The detective and the hotel maid

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Rose Tyler is tired of living in London and takes a job for the season in hotel in a small seaside town called Broadchurch.  Alec Hardy is kicked out of his job in Glasgow after a case he was working on goes wrong and is being punished by being sent to the south coast.  A heart condition and a cheeky hotel maid are not the best of combinations as Alec soon finds out.

Rose Tyler is tired of living in London and takes a job for the season in hotel in a small seaside town called Broadchurch.  Alec Hardy is kicked out of his job in Glasgow after a case he was working on goes wrong and is being punished by being sent to the south coast.  A heart condition and a cheeky hotel maid are not the best of combinations as Alec soon finds out.

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Chapter 1
Inspired by the Doctor Who Story 'Human Nature' where Martha says "A Teacher and a housemaid?" so why not a detective and a hotel maid?

As Alec Hardy got off the train after his long journey, he got a taxi to the address he'd been given of the hotel the Broadchurch Police were putting him up in. Lay low, his old boss had said, keep out of trouble, let the media frenzy die down and let it all blow over. Yeah, of course it was all going to blow over a botched case, missing evidence and a divorce to boot although the divorce had come first and was mutual. His nasty piece of work of an ex had paraded their marital disaster to the judge who had rolled his eyes at Alec, taken pity on him and granted a swift divorce, almost telling him he was well rid of her.

Not that his ex's solicitor had gone easy on him, far from it but his own had outsmarted her and he'd given the house up to be sold and she wasn't getting a penny from it, she had left him to live with another man, taking their teenage daughter, who had taken her mother's side. If she had not moved in with someone else, he would have had to support his daughter but his ex had twisted herself out of it so more fool her. He'd moved into a B&B while his fate at work was decided and he'd sold the house.

Now he had just signed to sell the house and had a rather nice amount of money sitting in the bank after the mortgage was paid off and house prices had doubled since buying the house seventeen years ago when he had married his then pregnant girlfriend who turned out to be not so loving once she had a house, a baby and his rank with a nice salary. She had reluctantly gone back to work as a DS and immediately hooked up with a flirty male DS and sneaked around behind his back for two years until she got caught out when she lost vital evidence in a double murder case.

Still, he had put it behind him as a valuable lesson not to get your girlfriend pregnant and work with her later on, a lesson in life. Stepping into the hotel, he signed the register and noticed the hotel owner was flirting with him, asking how his journey had been and if he needed showing around the town. He politely told her he was there to work, not for a social life and would be gone as soon as he could get another transfer. The woman had pulled a face behind his back as he'd picked up the handle of his case to turn towards the stairs. He hadn't seen her but he knew what all women did when he turned them down, she would have been no exception.

He never knew what women saw in him, he purposely kept himself unshaven, that should have put women off but it seemed the scruffy look was appealing to some women so he had adopted a gruff disposition and snapped at everyone which seemed to have done the trick. Now he had to survive six months in this backwater town and hope he could go back to civilisation if he did what he was asked, stay out of trouble. That was going to be easier said than done, he had a secret to keep that only his own doctor knew about and was covering for him and if anyone found out, he was finished. He would have to face an operation sooner or later, he was hoping it would be later, the last resort when no other alternative could be found.


It was the beginning of June and Rose Tyler had been in Broadchurch two weeks, having successfully applied for a seasonal position of a hotel maid at The Traders Hotel and the owner, Miss Fisher was nice enough and had offered Rose a single room at half rate on the top floor of the hotel and took the rent directly from her wages and plus she got three meals thrown in if she helped in the kitchen at mealtimes. She had readily agreed and had so far made a friend in the kitchen, a man called Simon, who had a boyfriend which Rose found amusing but at least she didn't have to worry about him chasing her. The other kitchen assistant was called Sally, who lived locally with her boyfriend and had invited Rose to have a meal with them on her day off. Two other part-timers came in but Rose didn't see much of them. Rose was the only maid as it was early season, she wasn't kept that busy, the hotel wasn't full yet and was told there would be extra help when it was busy.

She had just made up a double room for a guest that was checking in that afternoon and as usual, when she wasn't preparing rooms, she was watching the desk or helping in the dining room so she missed the arrival of one Scottish detective who had just checked in but was asked to go take some extra towels to room 203 and knocked on the door. A male Scottish voice answered.

"Yes, what is it?" he grunted out, opening the door slightly in just a white t-shirt, Rose not seeing the rest of him.

"I'm Rose, your maid. I've brought some more towels, can I get you anything else Sir?"

Rose thought he looked kind of cute and wondered how long he was staying.

She was however, under strict instructions from her boss not to eye the male guests, single or otherwise and it could lead to dismissal although she had not implied that and Rose didn't want to go back home to her sometimes loser of a boyfriend after she had told him she hated him and wasn't coming back again, after she found out he had tried to ask her friend out.

The man was about to take the towels and Rose said she was supposed to put them in the bathroom for him. He reluctantly let her in and she went to the bathroom.

She stood at the door, about to leave.

"Will that be all Sir?" she asked as she smiled at him.

"Don't call me sir, my name is Hardy and it's Rose, isn't it?"

"Yes Mr Hardy," she answered, looking at the floor and not at the rather dishy man in front of her.

"Well Rose, you can bring clean towels to me any time. Are you the only maid around here?"

"Yes, until the season gets started. Are you on holiday Mr Hardy?" she answered, thinking he'd be gone in a few days and her mind would come out of the gutter.

He sat down on a chair and gestured her to sit. Rose refused until he insisted.

"No, I'm here to work, I'm in the police. So will you be tidying my room while I'm out?" he smiled.

"Yes, that will be me, since I'm the only maid here. Don't worry about leaving it a mess, I'm used to it, it's not any harder than cleaning up after my ex-boyfriend, you should see the damage he could do on a Saturday night out after he got back from the pub. Then he wondered why I left and came down here. This is a piece of cake compared to his flat."

Alec laughed. Just what he needed, a cheeky hotel maid and a nice looking blonde to go with it. Maybe his stay wouldn't be that bad after all.

"I have to get back to work now Mr Hardy, I help out in the kitchen as well and Miss Fisher will wonder where I've got to."

"Sorry, don't want to get you into any trouble, if she says anything, tell her to come and see me and while you're in my room, call me Alec."

Rose smiled. "Thanks Alec but if I'm quick, she won't notice."

Alec thought she wasn't bad for a maid and she looked cute in her maids' outfit but he didn't want to get her into trouble with her boss.

She went back downstairs and thought nothing else of it since she was going to be busy for the next few hours washing up and putting the crockery away. Finally, she tidied the dining room and she and Sally put out the things for breakfast and Rose asked Miss Fisher if there was anything else. It was just after nine, an early finish then.

"No Rose, you can go now, goodnight. Oh, I have to go out around eleven in the morning, will you watch reception for me until I get back?"

"Sure. Goodnight."

Rose climbed the stairs, three flights to get to her room, there were not many rooms occupied on the third floor so she had it mainly to herself and was just on the landing of the second floor when the door to 203 opened and Alec Hardy stepped out. It was after nine and she wondered where he was going and he saw her.

"Oh hello Rose, I was just going down to get some bottled water, I can't drink the stuff from hotel bathrooms," he laughed.

"I can go get some for you if you like, it's no trouble."

"But aren't you off duty?"

"Just finished but I can go back down for you."

"That's very sweet of you Rose, thank you, have Miss Fisher put it on my account. Can you bring me two bottles? I'll call and get some more tomorrow."

"Oh, I can get you some more for when you get back tomorrow, I sometimes run errands for guests, she doesn't mind, I get an hour off in the afternoons, nothing else to do."

She didn't but she was about to start.

"So you give up your time off to help the guests eh?"

Rose nodded. "I'll go get that water for you now."

She went back down to the bar and went behind, asking for two bottles of water for the guest in 203, explaining he had asked for them when she was on her way up. The hotel owner, Becca gave her the bottles and took her out into the hallway.

"Rose, make sure you just give him the water, don't go dallying in the guest's rooms will you? Remember what I said. The last girl who worked here ran off with one of the guests so I have to be strict, can't afford to keep losing staff."

"Don't worry Miss Fisher," Rose laughed, "I've had my fill of boyfriends, just ditched one before I came here so I'm not in the market for a new one yet. Can I ask you something?"

Becca nodded.

"You gave me a job when I had very little experience and thanks for that but if a guest asked me to get them things, like water for instance when I'm off duty, is that okay? I was thinking when I've nothing to do, I could bring things back for them, provide a little extra service for them so they leave a good review for personal service."

"Yes, that's fine Rose but don't get too involved in it and if they ask for anything you're uncomfortable with getting, tell me and I'll have a word with them and if a guest invites you into their room, just discreetly humour them and get out as fast as you can, especially if they're married."

She saw the worried look on Rose's face.

"Oh I'm only teasing you Rose but be careful, the married ones are lonely and miss their wives, the singles miss their girlfriends and things get complicated, I'm just watching out for my staff. Look, if you have trouble with any of them just tell me, okay?"

Rose nodded and took the water back up to room 203 and Alec Hardy opened the door, this time in an open shirt and Rose apologised for the delay. She wasn't going to stay and stare at his hairy chest and just flirt with him.

"Sorry, my boss decided to give me a lecture about going into guests rooms," she blushed.

Alec smiled and let her in then she realised she was just ignoring the advice given to her. She held out the bottles to him and he took them, opening one and going to his jacket pocket.

"Can I trust you to keep a secret Rose?" Rose nodded. "I have to take these pills twice a day you see and since you'll be cleaning my room, I didn't want you to come across them and think the worse and go to the hotel owner about them. If I leave them behind, can you make sure you get them to me at some point? I don't want anyone to know about them or I'll get kicked out of the police force."

"Yeah, I can do that Alec, no worries I won't tell anyone. Who am I going to tell anyway? That's why you asked if I was the only maid, wasn't it?"

Alec nodded. When she had offered to get him the water, he was already late taking them. He quickly swallowed one and drank some of the water. He would have to get some more in a week or two, sooner if he had to take any extra but he was hoping now he was in this one horse town he wouldn't need to.

Alec gestured for her to sit down then took the seat opposite her.

"So what time to you start work then Rose, must be early?" he asked, looking at his hands.

"I start at seven, help in the kitchen then start doing the rooms from ten when guests check out or whoever leaves their keys. If you don't leave your key, you have to ask for your room to be tidied."

"I'll remember that but you work long hours, don't you? What do you do in your spare time to relax?"

"Only get one day off Sunday so I just go for a walk on the beach or something, I've only been here two weeks, used to work in a store in London. I get a few hours off during the day, go look around the shops."

Thankfully, she didn't ask him what the pills were for and he'd keep it quiet for now. Alec stood up and went to put his pills away.

"Don't let me keep you Rose, you must be tired, I'll pay you for the water you bring me back tomorrow, thanks for offering to go down for me tonight, I appreciate it."

Rose got up. "That's ok, anything else I can get you, just let me know."

"Rose, do you think you might, well, you might want to relax a little tonight, with me?"

Rose looked at him, he wasn't wearing a ring but not every man did. There went her boss's lecture if she stayed. No-one ever bothered the guests after 9pm and no-one ever checked on her and perhaps a bit of snogging wouldn't go amiss.

"Well Alec, that depends on your definition of relaxing doesn't it?"

"You've been flirting with me since you came to bring me some towels earlier Rose, I know you have."

He moved a few steps closer to her, had he just been coming on to her or was it just her imagination?

Alec was just thinking that if he was discreet, he didn't see any harm in flirting with her, she was flirting with him or so it seemed and slyly telling him she no longer had a boyfriend. He still hadn't fastened his shirt and it was getting to her and he didn't seem bothered. Alec was hoping he might impress her to at least get to kiss her. Maybe not tonight though, he might have to work at it. They talked for a while, Alec had moved his chair nearer and was looking at her legs as she sat there with them crossed, longing to put his hands on them or maybe even further up them.

His luck held as he made her laugh as he said he'd only come down here to lie low and Rose thought he was in real trouble and he tried to deny it.

"No Rose, seriously, I have to stay out of trouble, I caused quite a media storm, the last case I worked went wrong and the press were all over me."

Rose by this time had almost forgotten her boss's words as he had crept nearer and she found she had grabbed his shirt and was playing with the bottom button, almost grazing his stomach with the back of her finger until she either accidentally or on purpose lost her grip on the button and her finger did touch him and he flinched. Rose withdrew immediately but he grabbed her hand back.

"It's okay Rose, I did ask you to keep me company and while talking to you has been nice, I did have more than that in mind."

Rose took the button again, twisting it that it was a wonder she hadn't snapped the cotton thread holding it in place but another finger strayed over his stomach again and towards his belly-button. Alec leaned forward and stroked her cheek and grabbed her hand from the shirt button and placed it on him.

"Rose, I may be taking medication but I won't break if you touch me. You seem to have me at a disadvantage."

"Well you were the one that answered the door wearing an open shirt," she laughed.

Alec smiled and Rose's hand was now on his chest and without realising she was almost on his lap and he grabbed her waist, pulling her closer and began to open the buttons on the black tunic she was wearing.

"Stay with me Rose?" he asked.

Then he kissed her.

"What's wrong with you Alec? Why do you take those pills?"

He had to trust someone in this town if he was going to survive here.

"It's my heart, I have an irregular heartbeat. The medication only helps, it won't cure it. I need an operation but they don't think I'll survive it yet, I've been under too much pressure. I have to slow down and get my chances up." He saw the concerned look on her face. "Don't look so sad Rose, you're supposed to be cheering me up."

Rose shook her head.

"Sorry. Is there anything I can do to help you?"

She was always a sucker for hard-luck stories, that was why she had stuck with Mickey until a short while ago.

"You're doing it now. Just spend some time with me Rose, I'm not asking you to have sex with me or anything, I probably wouldn't survive anyway, not that I've even tried, I might just surprise myself but I don't want to embarrass myself in front of anyone."

Rose thought he looked sad.

"I can do that Alec, it's okay, your secret's safe with me." She reached up and touched his lips with her finger. "It will be our secret as long as you don't tell my boss I've been spending time in your room."

Alec kissed her finger. "Thank you Rose. I'd best let you go since you have an early start in the morning but think about something. Don't work such long hours Rose, it's that and a messy divorce that made me so ill. You're young but it will catch up with you eventually. Why do you put up with such hours anyway?"

"To get my meals, I help out in the kitchen. I get a set amount every week after my room and board have been paid so to make up for it I work extra hours."

Alec didn't like that idea, she was being taken advantage of.

"So, explain it to me," he said.

"Not now Alec, I have to go soon, I have to be up early."

"Then stay here, with me, you can go back to your room in the morning. Look, I'll set my alarm for six, please Rose, I won't pressure you into anything, just stay with me?" he nudged forward to kiss her again.

Rose got up and looked at him as he held onto her hands and stood in front of her.

"Okay then but you wear a t-shirt in bed or I might just forget there's something wrong with you," she teased.

Alec smiled and went to the dresser drawer and pulled another t-shirt out.

"Here. You can wear this if you like. Does the hotel have a laundry service?"

He threw the t-shirt to her and she caught it and he crossed to the chair, putting on the t-shirt he had on earlier. Rose was admiring the view as he changed.

"You can go into the bathroom and get changed if you like, if you think I'll get too excited."

Rose laughed and began to take her uniform off, standing there in her underwear and pulling the t-shirt over her head after pulling the straps of her bra down then pulling the fastener to the front and taking it off under the t-shirt.

"Wouldn't want you to get too excited Alec, how would I explain me calling an ambulance for you?" Rose laughed, throwing the bra on top of her uniform on the chair. "The local laundry service collects on Mondays and Thursdays, you just missed it today. There's a laundrette up the road, I can take anything up there for you if you like?"

Alec smiled as he set his alarm on his phone for six and took his trousers off, putting his phone on the bedside table. He stood in front of her and cupped her face in his hands.

"Do I at least get a goodnight kiss?"

Rose gave him her response. Alec pulled the duvet over and Rose slid into bed.

"Which side of the bed do you prefer Rose?" he asked as he got in after her.

Rose just smirked and replied "the middle" as she sprawled herself across him and met his lips.

Alec went to sleep with a big grin on his face thinking there was no way he was ever going to keep out of trouble with her around.

Chapter 2

Rose wasn't sure where she was when she heard a loud noise. It was not her alarm but it sounded like one. She opened her eyes to find the person she had been using as a pillow had one eye open and a outstretched hand trying to silence the offending noise. He won in the end.

"Morning Rose, how are you today?" he asked, feeling a lot better than he had for a long time, remembering what it felt like to wake up with someone soft and warm.

Rose rolled off him and stretched, careful not to hit him.

"Hi, I'm fine. The best night's sleep I've had since I've been here."

Rose quickly got dressed in the bathroom, disappointing her new room-mate.

"Rose, don't forget my bottled water will you?" Alec asked as he pulled on his trousers.

"I thought you'd be going back to bed Alec," Rose said as she came out of the bathroom.

"I will, don't have to be at the station until ten, I'm not starting until Monday, I came down early. Nothing to keep me where I was. Will I see you tonight?" he asked, going over and putting his arms around her waist.

"It will be after nine though but I'll leave your water for you if you leave your key." She kissed his cheek. "That was much better than sleeping alone Alec but I have to go, I have to get changed."

"Why don't you bring some things down tonight for the morning?"

Rose nodded and pulled him up to her and kissed him.

"Are you quite sure about that?" she grinned.

Alec was perfectly sure, Rose could make this town a whole lot better if he played his cards right.

Rose crept back to her room, hoping she wouldn't run into Becca Fisher and was soon downstairs helping make breakfast for the few guests but wasn't allowed to go in the dining room when people were eating so she didn't see the smile on Alec's face as he was wondering what he was letting himself in for.

Rose busied herself with her duties, she took the desk while Becca went out and she had seen Alec Hardy go out after breakfast and reminded herself to get him some water from the local convenience store and thought she would call up to her room and bring some clean underwear with her for later and went up to tidy his room for him, leaving the water on the dresser with the receipt and arranged her underwear on the bed and thought it would make him smile when he came back. She had forgotten he wasn't going to be out for the day though and was just coming out of his room with some towels as he came up the stairs.

"Hi Rose, are you coming in?" he asked her quietly.

"Can't now, I'm working, I got you two large bottles of water, they should last you a while, then I'll get you some more if you want?"

"Oh come on, you can spare me five minutes can't you?" She couldn't resist his big brown eyes and opened the door for him. "Your boss said you still had my key," he continued, slyly putting his arms around her waist as she opened the door.

"Oi! Are you trying to get me the sack?" Rose giggled as she let them in and closed the door. "You have exactly four minutes before my boss starts to wonder where I am."

Alec then eyed the little display of her underwear she had left for him and smiled. What was she trying to do to him? He took the towels from her and put his arms back around her, pulling her close.

"Well come here then and stop wasting time."

Three and a half minutes later, Alec was fastening his shirt back up. It was just after three and Rose had more work to do other than to stand there kissing him the rest of the afternoon, as much as she'd have liked to.

Alec smiled and went in his trouser pocket and got out some coins.

"There you go, keep the change and thanks for going to get the water for me," he said as they stood at the door so anyone passing by would think she was coming out of his room legitimately. Then he whispered, "See you later rosebud."

Rose smiled and took the towels back down to the kitchen area with the rest of the laundry. She had two more days until her day off and she hoped Alec was going to ask her to spend some time with him. Finally finishing her duties, she knocked on the door of room 203 and instead of seeing Alec's head, all she saw was a hand that grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her inside.

Rose tried to suppress a scream as she was pulled in and giggled instead as the door was pushed to with a foot and the arms where now around her.

"What would you have done if it hadn't been me Alec?" she giggled again as he silenced her with a kiss and put his arms around her waist.

"Oh, I knew it was you, the way you knock and the time, I am a detective after all," he replied, sneaking another kiss. "I'd offer you a drink but I'm not really allowed alcohol. Not like me to take advice," he mused. He gestured for her to take a seat. "I can offer you some tea if you like? I don't mind using the water from here to boil in a kettle," he smiled.

Rose smiled back. "Yeah, tea would be good, thanks."

She took the cup offered and said "Thanks. I can get you some proper milk if you like, it will keep a few days if I get the long-life kind. So, where are you from then Alec? You're a long way from home. What about your family, they must miss you."

Ah, now she was fishing but did he take the bait or keep her dangling?

"No family, not any more, no-one to worry about."

"But that means there's no-one to worry about you either, it works both ways."

He realised she was probably right he hadn't thought about it like that. He was all alone except for his friend up in Glasgow who was keeping his secret and he was 100's of miles away.

"Oh I don't know Rose, we could keep on being friends if you want? Just as long as you don't get into any trouble with your boss."

"Well what's the worst she can do? She can only fire me then I'll have to go back home."

"Don't worry about her, I won't let you get into any trouble. She's getting paid double rate for this room, she probably won't have the hotel full for another month or so. So are you going to tell me why you work such long hours Rose? You do know you're only supposed to work a maximum eight hours a day, don't you? Listen at me, I should be the one to talk," he laughed, putting his cup down and sitting on the bed.

Rose notice her underwear was where she had left it on the pillow. He indicated for her to join him and she began to take his shirt off that he had already unbuttoned.

"Why don't you go into the bathroom and put my t-shirt back on Rose?" he asked, unbuttoning her tunic.

Rose got up and disappeared into the bathroom, coming out in just the t-shirt. They began fooling around on the bed until Alec remembered she hadn't answered his question.

"I don't want to talk about it Alec," she said, lying in his arms on the bed. "I don't work all the time, I get a few hours off. It's a job and I get to live in and get my meals. It's better than living in a B&B."

"Yes but you start so early and finish late. Look, I can help you if you want, cut your hours down a bit maybe?"

"I can't afford to Alec, I wish I could."

Alec looked down at her and brushed her hair back.

"Just think about it. You've got Sunday off?" Rose nodded. "Then spend the day with me Rose, I'll borrow a car and we'll drive up the coast, what do you think?"

Rose looked at him and pulled him down for another kiss.

"That would be nice. How will you get a car?"

"Leave that to me, I'll tell the station I need a car," he smiled. He put his t-shirt back on and got back into bed. "Are you going to use me as a pillow again?" he grinned, getting comfortable.

Rose snuggled up to him and just answered, "Mmm," before she fell asleep.

For the second night, Rose had fallen asleep on him, exhausted. The question was, what was he going to do about it? She shouldn't be doing half a dozen jobs even if she did have a few hours off during the day. She was only working the extra hours to get her meals, didn't the hotel owner pay her enough? Obviously not. He had to think of something to help her and maybe she could help him at the same time.

Rose got dressed the next morning and Alec went back to sleep, saying he was going to go borrow a car and asked Rose if she could finish early and he would take her out for a meal, out of town of course. Rose said she would try and finish at six and Alec said he wouldn't take his meal there that night and told her to try and finish on time.

Rose seemed a lot brighter that morning, Becca and the other staff noticed but she dare not say anything about Alec. She asked Becca if it was okay not for her to work in the kitchen that night, she had a date. Becca was surprised but told her to go ahead. Rose went to get changed and she arranged to meet Alec a little further down the High Street and he drove them just out of town to a small pub and they had a nice evening out. Alec let Rose go back in the hotel first and luckily, Becca never noticed her being followed. Rose went to get some clothes for the next morning and sneaked back down to Alec's room.

Since she didn't have to work the next day, Alec let her sleep in and woke her so they could fool around again, quietly in case someone heard them. As they lay in bed, Rose still wearing his t-shirt, she told him he could take his off if he wanted. Alec was not going to argue with her as she ran her fingers over his bare chest but it was becoming apparent to them both that Rose was becoming more than the hotel maid to him. The night before, they had just kissed again although Alec at least got his hand on her bare back, not trying anything else but in the morning, after he took his t-shirt off, she did let him pull the t-shirt up she was wearing just a little.

"Don't want to get your heart racing do we Alec?" she teased and he tried to pull it up just a few more centimetres.

Alec persistent, nudging it up a fraction until he got his hand slapped and just laughed.

"You are just a spoilsport Rose. I'm not going to have a heart attack because you pull up the t-shirt you're wearing. I feel fine, I just have to avoid any physical assertion, that's all such as running and other ways having some fun."

"Oh poor Alec," Rose giggled as she moved over onto her side after kissing him again.

He turned her onto her back and she gave in and let him do what he had set out to.

Rose got dressed and Alec went down to get into the car then five minutes later, Rose sneaked downstairs the back way into the car park, making sure she wasn't seen and Alec set off so they didn't have to pass the hotel entrance. Rose had reckoned Becca probably wouldn't be looking for her in a car anyway and they drove up the coast and stopped in Lyme Regis and went to find some breakfast. They walked around the harbour and sat down away from the beach and Alec said he wanted to talk to her.

"Rose I was being serious about you cutting your hours down. Listen, why don't you finish at six every night and I'll take you out for dinner, even if it's only down the harbour to one of the stalls, if that's what you want. I suspect they can do without you in the kitchen, you only do it to get your evening meal don't you?"

Rose nodded. Alec took her hands.

"I start work tomorrow but I'll be back by five then we'll go out. Is that okay?"

"Alec, you don't even know me, we only met a few days ago. I could be anyone."

"Nonsense, I know enough about people. So tell me about yourself, where you grew up and don't say you don't have the time. We have the rest of the day, I'm not going anywhere."

So Rose sat and told Alec all about herself, her name and where she grew up and had a tough childhood without her dad and the more she told him, the more he felt sorry for her. He put his arms around her and pulled her closer.

"Rose, you have to trust me, I can take care of you, I want to. Work some decent hours and don't worry about the difference. You come out the same time as me in the mornings and we'll have breakfast down by the harbour, then you can go start work. It will make me feel a lot better knowing you're not working all those long hours. Promise me?"

"I'll have to talk to Miss Fisher tomorrow, she'll wonder why I'm cutting down. I'll just start with finishing early for now, cut down gradually. I'll have to tell her I've got a new boyfriend. That's if you don't mind being called my boyfriend."

Alec laughed, it had been a long time since he had been anyone's boyfriend.

"Let's just say I'm a friend, I'm a bit old to be your boyfriend. Now let's go get some lunch and when we get back to Broadchurch, you can show me around. No-one knows us and I doubt the hotel guests will recognise us."

They spent the rest of the day walking around the shops although Rose was concerned for him they were all on a steep hill but they took their time and Alec bought her a pair of sunglasses as she was squinting in the afternoon sunshine. Then Alec drove them back and dropped her off down the High Street and went back down to join her and they walked down to the beach to a quiet cove and sat down on the rocks.

"Alec, I've had a great day out, thanks. No man has ever treated me the way you do."

She touched his cheeks and stroked his beard.

Alec held her hand. "I can get rid of this if you like, I only grew the beard to fend off all the women who kept chasing me," he laughed.

"Didn't do a very good job, did it?" she laughed back.

Alec had to agree. "Well, it seems that cheeky hotel maids are immune to it," he replied, leaning forward to kiss her. Maybe it was time he told her about himself, this cheeky hotel maid was going nowhere anytime soon.

"Well if we're going to be friends, I need to tell you about myself and if I don't scare you off, I might even tell everyone I have a girlfriend."

Rose smiled. She hadn't been in the market for a new boyfriend but she certainly needed a friend. So Alec told her his story and how he became so ill. Rose put her arms around his neck and leaned into him.

"So for the last two years, you've had no-one to care about you?"

Alec nodded, it had been over two years since he had last been with his ex wife.

"Well now you have, I care about you."

"Thanks Rose, I know you do."

They sat for a while and watched the waves on the rocks and made their way back to the hotel, calling at one of the harbour stalls and getting some tea and sandwiches and Rose went in the hotel first and got her things for the morning and went down to Alec's room. While she was gone, Rose called her mother and said she was through with Mickey and found another man, a real man. The news didn't go down very well.

Alec called his friend and doctor while he was waiting for her, asking if he would come and visit him and bring some more of his medication, he was going to need it since he now apparently had a new young and cheeky girlfriend who was going to be keeping him on his toes and would take some keeping up with. His friend was delighted to hear about her and said she was going to have her work cut out for her looking after him and keeping him quiet and it was arranged he would come down the following Sunday and meet the young woman who had taken up the challenge.

Alec wanted to find out what his chances of having an operation were but didn't want to alarm his new friend just yet. She seemed to care about him and wasn't interested in what he had to offer was only the bare minimum and going any further could have disastrous results. He wondered how long she would be prepared to put up with it but if she had just split from her boyfriend, maybe she only wanted company too. He didn't know it yet but things were not going to be that simple and it would take every ounce of his strength and every bit of Rose's patience to get him through.

They spent the rest of the evening talking, Rose was telling him about how she was interested in gymnastics but never followed up on it and falling into the trap of working in a department store and never had time to go to the gym.

"You should take it up again. Is there a local sports centre here? You should go join. I'll pay the membership for you, take you there and bring you back, if you're going to have your evenings free. I could go and relax in the spa while I'm waiting for you, it will do me good."

Him, going to a spa. What was he thinking? But it would keep him calm and maybe improve his chances of an operation after he had been turned down flat the last time.

Rose snuggled up to him. "Mmm, that would be good but I can't have you paying for everything for me Alec."

"I want to, I'm the reason you're cutting your hours, remember?" He went to his jacket and got a wad of notes out. "Here, take this, then tomorrow night, we'll go up and get membership."

He bundled the money into her hands but she refused to take it.

"Alec, I can't take money from you, just like that. Don't think you're paying me to keep you company 'cos if you do think that you're sadly mistaken, Alec Hardy."

She pulled away from him and crossed her arms after pushing the money away.

"Rose, don't think like that. I'm not paying you to spend your time with me, so don't ever think I'm trying to. Do what you like Rose, you don't have to spend every evening with me, that's not what I'm trying to suggest. You took it the wrong way, I'm not trying to buy your time you spend with me, I'm just willing to make up for the money you'll lose so you can have your evenings to yourself or spend them with me. Look, you finish at six, do what you like, go to the gym or whatever and then you come down and see me at nine but only if you want. It doesn't even have to be every night if you don't want."

He moved back nearer to put his arms around her.

"I didn't mean to upset you Rose. Here, take the money. You know that Becca Fisher is exploiting you, don't you? She's taking advantage. I know how much a single room costs and how much meals cost, she's using that to her advantage to get you to do jobs she'd have to pay someone else to do or make it easier on the other staff. Stop doing it Rose, she'll manage and don't feel guilty about it either. Now come and give me a kiss and we'll make up. I didn't mean it to sound like I'm paying you to stay with me, I know enough to know you wouldn't do that, that you don't want the money."

Rose moved closer and put her arms around him.

"I'm sorry Alec, I'm just not used to anyone like you that didn't want something in return. You're too good for me."

Alec leaned down to kiss her. "Rubbish," was all he said as he leaned her back onto the bed.

The next morning, Rose had to get up at her usual time but she wasn't bothered this morning, she was telling her boss she no longer wanted the extra hours as she had a new friend and would be going out in the evening. A friend who was willing to take her out to eat. Becca was a bit surprised considering Rose had told her a few days earlier that she wasn't in the market for a new boyfriend. She was also surprised when a certain detective inspector told her he wouldn't be taking his evening meal, he expected to be working late and would eat out. If she had been the suspicious type instead of the gossipy type, she would have sworn something fishy was going on but shook it off a detective and a hotel maid? Not in this world.

Chapter 3

Alec wasn't able to keep his word the following Friday however, tragedy shook the town when a young boy was found dead on the beach early in the morning and Rose was going to be Alec's only escape from the press hounding him and pressure from his superiors to solve the crime as quickly as possible. Alec had to put his doctor off coming down to see him, he was sent another prescription which Rose went out of town to get him, getting questioned as to why the form was stamped with a Glasgow surgery and explaining her Scottish boyfriend was staying with her. Alec reluctantly paid for his medication, prescriptions were free in Scotland. Rose had laughed, saying he was a typical Scot. That had made her lose any privilege of wearing his t-shirt in bed.

Rose comforted him every night, no matter what time he came in, she had his room key and was waiting for him, making sure he took his medication, making sure he always had it in his pocket when he went out and by the end of the following week, Alec insisted he went to talk to Becca Fisher and told her he had been seeing Rose and she was moving into his room with him. Becca knew she had been right all along, she had begun to suspect when Rose cut her early morning hours out as well but allowed her to keep her job during the day, working from 10am until 4pm. Becca wasn't bothered, it saved her a bit of money but she had to pay Rose the correct hourly rate, especially since the maid was now dating a policeman and he was paying for a double room.

Rose took time off to attend the funeral of one of the townsfolk after he was hounded to his death but Rose had promised to support Alec through the difficult case. Things began to ease up and Alec's friend came down and told Alec he could risk an operation but would have to travel to Glasgow to see a specialist and then stay for the operation so Alec, on getting threatened by Rose, had to agree but only after he had solved the case. His hesitation though nearly had dire consequences.

Alec got woken just after midnight one night, which also woke Rose up and he had to hurriedly get dressed and get picked up to go chase after a suspect. Rose was worried about him as no-one knew about his condition apart from her, certainly even his work partner didn't know. He had just averted being taken to hospital previously when Rose called one night after he failed to collect her from the gym and had not been able to get him on his mobile and had called Becca, who dashed up to find him on the bathroom floor but had got him his pills and he'd been ok. When Rose got back by taxi, Becca was putting a band-aid on a cut just near his ear and had told Rose to look after him. Rose never went out and left him again.

This time though, he wasn't so lucky. His work partner knew about Rose and they had met a few times, even been invited to dinner once when her husband had cooked and Rose had been talking about how she had met him, to Alec's embarrassment but they had all laughed. Alec had gone to chase a suspect and Rose hadn't been able to get back to sleep and her phone rang, it wasn't Alec.

"Hello, is that Rose?" a woman's voice asked. Rose said yes. "It's Ellie Miller. Alec is being taken to the local hospital, he collapsed, something about his heart."

Rose didn't even have time to reply before she was out of bed and getting dressed and left the woman on the phone. Picking her phone back up, the woman had gone and Rose called her back.

"Sorry, I was rude. Is he ok?" she asked as she was halfway down the stairs to the side door, the front door was always locked at night. She was hoping there would be a taxi in the rank opposite. "Do you have the number for the hospital?"

"He was still breathing when the ambulance left, I had to resuscitate him, don't worry I didn't kiss him or anything, that's your job. I'll send you the number. Why didn't you tell me he was sick Rose, for goodness sake, I work with him."

"Yeah and I'm his girlfriend, he made me promise. He is taking medication, he was ok when he left. I'm just getting in a taxi now."

"I'll meet you there. I'm sorry but I have to report this, half the officers here saw him lying on the ground, he can't hide it now."

Rose hung up and told the driver to take her to the emergency room at the hospital. She paid the driver and ran up to the reception desk on arrival, having phoned to say she was coming.

"Hi, Alec Hardy, he's just been brought in. Is he ok?" she asked anxiously.

The nurse checked and said someone was in with him now. "Are you a relative of Mr Hardy's?"

"I'm his girlfriend. Is he going to be alright? Can I see him?"

"The doctor will be able to tell you when he comes out from examining him. Can we take some details about him from you Miss?"

Rose was handed a form which she took a seat and filled in. It was good that Alec had filled her in on all his details when she had moved into his room with him. A man in a white coat came from out of a room and crossed to the desk, picking up a clipboard and the nurse pointed to Rose. She had put her name as his next of kin. He had no-one else now except her.

"Miss Tyler?" Rose nodded. "We're going to keep him overnight. We've asked for his records, I understand he's not from around here. We've stabilised him and he'll be ok. You do know he needs to have an operation? He might not be so lucky next time, he was lucky someone acted so quickly."

Rose nodded. "Can I see him?"

"We'll get him settled and hook him up to a monitor then you can see him. We'll discharge him in the morning if nothing else happens but he'll have to come back for regular check-ups unless we learn otherwise from his records. We'll know more when I've looked them over."

Rose saw two orderlies wheeling Alec out and got up to follow them. She wasn't stopped and a nurse gave her Alec's belongings when she said who she was. They had just got him settled when Ellie Miller came in.

"How's he doing?"

"He's not woken up yet. They're keeping him overnight."

"You should go back and get some rest Rose, come back in the morning."

Rose Tyler was as stubborn as her mother as she crossed her arms and legs as she sat in the chair then took Alec's hand, minding the tubes coming out of it.

"Forget it DS Miller, I'm going nowhere without him, I'm staying."

"I'll have to tell the chief super in the morning, I'm sorry. He should have said something."

"He only wanted to solve the case, he was going to do something about it when it was over. He promised me he'd go have an operation when he had the killer locked up. Can't you just leave it for now, please?"

"I'm sorry Rose, I can't." With that, Ellie Miller left.

Rose settled herself in the chair, still holding Alec's hand, waiting for him to wake up. She only said "Hi" to him when he did, not wanting to get him upset by telling him and just kissed him to keep him quiet. Rose took him back to the hotel and fussed over him. They were so close to signing for the house Alec had just bought, an investment he'd said for when he got the case finished with and went to have his operation. He said it was for her if he didn't make it, Rose had playfully hit his arm and said it was for both of them and called him a plum. That had been the night he finally told her he loved her. It was taking a few weeks for them to get the seller to sign the house over, Alec had almost enough to buy it and was trying not to have to get a mortgage so as not to leave Rose with it and were waiting for the seller to bring the price down with the promise of a quick sale since Alec didn't have one to sell and the money was waiting.

Alec insisted on going back to work just after ten, saying he had work to do and Rose went crazy with him. "DS Miller said she was going to report your little incident to the chief, she'll probably kick you out anyway."

"Miller should have kept her mouth shut. Well I'd better get on then, hadn't I before I get taken off the case altogether."

Alec got into the Police Station and was told in no uncertain terms he was to go see the CMO the following morning and if he said he was out, he was out on medical leave until he got himself sorted. He got back to the hotel that night and told Rose, who didn't want to say 'I told you so' but instead she comforted him. The next day however the big breakthrough came, after he had been told to clear his desk by the end of the day and go have his operation before he came back. He was to be put on medical leave at half pay but he could still support Rose, even if she gave up work but he still had to go to Glasgow for his operation so Rose started making plans.

By the end of the afternoon, the killer was charged and the family were told. Rose was in shock as to who it was and when Alec got back later on, they received a visit from DS Miller who was heart-broken. Now Alec was undecided whether to go ahead pursuing the seller of the house as they still hadn't got back to them and Rose said to leave it. Alec had something to say to Rose anyway he had contacted his solicitors in Glasgow and everything was to be signed over to her, whatever she decided to do.

Preparations were made to make the trip up to Glasgow but first, Alec had to meet Rose's mother, who had been put off long enough so she came down for the weekend and surprisingly she took to him, probably because Rose had told her he was sick and going for an operation. Alec hadn't said anything to Rose yet but had let her mother in on his secret he was going to ask Rose to marry him so she would get all his benefits from the police if the operation failed. It had become clear that another incident like he'd just had would more or less be his last if he didn't do anything and he wanted her to have everything and be taken care of. So on some false pretence, Rose's mother had got her dressed up and got a taxi and they ended up at the Town Hall and as she got out of the taxi, Alec greeted her and proposed to her.

"I want you to be my wife Rose, before I go for my operation. Everything's arranged, the registrar is waiting." Alec took Rose's hand and placed a single solitaire ring on her finger and she allowed herself to be led inside. She didn't need to think about it.

Jackie Tyler was also waiting, to see her daughter get married at last and Ellie Miller had turned up as Alec's witness. A few day's later, they were in Glasgow's main hospital being told Alec had a reasonable chance of surviving the operation and since Rose was fretting that the next time, someone might not be there to find him, he agreed to stay in and go ahead with it, it would be over for him the next time something happened to him anyway and at least he had a chance this way and Rose would be waiting for him he had everything to live for.


Rose had been sitting by Alec's bedside waiting for him to wake up. He'd been out of it most of the day and the surgeon wanted to keep him that way for at least 24 hrs. She had never left his side, the nurses had taken pity on her and had brought her tea and sandwiches and when needed she had used the private bathroom for a few minutes. It had been touch and go but the surgeon had said he had a good chance now and it was up to Alec but since it appeared he had a young beautiful wife to live for, his chances were better than they had been at one time and was sure Alec would fight to come back to her.

A nurse came in at ten at night to check on him and found Rose had somehow curled herself up at Alec's side away from the machines and was fast asleep holding onto her husband and the nurse didn't have the heart to wake her until six the next morning. Alec had woken before her and smiled as the nurse came in, pointing to the sleeping woman at his side, the cheeky hotel maid he had met nearly four months ago who was now his wife and he decided now he was able to show her how much he loved her.

Two weeks later, they were back in Broadchurch and they found another slightly cheaper house without a mortgage and enough money left over to buy furniture, the carpets had been left in and the point Rose like the best, the conservatory that looked down the cliff towards the sea and they spent many hours in it as Alec fully recovered then in the winter evenings watching the waves crash into the shore and over the sea wall. Alec was to spend many a night in there, trying to get their baby daughter to sleep so he wouldn't wake Rose but she always knew, she had been his maid after all.

The End!