The missing heiress returns

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Follow up to 'Alec Hardy and the missing heiress'.  Alec has just solved the Broadchurch murder of Danny Latimer and he and Rose are about to set off to join her parents in Majorca.  Things are about to be turned into turmoil however as the trial of the boy's killer takes a turn for the worse as accusations fly and he and Rose Tyler's is love put to the test.

Follow up to 'Alec Hardy and the missing heiress' which should be read first to make sense.  Alec has just solved the Broadchurch murder and he and Rose Tyler are about to set off to join her parents in Majorca.  Things are about to be turned into turmoil however as the trial of the boy's killer takes a turn for the worse as accusations fly and their is love put to the test.

Scroll down each chapter to read
Chapter 1

* Contains some elements of series 2 from the third chapter which have been altered to include Rose so if you haven't seen the new series yet, be warned!  It doesn't include Miller and Hardy going over the Sandbrook case.

You should read 'Alec Hardy and the missing heiress'  before reading this sequel or it won't make any sense.


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.
Chapter 2
It was almost eight that same evening, Rose had phoned him twice to tell him to get his skinny ass back home or she would walk over and take him over his desk.  He had grinned at the thought and had just sent a dozen kisses and a heart symbol as a reply.  He decided he would call at the mini-market just up the road from them and buy her some chocolates and some red roses if they had any but remembered he was supposed to be taking dinner back so just after six he had called her.

"Listen cupcake, I don't know how long I'm going to be.  Why don't you go to the takeaway and bring some food up here for me?  I'll tell the desk sergeant to let you in."

"What will everyone think?  That you can't live without me for two minutes?"

"Well I can't and you know it.  Ok, leave it for now and when I'm almost done, meet me on the corner by the entrance to the caravan park or watch out for me and we'll eat in."

"Ok honey, tell me when you're leaving and I'll set off."

So he was still working and Rose was getting worried.  Despite him coming home at lunchtime, he hadn't worked this late before and she knew he was obsessed by the fact Joe Miller was the killer and he just needed one more piece of evidence to finish this.

Alec was about to phone the love of his life when Miller came in.

"Sir, just had a phone call, someone reported seeing torchlight up in the hut."

"Well what are you waiting for Miller, get a unit up there but tell them not to approach until we get there and have someone drive around to the boatyard and block off the entrance."

He forgot about calling Rose and grabbed his jacket and coat.  A short time later, they were pulling into the car park below the hut where Danny had been killed.  Ellie motioned to two officers who were waiting and she and Alec walked up to the hut.

"You take the front, I'll take the back Miller, look, there's still a light on," Alec said quietly on their approach.

Ellie went up to the door and was about to go in when the door was suddenly flung in her face and whoever the figure dressed in black was pushed her aside and she stumbled backwards.

She regained her composure.  "Sir, they're getting away," she called out.

Alec came running from the back of the hut and they ran after the figure but the person already had a head-start and the officers in the car park came rushing forward but whoever it was had taken the other path down to the beach.  They chased after the person and Alec took the lead.  If he had done that a few weeks ago, it would have killed him and he still wasn't completely sure it still wouldn't.  He hadn't been given the all clear by his specialist yet and if this didn't kill him, Rose would if she ever found out.

They chased down the path into the boatyard and saw a wire fence in the distance and car headlights.  Ellie shouted for the person to stop, there was nowhere for them to go but what she didn't know was that the person had somehow eluded the other officers and was now climbing up toward the other path.

An out of breath Alec caught up with Ellie.

"Sir, are you ok?  You're not supposed to be doing this, your girlfriend will murder you if she finds out."

Alec grimaced.  "Then don't tell her Miller.  I'm fine."  He was still clutching at his chest but only because he was still not used to being well again.  "Where did he go?"

Ellie yelled for the officers who had caught up with them to go back up the cliff path they had just run down.  She turned back round to see Alec leaning heavily against one of the boats.  She went over to him.

"I think I should get you an ambulance Sir or Rose will have my head for even letting you do this."

Alec shook his head.  "Don't you dare tell her Miller.  Just go bring the car around, I'll wait for you here."

Ellie called to one of the other officers.  "Bob, get DI Hardy home, now.  Sir, don't argue, just go with Bob or I will tell her."

Alec looked sheepishly at his DS.  He knew who they had been chasing, the right height, the right build and Miller had not cottoned on they had been chasing her husband.  He dreaded to think the man had gone out of the house and left their two boys on their own but maybe he had got Ellie's nephew round on some false pretences.

Alec reluctantly got into the back of the squad car.

"You going to be in trouble with your missus Sir?"

"She's not my wife, not yet, just my girlfriend.  Drop me outside the station, I have to go pick up supper or I really will be in trouble from her."

Bob laughed.  He had seen Alec with his girlfriend and most of the male occupants of the station were green with envy, wondering how the grumpy detective had bagged Rose Tyler.  Granted that Alec had tidied himself up somewhat.  He no longer looked like he had when he had first arrived.  Rose had made him look ten years younger.

Alec sat back in the car.  His heart rate was returning to the new normal and he was breathing better.  The car stopped outside the station, Alec was thankful they had not had to pass the chalet he shared with Rose.  It was now well after nine and he would be in big trouble.

"Thanks 'erm, Bob and if you see my girlfriend and tell her what happened, I'll have you walking the beat again, understood," Alec half joked.

Bob smiled.  "Yes Sir.  You just get yourself back home to her, she won't thank you for going in the state you were in ten minutes ago though."

Alec thought about it.  "I know, I promised her no more chasing suspects and I'll be the next murder victim if she finds out.  At least you'd know who did it."

Both the officers laughed.  "Goodnight Sir and good luck with her."

Alec walked to the corner and stopped by the outdoor seating area of the caravan site's bar.  He could just see the lights on in their chalet.

He dialled Rose's number, looking at her photo on the contact page, the one he had taken of her with her bare shoulders and her hair in twisted curls with a flower in the side of it.  He shivered every time he looked at it, it made him want her even more.  Sometimes he thought people were right to wonder just how he had managed to bag such a prize of a girlfriend.

From that first day and jokingly offering her a place to stay, his spare room, to now when they were inseparable and the heartbreak he must have put her through when he had collapsed on the bathroom floor not a week after they had met, the way she had stayed with him and nursed him when some days after he came home from the hospital all they would do was lie in bed or on the sofa until her family came round.

Then there was the way her family had just accepted him and never questioned her motives for staying with him.  Now was as good a time as any to make a move to Majorca he supposed if that was what she really wanted and now tomorrow, he was sure this case would be behind him.  Rose answered.

"Where have you been Alec?  I thought something had happened to you.  Where are you?"

"Just over the bridge.  Are you coming over or shall I bring something back with me?"

"Just bring me some scampi and chips and yourself, what have you been working so late on?"

"Just following up a lead.  I'll be back soon, why don't you get changed into that sexy nightdress I like and put your pink robe on?"

"OK but don't be long."

Alec smiled, she knew what nightdress he meant.  Fifteen minutes later he was unlocking the door and barely had time to put the food on the table when she flung her arms around him.

"Don't go working late Alec, you know I don't like it."  She gave him a long, lingering kiss.

"I won't.  It will probably be all over tomorrow.  He was up at the hut earlier because of something I said to him this morning and we almost caught him."

"We?  You mean you were up there?" Rose asked with a mouthful of chips.

"Yes and don't worry, Ellie did all the chasing along with the uniforms."

"You're a bad liar Alec, I know you too well to believe you didn't join in.  You know what you were told."

"Oh come on, I'm supposed to get some exercise and the only bit I get is walking out with you or shagging you."

Rose raised her eyebrows.  "Isn't that enough for you sexy?"

"Yes but I can't keep in shape shagging you all day," he smiled back.

"Well just say and maybe I'll take you running, then you can chase me back here and do some more shagging."

"Sounds like a good plan to me cupcake.  Speaking of which, let's have an early night."

"Mmm, I'm all for that, you look tired Alec."

"It's been a long day."

After disposing of their food wrappers, Rose was already in bed waiting for him coming out of the bathroom, she was wearing the nightdress he liked seeing her in and liked taking off her even more.

"Tonight Rose?" he asked for the millionth time.

"Alec, we've talked about this.  We can both enjoy it much more once you've put this case behind you and I've still not been up to the clinic yet, you know I've been waiting for you to get better.  When you were hospital it made it less urgent for me to go and then you were getting better but let's just wait a bit longer.  It's not like we don't enjoy what we already have."

"I do enjoy it but it's not the same though I suppose it should be special when we do actually do it for real.  Now shut up and let's have some practice eh?"

Rose giggled.

By 2pm the following afternoon, it was all over.  Alec had called Ellie onto the beach to tell her he and Rose were thinking about moving to Majorca to be near her family and told her she had done some good work on the case.  Then he had got a phone call, Danny's missing phone had been switched on.  Ellie went back to question Nigel Carter who had been hauled in for interrogation and Alec called for a car to track down the phone signal.

When he had charged Joe Miller after recording his confession in the interview room, he interrupted Ellie and told her, sitting next to her.  Ellie threw up by the door and Alec put his hand on her shoulder.

"I want to see him."

"You can't, you know the procedure.  I can get Rose to come and talk to you."

"No, I don't want her involved, she'll hate me now."

"You don't know her very well Ellie."

"You both knew, didn't you?  You told her you suspected it was Joe."

"Yes, I had to.  I was ill and she didn't want me doing this on my own."

"You sent her to spy on him, to take Fred out and find out what he was up to."

"She volunteered, she likes Fred, he reminds her of her brother.  I'm sorry, I really wanted to be wrong you know."

"I still want to see him, what can I do to him there are cameras in there."

Against his better judgement, he led the way back to the interview room and called another officer to go with them.

When she got in there, she lost her temper and before Alec realised, she was kicking the hell out of her husband and Alec and the officer rushed in to pull her off while Alec checked on Joe Miller.  She was led out kicking and screaming she was going to kill him.  After getting her to calm down, he had arranged for her two boys to be taken to a nearby hotel and she was waiting for a car to take her to them.

"Please don't tell Rose what happened," Ellie pleaded.

"She knows most of it already.  What will you do now?"

"I don't know.  Are you leaving town?"

"I promised her we'd take a two week holiday and look at some new villas that are almost completed, on the same complex as her family.  I'm going to ask about getting a job out there, her stepfather is still a very influential man."

A knock came on the door.  "That's your car.  Come by and see us later if you feel like it.  I have a press conference and I have to tell Rose first."

Ellie left and Alec put his coat on and walked over to their chalet and told Rose he had been right.  She put her arms around him and kissed him.

"I know you wanted to be wrong Alec.  Is Ellie ok?"

"She's with her boys in the hotel just across the way.  I have to go give a press conference now, I wanted you to know.  Call your stepfather and ask him to make enquires about those villas and a job.  I think it's time we moved cupcake, don't you?"

Rose kissed him again.  "Yes, I think it is.  I love you, sexy."

"Love you too darlin'.  I have to go now."

Later in the evening after Rose had cooked for them, they were just lying on the sofa, kissing and hands all over the place when just after ten, a knock came on the door.  Alec climbed off Rose, zipping up his trousers and fastening his shirt while Rose zipped her jeans and pulled her t-shirt down.  A very dejected Ellie stood on the decking.

"Sorry I'm a bit late but can we talk?"  She looked at him with the buttons of his shirt in the wrong buttonholes.

"Oh, shall I come back tomorrow?"

Alec grinned and stepped aside.  Rose went to make some tea.

"I should have known about him, you two did.  I lived with him, I slept in the same bed and I didn't see it."

Rose put her arm around her friend.  "You couldn't have known Ellie, don't blame yourself.  Are the boys ok?  Have you told Tom?"

"Yes, he took it very hard.  I think he wants to go stay with my sister for a while and I'm going to the caravan site tomorrow, the one down the coast and get a caravan for a few weeks for me and Fred until I can get back in the house to get more things.  I can't go back and live there now."

"You'll feel differently when you've had some sleep," Rose assured her.

"Do you think he would have done it again or he's done it before?"  Ellie asked Alec.

"He could have done, maybe that was the first time but you never know what he intended doing in the future, they start off with just one child then it progresses until it becomes an obsession with them and they can't stop."

Ellie stayed until after midnight and Alec offered to walk her back to the hotel even though it wasn't far.  Ellie agreed and Rose said she would see her soon and told Alec she would wait for him in bed.  Giving Ellie a hug and Alec a kiss, she watched them walk through the gate before locking the door.

Alec walked across the footbridge with Ellie then they walked the short distance to the mini-roundabout by the church hall and the harbour shops and then across the road to the hotel and they stopped outside the door.  Olly's car was parked, Ellie's was still being dusted for fingerprints and was still with forensics.

"Sorry to interrupt your evening with Rose, especially after you got home late last night."

"Oh she doesn't mind.  She always knows I'm going back to her.  She's the best thing that ever happened to me."

"I can tell.  When are you both going away?"

"We'll probably leave it until after the weekend.  We have to decide now if we're coming back after our holiday.  I have a feeling she'll want to stay.  I'll have to come back to prepare the case for court but that could be months away.  I'll see what Rose wants to do.  I'd best get back to her.  I'm really sorry Miller.  What will you do now?"

"Maybe apply for a transfer, not to Majorca though, I'm not caught up with a rich lover."

Alec smiled.  Ellie continued.  "Rose asked me what you were like before she met you.  I told her you were a grumpy arse who took my job but you were better since you had met her though you still got grumpy when you weren't with her."

"Thanks.  I'd better get back before she gets grumpy then."

He held out his hand but instead she gave him a hug.  "Don't get used to the Hardy, it was a one off."  Then just as he was leaving, she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.  "Rose is a very lucky woman and I'm sorry I tried to warn her off you."

Alec nodded and walked off, not knowing there was a security camera in the corner of the small courtyard and went back to Rose who was waiting in bed for him.

"You ok Alec?"

"Fine Sweetheart, I'm fine, now where were we?"
Chapter 3
Alec went back to work the next morning to tie up all the loose ends.  While he was there, Rose was phoning Pete.

"It's all over Dad, did you see the news?"

Pete had starting taking an interest in the news again, especially news from home now Rose was finally back.  He and Jackie had kept it to a minimum, they had been sick of false reports someone had seen her in a pub or a supermarket and all the time to them she had been away, it had just been a few hours for Rose.  He couldn't imagine what it had been like for her, ending up on the beach in Broadchurch and discovering her entire family and her friends had just disappeared when to them, it was her who had done the disappearing.

They were still sad though that Jake and Mickey hadn't appeared to have returned but now they all had hope that maybe one day, they would and now Rose had a new man in her life – Alec Hardy.  Jackie had taken a liking to him as had Tony and Pete had been a bit sceptical that the man looked like someone from their past but he had accepted him into the family and now the murder investigation was over, Rose and Alec were considering moving over to Palma.

"Yes Rose, we saw him on TV last night.  Who was it?  Can you tell us?"

She had already got Alec's permission to tell them.  "Yes but you can't tell anyone else yet.  It was Ellie's husband, Joe Miller."

"No way!  Really?  Whoever would have seen that one coming?  How's Ellie and the boys?"

"Taking it hard.  They're in a hotel nearby for now but she was here last night until after midnight.  She says Tom wants to go stay with his Aunt Lucy and Ellie is going down the coast to the caravan park, she doesn't want to go home even when they've finished with it."

"Poor Ellie, she must be devastated.  Tell her we're thinking about her.  So, are you two coming over then?"

"Yeah, that's why I'm ringing.  Can you make some enquiries about a job over there for Alec?  You did mention knowing a few people."

"Yeah, 'course I can if that's what he wants.  You just get yourselves over here.  Come and stay with us a few days then I'll book you a hotel down in the town for a week then you can decide what you're going to do.  Your mother said you might want to look at some of those new villas.  Have you talked Alec into it yet?"

"I may have successfully persuaded him to have a look while we're there.  Can you arrange it?"

"I won't ask how you talked him into it," Pete laughed.

"He didn't take much talking to Dad, he's got nothing over here and neither have I now.  I take it if Jake and Mickey make it back some day, you have the same arrangements for them as you did me?"

"Not quite the same but now you're back I can notify the authorities over there of my contact details, make it easier and I'm sorry you had to go through all that, it should have been easier for you as well but we didn't want all the prank callers saying they'd seen you in Starbucks or M&S.  It shouldn't have taken that long though, why did it?"

"It wasn't Alec's fault, he was following his chief's orders and they did have a murder on their hands and had to wait for my DNA results."

"Yeah, I suppose.  Leave everything to me then.  Have you booked a flight yet?"

"No, I'm waiting for Alec coming back, he had some paperwork to do.  I think we'll give the chalet up, there's no real need for us to come back until the hearing and he said that could be months and we're almost into October.  If there's just a hearing it will only take a few days and we can stay in a hotel.  I'm trying to get Alec to contact his daughter, to let her know he's leaving the country but he doesn't want it to look like he's deserting her."

"That could be tricky then."

"Yeah, I'm gonna suggest we go see her at the weekend.  That's why I want to leave the arrangements for now."


Alec was in his office and if he never saw the place again, he'd be more than happy.  When they had got up that morning, Rose had said she was going to call Pete and when he got back, they would go up to the travel agents and book two zeppelin tickets to Palma, open-ended because he had a feeling they wouldn't be coming back in a hurry, if at all.  He knew Rose's stepfather would make all the other arrangements and help him secure a job in the Palma Police Department, even if it was at a lower rank but knowing Pete, it would be a higher one.

He had already put in his holiday request effective immediately and the chief was waiting to see him as he knocked on her door.

"Ah, Alec, come in.  Well done for solving the case.  Have you spoken to Ellie?"

"Yes, she came round last night.  She was upset and she's taking her youngest out of town, she'll let you know where.  You do know I've put in for indefinite leave?"

"Yes, I've just been informed.  What are your plans now?"

"Rose and I are going to join her family and I'm considering a change in career, well not exactly a change but I'm thinking of applying to the police in Majorca as Mr Tyler said he could help me."

"I've no doubt he can Alec, if that's what you want.  Just one thing, how did you manage to get involved with Rose Tyler so quickly?"

"She saved my life, the night I collapsed and when I came to after my operation, I knew then.  She wants to be with her family and I've got no reason to stay here on my own.  I'm going to contact my daughter and tell her I'm leaving and ask if she wants to come over for visits, she's old enough now."

"Yes, quite.  Well if you need a recommendation, I'll be only too happy to give you one and I'm sure your last case won't get in the way if Mr Tyler has anything to do with it.  Good luck Alec.  When are you leaving?"

"Probably Monday now, we have a lot to do, I think Rose is going to make me tell my daughter in person and I should do really.  She already thinks I've deserted her and her mother."

Alec left the chief's office and collected what few possessions he had in his desk drawers.  Very few people were paying any attention to him but if he admitted it, they had only really looked at him when he'd had something to say about the case.  His last job was to pick up the phone and call the Latimers but he decided he would go in person so he asked for a car to be waiting downstairs to take him there.

Once in the Latimer's living room, Alec waited for them to be seated.  He had been there the previous afternoon to tell them who had killed their son.  Beth had been too upset but today, she had plenty to say and none of it was apologetic.

"Two months detective, it took you two months to find my son's killer and he was under your nose."

Her husband was trying to stop her getting upset again.  "Beth, just leave it, it's done with now."

"No it bloody isn't done with, I want to know why it took so long.  Ellie said you'd been ill.  Why did you take the case?  If they had put someone on it who wasn't ill, he would have been locked up weeks ago.  We let him into our house, we had lunch with them and all the time, he knew he had killed Danny.  He's nothing short of a monster.  I hate him, I want to kill him."

Alec thought about saying she should get in line, behind Ellie.  "I'm sorry Beth, I really am.  I didn't want to fail you."

"Well you did, you were out gallivanting with that bloody Rose Tyler, who comes in and takes you away from the case and steals all the headlines.  Well bloody hooray for her.  While you're giving all your attention to her and screwing her, my Danny's killer was right under our bloody noses."

Mark spoke up.  "That's not fair Beth, the man nearly died on the job, you heard Ellie."

"Don't you go sticking up for her, she's just as bad, how could she not know?"

"I came here to tell you that your son will be released to you, you can arrange for him to be collected whenever you want and I also came to tell you that DS Miller is on paid leave, we're not putting any blame on her and she will be re-instated, maybe not here and I'm leaving as well.  I did what I came here to do and now it's time to move on.  For your information Beth, it was never about Rose Tyler, why it took me so long.  I was off work and DS Miller was in charge, I was just helping until I went back and I couldn't make an arrest until I was 100% sure I had the right person.  I could have arrested him on suspicion but if it had all fallen through, I couldn't have charged him again when I got the proof.  That's just how it works.  We got him and now that's what really counts.  I'll be back when the case goes to court, someone will be in touch with you about it."

"I'm sorry, detective, I'm sure Beth's just upset.  Thanks for all you did," Mark said.

Beth did not look like she was sorry as Alec left and got in the waiting car to take him home.  Rose was anxiously waiting for him and they went up into the town to book their flights and called in at the letting agents to tell them they would be leaving on Monday.  When they got back, Rose went about persuading a not so reluctant Alec into driving up to see his daughter.

"Ok, I'll give it a go but if she won't see me, don't say I didn't try.  I'll call Tess and tell her I'm leaving the country, well maybe, if it all works out when we get there."

"It will Alec, dad will use his influence, all we have to do is apply to stay and since they are already there it will be easier.  We just need a residency permit and if you're in the police it will be just a formality.  Dad said we can stay up to six months without one.  Go on then, get it over with and call your ex.  Do I have to meet her?"

Alec smiled and put his arm around her.  "No cupcake, you don't have to meet her but you have to meet Daisy, if she wants to come over for visits."

"What if she hates me?"

"Then she'll just  have to get on with it because she's not changing my mind about this, it's been over a year now since I've seen her.  She's old enough to take it and to be told this is what's going to happen and she has no choice in it.  Now come here.  You promised me something when this was all over and it was late last night.  Have you been to the clinic yet?"

Rose blushed.  "No, I was going tomorrow.  I can't start on them anyway just yet so I figured there was no hurry.  Is there a hurry?"

Alec looked disappointed.  "No, if that's what you want."

"Alec, we talked about this.  Let's have some time together, just the two of us.  Let's get settled over there, you get a job and I'll get three months supply and after that, we'll talk about it again."

"But if you start taking them, we can, you know, have our first time, can't we?"  He put both his arms around her waist and under her short black skirt.  "You're wearing those bloody black tights again, you know what they do to me cupcake."  He kissed her neck, shoving his hands down the back of them.

Rose giggled and went for his belt and unbuckled it.  They ended up on the sofa, Rose's tights around her ankles and his trousers halfway down his legs, just kissing and cuddling once Alec had closed all the curtains and he hoped they wouldn't be disturbed by any callers this time.

Rose looked up from kissing his bare chest.  "Alec, let's just wait for our first time, we wanted it to be special, didn't we?"

"Well yes but I'm running out of patience and I need to know when Rose.  When are you going to give in to me?"

"Let's get settled over there then and spend Christmas there.  That's almost three months Alec, Christmas Eve, we'll make it special and I'll take the pills for a few months and come off it before then.  If it's going to be a special night, we might as well go the whole hog or don't you want any more kids?"

Alec smiled, it was not the answer he had expected, it was better, much better.

"Do you mean that Rose?  Really?  You want to have kids with me?"

"Well if you don't, that's fine but I didn't expect to have a debate about it.  I thought that was what it was all about?  That we'd have our first time for that purpose but maybe I'm presuming too much here, if that's not what you intended."

Rose wriggled onto her side and Alec sat up, still holding her, a big stupid grin on his face.

"Well I hadn't even thought about that but since you put it that way, then yes, that's what I want.  I love you Rose, you know that and yes, we'll wait and we'll make it special.  You have no idea what this means to me.  You don't think I'm too old do you?  To start another family?"

Rose smiled.  "No silly, I don't think you're too old but we'd best not leave it too long, you need to enjoy being with them."

"Them?  As in more than one?"

"Well you don't just want one do you?  What stopped you before Alec?"

"The loss of interest on her part, her job was more important I suppose, she kept putting it off and it got too late, well not for her to have more but we were already drifting apart though we never admitted it.  She went off with someone else when I got obsessed by a case we were working on although I suspect she was already seeing someone behind my back but that was when I found out."

"Poor Alec.  Well that's not gonna happen to you again.  Now make that call, we'll go there on Saturday and I'll meet your daughter and Sunday we can pack.  Then Monday, we'll drop the keys off and call the car rental company and tell them we'll drop the car off at Bristol zeppelin port."

"We could have gone by plane you know, we've added over two hours to the flight."  He kissed her exposed skin again.

"It's more relaxing that way, we could have gone from London I suppose but I hate the London terminal, it's so confusing, we'd have to drop the car off miles away."

Alec got up and adjusted his clothing, making sure he fastened the shirt buttons correctly and picked up his phone.  Rose retreated to the kitchen so he could call his ex in private but he followed her.

"I've got nothing to hide from you Rose, you know that.  She will have seen that I was the one who spoke up for you at that press conference and she may have taken notice of what Olly Stevens said.  I'm not hiding the fact we're together.  What's the most she can do?  Threaten never to let Daisy see me again?  Well she can't because she's old enough to make her own mind up now."

The conversation went slightly better than he thought it was going to be.

"So Alec, was it true then?  Did you take up with the famous Rose Tyler?" Tess asked him.

"What's that to do with you?  Can you put Daisy on?  She won't answer her phone to me."

"Can you blame her?  Anyway, she got your message that you'd had heart surgery.  I did suspect you were ill but nothing as dramatic as that.  I'm glad you were ok though.  Do you want to see her?"

"Yes, that's why I'm calling.  I'm leaving the country Tess but don't tell her, I want to tell her in person.  Rose and I are going to join her family in Majorca and we're going to see about living there.  I want to ask Daisy if she'll come over and visit, I want her to meet Rose."

"Isn't Rose Tyler a bit young for you Alec?  She's only about ten years older than your daughter."

"That's got nothing to do with it, it doesn't matter how old she is.  Now are you going to put Daisy on or not?"

"Ok, have it your way.  Oh and I've been put in charge of re-opening the Sandbook case, there might be some new evidence.  Don't you want in on it?"

It was very tempting but so was the way Rose had taken off her black tights and was now bare legged and smirking at him.

"No, it nearly killed me and it destroyed my life, why would I want to go back to it?  Good luck with it.  You can call me if you want any information or advice.  I'll not let it destroy my new life."

Rose was smiling at him as he heard his daughter's voice.

"Dad?  I'm sorry I never replied to you, I'm glad you're ok.  So you're not grumpy any more?"

Alec laughed.  "No, no more grumpy dad.  Listen, there's someone I want you to meet.  Will you go out for a meal with us on Saturday night or maybe lunch?"

"Lunch, yeah.  You mean that Rose Tyler, don't you Dad?"

Alec couldn't deny it.  "Yes, I want you two to meet and I have something to ask you but we'll talk about it then.  How about meeting us at one, you say where."

"Ok, I'll text you.  What's she like then and how did you two even hook up?"

Alec laughed.  "I don't discuss my love life with my teenage daughter, not on the phone anyway.  I looked after her when she came back, before she found her family again and she did save my life."

"What?  Were you really that ill Dad?"

"Yes I was and I never told anyone but Rose was here, she got me to hospital and you can thank her I'm still here because of that.  So be nice to her when you meet her."

"I'll give her a chance, I'm not making any promises.  So when you denied to that reporter you were involved, it wasn't quite true, was it?"

"That was totally uncalled for at the press conference, it was called to find her family, not discuss our private lives.  See you on Saturday.  Can I bring you anything?"

"You trying to buy me Dad?" Daisy laughed.

"Nothing of the sort.  Just because I happen to have a filthy rich girlfriend doesn't mean I'm trying to buy you off into liking her."

"I'm kidding Dad, chill out!  You could bring me a new iPod I've been trying to save up for, if you like, since you've got money to throw away."

Alec heard the girl's mother telling her off in the background.

"I'll get Rose to choose you one, she knows more about them than I do, I'll leave it to her.  Anything else while we're at it?"

Daisy considered but her mother was telling her not to push her luck.  The girl decided to chance it.

"Well there is one thing.  There's a school trip, to Paris and mum said I had to choose between getting a new laptop and going on the trip so can you pay for one of them?"

Alec considered it.  "Ok, you meet us on Saturday and you can choose a laptop after lunch."

"Thanks Dad and I'm sorry I never replied to you, I didn't know what to say.  Mum told me what happened that day, I'm sorry I blamed you."

Alec looked at Rose and put his arm around her waist.  "It's ok darlin' you weren't to know, it's done with now.  See you on Saturday then."

He hung up and took Rose into his arms.  "Want to go out tonight?"

"Yeah, ok since we won't be here much longer.  Was she ok about it then after you bribed her?  I don't know much about iPods though I expect she'll want the most expensive one on the market."

Alec kissed her.  "Oh you can bet on that cupcake and she wants a new laptop as well."

Rose smiled.  "She has you wrapped around her little finger."

Alec smiled back. "Yes and so do you, cupcake, so do you."
Chapter 4
Saturday morning, after an early breakfast, they set off to where Alec used to live, just outside Sandbrook and Alec found a long-stay car park and they went to locate where they were meeting Daisy and Rose wanted to look around the shops.  They decided to separate for an hour to look around and he warned Rose not to go buying a load of things since they were leaving the country on Monday but she had insisted they had a generous baggage allowance since they were going by zeppelin.

Alec wanted to buy some more t-shirts, some swim shorts and casual trousers for their trip but wanted to choose his own so reluctantly, Rose let him go off and agreed to meet outside the café where Daisy had chosen.  Alec also had an hidden agenda, to buy something special for Rose and hoped he would get it through customs.  He had called Pete while Rose had been soaking in the bubble bath yesterday evening and told him what he had planned.

Pete had agreed to go along with it but Alec hadn't told him the complete story.  All he had asked Pete was to organise a party for her because he wanted her being back with her family again to be special.  He knew Rose had been to the clinic earlier on Friday and could have tried to persuade her to give in but he had promised her now, to wait a while longer and he figured she was worth it and what he planned wasn't intended to get her to change her mind.

His mission accomplished, plus an extra special gift to give her for the party, he put his new clothes into the car and made his way to meet Rose and Daisy.  What was it with him and women with names of flowers?  He was surprised when he got there with five minutes to spare to find Rose outside with two carrier bags from women's shops, guessing she had been tempted after all and to find her talking to his daughter.

Daisy had of course recognised Rose and introduced herself and they were both laughing.  Alec thought this was going to be easier than he had thought.

Rose saw him and put her free arm around him and kissed his cheek.  "Hi, did you get what you wanted from the shops?"

Alec put his arm around her and kissed her back.  "I went to put them in the car.  So, you two have met then?"

Daisy spoke up.  "Don't I get a hug as well?"

Alec rectified his mistake.  "Come on then, let's go inside.  You should have said you were going shopping as well Rose."

Rose smiled and put the bags under the table.  "Just some sun dresses and a new bikini I saw.  I want to go get a present for Tony before we go.  I was just telling Daisy about him."

"So you weren't talking about me then?  Should I be disappointed?"

Rose touched his leg under the table and made him smile.  Daisy wasn't blind and guessed the two of them really were in love and was happy her dad had found someone.  Over lunch, Alec told his daughter of their plans.

"Daisy, you know about Rose, what happened to her, don't you?"

"Yeah, I saw her on TV and you.  I had a feeling then the way she looked at you that the reporter had guessed right.  Mum suspected it too."

"Well it's been four years and now Rose wants to go back to her family so I'm going with her.  I didn't want to tell you on the phone, I'm not deserting you and we want you to come over to visit us.  We're going to be looking at renting a villa over there and well, you could come and maybe spend Christmas with us, if you want."

"In Majorca?  Are you kidding?  I'd love to spend Christmas in the sun, who wouldn't but we go to Paris in November, Mum might think it's a bit much."

"Never mind what she wants, if you want to come over, then don't let her stop you, I'll talk to her.  So is that settled then?"

Alec was already formulating his little plan and it was all dropping into place.  It was a good thing that the two women were getting along.

After lunch, taking another detour to the car, they went to the electrical store and Daisy chose her iPod and a laptop and Rose got a remote-control boat for Tony, not too big so it would fit in their hand luggage on board the zeppelin.  Finally, it was time to take Daisy back home with her new purchases and Rose got out of the car to say goodbye.  The girl gave her a hug and said she would see her when she came over, Alec saying he would send her a plane ticket and they would meet her at the airport and he would arrange the date.

Alec walked his daughter to the front door.

"So, we'll see you at Christmas then?  Do you like Rose?"

"Yeah, she's nice and not stuck up like I thought she'd be.  She'll be good for you and she makes you look younger.  Have you two got more plans then?"

"I don't know what you mean, young lady," Alec protested but with a smile on his face and waving to Rose, who was leaning on the car bonnet.

"Come off it Dad, she's perfect for you.  I know you and mum will never get back together and I'm really sorry I treated you like I did but you deserve to be happy and she looks like she makes you happy."

"She does and I'm glad you like her.  So you're not mad for me going away and leaving you?"

"No, I suppose not.  Are you coming in?"

"No, best not, we have to get back to Broadchurch.  We have packing to do and we have to say goodbye to someone else."

He put his arms out and gave Daisy a hug.  The door opened and Tess stood there.

"Not coming in Alec?  You can bring your girlfriend in if you like, I won't bite.  So when are you leaving then?"  She looked over at Rose, who was getting back into the car.

"Monday morning, we go by zeppelin to Palma.  Daisy wants to come over for a visit at Christmas, I'll send her a plane ticket.  Any objections?"

"Why should I?"

Daisy had gone inside.  "You made it clear Tess, you left me and took her with you, you didn't encourage me to see her."

"You could have asked."

"I was ill, remember?"

"You should have told someone.  Daisy said that Rose saved your life, I suppose she can't be that bad then.  Are you coming back for the hearing of that man you just caught?  I know what I'd like to do to him.  I heard he was your DS's husband."

"News travels fast.  Yes, he is and before you say anything, no, she did not know about him.  Now I have to leave her to rebuild her life, she doesn't need us hanging around.  Right, I'm off then, we have a long drive back.  I'll be in touch about Daisy coming to stay with us.  You can send her on that school trip now, she got that new laptop she wanted, she tried to convince me it was for her school work but I managed quite well without one."

Tess laughed.  "That's because she thinks you were around when everyone used a slate.  That's how they do things now Alec, just because we never had them.  Don't keep your girlfriend waiting then.  I still think she's too young for you.  Good luck then and if anything happens over that old case, I'll let you know."

Alec shouted goodbye to Daisy and went back to the car.  Tess was still watching from the door as he got in and gave Rose a kiss.

"So is everything ok then?" Rose asked, kissing him back.

"Yes, all sorted, let's go home."

Sunday morning.  They had packed almost everything except what they were wearing the next day and Rose had informed the car rental company she was returning the car at the zeppelin port.  They had arranged to meet Ellie for lunch but she had left Fred behind with her sister.

"You'll never guess what?" Ellie asked over lunch in a pub just down the coast.

"Go on, may as well give me some last minute gossip but don't make it too juicy or I might be tempted to stay."

Ellie smiled.  "Becca was seen out with Paul Coates yesterday, holding hands.  Don't know what they were up to."

Rose smiled.  Alec tried to look disinterested, nothing surprised him any more.

Ellie continued.  "We'll see how far that goes.  So what's the big news then?  Did you go see your daughter Alec?"

Alec frowned.  When did Miller start calling him Alec?  Maybe since he had started calling her Ellie.

"Yes and it's fine.  Have you made any plans yet?"

"No but I'm seeing the chief tomorrow.  I'm thinking of getting a transfer to Devon, maybe Exeter, just me and Fred, Tom still isn't talking to me.  You two ready to leave?"

Rose nodded.  "Yeah, just gonna have a lazy afternoon then we leave early for the drive up to Bristol.  Can't wait to see my little brother again.  All I want now is to get my two best friends back as well."

Alec took her hand.  "Well we're not giving up and as soon as they do come back, we'll get to know."

"He's right Rose.  They may have just been thrown a bit further in the future than you were.  You can't give up on them, your family never gave up on you.  Anyway, good luck to you both, wish I could go with you.  I'll see you for the hearing, you'll be there, won't you?"

Rose nodded.  "Yeah, we'll both be there.  Maybe when we get settled, you can come over for a long weekend."

Alec knew the two had become friends despite Miller trying to put Rose off him at the beginning so that was another factor in his little plan he was cooking up and hoped would be completed in time.  They all said goodbye and Rose and Alec went back to their neater than usual chalet with cases stacked up by the far wall.

"Well, this time tomorrow, we'll be sitting by the pool drinking fruit cocktails and watching Tony playing with his new boat," Rose laughed, lounging against Alec's bare chest, his shirt unbuttoned.

"Yes and you'll be in your swimsuit or your bikini, whatever.  Maybe, just maybe, you might coax me in the pool as long as you promise not to let go of me."

Rose smiled.  "I promise Alec." She snuggled up to him.  "Don't forget to set your alarm early for morning, we'll have breakfast at the café up in the town when we've dropped the keys off.  Did you keep your passport out?"

"Yes, don't worry, I've got the tickets as well.  I'm glad you went for the VIP lounge, I hate airports and I expect zeppelin ones are just as bad.  You did book the quiet lounge, didn't you?"

She reached up to kiss him and put her hand on his cheek. "Yes, I did.  Have you even been on a zeppelin?"

"No, can't say I have.  Haven't really been on that many planes, my mother never trusted them and I guess I got that from her.  You never had zeppelins in your world, did you?"

Rose didn't want to give details and had been happy to know no such incidents as the disastrous one in her world had ever happened here and she wasn't about to tell anyone what had happened.

"No, they fizzled out in the 40's though before then, they were all the rage but there were no private ones.  Mind you, there doesn't seem to be as many as when I was here before."

"The novelty wore off after a few years, especially after the Cyberman invasion.  Now come here and have our last snogging session on the sofa."

The next morning, they were loading everything into the car.  Alec had been out the morning before to get another holdall they could take on board with them before they had gone to meet Ellie and Rose had already got another suitcase.  They had breakfast, dropped the keys back at the letting agents and made their way to the zeppelin port.  Their flight was at one and since the flight wouldn't get them until after four, allowing for the time difference, Pete would be meeting them but Rose didn't know that Pete had arranged a party for her at the golf club and he didn't know the reason Alec had asked him about it, he just thought it was a good idea.

Alec had been surprised Pete would agree to it without knowing the reason but had convinced him that Rose deserved it, they all did and he assured Pete that if Rose wanted to stay and rent a villa out there, then he was all for it.  Pete had his suspicions though, he knew Alec was up to something, the way Rose had been all over him when he had come out of hospital and he knew then that Rose loved Alec even though they hadn't known each other for long.

While Alec and Rose had been travelling to the zeppelin port, Jackie had been having trouble getting an excited Tony off to school since his big sister and his new best friend were finally coming to join them.  Jackie had told the boy if he was good, he could go to a welcome back party for Rose, just for a few hours.  The boy went off to school happily and told all his friends that his sister was coming home and she had a policeman as a boyfriend.  He was the most popular boy there.

Once at the zeppelin port, someone came to assist them with their luggage as Rose had booked the VIP lounge and they were soon checking in.  Alec was glad they had upgraded since the main lounge was crowded even for a Monday, everyone was trying to escape to warmer climates but they were soon called forward for VIP boarding.  Once they had taken off, Rose decided to get a pillow and spread herself out over Alec and have a nap once they were over the ocean.  Alec could only try to get comfy and put his arm around her and relax.

He hadn't travelled that much considering his job but he had a feeling now he was with Rose, that would change.  To start with, they would have to go back for the hearing and had a feeling Rose would insist on going back with him, even if it was only to support Miller.  Rose woke up and kissed his cheek and touched his chin.

"You forget to trim your beard this morning."

Alec smiled.  "I did have a very good reason, I packed all my stuff last night."  He kissed her forehead.

The flight attendant came round with the meals and just over an hour later, they were approaching the port in Palma which shared the facilities with the airport terminal and once on the ground, they were shown into the VIP area to await their luggage and were soon out looking for Pete.  Since Tony had got out of school, he had insisted on going with his dad and was tearing towards his big sister as soon as they came through the door into the main terminal.

"Rose!  You're back, yeah!"

People all around were watching with interest as he almost knocked her over.  Then he turned to Alec who had put their hand luggage down to let the boy put his arms around his legs as he couldn't reach any further.

"Hi Tony.  We missed you too!"

They were soon in Pete's SUV type car and on their short drive to the villa, Tony sitting in the back with Rose and talking non-stop about school, telling his friends Alec was a policeman and asking if she had brought him a present.  Once they arrived, Alec almost got hugged to death by Jackie, reminding Rose of the time she had cornered the Doctor.

"Best get unpacked and change Rose, we're all going out tonight," she told Rose as Alec and Pete took their luggage to the guest bedroom.

"But we've just got here Mum," Rose protested, looking at Alec, who just shrugged his shoulders.

Alec just hoped Jackie wouldn't give the game away and tell her the party had been at his insistence.  Rose went to freshen up then hurriedly unpacked her dresses and some of what Alec thought was her rather sexier underwear and chose the new dress she had bought last Saturday.  Alec changed into a clean shirt, having to remove her hands several times as she offered to help him.

"Not now cupcake, we don't have time, just wait until later."

Rose giggled and just ruffled his hair and reached up to kiss him.

"Do I look ok Alec?" she asked, looking in the full length mirror.

Alec went up behind her.  "You look gorgeous cupcake."

He went into his jacket pocket and brought out a small blue box and opened it, taking a fine silver chain with a heart on it out of its padding and opening the catch.

"This is for you darlin' for being there for me.  You saved my life and I can never thank you for that."

He fastened the clasp and kissed the back of her neck.  That was not the only sentiment he was going to make that evening.

Rose turned around and cupped his face in her hands.

"I love you Alec and you don't have to thank me.  Just be glad I was there."

"I am and I can only repay you by showing you how much I love you.  So this is my heart, that I give to you."

"Aw, you're such an old softie Alec."  She kissed him again.

There was a knock at the door and Alec moved away, letting an anxious Tony in.

"Mum said hurry up and stop kissing Alec and get a move on."

"Yeah, I bet she did you little monster.  Come here and give me a big hug."
Chapter 5
Pete drove them all to the nearby golf club and resort hotel, being vice-chairman of the residents golfing association had its advantages of getting the use of the bar and large function room and had hurriedly arranged a party the previous afternoon and invited as many people as possible.  Pete had been only too happy to oblige Alec when he had called, Rose coming back to them after all that time was cause indeed for celebration but he had a feeling it was more than that, that Alec had an ulterior motive and was preparing himself for him asking him the ultimate question.

Alec seemed a fair man in Pete's eyes.  He was obviously head over heels with Rose, Jackie and Tony liked him, he was well respected even though it had taken him some time to solve his last big case albeit because the man had been ill.  So if he was going to do anything stupid, Pete was all for it.  Pete had told everyone when they had got back from being re-united with Rose that she would be joining them at some point and that her new boyfriend was the lead detective in a murder case.

Rose was sat in the back of the car with an over-exited Tony and her mother.  Jackie had of course asked her loads of questions but Pete had warned her – not to ask what the two of them's plans were in the marriage department.  He had told her to just let it happen, they didn't need her to tell them when that might be, it was inevitable it would happen sooner or later.

It was already the beginning of October, still nice and warm in Palma and Alec was glancing through the rear-view mirror at his gorgeous girlfriend in the new dress she had sneaked off to buy last Saturday and knew when she had said she had got some sun dresses, it was more than that.  Her cream silky dress, her long hair brushed back with a silver butterfly clip holding it in place, he had never seen her look as beautiful since she hadn't had much time to get ready and she had been hindering him by not letting him button his shirt.

The necklace he had just given her was nestled in the gap of her dress and he hoped that whatever Pete had managed to arrange in the short notice he'd been given didn't include anything where a bunch of male residents would be ogling his girlfriend.  He wasn't sure if it was going to be a formal dinner for just them or an actual party but it didn't matter.  Tonight, he was going to ask the love of his life to spend forever with him because he knew for certain that was what he wanted.

It had nothing to do with her saving his life because in a way, he had saved hers.  She had turned to him and trusted him when she didn't have a soul in the world when she had arrived on the beach that day.  They had just naturally taken to each other, trusted each other.  Rose had trusted him to help find her family and he had trusted her, to be there when he woke up from the nightmare of his long illness and she had been there for him, just like she had woken up that night from her nightmare and he had comforted her.

He knew he shouldn't have been stupid the night he'd had difficulties and eventually collapsed early the following morning.  He should have said something to her and got to the hospital.  She had been right, taking that chalet and being on his own could have been fatal and now it was all over, he would never do anything like that to her again.

They arrived in the club car park and Tony was wriggling to get out as his mother unfastened his seatbelt.  Alec caught hold of the boy and grinned at him.

"You're in a hurry young man.  You missed your sister a lot, didn't you?"

"Yeah, mum cried a lot but I told her Rose would come back and she did."

"Good lad, sounds like your mum needed you.  Now Rose is going to need you, to get used to being back.  You'll help her, won't you?"

"Yes Sir!"

"Don't call me that Tony, it's Alec, you never bothered before."

Tony grinned.  Alec thought he was one very well-mannered boy.

"Alec, are you going to be my big brother?"

Alec didn't want to give too much away just yet.  "We'll see Tony, maybe one day but don't say anything to your sister yet, it's our little secret eh?"

The boy nodded as Jackie took hold of him, glaring at Alec and wondering what ideas he was filling her son with.  Alec walked around the other side of the car, kissing Rose's cheek and she taking his arm.  Even though it was quite warm, both woman had covered their shoulders with silk embroidered Spanish shawls and Rose was holding a small clutch bag which she put on her shoulder.  Rose got a big surprise when they walked into the club house.  A big banner had been put up in the entrance with 'Welcome Home' in big letters and lots of garlands, balloons and flowers hanging everywhere.

A crowd of people were all clapping as Alec led her in first, Pete having stepped back as they got to the entrance to allow them and a tall thin man with a goatee beard stepped forward and shook Alec's hand, then Rose's.

"Welcome Miss Tyler, we're all so happy you finally made it home.  We know you've just arrived here but your family have made the 'Delemere' resort their home these past few years and we want you to feel like this is your home.  Please, enjoy the party we've arranged for you and you and your partner have been given honorary club membership for as long as you choose to stay.  Please, accept these flowers from all of us."

A young girl around Tony's age was gently nervously nudged forward and presented Rose with a bouquet of pink and white flowers wrapped in yellow cellophane and a big red bow.  Rose was already in tears as she accepted them, Alec taking them from her as she thanked the young girl and everyone was already clapping as he led her into the large function room filled with tables of food and desserts.

A waitress already had two glasses of champagne ready for them and offered to take the flowers until they were ready to leave.  Alec handed them over and took the glasses as everyone else went to a table and picked one up.  Pete had been making his way to the small stage to propose a toast to Rose's return.  Rose had been tired from their journey and had been reluctant to go out but when all this had happened, she knew Alec had been involved somehow in it.

"You, you were in on this weren't you?" she asked, holding the glass and kissing his cheek.

Alec smiled and kissed her back.  "What do you think cupcake?"

Pete was trying to get everyone's attention.  As he had suspected with Alec, they had got out of the car and he had said when Pete made his speech, he had something he wanted to say and had asked him if he had his permission but Rose had been watching them and they hadn't said much else.

"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming.  I know none of you have met my stepdaughter before tonight but I'm sure she would like to thank you all for being here to welcome her.  Sorry for the short notice but I see all of you who like a good party managed to make it."  There were a few giggles and some 'We're only here for the booze' remarks.

Pete smiled and continued.  "So before you all get wasted, a toast, to my lovely stepdaughter who disappeared from our lives just over four years ago.  We can't tell you Rose what that time was like but you're back now and that's all that matters.  I'd also like to say thank you to the man who made this all possible.  When Rose walked into his police station in that small Dorset town, he could have stuck her in a hotel and left her to wait for us to come and claim her but he didn't.  He took charge of her, looked after her despite battling a serious illness.  He made her feel like she wasn't alone."

Rose was looking at him, smiling.  Yes, he could have just left her to fend for herself, that was what Ellie had first wanted but he had taken no notice.

Pete had not quite finished yet.  "So before we all raise our glasses to Rose and to Alec Hardy, the man who I know had a bad heart but managed to steal hers, I think he has something he wants to say."

Rose was now staring open-mouthed at him as he took her glass and walked towards the stage, pulling her with him as she still had her arm in his.  When he was stepping up to the stage, she let go and he gave her the glass back.  Pete began clapping and everyone else followed.

When they had stopped, he held the glass out for Pete to take.  "Thank you all for making us feel welcome.  This is quite a party considering I didn't give Pete a lot of notice.  I'm not one for giving speeches but tonight, I want to make an exception."

He held his hand out towards Rose, who just looked at her mother.

"Don't ask me love," Jackie shrugged, trying to stop Tony going up onto the stage and at the same time nudge Rose forward.

Pete had put both his and Alec's glasses onto a table and was stepping forward to help a confused Rose up the three steps on the side of the small stage and took her glass, nudging her towards Alec who held out his hand.

Alec continued.  "Rose, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you and as I told you earlier, I can never repay you for that.  I already gave you my once broken heart and now, Rose Tyler, I want to give you this."

People in the crowd had by this time realised this was a marriage proposal if ever they saw one and a few women at the front could be heard egging them on.  Rose looked a little dazed as he held onto her right hand and with his own, went to his inside jacket pocket and brought out a ring-sized blue box and thumbed it open, revealing a pink sapphire and diamond ring.  Alec just hoped he had chosen the right size or they would be paying a visit to the local jewellers the following day to get it altered.

Rose had her free hand over her mouth, looking around at Pete, who just shrugged his shoulders, then for her mother, who had forgotten about Tony as her free hand was covering her own mouth.  Alec let go of her hand for a second and took the ring out of the box then suddenly, grasping her left hand, dropped down onto one knee and held out the ring.

"Rose Tyler, will you marry me?"

Rose was dumbfounded and couldn't speak as he held onto her hand, the ring catching the light as he held it on the tip of her finger, waiting for her answer.  Rose held her hand out further, meaning for him to place the ring properly as she was lost for words.  He got up and took her other hand, giving her time to recover and find her voice.

"Rose, Sweetheart, you mean everything to me.  Will you be my wife?"

Rose managed a nod then somehow managed to find her voice but it was very quiet.

"Yes Alec, I want to be your wife.  I really don't deserve you."

Pete handed him one of the glasses which he handed to Rose, then took the other.  Pete then stepped forward, a little surprised but not too much.

"Well, now we have two celebrations and two parties thrown into one.  Alec, that was a very brave thing to do, I don't think I could have stood up there and made a marriage proposal but you're used to standing up in public.  So everyone, please raise your glasses to Rose and Alec and Alec, welcome to the family though I think her mother accepted you the day you came out of surgery, she knew she wouldn't be able to get rid of you even then."

Everyone shouted "Rose and Alec" and drank their champagne, including a blurry eyed Jackie who was now asking Pete if he knew this was coming.

Pete just replied, "Jackie, this was coming the moment Rose stepped into his police station.  Just be glad she's back and with the man she loves."

Alec and Rose had linked arms and were drinking from each other's glasses and after a few sips, Alec put them on the table and in front of everyone, who cheered, cupped her face and said, "I love you Rose" and leaned down to kiss her.

Tony was looking very confused, seeing his big sister snogging for real and thought his mother had been joking earlier when she had told him to go tell her to stop kissing Alec and get a move on.

The rest of the party was then a double celebration, they danced close most of the evening, Jackie had to take a very tired and giddy Tony back home once the boy learned Alec was really going to be his sort of big brother and when Pete had got back, he took Alec to one side as several of the female guests were admiring Rose's ring and asking if she was going to set a date and also asking her to join the women's golf team and other committees her mother was already involved with since she came back and started taking notice now Rose had returned.  Rose had assured them she would consider them all and if Alec wanted to take golf lessons then she would.

"So Alec, how long had you been planning that for?" Pete asked him, glancing over at Rose who was in the centre of a crowd of women.

"Not long, just after I got that case all wrapped up but I think I would have done it earlier if that had not been in the way.  I didn't want it to spoil everything and I wanted to wait until we were over here, I knew she'd want to be with you all when I asked her."

"Well welcome to the family.  I know you make her happy, she never really settled here before she met you and I know it was only a few hours for her but to us, well seeing her on TV asking for information about us, the way she looked at you, I could even see it then.  When did you both know you were meant for each other?"

"That's difficult to answer Pete but I think when I woke up from surgery though I suspect for Rose it was sooner than that.  I told her I loved her before they took me into the theatre, I wanted it be the last thing she heard if I didn't make it."

Pete smiled.  He knew now there was no doubt they were meant to be together and wondered if Rose had told the man who he looked like.  Maybe it was better Alec didn't know.  It would be for the best and would do no harm, Jake and Mickey were the only other ones who had known the Doctor.

Rose was trying to get away from her new-found friends, looking over longingly at her now fiancé and wanting to get him in a quiet corner and snog the life out of him.  She looked down at her new engagement ring, wondering how long he had been waiting for the chance to ask her and if he had got it on Saturday when he had sneaked off.  She politely made her excuses and grabbed some more food from some of the trays and made her way across the room.  A few more people were already leaving and she supposed they had jobs to go to in the morning.

Pete had told them a lot of the residents were in high-paying top jobs on the island, not all of them were retired so if they wanted to take up residency in the resort, Alec wouldn't feel out of place.  Pete had already spoken with the chief of police in the main town of Palma and was waiting for a meeting to be set up.  He thought the town's police force would benefit from Alec's experience and he might be due a bit of a promotion given his new status as Rose's fiancé as Pete himself still had stakes in several companies, some on the island.

Pete was still a wealthy man despite selling his own company and disbanding Torchwood, which was covertly funded by the government under the guise of defence and security but he didn't flaunt it.  He had already made sure Rose and Tony were well taken care of with trust funds should anything happen to him and the account he had set up for Rose upon her return had already been topped up sufficiently to provide her and Alec a comfortable lifestyle if they stayed but he didn't think Alec was one to sit back and let Rose pay his way.

Rose grabbed Alec's arm, looking at him then standing on her tiptoes whispered, "Let's get out of here."

Alec looked at her.  "Rose, as much as I would like to, it would be rude to leave before your guests do.  Most of them are already getting ready to leave, let's just go find a corner."

With that, he nodded to Pete and led her out into the reception area and into a deserted smaller bar.  Then with his back to the door, he pulled her close.

"Rose, I didn't get chance to tell you earlier but you look stunning tonight."

He leaned down and gave small kisses to her jawline then kissed her slowly.  Rose pressed her lips into his and Alec could taste her lipgloss.

"Alec, that was some stunt you pulled earlier.  I knew you were up to something."

"No you didn't, you were lost for words.  Do you like the ring?  Does it fit properly?"

"Yes, I love it and it fits perfectly.  You know my mother already asked me earlier if we were going to set a date?"

Rose hadn't been able to give her an answer at that point, she had still been speechless.

"Well cupcake, you know you said we should make it special, our first time?  Well, we could make that our wedding night, if you want?"

"Do you really want to wait any longer Alec?"

"That's not what I meant.  You said Christmas Eve so let's make it even more special, our wedding day."

Rose put her arms around him.  "Perfect. Looks like me and you have lots of plans to make but I'm sure my mother will be making most of them."

Alec agreed, kissing her neck and putting his arms around her waist.  "So Christmas Eve, late afternoon, we spend Christmas day with your family then go on our honeymoon the day after."

"But we can go the day after the wedding."

"Rose, they've been without you for four Christmas Days, we should at least do that for them, I can't take you away for another one.  We can put it off a day.  Now come on, say goodbye to your guests and we can get the hell out of here and have a celebration of our own."

They went back to the party, most people had been waiting to congratulate the couple and then after collecting her bouquet, Pete took them back to the villa.  Jackie was waiting, firing questions at them.

"Relax Mum, we've decided on a day.  Christmas Eve and you can make all the arrangements you want, within reason but we have the final say, ok?"

"Yeah, ok.  We'll have it at the club, they do weddings.  Now about you renting a villa out here, just chill out tomorrow then we'll go look at some.  Pete's already told the agents you're interested in one and he's booked you a week down in Palma so you can have a week on your own to think about it, then you can come back here.  You're not going back to Broadchurch are you?"

They looked at each other.  Rose shook her head and put her arm around Alec.  She was really tired now and it had been quite a day and evening.

Alec spoke for both of them.  "No Jackie, I don't somehow think we'll be going back unless I can't get a job here.  There's nothing to go back for, apart from the hearing.  I asked my daughter to come over for Christmas, now she can be Rose's bridesmaid and Tony can be pageboy."

Rose looked at him.  "You had it all planned didn't you?"

"I might have made it up as I went along," he smiled.

Rose knew she had the right man.
Chapter 6
Alec might have made up his plans over the last few days but it was all coming together.  He had been waiting for the case finishing, that was true as was not wanting it to spoil things but he had mainly been waiting to see how Rose got on with his daughter and now Christmas seemed the perfect time and they had almost three months to plan everything but he knew he'd get little say in it other than the actual date.  Now he had to work on getting Daisy to be bridesmaid but it shouldn't be too difficult, she had already agreed to come over.

After a relaxing day by the pool the next day, Alec even braving going into the water once Jackie had disappeared to go shopping and Pete was in his study, they had a quiet family dinner that Jackie had helped prepare, she had employed a cook/housekeeper since she had no interest in anything after Rose had disappeared and now didn't have the heart to fire Maria, she was part of the family and Tony got on well with her, she even let him bake when he came home from school some afternoons and occasionally looked after him if they wanted to go out.

The complex itself had gated entrances, residents had passes to get in and out and 24hr security patrols at night as the resort covered quite a large area.  Some new villas were almost ready just across the other side from the golf club and some were going back up for rental or for sale again closer to Jackie and Pete.

When Alec and Rose got to bed on their second night, the previous night they had fallen asleep just kissing, they debated if they were going to rent or buy.

Alec suggested a compromise.  "We'll ask if we can rent then have the option to buy, if you want?  If we're going to stay here, we don't want to have to move.  We'll go look at some tomorrow.  When do we go down to the hotel?"

He was kissing her neck and shoulders and working his way down as Rose lay on her back, playing with his hair.  She only had a thin lacy nightdress on, almost see-through and he was kissing her exposed skin.

"Saturday, dad will take us down then if we're not going back, we can stay here until we find our own place.  It shouldn't take long to rush the paperwork through, the villas don't stay empty for long mum said.  Do you want to learn to play golf?"

"Mmm, only if you wear one of those short skirts or those cute little shorts cupcake."

Rose giggled and pulled his face towards hers.  "You have to wear shorts too Alec."

He dived down to move her nightdress and kiss more exposed skin.  "Only for you Rose."

The next morning after Tony had gone off to school, Pete drove them off the complex to the sales office.  They looked at several villas online via full videos of the interior and exterior and found two new ones that were almost complete and one just five minutes away from her parents.  Alec thought that one was a bit too close.  He had decided once they came back from their week on their own, he would rent a car to get around the island but Pete had said if he got a job, a car would come with it.

Pete had also got Alec an interview with the Chief of Police for Friday and if he got the job, they would all go out on Friday night to celebrate.  They went off to see one of the new villas, a two storey, three bedroomed with a swimming tool and patio.  It still wasn't furnished yet and decorators were still painting the walls and the pool needed filling but Rose had already fallen in love with it and wanted to go back when it was finished.

The agent said the villa should be finished in about a weeks time and showed them what it would look like when it was furnished via the website and Rose said they were definitely interested.  Then Pete took the agent on one side and asked the price for rental and if it could be bought at a later date.  The agent said they didn't normally do that but they may be willing to make an exception in some cases.  Pete explained if they rented it for a few months, he may be wanting to purchase it for the couple as a wedding present.

Friday soon came around and Pete took Alec into the town and dropped him in front of the police headquarters after Rose had given him a thorough snogging before he left.

"Come on Rose, I'm going to be late.  Do I look presentable?"

Rose admired him as he stood in front of her.  His beard was neatly trimmed and he'd had a haircut when they had gone into the town the afternoon before,  Rose buying yet another dress since she was certain he was going to get the job and they would be out celebrating.

"You look amazing Alec, just be your usual charming self and you'll easily win them over."

"That's easy for you to say.  Everyone hated me in the Broadchurch Police station when I first arrived."

Rose smiled at him.  "Yeah, well that was before you met me, even Ellie admitted that and that's saying something.  She soon changed her mind by the time we left.  I still feel guilty about leaving her though despite her questioning your motives towards me, she said you were getting possessive with me."

"I am cupcake, you don't seem to mind.  Now I really have to get going, I'll be back soon."

"I wish I could go with you."

"So do I but I have to do this on my own.  I love you darlin', you know that."

"I love you too Alec, good luck."

As soon as he had left, she joined her mother on the patio.

"You all packed again for tomorrow Rose?"

"What?  Oh yeah, just about.  I got a few new things yesterday when we went out, while Alec was getting his hair cut.  We never got time to talk about this Mum, are you ok with it all?" she asked, pouring some iced lemonade and sitting on a lounger.

Jackie looked over her sunglasses.  "Of course I am Rose, though it was a bit of a shock.  I mean Alec just calls Pete, asks him to arrange a party for you, which I think was rather nice of him but then he pulls a stunt like that.  Who would have ever known?"

"Well it surprised me more than anyone though I think dad had some idea of what he was up to.  Alec's very old-fashioned, I'm sure he asked his permission in some way though I doubt it would have been refused.  Can I ask you something Mum?"

"Don't be daft Rose, you know you can ask me anything.  Is it to do with Alec looking like you know who?"

"Well that wasn't what I was going to ask but yeah, you don't think I'm marrying Alec because of it do you?"

"Not entirely I suppose but it must be there Rose, in the back of your mind.  You said when you first saw me in the hospital after what to us seemed like your return, though I know for you it wasn't an actual 'return' as such since it was only an hour or so for you but you already loved him after a few days of knowing him, it must have been there, why you'd fallen for him so quickly."

"No, not really.  Alec is so different Mum, just the odd thing he says or does sometimes makes me love him more but I don't compare him to the Doctor, not ever.  I don't sit there thinking Alec does this and that just like he used to, it's not like that and I've got no reason to ever tell Alec who he looks like.  I've told him, about the Doctor, even told him of how we used to travel together and he's not jealous or anything, he just says how lucky he is that Pete brought me here and that I have him now."

"What do you think he'd do, if he found out?" Jackie asked.

"I don't know.  I don't think he'd cope but if he loves me, maybe it won't make any difference but I can't risk it Mum so please, don't ever tell him, I know dad won't.  Anyway, I wanted to really ask you what it was like, me appearing to be missing for four years."

Jackie just looked at her.  "It was hell Rose.  I wanted to stay in London but we were hounded by the press, prank phonecalls, Tony was so upset that we had to take him out of school because the other kids kept asking him about you.  All that time, we wondered if you really had made it back to our own world and you were with the Doctor."

"I can't imagine what it was like but when I found myself on that beach, just for a second, I though I was back in Bad Wolf Bay."

A rather reluctant Alec in the meantime was sitting in the Police Commissioners outer office while his fate was decided.  His initial interview had gone rather well he'd thought.  A glowing report from his ex boss from the Sandbrook case plus from Broadchurch and the fact he'd found himself cleared of any misgivings from the case that had fallen apart on him now that his ex wife had re-opened it and leads were now being followed up.  He thought maybe Pete had intervened on his behalf, after all, it was in the man's interest if he wanted Rose to stay there that his soon to be son-in-law would find employment.

He was finally called back in and the Chief of Police and several other officials were pondering over some files.  The chief spoke very good English.

"Senor Hardy, please take a seat.  We are very impressed with your file, despite you battling a severe illness, you did your best to solve one crime and solved another.  We can certainly benefit from your expertise and experience.  We are a fairly small police force in the town but we do have an opening for you, which will include a promotion if you think you are up the job.  Our chief of detectives is retiring next month but we would like you to start as soon as possible, to learn how we do things over here."

"Well, if I accept, can I delay starting for a few weeks?  My fiancée and I are just in the process of moving out here and I promised her we would take some time off before we do.  If I get the job, will I need a work permit?"

The chief smiled and looked at the others.  "It will just be a formality.  Your job ensures you get one and a residency permit for you and your fiancée.  You also get the use of a car.  Where exactly are you moving to?"

"The Delemere' resort.  My fiancée's family already live there."  He didn't want to do any name-dropping although it was quite clear that was the only reason he was sitting here accepting such a job offer.

"Ah, yes, Senor Tyler is a well respected member of our community.  Most of us here have played golf with him at some point.  So, do you accept the position?  It is yours if you want it."

"Then yes, I accept.  Can you give me a few weeks to get settled?"

"Of course, take your time.  Perhaps you can start the week before you are due to take over.  We will of course put you on our staff right away and when you start, a car will be at your disposal.  Perhaps your fiancée will appreciate the extra time for you to get settled.  We were all relieved when she turned up safe and well in your town's police station."

Alec thought so they did know, Pete must be very popular but there again, Rose's disappearance had been a concern for every major police force in the world in case she walked into theirs.  No-one knew if she was ever coming back and where.  Having thanked everyone and being told he had to sever his ties with the police in Great Britain but assured them that would be no problem, he was told they would do all the paperwork and someone would be in touch with him a few days before he was due to take up his post and he would be collected on his first day.

He left the police headquarters and phoned Pete.

"Hi, I'm finished with my meeting, are you nearby?"

"Yes, I had a meeting with one of my contacts here, I'll meet you in that café just down the street, the one with the red garlands outside."

Alec could see it just across the road.  He ordered some tea, getting a funny look but there were more varieties of coffee than he dared contemplate, Rose was the one who always got his drinks for him and it wasn't her favourite brand of coffee houses.  Pete was soon there and shook his hand.

"Congratulations Alec, the town's new chief of detectives eh?"

"News travels fast.  You had something to do with it?"

Pete studied him.  "Nah, not me Alec, you did this on your own.  I think they were quite impressed when I mentioned that the detective who solved the Broadchurch murder was coming to live in the town.  They were probably glad to get my call.  Have you told Rose yet?"

Alec smiled at the thought of her, probably pacing the patio and waiting for any news, just like she had probably done when he'd been in hospital.

"No, I'll surprise her.  Pete, do you mind if we go out on our own tonight?  I mean I'm grateful for you letting us stay but we haven't had much time to ourselves since Monday."

"Yeah, I don't mind, you have next week as well.  When do you start work?"

"They'll let me know but sometime next month.  Now I have to call my daughter and tell her about our engagement and my promotion.  I hope she takes them both well.  I want to ask her to be Rose's bridesmaid."

"You'll have to tell us all about her.  Jackie will want to meet her, can't you get her over before the wedding?"

"Only when she breaks up from school, I'll make the arrangements to get her over here as soon as she's free, she goes to Paris with the school next month and that was only because I bought her a laptop as her mother had told her she couldn't have both but Rose ended up paying for everything.  I don't like it Pete, I don't like her paying for everything, that's not me."

"Don't worry Alec, you'd best get used to it.  Rose never had money until a few years ago, it doesn't mean anything to her and now she has, she puts it to good use by helping others.  If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then just tell her."

"I don't want to upset her.  When she arrived in Broadchurch, she had no money on her, she had to depend on me.  I joked with her that if she kept borrowing money from me, she would wipe out her new bank account.  Come to think of it, she never paid me back, I ended up in hospital."  Alec smiled at the thought of tormenting her about it.

They drove back to the villa and Rose was anxiously waiting.  She was dressed in a yellow sun dress and flip-flops and came rushing through the patio doors, flinging her arms around him despite Pete trying not to look.  Alec took her out that night to celebrate and to tell her that he couldn't wait until they got married and asked how the arrangements were going.

"Oh you know, we've not done much yet, just been getting some ideas from online magazines.  I thought maybe we could leave it to the club.  We should go there, when we get back from our week away.  Dad's already booked the date for the 24th December, at four I think.  Do you want to make it later?"

"No, that's fine.  We'll spend our wedding night at home, spend Christmas day at your family's house and then go off the next day.  Daisy can spend some time with them, they can make sure she gets home safely.  We need to get her over as soon as she can get out of school.  First though, I have to tell her."

Rose smiled.  "My mum will make you stay with them, the night before, she'll want to make sure you don't sneak off anywhere."

"Where would I go Rose?  My life is here now, with you."

He took her hand and helped her up, kissing the back of it.

During their week away at a top hotel, Alec forgetting his ordeal with water that had made him so afraid of it with some gentle coaxing from Rose, he had called Daisy to tell her the news, about his new job and about them getting married.

"I'm not surprised, Dad, about either of them.  You deserve a little happiness and Rose is just what you need, she'll keep you on your toes.  So, am I going to be chief bridesmaid then?"

"You're the only bridesmaid, her young brother will be pageboy and I need you to do something else for me, if you will?"

"Sure Dad, what is it?"

Alec told her what he had in mind.  "You'll be sixteen by then and I know I'll miss your birthday but we can celebrate it a bit late when you come over.  I'd like you to be my witness, if needed.  I don't know anyone over here and I won't have a best man but if you can do that, it would be great."

"Of course I can do that, if you haven't found anyone else.  Maybe you will, in your new job."

They got back to the villa and were told that Pete had done all the paperwork for them while they had been away and all they had to do was go to the sales office on Monday morning to sign and could move in during the week.  It was about a ten minute drive from where they were staying so Pete had a rental car waiting for Alec and they went to see the finishing touches being made to their new home.  Rose wanted to go down into the town and buy soft furnishings such as cushions and throw rugs, the walls were just painted and laminate flooring throughout and she wanted some pictures and mirrors and other things plus plants for the patio.

So less than a week later, they had everything they needed and things were being delivered and the night before they moved in, they had a family barbecue by the pool and Tony wanted to know if he could go and sleep over.  Alec had told the boy he could come over whenever he wanted.  Jackie scowled at him, for filling her son with ideas.
Chapter 7
The wedding was getting nearer.  It was now the beginning of December, Alec had settled in his new job and had invited a few of his colleagues to a Saturday evening barbecue, introducing them to Rose and Rose herself had agreed to sit on two charity committees and Sunday mornings, they were both taking golf lessons though on Alec's insistence, Rose had a female instructor and he followed her around.

Alec had Daisy's plane ticket all ready for her and she had talked to them online several times, Rose sending her links to dresses at a local bridal shop for her to choose one, she was going to hire them and Jackie would see they got back after the occasion.  Try as she might, Alec would not reveal their honeymoon destination and had already booked the time off.  He was taking no chances and nothing was going to get in the way of the wedding.

Daisy was coming over on the 20th and was going with Rose and Jackie to collect their dresses on the 23rd as Alec was staying with Jackie and Pete the night before and Daisy with Rose and Jackie was doing their hair when she arrived the day of the wedding.  They were all going out to an early dinner.  The flowers had been ordered in plenty of time and they had been to the club to decide on the decorations and the cake.  Everyone at the club was invited, they had made several friends and had been invited out a few times to their homes and the club for dinner and Rose had taken the plunge to cook for four people though Alec had joked she should cook something other than chicken and rice.

That had got him into trouble when they had got to bed.  It was two weeks before their wedding and they were both wound up.  Alec had been busy at work, a series of robberies in the town had been sending detectives crazy but Alec had a plan when he saw the connections and the culprits, a teenage gang had all been brought in.  That had earned him another commendation and was a far cry from when he couldn't solve the Sandbrook case.  That had been re-opened but his ex wife was no nearer getting any answers and Alec had tried to help as best he could.

The day before Daisy was due to arrive, Rose had been pacing the patio after Alec had called to say he was going to be late back, finishing some paperwork before he went on leave.  What he was actually doing was organising his big surprise for Rose.  He had planned to take her to Paris for their honeymoon and come back for the new year but he had decided on something extra special but had to get Pete's blessing because they'd had four Christmases and New Years without Rose and Alec had agreed to postpone going away to spend Christmas Day with them and they'd expected them to spend the new year but he wanted this to be special.  He wanted to take his new wife to Scotland, to Edinburgh to be precise and celebrate a traditional Hogmanay, something he'd not done in years.

So he had spent his lunch-break in the travel agency, trying to arrange a flight from Paris to the nearest airport and then a flight back to Palma, which had not been easy but fortunately, the agent had spoken very good English and he'd had to book first class flights to accommodate the dates, to fly over from Paris on the morning of New Year's Eve and come back on the 2nd of January, which had also not been easy since everyone else would be trying to get back home and the flight wasn't direct.

Finally, he had it all together and gone over his official lunch-break limit but being in charge had its privileges.  Then on his way home, he had called at the club and booked a room after their wedding and got the best suite they had.  He was now well in with the manager and got a good rate since Pete was paying for the wedding.

When he got home, Rose greeted him as normal, snogging his face off for at least twenty minutes as he tried to get his jacket and tie off and while she was pulling his shirt out at the back and stuffing her hands down the back of his trousers, a nightly ritual they both enjoyed tremendously.  He was going to suggest she let him take his jacket and tie off first and unbutton his shirt but he didn't want to spoil her fun.

"Rose Sweetie, this is the last time we can do this, Daisy will be here tomorrow and I've finished work for now.  If you want to snog me to death, we'll have to go upstairs to our room."

"Aw, you're such a spoilsport, Sexy.  Ok, if you insist but she had better get used to us, snogging everywhere.  It's only for a few days anyway.  What time does her plane get in?"

Rose went back to what she was so good at doing, she'd had enough practice, that of unfastening one button, kissing his chest then moving down until she reached his belly-button, then with a wicked smile, she would put her hand on the zip of his trousers and he would playfully pull her hand away and tell her 'later cupcake' to which she would pat his behind and go finish preparing dinner.

Alec answered her by pulling her back and putting his arms around her neck, kissing it gently.

"Around noon, I was lucky, got her on a plane from Southampton.  If we had come over here by plane, we wouldn't have had to drive up to Bristol."

"Yes but we couldn't have brought all that luggage with us then and you were still recovering from your operation or were you just trying to get more sympathy from me?"

"You got me.  Anyway, Daisy would have had to travel all that way when Tess can just see her off at the airport near home.  By the way, I got something got you."  He brought an envelope out of his jacket pocket after he let go.

"Your new passport.  Being in the police has its privileges, I was able to get it changed for you at the British Embassy.  Bet you hadn't noticed it was even gone?"

That was somewhere else he had been in his extended lunch break.  He had called the embassy the week before, told them who he was marrying and asked if she could get her passport changed before the wedding and they had rushed it through for him.

Rose looked at him and snatched it from him.  "Cheat!  Are you always gonna sneak around like that now you have a high-profile job?"

"Of course I am, so you might want to take advantage of me cupcake.  After dinner, you can show your appreciation."

She did.  The next morning, they were up early, Rose was arranging the room Daisy was going to use the next few nights, then Alec would be staying with her family, Daisy with her and then the teenager was going to be staying with them.  Jackie was looking forward to meeting the girl and excited at the prospect of gaining a grown-up granddaughter, well she supposed she was her sort of step-granddaughter if there was such a thing and Alec, who wasn't that much younger than herself, had made it quite plain it wouldn't be that long before she had a real one or a grandson.

Rose had bought Daisy some nice gift sets to save her bringing her things from home and had a nicely wrapped present for her to open when she arrived.  Then after a quiet afternoon in the pool, they were going over to Jackie's for dinner.  They arrived early at the airport so Rose found her favourite coffee shop and had a look around some of the shops and soon Daisy's flight was being announced.  It had been the second time the girl had travelled in a month but this time she had been on her own.

Alec was pacing up and down the arrivals lounge, Rose trying unsuccessfully to get him to sit down and relax and as soon as the gate was open and people started coming through he was away again.  Rose just sighed and followed him, seeing the girl and nudging him as he almost missed her.  After putting her down, he took her case and she gave Rose a hug.

"Had a good flight?" Rose asked the girl.

"No, it was terrible, some bad weather as we flew over the channel then when we were about an hour into the flight it got better but I felt sick, didn't have anything to eat.  Can I just get a coffee and a sandwich?"

They went back to the coffee shop, Daisy soon recovered and was telling them about her trip to Paris and Alec didn't want to spoil Rose's surprise by saying anything.

"You're quiet Dad, you ok?" Daisy asked as she nudged him.

"Yes, I'm fine, I was just worried about you, about you going back on your own again."

Both Daisy and Rose looked at him.  After the girl unpacked and joined them in the pool, they got dressed for the visit to Rose's family.  Jackie immediately took to Alec's daughter like she was her own which put Rose's mind at ease and the next few days were then hectic.  The last minute arrangements were made, who was doing what, dresses were picked up on the morning before the wedding and Alec was ushered out of their bedroom when they got back after lunch.

"You are not going in there Alec Hardy, you are not seeing my wedding dress," Rose protested.

Alec had already taken his hired groom's suit to the Tyler villa and everything he needed, leaving the passports and tickets and hotel reservations and had packed an overnight bag for two nights instead of one once Rose had left for the morning.  Rose's was being taken by Pete the following morning but she still thought they were spending their wedding night at home and they were trying to come up with some ruse about her getting changed for the evening reception.  Alec had planned they would come back the morning after the wedding then the day after, set off for the airport.

So while Rose, Daisy and Jackie had been getting their dresses, Alec had been busy moving into the Tyler's guest room he and Rose had once used and collecting his suit with Pete.  Pete of course had been having the usual father of the bride and future son-in-law talk with Alec.

"You do know I have to have this little talk with you, don't you Alec?" Pete had smiled after they got back.

"I know Pete, I've had it before, thanks.  I want you to know how much I love Rose, I'd do anything for her to make her happy, I know my last marriage didn't work out but with Rose, well I know it's right.  It was like she was sent here to find me, to help fix my broken heart, quite literally.  I won't let her down."

"Good, that's all I wanted to hear.  I never thought I'd see this day, Rose settling down when she was so unhappy when she was brought here.  I don't know how much she told you but it wasn't easy, being torn away from her own world."

"I know but she doesn't talk about it much.  She told me about the Doctor, I know he meant a lot to her but from what I can gather, she didn't want to leave him.  He must have been just as devastated as she was when she left."

"They were very close but she never talks about him much, only the things they used to do together, where they went.  I know something though, the man was a fool if he never told her how he felt about her but there was something between them though, I saw it when they were here the first time.  There's nothing for you to worry about Alec."

"I gathered that Pete but she never said just how close they got, maybe that's a sign she got over him and now, she's got me."

Alec went to pick up Rose, Jackie and Daisy from the dress shop to take them back to their villa so they could all go out together that evening then Alec took Rose and Daisy back and had a few hours alone together before he went back.

"Getting nervous Alec?" Rose teased, dressed in just her thin nightdress.

"No, should I be?  Not having second thoughts cupcake?"

"No way, you're not getting rid of me Alec Hardy."

After one last time together before the big day, Alec reluctantly left to drive back to the Tyler's villa to a complete surprise.  While he had been out, Pete had an unexpected phone call.  He had left details of where they were now living with all the major police forces and one in London called to say that Jake and Mickey had turned up suddenly, safe and sound.  To save all the red tape, Pete immediately asked for them to be put on the next plane to Palma and spoke to Jake.

"We're really glad you're back and Rose is safe and well.  She's been back since July and she's getting married tomorrow.  Best not tell Mickey though, I'll tell him when you get here, just tell him she's ok.  Get to the nearest airport and I'll pay for your flights but you'll have to get a taxi to our villa when you get here and I'll take care of your bank accounts after the holidays but you'll be ok.  Just tell the taxi driver he'll be paid when he gets here.  Is Mickey still with you?"

"Feeding his face as usual Pete.  I take it you know what happened?  We've been told it's over four years, was it the same for Rose?"

"Yeah, she ended up on a beach in a small Dorset coastal town, met the head detective there and she's marrying him tomorrow.  I'll explain it when you get here but one thing, the man she's marrying, he looks like the Doctor.  Just tell Mickey to keep quiet when he meets him when you get here.  He's staying here tonight, Jackie wants to keep an eye on him."

"That doesn't surprise me Pete.  I'll just tell Mickey you have someone staying with you, it might be best you tell him Rose is getting married.  What's his name then?"

"It's Alec Hardy, he's a Scottish detective inspector but now he's got a job here as chief of detectives.  He and Rose have a villa about ten minutes away from us.  He's got a sixteen year old daughter from his previous marriage."

"Wow, that didn't put Rosie off?  Still that's just like her.  Better go now, Mickey's coming back, we're getting a ride to the airport and I'll get the airline to call you to pay for the tickets."

"Well get open-ended ones, you can stay a while.  All your things are in storage, in London, we brought Rose's things over here when we moved.  Your phones are still working, I'll send you my number."

Pete said goodbye and went to tell Jackie.  "Two extra guests for the wedding Jaks,  Rose will get the surprise of her life."

Jackie was in tears, she was just relieved their two friends had finally got back.  When Alec came in, Pete told him the good news.

"Let's surprise Rose then, just have them turn up for the wedding.  I can go pick them up from the airport, if you tell me what they look like."

Pete went to his laptop and pulled up their files.  Alec said they would be easy enough to find.

"I don't have a lot to do tomorrow, I doubt they'll get a flight tonight, it's already after ten.  Maybe I can take them into town and get them a change of clothes?"

"That would be great Alec, thanks.  This will mean a lot to Rose, I know she misses them."

Pete could only trust that Jake would stop Mickey from opening his big mouth about Alec looking like a certain time-traveller.

So Pete waited up for Jake's call, getting one just after eleven from an airline to confirm he would pay for two tickets to Palma and the next available flight was at nine in the morning, leaving a tired Mickey and Jake to sleep in the airport.  Jake said they'd slept in worse places.  The police had explained more or less what had happened to them with Rose's experience.

The next morning, Rose woke up to an empty place beside her and called her mother, who had been told not to say anything about the additional guests and asked if Alec was up and about.  Alec was just about to set off for the airport but she didn't say anything.

"You're not supposed to see him Rose."

"I just want to talk to him Mum, put him on.  Are you still coming over at twelve?"

"Oh it might be a bit later love, I'm popping over to the hotel to check on things, then I'll get Pete to bring me over.  You and Daisy ok?"

"Fine, put Alec on, please?  I need to talk to him, make sure he's ok."

"I'm sure he's just the same as he was last night, he's been giving Tony his breakfast and keeping out of my way."

"Who, Alec or Tony?" Rose laughed.

"Don't be cheeky madam.  Alec, Rose wants you, she wants to make sure I've not disposed of you overnight."

Alec took the phone and put his hand over it.  "I have to set off soon Jackie, Tony wants to come with me, it will keep him from getting under your feet."

"Fine, I'll hold your responsible for him then."

"Jackie, I brought my daughter up, didn't I?"

Jackie gave him one of her looks but if she wanted proper grandchildren then she supposed Rose could do worse.  No-one would ever be perfect for her daughter in her eyes but Alec wasn't bad.

"Rose, Sweetheart, are you ok?  What's wrong?"

"Nothing Alec, I just needed to hear your voice, that's all.  You been looking after Tony?"

Alec found his excuse.  "I'm going to take him out of your mother's way for a while, he's getting a bit hyper with everything going on.  Have your flowers arrived yet?"

"No, they'll be here soon though.  Daisy's fixing me breakfast, in bed, she's so sweet.  You brought her up right Alec."

"Thanks, I tried.  Right, Tony is tearing around the villa pretending to be a plane so I'd best go."

Rose laughed.  "Last time, he was a police car.  Do you remember?"

Alec laughed.  "Daisy used to think she was fairy, had the costume and everything, don't tell her I told you.  I'll see you at four my sweet Rose.  I can't wait to see you in your wedding dress and I'd say something else if this wasn't your mother's phone, she's probably recorded our conversation."

He smiled, Jackie was glowering at him, holding her hand out for her phone back.  "Bye darlin' see you soon, I love you."

Rose smiled, she knew her mother had appeared.  "I love you too Alec and my breakfast is here."

Daisy pushed the door open, holding a tray with fresh ground coffee, cereal and fresh orange and a red rose Alec had left for her in a small glass vase.

"Aw, thanks honey, that looks really nice.  Stay a while?"

"Sure.  You do love my dad, don't you Rose?"

"Of course I do, he's the best thing that happened to me since I came back."

"I know he loves you, he adores you.  Don't say anything to him and I know I shouldn't say this but he never used to look at my mother the way he looks at you, not while I've been old enough to take notice.  You're good for him Rose.  You're not offended I don't call you 'mum' are you?  I mean I might, one day but it will take time."

Rose smiled and took Daisy's hand.  "No, it's fine but your dad and me, well we plan on having our own family soon and I don't want you to feel we're pushing you out.  You can come over every holiday and when you've done your exams, if your mother let's you, you can come over for the summer, if you want?"

"I'd love to as long as you don't mind, if you want to start a family, you don't need me around."

"Don't say that.  Your dad went through that illness all on his own because of something that wasn't his fault or yours.  He needs you in his life now and I accept that and I accept you, you both come together as a package.  I should get dressed for now, we get our hair done at one when my mum comes around and then we get dressed.  Have you decided what you're going to call them yet?"

"I have grandparents at home so can I call them granddad Pete and grandma Jackie?  Will they mind?"

"I shouldn't think so, it will please them.  You'll be ok with them, won't you?"

"Sure I will.  I'll let you get dressed.  Do you mind if I chill out in the pool?"

"Yeah, go ahead, I have some things to do but I'll come and sit out with you later."

Alec was getting Tony into the car after the boy had got his instructions from his mother.

"Don't pester Alec and Alec, don't buy him any sweets or ice-cream or any of those tacky trinkets from the shops in the airport."

"Anything else Jackie?"

"No, just make sure you bring him back.  You'll recognise those two won't you?"

"Yes, I was shown their photos and Tony knows them."

"Good, then bring them all back.  You taking them shopping first?"

"Yes, I'll get them something at the airport, it will be easier since I'll already be parked.  They'll know me if Tony's with me."

"Yes but he's grown since they last saw him."

On the plane heading towards Palma, Jake and Mickey were having breakfast and going quietly over what had happened, not wanting to talk much in public.

"So, who's this bloke staying with Pete and Jackie?"

"Dunno Mickey, some friend of Rose's.  I think he's the detective who helped her when she came back."

"You mean she's shacked up with him?"

"I'm tired Mickey, just leave it.  You'll find out, he's meeting us at the airport and he's gonna get us a change of clothes and take us to Pete's villa.  Pete called me when you were still napping, our phones are still on, yours should be working too when we land, it's just those numbers we had in them don't work any more.  One more thing Mickey, the bloke who's meeting us – he might look a little familiar but Pete said don't say anything to him."

"Oh please, don't tell me Rose has found a Doctor look-alike?"

Jake just sat back and waited until the fireworks starting when they landed.
Chapter 8
When Jake and Mickey landed at Palma airport, since they had no baggage to collect, Jake was looking for a familiar face and nudged Mickey.

"Look, over there, that looks like Tony, wow, he's grown."

"Yeah and that looks like a Timelord with a beard.  It's been four years Jake."  Mickey headed in their direction and called "Tony!"

The boy immediately looked over and ran to Mickey's open arms.  Jake caught up and Tony then barrelled into him.

"Jake, Mickey!  You're back, yeah!  Alec, it's Mickey and Jake.  Mickey, Alec's gonna be my new big brother."

Jake held his hand out to Alec, just hoping Mickey wouldn't put his big foot in his big mouth.  "Nice to meet you Alec, Pete told me about you."

"Well he didn't tell me, who are you then?" Mickey scowled, letting go of Tony.

"Alec Hardy, you must be Mickey Smith, Rose told me about you.  Tony, what did your mum say?"

"Sorry Alec, it was supposed to be a secret, wasn't it?"

Alec smiled at the boy and ruffled his hair.  "It's ok Tony, it's not a secret now, is it?  Right you two, there are some men's clothing stores here, let's get you each a set of clothes and something to wear for later."

"Whatcha mean for later?  What's going on?  Jake, do you know something I don't?"

"Rose and I are getting married today, didn't Pete tell you?"  Alec knew Rose and Mickey used to go out in their own world.

"Something he neglected to tell me.  Did he tell you Jake?" Mickey huffed.

Jake just looked at his friend.  "Sorry mate, must have slipped my mind, I was tired.  So, we're just in time then?  Come on Micks, let's not keep the man waiting, he has a wedding to get to.  Are you being pageboy Tony?"

"Yeah and Daisy's is Rose's bridesmaid, I'm going to be her uncle.  Dad said he'd explain it to me, won't he Alec?"

"Who's Daisy?" both Mickey and Jake asked him

"My sixteen year old daughter from my previous marriage and before you ask, she and Rose get on very well."

The pair of them just shrugged their shoulders and went off in different directions.

Alec laughed.  He knew the boy was having trouble getting his head around it, as was his daughter.  They walked around the shops and Jake and Mickey went to get what they needed while Alec was entertaining Tony, who wanted an 'I love Majorca' t-shirt and supposed Jackie couldn't really object since he wasn't buying him any 'tacky trinkets' as she had mildly put it.

Jake and Mickey were then discussing Alec while choosing casual jackets, shirts and trousers for the occasion.

"Don't get too much Mickey, Pete's sorting our banks out for us, just get enough for a few days, then we pay Alec back."

"Looks like he can afford it.  How did Rose get caught up with him then?"

"Pete said something about when she came back, she walked into his police station and fell for him."

"Wonder why?  Does she even realise?  Does he know?"

"No and you're not gonna tell him, you're not spoiling this for her Mickey so get that straight.  She doesn't know we're back yet, they want to surprise her at the wedding this afternoon."

Jake didn't realise Tony was approaching them, grinning that his two other friends had come back to see his big sister getting married to his best friend.

"Well if she does know who he looks like, surely he should know?" Mickey huffed, picking up a t-shirt.

"Stop it Mickey, now come on, Alec has things to do, he's the one who's getting married.  You here for a fortnight?"

Mickey looked at the nylon shopping basket full of his new clothes, envying the man now talking to Jake.  Why did they have to come back too late to stop her?

It was after twelve when they got back to the Tyler villa.  Pete had hurriedly rung the hotel and got the pair of them a room each for three nights but they were going to stay with them for the next few hours to catch up.  Pete took Jackie over to Rose and Alec's villa, telling her not to dare say anything.

Jackie was now fussing after Rose and Daisy, wondering how on earth she was going to cope with the teenager who was being left in her care and wondering how Alec had managed to find himself a wife called Rose when he had a daughter called Daisy and couldn't imagine what their other kids would be called when they had them.  Just before three, Rose was putting on her wedding dress with some help from her mother after the hairdresser left.

"I wish your real dad was here for you Sweetheart, he would have been so proud of you, marrying a chief of detectives.  I think he would have liked Alec.  I also think he'd have liked the Doctor as well but I know you don't want to talk about that.  You do love him, don't you Rose?"

"Yes Mum, I love Alec.  My old life is gone now, it's just him and me and you know Pete has been a good father to me since we got here."

"I know and I also see you looking at Alec the way you used to look at the Doctor, it's in your eyes Rose, you loved him too."

Suddenly, there was a commotion as a confused Daisy was telling her dad, who had just let himself in after driving over in a hurry and almost crashing the car in the flowerbeds of their driveway.

"Dad, you can't see her, she's putting her wedding dress on.  What's wrong?"

"Rose!" he shouted.  "Rose, get down here now!"

Neither Daisy or Rose had heard him shout like that before, considering Daisy had known him a lot longer than Rose had.

Less than half an hour earlier, Alec had been chatting with Jake about how they had gone to find Rose that day and Alec was trying to explain what had happened to her and how she ended up on a Broadchurch beach and in his police station in the middle of a murder investigation.

"So, was it love at first sight then Alec?" Jake teased.

Alec smiled.  "She brightened things up in the middle of a bad time.  My chief wanted me to stick her in a hotel but I offered Rose my spare room in a riverside chalet I was renting and that was it really.  I had a bad heart, she saved me and got me to hospital and I had a pacemaker fitted.  I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her but I already knew I loved her.  She's something else and before you ask, I know about her past life, where she came from."

Mickey was listening.  She obviously hadn't told him everything but he thought for her sake and getting in Jackie Tyler's bad books when he'd just reappeared to them he'd best keep quiet.  That was until an innocent Tony said something and Alec heard it.

Tony had gone up to Alec, who was now dressed in his wedding suit, nothing too fancy but it did rather remind everyone of the time the Doctor had been here, dressed in a similar suit.


"Yes Tony, what is it?  We'll all be leaving soon, you go with your dad and wait for Rose and me at the hotel with Jake and Mickey."

"Can't I go with you?"

"No sport, not this time.  This is something I have to do on my own."

"Aw, I thought you'd like someone to hold your hand, Mickey said you must be scared."

Alec smiled.  It was daunting, what he was about to undertake and the last few months since their engagement had been hectic with him getting a new job, them moving into their new villa and their wedding plans being hi-jacked by an over keen Jackie Tyler, who had wanted everything to be perfect.

"No Tony, I'm not scared.  I'll have Rose to hold my hand when I get there.  You do know what getting married is, don't you?  Like your mum and dad are."

"Yeah, I know Alec but Mickey thought you'd be upset, I heard him talking to Jake earlier."

"Upset about what Tony?"

There was less than an hour to go, Alec had put the flower, a red rose, into his buttonhole of his jacket and Jake and Mickey each had a quick shower and had got changed and Pete was pacing up and down, waiting to drop everyone except Alec at the hotel, then collect Rose, Daisy and Jackie, who had all decided to go together.

"Well Mickey said something about if Rose knows, then you should know and I thought you would be upset, if you didn't know."

Alec looked at the young boy.  "Didn't know what Tony?"

Pete had realised what the boy was about to say as Jake looked at him.

"Come on Tony, leave Alec alone.  Do you know what you have to do when we get to the hotel and Rose arrives?"

"Yes Sir, mum told me."

"Hang on Pete.  Tony, what would I get upset about, what does Rose know that I don't?"

The boy looked at his dad, clearly realising he shouldn't have said anything and he'd got told off earlier from Alec when he had told Mickey Rose was getting married.  There were a lot of secrets going around and poor Tony didn't know why.

"Answer me please Tony."  He looked at Pete, then the other two.  "Tell me what's going on.  What does Rose know?"

Mickey blurted it out.  "That you look like someone she used to know."

"What?  Who?  Who do I look like?"

They all stared at him but he didn't need an answer.  "Oh, I see.  I get it.  You all think I look like that Doctor she left behind, don't you?  She's marrying me because she loved him and I look like him."

"No Alec, she's not and don't you dare think that.  She's marrying you, not him," Pete interrupted.

"No no no, now I understand.  All this time, she's been seeing him in me.  I'm going over there right now, to hear it from her.  I don't care what you all say."

Alec was picking up his car keys.

"Wait Alec, don't do anything hasty.  You're not supposed to see her before the wedding," Pete pleaded with him.

"There isn't going to be any wedding, until I get the truth out of her and don't you tell her I'm on my way there.  Take this lot over to the hotel, if you must but don't expect me to turn up, unless I get some answers."

Alec was out of the door and driving off.  Jackie didn't have her phone with her and Pete couldn't call Rose or Daisy so he bundled everyone in the car, including an upset Tony, who had never seen Alec act like that before and Jake was trying to calm him down, sitting him in the car and then buckling him in.

"It's not your fault Tony, it's big mouth's over there.  It'll be ok mate."  Jake could see Mickey pulling his usual face and getting in the front seat of the car.

Poor Tony was nearly in tears.

Pete sped off to the hotel and then he was going to go over and try and smooth things out.  There were forty five minutes before the wedding.


Jackie came out of Rose's bedroom to see what all the fuss was when she heard Alec's voice.  She stood at the top of the stairs and looked below over the banister into the living room to see Alec trying to get past Daisy.  He had already shouted for Rose to come down.

"'ere you, don't you go shouting like that for my daughter Alec Hardy.  Daisy, what's he doing here?  He can't see Rose before the wedding."

"I've tried to tell him that grandma Jackie but he won't listen to me."

Alec was fuming and heading for the stairs, Jackie was on her way down.

"Daisy, go to your room please, this is not about you, not in the least.  I'm not mad at you so don't you go thinking that."

"But you're mad at Rose, why?  What's wrong."

"Please Daisy, just go to your room."

He gestured for her to go first and she passed Jackie on the stairs.

"It's ok Sweetheart, just go to your room, I'll be up in a minute," Jackie assured her.

Rose was standing at her room door, listening.  She had never heard Alec in such a mood before, even before he'd had his operation or over the Latimer case.

Jackie tried to stop Alec following.  "Listen you, what the hell has come over you?  You're marrying my daughter in just over half an hour, then you come busting in here like a madman.  What the hell is wrong with you?"

"You know what's wrong with me Jackie.  Did you think I'd never find out?  You must have known him."

"Known who?  Who the hell are you on about?"

"The Doctor, that's who.  You knew him, you must have done.  Why didn't anyone tell me I look just like him?"

Jackie looked stunned.  "Who the hell told you?  Well it just had to be that big mouth Mickey Smith, who else would it have been?" she muttered mostly to herself.

Rose had stepped out of her room, fully dressed and looking radiant.  Her hair had been swept back, she had a white comb studded with sparking stones across her hair and white satin shoes with square heels, not too high.

She stood on the landing, looking down.  "It's ok Mum, let him up."

Alec pushed past her and followed Rose into their bedroom, slamming the door shut.

"So, what to you have to say for yourself Rose?  Why the hell didn't you tell me?  Did you ever plan on telling me?"

"I was scared Alec, that's why.  I was scared of losing you, when I had no-one.  What did mum mean?  How could Mickey have told you?"

"Because they're back Rose, both he and Jake, we were keeping it as a surprise for you at the wedding.  Now they've come over here for nothing."

Alec paced up and down, hardly even noticing the bride to be was already dressed up.

"I'm sorry Alec, I didn't know how to tell you.  It didn't seem to matter, he was gone, you were never going to meet and I'd moved on, a long time ago.  Say something Alec."

"Such as?  How can I trust you now Rose?  How do I know that every time we make love, you're not seeing him?"

"You have to trust me Alec, I've never once imagined you were him.  It's you that I love, it's you that I'm marrying, Alec Hardy, complete with a once broken heart, the man who rescued me when I came back and didn't have a soul in the world I didn't belong in or a penny to my name.  The man who could have palmed me off in a hotel to wait for my family to find me, the man who took me in and gave me a place to stay and the same man that comforted me when I had nightmares and the man I saved because he was too stupid to see he shouldn't have been on his own in his condition.  That's the man I love, not someone from my past who I'll never see again.  Yes, I loved him, I would never have left him but I had no choice, I was taken away from him and I tried to get back to him and I failed and went missing to everyone else for four years.  Then I met you.  You changed my life Alec."

She tried to sit on the cushioned stool but her dress prevented her without spoiling it but it didn't really matter now, there probably wasn't going to be a wedding.  She looked in the mirror and thought she looked a mess, her eyes filled with tears.

Jackie was with Daisy, trying to assure the teenager it wasn't about her.

"But what if they call it off?  What will my dad do then?" the girl sobbed.

Jackie was holding her, rubbing her back.  "They'll be ok if they love each other.  It's just something that happened before Rose went missing and your dad didn't know about it."

The girl tried to believe what she was being told.  "I think it's more than that."

Jackie let go when she heard knocking at the door and the doorbell ringing.  It was Pete.

"They'll be ok Jackie, let them work it out.  These things happen and it's better now than afterwards.  Those two are mental about each other, they'll be ok."

"Will they?  I think this is serious Pete and there's less than half an hour.  What are we going to tell everyone?"

"Just get Daisy and wait in my car, I left it unlocked.  I'll go talk to the two of them and knock their heads together.  Alec's crazy about her but that Mickey had to open his big mouth, about you know who."

"I knew it was him and after all you said to him."

Jackie went to get Daisy, who was still crying.  "Come on Sweetheart, it will be ok.  Let's go to the hotel."

"But I want to stay with my dad.  They can't call it off."

"They won't but we can't do anything, they have to deal with it themselves.  Come on, your granddad Pete's going to take us.  We don't have a lot of time.  Don't say anything when we get there.  We had two friends just arrived this morning, they went missing the same time as Rose did and they've just come back.  One of them let something out, about Rose's past and your dad didn't like it, that's all.  Maybe she should have told him herself."

She led the girl downstairs and Pete drove them to the hotel.

"Do you think you should go back for her Pete?"

"No, not unless Alec calls or turns up on his own at the hotel.  Just keep quiet about it when we get there."

"But what if he doesn't?"

"Then Rose will call, when she's ready.  We can't do anything, it's up to them."

Alec was still pacing.  What she said was tearing at his recently mended heart.  Couldn't he get over the fact he looked like someone she had loved from her past?  She was right, she was never going to get back there, not now and he was the one she had chosen to marry but it still bothered him.  He looked at his watch.  Twenty five minutes before they were meant to get married.  If this was the worse row they were going to have, he could live with the rest but did he still want to marry her?  Did she still want to marry him?  Hell, of course he wanted to marry her.

"Just tell me why you didn't trust me enough to tell me and why I heard it from a virtual stranger?"

"Because Mickey has a big mouth, he always has.  I told you Alec, I was scared of losing you."

"So you still want to marry me?  Me and my recently mended heart, my stubborn streak that almost got me killed?  Me and my teenage daughter who will probably cause even more problems as she gets older?"

"Yes Alec, I knew what I was getting into when you asked me.  If it's any consolation, he didn't look like you, when I first met him."

"What?  How come?"

"Because he could change his appearance when something happens to him and I made him change.  I can't explain it Alec, not now, it would take too long."

"Well maybe you can tell me, all the nights we'll have together?"

"I don't know about that Alec, after all it's all classified."

"You made me a member of Torchwood, remember?  Aren't I due some more privileges?  Now are we going to a wedding or not?"

"I'm allowed to be late Alec but you've spoilt the surprise now, you've seen me in my wedding dress."

He tried to avert his eyes.  He heard his phone ringing.  It was Pete who had changed his mind.  There was less than twenty minutes to go.

"Pete, can you come and pick Rose up or shall I bring her with me?"

"So the wedding is still on then?  Well there isn't much time, can you bring her?  I'll meet you outside with Daisy and Tony.  Jackie is trying to calm then both down."

"Yes, sorry about that.  We're on our way unless you want to stick with tradition and let her be late?"

"Well just as long as you don't think she's standing you up.  I can be there in five minutes or so, why don't you set off now?"

He looked at Rose, who just smiled at him.  "OK, I'll set off, it wouldn't look good, us arriving together."

Rose looked at him.  "Hang on you, before you go anywhere.  You haven't said you believe me yet."

"I'm sorry Rose, I do believe you but you still have some explaining to do.  How do you think I felt when I found out?  Why couldn't you trust me enough to tell me?

"I said I was sorry Alec, really I am, I was just so scared and I knew this was what would happen, that you'd leave me."

"I might have been mad at you, I might even have stormed off but as for leaving you, I don't think I could ever do that.  I could have driven away and said the wedding was off but I didn't, I came to give you a chance to explain it to me."

"And have I explained it to you?"

"You made a start Rose, that's what counts.  We can finish this later, I'd best go.  I won't think you've stood me up, if you're late.  It's supposed to be traditional anyway, Tess was early.  That's maybe why we were doomed."

"Well you've seen me in my wedding dress and I don't have time to find another and it's supposed to be bad luck."

"Never Rose and I'm sorry I shouted when I came in."

"You can make it up to me later."

The doorbell went.  Alec went downstairs and patted Pete on the shoulder.

"Just get her to the wedding Pete, I'll be waiting."

Rose came downstairs as Alec got back in his car.

"There are a lot of anxious people waiting for you Rose, I expect you know about Jake and Mickey?"

Rose nodded.  "Yeah and trust Mickey to try and mess it up.  Some things never really change do they?" she replied as Pete helped her into the back of the car that had hastily had a white ribbon tied across it.
Chapter 9
A distraught Daisy was being comforted by an equally upset Jackie who was also trying to calm her son.  Jake had offered to take charge of the boy and had sat him in the reception area.  The hotel manager was looking at the large clock behind the desk and the registrar was waiting in the function room oblivious to what was going on as were most of the guests who had already arrived.  A stack of presents were on a table in the far corner of the larger function room, the food was having the last minute touches put to it, the cake had been brought out and the photographer and DJ had arrived.

The DJ was unpacking his equipment and the photographer had decided to go outside and wait for the bride.  What he got was a flustered groom arriving and hurriedly rushing inside to find Jackie and his daughter.

"It's ok, everything's fine, Pete's bringing her."

"Well thank goodness for that.  You'd have been paying for this lot if she wasn't on her way you know.  You owe me and Daisy an apology."

"Yes I know and you'll get one later.  They're just behind me so can you take the two of them out to meet her, please?"

Daisy got up and hugged her dad.  "I was so worried.  Is everything ok Dad?"

"It's fine, just a little misunderstanding that's all.  Now go out and wait for her and you look lovely darlin'"

"Thanks Dad.  Now will you tell me what happened?"

"Later, I have to go take my place, waiting for Rose.  First I have to go talk to Jake, I think I may just have got myself a best man."

"I was talking to him, he's really cute."

"Daisy, you're barking up the wrong tree Sweetheart, trust me."

The girl just rolled her eyes and followed Jackie.  Trust all the good looking ones to be on the other bus.  While Daisy and Tony were waiting with Jackie, Alec went up behind Jake and Mickey, taking Jake to one side.

"You'll be glad to know the wedding is still on.  Is your friend jealous of me or something?"

"Can't say Alec but he did used to go out with Rose, maybe it was in the back of his mind but I think it just came out.  It was a shock for us we'd been presumed missing for over four years, I can't imagine how Rose felt.  I'm glad she had you though.  We used to be best mates."

"Well if you do me a big favour Jake, you're welcome to come and visit us any time.  Can't say the same about your friend though."

"Anything for Rose, just name it.  Mickey didn't mean for it to come out like that."

"Will you stand as my best man?  Only I don't know anyone well enough yet to ask them."

"Yeah, 'course I will, I'd be honoured.  Thanks for asking.  Best get you inside then or Rose will be in there before you at this rate."

Jake could see Rose being helped out of the car by Pete and although he knew Alec had already seen her if he'd been to confront her, he didn't think the man should be observing her getting ready to join him at the altar, so to speak.

Jackie greeted her daughter.  "Rose!  Are you ok?"

Rose had managed to salvage her make-up by cleaning it all off in a few minutes and had decided not to put on any more.  Alec had always said she didn't need to wear any, she was beautiful enough without it but she had wanted to make the effort for him.

"I'm fine Mum, now can we get inside?  Am I late?"

"Relax Rose, it's only just four, you're here, that's all that matters."

Jackie went inside while Rose fussed over her dress.  Pete handed the flowers to Rose and Daisy from the back of the car.  Tony and Daisy followed them inside and the hotel manager, Mr Peters looked relieved.  He hurried before them to open the door to the small function room as he had just closed it to allow Rose to compose herself in private without everyone gawking at her and Rose could see Alec, just turning around and Jake standing at his side.

She smiled, glad to see her friend on the happiest day of her life that had almost turned sour but if that was the worse they had ahead of them, they'd be ok.  Pete escorted her through the doors as people on both sides of the seating area turned to watch her walk towards Alec, who was smiling as she walked the short distance.  Rose smiled back at him and Alec reached out his hand as Pete released her.  Then Pete put his hand on Alec's shoulder.

"She's all yours now Alec, take care of her."

After they exchanged vows, Alec had some words he wanted to say to her and she to him.  Then the registrar declared them husband and wife and they kissed to clapping and cheering.  They went to sign the register, the photographer was taking pictures of them as they kissed each other's cheeks as they signed, Jake signing as witness for Alec and Pete was permitted to sign for Rose.  They went back out to cheering and flashing of cameras and walked out into the garden for more photos.

They danced alone for the first dance to 'Moonlight Serenade' after Alec admitted his love for forties music and Rose had a tear in her eye, she had danced with her first Doctor to that same tune and with Jack but she didn't let on.  Alec made a short speech as did Jake and Pete then he told Rose he had booked them a room in the hotel for that night.  They kissed all the way through dancing to 'Moon River' and never observed that Jake was recording them.

They cut the cake and opened a few presents, Pete was going to pick them all up in the morning for them before they made their way home.  Daisy insisted they opened hers and Rose had to smile.  A cookery book.

"Don't tell me, it was your dad's idea," Rose smiled.

Alec looked at her and put his arm around her, kissing the side of her mouth.  "Nothing to do with me cupcake, I just mentioned the chicken and rice."

Everyone laughed.

Rose went to get changed, she wanted a few minutes to herself but Alec followed her, insisting he waited for her.  He picked up the key and went to open their room door as Pete had put their things inside earlier.  Rose went straight to the bathroom and looked in the mirror.  Her eyes were still red from a few hours earlier when she thought her now perfect life was in ruins.  She had avoided Mickey for the last two hours and had only danced with Pete then Jake, showing her disgust for her once boyfriend and who she had thought was her lost friend.

She had been happy to see Jake, who she considered a surrogate big brother and protector.  She would tell him things she couldn't talk to Pete about and they would often get drunk together after a mission, before they had started dimension hopping.  Her thoughts were interrupted by Alec.

"Rose darlin' are you ok?" he asked, tapping lightly on the bathroom door.

"Just give me a minute Alec, I'm fine."

He knew she wasn't.  Jackie had been right, what the hell had come over him?  How could he have gone tearing over to their villa and storm in, demanding she came down?  He was a complete idiot and now, she would never forget that he saw her, in her wedding dress, looking perfect and gorgeous and he had been demanding to know about the Doctor and why she had never told him they looked alike.

When he had driven to the hotel, he had realised what he had actually done, that there was a perfectly good and valid reason why no-one had told him – he would have done exactly what he actually did do but he would never have left her, she was his life, he owed her a debt he could never repay.  Now she would always remember how foolish he had been, demanding to know if she loved him or her friend she had lost.

Hadn't it been enough for him that she loved him for his faults?  He had plenty of those but this had been the first time she had seen him lose his temper and what for?  Just because Mickey the idiot had blurted out something he didn't like?  Maybe the man had done it intentionally, to ruin everything, after all, the man used to be her boyfriend in their old universe and he had just come back and found out Rose was hours away from marrying someone he knew from the past.

Rose dried her face on the soft white towel and opened the door.  Alec held his arms out but she walked past him and unpacked the holdall she hadn't noticed Pete had picked up from her bedroom, the one Alec had sneaked a dress and some of his favourite sexy underwear he like seeing her in and a pair of black flat-heeled shoes.  She smiled.

"You were sneaky, Alec Hardy.  You could have told me we were staying here tonight."  She held up the red and white matching bra and panties she took out of the holdall, knowing he loved seeing her in them.

"Thought it would be a surprise, we shouldn't spend our wedding night at home and since we're not going away until the day after tomorrow, I figured we deserved it.  Rose, I owe you and everyone else an apology, for my behaviour earlier, it was wrong of me and I know now why you all did it, for the exact reason as to what happened.  I'm so sorry darlin'.  Why did you still want to marry me after the way I behaved?"

Rose gave in and ran into his arms, which had suddenly opened automatically as she approached.

"You daft plum, I told you why I was marrying you and I'll tell you everything but only after our honeymoon.  Until then, we don't talk about it.  Pete will smooth things over with mum and you can talk to Daisy."

"I think Tony was more upset than she was, he heard Mickey saying something to Jake and the poor lad was only thinking about me.  He thought I was upset because you knew something I didn't and he didn't want me to be sad."

"Aw, bless him.  I'll talk to him, tell him it wasn't anything he said.  Mickey should have kept his big trap shut, he was always doing things like that.  I left him, to go travelling with the Doctor and I don't think the jealousy ever went away but I was nineteen Alec, he was my first real boyfriend but I didn't want to spend my life with him and he couldn't get past that.  He thought I'd stay so when he saw you, I expect something just gave and it all came back to him.  I expect everyone told him not to say anything to you, it was probably too much to hope for, he always did blunder into everything with his eyes closed."

Alec kissed her forehead.  "It's ok Rose, I shouldn't have stormed in like that.  The oncoming storm, that's me."

Rose looked up at him.  He sometimes would say the strangest things that the Doctor would say and she would be taken back to those times.

"Yeah?  Well get that 'oncoming storm' of an ass of yours back downstairs to our guests or they'll think we're up here shagging our brains out already."

Alec smiled.  "Hey, are you bossing me around already, Mrs Hardy?"

"You betcha, Chief Inspector Hardy.  Permission to shag your brains out later?"

"Granted.  Now either do it now or let me get back to our guests or do you want me to wait for you?"

"You can unzip my dress but you don't get to see what I'm wearing underneath, not yet.  That's my wedding present to you."  She had picked out the barest of lingerie from the bridal shop she dare risk her mother and Daisy see her buying.

He obliged and went to unzip the dress.  She was wearing the necklace he had bought her.  He went into his pocket and brought out another box.

"A wedding present for you."

He opened it, revealing a silver fine chain bracelet with a heart on it and fastened it on her wrist.  Then he whispered, " You look amazing Rose."

He took his phone out of his pocket at took a photo of her.  "I'm going to take one of you later, in your wedding lingerie."

Rose smiled.  "For you I'll even pose."  She blew him a kiss.  "Could you ask Pete to come up?  I wanted to tell him something earlier but I didn't get time, thanks to someone bursting into my room."

"Yes, sorry cupcake. I'll tell him."  He kissed her cheek.  "You don't get a proper kiss until later.  If you can tease me, expect some payback, sex kitten."

Rose blushed, something she shouldn't be doing in front of her new husband.  Alec left the room and went to find Pete.  It was after seven and Tony was still going strong, laughing with Jake, who was entertaining a group of children around Tony's age.  Alec went up to the boy after telling Pete that Rose wanted to see him.

"Pete, Rose wants you and I owe you an apology."

"Rubbish Alec, Mickey was in the wrong, he should have kept quiet like I asked him to.  He's gone up to his room, he figured Rose would be mad and went to get out of her way.  You knew she and Mickey used to go out?"

"Yes, I knew but I never figured he'd turn up on our wedding day and practically ruin everything.  That doesn't sound like the man she told me about."

"People change Alec and as for you, I just put it down to the wedding jitters, even I got them but don't tell Jackie."

Alec smiled and Pete went off to see Rose.  He had already given a strong, if that was the right word warning to Mickey about him putting his size ten shoe in his size nine mouth.

Alec ruffled Tony's hair and led him to one side.

"Tony, having a good time?"

"Yeah, is Rose ok?"

"She's gone to change out of her wedding dress."  He had put the cream/ivory dress in for her, the one from her welcome back that turned into an engagement party.

"Tony, I wanted you to know, about earlier, telling me what Mickey had said.  Sometimes, grown-ups say things they don't want everyone to know about and Rose, well she knew something, before she met me and she didn't want to tell me because it would have upset me.  Mickey didn't know why she didn't want to tell me but I know now and I'm sorry we all asked you to keep secrets but there are no secrets now.  Ok?"

The boy grinned.  "Ok Alec.  Are you really my big brother now?"

Alec smiled and ruffled the boy's hair again.

"I sure am Tony.  Want some more cake?"

"Mum said I'm not allowed."

"Well, you should always listen to your mum.  How about I get some and you can sneak some while she's not looking?"


Alec went to the table, getting a slice of strawberry gateau with white cream and chocolate sprinkles and two spoons and took the boy to one of the tables to wait for Rose coming back down.  Tony was just dipping his spoon into the cream when he was caught red-handed by his mother.

"Alec!  I told Tony no more cake, he'll be sick all night."  She tried to prise the spoon from the boy's hand.

"Jackie, it's a party, let the boy enjoy himself."

"That's all very well for you to say but you won't be up all night with him.  Wait until you have more kids of your own."

Alec was about to say that may be in the not so distant future if tonight was the night.  "Daisy never came to any harm."

Jackie scowled at him.  "Come on Tony, that's enough and you, don't encourage him."

Suddenly, Alec could see why his new father-in-law had got the wedding jitters and probably still had, even after all this time.  He went to find his daughter, who was dancing with a tall boy of around her age and felt protective all of a sudden.  He tapped the boy on the shoulder.

"May I cut in with my daughter?"

The boy knew who he was, the new chief of detectives in the town and was rather timidly backing away.

"Everything ok Dad?"

"Fine, Rose has gone to get changed.  Sorry about earlier."

"You were nervous, get over it Dad, it happens.  Just as long as you did get married, that's all that counts.  I know she's different to mum, everything's going to be great between you two, I can see how mad about each other you are, nothing will get in your way.  You can tell me what happened the next time I come to visit, ok?"

They finished their dance and he motioned the boy back over.

"You, look after her and if you upset her, I'll know about it, ok?"

The boy meekly nodded and Alec grinned.  This was only the beginning, now his daughter really was grown up and would not always dance with or date boys he approved of and wouldn't get to meet when she was back home.  He wondered what Rose's and Tess's reactions would be if he was to ask her to come and live with them full time?  She was sixteen now, old enough to make her mind up and leave home.  Everyone leaves home in the end, don't they?

Meanwhile, Pete had knocked on the door of Rose and Alec's room.  Rose had got changed and let him in.

"You wanted to talk to me Alec said."

"Yeah, didn't have a lot of time earlier.  I wanted you to know, Alec's not like that, he's never lost his temper with me before and I didn't want you thinking he was always going to be like that."

"I never said he was.  If that's the only row you're gonna have, then be thankful it's all over and done with.  It was just nerves and Mickey Smith.  Are you gonna forgive Mickey?"

"No, I'm gonna let him stew for a while but I might forgive him when I get back from our honeymoon, wherever that is.  Alec still won't tell me."

"He's not supposed to but if he did, it would spoil the surprise."

"Yeah but he spoiled the surprise earlier, he saw me in my dress before the wedding."

"It doesn't count really, it was only half an hour, men see their brides in their wedding dresses a few minutes before.  At least in my experience.  I never told you and don't tell your mother but the first Jackie, well we didn't have much money and we met at the registry office twenty minutes early so no, it doesn't count.  I never thought I'd have a grown-up daughter and see her getting married, to a police detective of all people.  I'm so proud of you Rose.  I knew that night we first met, you were going to become one of the most important people in my life.  Now come on, let's go find that new husband of yours before he organises a search party for you."

Rose smiled and picked up her purse, putting the thin chain on her shoulder.  She linked her arm with her stepfather's and picked up the room key.

"Oh and I have something for you two, when we get downstairs.  A wedding present that didn't go on the table."

Rose was curious as they walked downstairs.  Alec was sitting opposite the door, waiting anxiously for his new wife.  His face lit up when he saw her as Pete let go and went off to find Jackie and his son.  Alec got up as Rose approached.  He greeted her by putting both arms around her and led her to the dance floor then began to move to a slow tune but stopped and took her face in his hands.  Everyone else who was on the floor moved to one side and the DJ put the spotlight on them then Alec leaned down, whispering to her.

"I love you Rose."  Then he kissed her like never before, to the sound of clapping and cheering from around the room.

Jake had caught it all on his phone and was leading the cheering.  They stopped for breath then Rose leaned into his shoulder.

"This is the happiest day of my life Alec, in any universe.  I love you so much, nothing is ever gonna change that."

"I know.  The past is over Rose, another country and it's just you and me from now on.  Now you're mine, forever."  They Kissed again.

They were interrupted by Pete, who had tapped Alec on the shoulder.  They moved off the dance floor and Pete went into the inside pocket of his jacket, bringing out an envelope.  He passed it to Alec.

"This is for you two, your wedding present."

Alec pulled the seal from the envelope and pulled out a document basically saying the villa they had made their home was now theirs, Pete had successfully purchased it for them.  Alec shook his hand and Rose put her arms around him and hugged him.

"Pete, we don't know what to say, except thanks, for everything.  For helping me get that job as well as the villa and most of all, for bringing Rose here in the first place."

Jackie had known what he was up to and had left a blurry-eyed Tony with Jake, the man she trusted with her family's lives and now, she was going to have to trust Alec Hardy with her daughter but deep inside, she knew she had already done that the day she saw Rose break down when she thought Alec had died and had survived, miraculously against all the odds and she could only put that down to Rose herself.  She was the miracle Alec Hardy had needed.
Chapter 10
After the events of their wedding day, it did not spoil their wedding night in any way.  Mickey had eventually come out of his room and had apologised to both Rose and Alec before they had left to consummate their marriage and Rose had sort of forgiven him.  Apart from her mother, Mickey was the only one who really knew about her past.

They were finally alone in their room.  Alec had this time carried his bride through the hotel reception, the amused receptionist had smiled and called the lift for them and they had snogged their way up to the second floor and all the way down the corridor until they had reached their room and Rose had giggled as he tried to unlock the door.

"I'll have to put you down for a second unless you want to shag my brains out in the hallway?"

Rose let him put her down and she grabbed his bum.

"Mmm, I don't care right now, we could have done that in the lift."  She gave his bum a squeeze which made him smile.

Successfully opening the door, he picked her up again and kicked the door closed behind him, crossed to the bed and unceremoniously threw her onto it.  Rose giggled again.

"Oh, you want to play rough do you?"

"Yes, so just you stay right where you are.  I want to unwrap my wedding present."

Rose propped herself upon her elbows, kicking off her shoes.  Alec leaned down and ran his finger over her legs and up her dress, just stopping below her hip.

"I hope you're not wearing anything under that dress or it has to come off."

"Come and find out."

She propped herself on just one elbow and grabbed his jacket.  "Stop mucking about and take that suit off, I'm more interested in what you have underneath."

"Don't say I never warned you.  You know it's tonight cupcake, the night we agreed we'd wait for.  It's been five unbearable months of torment, getting so close and yet not close enough.  Well this is it Rose, our wedding night and it's going to be a night you'll never forget the rest of your life."

"I hope not, I'll never want to forget it.  Now let me take your shirt off for you."

"No, you're going to watch me do it and then, I'm going to take your dress off you and I'm going to take a picture of you, lying on the bed in your wedding lingerie and you promised to pose for me."

"Don't get caught with pictures on your phone of me lying naked on the bed, even being the chief of detectives won't stop you getting arrested."

"They can't arrest me if they're of my wife, cupcake," he replied, backing away from her and throwing his jacket on the back of the chair.

He took his tie off, unbuttoned his shirt, Rose drooling at every button that was revealing his manly hairy chest with the smattering of not too much dark hair and then he pulled the rest of his shirt out of his trousers, revealing his belly button she liked to kiss around because it made him squirm and did things to him when she did it.  He threw the shirt onto the floor after he unfastened the cuffs.

Rose lay back on the pillow enjoying the show as he was kneeling on the bed.  She reached her hand out to his stomach, touching him.  He smiled and moved her hand.  Then he unzipped his trousers, still kneeling and wriggled out of them as they fell onto the floor with his shirt.  He was wearing the tiniest of briefs he could find that he had not been embarrassed actually taking them to the shop assistant to buy but had still got a sly glance and he'd had to sheepishly admit in the Spanish he had hurriedly learned that he was 'casarse'.

Rose held out her hand again and this time he took it and allowed her to touch him.  Even after five months they had never got tired of exploring each other in that department, finding out what they each liked.  Alec was thinking if she had thought when they first got together that he wore snug fitting briefs, they were nothing compared to these.

"Mmm, nice Alec, I may just expect you to wear those all the time now."

"I'll save them for special occasions.  Now, I get to unwrap my wedding present."

He knelt over her, reaching for the zip of her dress, pulling the straps over her shoulders and kissing them, then he pulled the dress away, revealing a thin what could only be described as a piece of ivory satin material with a clasp on the back that was meant to be a bra and hardly covered her.  He let out a whistle and thought about pulling the dress further down.  He eventually pulled it down, bit by bit, revealing her hips and he wondered if she really wasn't wearing anything else under there.

When he got his answer, he wondered how she had been keeping them on her hips, there was hardly anything to them.  He let out another whistle and leaned down to kiss her scantily covered top.

"Wow, now that is what I call a hell of a wedding present cupcake."

Rose smiled and pulled his head down so he could kiss her again.  He got up and went to get his phone and Rose lay there, smiling at him.  After taking several photos of her in different poses in her sexy lingerie and some without, he couldn't stand it any longer.

The next morning, after the night of their lives, they went down to a late breakfast, both smiling like the cats who had got the proverbial canaries as they had tossed and turned under the covers until they were worn out and the troubles from earlier the previous day had been totally forgotten about.  Jake had seen them come down, hand in hand and warned Mickey not to say anything to them.  Pete had collected their wedding presents and had taken them to their villa with some help from Jake.  They were all meeting at the Tyler villa at three for drinks and Christmas dinner, Alec had already been warned by Jackie not to be late and being on their honeymoon was not an excuse.

After they got home, Alec put all the presents in the spare room while Rose was choosing something to wear for the occasion.  She wanted her husband's opinion as she tried a few dresses on, deciding on a red jersey one that Alec thought complimented her figure.  So after making sure they were all set for an early trip to the airport the next morning and Alec had the passports and tickets and where they were going, they enjoyed Christmas lunch.

It was an extra special affair, Rose and Alec getting married, Jake and Mickey coming back and over a toast to them all being together, Alec had an announcement to make.

"Sorry, I know you were looking forward to us being with you for the new year but I'm going to have to keep Rose away from you for another year Jackie.  I'm taking Rose somewhere really special to celebrate but I'm sure when we come back, we can still celebrate."

Jackie tried to hide her disappointment.  Pete spoke up.

"We can make this allowance Alec, just this once.  We would have liked you both to have been here, the last few holidays have been a bad time for us."

"I know that and we appreciate you understanding though until now, Rose thought we were spending it here.  We also wanted to say that we plan on starting our own family and maybe, if we're really lucky, we may have even more cause to celebrate next year."

Rose smiled at him and put her arm around him and whispered, "You can bet on that Alec."

Their honeymoon in Paris was a complete success, Alec telling Rose how much he loved her at the top of the Eiffel Tower and holding on to her as they took a romantic boat trip on the river, staying inside where it was nice and warm.  They had got used to the warmer weather in Majorca.  On their last night, Alec still had not revealed where he was taking her for the new year so when they got to the airport, Rose was more than a little surprised to find out they were going to Scotland.

On New Year's Eve, well the early hours of New Year's Day, they had the second best night of their lives, celebrating being together and watching the fireworks from their hotel balcony in the freezing cold, Alec wrapping her in his arms with a blanket around them and kissing to keep warm.  When it was time to go home, landing at Palma airport, Rose felt kind of silly wearing Alec's thick jumper that was too big for her, having taken her coat off on the plane after they had changed flights in Paris again.

The next few weeks, they settled down to married life and after six weeks, Rose discovered she was indeed pregnant and Alec was over the moon.  Alec had received word that the hearing of Joe Miller was to take place the first week of March and he had arranged to take the time off since he had no choice but to attend and had booked two flights back to Bristol and a hotel for them in Exeter.

Rose was relaxing by the pool one day, she was now two months and was looking forward to her first scan when they got back from the hearing.  She had bought a more decent swimsuit though when Alec was around, she still wore a bikini, he wanted to watch her starting to put weight on though she had at first protested.  He had bought her a baby book to record when she went for scans, room for scan pictures and all the significant changes and he was keeping meticulous records of when she felt sick and Rose thought it was really sweet of him.

She hadn't really been that sick, just a few weeks and it had passed and she supposed she'd been lucky compared to what her mother had gone through with Tony.  She got up to put her sun dress and flip-flops on and wandered into the kitchen when she felt a bit of a twinge but thought nothing of it until she went into the fridge to get some milk for the tea she had just made.  She got a shooting pain up her back even though she wasn't bending down and went to sit at the counter, pulling her phone out of her pocket and leaving the milk out she had just poured in her mug of tea.

She called her mother.

"What's wrong Rose, are you ok?"

"Yeah, just a bit of backache.  You want to meet for lunch?"

"Ok, I'll meet you in the usual café in town, do you want me to get a taxi and call for you though, save getting two?  Pete's already out."

"Yeah, pick me up at twelve thirty."

It was half ten so she had two hours to go back and lie by the pool, setting her alarm for twelve in case she dozed off since she was keeping Alec awake some of the night, she had just kept quiet and let him sleep, something he'd go mad about if he found out she hadn't woken him.  Fortunately for Jackie, she had a spare key for the villa so when Rose didn't come out at twelve twenty five, she asked the driver to wait.

Jackie called out when she got inside and crossed over the spacious open-planned living room.

"Rose, where are you Sweetheart?  I've got a taxi waiting."  Then she saw a figure on the sun lounger and the patio door slightly open.

"Rose!"  She went rushing through.  It looked to her like Rose had fainted from the heat, even though there was a bit of a breeze.

The next thing Rose knew, she was lying on something soft and a male voice was saying something in Spanish.  Someone was holding her hand.

"Rose, Sweetheart, how are you feeling?  Alec's meeting us at the hospital."

"What happened Mum?  I made some tea, called you and went to lie by the pool again."

"You must have fainted.  I came round and saw you lying there and I called for an ambulance.  I locked your patio door then called Alec."

"I'm fine Mum, you shouldn't have fussed."

With that, she was out again, the effects of the anaesthetic taking over.  The crew were monitoring her.

Jackie let go of her hand as the ambulance backed up to the emergency entrance.  She saw Alec as the doors opened, he didn't work that far away and had gone straight there in a marked police car, sirens blaring and lights flashing and had been waiting almost five minutes having been assured by the receptionist that no-one called Rose Hardy had been admitted and had demanded to know where the ambulance carrying his wife had got to.  He might be new in town but he already had a reputation for not being a patient man.

"Rose, is she ok?  What happened Jackie?"

They were walking behind the ambulance crew.

"I don't know Alec, I spoke to her not two hours before I found her, it must have come on suddenly, I'm sorry, if she had just called me to say there was something wrong.  I've called Pete but he's on the other side of the island, he's on his way."

She didn't want to say but she knew enough Spanish to know things were not good.  They got her into an examination room and the doctor, an English speaking one, examined her but Jackie could tell by his reaction as he had been told she was eight weeks pregnant and he was pressing on Rose's stomach as the nurse closed the door.

Jackie was pacing around after Alec.

"How could she not know Jackie?"

Rose woke up, seeing a man in a white coat standing over her.  She wasn't even in any pain but didn't know that they had already given her something in the ambulance and a drip was now in her arm.

"What's this for, why won't you tell me what's wrong?  Where's my husband?  He'll be totally pissed with you if you don't let him in, he's the chief of detectives around here you know."

"Yes Mrs Hardy, we know.  Please, just relax.  Your husband can come in shortly.  How do you feel?"

She was now dressed in a hospital gown and she felt light-headed.  She was suddenly aware of certain things.

"Tell me."

"I'm sorry Mrs Hardy, I'll send your husband in now.  You lost the baby.  It's not clear what happened, sometimes there is just no medical reason, it's nothing you did."

Rose's eyes were filled with tears at the words.  Outside, a nurse was trying to tell Jackie that only the patient's husband could go in the small room and that they would be moving her.  They all had private medical insurance and Rose would get the best of care.  Alec went into the small room and nodded to the doctor.

"We will move her to a private room shortly, she should stay in for 24hrs.  After that, just take it easy.  There is no reason why you can't try again.  These things just happen."

"Thanks for everything doctor," Alec said, shaking the man's hand.

They were left alone and Alec sat on the bed.  He put his arm under the back of her neck and lifted her up, cradling her close to him as she sobbed.

"Rose, I'm so, so, sorry I wasn't there.  I should have been.  Did you feel off this morning Sweetheart?"

Rose shook her head and held onto him.  "I felt a twinge, just before I called mum and then I got a pain in my back."

"You should have told her when you called.  What did you do then?"

"I went back outside to lie by the pool.  I didn't do anything Alec, except I couldn't sleep but I didn't want to keep you awake."

"Rose, what did I tell you?  I'm taking the rest of the day off and tomorrow, I'll take you home and spend the day with you.  Just try to get some rest.  Your mother's outside and Pete's on his way."

The orderlies came to take her to a private room on the next floor and got her settled.  The nurse came in to make her more comfortable and asked if she needed any more painkillers then explained exactly what would happen to her.  Alec wondered just how much they had already given her.  He let Pete and Jackie have a few minutes with her while he called his office to say his wife was in hospital.  After Pete and Jackie went off to pick Tony up from school, Rose wanted a rest so Alec just sat at her bedside, like she had done for him, dozing in the chair and only leaving when they brought her evening meal in.

He left for the night and then arrived with some clothes the next morning and took her home.

"Do you want to talk about it Rose?" he asked, pouring her some lemonade and handing it to her.

She was lying on the lounger which Alec had cleaned when he had got home, getting tips from Jackie on how to do so since he didn't want to throw it out.  He couldn't imagine what had happened to her and only hoped she had passed out from the pain and had not been in agony.  Jackie told him she had known instantly it hadn't been good once the medics got there and they put her on the drip and painkillers.

Maybe he had been expecting too much, them getting lucky so soon after their wedding but they weren't about to give up.

"It's ok Rose, we don't have to talk about it, if you don't want to.  Maybe you should stay here while I go back for Joe Miller's hearing?"

"Forget it Alec, I'll be fine, there's over a week and it won't take that long.  It was an open and shut case, you said he'll plead guilty and that will be that.  Besides, we can see Ellie, show her our wedding photos, it was a shame she couldn't come over for it and we can go visit Daisy, pity we can't bring her back with us."

"Maybe we could wait for her?"

"Have you told her?"

"I called her last night, she's so sorry.  I said you'd call her when you felt better."

"Thanks Alec."

He put the other lounger next to hers and took his shirt off and sitting next to her, put his sunglasses on and took off his suit trousers, leaving him in his swim shorts as he lay down.  Rose wondered exactly why it always turned her on when she couldn't do anything about it, he was so sexy.  He took her hand and squeezed it.

Just over a week later, they were getting ready to leave for the flight to Bristol airport and the trip down to Exeter.  Alec was picking up a car on their arrival and they were meeting Ellie for dinner.  Rose asked Alec not to tell her what had happened.

"Rose, she was your friend, you should tell her."

"I can't please Alec, don't tell her."

Alec agreed and they went to bed early as they had an early flight the next morning.  Rose was feeling better and was going back to taking precautions until she was fully recovered as soon as she was able but they went back to what they had been doing before they got married by mutual agreement.

They arrived back in Great Britain, it was a little warmer than it had been when they had visited Scotland but they had been spoiled by the warm weather they enjoyed.  Once in their hotel, Alec called Ellie and they agreed where to meet.  Ellie had got herself a child minder for Fred, Tom was still living in Broadchurch with his aunt and his cousin, wanting nothing to do with his mother.

They met in the restaurant, Rose was looking a lot better and they'd had a rest after their flight.  Rose greeted Ellie with hug.

"Hi Ellie, we missed you!"

"What, even him?" Ellie joked.

Alec shrugged his shoulder and shook her hand but turned it into an awkward hug.

"So you two, how's things?  You said your daughter was Rose's bridesmaid.  I hope your brought pictures?"

Rose had uploaded them all to her phone, plus from Pete's and Jake's phones, along with the videos he'd made.

"I'd invite you back to my place but it's tiny and Fred will be asleep.  Why don't we meet after the hearing tomorrow and you can show me the videos?" Ellie asked, looking through some of the photos.

Alec was glad they were on Rose's phone since he had several questionable ones of Rose on his, including some provocative and sexual ones he had taken since their wedding night when they had found out Rose was pregnant and they had celebrated.

"Great, we can go somewhere and catch up.  I bet you're glad it's almost over Ellie?" Rose asked.

"Aren't I just, scumbag he is.  Just let him try and worm his way out of this one."

"He won't, it's solid, he confessed, it's all on tape."

"I hope so.  Anyway, life as a traffic cop isn't too bad but I might put back in for a transfer soon, back to Broadchurch.  I hear they have an opening for a DI.  How's the Palma Police department treating you?"

"Great, I've even brushed up on my Spanish but they insist on speaking English when I'm giving briefings and asking questions."

Ellie could just imagine.  They said goodnight and went back to their hotel, gently making love until the early hours when Rose fell asleep.  They were meeting up with Ellie at the court the next morning, they had to go separately through the scanners.  Rose saw some familiar faces, including the Latimers and Becca Fisher, who was trying hard not to make it look like she was with the local vicar and failing, miserably.

The news of Rose and Alec's wedding had spread to all the English newspapers, including the Broadchurch Echo and they were approached by Olly Stevens, who asked them for an interview.  Alec said they would think about it.  His phone rang and he let go of Rose's hand and walked to the side.

"Alec Hardy."

"Alec?  Where have you been?  It's Claire. I need you, he's back, he's been trying to call me…."

"Claire, hang up now and call Tess, I'm not working on the case."

"I know but Tess can't help me Alec.  I know Lee is going to get me, for what I told her."

"Claire, I've left the country, I've only come back for my last case here, I got married last Christmas, I live in Majorca now."

"Oh, so suddenly you're too good to be associated with me eh?" Claire asked, her Welsh voice very prominent.

"Call Tess, I have to go now."

Alec had his calls forwarded as soon as he got into the country and had kept his old number, Pete had arranged it all for him.

Everyone was going into the court, Rose squeezed his hand.

"Everything ok Alec?"

He didn't want to worry her with his old, failed case and especially Claire Ripley.

"Fine cupcake, let's get this over with."

People were talking quietly, there was no sign of Ellie but they saw her come in at the last minute and she got an empty seat next to Alec he had been saving for her.

"You cut if fine, Miller," he whispered.

Rose just smiled and mouthed, "Hi Ellie."

"Well some of us have to actually work Alec."

He was about to think of something witty to banter back at her when they were ordered to stand.  The judge came in and everyone was seated.  Joe Miller was being led in, Rose was right next to him as he was let into the glass dock and she pulled a face at Alec, wanting him to swap places with her but he couldn't.  She didn't like it, considering she had sat across from him twice at dinner.

The bailiff stood and the judge asked the defendant to stand.  Rose shivered, he gave her the creeps. His name was read out and he was asked how he pleaded.

"Not Guilty."

Horror filled the courtroom as people gasped and Alec put his hands on Rose's and Ellie's shoulders. The judge asked him again, clearly not expecting his answer.

He repeated himself. "Not guilty."
Chapter 11
Contains a few spoilers if you've not yet seen Broadchurch series 2 though events have been changed to suit Rose and Alec and not the characters in the series.

No-one in the courtroom could believe what they had just heard the defendant say, least of all Ellie and Alec.  He moved his arm from Ellie's shoulder as Rose reached out to grab Ellie's hand.  He had the sense to move since now, there would be a trial and he couldn't afford to look too friendly with the guilty party's wife, especially now he had one of his own.

The courtroom was being cleared after the judge had asked one final time and she ordered him to appoint a Barrister since he had changed his plea without informing his solicitor.  All parties involved had been told they would be informed of the trial date.  Outside, the Latimer's were distraught, Beth was heavily pregnant and not far off her due date, Olly Stevens was on the newspaper's social media account and getting told off by his editor for being too keen to tell the world that after months of tension and trying to get back to some normality in Broadchurch, everything had be shaken up again by those two words the confessed child killer at muttered.

Ellie was being comforted by her sister Lucy and Rose, Alec was at the concession stand buying drinks, Paul Coates was talking to Becca, Alec thought they were pretty obvious, Ellie had suspected it months ago, before they had left the country.  He got back just in time to see Beth Latimer lose it and storm towards Ellie.

"You, it's all your fault.  What have you said to him?"

Ellie leapt to her own defence.  "Nothing, I haven't seen him since he was arrested.  I want him locked up as much as you do."

"Leave her alone, she's not done anything," Rose interrupted, looking at Alec who had put a drink in front of her and Ellie.

"Oh, well if it isn't little Miss Vitex, come to gloat have you?"

"Hang on Beth, don't talk to my wife like that," Alec said, putting his hand on Rose's shoulder.

"Oh, that's just priceless, I might have known.  So you were shagging her when that monster was still on the loose and look where that got us, he's still going to walk.  Now we have to hire a Barrister because her (pointing to Ellie) pathetic child-killer of a husband won't man up to what he did.  Why don't you go back to your little empire, Rose Tyler?"

"She's not Rose Tyler any more, she's my wife and no-one wants Joe Miller locked up more than we do, so we can go home."

"Yeah, go home and leave us to mop up all the mess, you don't live there any more, non of you, you all scarpered as soon as it was over.  Well don't think I've forgotten."

"Beth, come on, leave it, this isn't doing anybody any good."  Mark was trying to get her away, pulling her away by her shoulders.  "Sorry detective, she's just upset, we all are."

Beth got loose from his grip and stormed off.

Lucy sat next to Ellie leaving Alec to stand, his hands resting on Rose's shoulders.  This was all they needed, after Rose recently loosing the baby.  Now they were going to be stuck in Exeter until the trial, there was no point in going back home, it could be a few days before they got an actual date.

"Rose, come on, let's go back to the hotel, this has been a nightmare."

"You're not kidding.  Will I have to give evidence?" Lucy asked.

"Why would you have to give evidence?" Alec asked.

Ellie looked daggers at her sister, willing her to keep her mouth shut and hoping Hardy didn't ask any more questions since she had virtually bribed Lucy for a vital piece of information leading to Joe's arrest.

Rose could see Ellie was tense.  "Ellie, can we go so Fred?  He must have grown."

"Yeah, ok, if you don't mind crowding into my tiny flat."

Alec knew when he was being rail-roaded.

"You promised to show me your wedding videos don't forget," Ellie reminded her.

"Oh, you two really did get married then?"  Lucy piped up.

Ellie shook her head.  "It was in the paper, Luce, your son works for The Echo."

"Well how did I know, it's not like I actually read it, just because he works there.  I'm getting a job in the new office, did I tell you?"

"Great, right next to the amusement arcade."

Rose smiled.  Alec held out his hand to help her up, still very aware of how vulnerable she was right now.  He was amazed how she had bounced back, outwardly, not inwardly and had showed no signs to Ellie what she had just gone through.  The only time she had broken down after being released from the hospital was when they had gone to bed that night and she had cried herself to sleep while he had just held her tightly in his arms.  He just hoped she wasn't holding it all back.

They followed Ellie to her tiny flat, she let the child minder go early since she had the day off and Rose showed her their wedding videos Jake had taken as Rose made a fuss over Fred.

"Aw, I missed you little guy," she said as she sat him on her lap.

Alec was giving her a warning look not to pick the boy up, she was still feeling a bit weak and wasn't supposed to exert herself.

Ellie found the videos very entertaining and she knew the two of them were totally lost in each other so as they never noticed they had been observed.

"Oh just look at the two of you, I'm surprised you lasted until you got to your room."

Alec raised his eyebrows.  "Who said we did?"

"Oh don't tell me you did it in the lift?"

"No we didn't Ellie, we had a bit of restraint.  Not much mind you, we did snog all the way up in the lift and all the way down the corridor," Rose giggled.

"Don't tell her everything Rose," Alec joked.

"So, no little Hardy's on the way yet?" Ellie innocently asked.

Rose put the boy down.  "Oh, have I asked the wrong question?"  Ellie picked Fred up.

"Rose doesn't want to talk about it."

"It's ok Alec.  I was two months but I lost it."

"Oh Rose, I'm so sorry.  When was that?"

"Just over a week ago."

"Then what the hell are you doing here then?  Both of you, you should be at home."

"It's ok, I couldn't let Alec come over here on his own and now I'm glad I didn't.  How could he have changed his plea?"

Alec took her hand.  "I don't know and he obviously doesn't care how many lives he's just turned upside down again.  Even his solicitor didn't know about it, he must have decided on the spot as he stood up."

"Yeah, well I know what I'd like to do with him.  Just leave him in a room with me and Beth, you won't need a trial."

"If only it was that simple, justice carried out by the victims, it's all cut and dried then two words, just two words, everything comes crashing down destroying two months of hard work.  Come on Rose, let's leave Ellie to get on with what she has to do.  Are you going to have to take time off now?"

"I'll go back to work until we get a date, best thing.  They should give me paid leave."

"What about your house Ellie?"

"I can't go back there Rose, not now.  I might put it up for sale, I really don't know.  What about you two?"

"We'll stay here for a few days, have a look around Devon though don't go stopping me for violating any traffic laws Miller."

They said goodbye and went back to their hotel.  They were just relaxing, having another snogging session when Alec's phone rang.  Rose went into the bathroom.

"Alec, it's Claire."

"Yes, I know, I can't talk to you about what happened, Tess is running the investigation, talk to her."

"But you're the only one who can help me.  He's back, I know he is, you've got to protect me.  I did it because you said you'd look after me and you left me, alone in that cottage in the middle of nowhere, for almost eighteen months and then you leave Broadchurch and swan off and get married.  Didn't you even think about me?"

"Why would I?  I did what I promised.  Lee left the country, you got a job at the local shop, you were getting on with it."

"I thought you cared what happened to me Alec, does your new wife know about us?"

"There is no 'Us' Claire, there never has been, only in your head."

"What about that time when you comforted me, when Lee was arrested?"

Alec was stunned she was bringing all this up now, of all times.  Rose had just lost their baby and Claire was making a mountain out of a molehill.  He had to stop this now and tell Rose everything, Tess would back him up.  Tess knew Claire was a pathological liar and had changed her story three times before the case had been abandoned when the evidence was stolen.

"I'm hanging up Claire, now call Tess, she'll send someone to check up on you."

"I gave my job up Alec, I don't feel safe working there.  I can't stay here any more, he'll find me."

"He won't, he's not in the country, I would have known if he was back here.  Now stop this and get help from Tess."

Alec thought she had hung up when she went quiet.

"She's not like you Alec, she wasn't kind to me and helped me, you did.  I'll tell your wife if you don't help me, tell her how you laid with me when I needed you."

"Stop that Claire, there was nothing to it and you know it."

The line went dead and he slung his phone onto the bed.  This was all they needed, a witness and provider of an alibi for a murder suspect was threatening him, to tell Rose he had felt sorry for her, found her a cottage to rent and acted as guarantor if the rent wasn't paid, which had been a few times now, according to his bank statements.

Rose never bothered him about money, she didn't need to.  Alec could end the contract on the cottage any time he wanted.  Rose was standing in the doorway in her vest top and knickers.

"Come here sex kitten, I have something you need to know."

"I can guess.  Who exactly is Claire?  Did you have a girlfriend you didn't tell me about before I arrived in Broadchurch?"

"No, she was a witness I was unofficially protecting from a murder suspect, her husband."

"Oh, you mean like Ellie?"

"Well not exactly.  Sandbrook, the main suspect's wife, Claire, provided him an alibi and I persuaded her to turn against him in return for taking her somewhere safe.  I put her in a cottage about ten miles from Broadchurch, got her a job and then when I got a transfer to the town, I made sure she was still ok from time to time but the day after I met you, I never went near her place again, I swear Rose, there was never anything between us."

"It's ok babe, I know you.  We were hardly apart all the time we were there.  What's she trying to say?"

"She thinks her husband's looking for her, she wants me to protect her but I told her to go to Tess."

"So, what's the problem?"

"She's threatening to tell you there was something going on between us.  She's sick Rose, she's a compulsive liar, she can't help it, it's a game to her, she changed her story three times."

Rose put her arms under his open shirt and pressed up close to him.

"It's ok Alec, don't worry about it.  Let her say something to me.  The mood I'm in now, I'll slap her silly and nothing will help her if my mother finds out.  I heard you say something else."

"Ok, this is the truth Rose.  Something happened and I took her to the hospital, she was upset because she was still providing her husband with an alibi but he'd just been arrested and she turned to me for help.  I tried to calm her down and she might have taken it the wrong way.  She found out just after that Tess had left me.  She's just playing on it, making it out to be something it wasn't."

Rose reached up and pressed her lips to his.

"It's ok.  Look, I do believe you, that it's all in her mind.  Can't someone do an evaluation on her?"

"She's clever Rose, she uses her feminine ways to get around things, playing the innocent wife of an alleged child killer.  She's not strong like Ellie.  She'll play on the fact she was lonely and vulnerable and use it against me if I don't play her game."

"Well it's not going to work, not on me.  Let her do her worst, she's just bluffing.  You don't even work here any more so, what can she do?"

"Plenty Rose, it could get back to my new bosses, tampering with a witness in a murder investigation, getting her to change her story and testifying against her husband."

"Pete will get you a good lawyer, you know that and if it's all false claims, she won't stand a chance.  I'm with you Alec, there's nothing she can do to us.  We'll get a specialist to prove she's a compulsive liar.  You watch.  Let Tess get her in to give a statement against you, see how far she'll go.  You have to tell Tess about it."

He leaned down to kiss her, putting his hand down the back of her knickers.

"I will cupcake, tomorrow.  Come back to bed Rose, we've ages before dinner.  Show me how much you believe me."

Rose still wasn't fully recovered from her loss but did her best.  She knew the first time they had been together, all those months ago he would never go looking elsewhere for sex, he never complained all that time when they hadn't fully been together and now, there was just no way ever they couldn't keep each other satisfied in that area that either of them would even think to look elsewhere.

"When you're feeling better Rose, if you can't go back on the pill yet, I'll be the one to take the precautions but until then, you have to get better, ok?"

Rose nodded and just lay in his arms until it was time to go down to dinner.  The next morning, Alec was half expecting another call from Claire but his phone stayed silent.  He called Tess, with Rose's approval and asked if he could set up a meeting with her on Friday, meaning to stay over the weekend and see Daisy.  Tess agreed and said if Claire contacted her with any allegations against him, she would hold off making it formal until he could get there and they could take Daisy out for the day on Saturday.

Alec almost said he really no longer needed her approval to take his daughter out but wanted to stay on her good side until he could get out of the country and away from Claire Ripley.

So for two days, Alec and Rose tried to relax, going to Sidmouth one day and down to Lyme Regis the next, staying there overnight to make the journey over to Sandbrook on Friday morning.  Just before they set off, Ellie called to say she'd had a court date, next Tuesday at 10am.  Alec assumed he'd get a similar call later.

Tess was waiting for him at the station he used to work in and was shown into her office.  Rose had opted to stay behind and was meeting them for lunch, then they would take Daisy out for a meal later in the evening.

"So, you got my old office then?" Alec observed.

"Don't miss much do you Alec?  Right, you'd better tell me everything she said to you and the threats she made.  I don't suppose you recorded the conversation did you?  You were never one for using the latest technology."

"So I've been told but Rose is the technical one in our house, ask Daisy.  No, I didn't record it because I didn't know how far she was going to go but if she calls again, I will.  Have you even interviewed her yet?"

Tess got a folder out of the pile and passed it over to him.  "These are the allegations she gave against you when I asked her why she thought Lee Ashworth was back in the country.  Is he Alec?"

"How do I know?  I've been living on a Spanish island for the last six months.  Look, I'd be informed if he set foot inside the country, I have a contact who's watching out for his return.  If he comes to Majorca, I'll be the first to know, I'll have an alert set up if he steps foot in my jurisdiction."

"Yes, how is your new job?  Feet planted firmly under your desk?  I supposed that's what you get for screwing the ex-chairman of Vitexs' stepdaughter since you got the job before you actually married her.  Anyway, Daisy told me about Rose, I'm sorry about that, for what it's worth, no woman deserves that, even if she is married to my ex."

Alec was stunned.  "Thanks, I'll tell her.  Now can we get back to this sordid business because right now, we don't need this load of crap, Rose is just getting over it, we've a trial to go to, which is next Tuesday because another child killer won't face up to his punishment and now, I have that stupid cow to deal with.  Why did I even bother trying to help her?"

"You were an easy touch Alec, you were more vulnerable than she was, or maybe just as much but you're not a compulsive liar.  I took your advice, I had a police psychiatrist observe her when I brought her in yesterday, I told her he was just another police officer but I don't know if she believed that.  I've just got his report.  He said she is a pathological liar and a sociopath and if she brings charges against you, they would never stick but it still may ruin your already rather tarnished reputation, especially since you thought Broadchurch was all sewn up and he was just going to be sentenced.  Sorry about that by the way, even you didn't deserve that."

"Well I'm glad to hear the crazy bitch might actually find herself in a nice padded cell.  Just don't let Rose get anywhere near her because the way she feels right now is about on a level with what Ellie Miller and Beth Latimer combined feel about Joe Miller.  She has the money and the power behind her and Pete Tyler won't sit by and let his stepdaughter get caught up in the middle of this.  If she makes accusations against me, Claire makes them against Rose and her family and believe me, she doesn't know what she's messing with."

"I can well believe it.  You tell me what she said to you and I'll compare it against her version but it will never come to anything, I'll just submit her mental evaluation.  There will be no formal charges brought, I might even charge her with wasting police time.  Look Alec, I'm sorry you've had to come down here to sort all this out.  Claire is still out there, I had to let her go.  Just watch out for her, both of you.  Where is your new wife anyway?"

"Doing a bit of shopping for us both.  We only brought enough with us for a few days, now we don't know how long the trial will take so she's getting some extra clothes.  The hotel back in Exeter had a laundry service so it's not too bad.  It beats me why Joe Miller confesses to me, then confesses in the station, on tape then stands up in the dock and says he didn't do it.  I think he needs a mental evaluation as well because if he gets off, I wouldn't like to think what the victim's family and Ellie will do to him if he tries to go back to Broadchurch, they'll lynch him."

"Probably.  He maybe got scared of what they do in real prison to child killers and whatever else he did to that poor boy.  He was around Pippa's age wasn't he?"

Alec nodded, not wanted to be reminded of the fact.  He was writing down what Claire had said.

"Don't you think it was strange Alec?  You stumbling in on another child killing?"

"Are you trying to rub it in Tess?"

"No, I'm just stating facts."

Alec handed over the piece of paper he had been writing Claire's threats down on.

"That's about it, you know most of it anyway.  All except the last one and yes, I've told Rose everything."

Tess looked at the piece of paper.  "Everything Alec?"

"Yes, I wasn't the one having the affair Tess, you were, remember?"

"Well that's old news now Alec, you got your divorce, you found yourself a young blonde, very rich wife and have a fancy villa on a Spanish island.  I'd say that wasn't so bad, considering Dave has never once managed to bring up the word 'Marriage' in our conversations and I still live with our daughter in a three bedroom council house."

"Well you never wanted to buy one, did you?  Good thing too, you'd have probably taken it and left me with nothing."

Tess thought about it.  They were straying from the point as all their arguments used to do.

"I heard things didn't go too well on your wedding day, according to Daisy."

"We had some issues, which were all sorted and we got married, on time."

Tess smiled, pleased her daughter had given her that piece of information to keep him in his place.

"I've asked Claire to come in and have a face to face, out in the open discussion, I hope you don't object?" Tess threw in for good measure.

"No, go ahead, I can't wait.  I'll call Rose, have her drop by.  I thought you didn't believe her?"

"I don't but I think it would be interesting, I may even get her to admit the truth.  Don't you want the case solving Alec?  Don't you want us to find Lisa?"

"Of course I do, what do you take me for?  Bring her in then."

Alec went outside to call Rose and told her what had happened and she agreed to meet him there in an hour and took her purchases back to the hotel then made her way to the police station, Alec telling her to ask for DS Henchard.

Rose was waiting in the reception area when a woman with long brown hair walked in and up to the desk.

"DS Henchard told me to come in, I'm Claire Ripley."

She was told to take a seat and came to sit next to Rose.  Rose knew enough to keep quiet.

"What you here for?"

"Nothing much, you?"

"Interview over some stupid copper that said he'd protect me then he leaves me on my own, to fend for myself while my husband is trying to hunt me down and hurt me.  I'm going to make him pay."

Rose kept her cool, this was 'That' Claire, the one who had threatened her husband, her Alec.

"I told him but he wouldn't listen, tried to palm me off to his DS, his ex wife, can you believe it?"

Rose knew the woman didn't realise who she was sitting next to.

"Not much for talking are you?" Claire continued the one-sided conversation.

Rose was biding her time.

"Anyway, I made a complaint about him, he shouldn't have left me to go marry some rich bitch and swan off to Spain with her."

Rose knew the woman was either digging herself into a hole or she knew exactly who was sitting next to her.
Chapter 12
The court scenes portrayed in this story are not a blow by blow account of what actually happened and have been changed to key points involving Rose and Alec as their relationship is tested to its limits.  I also have no idea about court proceedings but viewers of the series already know the court scenes were not true to life and merely drama though a lot of critics thought it should follow real life (that's why it's called drama for their information!)

Alec came out of Tess's office and saw the two women sat side by side and knew if he ignored Rose, she would play along but thought he would get his point over by sending a quick message because he wanted Claire in first, then he would get Rose.

He stood in front of Claire, glaring at her as she was pretending to mess with her phone.

"Come on in to Tess's office Claire, see what you have to say for yourself now."

Claire looked up, then at Rose but got up.  Alec grabbed her arm and practically pushed her into the office.

"Get off me Alec, I can walk by myself you know."

"You started this Claire, you want to play dirty, get ready to have some mud thrown back in your face."

"I'm surprised you haven't got that bitch of a wife to stick up for you."

"I don't need her to fight my battles, I'm capable of fighting my own."

He opened the office door.  "Take a seat."

He pulled another one out of the corner and placed it behind the desk.

"What are you playing at Claire?  You know these accusations won't get you anywhere."

"Oh really?  I trusted you Alec, I turned on my husband because of you.  Why did you just leave me there?"

"What did you want me to do?  I had a job to do, I did it, I put you somewhere safe."

"Well I'm not still safe, he'll find me, I've had two unknown silent calls today."

Tess spoke up.  "Claire, Lee can't be the only with an unknown number, companies call people all day and withhold theirs, what makes you think it's him, after all this time?"

Claire looked up from glaring at poor Alec.  "I just do, who else would it be?  You promised Alec, you promised me it would all be ok if I trusted you and I did, then you go and get married."

"Is this what it's all about Claire?  You're jealous?"

Tess looked at him, why were two women fighting over him?

Claire fidgeted.  "All those time Alec, when you laid with me."

Tess raised her eyebrows.  She had read Claire's accusations, doubting them but wasn't so sure now she had heard her repeat them to him.

Alec had promised the woman he wouldn't reveal why he had laid with her on the hospital bed that day she had chosen to go in, the day her husband had been arrested.

"Claire, if you don't stop this now, I will tell DS Henchard why you were in hospital and why I was with you.  There has never been any other reason why I went with you that day.  The reason you even wanted to go there happened before we ever met.  Do you want me to tell her?"

Claire shook her head.

"I didn't think so.  So come on then, what else have you to say for yourself?  Do you want to repeat them to my wife?"

He took her silence as admission she was defeated.

"I don't want to hear from you again Claire, do you understand me?  Now if you have anything constructive to tell DS Henchard, then please do so but you come near me or my wife again, I'll see that Lee does really find you."

He wouldn't but there was no harm in throwing that in for good measure.  He got up and tossed the file with Claire's statement across the desk to her.

"This is worthless Claire and you know it."

He got up.  "I'll see you later Tess, we'll bring Daisy back."

"Wait, Alec, so are you really going to leave me to Lee?"

Alec shook his head and silently left the interview room and went to join Rose.

"Come on love, let's go back to the hotel."

"So I don't need to go in there then?"

"No, she understands what will happen if she takes it further."

"She was just sitting there, she had no idea who I was."

"So I noticed."

Later that day, they went to meet Daisy, who gave Rose a big hug and asked how she was doing then after a meal they took the girl home.  Alec looked at Rose then walked his daughter to the front door.

"It's a shame you can't come back with us but maybe the trial will drag on and we'll be able to wait for you, you have two weeks off at the end of March don't you?"

"Yeah and then I start my exams and put down for college though maybe I'll be able to put it off for a year and come and stay with you and Rose?"

"There are colleges in Majorca you know, have you thought about that?  Come and live with us Daisy, Rose will be more than happy to have you with us."

"No Dad, you and Rose need some time on your own.  Look, there's plenty of time before I have to think about this.  I want to study law, eventually, maybe even join the police when I'm old enough but until then, I'll just come over for the holidays and for six weeks during the summer and think about it.  I'll put my name down for college or university in the meantime.  You don't need me under your feet, especially now.  Rose needs you.  She seemed ok but it must be still very upsetting for her.  You're not giving up are you?"

"No darlin' we're not giving up, Rose just needs a bit of time to get over it.  You really wanted a stepbrother or sister didn't you?"

"I was warming to the idea, even if it was only a few weeks at a time."

"Well if you come and live with us, it won't be just a few weeks, will it?"

Daisy put her arms around him and gave him a hug.  "See you tomorrow Dad, where are we going?"

"We can go to Brighton or somewhere for the day if you like though I don't want Rose walking around for too long at a time.  She looked after me when I came out of hospital, now it's my turn to look after her."

Tess opened the door.  "I wondered where you had got to.  Do you want to invite Rose in?"

"I don't think so, I think it's a bit soon for that."

He said goodnight and went back to the car, kissing Rose on the cheek as he got back in.  The next day, trying to forget about the annoying Claire Ripley, they picked up Daisy and drove to Brighton.  It was a bit cold still but they had an enjoyable day out as a family.  Alec was pleased the two of them got on so well, Daisy had even wanted to fly out to see them when Rose got out of hospital.

They drove back up to Exeter on Sunday morning, meeting Ellie and Fred for lunch and prepared themselves for the upcoming trial and just spent the day in Exeter on Monday but late afternoon, he got a call from Ellie who had received one from Paul Coates, they were digging up Danny Latimer's grave for another autopsy.  He and Rose went to pick up Ellie, she hurriedly put the child seat in the back and they sped over to Broadchurch, just in time to see a Coroner's van and a hastily erected tent in the graveyard.

Young Fred was asleep in the car seat as Alec and Ellie got out to talk to Paul.

"What's going on?" Alec asked. "What are they doing here?"

"They had a court order Ellie, I'm sorry, I couldn't stop them," Paul explained.

A screaming Beth Latimer was standing by the grave.  She saw Ellie and Alec tried to put himself between the two women.

"This is your fault, both of you, why did you never get a solid conviction that he could plead not guilty?"

"Beth, they have a court order from his defence barrister, it's not Ellie's fault."

Back in the car, Fred had woken up and wanted his mother so Rose got out to go sit with him, watching Alec.  This could have been them in a year or two's time, she would have been comforting their own child.  Now with all this over Claire and the impending trial starting, that was going to be put on hold.  Their love for each other had been tested to the limit since that day she had collapsed but she knew Alec would never betray her after they had met and since Claire seemed mentally unstable, she knew it was all in the woman's mind, there was no concrete evidence to the contrary.

Beth lost her temper and tried to strike out at Ellie, trying to get past Alec as Mark tried to hold her back.  Ellie saw Rose was trying to console a crying Fred and backed off.  She didn't want to fight with her old friend.  Joe had plenty to answer for and if she ever got her hands on him again, he'd get more than a kicking.

They assumed the trial was going to be put off now but no-one had been notified so were going to meet Ellie the following morning at the court but when they got there, it was not going to be what they were expecting.  Once back at their hotel Alec could see that Rose was broody, having observed her with Fred.

"Rose, we'll try again, in a few months time, let's just get you well again, your body went through a shock.  There's nothing to stop us trying again.  I told you, I'll take the precautions even though I hate the things but I'll do it for you.  You never believed Claire did you?"  He put his arms around her.

"Of course I didn't Alec, the woman's deluded and she got her wires crossed.  Why did you go to the hospital with her Alec?"

"Rose, does it matter?"

"No, not if you can't tell me.  It was before I met you, why would she even think I was jealous?"

"Because she wanted to carry on the charade, to delude herself and she must have seen in the papers that we'd got married after she called me the other day.  I told you Rose, I never went to visit her after I met you and even then, I never went in her cottage, I only went to make sure she was ok."

"She's mad because you stopped your visits, I get that but why wait all this time?"

"She must have found out about Miller and guessed I would be around though how she knew I'd left the country, I don't know.  Maybe she did read the newspapers but I never mentioned I was going to live in Spain.  Now come here cupcake, I would tell you about her, why I went with her but she just made something out of it because I took pity on her.  Tess says I'm a soft touch, apparently."

"Yes, you know you are especially when it comes to women.  I love you Alec, nothing will change that and if your past has come back to haunt you, I'll chase the ghosts away."

"I just bet you will cupcake."

The next morning, Alec parked the car and was getting a ticket from the machine, Rose was stood by the car when a tall man approached her.  Alec was cursing the machine and begrudged having to pay for the parking and was going to ask Miller to get him a permit or ask inside the court building.  He didn't see the man approaching Rose as the machine refused to accept his coins, cursing it for making him pay for one hour or a more expensive all day ticket.  He gave the machine one last nudge and was about to get his phone out to call the local council office and tell them how incompetent they were with their parking ticket machines.

The man stopped in front of Alec's car.  "Your husband looks like he's having trouble, Mrs Hardy."

"He'll manage."

"Do you know who I am?"

"No idea, who are you?  How do you even know me?"

"He slept with my wife, Claire, you know that?  Now he's trying to keep her away from me, telling her to hide away and I want her back."

Alec had given the machine one last slap on the side and his ticket had come out.  Pleased with himself, he turned around and his face dropped.  He shouted over.

"Ashworth, get away from my wife."

He broke into a run.  "Get the hell away from my wife."

Ashworth had an evil grin on his face.  "You took my wife away from me Hardy."

"She chose to leave you, big difference.  What have you been saying to her?  Rose, don't listen to him."

"I wasn't intending to.  Care to introduce us Alec?"

"Yes Alec, why don't you introduce us, like you introduced yourself to Claire?"

"I hate to break it to you, whoever you are but you're just as big a liar as your wife," Rose retorted.

"So you do know where she is?"

Alec let Rose get on with it.  He had promised Claire he wouldn't reveal where she was but Rose wasn't bound by such a promise, especially after Claire had tried to spilt them up with her ludicrous allegations.  Rose looked thoroughly pissed.

She looked at Alec, judging his face.  "Last time I saw her she was sitting in a police station, probably spilling her guts out to DS Henchard or as you might know her, the ex DS Hardy."

"Where was that, here, in Exeter?"

"I've told you enough but if you're as smart as you think you are, you'll work it out.  Now excuse us, we have a trial to attend that's more important than being your marriage guidance counsellors.  Oh, by the way, what Alec did before I met him is not my concern, I know where he was every night since I met him, in bed with me.  Come on Alec or we'll be late."

Rose made a move and caught Alec's arm.

Alec let her go ahead and turned back to the other man.  "If I were you Ashworth, I wouldn't piss my wife off like that, even I'm not that brave."

Alec knew his wife was a force to be reckoned with, much like her mother and he daren't cross either of them.

They met Ellie inside and waited to be called.  Everyone else had gone in, Ellie and Alec were giving evidence and had to wait.  Ellie wanted Rose to go in and spy for her but she just laughed and told her to get the gossip from her sister.  Alec was eventually called a while later and Rose sneaked in to watch him giving evidence.  The defence were not kind to him, trying to trip him up but he got through, Rose was proud of him.

The proceedings were over for the day but they couldn't talk to Ellie about it.  Olly Stevens was sat outside with his mother, who had made a bet with her son about Becca and Paul and was collecting her winnings when the two of them kissed.

Alec and Rose got back to their hotel and Rose was quiet, something Alec wasn't surprised at, considering.

"Come on cupcake, forget about it.  Like you said, he's just as deluded as his wife, they make a good pair.  I hope he does find her but it's not my concern any more, not now.  I'm glad they never found any different results to the second examination of Danny but I didn't like the way his defence questioned me."

"She was trying to trip you up Alec, I don't like her but the prosecution barrister seems nice enough.  Now stop talking and show me I've got nothing to worry about will you?"  She began unbuttoning his shirt, running her fingers down his chest.

Alec got a call from Ellie, saying the prosecution wanted to speak to them so they picked up Ellie and drove to Broadchurch.  Rose wasn't allowed into the room but she guessed it was important.  Miss Knight wanted to know about Ellie attacking her husband and said it would now probably mean Joe Miller's confession would be excluded.

After more questioning the next day, Alec was told he could stand down and it was soon Ellie's turn.  Alec and Rose were sat side by side, not wanting to break court etiquette and hold hands and Ellie answered a few basic questions.  Alec had already been asked about a medic being called to Joe Miller, the defence pulled out all the stops about what Ellie had done to him so much so that she asked the judge to exclude his confession.  The court was dismissed while it was being considered.

Ellie left straight away before an already angry Beth came to confront her and Alec kept his distance.  Ellie had another reason for leaving early, she had asked Lucy to tell Tom she wanted to see him and for them to meet at Lucy's house.  That was the calm before the storm.  Rose's love for Alec was about to be put to the test again the next day as the defence continued to question Ellie, after the confession of her husband was excluded.

Alec was now allowed inside the court since his questioning was over but he wished the ground would swallow him when Ellie was being questioned.

"DS Miller, how long have you and DI Hardy been having an affair?"

The court erupted, as did Rose and Alec, Rose letting go of his hand, not because she believed it but because she suddenly stood up without any warning.


"Sit down, whoever you are," she was ordered by the judge as Alec tugged on her arm.

"How dare she suggest my husband was having an affair or still is, it's rubbish."

Rose was convinced that somehow the defence had spoken to Claire Ripley, very recently.

"This is a court of law, interruptions are not permitted, who are you exactly?"

Rose thought that was rather obvious but played along.

"I'm Rose Hardy, DI Hardy's wife, otherwise known as Rose Tyler, your Honour."

"Mrs Hardy, although your sudden outburst is unacceptable, I must ask Miss Bishop to produce evidence that such is the case to warrant asking DS Miller such a question and why it is relevant to the case.  Please sit down Mrs Hardy."

Rose let Alec pull her down as he whispered, "You're playing a dangerous game here Rose, be careful."

The defence barrister continued.  "I do have evidence my lady.  I submit DS Miller and DI Hardy colluded to frame Mr Miller to get him out of the way so they could be together."

Rose whispered to Alec,  "Did she just not hear what I said?  Is she thick or what?"

Alec smiled.  He knew when Rose was on the warpath, there was just no stopping her.

Miss Bishop continued.  "I have evidence that on the night of Mr Miller's arrest, DS Miller went to DI Hardy's home and left after midnight and they were seen on CCTV just over five minutes later outside the hotel where DS Miller left her two sons alone with their aunt to go celebrate the fact they had got her husband out of the way."

All the time, Ellie was standing there in the witness box, shaking her head.

"That's not true, yes I was there, so was his wife, she never left though she wasn't his wife at the time.  Yes, he walked me to the hotel and both my sister and my nephew were with my boys.  I went to see Beth Latimer first, then to DI Hardy's rented home, his then girlfriend let me in and we talked, he walked me back, I had to pass two pubs on the way back."

"You are a police officer, surely you can handle a few drunks on your way back or was it the fact his then girlfriend was there and you wanted to get him alone to decide what you were going to do?"

Ellie glanced at Rose and Alec, wondering what this was doing to her two friends, who thankfully were still holding hands, so tightly Rose thought she was going to have a nasty bruise or crushed fingers as she felt his grip tighten and tried to get him to loosen it a bit.  He noticed and released her hand slightly to take the pressure off, having not realised what he was doing in his anger.  He couldn't afford an outburst but he knew Rose would erupt again, she was like a volcano when she got going and it was approaching volcano day.

"DS Miller, you were seen on camera, hugging DI Hardy and kissing him."

Rose was about to risk getting thrown out but Ellie answered.  "I gave him a kiss on the cheek, I was upset and he and his wife had been good to me, what's wrong with that?  This isn't about me, this is about getting that scumbag of a husband of mine out of going to prison."

"So why did you and DI Hardy continue to see each other if he had a girlfriend?  You often worked late nights at the police station."

Rose had enough and got up, Alec wondering whether to follow her and also why the prosecution hadn't yet objected.  They did.

"Your Honour, this has no relevance in the case."

"I agree Miss Knight.  Miss Bishop, is this leading anywhere?"

"Yes My Lady.  DS Miller, is it not true that as a result of your liaison with DI Hardy, you beat up your husband before the night he was arrested?"

"NO! it was not true.  I loved Joe, I trusted him and yes, he betrayed me because he was sick and loved a twelve year old boy but I had no idea what he was doing."

Outside, Rose was already on the phone to Pete before Alec could stop her.

"Dad, I need your help.  The defence council for Ellie's husband, she just accused her of having an affair with Alec."

"What?  Why would she do that?  What did the judge say?"

"She's letting her carry on with it, can't you do something?"

"What's the barrister's name?"

Rose asked Alec. "Sharon Bishop."

"Leave it with me, I'll call the law society, she'll be out by lunchtime.  That's gross misconduct, what proof does she have?  You were with him all the time weren't you?"

"Of course I was, he was in hospital as well and when he came out, I never left him although Ellie would come over and he'd help her with the case but they were never alone unless I went out for groceries or a takeaway.  Alec would never do a thing like that, she's just clutching at straws."

Alec interrupted as they were being summoned by the court bailiff.

"I have to go Dad, I'll call you back when I can."

"I'll make that call now, no one accuses my son-in-law of having an affair and gets away with it."

Rose hung up and took Alec's hand.  "It's ok babe, I know it's not true, I think someone has been talking to Claire."

They followed the court official and were led to the judge's chambers but Alec was told he couldn't go in.

"It's ok Rose, I'll be right out here if you need me."

Rose went in, the judge was out of her robes and sat behind her desk.

"You're very loyal to your husband Mrs Hardy.  I take it you want to make a complaint against Miss Bishop?"

"It's already in progress your Honour.  Why was she allowed to continue?"

"We have to hear all the facts but when you walked out, for a moment I thought it was actually true until your husband got up and followed you, then I knew it wasn't.  I called a recess and I will be speaking to Miss Bishop shortly, questioning her conduct.  Have you already lodged a complaint about her?"

"Yes, my stepfather doesn't take very kindly to me having my husband accused of having a non-existent affair."

"Yes, well if he complains to the law society, they will know she is in my court and will contact me shortly.  I should have had you removed from the court after your little outburst but I do know who you are.  Even so Mrs Hardy, any more outbursts and I will have you removed next time, are we clear?"

"Yes your Honour."

"Very well but this will set back the trial now which between you and me shouldn't even be taking place but DS Miller's handling of her anger with her husband did not help and I did have to exclude his confession, I had no choice.  Now a new defence team will have to be called and it could set the trial back by several days while they are getting familiar with the case.  Maybe they can convince Mr Miller to change his plea and save us all a lot of time of going over things.  Your husband, along with others may be recalled to give evidence again."

"As long as justice is served, he won't care.  Thank you your Honour."

Outside, Beth Latimer was not happy and Ellie had made a hasty retreat.  She trusted Rose knew what she was doing and knew enough about her to understand she wouldn't take this lying down and her stepfather was still a powerful man.  She didn't envy Sharon Bishop at the moment.
Chapter 13
Alec and Rose drove back to their hotel in silence, they had stopped for a late lunch and Rose didn't seem to want to talk so once they were in their room, Rose sat in the chair, Alec sat on the edge of the bed.

"Come on Rose, out with it, we need to talk about this."

"There's nothing to talk about Alec, it's all lies, isn't it?"

"You need to ask?  I know this has been difficult for you Rose, why don't you go home?"

"No, it will make it look like I believe what she said, why on earth would she go to such lengths to try and get that miserable scumbag off the hook?  What's so important about him getting off being punished for what he did against making other peoples lives miserable, not just for us but what she suggested about Mark.  I know you thought at one time he was guilty but he was only guilty of being stupid enough to actually have an affair."

"I know Rose, I don't know why she did it but I have a feeling it was something about winning because the prosecution was her old boss, so I heard and it's all about proving herself.  If another barrister takes over, the pressure will be off hopefully.  Hell, this trial should not even be taking place at all.  I wonder why he changed his plea?"

"Well maybe the next barrister will make him face up to what he did although the jury now will have mixed feelings.  Was it true Alec?"

"Was what true?"

"About Ellie, did she really hug you and kiss you on the cheek?"

"It was for a few seconds Rose, you knew she was upset when she left.  Really?  Do you have to ask?"

All the events of the last few days had been bottled up inside him and though he loved Rose, it was beginning to put a strain on both of them.

"I'm going out for a walk, this is too much."

He got his jacket and picked up his key and his mobile.

"Alec, please, don't go."

"I just need to think Rose."

He opened the door and walked down the corridor but didn't know where he was going, certainly not to Ellie Miller's, that would be suicide and fuel even more fires.

After he left, Rose lay on the bed then her phone rang.  It was Pete.

"I don't think you'll have any more trouble with her Rose, she's seeing the judge now and she's been taken off the case.  There'll be a delay while they appoint someone else.  I think it was rivalry between her and the prosecution."

"Yeah, Alec said that."

"Where is he, let me talk to him."

"He went out, he's just annoyed over everything, I'll get him to call when he comes back."

"Is everything ok Rose, you didn't have a real fight with him did you?"

"No of course not.  He just needs some time."

"Don't worry love, he loves you, he won't let this get to him."

Rose just hoped he was right.  Alec had got into the car but just drove in the direction of Broadchurch for some strange reason but went past the turn-off and found himself near the turn-off for Claire's cottage and before he knew it he was pulling up in front of the row of houses.  Claire was home and saw him, recognising him even from that distance but someone else was watching.

Lee Ashworth had left the court building after his confrontation and had gone back to Sandbrook and after a few enquiries had found out where his wife was living and had been watching her.  His fury gathered when he saw Hardy pulling up but Claire was already out of the cottage and approaching Hardy's car.

"I thought you told me to stay away from you Alec?  Where's that rich wife of yours?"

"Non of your business.  You caused us a lot of trouble Claire, I hope you're satisfied with yourself?"

"Are you coming in or not?  Only the neighbours will begin to talk," Claire smirked.

"No I'm not coming in and I don't know why I came here.  You're a piece of work Claire.  My wife just lost a baby not two weeks ago, did you know that?  Then you come out with that bull about me lying with you in hospital.  Do you know what that did to both of us, especially her?"

Claire's mood changed.  "I didn't know, I'm sorry.  I do know how she feels though and now you know what I went through."

"You chose that path Claire, Rose didn't.  I came to tell you I'm going back to Spain when this trial is over but I just wanted you to know I felt sorry for you but I don't now, not after what you just tried to do to me and Rose.  There was no need for it, to say the things you did, there was never any truth in it and you know it.  You mistook my kindness for something that wasn't ever there.  Now I have to try and pacify my wife and get her to forget this.  I won't forget what you tried to do Claire, not ever."

Neither of them had seen the approaching figure.

"What won't you forget Hardy?"

They both turned to where the voice was coming from.

"See I told you he was after me Alec, help me?"  She tried to get behind Alec.

"You don't need help Claire, you need a psychiatrist or a marriage guidance counsellor."

"Get out of my way Hardy or I swear I'll knock you senseless," Ashworth said, reaching for Claire's arm.

Alec stood to one side.  "Be my guest, I'm not getting in your way.  You both deserve each other.  I just hope you're both satisfied.  Just because you can't sort out your own marriage, don't go interfering with mine.  I'd better not see or hear from either of you two again."

Alec was more annoyed with himself that he had allowed them to get to him.  Now he had to go back and face his wife and tell her he was sorry for just walking out.  What happened between Ashworth and Claire was not his concern.  Driving back to Exeter, he decided to see if Ellie was at home.

She was.  She let him into her tiny flat, it was after four and Fred was having his tea in the kitchen.

"Am I disturbing you?"

"No, I just got back from seeing Tom, he still won't talk to me.  How's Rose?"

"She'll be ok, that heartless bitch of a defence barrister won't be so lucky."

"I expect Rose got on to her stepfather about it then?  So the trial's going to be delayed?"

"I expect so.  Can you blame her though?  That barrister was making it up, trying anything to get him off including destroying lives.  She obviously didn't think Rose would retaliate, even if she knew we were married which means she didn't do any research.  How did she know to look at that CCTV though and that you were at the chalet with us?"

"She must have asked people if she had seen us together and found out where we were put up after Joe's arrest.  Seems like she did the wrong kind of homework.  You should get back to Rose, does she know you're here?"

"Not exactly."

"Then don't get caught leaving here then, that's all we need.  I'm really sorry for what happened Alec, for burdening you with my problems but Rose needs you, more than ever now.  Don't give up on having a family."

"We won't.  We'll see you when the trial reconvenes."

Alec drove back to the hotel, it was almost time for dinner and Rose was in the bathroom, having got changed from the court.  She didn't hear Alec come in and throw the key on the dresser and go to lay on the bed.

"Oh, I didn't hear you come in Alec.  Are you ok babe?"  She leaned over and kissed his cheek.

"I go out for hours and you ask me if I'm ok?"  He knew she was something else but he thought she'd be mad with him.

He pulled her on top of him and flipped her onto her back.  Slowly he unbuttoned her top and began kissing her exposed skin as she ruffled his hair.

"I'm sorry cupcake, I shouldn't have gone off like that.  I was mad, at everyone, except for you.  I just drove and found myself at the root of all this, Claire and I went to tell her how annoyed I was with her. Ashworth had found her."

"Do you think she'll be ok?"

"I really don't care Rose, it's up to them now.  I also went to see Ellie, just so you know.  Tom still won't talk to her."

"That's a shame.  Look, we're going to be hanging around for a few days, why don't you go talk to Tom?"

"He won't listen to me, I put his dad away."

"Well maybe you can get him to put the blame on you and not his mother?"

"I knew there was a good reason I married you."

He kissed lower down.

"Aw and I thought it was because we couldn't keep our hands off each other?  I'm feeling much better Alec, why don't you nip out to the local store and get something for later?"

She reached up to pull him where she wanted him.  "Too late cupcake, I already took care of that.  Now let's go for dinner after you've snogged my face off."

They eventually got another date for the trial to re-commence, getting a much more favourable defence barrister but Alec had to endure being re-questioned as did Ellie but this one wasn't half as bad and seemed to think his client didn't have so much of a case.

The trial was finally over and they were all outside waiting for the verdict but the jury were still divided, being sent home for the day.  Rose persuaded Alec to call Daisy and tell her they would wait and take her back with them if she wanted and when she agreed, Alec said he would call the airline when the trial was over and get them all on the same flight back to Palma.

The next day, everyone was pacing up and down.  The Latimers were fussing over their new born daughter, Chloe staying outside with the baby while her parents went into the courtroom and soon they were called in to hear the verdict.  The jury could not reach a majority so the judge ordered them to go back and she would accept the combined verdict of ten out of twelve so they went off again.  It was late afternoon when they came back in and everyone was anxious to hear what they had concluded.

Everyone held their breath as the jury foreperson delivered the verdict.  It was all over and Alec and Rose could finally go home.  They said goodbye to Ellie and Fred and were relieved that Tom had agreed to move back to the family home when Ellie decided it was time they moved on with their lives and she finally made up with Beth.

Rose had packed everything and they were going to drive up to Sandbrook and wait for Daisy but Alec decided they would go somewhere for a few days instead and parked at the airport, not telling Rose where they were going until they got on a plane to Norway.  The night before they were leaving Exeter, they had gently made love with Alec still using protection and Rose had begun talking about trying for a baby again when they got back.

"There's no rush Rose, you won't be due by December now anyway, that was what we wanted, wasn't it?  Why don't we wait a while and try in the early months of next year so you'll be due around the Christmas after?"

He lay to one side and pulled her onto him, Rose beginning to kiss his bare chest.

"Alec, but what if I can't?  What if the same happens again?  I can't go through that again."

"Just get well properly and see.  This time we'll know the signs to look out for and I won't leave you on your own, you can stay with your mother during the day or we'll get Daisy to stay over.  Let's go off for a few days before we go home?  I arranged a little surprise for you while you were in the shower earlier."

"Then where are we going?"

"It wouldn't be a surprise then, would it?"

So getting on a plane the next day, Rose couldn't believe he knew to take her to Norway and gathered he had talked to Pete.  She thought it would upset her but it didn't as they got into a hire car and drove to Bergen, Pete telling him exactly where Rose had said goodbye to the Doctor several years ago.  Rose was finally relieved to find she had gone back to normal so that night, before Alec took her to Bad Wolf Bay, she told him she was ready to try again, if he wanted.

"You should wait and get the all-clear from the hospital, we can just stick to me using protection when your monthly is over.  Now, Pete told me where you said goodbye to the Doctor, are you going to tell me about it?"

"Yeah, ok as long as you promise not to run out on me again."

He leaned down to move her nightdress straps out of the way.  "I promise cupcake, now tell me."

She explained about the tiny gap left where he had got a projection through to her and how the Doctor had burned up a sun just to say goodbye but never had the time to tell her that he loved her.

"That's something you're always going to wonder about Rose but I'm here and I love you, is that enough for you?"

"Mmm, it's more than enough Alec Hardy.  Besides, like I said, he's probably changed again by now and I might not even recognise him although I think I would know him somehow.  He won't look like you any more Alec but your face, it will always remind me of him but I know the difference, that it's you I love.  He changed Alec, because of something I did, I made him change and he made himself look younger and as a result, I fell in love with him even more.  What if, just supposing, since he knew he'd change one day, what if he knew you were here Alec?  That he knew you looked like him and knew we'd meet up one day?"

"How is that even possible Rose?  You got to Broadchurch purely by accident.  You could have landed anywhere at any time."

"That's just it Alec, I don't think it was even an accident.  What were the odds?  Of me ending up in your town, meeting you and falling in love with you?"

"Very slim I suppose but what exactly are you getting at?  That was my lucky day anyway, when you walked in and I took you out for lunch.  I was joking you know, about you staying with me but you looked so sad, I couldn't tell you."

"You never said.  Anyway, don't you see Alec?  Maybe that was meant to happen, for the device to throw me forwards in time, to that exact date.  You said I saved your life that day, when I got you to hospital.  No-one would have found you Alec, you could have died there, just because you were so stubborn and wanted to be on your own."

"Ellie would have come by, when I never answered my phone."

"That would have been over three hours later, it could have been too late by then.  I don't even want to think about it."

"You are deviating Rose, get to the point."

He took another bite out of her exposed skin, savouring the softness, he always told her it was like biting into a ripe, soft peach.

"I told you I made him change, because I absorbed the time vortex, to get back to him when he sent me out of danger.  He took it out of me and in doing so, it made him regenerate.  He said no-one was meant to take the whole of time and space into their heads.  Maybe, there was a little of it left in me somehow, anyway, the words 'Bad Wolf' kept following us everywhere we went and I found the connection and that was what he called it, the Bad Wolf virus, that could have reacted with the dimension cannon, thrown me forward."

"I think you need to talk to Pete about this Rose, not me."

"Yeah maybe. The point is Alec…" She stopped.  "Oh, that's it Alec.  If I have some of the time vortex in me, maybe that was why I lost the baby?"

"Don't say that Rose, how could it be?"

"Remember I said about going through the void and gathering particles that cling to you?  Well mum had them, when she came here but she had Tony with very few problems but I absorbed the time vortex, maybe the combination pulled me forward in time and made me lose it.  I'm not meant to be here yet.  I know we used to travel in time in the other universe but I don't belong here and those facts together? What if like I said, what if he knew you were here Alec?  He knew, he must have done.  All that time he was waiting here for me, he looked for someone who looked just like him, you were married then but without your beard, you could be his double seven years ago."

"That's all a very good theory Rose but how did he know I'd be in Broadchurch and that I would be divorced?"

"Alec, he's a time traveller.  That means there was a tiny gap and he used it, to look you up, to see where you would be.  You were by the sea Alec, just like Bad Wolf Bay.  It doesn't explain the dimension cannon going weird on us though but maybe I was meant to wait for you, maybe he saw us together in the future."

"I suppose that could explain it.  Maybe Pete would understand it better than me though.  Let's get some sleep and we'll go there tomorrow, who knows?  He might even come back."

They drove the next morning, it was still cold and it was exactly the same as Rose remembered it all that time ago.  They walked to the water's edge, the rocks in the distance.  Alec put his arms around her and she rested her head on his chest, her hands under his thick jacket.

"Do you want a few minutes on your own love?"

Rose nodded.  Alec walked back to the car and leaned on the roof, facing where Rose was now standing on her own.  He was prepared to go to these lengths to prove to her, his wife, she meant everything to him and he would do anything for her.  The last few weeks had been very trying for both of them but they had come through it.  Now she wanted to try for another baby, barely getting over her ordeal of losing one, that was her way of showing him how much she loved him.  He could let her do this one thing, to get it out of her system.

Alec looked at his watch.  Nothing was happening, Rose was now facing away from him, staring out at the waves.  Suddenly, Alec felt a gust of wind, picking up more than it had been then he heard a strange noise.  Rose felt and heard it too and her heart leapt and she felt the wind blowing on her face and moved away, back towards Alec, who was now walking towards her.  He caught up to her and put his arms around her just as he saw, as Rose had described, a blue Police Box materialise in front of them.

Rose stared, it looked different than she remembered it, a different shade of blue and another sign on the right-hand door.  The door creaked open and a man with messy hair, a tweed jacket and a shirt complimented by a red bow tie came leaping out.  Alec instinctively stood in front of his wife.

"Who are you?" Alec asked as Rose tried to get free of him but he gripped her arm.

"A good question, Alec Hardy.  Rose, how are you, you're looking very well.  You two got married then?"

"How did you know we were here?" Rose managed.

"Oh come on Rose Tyler, you know me."

"No, not any longer.  Why choose now to show yourself now and how long have you been able to get through to this world?  Couldn't you have come back before you regenerated?"

The new Doctor's face went solemn.  "I couldn't, not then.  Something happened Rose, I got dragged back, to the Time War and it all changed."

"What changed?"

"I didn't destroy my planet, just made it vanish but it means it's safe.  The Daleks, they wiped each other out, ha!  That meant a whole new ballgame Rose, a whole new set of rules."

The door suddenly opened behind him and a young woman with brown hair came out.

"Hello Rose, I'm Clara and it's nice to finally meet you.  He never stopped talking about you for the last few weeks, making adjustments to the Tardis for the trip though how he knew you'd be here, I don't know."

A stunned Rose held her hand out.  Alec did the same. "I'm Alec Hardy, Rose's husband."

"Congratulation, both of you," the new to Rose Doctor smiled, shaking Alec's hand vigorously.  "Blimey, you're thin, real proper skinny, I never realised until I saw him a few weeks ago."

"You saw Alec a few weeks ago?"

He realised he'd just dug himself a hole in the sand and was about to bury himself.

"Oh, timey-wimey stuff Rose."

Another trait he had picked up from his recent encounter with his previous form.  Looking at the man in front of him now, he knew why Rose had fallen in love with that form and could never love him the way she had done back then, she belonged with this Alec Hardy, he had made a good choice making sure they got together.  Just a shame his own timing was still considerably off but at least his plan had worked.  The first thing he had done after finding out the laws of time were indeed his to play with and Gallifrey was safe, somewhere in the cosmos, he set about putting things right and Rose Tyler was on the top of the list.

After seeing his old self recently, although not ever remembering having dull, flat hair (something that form had prided himself on was his great hair) he had set about finding someone who looked just like him and since the actor Rose had said looked just like him was married in both universes and Rose would never go for that, he had finally found another candidate, albeit with a beard but then so did the actor sometimes.

It had all been so easy but his plan backfired when Rose had inadvertently got herself thrown into the future but it had speeded things up a bit, which he was pleased with.

"Come inside, see if you like the new look, you can come too Alec, I'm not going to kidnap her."

He opened the door and allowed Rose and Alec in first.  Alec took it surprisingly well, considering he was actually in an alien spaceship.

"You have a problem, don't you Rose?  You lost your baby.  I've been keeping an eye on you and I'm sorry about that, I really am but I can help you, both of you.  Alec, I know you had that pacemaker fitted and it's working well but what if you didn't need it?"

"Rose, did you really travel with this mad man?"

"Well, he did look like you at the time and he was always a bit odd.  Go on Doctor."

"Rose, you remember I lost my hand in a sword-fight that Christmas Day?"

"Yeah, it fell back to earth."

"Well Jack found it, he made it back from the space station and gave it back to me."

He opened a metal case and there was his hand, suspended in some liquid.  Alec pulled a face, he'd now seen everything and thought seeing the inside of a spaceship was bad enough.

"Jack's ok?  Brilliant but what has this hand to do with anything?"

"I'm coming to that.  She was always impatient, never could wait for anything this one," the Doctor grinned.

"Tell me about it," Alec agreed, getting a nudge for Rose.

"Get on with it Doctor," Rose and Clara reminded him together.

"Right.  So, you need the rest of the time vortex taking out of you but since I'm rather stuck on this new regeneration, I'm not ready to change again and no, I can't tell you how I did it the last time, it would upset you but I did save the world again when I did.  Anyway, I could pour some of my regeneration energy into the hand, Alec, you could touch it and take the vortex out of Rose and pour it back into the hand, no harm would come to you, you'd be protected plus, you'll find you have a fully functional heart and other shall we say, 'refinements' such as hearing and senses."

"So he'd become part Timelord?" Rose asked, looking at a very sceptic Alec.

"Well not exactly but close enough, no regeneration though.  The pacemaker would just become redundant, it won't do any harm, might set a few metal detectors off if you don't declare it though but you'll be better than new and Rose, you'll have your baby or babies.  So what do you say?  Do you want to have a think about it?  I can't stay too long though, been here for a while watching you.  Well a while for you anyway."

Rose led Alec to the door and back outside.  "That ship makes my head ache," Alec declared.

"Just think though Alec, you would be back to full health again."

"Never mind me, I'm ok as I am.  I'd only do it for you, you know that.  Will it alter me any other way?"

"He said not, it might just make you a bit better."

"Hey, there is nothing wrong with my hearing I'll have you know!"

"I never said that there was, did I?  We could have a family Alec, I don't want to keep getting pregnant and losing them.  This might be our only chance."

"Then I'll do it for you, not for me, you saved me, now I'll do this to pay you back because until now, I've never found anything to equal what you did for me."

"Then let's go tell him before he has to leave."

Chapter 14
They walked back in, hand in hand.  "Let's get this show on the road then," the Doctor declared, dancing around the new-fangled console that Rose hated.

"I preferred the Tardis when it was coral."

"I know but I had to move on and it was too depressing, it reminded me of you so when I changed, so did the ship.  She still misses you."

Alec looked at Rose.  How could a spaceship miss someone?

"Let's just get this over with.  Let me get this right.  It won't change me other than repair my heart, I won't grow another one or change my appearance?"

"No, don't worry about that, let me just prepare myself, I have to summon up the regeneration energy, I can control it now and it's time to put it to the test and put that spare hand to good use.  Oh, there might be a few side effects Alec."

"What kind of side effects are we talking about?  I won't talk like you or dance around like an idiot will I?"

Rose giggled.

"It's ok you laughing, he's not going to do it to you.  Just get on with it Doctor."

The hand in the jar was uncovered again as the Doctor summoned up the regeneration energy, this was going to be the first time he put his theory to the test and sincerely hoped it was going to work.  It was a simple theory and yes, he could have taken the rest of the time vortex out of Rose, there had been a reason he had left it in her in the first place but she no longer had a need for it and she wanted a family – with the man who he used to look like, the man Rose had fallen in love with twice.  There must have been something about his 10th regeneration to make Rose do that.  He no longer looked like that but Alec did so this was the very least he could do for her.

A yellow glow was forming around him, Clara hadn't seen this before and stood with her mouth wide open, pretty much as Rose had done.  The Doctor held out his arm and touched the glass jar, the liquid bubbled and glowed as did the hand.

"Now Alec, touch it now, quickly then kiss Rose, it will draw the rest of the time vortex out of her then look at the hand with all you've got and the hand will absorb it.  Don't worry, Clara will catch Rose and I'll catch you.  Do it now."

Alec did as he was instructed, he felt himself tingle, his heart slowed and he saw his hands glow.  Rose stepped up to him as he put his hands on her shoulders and she reached up to kiss the man she loved.  The vortex was drawn out of her eyes into Alec's then she went limp and Clara caught her and laid her gently on the floor as Alec turned and concentrated as the hand in the jar absorbed what he had taken out of his wife.  Alec began to stagger backwards as the Doctor caught him but Alec didn't collapse as Rose did.  The Doctor let go of him and rushed to seal the jar as Alec rushed to his wife's side as she recovered.

"Alec are you ok?"

"Yes love, I'm fine, how do you feel?"

"I'm ok.  Doctor, is it done?"

"Yes Rose, it's done and I gave up a part of my regeneration process for you, to make up for leaving you here in the first place."

"Doctor, you did make up for it, you gave me Alec."

"Then do one more thing for me, Rose Hardy, both of you, have a fantastic life together and half a dozen kids running around all over the place and think of me from time to time, will you both do that for me?"

Rose looked at Alec, who just nodded.  She ran up to the Doctor and hugged him, kissing his cheek.

"We will Doctor.  Clara, look after him won't you?"

"Yeah, 'course I will.  Take care of yourselves and maybe now, he might stop raving on about you all the time, you're a rather tough act to follow."

"I do not 'rave on about her' as you so kindly put it," the Doctor protested.

They all laughed.  Alec and Rose said goodbye and got back to their car after watching the Tardis fade from view.

"Do you think we'll see him again Alec?  I mean, he came to do all that for us at such a cost to him."

"He figured he owed you, for you absorbing the time vortex in the first place.  Now he's made amends but if we're lucky, maybe we will see him one day but not as he is now.  He'll change again, soon I can feel it Rose, I can sense a lot of things now.  I think he did more than mend my heart."

"Oh, such as ?" Rose smiled, fingering his jacket lapels.

"Come back to the hotel cupcake and I'll show you," he smiled back, kissing her gently.

Rose couldn't wait to find out what 'Enhancements' the Doctor had given her husband.

They had one more night in the hotel before flying back to pick up Daisy.  After Rose assured Alec she was perfectly ok, he ditched using his protection and Rose thought she was going to scream the place down, having to stifle her vocal feelings.  They finally flew back home with Daisy, who was staying for two weeks to see how she got on since they had only had a few days with her at Christmas with them going away.  Just over five weeks after their visit from the Doctor, Rose wasn't sure to get Alec's hopes up or not so she kept quiet and went out to get a pregnancy test, then made him a special dinner for when he got home.

He had some news of his own as he came in and flung his jacket on the back of the chair, rushed into the kitchen, took a stirring spoon from Rose's hand and picked her up, twirling her round and kissing her.

"Wow, what was that for, not that I object or anything."

"Well you know I told you that Tess and her team had finally solved the Sandbrook case?  Well Pippa's father, Lee and Claire all got sentenced today and they didn't get off.  I finally got something right Rose, can you believe it?"

He picked her up again.  "Did I tell you how much better I'm feeling now Rose?  I don't know if it's to do with that visitor of yours or not but I really do feel great.  Have you already made dinner?  If not, I wanted to take you out."

"It's all on Alec.  That's great news but it's not the only thing you got right."

She put her arms on his chest and began unbuttoning his shirt buttons slowly.

"Rose, you're being mysterious and you're unfastening my shirt buttons far too slowly than you normally do, you don't normally wait until I've got through the door before you're snogging my face off."

"Well you were so giddy when you came in.  Don't you want to know what else you got right?"

He raised his eyebrows as she skipped the last two buttons and pulled the shirt out then went for the zip of his trousers after pulling the fastener.

"Rose, I thought you'd put dinner on?"

"I have, it's not ready yet.  Go on, guess then?"

"Guess what?"

Rose was putting her hand down the front of his now unzipped trousers and Alec let out a loud moan and went for her neck, pulling the straps of her vest top down.

"You're playing with fire cupcake," he whispered as he kissed her shoulder, revealing more skin.  "Make sure you don't get your fingers burned."

"I know exactly what I'm doing and after dinner, you're dessert."

"Fair enough Rose.  Now what else did I get right then?"  He exposed a bit more of her anatomy.

"Really Alec?  Why did you agree to what the Doctor suggested?"

He looked up, a big smile on his face.  "Really Sweetheart?  Are you sure?"

"Yes, I went to get a test today, haven't even told mum yet, naturally I wanted you to know first.  I didn't want to test at home in case I did it wrong."

"Rose, that's the best news I've heard.  Why don't you call your mother after dinner and tomorrow night, we'll get a taxi into town and go celebrate?  I'll book that little restaurant you like.  You could go into town tomorrow and buy yourself a new dress."

"No point in me buying a new dress Alec, I won't fit in it for long but I will call at the doctor's office and make an appointment and get booked in at the hospital.  It will be ok this time, won't it Alec?"

He put his arms around her and kissed her neck.

"Yes Rose, everything will be fine"

Five months later, Rose was just over six months pregnant, Daisy had come over for six weeks during the holidays and fussed over Rose so much so that she had decided to stay and had gone back home to tell her mother and get the rest of her things.  Alec put her name down for the local college for her first to learn Spanish in the evenings after he got home and then full time courses of her choice to start next spring, giving her some time off and to look after Rose, Alec did not want her left alone after last time but he doubted anything would go wrong.

It was approaching Christmas, their hopes of having a baby for Christmas Day were so close, Rose repeatedly telling everyone the baby would come early hopefully.  Alec had doted on her hand and foot and was finishing work on the 23rd for three days then he was going back to brief his deputy and taking leave the day Rose went into hospital, barring any emergencies such as if she went in hospital early.

Her private room was booked and she was going in on her due date on the 30th and was going to stay in considering her last time for them to monitor her, a far cry from the previous new year when they had been in a very cold Scotland to celebrate but true to Rose's form, she was never one to comply with doing everything when she was supposed to and everything was arranged.

Christmas Eve, the three of them joined Jackie, Pete and Tony at the club for a party, Rose having to go home early and took Tony with them since he wanted to stay over, which Jackie was grateful for while they got Christmas dinner ready the next day and Daisy got dropped off by Pete and Jackie but Alec regretted it the next morning despite Rose's warning that the boy would come and jump on him, having told Tony under no circumstances was he to pounce onto his sister.

Daisy heard the commotion of Rose, Alec and Tony all laughing in their bedroom as Tony thought it was funny that Alec's hair was all stuck up and had shot out of bed and picked him up and spun him around that they both got dizzy and almost fell on poor Rose.

"Alec, mum won't thank you if he gets sick from being dizzy you know," Rose protested as she held out her hand for Alec to help her get out of bed as Daisy came in to help get Tony back to his room and get him dressed.

She said she would get him his breakfast and left her dad and stepmother alone.

"Mmm, morning my Christmas Rose, how are you both today?" Alec asked, leaning over and putting his hand gently on her tummy and kissing it.

"We're fine thank you apart from Tony almost landing on me, which was rather the point of telling him to be careful with me."

"I'll remember that when our kids are jumping on me love."

He got Rose to her feet and went behind her, putting his arms around her since he couldn't get that close standing in front of her but wishing he could.  After a light breakfast, Alec was taking Tony home then coming back for Daisy and Rose and took the presents over for later, just leaving them one each to open.

They all had a great Christmas but Rose got a bit tearful later on, remembering seeing the Doctor the first Christmas he had regenerated in front of her but she still more or less had the same man standing in front of her in the form of Alec but he sensed there was something wrong when they went to the other end of the large living room after lunch for Rose to have a lie down.

"Ok Rose, what's wrong?"

"Nothing, it's just I thought we would all be here, with a new baby and now I'm stuck for another week of resting by the pool or in bed until I go in to hospital.  Did I tell you Alec?  When the Doctor regenerated, to look like you, it was Christmas?"

"I gathered that, the way you've been acting.  You wanted me to get rid of my beard, didn't you?"

"No!  No I didn't, what makes you think that?"

"Just the last few days, got me thinking.  Should the baby grow up with me having a beard or not?"

"Alec, that doesn't matter in the least and you've barely got one now, not like you had back in Broadchurch over a year ago."

"I know but I just want to make you happy Rose and if it means getting rid of it, I'll get rid of it."

"Well I'm not asking you to so get that out of your head.  Can you take me home now?  I could do with a proper lie down.  Let Daisy stay here is she wants."

"Ok love, I'll tell them we're leaving."

He got up, moving her feet from across his legs carefully but Rose let out a sudden noise as he put her legs back on the sofa.

"Alec, get mum, quick and help me up because she won't forgive me if I go into labour of her best sofa."

Alec stood there.  "What?  Jackie!  Get over here now, Rose is having pains."

Jackie was up in a flash.  "What?  But you're a week early aren't you?"

"We'll you try telling that to this baby inside me."

"Pete, call an ambulance then go by our villa and collect Rose's holdall please.  It's in our bedroom under the dresser.  Daisy, can you take care of Tony please?" Alec asked, dishing out the orders as he was used to doing so, taking control of a situation or handing out assignments to the detectives.

"What about me?" Jackie asked, holding Rose's hand and hoping she wasn't going to make a mess on the sofa or she would be paying for it cleaning, or Alec would for getting her daughter in that state.

"Ah, Jackie, well, you can look after Rose with me until the ambulance comes."

Rose was laid back on the sofa, trying to remember to breathe and Alec was now counting how far away her pains were and waiting for any more signs.

"It might be a false alarm Rose," Jackie offered.

"Well we're not taking any chances so that's that," Alec declared.

Pete came off the phone.  "The ambulance is on its way and the maternity unit is waiting for you although they have no private rooms at the minute since you're a week early."

"Fine, as long as I get there, I don't care….." She lapsed into another contraction.

Tony was wondering what was going on across the other side of the room.  Alec crossed over to him and took Daisy to one side.

"Stay here tonight ok?"

Daisy nodded.

"Ok sport," he said to Tony.  "Rose is going to have her baby and it's coming now so she's going to hospital, ok?"

The boy put his arms around Alec's legs.

"She'll be ok won't she?"

"Sure she will."

The ambulance arrived and Rose was helped out and laid down, Alec explaining in the Spanish he was much better at now Daisy was teaching him what she had learned that his wife was getting regular pains now.  She was booked in at the hospital, it was now almost seven in the evening and Pete had been waiting with Rose's things when they got there.

"Do you want me to wait Alec?" Pete asked as they waited while Rose was getting settled in a delivery suite and Alec had been ushered out despite them knowing who he was.

"No, you get back.  If they don't keep her in, I'll take her home.  I'll get my car from your place later."

"Ok, keep in touch."

Alec was allowed in to stay with Rose so he sat on the edge of the bed and cradled her in his arms.

"Alec, I want this baby today."

"I know you do love but it will come when it's ready.  You should have let them tell you what it's going to be.  What about names now?  We still have to pick the final one out of those we both liked."

"Well that was different, we thought it was going to come next week.  How about Carole or Holly for a girl?"

Alec laughed. "Bit of a cliché Rose, don't you think?  What about a boy?"

"Ok, how about Clara?  After the Doctor's friend?"

"Clara Hardy? No Rose, that just doesn't work, everyone will laugh."

Rose saw the funny side. "Holly Hardy?"

Alec shook his head.  He was trying to keep her mind off what was going on.

"Well we'd better be quick, go get the nurse, my water's just broke."

Alec looked down and got up rather quickly to go to the door.  Fortunately, the nurse spoke good English, she was the one from the last time Rose had been in.  It was still going to be a long evening as just after eleven, Rose had fallen asleep in Alec's arms as he himself dozed propped up on a pillow.  He hadn't even been out to phone anyone and knew Jackie would be going crazy right now.  The nursing staff had decided to leave Rose and let the baby come on its own since they had given her something for the pain and she would be better resting.

Something woke Alec suddenly, Rose was stirring and she let out a cry of pain, the injection had apparently worn off.  He pressed the buzzer, the nurse came in speaking in Spanish and Alec tried to explain Rose wanted more.  The nurse was shaking her head, moving Alec out of the way and pressing the buzzer herself for some assistance.  Alec thought he was going to get thrown out but the nurse was joined by another and they moved Rose onto her side.

Rose just looked bewildered.  "This isn't going to help."

She was wrong as she felt the sudden urge to give one big push and yelled out.  Alec thought the staff obviously had nothing better to do and had decided Rose had been in there long enough.  Either that or they hadn't had enough births on Christmas Day or they were going for the all-time record of having the most, Alec didn't know which one it was.

Whichever way it was, ten minutes before midnight, Rose was having a rest inbetween pushing and yelling at her husband that it was all his fault.  He hadn't bothered arguing with her, he knew she was tired and wasn't herself.  He looked at the clock above the door, they had ten minutes if they wanted their Christmas wish to come true.  He whispered in Rose's ear.

"Come on Rose, you can do it love, you haven't got a time machine to go back and have our baby on Christmas Day you know."

Rose squeezed his hand, it had been all the encouragement she had needed.

"Just promise me one thing Alec?"

"Anything cupcake."

"Don't ever get rid of that beard of yours or I'll start calling you Doctor.  Understood?"

"Yes love, I get it, loud and clear now push because we are having this baby today."


Just after seven the next morning, the staff suddenly finding they did have a room for her after Alec laid down the law to them that his wife was not sharing a ward, he had woken up, Rose was still cradled in his arms where she had fallen asleep after they settled her in and no-one dare tell him to leave.  The entire town now knew who Alec Hardy was and he had learned the Spanish term for 'Hard-Ass' quite early in his new job.  As the nurse brought in their new daughter, they both held her and kissed.  Alec had been out to call Pete, not daring to talk to Jackie then he got his phone and took a video of Rose feeding the baby for himself then one of them all and sent it to Pete's phone and also to Ellie Miller's with the message, Rose, Alec and Skye Hardy.

The End!