Alec and Rose were still in the blue chalet by the edge of the river. Rose liked it there and it was easier for Alec to get his strength back and despite him collapsing in the bathroom there, they had made it their temporary home. Rose had been looking up letting agents for new properties but nothing had come up and Alec was in no hurry to move.
Although he was still not on active duty, Rose had let Ellie Miller come round most evenings and talk about the case and after a few weeks, the chief agreed to let him go back to work for a few hours a day on the provision Rose came to collect him and he didn't go tearing off anywhere. They were just getting ready one evening to accept another dinner invitation from the Millers as now they were not hiding the fact they were together when Alec was hindering Rose from getting dressed by refusing to zip up her dress.
"We don't have to go out you know. I'm feeling much better now and I just wanted to say thanks. If you hadn't been here with me that night I collapsed, you were right, no-one would have found me. I should have said something earlier that night. I didn't tell you but I passed out on the decking outside."
Rose turned around. "Alec! Why did you never tell me?"
"You fuss over me too much Rose, I didn't want to tell you every little twinge I was getting or I was getting out of breath. It doesn't matter now, all that's behind us, I'm well again."
He leaned down to kiss the back of her neck as he pulled the zip up. "I love you darlin' you know that."
Rose turned around and put her hands over his shoulders. "I know Alec and I wanted to thank you, for being here for me when I didn't know where my family were. As soon as we can, we should go over and join them for a holiday."
"As soon as this case is over because I'm not giving up on it."
"Never expected you to. You should just remember, you don't have to do it on your own."
"I know. Come on, let's not keep our hosts waiting or I might just keep you here."
Once at the Miller house, Rose went to help Ellie.
"So how's he been at work since he came back Ellie?" Rose asked, helping her set the table.
"Still a grump but now it's mainly because he has to tear himself away from you. Have your family got used to him?"
"Yeah, my mum smothered him a bit, she was round every day and if he thought me fussing over him was bad enough, it was nothing compared to having her do it. I think he might have gone crazy if she hadn't left when she did. Can I ask you something Ellie?"
"What was he like before he met me?"
"I don't know much, he wasn't here long before you turned up. He got the job that I was meant to get, you know that, I didn't let him forget it. I gave him a hard time because I didn't know he was ill then. The first I knew was when you answered his phone and said you couldn't tell me anything. I knew there was something wrong but I also knew what he was like but he was better when he was with you and don't deny you two were snogging in my front room the last time you were here."
"Don't know what you mean Ellie," Rose laughed, trying not to turn bright red. "Alec said you'd hidden a camera in there."
"Yeah, had millions of hits when I uploaded it to that video site."
"You never!" Then Rose realised she was being wound up.
Just then, Alec walked in having been talking to Ellie's husband.
"You been comparing recipes you two then?" Rose asked, slyly slipping her arm around his waist.
"Very funny Rose, salad and scrambled eggs are my limit, you should know that."
"Oh come on, you can do more than that. You make a mean beans on toast Alec."
"Thanks, I think."
He put his arm around her waist and pulled her close, kissing her cheek.
"Aw! Look at you two, I think I'm going to throw up," Ellie joked. "I'm going to have to record you two this time when you go in my front room."
"Forget it, you won't catch us doing anything, well not for the viewing public," Alec replied.
"Hey you two, leave that out until you get home," Joe Miller chipped in, bringing in some food.
The conversation was mostly about what Rose was now intending to do now she had her family back. The Tylers had stayed until just over a week ago then they had gone back to their villa, Tony had naturally wanted to know why they weren't going with them, he had become attached to Alec and he had even taken the boy down to the harbour on his own to catch crabs, buying him a special clear bucket to put them in.
A lot had happened in the last few weeks, the death of the local harbour newsagent had hit everyone hard, especially Rose since he had been the first person she had talked to upon her sudden unexpected arrival on the beach and they had all gone to his funeral except for Jackie who didn't want to have to take Tony.
When they left the Miller house, Rose had since got a car, they drove back to their chalet.
"That went down well Alec, don't you think?"
"Huh? Oh, yes, I suppose, better than last time. Rose, did you notice anything funny?"
"Apart from you wanting to know how he had done that chicken?"
Alec smiled. "No Hun, I didn't mean that, don't you think he seemed a bit odd?"
"In what way?"
"I can't quite place it, just his behaviour when Miller mentioned the case. He was asking some funny questions, seeing he's married to the lead detective."
"Alec, it was no different than the last time we were there, I think he's a bit creepy though."
"Creepy? Well I suppose and she was calling my judgement on my choice of girlfriends a few weeks back.''
"She was, was she?" They had reached home and they stopped to kiss just outside the door.
Now Alec was getting better, the bedroom stakes had been raised dramatically and Rose was allowing him to touch her more. They had held off going all the way until he felt a hundred percent and now, just five weeks after they met, they had started making long-term plans. Alec had said before he went back to work properly, they would go visit her family and now he was almost better, Rose was going to ask him if they could go as soon as the case was over. So Rose was more determined than ever for the case to be solved and if he thought that Joe Miller was acting funny, she was going to find out what it was.
So while Alec was at work a few hours, Rose decided to befriend the said Joe Miller by offering to take young Fred for a while so he could get on with the decorating. Alec thought it was a good idea but had warned her to be careful. A week after their dinner invite, Rose had just dropped the young boy off after taking him to the park and she asked how the decorating was going. Then casually, Alec had asked Ellie how it was going and the results didn't match.
Seven weeks after the boy's death, Alec had become more suspicious of both Miller's husband and older son as the local vicar had reported to Alec, now putting in a few more hours, that young Tom had been caught trying to smash up his laptop and Alec had been handed the parts and had sent the hard-drive to a friend of his for analysis.
The night after the discovery, Rose asked Alec what else he had found out. He was reluctant to say anything until he was sure.
"I'm getting close now Rose, I can feel it, he's going to make a big mistake soon. I just have to give him a false sense of security. Are you still ok going up there a couple of times a week?"
"Yeah, it's fine don't worry."
"I do worry because he knows you're with me."
He slipped his arms around her waist as she slipped her hands under his jacket.
"I'm going to get him to bring Tom in tomorrow and ask him about his laptop, I should have the results back. Let's see how they both react. If we're right about this Rose, Miller is going to be devastated, she's going to need you. Now come here you, do you want to go out tonight?"
"No, I have dinner on, chicken and rice."
"Again? You'll have to get Joe Miller's cookbook cupcake."
He kissed her neck as she snuggled up to him, trying to pull his shirt out at the back. "Just ask if you want me to take this off."
She pretended to tuck it back in. "Later."
"Well tomorrow night, I might just work late, I have a feeling something is going to happen."
"Now who's the one that has to be careful?"
"Well the sooner this is over, the sooner we can have two weeks in Majorca then we have some plans to make."
"Such as?" she asked, unbuttoning his shirt.
"Where we're going to live for one. It's already September, we have to find somewhere else when we get back.''
"I was thinking Alec. Mum and Pete have plenty of room out there, in their villa, how would you feel about maybe staying longer than two weeks or going back?"
"What did you have in mind exactly?" he asked as her hands slid up the back of his shirt.
"Well, maybe you could ask about transferring to the Palma Police department. I'm sure they'd love to have someone with your experience on their team and I'm sure Pete could help you with that. He does play golf with several high-ranking officials you know."
"So he made a point of telling me. So you want to leave here for a warmer climate do you?"
"Just think Alec. We could get a villa on the same complex, have our own swimming pool and you can overcome your fear of the water and we could spend early evenings with me in my bikini and you in some skimpy swim shorts, lazing on an inflatable mattress in the middle of the pool with tall glasses of fruit cocktails, soft music playing and we could kiss and, well, you know. We'd have thick bushes all around the garden so no-one could see in, just you and me and lots of physical contact."
"Sounds great, when do we leave?" Alec smiled, kissing her neck again.
"I have to go rescue dinner, think about it. All we'd have to do is get ourselves over there, some of the villas come furnished and mum said they're releasing some new ones soon, she could put our name down for one. We could look while we're there.''
"Ok, we'll just look, if that's what you want?"
"I'm being serious Alec, what do we have here? You should contact your daughter you know. She could come over during school holidays, she's old enough now. It wouldn't cost her anything."
"I'll consider it."
"Does she even know you've had an operation? You never said."
"I sent her a message, it's up to her now. Now are you going to burn down the chalet with your cooking?"
She took her hands from the back of his trousers and smiled at him.
"No, it's just I can't keep my hands off your bum though I prefer it when you wear shorts, I can't get my hand so easily down those briefs."
Alec grinned. "I thought you liked seeing me in those cupcake?"
"I do, just not when you're wearing a belt and they're so tight against you."
"You can't have it all Rose, you said I look dead sexy when I'm waiting for you to come to bed."
"I do think you look dead sexy, standing there waiting for me."
"Then what's the problem?"
"Nothing, just don't go complaining that I never actually touch you when you come home."
"I'll try to remember to wear my shorts next time ok?"
He leaned down to kiss her. "Yes, I'll keep reminding you."
She let go and turned around he had patted her bum. "Same goes for you cupcake, maybe you could wear some skimpier ones under your jeans?"
"You can count on it."
After dinner, Alec went over some paperwork and Rose watched some TV, ending up drinking half a bottle of wine from dinner between them and they were both laughing as they went to bed.
"How about tonight Rose?"
"You're drunk Alec."
"I am not and if I am, it's the first time in a long time." He was burying his head in the cleavage she was revealing over her cotton vest top that was too big for her. "And when are you going to stop wearing a vest and knickers in bed now I'm well again?"
"When you stop wearing your shorts all the time but we still go to sleep in them, you know, since we're in a chalet by the river and all."
"Deal but I'm only wearing the tight ones you like so much."
"I can tell and since I saw you a short while ago, believe me Alec, you couldn't get them any tighter, I don't know how you can wear them."
He grinned. "They're actually quite comfortable and 'snug'. Care to check cupcake?"
"Don't mind if I do and as for tonight being the night, let's wait, until you solve the case then we can celebrate. The walls are too thin here, we might attract some attention. Don't want one of the uniforms knocking on the door, do we?"
"Ok, we'll wait but I want it noted I protested."
"Sure you did Alec. Now come here and let's compromise."
Alec smiled and eased her out of her underwear and she went to lay on him, pulling his down at the same time and Alec turned out the light to hear Rose moaning as he settled back on her.
"Don't know how you fit in those briefs Alec, it's beyond me."
Alec chuckled. "Maybe I'll give you a demonstration in the morning cupcake but you wanted me in shorts when I come home from work."
"Ah well, I might just forgo on that. I'll come up with another idea of getting to your bum when you come home. I could always unbuckle your belt."
"Aye, you could, why didn't you think of that before?"
"It was more fun getting past the obstacles."
"Are you going to talk all night?"
"Make me shut up then and just for the record, you're definitely a ten Alec."
Rose suddenly went quiet and all that could be heard were low moans from her and grunts from a slightly drunk Alec.
The next morning, Rose still hadn't put her knickers back on and Alec was just in his briefs as his alarm woke him up. He tried to get her arm off his waist where she had him firmly pinned down so he could get to his phone. Rose was making one of her funny noises that amused him and made him realise how much he loved her. They had been together almost seven weeks and he had loved every minute of it although it had been touch and go when he had been rushed to hospital.
He probably owed his life to her and for that, he could never repay her. So if she wanted to move to Majorca, he was at least going to consider all the options they had and take advantage of her stepfather, who held a great deal of respect in the local community and Palma itself. Alec didn't know it but Pete was on the committee for the Palma Police department, something even Rose didn't know.
"Come on cupcake, I need to turn my alarm off before I throw it in the bloody river."
He tried moving her arm again.
"Who's grumpy this morning?"
"Me, if I'm late for work. Come on Rose, I mean it."
Rose obliged and he reached the offending object. It was seven forty five and he had asked Ellie Miller to bring her son in at nine. That meant he could have half an hour groping Rose's ass since she hadn't bothered putting her knickers back on. Rose had turned over and he took full advantage. She didn't seem to mind.
"Mmm, that's nice Alec, thought you were in a hurry?"
He leaned down to place a kiss. "You're just too sexy laying with your back to me with your bum sticking out."
Rose giggled. "It's my turn tomorrow morning then."
"I'll be sure to remember."
Rose turned around and they kissed. "I have to go now, Tom Miller is coming in this morning. I might be late back tonight, I'll call and get some fish and chips on the way back."
"Ok but face it Alec, you don't want chicken and rice again."
Alec laughed and got out of bed. "Don't forget you promised me a demonstration."
"I haven't but wait until I come back from the bathroom."
She didn't have long to wait.
Once in the Police Station, Alec set up the recording equipment in his office for the boy's interview. It was all going well until he saw tell-tale signs of hesitation and the boy's father's reaction and it was all falling into place. Alec knew he had the killer. All he needed was for one more thing – for Danny's missing phone to be switched on.
He let them go, asking their shoe sizes and Ellie Miller came in.
"Everything go ok Sir?"
"Yes, fine. Tell Tom he did well, considering but he lied to you both, about his laptop. "
"Yeah, Joe told me, I had no idea."
Ellie left and just before lunch, he called Rose to ask her to be at home at lunchtime and he would bring back some sandwiches. What he really wanted was another quick half hour with his gorgeous girlfriend and to tell her he thought it would be all over by tomorrow. Rose could certainly use the good news they were finally going to be going away. After some serious snogging on the sofa for half an hour, Alec went back to work, making sure he was going to be back home at a reasonable time. He didn't like leaving Rose on her own when it got late.