“Long story but I’m ok. That’s amazing about the volleyball, you’ll be able to show all your class mates how good you are” Paula replied.

“I know I can’t wait”.

“You two are the talk of the cobbles” Kevin said quietly while Jack got himself into some comfy clothes.

“Oh god are we?” Sophie replied.

“Well mainly Michelle and Paula. I heard you proper landed one on her”.

“I mean it was a very good shot, I shouldn’t have done it but I wasn’t going to sit there and have her talk shit about Sophie” Paula explained.

“Good I’m glad! What they made Sophie do was wrong! I’m just glad it’s all sorted now, you should really get some ice on the lip though it’s quite swollen”.

“Yeah I’m going to pop to dev’s to buy some peas” Sophie said.

“Thanks love” Paula replied as she made herself comfortable on the sofa.

“Aren’t you two off for dinner with Tim and Gina tonight?” Kevin asked.

“Oh shit Yeah I forgot. You ok to go?” Sophie said.

“Of course, I mean it’s just a split lip. It doesn’t look that bad does it?”

“It’s not horrendous but it’s getting worse” Sophie replied.

“How bad is it? But yeah let’s go it’ll be fun” Paula said.

“Fun?” Kevin said laughing.

“Well you know what I mean!” Paula replied.

“I suppose if Gina has had a few it could be quite entertaining...” Kevin joked.

“Dad”

“What? It’s the truth, we all know Gina is a right card when she’s had a drink”.

“She is but I think she’s trying to be sensible while mums inside” Sophie explained.

“I’ll believe that when I see it” Kevin replied.

“Sophie please go get the ice, you’ve got me worried now that my lip looks awful” Paula said.

“On my way babe on my way” Sophie replied.

Sophie headed to the shop to get some ice, as she stepped outside she immediately saw a very angry looking Michelle with Carla.

“Chelle don’t...” Carla said trying to stop her from going over to Sophie.

“I need to speak to her” Michelle replied.

“Michelle I don’t want anymore trouble” Sophie said trying to walk past Michelle.

“I’m not here to argue either” Michelle said.

Sophie instantly spotted that Michelle stank of alcohol, she knew she wasn’t in a good way.

“I am so sorry that Ryan has been arrested but I just had to tell the truth”.

“I know, we should never have pressured you. So I apologise. Here’s £20 so you’re girlfriend can get her suit sorted, I’m sorry for how I acted earlier I was just so worried about Ryan” Michelle explained handing Sophie the money.

Carla couldn’t believe that Michelle was apologising, after seeing her earlier in the pub she never thought she would see her apologise.

“Thank you, she will really appreciate this. As do I! And I know you probably don’t want my help but if there is anything I can do that is legal then please let me know” Sophie replied.

“Thanks Sophie, can you please apologise to Paula for me”.

“I will don’t worry. Can you say sorry to Ryan from me?”

“Sure. See you later” Michelle replied as her and Carla continued to walk to speak to Adam.

Sophie couldn’t believe what had just happened, she was shocked that Michelle had apologised for everything.

“That was good of you” Carla quietly said to Michelle as she linked arms with her.

“I realised in the shower that what we did was bang out of order, I should never have got Sophie involved I just had no other option or idea” Michelle explained.

“I understand why you did it but I’m glad you’ve finally seen that it was wrong” Carla replied.

“Let’s go and find Ryan a lawyer” Michelle said.

Sophie arrived at Dev’s to buy some ice for Paula’s injury, it wasn’t long before Dev mentioned the cat fight.

“So what’s this I hear about your Mrs getting into a cat fight with Michelle?” Dev asked as he scanned the ice.

“News travels fast around here doesn’t it” Sophie replied.

“Of course it does, so what happened?”

“I’m not going to gossip...”

“Well you won’t be gossiping will you. I heard Paula landed the first punch” Dev said knowing full well that it was Michelle, he thought that Sophie might tell him more if he accused Paula of something.

“NO, that’s not what happened. Michelle started it all but look it’s all sorted now so no spreading any rumours ok?” Sophie replied.

“Alright alright I won’t say a word. That’s £1.50 please” Dev said.

“There you go! Thanks Dev” Sophie replied grabbing the ice to head back to the house.

As Sophie walked back to her house she bumped into David who wanted to thank her for the entertainment at lunchtime.

“Soph, wait up!” David shouted.

“Let me guess you saw the fight earlier and wanted to know more information about it...”

“Oh god no I don’t need to know the ins and outs of it but my god it was entertaining. That woman of yours had a good punch on her” David replied with a smile on his face.

“I guess thanks. But she shouldn’t have done it and neither should Michelle”.

“Yes they should! That was the first cat fight we have seen for a while, so thank her from me”.

“Oh David!”

“Is that ice for her? Injuries bad?”

“Just a split lip but it’s quite swollen so I thought the ice might help”.

“Yeah get that on it, it will help. Trust me I know it’s happened to me a lot” David joked.

“Thanks, I’ll see you around” Sophie replied.

“See you”.

Sophie walked through the front door with the ice, immediately getting some and putting it in a tea towel to give to Paula.

“Thanks love” Paula said as she slowly put the ice onto her lip, she knew it was going to hurt a lot.

“Does it sting?” Sophie asked.

Paula didn’t speak she just nodded her head with a grimace on her face.

“I’m sorry”.

“Why are you apologising?” Paula asked.

“Because this is all my fault”.

“You didn’t make Michelle punch me did you? That was her doing not yours”.

“Yeah but if I hadn’t have been so stupid it never would have happened”.

“It’s in the past ok! Let’s focus on our future. Plus we need to get ready soon because we’ve got dinner to get to” Paula explained.

“Oh yeah I forgot about that” Sophie replied.

“It’ll be fun, don’t worry” Paula said.

“Yeah of course it will be...” Sophie joked rolling her eyes.

Chapter Text

Once Paula had finished icing her lip, Paula headed up stairs to see if Sophie had something appropriate for her to wear.

“Love do you have something appropriate for me to wear? I don’t think that this tracksuit would be the best impression to make” Paula said.

“I dunno I mean it looks pretty hot to me” Sophie said slapping Paula on the bum.

“Don’t start that again, we don’t have time”.

“Don’t we?” Sophie replied grabbing Paula by the waist dragging her in close giving her smooch.

“We don’t...” Paula said.

“Later then?”

“You know it!” Paula replied.

Sophie walked over to her wardrobe to try and find an outfit for Paula to wear.

“Try this on” Sophie said handing over some Jeans and a shirt to Paula.

“Ooh thanks I’ll try them on” Paula said as she began to strip off.

“At least shut the door before you start stripping off” Sophie replied rushing over to the door to shut it.

“Oh sorry, i forget there are others in the house”.

Paula slipped into the jeans, they looked really good on her. Sophie stood there with a smile on her face checking out her girlfriends arse.

“What do they look awful?” Paula replied with a worried look on her face.

“No! They look incredible”.

“Might have to steal them then...”

“I don’t think so, because they look just as good on me too” Sophie bragged.

“We’ll see about that” Paula replied.

“Right come on we should have been there about 15 minutes ago” Sophie said being bossy.

“Alright keep your wig on, I’m ready”.

“Well let’s go then!” Sophie said reaching out for Paula’s hand.

The two of them made their way downstairs to say goodbye to Kevin and Jack, before making the short walk over to Sophie’s old house.

“You two look nice” Kevin said.

“Thanks dad”.

“Make sure you don’t have too much fun tonight” Kevin joked.

“Oh come on it won’t be that bad” Paula said.

“Well I’m sure Gina is on her second bottle of wine as we speak, god love her” Kevin replied.

“Dad I’m sure she’s not”.

“You never know”.

“I’ll see you soon Jack. Maybe over the weekend we could go and play some volleyball?” Paula said.

“Yes id love that” Jack replied with a huge grin on his face.

“Well that sorted then!”.

“I can’t wait, thanks Paula” Jack said.

“No problem. Right see you both soon” Paula replied.

“Yes see you soon. Enjoy you’re night” Kevin said.

“Bye dad” Sophie added.

The pair made the short walk over to the house, Paula stopped half way panicking that they hadn’t got anything to give when they arrived.

“Why have you stopped?” Sophie asked.

“We don’t have a gift...” Paula replied.

“They won’t mind!”

“But I will. So let me quickly pop to the shop” Paula replied.

“We don’t have time”.

“You go on ahead I won’t be a minute” Paula said.

“Ok, but don’t get anything fancy”.

“I won’t don’t worry”.

Sophie knew full well that Paula was most likely going to buy a very expensive bottle of wine or champagne to show how much she appreciated cooking for them.

“Here she is the woman of the hour” Dev said as Paula walked into the shop.

“Excuse me?” Paula replied. She didn’t have a clue what he was going on about.

“That fight earlier in the pub, you sticking up for Sophie. People have been singing your praises”.

“Oh I was just doing what I needed to do” Paula replied.

“Sophie’s lucky to have you!”.

“I’m lucky to have her. Just this one please...” Paula said handing Dev an expensive bottle of wine.

“It’s on the house, we need more people like you around here sticking up for people who are in the right”.

“I can’t take this from you, please take my money” Paula replied handing over the money.

“I’ll put it in the Charity pot” Dev said.

“Thanks. We’ll see you soon” Paula replied picking up the bottle to head straight to meet Sophie, Gina and Tim.

“Take care”. Dev liked Paula, she was a woman who knew her own mind and wasn’t afraid to stick up for things.

Meanwhile over at the house Sophie was trying her best to make sure that neither Gina or Tim say anything rude to Paula tonight.

“You two need to be on your best behaviour tonight!” Sophie said.

“I’m always on my best behaviour” Gina replied as she took a sip from her glass of wine.

“We know that isn’t true” Sophie said rolling her eyes.

“She’ll be on her best behaviour don’t you worry” Tim explained.

“And you... because I really want you all to get on” Sophie replied.

“Don’t worry I will be because I quite like Paula, despite our little falling out. Even though that was my fault” Tim explained.

“Yes it was you’re fault but I’m glad that you two are now getting on” Sophie said giving Tim a hug.

Tim was shocked that Sophie had given him a hug, she was never affectionate towards him.

Paula knocked on the door holding onto her expensive bottle of wine, for some reason she was really nervous. It almost felt like she was having dinner with the in laws but neither Gina or Tim were.

“Paula come on in” Gina said giving Paula a warm embrace as she entered the house.

“It’s lovely to see you. I brought a little something to go with the dinner” Paula said handing over the wine.

“Wow thank you. You really didn’t need to” Gina replied.

“But we’re glad you did” Tim added from the lounge.

“Tim how are you?” Paula said giving him a kiss on the cheek.

“Very good thanks. Sally is much happier so that has put a smile on my face”.

“She is and we are working around the clock to get her out, don’t you worry” Paula replied.

“Shall I crack open the bottle?” Sophie asked.

“You sit down I’ll do that” Gina explained.

“Sounds good to me” Sophie said as she sat down right next to Paula on the sofa, reaching onto her hand as they sat there.

“So you two moved in together yet?” Tim joked.

“Not yet, maybe by the end of next week” Paula sarcastically replied.

“What really?” Tim said with a shocked look on his face.

“No of course not, we’re in no rush! We know how we feel about each other and right now that is all that matters” Paula explained kissing Sophie’s hand as she brought it up to her mouth.

“Aww you two are cute” Gina said looking on from the kitchen.

“So can you see big things in your future?” Tim asked.

“Tim!” Sophie immediately replied.

“What? I’m intrigued”.

“Personally... yes I do see big things for our future” Paula said proudly.

“As do I” Sophie replied smiling like a Cheshire cat.

“Good to hear” Tim said.

“Can we change the subject now please...” Sophie said.

“Here have some wine” Gina replied handing the two of them a large glass of wine.

“So how have you two been coping without Sally being around?” Paula asked.

“At the beginning we were living on baked beans on toast but now we’ve progressed to spag Bol” Gina said.

“Sounds good. I do love spag bol” Paula replied.

“Oh no you don’t have that tonight. I thought I would try something new for the occasion”.

Sophie Immediately looked at Paula with worry in her eyes, she knew that Gina was a bloody awful chef. Paula was doing her best to keep a straight face but was failing miserably.

“Just pretend you like it, that’s what I’ve been doing for the last week. Then nipping to the chippy when she’s not looking” Tim quietly said to Paula and Sophie.

“We might have to do that later babe” Sophie whispered.

“Oh come on it might not be that bad” Paula said with a grimace on her face.

“Trust me, it’s awful. The spag bol isn’t even nice, she even managed to burn the toast when we were having beans on toast” Tim added.

“You’re joking” Sophie said bursting into laughter.

“Have I missed something?” Gina asked from the kitchen as she stirred the pot of gloop.

“Paula was just telling us a funny story we’re you Paula...” Tim said.

“Ummm, Yeah I was just telling the story about the time I fell asleep in the court room” Paula replied trying to come up with something funny but failing miserably.

“Sounds hilarious” Gina sarcastically said.

“Thanks for that” Paula quietly said to Tim.

“Just got to make sure you will fit in with the family. I like to put you on the spot, so be warned”.

“He does it in the most inappropriate times as well” Sophie added.

“Ok, so I need to be on the ball then” Paula said smiling.

“Oh yes you need to be on the ball” Tim replied.

“Tim can you come and help please” Gina shouted from the kitchen.

“Yes boss” Tim sarcastically replied putting his beer down on the coffee table and heading to the kitchen.

“See now he knows the real you he loves you” Sophie said to Paula as she snuggled in close.

“I hope so! I just want them all to like me” Paula replied.

“Well these two do, Mum will come round I know she will”.

“I hope so”.

“Even if she doesn’t it won’t change anything, it won’t change how I feel about you or the future I want with you” Sophie explained.

“I know it won’t it would just be nice if we could all get along” Paula replied.

“We will have faith” Sophie said giving Paula a kiss.

“Dinner is ready” Gina shouted.

Sophie stood up putting her arm out ready for Paula to grab onto her hand.

“I’m scared” Paula whispered into Sophie’s ear.

“Uhh me too” Sophie replied.

The pair nervously walked over to the table, they could see the food that had been put on the plates, it looked like slop.

“Looks lovely Gina” Paula said with a fake smile on her face.

“Aww thank you Paula, I hope it tastes nice” Gina replied looking so proud of herself.

Gina tucked in, but everyone else around the table were too nervous and scared to.

“Well get stuck in then...” Gina said encouraging everyone to eat.

Everyone slowly tucked into the meal, Paula couldn’t swallow what was in her mouth, she was really struggling. Tim immediately noticed that Paula was struggling he thought he would pounce and on that and see how she would cope.

“How do you like it Paula?” Tim asked.

Paula’s face dropped, she couldn’t reply because she had a mouthful of disgusting food that she just couldn’t swallow.

“I think she’s enjoying it” Sophie said trying to help out her girlfriend.

Paula finally managed to swallow the mouthful, she reached for her wine to get rid of the awful taste.

“Yes delicious Gina” Paula finally replied.

“Yes you can cook more often” Sophie said trying to keep a straight face.

“Guys stop with the bull shit, it tastes disgusting” Gina replied pushing her plate away.

“Finally, I was really struggling to swallow that” Paula said.

“I didn’t even eat any, sorry auntie Gina” Sophie added.

“Don’t be sorry, it’s disgusting. Right whose going to come to the chippy with me then?” Gina asked.

“I’ll come” Tim said.

“We can tidy up and get the plates ready” Sophie replied.

Tim and Gina headed to the door to go and get the dinner after the disaster of the curry.

“Jesus that was disgusting” Paula said to Sophie as she throw the food into the bin.

“I didn’t even try it”.

“Come here then...” Paula said trying to force a spoonful of food into Sophie’s mouth.

“No, get it away from me” Sophie said trying to push Paula away.

“Go on just try it”.

“No chance”.

As the two of them play fought, the spoon of food ended up on Paula face. Sophie just stood there laughing, she knew she was in big trouble.

“Get this food off of me” Paula said.

“I’m so sorry” Sophie replied trying to find a cloth to get the food off.

“Not having a good day today with things being spilt on me” Paula joked.

“I know I’m so sorry”.

“It’s not a big deal, but you are going to have to make it up to me” Paula replied.

“I’m sure I can do that” Sophie said.

While Tim and Gina were in the chippy, the two of them couldn’t stop singing Paula’s praises.

“I like Paula” Gina said.

“Me too! She’s lovely and she’s making Sophie happier than I have ever seen her before” Tim replied.

“I know I’ve never seen her like this before. I’m excited for her, I just hope that once Sally is out she doesn’t make it difficult for them both”.

“I’m sure she won’t, I won’t let her”.

“Good luck with that, when has Sally ever listened to anyone other than herself” Gina said.

“That’s true, well we can both make sure she’s ok with it because it would be awful if they broke up” Tim explained.

“I’m sure once Paula has got Sally out she will be up her arse again singing her praises like she was before finding out about the two of them. I mean Paula could do no wrong, well apart from sleep with Sophie” Gina said.

“That is true!” Tim replied.

The two of them got the food and headed back to the house, Sophie and Paula had finished having their little play fight and had set the table ready to eat food that was actually edible.

Chapter Text

“Dinner has arrived” Gina said walking in on Sophie and Paula smooching on the sofa.

The two of them wanted to take full advantage of every second they had alone together.

“Oops sorry didn’t mean to interrupt” Gina said.

“The amount of times I have been caught kissing someone on this sofa” Sophie joked.

“How many times exactly?” Paula asked with a worried look on her face.

“Too many to count hey...Soph” Tim joked.

“Hardly, probably like 4 times max” Sophie replied.

“4? And the rest...” Tim said.

“You’re making me sound like some sort of lady magnet” Sophie joked.

“I think you are a bit of a lady magnet” Paula replied giving Sophie a kiss on the cheek.

“Easy you two, there’s an audience here” Tim said.

“Oh yeah sorry” Sophie replied.

“Right come on the food is getting cold” Gina said as she sat at the table ready to tuck into her fish and chips.

The three of them rushed over to the table because they couldn’t wait to eat, Tim was relieved that he didn’t have to sneak out later in the evening to get some food.

“So what happened to your lip? I hope it wasn’t doing something naughty...” Tim asked.

“Haven’t you heard?” Sophie replied.

“Heard what?”

“The fight that happened in the pub earlier?” Sophie replied. She couldn’t believe that neither of them had heard what had happened.

“A fight? No way between you and who?” Gina asked.

“Michelle”.

“Shut up, you two had a cat fight? About what?” Tim asked.

“I was just sticking up for Sophie” Paula replied.

“Sticking up for? Why what’s happened? Can someone please explain?” Tim asked with a worried look on his face.

“It’s nothing...” Sophie replied.

“It can’t really be nothing if Paula ended up with a split lip can it?”

“Basically Sophie was pressured into giving the police a false statement to try and cover up a mistake Ryan made. I basically tried to persuade Sophie to do the right thing which she did and I’m immensely proud of her for it. Michelle didn’t like it because it meant that Ryan got into more flack for it so she decided to take it out on Sophie but I wasn’t having that so ended up with wine all over me and a split lip” Paula explained so that Sophie didn’t have to.

“What? They pressure you into what?” Gina replied, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“I thought i was doing the right thing but then realised how stupid I had been”.

“You wait until I see them” Gina replied.

“You won’t do anything! It’s all sorted now, thanks to Paula” Sophie said.

“How does Michelle look?” Tim asked.

“A black eye but nothing too serious” Sophie replied.

“So you gave back as good as she gave you...”

“Of course, but I’m not proud of it”.

“Why do we always miss the good stuff?” Tim said with a disappointed look on his face.

“It was pretty spectacular I must say” Sophie replied looking over at Paula smiling.

“I just did what I had to do to make sure that Sophie’s name wasn’t dragged through the mud”.

“Well thank you, we both appreciate it don’t we Tim?” Gina said.

“We do indeed. Next time you’re about to have a fight though can you like text me or something to let me know. That way I won’t miss it...” Tim asked.

“I will but there won’t be a next time I have to make sure I’m a good girl from now on” Paula replied.

“Well yeah we don’t want you banged up with our Sal, do we?” Gina joked.

“No we don’t” Sophie replied reaching for Paula’s hand.

“I promise I’m on my best behaviour from now on” Paula said.

“How’s the chippy? Better than my disaster of a curry I hope?” Gina asked.

“Well it’s edible so that’s a start” Tim joked.

“You’re a cheeky sod you know that!” Gina immediately replied.

Paula could sense a connection between Gina and Tim, she wasn’t sure if it was just a purely friendship connection or whether there was more. She wanted to keep an eye on the two of them because the last thing she wanted was more trouble for Sally.

“It’s lovely thank you. Next time you can both come to mine and I’ll cook” Paula replied smiling at Gina.

“Can you actually cook?” Tim asked.

“She can and it’s fantastic, been trying to convince her to apply for Masterchef but she won’t. Plus if she did I’d never get to spend time with her which would be awful” Sophie explained.

“I’m not that good” Paula replied.

“She is...” Sophie insisted.

“Well next time you can cook then” Tim added.

“At least we know it will be edible” Gina joked laughing at her own disastrous cooking skills.

“Hopefully” Paula replied.

The four of them finished eating their dinner, Gina suggested that they should play a game.

“How about a game of charades?” Gina asked.

Paula looked over at Sophie with fear in her eyes, charades was her worst nightmare.

“Maybe not, I’ve never been good at that” Sophie replied knowing that Paula would hate it.

“Ok... what about scrabble?”

“Now that is a game I can play” Paula replied.

“Jesus we’ve got no chance against a bloody lawyer” Tim said rolling his eyes.

“I’ll go easy on you all don’t worry” Paula joked rubbing her hands together.

“Don’t go on easy on me, I’m actually really good at scrabble” Sophie bragged. Deep down Sophie knew that she was going to get her arse kicked by Paula.

Gina set the game up at the kitchen table, Sophie and Paula on one side and Tim and Gina on the other. Making sure they all had a fresh glass of wine or beer they got ready to begin the game. They each picked out 7 letters from the bag, placing them on their stands, Tim quickly got up from the table to get the dictionary.

“Where you going?” Gina asked.

“Probably trying to get a sneak peek at all of our letters” Sophie replied.

“If you must know I’m getting the dictionary to make sure that every word people use is an actual word” Tim explained.

“We don’t need a dictionary” Sophie said.

“Well we aren’t all as smart as you are we?” Tim joked sitting back down at the table.

“Are we ready then?” Paula asked as she patiently sat there drinking her wine.

“Someone’s keen”.

“I’m ready to kick your buts” Paula replied.

“You can go first then” Gina said.

“Fine by me” Paula confidently said.

Picking up all 7 of her letters, Paula placed them on the board. You could see by the looks on the others faces that Paula had already practically won the game with her opening word.

“Jukebox. I think that gives me a score of 54 to begin with” Paula said with a big grin on her face.

“54 you’re joking right? This game is only going to have one outcome” Gina replied.

“Yeah me winning” Paula said showing her competitive side.

It was Tim’s go next and the only word he could come up with was *rob* scoring him 5 points, much to everyone’s amusement. After half an hour Paula was still miles in front of everyone else, with Sophie coming in second, Tim unfortunately was last by miles.

“Are you sure we can’t just play a different game?” Tim asked as Paula placed another word down scoring her 22 points.

“We’re nearly finished and then I’ll take the winner away don’t worry” Sophie said giving Paula the eyes.

“Oh well there’s no rush is there...” Gina replied.

“I’ve got an early start tomorrow, we both promised to take Jack to an early morning volleyball class” Paula explained.

As much as she had had fun this evening she just wanted to get into bed snuggling up to her girlfriend, today had been a very long day.

“Ah fair enough, another time though?” Gina asked.

“Oh absolutely. We can arrange a night at mine! But first we need to finish the game so I can officially be named the winner” Paula replied.

“I think we already know who the winner is...” Tim added.

“I can’t be names the winner until the game is over though”.

“Well I can’t go so I’m out” Tim replied.

“Me either” Sophie said.

“Gina? Can you go?” Paula asked.

“I can’t no”.

“Looks like I’m the winner then” Paula said with the biggest grin on her face.

“You didn’t just win you absolutely smashed us” Gina replied.

“Well we can have a rematch when you come over”.

“Can we try something like cluedo or monopoly? I might have a chance if we play those” Tim sarcastically asked.

“Sounds good I have all of those so we can decide on the night” Paula replied.

“I look forward to it”.

“Thanks for tonight it’s been really nice”.

“It’s been our pleasure, it’s been nice to have company other than each other” Gina said.

“Yeah I agree” Tim added.

“See you soon” Sophie replied.

“Thanks again” Paula said as Gina showed the two of them out.

Tim immediately tidied up the game so that him and Gina could continue with their box set that they had been watching. They had become a little bit obsessed with it and wanted to make sure they finished it before Sally got out as she would hate it. They only have 4 more series to get through.

“That wasn’t that bad was it?” Paula whispered to Sophie as the two of them walked back to Sophie’s.

“The curry was bloody awful though but the rest wasn’t too bad” Sophie replied.

“You didn’t even taste it...”

“Well the way you described it made me realise it was disgusting” Sophie said.

“It was quite possibly the worst thing I have ever eaten in my whole entire life”.

“And we both know that’s a very long time” Sophie cheekily replied.

“You are lucky I like you”.

“Why’s that?”

“These ageist jokes are not cool”.

“I think they are hilarious” Sophie said with a grin on her face.

“Of course you do...” Paula said stopping to kiss her girlfriend in the middle of the street.

“Shall we head back to yours?” Sophie asked as she embraced Paula.

“Yes because I don’t fancy being quiet tonight” Paula replied biting her bottom lip.

“I’ll ring a taxi” Sophie said as the two of them continued to walk to hers.

“Don’t be silly I’ve only had a glass of wine” Paula replied.

“Really? I thought you’d had two” a worried Sophie said.

“Nope I’m pretty sure it was just the one”.

Sophie knew that Paula had had more than one glass of wine but she didn’t want to have an argument with her after they were back on such good terms. Sophie didn’t know what to do, she didn’t want to risk Paula driving under the influence but she also didn’t want her to get angry because she didn’t believe her.

“Come on then... I’ll need to pack an overnight bag” Sophie said buying herself some time to think of a plan.

“Why do you need clothes, there not going to be on you?” Paula replied looking Sophie up and down.

“For tomorrow, I can’t be turning up at work in these clothes” Sophie said.

“Well hurry up because I can’t wait to rip those clothes off you” Paula replied following Sophie through the door.

Sophie was desperately trying to come up with an excuse as to why they couldn’t go to hers, she couldn’t think of anything.

“Just need to pop to the loo” Sophie said giving herself a little bit longer to come up with an excuse.

Paula went to sit on Sophie’s bed, she decided she may as well make herself comfortable while waiting for Sophie. After about 10 minutes of sitting on the loo trying to think of something, Sophie had finally come up with the perfect plan. She had just come on her period, that would burst Paula’s bubble about having non stop sex tonight.

“Babe, I’ve got bad news...” Sophie said walking into her bedroom.

As she walked in she saw Paula sprawled out on the bed, with her mouth wide open snoring like an old man. She couldn’t help but take a photo to upload onto her Instagram story, captioning it *romantic night in* she just looked so adorable.

Sophie took Paula’s jacket off to make sure that she was comfortable, she also took off her heels and unzipped her jeans to make sure they weren’t too tight after their dinner. Sophie was glad that she didn’t have to lie to Paula, but she knew full well that Paula had had more than a glass of wine to drink tonight. Sophie got into her pjs and snuggled in tightly to Paula, as she got into the bed Paula turned over mumbling something to Sophie.

“Thought we were going to mine?” Paula mumbled.

“Nah let’s just stay here tonight babe” Sophie replied wrapping her leg around Paula.

“Sounds good to me” Paula said holding onto Sophie tightly.

Chapter Text

The morning arrived and a very excited Jack had been up for ages getting ready for his sitting volleyball session with Caitlin, Sophie and Paula. The smile on his face was huge at the thought of being able to do something he loved and enjoyed, he just hoped that Sophie and Paula were a bit better than they were last time.

“Do you want some breakfast?” Kevin asked Jack.

“Yes please, something that will give me lots of energy” Jack replied.

“How about what you used to eat before a football match?” Kevin said.

Kevin was a bit worried as he didn’t know how Jack would react hearing football being mentioned.

“Oh yes that would be great. That used to give me lots of energy” Jack replied with a beaming smile on his face.

“Well you stay there and I’ll bring it ASAP”.

Jack was quite happy where he was sat, he was on YouTube watching some of the footage of the sitting volleyball from the Rio Paralympic.

“Dad...”

“Yes buddy?”

“I want to be in the Paralympics” Jack proudly said.

“You do?”

“I do! They are amazing”.

“They are aren’t they! I know you’ll get there and I will be with you every step of the way, cheering you on from the sidelines. Can you imagine being on that podium collecting a medal?” Kevin replied.

“It would be better than winning the premier league” Jack said.

“Oh it most definitely would be”.

Jack looked at his dad and gave him a huge smile, before burying his head back into the videos.

Meanwhile upstairs Paula and Sophie were slowly waking up. Last night didn’t go according to plan, the pair were supposed to end up back at Paula’s for a wild night of passion, yet they fell asleep on Sophie’s bed with no action whatsoever.

“Good morning love! What happened last night? I thought we were meant to be going back to mine?” Paula said giving Sophie a good morning kiss.

“Well we were supposed to but we both ended up drinking too much to drive and well you fell asleep on here before I could even ring for a taxi”.

“I only had the one...”

“Babe you didn’t you most definitely had more than that. We both did”.

“Anyway it doesn’t matter now does it! We should get up, Jack will be waiting for us” Paula said changing the subject.

“We’ve got ages before we have to get to the sports hall” Sophie replied.

“Yeah but I quite fancy a shower”.

“I’ll come join you if you like?” Sophie replied hinting at some alone time.

“I wouldn’t feel comfortable, not when your dad and brother are downstairs”.

“Ok, I’ll have one afterwards then” a disappointed Sophie replied.

“I won’t be long” Paula said as she got out of bed, kissing Sophie on the top of her head.

Paula left the room to have a shower, Sophie couldn’t understand why Paula wouldn’t admit to having more than one drink. Maybe it was just an honest mistake...

Sophie decided to jump into her dads shower to save time, rather than waiting until Paula had finished. The two of them pretty much finished at the same time, both walking out of the bathrooms in their towels. Sophie couldn’t resist giving Paula’s towel a tug to see if it came loose.

“Oi what you doing?” Paula said grabbing the towel before it opened.

“I wanna see what’s underneath” Sophie replied giving Paula the eyes.

“What if you’re dad walked up the stairs right now?”

“He would get an eyeful of you’re incredible ass” Sophie joked giving the towel another tug.

“Do that one more time and you are in big trouble” Paula said in a stern voice.

Sophie took a couple of seconds to contemplate her next move, giving Paula a cheeky look she quickly tugged on the towel again. The towel slowly fell to the ground, leaving Paula completely naked. Sophie grabbed the towel and ran into her bedroom closing the door behind her locking Paula out on the landing.

“Sophie let me in now” Paula said quietly knocking on the door.

“What’s the magic word?” Sophie replied.

“Please...”

“Nope! Try again”.

“Sophie I am starkers in your fathers house who is currently just down the stairs. Let me in now” Paula said through gritted teeth, she really could kill Sophie right now.

“Magic. Words” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“I don’t know, Sophie’s amazing? Sophie’s beautiful... Sophie’s the best? I don’t know what you are wanting me to say...” Paula said getting more and more frustrated with Sophie.

“Nope non of those”.

“I don’t know, Sophie please”.

“One more try...” Sophie teased.

“I don’t know. Ok Sophie is a legend, Sophie incredible? You’re always right I’m always wrong? Paula is a granny? Sophie is the best thing to happen to me? I love you? Sophie is sexy? I need to buy you a present?” Paula said really quickly hoping that Sophie wouldn’t hear the little slip up she just made.

Sophie opened the door and gave Paula her towel back, she wasn’t quite sure if she heard Paula right. She thought she heard her say that she loved her but she didn’t want to bring it up just in case she was hearing things.

“Finally, what if you’re dad had of walked up?” Paula said covering herself up.

“Then he would have caught an eye full of what I get to go to bed with most nights” Sophie replied biting her lip.

“And that would have been highly embarrassing” Paula said.

“Quite funny though”.

“Funny? I’ll show you funny” Paula replied as she twisted her towel getting it ready to whip Sophie with it.

“You whip me with that and you’re dead...” Sophie said.

“Oh really?” Paula said whipping Sophie.

“OUCH! That’s it” Sophie said taking off her towel to make a whip herself.

The two of them were both completely naked in Sophie room having a fight with their towels. The two were whipping each other back and forth before Sophie had had enough, she dropped her towel and rugby tackled Paula onto the bed.

“Jesus remember I’m an old girl” Paula joked as Sophie lay on top of her on the bed.

“Just shut up and kiss me” Sophie replied looking into Paula’s eyes.

“Yes boss” Paula said kissing Sophie passionately.

Back down stairs Kevin had finished making Jack his favourite breakfast, the one he always used to have before a football game.

“Come on champ, breakfast is ready”.

“This looks amazing, thanks dad”.

“You’re welcome. Get it down you ready for volleyball”.

“I will don’t worry” Jack said tucking into his eggs and soldiers.

Kevin was worried that the ladies upstairs weren’t awake yet, the time was ticking away and he didn’t want Jack to be late.

“Sophie, Paula. Do you want a cuppa?” Kevin shouted up the stairs.

The two of them stopped what they were doing, the both looked at each other wishing that they had a moments peace to have some alone time.

“Tonight we stay at yours” Sophie whispered into Paula’s ear.

“Fine by me” Paula replied.

“Yes please dad” Sophie shouted back.

“That was right in my ear” Paula joked.

“Oh sorry babe” Sophie replied kissing Paula’s ear.

The two of them got ready and made their way downstairs.

“Fresh cuppa on the side for you both” Kevin said as they walked into the kitchen.

“Ah Thanks you’re a lifesaver” Paula replied reaching for hers.

“You ready for me to beat you today” Jack cheekily said to them both.

“I don’t think that will be happening today, I’ve been secretly practising” Paula joked.

“Have you?” Jack replied with a slightly worried look on his face.

“Yeah, you need to be afraid very afraid”.

“Well at least it will be more competition for me” Jack said with a smile on his face.

“Don’t listen to her she’ll still be as rubbish as she was last time” Sophie added.

“I’m still better than you” Paula replied.

“Wanna bet?” Sophie said.

“Ladies ladies let’s not argue. How about I decide who is the best after today’s session?” Jack suggested.

“That’s fine by me” Paula immediately replied knowing that Jack would be on her side.

“Well that’s no fair, we all know that Paula is you’re favourite”.

“Ok, well how about Caitlin judges?” Jack said.

“That seems fairer” Sophie replied.

“Then that’s the deal. Get some breakfast down you both and then we need to go” Jack said.

“Alright mr bossy pants” Sophie joked reaching for the bread to make toast for the two of them.

“Just making sure you have enough fuel in your tanks for the volleyball”.

“Don’t worry we will” Paula replied.

Watching Jack interact with Paula put a smile on Kevin’s face, she was almost like a motherly figure that he had never really had since Molly’s passing. It was good for him to have someone that he could talk to if he needed to about any problems or issues, he just hoped that Paula and Sophie would last so that another woman didn’t disappear from Jacks life.

“We should get going” Paula said rounding up the troops.

“I’m ready” Jack said with a smile on his face.

“Have fun everyone” Kevin replied as he waved from the doorstep.

The three of them made the short drive to the sports centre where Caitlin had already set up the volleyball court, she had also set up some games for them to have a go at.

“Hey guys” Caitlin said as the three of them walked into the sports hall.

“Caitlin” Jack shouted as he wheeled himself straight over to give her a hug.

“How are you buddy?” Caitlin asked.

“I can’t wait to have some fun. I’ve been looking forward to it since the last session”.

“That’s really good. Paula told me that you’ve been talking to your teacher at school about possibly doing some sessions with all you’re friends”.

“Yeah and he’s actually going to do some which will be so much fun” Jack replied.

“Well that’s good! You’ll be able to show everyone you’re skills! They will be very impressed” Caitlin explained.

“I hope so! It sucks watching them all play football without being able to join in so it’ll be nice for them all to be able to join in with me playing something I can do”.

“You’ll be able to show off a little won’t you”.

“Just a little bit, I don’t want anyone to feel left out or anything”.

“They won’t don’t worry. Right Shall we get straight into it then?” Caitlin asked the three of them.

“Let’s go!” Paula replied enthusiastically as she pretended to do some stretches.

“Oh give over pretending that you are actually stretching” Sophie sarcastically joked pushing Paula playfully.

“Steady, you don’t want to go injuring me before we’ve even started the session. Or is this you’re little trick to make sure I’m injured so I can’t give it my full commitment?”

“Damn it you caught me” Sophie joked.

“You two can we actually get on with the session? Or are you two going to bicker throughout like an old married couple?” Caitlin asked rolling her eyes.

“Sorry”.

“Yeah sorry” Sophie added.

“Can’t take you two anywhere can I?” Jack joked as he got out of his wheelchair taking his place on the court.

“Sorry Jack” Paula replied trying not to laugh.

“Jack who do you want on you’re team?” Caitlin asked.

“Can I have you?” Jack asked.

“Wait so we have to be on the same team?” Sophie said looking at Paula.

“Excuse me? What’s wrong with that? We can beat them...” Paula replied.

“We’ve got no chance babe” Sophie said.

“Well let’s at least give it a good go” Paula replied trying to motivate her girlfriend.

They all took their positions on the court, Caitlin had explained to them that to start with she wanted them all to do their best to keep a rally going for as long as possible. The rally got off to a really good start, they must have already made it to double figures but that was probably due to the fact the ball hadn’t been touched by Paula yet.

“Hello I am here you know?” Paula sarcastically shouted hoping that they would pass her the ball.

“Yeah but we are trying to keep the rally going” Sophie replied.

“I’m not that bad am I?” Paula said just as Jack hit the ball over the net heading in her direction.

She got good connection with the ball but it ended up going straight over the top of both Caitlin and Jack ruining the rally.

“See that’s why no one passes to you” Sophie said rolling her eyes.

“I’m sorry, I’ll get it” Paula replied getting up to run after the ball.

“Go easy on her sis, she’s trying her best” Jack said quietly to Sophie.

“Don’t worry I don’t mean any of it” Sophie replied.

“Good because it’s all thanks to her that I’m even here” Jack said with a big smile on his face.

“I know” Sophie replied looking lovingly at Paula who was running after the ball which had made its way to the other end of the sports hall.

“Why don’t you serve Paula? Well try that again ok?” Caitlin said.

Paula took a deep breath in before serving the ball over the net, she was relieved to see that it had found Caitlin on the other side. She quickly moved up closer to the net to be prepared for when the ball came back over.

Chapter Text

Paula was slowly improving on the court, she was still the worst by miles but she was trying her hardest.

“Right now we’ve done a few different drills, how about we do a little game? All the rules applying... winner gets a chocolate bar” Caitlin said.

“You two may as well eat the chocolate now” Sophie replied.

“You’re so negative. Sounds like a great idea. Come on love we can win this” Paula said trying to get Sophie motivated to work as a team.

“Fine, let’s go! We’ve got this babe” Sophie replied mocking Paula’s positivity.

“It’s a good job I like you, you sarcastic little so and so” Paula said.

Over on the other side of the net Jack and Caitlin were enjoying watching them argue like a married couple.

“Are they always like this?” Caitlin asked.

“They have their moments! But I know deep down they would do anything for each other” Jack replied.

“Oh I can see that. I can see that they are madly in love with one another but they really do enjoy bickering”.

“That’s Sophie though, she’s always been someone to answer back even when she shouldn’t”.

“Oh she’s one of them is she” Caitlin joked.

“She most definitely is! My other sister is worse, but she just doesn’t think before she speaks, mainly because she’s not the brightest spark” Jack joked.

“I like you Jack, you say it how it is” Caitlin replied giving her team mate a high five.

“It’s the best way to be”.

“Umm hello we are waiting for the two of you to be ready” Sophie shouted from her side of the court.

“We were waiting for you two to stop arguing” Jack sarcastically replied.

“We weren’t arguing” Paula immediately said.

“Sure you weren’t...”

“I’m serving so be ready” Sophie said just before she hit the ball over the net.

The game was underway, it wasn’t long before Jack and Caitlin streaked ahead of the other two who really were awful. For two people who proclaimed to be so good with their hands and fingers their hand eye coordination was just dreadful.

“YES” Jack shouted as they win the game by miles.

“Jesus” Sophie mumbled quietly to herself, she really wasn’t the best loser.

“Well played you two” Paula said with a fake smile on her face.

“Yeah well played” Sophie reluctantly added after a gentle nudge from Paula.

“You tried your hardest guys don’t be too disappointed” Jack said trying to make them feel slightly better about only winning 2 points in the whole game.

“Next time we’ll mix the teams up... and maybe invite a few more players” Caitlin added.

“See were not good enough babe” Sophie said to Paula as the pair stood up.

“You’re good enough for me” Paula said embracing Sophie in a big bear hug.

“Ewwww you are all sweaty” Sophie replied trying to get Paula off of her.

“I’ll be all sweaty later as well but I don’t think you’ll be moaning, well at least not these types of moans” Paula quietly said to Sophie.

“Ok that’s true” Sophie replied giving in and hugging Paula back.

“Get a room you two” Jack joked as Caitlin helped him back into his chair.

“I’m sorry, I just can’t keep my hands off her” Paula replied.

“He’s just jealous he isn’t being included in this bear hug aren’t you buddy?”

“Nooo I don’t want you’re sweat anywhere near me” Jack shouted as Paula and Sophie moved closer and closer.

“Tough!” Sophie replied as the two of them took hold of him.

“Caitlin help me” Jack shouted as they smothered him in love.

“Sorry I can’t hear you Jack” Caitlin joked as she watched them all with a smile on her face.

“Yes you can otherwise you wouldn’t have replied to me” Jack replied.

“Don’t fight the love Jack” Sophie said as the two of them squeezed even tighter.

“Fine...” Jack replied as he put his arms around them both.

“There we go” Paula said.

The hug finally stopped after about what seemed like an eternity, Caitlin had already tidied away in the time that they were hugging for.

“Thank you for today, we should make it a more regular thing” Paula said to Caitlin.

“Yeah next time I’ll see if more people want to join”.

“I get it both me and Sophie are too rubbish for the professional skills of you and Jack so you need others to be here to help you out” Paula replied.

“I just want Jack to be around lots of others who also do volleyball and that can maybe give him a bit of a match” Caitlin said trying to be nice about it.

“Don’t worry we both know we are rubbish we’re only doing it for Jack”.

“I know and I can see that he appreciates it a hell of a lot” Caitlin said.

“He’s a great kid”.

“He really is”.

“Thanks Caitlin for sorting this session out for us, it was great fun” Jack said smiling away.

“You’re welcome, I’ll see you Wednesday”.

“You will indeed. I can’t wait”.

“We’ll be there as well, hopefully you will have enough people so that we can just watch” Paula replied making Jack laugh.

“You’ll get better if you just keep practising” Jack said once he had stopped laughing.

“I dunno about that” Sophie added.

“You stop being mean to me” Paula said poking Sophie in the stomach for being mean to her.

“See you Wednesday guys” Caitlin said trying to get rid of them.

“Bye” Jack replied as he wheeled himself towards the door.

“Bye buddy” Caitlin said waving to Jack.

The three of them got into Paula’s car and headed back to the cobbles.

“Fancy a cake from Roy’s?” Paula asked.

“I can’t I’ve got to get to work but I’m meeting you later on aren’t I? We’re taking James out to find a date aren’t we?” Sophie replied.

“We are indeed. So pack a few outfits and we can decide on the right one” Paula said.

“Yes boss” Sophie said kissing Paula before getting out the car.

“Jack do you fancy a cake?”

“Of course!” Jack replied.

Sophie helped Paula get Jack out of the car before leaving to go back home to get ready for work. Jack and Paula headed to the cafe for a large slice of cake and a hot chocolate.

Paula and Jack picked a table in the cafe, they picked the one in the corner so that they could people watch. Paula headed to the counter to her 2 extra large slices of chocolate fudge cake, along with hot chocolates with all the extras.

“Here we go, get that down you” Paula said as she placed the hot chocolate and cake in front of Jack.

“Thank you, this looks super yummy”.

“Sorry me and Soph were rubbish today” Paula said apologising to Jack.

“It’s ok, you tried you’re best plus you weren’t that bad. You got better as the session went on”.

“Well that’s good then! Maybe in a few years time I’ll be half decent” Paula joked.

“I reckon a few weeks and you’ll be much better” Jack said giving some encouragement to Paula.

“I wonder when you’re first game will be?”

“I have no idea... but hopefully soon because I can’t wait”.

“I’ll ask Caitlin on Wednesday, I’m sure she’ll know”.

“She’s so nice” Jack said with a big smile on his face.

Paula could tell that Jack had a little crush on Caitlin, she wasn’t surprised because she was a beautiful young lady who loved coaching sitting volleyball.

“She is isn’t she” Paula replied.

Jack didn’t reply he was too busy stuffing his face with the chocolate cake, it was delicious.

“Enjoying that?” Paula said laughing. Jack had chocolate cake all over his face.

“Yes its so nice thank you! And thank you for just being around” Jack replied.

“It’s my pleasure, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!”

“Good because you are so good for Sophie and well it’s nice to have someone to talk to” Jack explained.

“Right back at you buddy!” Paula replied with a smile on her face.

Sophie had just arrived at work after a quick shower to freshen herself up after the volleyball session, she knew today would be a quiet shift so it would give her plenty of time to catch up on her paperwork.

“Morning Yasmeen” Sophie said walking down the stairs.

“Don’t you mean afternoon?” Yasmeen joked popping her head around the kitchen door.

“Oh yeah, sorry time has kind of run away with me today”.

“Busy morning?”

“We took Jack to play some sitting volleyball which he loved but all me and Paula did was bicker. I mean it was all in a jokey way, I just couldn’t help myself”.

“If it’s all done in a good way what’s wrong with a bit of bickering? I always used to think that whenever me and my husband bickered it was our way of showing each other than we cared” Yasmeen explained.

“We both certainly care about one another”.

“Then I wouldn’t worry about the bickering. It’s when the bickering becomes nasty you want to worry”.

“Oh yeah it’s not nasty in any way”.

“Then you have nothing to worry about. There’s a mountain of paperwork on the desk for you to get through... have fun” Yasmeen sarcastically said.

“Better get on it because I’ve got a night out planned” Sophie replied.

“Ooh anything exciting?” Yasmeen asked.

“I think we are taking one of Paula’s colleagues out for the night to try and find him a date” Sophie replied.

“That will be fun”.

“Should be a good laugh, let me know if you need any help? If not I’ll be getting through this paperwork” Sophie said heading into the office.

“Will do” Yasmeen replied as she continued to help the chef prepare today’s food.

While Sophie made a start on the paperwork, Paula dropped Jack off at before making her way home. On her way home James rang her to make sure the plans for this evening hadn’t changed.

“Jimbob, how are you doing?” Paula said answering the phone.

“Jimbob? No on has ever called me that before” James replied.

“Yeah sorry I’m in a strange mood” Paula said.

“I can tell. What’s put you in this mood then?”

“It’s been a strange day, Sophie locked me out of the bedroom while I was stark naked, I accidentally let slip that I loved her but I don’t think she heard. We then went to play...”

“Wait what? You told her you loved her?”

“I did well she was asking me for the password to open the door and it just slipped out mid conversation”.

“Did she say anything back or mention it?” James asked.

“Nope nothing, now I don’t know if she didn’t hear it or if she didn’t mention it because she doesn’t feel the same way”.

“She feels the same way! Have you seen the way she looks at you?”

“Well yeah but that doesn’t mean she loves me it might just be lust”.

“It is a lot more than lust”.

“Anyway enough of that...you still on for this evening? Finding you a lady friend?”

“Of course, I even got myself a new shirt for the occasion. Let’s just hope you and Sophie can find me a nice attractive lady” James joked.

“We will do our best but I mean we can’t work miracles” Paula sarcastically replied.

“You cheeky little shit! I’m not that bad am I?” James asked.

“No you are a catch, I mean if I wasn’t more of a cat person then you might have had a chance”.

“Did you just make a pussy joke?” James said.

“I tried but I think it failed”.

“You really did fail but I’ll let you off. What time later then?”

“Shall we say 7:30 at that new bar in town?” Paula said.

“Well you are going to have to be a bit more specific...”

“I can’t remember the name, Sophie mentioned it to me the other day but I’ve got a memory like a sieve” Paula joked.

“Well ask Sophie and then message me the name so I know where I’m going” James replied.

“Yes boss! I’ll see you later then, make sure you smell nice too”.

“You saying I smell?”

“No! But the ladies love a bit of aftershave don’t they”.

“Oh yeah good point!”

“Bye James”.

“Bye Paula” James said putting the phone down.

By the time the phone call had ended Paula had arrived at her house, she needed to get herself washed after her disastrous attempt at playing volleyball this morning. But before heading for a shower she made herself a cup of tea to have a think about why Sophie hadn’t mentioned anything about what was said earlier.

Chapter Text

Sophie had finally managed to get through the huge pile of paperwork, which included reading a couple of new CV’s looking to hire a couple of new waiters, as well as a new chef.

“I thought you might like some food” Yasmeen said bringing in Sophie some food.

“You must have heard my tummy rumbling” Sophie replied.

Her eyes immediately lit up when she saw that Yasmeen had made her some of their lamb bhuna which was her favourite.

“You joke but I actually did when I walked past here about 20 minutes ago. You’re tummy is notoriously very loud when it needs feeding”.

“It is its so bad. Thank you though this looks and smells yummy”.

“How do the Cv’s look?”

“Yeah they look good I think we should arrange interviews for the beginning of next week” Sophie explained.

“Sounds good!! I’ll leave you to enjoy your food” Yasmeen said.

“While you’re here can I ask you something?”

“Of course you can what’s wrong?” Yasmeen asked as she made herself comfortable in the chair.

Sophie took a deep breath in, she was anxious about what she was about to talk Yasmeen about.

“How do you know when it’s the right time to say those three words?” Sophie asked.

“Which three words are we talking about... I love you?” Yasmeen replied.

“Yeah, what other famous three words are there?”

“Well I don’t know but I just wanted to make sure I knew what you were talking about”.

“Yes those three words”.

“I think you will just get a feeling deep inside that it’s the right time. Has she said something? Or are you thinking about saying it?”

“She mentioned something this morning but it was just a passing comment I think but it has got me thinking. I don’t want to say it just in case I heard wrong or she doesn’t feel the same”.

“What would be wrong with you saying it first?” Yasmeen asked.

“Well nothing I just wouldn’t want to scare her off”.

“So you do love her?”

“I do yes” Sophie replied with a smile on her face.

“Then just tell her. The perfect time might never come so just bite the bullet and tell her that you love her” Yasmeen explained.

“So I just need to man up and say it?” Sophie joked.

“Yeah pretty much” Yasmeen replied.

“Ok, I will!”

“Let me know how you get on...”

“I will don’t you worry”.

“Now eat you’re food and then head off, go get yourself ready for tonight! As well, it could be an extra special night now if you drop those three words”.

“Thank you! I’m going to find an extra hot outfit to wear” Sophie said with a smile on her face.

Meanwhile back at Paula’s house she had managed to get hold of Isla for a quick phone call before heading for her shower.

“Sweetheart hello! How are you?” Paula said waving at the camera.

“Hey mum! I’m good how are you? Are you sat in sports gear? What have you been doing?” Isla asked.

“We’ve been helping Jack with his sitting volleyball but honestly I’m awful, so so bad” Paula replied.

“That’s nice of you though, does Jack like you?”

“He does I mean can you blame him? I’m an awesome person” Paula replied.

“You have you’re moments. So how’s Sophie?”

“She’s great. I may have accidentally let slip the three words earlier...”

Islas eyes opened wide as soon as she heard her mum say that, she couldn’t believe that she had already said that she loves Sophie.

“You said what? You told her you loved her?”

“Well I didn’t say Sophie I love you but it may have slipped into conversation but I don’t think she heard”.

“Well do you love her?” Isla asked with a hopeful look on her face.

“I do yes!” Paula proudly replied.

“Mum this is amazing news. Do you think she loves you too?”

“Well I don’t know she didn’t say anything”.

“I’m sure she does, just talk to her” Isla replied.

“I’m scared!”

“I thought i was the child here! Just do it mum what’s the worst that can happen? She says she’s not ready to say it yet? Big deal...you two will still be happy together just not quite in love yet” Isla explained.

“When did you become such a smart young lady?” Paula asked.

“I’ve always been this smart, you raised me remember! And we all know you gave us the brains and not dad” Isla joked.

“Now now you’re father is a smart man”.

“He really isn’t but oh well! Hence why I got the brain and Theo didn’t”.

“You’re brother is a very smart man, He just has to work harder than you”.

“Anyway, So when are you going to properly tell her?” Isla asked.

“I don’t know, maybe tonight? We’re off out for a night on the town...”

“You mean you are going clubbing?” Isla said with a weary look on her face.

“I am going clubbing, does that embarrass you?” Paula asked as she threw a few shapes down the camera.

“Slightly but I guess you are living you’re best life and for that I have to be happy” Isla replied.

“I love you missy”.

“I know you do but don’t tell me that tell Sophie it! Get someone to film the moment please? I want to see it”.

“Oh yeah because that isn’t going to look ridiculous. James sat there pointing a camera at the pair of us! She’ll think I’m proposing or something...” Paula replied.

“Well knowing us lesbians we like to move at a very rapid pace. I’m actually quite surprised she hasn’t moved in yet” Isla joked.

“Isla don’t be ridiculous, I don’t want to scare her off”.

“I’m just joking! Just go with the flow and see where things take you”.

“Ok ok I will” Paula replied.

“Good! Now go get ready for the big night”.

“There’s no saying it will even be tonight, don’t make me nervous”.

“Just go and have fun. I love you and I’ll speak to you soon” Isla said blowing her mum a big kiss.

“Love you too” Paula replied.

Taking on the advice she had just got from her daughter, Paula headed upstairs to get herself ready for what could be a big night. She wanted to tell Sophie the truth, she wanted her to know how she felt.

“Have a lovely evening” Yasmeen said to Sophie.

“Thank you! I’ve thought about it and I’m going to tell her tonight” Sophie replied with a smile on her face.

“Well good luck! Not that you need any because I know she feels the same way”.

“Here’s hoping” Sophie said giving Yasmeen one last smile before disappearing up the stairs.

As she walked up the stairs she bumped into a rather drunk Ali.

“Watch it!” Sophie shouted as Ali barged past her on the stairs.

“What?” Ali mumbled.

“Just be careful these stairs are dangerous! You do realise we don’t even sell alcohol down there we don’t have a license”.

“Who said I was even looking for alcohol?” Ali stuttered.

“You’re breath was” Sophie sarcastically replied.

“Charming...”

“Look don’t you think you should just go home and sober up?”

“Don’t you think you should just mind you’re own business?” Ali snapped back.

“Just looking out for you”.

“What like you were looking out for Ryan?”

“That’s not fair! It’s not my fault that he’s been arrested. You know what he did was wrong, he should have rang for an ambulance straight away” Sophie replied.

“I know he should have and because of him being a selfish idiot I’ve lost my job and my license to practice medicine. So him being in custody right now is the best place for him because if he was here I’d kill him with my bare hands! Now if you don’t mind I want some curry...” Ali said as he continued to walk down the stairs.

Sophie knew she needed to warn Yasmeen of the mood he is in, just in case he started to cause any trouble.

“What are you doing back here?” Yasmeen asked as Sophie walked into the kitchen.

“It’s Ali, just keep an eye on him. We just had a bit of a run in on the stairs and he’s very drunk and quite aggressive. I just want to warn you just in case anything happens” Sophie explained.

“Thank you! We will be alright! Now go and get yourself ready”.

“I’m going, I’m going” Sophie said leaving the kitchen.

Before walking up the stairs she took one last look at Ali, hoping and praying that he was going to behave and not cause Yasmeen any problems. Sophie rushed home to start getting ready, she poured herself a glass of wine and put some music on. It was time to find the perfect outfit for tonight, she wanted something that would stop Paula in her tracks because she was completely and utterly blown away at how good she looked.

“Soph turn down the music” Kevin shouted up the stairs.

“Sorry! Just trying to get in the mood” Sophie replied.

“Well just do it a little bit quieter”.

“I will don’t worry” Sophie said turning her music down slightly.

“Thank you” Kevin replied making his way back to the sofa to finish watching the football game with Jack.

“Do we have any snacks?” Jack asked just as Kevin sat on the sofa.

“You couldn’t have asked 2 seconds before I sat down...”

“Sorry” Jack said with a cheeky grin on his face.

“What sort of snack do you want?” Kevin asked.

“Something sweet please”.

Kevin got up to look in the cupboards, he found a bag of chocolate buttons that the two of them could share.

“Make sure you share them equally”.

“I will don’t worry” Kevin replied as he sneakily put a chocolate button in his mouth without Jack seeing.

“I know you are eating them dad!”

“What me? Never” Kevin said as he handed Jack a bowl of chocolate buttons.

“Hmm you’ve never been a very good liar”.

“Ok, I had one. Take it out of my bowl then...”

“Don’t worry I will” Jack said taking a couple of his dads chocolates.

“One I said” Kevin replied tickling jack.

“I’ll put them back if you stop”.

“Deal”.

Jack put back some of the chocolates as Kevin stopped tickling him just in time to see a Arsenal score a goal on the Tv.

Meanwhile Sophie was onto her 4th outfit, she couldn’t pick the right one. She wanted to look sexy without looking too slutty or young, she just needed the perfect outfit but was having trouble finding it.

*Hey love, what you wearing tonight? I have no idea what to wear so need to know what you are wearing so we can coordinate. When I say coordinate I don’t mean colour wise I just mean like dressy or casual? God I’m blabbering on now x*

As Sophie read the message from Paula she couldn’t help but laugh, she loved it when Paula was trying to be hip and down with the kids because she could never find the right words.

*Im going for dressy as I want to look hot for my woman but when I say dressy I mean like jeans, heels and a nice top and jacket combo not an actual dress. So just wear something you are comfortable in... x*

Sophie finally decided on a pair of black skinny jeans with heeled boots, a white lace strappy top with her black leather jacket. She had also gone for straight hair, down with a red lipstick and natural makeup.

Paula read the message from Sophie, she was happy with the clothes she had decided on. Paula had decided on a pair of black jeans with a white blouse and her bright pink jacket. She looked hot and couldn’t wait to see what Sophie was wearing, well and what James was.

“Dad?” Sophie said as she walked into the living room.

“Yes?”

“Is there any chance you can give me a lift to Paula’s?”

“I’d love to but the match is on... can’t you ask Tim? He does work for a cab company after all” Kevin replied.

“Good idea, sorry to interrupt the football. I’ll see you all at some point tomorrow” Sophie quietly said.

“Bye Soph” Jack replied.

“Bye buddy” Sophie said heading for the door.

“Have a good time” Kevin shouted.

Sophie walked over to the cab office to see if Tim was able to give her a lift to Paula’s, preferably a free lift.

“Tim you know you love me?” Sophie said as she looked through the hatch in the office.

“Let me guess you want a lift somewhere?” Tim replied rolling his eyes.

“Please?” Sophie said fluttering her eye lashes.

“Come on then before we get busy” Tim replied grabbing his keys.

“You’re a legend” Sophie said doing a little jump up and down.

“I know I am” Tim replied.

“Paula’s please...”

“You’ll have to give me her postcode because I have no idea where she lives”.

“Just drive I’ll show you the way. You won’t believe the size of her house...”

“I can imagine how big it is though. Like an actual mansion”.

“Not far from one” Sophie joked.

The look on Tims face was one of disbelief, he didn’t believe that Paula lived in a mansion, boy he was in for a shock.

Chapter Text

Paula was relaxing having a glass of wine waiting for Sophie to turn up, she’d gone for a nice glass of Chardonnay. She was sat watching strictly come dancing while she waited, that made her feel very old because she was pretty sure Sophie would be more of an X factor girl.

“Turn right up here...” Sophie said as she directed Tim.

“Where the bloody hell are you taking me?” Tim replied.

“She does kinda live in the country, well sort of”.

“I can tell, it’s pitch black out here! Where are the street lights?” Tim joked.

“There aren’t any! At the end of this road turn right again...”

“I’m never going to make it back to coronation street”.

“Just shove it in your sat nav! We’ve only been driving 10 minutes so we’re not that far away”.

“It only takes a minute to get lost Sophie! Jesus Christ please tell me that’s her house” Tim said as he saw this giant pair of cast iron gates.

“Ummm yeah that’s Paula’s house”.

“Shit the bed... you’re joking! You have to be joking...” Tim replied.

“Nope that’s her house. Thanks for the lift, I’ll see you tomorrow” Sophie said giving Tim a kiss on the cheek.

“Wait... wait a minute. Aren’t you going to invite me in?” Tim said.

“Not now Tim we don’t have time” Sophie shouted as she walked towards the door.

“Another time for sure though yeah?”

“Yes Tim! You are coming for dinner remember?”

“Oh yeah! Soon!” Tim said, he couldn’t wait to see inside this incredible house.

“Bye” Sophie said as she waved to Tim before letting herself into the house which was unlocked.

“Bloody hell, how the other half live hey? Gina will never believe me” Tim said to himself as he took a photo to prove how incredible Paula’s house was.

A smile appeared on Paula’s face as soon as she heard the door open, she couldn’t wait to see what Sophie was wearing.

“Oh wow, look at you?” Paula said checking Sophie out.

“Do I pass?” Sophie replied doing a twirl for her woman.

“You more than pass. You are stunning” Paula said giving Sophie a kiss.

“You don’t look bad yourself!” Sophie said as she made Paula turn around.

“Thank you, I even put on my sexy lingerie for later”.

“Later? Why not now?”

“Because we have to meet James soon. Speaking of which where are we meeting him?”

“The new bar that’s called The hut or something. It’s opposite weatherspoons” Sophie replied.

“I’ll let James know” Paula said.

“I didn’t have you down as a strictly kinda of woman?” Sophie said as she made her way to the sofa to get comfy.

“I love it! Don’t judge me”.

“I won’t judge you because I love it. I’ve set it to record. Who do you want to win?”

“You love strictly come dancing? Wow you are even more perfect than I first thought” Paula replied.

“I’m glad but all that could change depending on who you want to win?”

“Oh god no pressure then... I want Kate to win” Paula said hoping that was a good choice.

“No way! Me too” Sophie replied.

“They are up next so scooch over”.

“Get me a glass of whatever you are having first? Please” Sophie asked with a smile on her face.

“For you? Anything” Paula replied.

Paula quickly got Sophie a glass of wine before joining her on the sofa just in time to watch Kate do the waltz which was a very romantic dance.

“Can you dance?” Sophie asked.

“I mean I can dad dance but stuff like this? No chance”.

“Dad dance? Now this I have to see”.

“Can you?”

“Do the waltz? I’ve never tried but I would love to give it a go. Maybe one day we could take a dance class?”

“A dance class?”

“Yeah I mean it might be fun, we will probably both be rubbish but at least it would be a laugh” Sophie explained.

“Sure why not... let’s do it” Paula replied as the two of them watched Kate’s performance.

*I will meet you there at 7:30. I may or may not have already drunk 3/4 of a bottle of wine... for Dutch courage. For some reason I am extremely nervous about you two trying to match me up with some randomer. See you soon Jx*

“Aww bless him, James just replied. I think he is a tad nervous about tonight” Paula said after reading James’ reply.

“Oh no why is he nervous? It’s only us”.

“I think it’s because he has absolutely no idea who we are going to try and get him a date with”.

“I mean come on, we both have good taste in women. We chose each other didn’t we?” Sophie replied.

“We did so he has nothing to be worried about” Paula said agreeing with Sophie.

“Ok, so she was amazing!! But we are totally going to be so much better after we have had lessons” Sophie said as they watched Kate get her marks.

“I don’t know about that but we will give it a go. We should probably order a taxi...”

“We should, But first dance with me?” Sophie asked as she stood up holding her arm out.

“Right now? We don’t have any music...” Paula replied.

Sophie reached for her phone, looked through her romantic playlist and found a slow song that they could dance to.

“Now we have music...” Sophie said with a smirk on her face.

Paula stood their a rolled her eyes slightly.

“Don’t you dare roll your eyes at me, come here” Sophie said loudly.

Paula reluctantly put her hand in Sophie’s, Sophie pulled her in tightly before holding onto her with her other arm. The two of them began to move from side to side, neither really knowing what the hell they were doing.

“See were not that bad...” Sophie joked as she desperately tried not to stand on Paula’s toes.

“Love were literally rocking from side to side!” Paula sarcastically joked.

“It’s a start though” Sophie said moving her arms lower down Paula’s back.

“Steady on the taxi will be here any minute and you need to finish off that drink. I have a tradition when I go out, I mean it’s been around for many years now but we never leave any alcohol before getting into the taxi” Paula explained.

“That’s funny me and my girls have the exact same rule or tradition as you put it” Sophie replied.

“Well get over there and drink it then...” Paula said playfully slapping Sophie on the bum.

Sophie wasted no time in downing her remaining wine, which was perfect timing as the taxi driver had just beeped the horn to let them know he was outside waiting for them.

“Got everything?” Paula asked.

“Yep, just need my arm candy now...” Sophie said waiting for Paula to take hold of her hand.

“Arm candy? Now I have never been called that before”.

“First time for everything hey?” Sophie joked.

The two of them got into the back of the taxi, it was just a short journey into the centre of town where the bar was that they were meeting James at.

“What kind of shirt do we reckon James will be in?” Paula asked.

“One that is brightly coloured and has a vulgar pattern on” Sophie replied.

“It wouldn’t surprise me. He did tell me he had got a new one especially for the occasion”.

“Oh please have toned it down James, we’re trying to find you a woman” Sophie joked.

“I’m putting my faith in him, I think he will have gone for a plain one with a nice jumper or jacket”.

“I hope you are right”.

Meanwhile arriving back on the cobbles, Tim couldn’t wait to show Gina the size of Paula’s house. He still couldn’t get over how big it was and those gates, well they were something else.

“Gina... GINA” Tim shouted as he walked into the house.

“What?” Gina replied as she ran down the stairs.

“You need to see this!”

“See what?”

“The size of Paula’s house! It’s bloody ginormous, you could fit about 5 of these in there” Tim replied.

“Well show me then...” Gina said with wide eyes intrigued to see the house.

“Here, look”.

Tim handed Gina the phone, she wasted no time at all at looking through the photos. Her mouth got wider and wider as she scrolled, she couldn’t believe that Paula owned and lived in this house.

“Did you see inside it?” Gina asked.

“No, there was no time but remember we are going over there for dinner!”

“Yes we are! I bet she has like chandeliers and everything in there!”

“You don’t think she has butlers do you?” Tim asked.

“Probably... it’ll be like that downtown Abbey, when the staff live in the cellar” Gina replied.

“Can you imagine? That’s why she’s such a good cook, she has a chef to do it all for her” Tim said.

“Probably! I mean look at the gates? You wouldn’t be able to climb them if you forgot the passcode would you?” Gina joked.

“I’m surprised she doesn’t have guard dogs”.

“She might you never know, you didn’t get to go into it did you..”

“Right when Sophie next comes over we are organising this meal. I can’t wait to see how the other half live”.

“Yes, Hopefully next week sometime”.

“Right I must dash I’m still supposed to be working” Tim said grabbing his phone and rushing back to the office.

“Bye...” Gina replied taking a deep breath. Gina was falling for Tim the more time she spent with him, she could definitely see why her sister married him.

In town James had got the first round in, he didn’t know what Sophie’s drink of choice was but he definitely knew what Paula’s was. He was nervously waiting for Sophie and Paula to turn up, he felt like he was about to go on a date with the pair of them.

“James...” Paula said as she and Sophie walked into the bar.

James sat there waving at the two of them.

“See I told you he would have toned down the garishness of his shirt” Paula whispered to Sophie making her laugh.

“Thank god!! It will be a lot easier to find him someone in that shirt rather than one of his usual ones” Sophie replied.

“He’s even shined his bald head” Paula said bursting into laughter.

“Stop it you!” Sophie replied hitting Paula’s arm.

“Something funny?” James asked as he greeted the two beautiful ladies.

“Just Sophie being a tit” Paula replied.

“No change there then! I must say the two of you look absolutely divine this evening”.

“That’s very kind of you James” Sophie said giving him a hug.

“I got you both a drink, I hope you like the one I got you Sophie I wasn’t 100% sure what you liked” James explained.

“I’m sure I’ll love it” Sophie replied taking her jacket off to get comfortable for the evening.

“An old fashioned, good choice James” Paula said taking a sip out of her drink.

“Does it have a twist of burnt orange in it though?” Sophie asked.

“It doesn’t no, Should I get one?” James said panicking.

“Don’t worry I’ll go get one!” Sophie replied.

“No, love it doesn’t matter” Paula said but Sophie was already at the bar.

“She’s a good one isn’t she? You told her you love her properly yet?” James asked.

“Tonight isn’t about me and her it’s about you. Finding you a date...” Paula explained.

“Fine but I mean look at her, just tell her exactly how you feel” James replied.

“Shh! Anyway good choice of shirt, I was a little worried you were going to turn up in an Hawaiian one!”

“Would I do that?”

“Yes you would! We were both very worried, even had a little bet”.

“Who won?”

“I did because I had faith that you would be sensible” Paula replied.

“What did I miss?” Sophie said as she brought back a twist of burnt orange for her old fashioned.

“I hear you thought i was going to wear a shit shirt...” James asked.

“I won’t lie I was a little bit worried but was very happy to see you wore a sensible one. You’ve made our job easier” Sophie explained.

“Talking of which, seen any body you like the look of?” Paula asked.

“Theres a tall brunette over by the bar that looks very nice” James replied.

“Ah see we might have hit our first problem, she’s tall and you are of average height meaning she will tower over you” Paula immediately said.

“She might like short people...” James replied.

“She might? I can go and have a word with her if you want?” Sophie asked.

“If you don’t mind”.

“James I love you but I guarantee she’ll knock you back” Paula replied.

“Babe don’t be such a Debbie downer, let me just go work my magic” Sophie said as she left the table to go talk to the mysterious brunette.

James and Paula nervously looked on as they watched Sophie sit down at the bar next to the brunette. James didn’t want his first choice to be a rejection and Paula didn’t want the woman to think that Sophie was flirting with her.

Chapter Text

“Hi there, I hope you don’t mind me coming over. I’m here with a friend who is looking for a date. He’s a really nice bloke who knows how to treat a lady but he’s just a little shy to begin with...” Sophie began to explain.

“Hi I’m Francesca, where would your friend be sitting right now?” Francesca replied.

“He’s sat behind on the table with the lady in the pink blazer”.

“The bald headed man?”

“Yeah that’s him. His name is James, he is a 32 and a lawyer” Sophie explained.

“He looks lovely. May I ask how tall he is? As you can probably tell I’m quite tall and genuinely go for men who are even taller” Francesca replied.

“He’s about 5ft 11” Sophie said through gritted teeth knowing that this could be a deal breaker.

“Ah, see I’m 6ft”.

“So I take that as a no then?”

“I’m afraid I just don’t want to give him the wrong impression. We’d look stupid arm in arm walking down the street”.

“Well it was worth a try! I hope you have a good night, take care” Sophie said as she headed back to the table.

“So?” James asked with a nervous smile on his face.

“She liked the look of you but I’m afraid the height put her off mainly because she is over 6ft and wanted to look good on her mans arm” Sophie replied trying to ease James down gently.

“Knew it was too good to be true! She was practically a model”.

“I hate to say I told you so but I did tell you...” Paula replied feeling very smug.

“Not helping babe” Sophie said pinching Paula’s leg underneath the table.

“Sorry... but there are a lot more women in here right now so let’s move onto the next one”.

“Good idea, so anyone else you like the look of?” Sophie asked.

“There’s a blonde lady over on the table by the toilets. She looks very nice” James said.

“Shall I go?” Sophie asked.

“I’ll go this time...” Paula replied getting up from the table.

As Paula got closer and closer to the woman she could tell that she was quite young, she decided to just go for it and see what she said.

“Hi. You don’t mind if I sit down for a couple of minutes do you?” Paula asked.

“Uhh sure why not...”

“I’m Paula by the way”.

“Rachel, nice to meet you”.

“You’re probably wondering why I’ve come over here to talk to you. I’m here to basically to ask to see if you would like to come over and meet a lovely lovely guy called James. He is 32 years old, he is a lawyer and an all round lovely guy”.

“Umm, ok?” Rachel replied.

“Yeah?”

“Sure I mean why not? He’s not an alien or anything right?” Rachel asked.

“He isn’t an alien. I mean he’s bald but he has a great beard to make up for it...” Paula joked.

“I do love a good beard on a man” Rachel said.

“There we go then. Shall we head on over?”

“Will it just be the three of us?”

“No my partner Sophie is also over there, but if the pair of you are getting on I’m sure we can give you some space to talk”.

“Sure. Let me just explain to my friends and then I’ll be over” Rachel replied with a smile on her face.

Paula walked back over to Sophie and James with a blank expression on her face, she was trying to give nothing away.

“So?” James asked.

“Bad news I’m afraid, I tried to convince her that you were a decent guy but she wasn’t having any of it” Paula said as the smile began to peer through.

“You’re lying” Sophie replied.

“Are you?” James said hoping and praying Paula was lying.

“Ok, I’m lying! She’ll be over once she’s explained to her friends that she’s coming to speak to a young man names James” Paula explained.

“YES” James shouted fist pumping the air.

“Steady on, you don’t want to put her off before she’s even got her” Sophie said immediately moving his arm out of the way so Rachel didn’t see.

“Her name is Rachel and she seems lovely” Paula said with a smile on her face.

James downed the rest of his drink for Dutch courage, his heart was racing at the thought of a beautiful woman coming over to speak to him. He was so excited but felt extremely sick at the same time.

“Rachel, come and join us. This is my partner Sophie and this is James, my colleague but most of all good friend” Paula explained as Rachel walked over to the table.

James didn’t know what to do so he stood up and almost did a little bow. Sophie did her best not to laugh at him, she had absolutely no idea what he was playing at.

“It’s lovely to meet you Rachel, can I get you a drink?” James asked nervously.

“Um I’d love a glass of wine please...” Rachel replied.

“I’ll be right back” James said as he made his way over to the bar.

“It’s nice to meet you Rachel, you’ll have to bare with James I think he’s a bit nervous” Sophie explained as Rachel sat down next to her.

“I’m nervous too. I haven’t been on a date for like a year”.

Alarm bells immediately went off in Paula’s head, why on earth hadn’t a pretty girl like Rachel been on a date? Was it her personality?

“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get on like a house on fire” Sophie replied.

“So what do you do Rachel?” Paula asked.

“I’m a nurse” Rachel replied with a smile on her face.

“Well thank you for everything you do for the NHS, I know it’s not exactly the best time to be working for them” Paula said.

“Tell me about it, but I do love my job” Rachel replied.

“Here we go...” James said placing the glass of wine in front of Rachel. Managing not to spill it with his shaky hands.

“Thank you”.

“Well leave you two to get to know each other” Sophie said quietly giving Paula the eye.

“Yes, have a nice chat and we will be back soon” Paula replied.

The two of them sneaked off to a different table to have a little romantic time together. Was now the perfect time to tell each other how they truly felt?

“I genuinely believe we might have found James a date” Paula said reaching for Sophie’s hand across the table.

“I think we have too!” Sophie replied.

“Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?” Paula asked gazing into Sophie’s eyes.

“You have but I will never tire from hearing you say it” Sophie replied.

Her heart rate was slowly rising as she got ready to finally tell Paula how she felt.

“What?” Paula said as Sophie was just sat there staring at Paula.

“There is something I need to tell you...”

“You’re not pregnant are you?” Paula joked.

“No I’m not!”

“Phew because we would all know I wouldn’t be the father”.

“Babe I’m trying to be serious right now...” Sophie replied.

“Ok, I’m sorry. Go on!”

“Ok, here goes. Ever since I first lay eyes on you I knew we would have a future, there was just something about those eyes that drew me in and held on tight. I know that we have had a few issues and a few problems but nothing that we haven’t been able to sort out. But every single day you manage to surprise me and that makes me fall for you that little bit more. You are one of the most incredible ladies I have ever met, you are beautiful, talented but most importantly kind. Paula Martin I love you and I can’t wait to see where our future takes us” Sophie explained trying her best not to get emotional.

That was one thing Paula hadn’t managed to control, as she sat there listening to Sophie pour her heart out she couldn’t stop the tears of happiness from rolling down her cheek.

“You love me? That’s good because I love you too Sophie Webster” Paula replied leaning across the table to passionately kiss the woman she loved.

James had noticed the interaction between the two of them, he couldn’t help but have the biggest smile on his face.

“Sorry, I think my friends just exchanged their first I love yous”.

“No way? Really? That’s so beautiful” Rachel replied.

“It really is! Anyway sorry back to you, you were telling me about you’re job...” James said.

The two of them continued to get to know each other whilst Sophie and Paula continued to be mushy over on the other table.

“So did you hear me slip up earlier...” Paula asked.

“What when you said you loved me. I thought I heard it but I wasn’t sure so I didn’t want to say it just in case I was hearing things”.

“I couldn’t help it I’ve been wanting to say if for days now and it just slipped out but I am over the moon that you feel the same way”.

“Of course I feel the same way. I mean I’m pretty sure I fell in love with on that date, it was just perfection. I mean an orchestra? How could I not fall in love with someone who arranged that for me?” Sophie explained.

“I have a lot of contacts it was easier than you think...” Paula joked.

“Ok, don’t ruin my image of you spending hours on the phone trying to arrange it”

“Yeah love that didn’t happen, Tricia arranged most of it but didn’t do anything without my say so” Paula explained.

“Well you’ve just completely ruin that for me now”.

“How can I make it up to you?” Paula said playing footsie with Sophie under the table.

“Follow me...” Sophie said winking at Paula.

“Where are you taking me?” Paula asked with a worried look on her face.

“Just follow me”.

Sophie grabbed Paula’s hand and dragged her into the ladies toilets, Sophie immediately unzipped Paula’s jeans wasting no time.

“What are you doing?” Paula quietly said to Sophie.

“Making love to the woman I love in a toilet cubicle” Sophie replied.

“If we get caught we can get into a lot of trouble...” Paula said with her lawyer hat on.

“Babe, you’re killing my vibe so please just shh so I can have my way with you” Sophie said with real authority.

“Yes boss” Paula replied as Sophie pushed her up against the door.

With one hand Sophie began to pleasure Paula, with the other she held Paula’s hand interlocking fingers while kissing her passionately pushed up against the door. Paula couldn’t help but start to moan, Sophie really was very good with those fingers of hers.

Back in the bar James and Rachel were getting on like a house on fire, the chat was constant and the laughter was flowing. James was being a gentleman and asking her lots of questions to get to know her, he also kept buying her drinks so that she didn’t have to pay for anything.

“I wonder where you’re friends disappeared to?” Rachel asked.

“No doubt doing something they shouldn’t be” James replied.

“Oh really?”

“Yeah, She might be a lawyer but she has a very wild side” James explained.

“I’m desperate for the toilet but I’m not sure If I want to go in there if they are at it...” Rachel joked.

“Do you know what you should do... go in there and pretend to be on the phone. Make something up about this date, say how awful it is or how well it’s going. Would be hilarious...” James said.

“Shall I actually?” Rachel replied with a smile on her face.

“Please do!”

“Ok, I’ll be right back” Rachel said grabbing her phone and heading into the ladies toilets.

As soon as the door opened Sophie stopped what she was doing to make sure that Paula didn’t make a noise.

“Why have you stopped?” Paula whispered.

“There’s someone here” Sophie replied.

“Hey Bex, It’s Rachel. Oh my god you won’t believe the guy I’m on a date with, I genuinely believe that he could be the one for me! Like he’s just perfect...” Rachel began pretending to speak to her friend.

“That’s James’ date” Sophie said with a shocked look on her face.

“I know! She thinks he could be the one”.

“I mean you should see him, he’s so cute. He’s even shined his bald head to try and impress me. His beard is off the charts...”

“It is Rachel” Sophie replied.

Paula zipped up her jeans, flushed the toilet and headed out of the cubicle.

“Rachel you ok?” Paula said composing herself.

“Oh hey. Look Bex I’ll call you later” Rachel said pretending to hang up.

“Things are going well with you and James then...” Paula asked with a smile on her face.

“Yeah, I didn’t know you were in here”.

“Sophie you may as well come out...” Paula said to Sophie.

“Hi Rachel” a blushing Sophie replied.

“Ah I see you two were being a bit naughty” Rachel said.

“Guilty” Sophie said as she washed her hand throughly with soap.

“I don’t blame you, you only live once don’t you. Anyway it’s my round what you two ladies having? A woowoo?” Rachel asked trying to be funny.

“Sounds good to me” Paula replied.