Double trouble

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Rose Tyler has become a singer, something she always wanted to do. She has hired a decoy called Mandy and is on location in the Dorset seaside town of Broadchurch making a new pop video and is due to attend the local music festival when she has finished filming. When Mandy is found on the beach, Alec Hardy has to investigate but he soon thinks that Rose is the intended target of a jealous fan and has to keep her safe.

Based loosely on an episode of 'Castle' and 'Death in Paradise'

Chapter 1
Based loosely on an episode of 'Castle' and 'Death in Paradise'

When Rose Tyler had become a successful pop singer, her mother couldn't have been more proud of her. She had dreaded Rose being pulled into working at Torchwood but with the right contacts that Pete knew, Rose had been accepted into an independent talent agency and Rose liked nothing more than going on location to make pop videos instead of doing them in the studio.

This time though, she'd hit the double as not was she only filming for her latest single due out soon but she'd got invited to appear at a pop festival in Dorset, well Broadchurch to be exact.

Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller were not looking forward to chasing up the organisers to make sure the law was followed regarding health and safety issues but when Ellie had found out Rose was attending, she'd relented a little.

"So what's all the fuss about her?" Alec asked, trying to play innocent even though Daisy was a big fan and hoped she'd be back from her mother's in time, if he could get her a ticket.

"You'll see if you attend Hardy," Ellie laughed.

"Have you never heard of Rose Tyler?" Katie asked him, not wanting to be left out and wondering if her immediate boss Ellie could get her a free ticket.

"Yes, I've heard of her," he had to admit. "I still say she's just another act, she only churns out all the old songs."

"With respect Sir, she does them better than the original artists," Katie defended her idol.

"Huh," Alec huffed and walked off, Ellie and Katie grinning after him.

"He'll change his tune when she arrives in the town," Ellie smiled.

His phone rang, the new chief wanting him and Miller in her office right away.

"Miller, come on, the chief wants us, probably about that damn music festival," he told Ellie.

It wasn't just about that though as the chief informed them a small production company had applied to the council to film on the beach and it was non other than Rose herself, a week before the festival and only three days away.

"Seriously, why pick on the beach here?" Alec asked, thinking he'd see it from his newly rented home on the side of the cliff.

"They never said Alec," the chief replied, knowing he hated being called that since his return and she'd got to know him.

"It's as good a place as any," Ellie spoke up. "Why tell us though?"

"They want to bring in their own security to keep onlookers away from the filming, Ellie, you can liaise with the production company. They'll see to the star," the chief told her.

"Best not tell Daisy," Ellie laughed on the way back to their office.

"Well she'll have to come back if she wants to catch the festival," Alec told her. "If I get her a ticket, it may impress her."

"You know you'd do anything for her Hardy," Ellie smiled.

So a few days later, most of the production company had arrived in the harbour area, taking up rooms at two of the pubs and lucky Rose got a room with a view of the stony beach and the sea, being next door to her friend and stand-in Mandy.

"This is gonna be great," Rose told her friend the first day they were standing on the beach as everything was being set up. "I love it when we get to film at the seaside."

"Yeah that's very you Rose," Mandy laughed as she helped herself to a cold drink and flopped in the chair next to Rose. "We should get hammered tonight," Mandy laughed.

"Yeah? Why not?" Rose laughed back. "As long as we're sober in the morning then? Find out who else is up to it."

"Pity your friend Jake's not here, he can drink both of us under the table," Mandy reminded her. "Who are those two talking to the security guy?"

Ellie and Alec had decided to take a walk to the beach to see why it had all been cordoned off from the side of the pub next to the church hall that used to be the sea scouts hut.

The security guy had reluctantly let them past when Alec said they needed to talk to the manager.

"Hey Rose, we have company," Mandy told her as Rose laid back with a drink in her hand, her sunglasses slipping off her nose.

Instead of stopping though, the two detectives headed towards who had been pointed out was in charge. Not being too bothered, Rose waited to be called forward to begin filming.

"You do realise we just passed her?" Ellie asked Alec.

"Which one was her?" Alec asked innocently, since the two blondes lounging on chairs could have passed for twins, well with wearing sunglasses they could and from a distance, which Alec thought was probably the idea.

It made sense to him the famous Rose Tyler would have a double and she wouldn't perform all the moves in her pop videos.

Ellie smacked his arm. "As if you didn't know," she told him.

"Miller, I have no idea which one was her, they both looked the same," he defended himself.

"That's the idea," Ellie just laughed as the manager turned around and asked what they wanted.

After making a start, Rose and Mandy were told they could leave and production would move slightly further up the beach the next morning.

"Who's meeting us in the bar later?" Rose asked anyone who could hear.

She got a few confirmations and she and Mandy decided word would get round.

Alec had gone back home, wondering where the pop star was staying but it was probably the pub just on the beach, a few yards from where he was but he had totally ignored her, not wanting to admit to Miller he'd not known which of the blondes had been her.

By eleven though, Rose had declared she'd had enough and gone back to her room and tried to drink some black coffee, wishing she had an antidote for the effects of alcohol that Jake always bragged about. Alec couldn't actually see the pub from where he now lived, the view was blocked by the café he'd only been in once to meet Beth Latimer and her client who had been assaulted a few months back.

He was glad though the culprits were now locked up, with all the claims against them although the younger one may not get out of the remand centre in one piece but maybe neither would the other one. He went to bed after he'd talked to Daisy to see how she was getting on with her mum, maybe they got on better than when she'd actually lived there and wouldn't want to come back?

He was rudely awoken by his phone ringing at just after five thirty the next morning, telling Ellie Miller to look at the time.

"I just got a call," Ellie yawned, thankful her dad was staying and she didn't have to worry about leaving Tom and Fred. "An early morning dog walker found someone lying on the beach, just around the corner from you. I've sent uniforms down and an ambulance, I'll meet you down there but we have to stop the film company, if they planned on using that part of the beach."

"They just found someone? Male or female?" Alec asked, trying to wake up.

"Unfortunately female, I don't have all the details. I'll get someone to phone the production manager later."

"I'll see you down there Miller," Alec told her, trying to put his trousers on one-handed.

Ten minutes later, cursing there was only one way down from his chalet and having to walk all the way round, he passed the ambulance and one of the officers on the scene let him under the tape. It was just after six and already a few people had gathered around. Ellie caught up with him as they could see a young woman laid like she was asleep on the sands.

"No!" Ellie exclaimed. "Tell me that's not who I think it is?"

"Shut it Miller, don't get emotional," he told her, thinking being rude again would make her take more notice than if he was nice to her, well at present anyway.

He squatted down to take a closer look.

"No, it's not her, it must be her stand-in. Did we get any names from the manager?" he asked Ellie as he called the ambulance crew over. "Get her covered up and get that tent here, fast."

Ellie got her notebook out. "Her name's Mandy Smith, she's almost Rose Tyler's exact double. Well she fooled you yesterday," Ellie reminded him.

"Find out where Rose is staying then find the production manager, this part is now sealed off and no filming today at least," Alec ordered.

"Yeah, they'll just love that," Ellie muttered to herself but Alec heard her.

An hour later, Mandy had been taken away and officers had obtained room numbers in the hotel and forensics were examining Mandy's room. It fell on Ellie and Hardy to inform Rose herself but they'd come to the conclusion after Brian had told them that Mandy had been strangled by the scarf around her neck. They thought at first she'd walked into the sea or fallen from the cliff but he'd ruled that out.

Brian still didn't like Hardy very much, thinking they'd got rid of him when he'd gone off.

"I'd say she died from strangulation," Brian had told them.

Alec didn't think that was too difficult to work out since she still had the scarf around her neck but he couldn't be bothered arguing with the other man.

"We'll know more when the coroner has examined her. Do we have a name?" Brian asked. "Only it looks like the singer, Rose Tyler."

"Do not go repeating that," Alec warned him.

"It's not her, it's her stand-in, Mandy Smith," Ellie told Brian.

So they went to knock on Rose's door, having seen a few of the film crew in the bar.

Rose could hear someone knocking although she thought it was her head after last night. Whatever had possessed her to try Jake's trick of challenging all those present?

"Alright, quit knocking, I'm coming," Rose yelled after the third knock. "This had better be good," she added as she found her dressing gown.

She got a surprise to see the man and woman from the day before, holding out their ID cards but she already knew who Alec Hardy was – he was the Doctor's twin whom she'd tried to ignore since he first hit the headlines in 2012 when two cousins had gone missing and more recently that he'd locked up two serial rapists. She'd wondered how he was going to follow that.

"Miss Tyler, I'm DS Miller, this is DI Hardy from Broadchurch police," Ellie began. "May we come in and talk to you?"

"Yeah, sure but don't mind the mess, I got totalled last night," Rose grinned. "Has there been a complaint about us being noisy?"

Alec wondered if she got complaints everywhere she went, if she was in the habit of getting drunk all the time.

"No Miss Tyler," Alec replied, seeing clothes all over the place. "You know a Mandy Smith I believe?"

"Mandy? Yeah, she's my double. What's she done now?" Rose asked, wanting some coffee.

They had been talking on the way up, coming to the conclusion Rose had been the intended target, since no-one knew who Mandy Smith was. Ellie had agreed with him, Rose was more likely a target, she was bound to have some crazy fans.

"Let me take the lead in this," Ellie suggested as they'd reached Rose's room.

"You can't make it any better for her Miller," Alec replied quietly.

"You've said that before," Ellie reminded him.

"Yes and I was right, you couldn't make it any better for the Latimer family. It's obvious Mandy Smith was not the intended target Miller."

"I know that," Ellie huffed, as Alec knocked rather loudly on the door and on the third one got a verbal reply.

"I think you'd better sit down Rose," Ellie advised her as Rose looked like she'd had a rough night.

"Why, what's wrong?" Rose wanted to know.

"Please Rose, take a seat," Alec asked her, Ellie wondering why he was nice to every female apart from her and now Katie Harford, who'd been cleared of any misconduct over her father being a suspect in their last big case, though Ellie hadn't been that pleased she'd been allowed back but there again, she herself had got her job back.

"Tell me what's wrong," Rose insisted.

"Rose, Mandy was found on the beach earlier, she's been strangled, with her own scarf we believe," Alec told her.

Ellie steadied a shocked Rose.

"What are ya talking about? What was she doing on the beach?" Rose managed to ask.

"We were hoping you could tell us," Alec continued.

"We don't share a room, I've no idea how she ended up on the beach. Okay, we had a few drinks last night, maybe she went out early to shake off the cobwebs?" Rose suggested.

She got up and went to the dressing table, checked the water level in the kettle and switched it on.

"I need coffee, I feel like hell," Rose grinned, aware there was a man in the room and she only had a nightdress and dressing gown on, reminding her of all those years ago her mother had stood in her room doorway and made a pass at the Doctor when she'd first met him.

Ellie took over, opening a sachet of coffee and one of the small cartons of cream.

"Take your time Rose, you've had a shock," Ellie told her.

"Can you answer a few questions?" Alec asked, getting his notebook out and getting a frown from Ellie.

Rose nodded, trying to get her head around the fact her friend had just died.

"Was Mandy in the habit of taking early morning walks?" he asked.

"Sorry, I've no idea," Rose replied as Ellie made the coffee. "We don't always have a beach location, it's for my new single."

"Yes, we understand that," Ellie told her. "We were made aware you were filming."

"You both passed us yesterday," Rose smiled, blowing on the hot liquid.

"Is that why you hired her?" Alec asked. "Because she was almost identical to you?"

"Well partly, she was a good dancer, she fills in some of the parts, like side-shots and from the back," Rose told them, Alec writing something down. "What happened?"

"We believe Mandy was just looking out to sea and someone grabbed her scarf from behind and choked her with it," Alec replied, Ellie wanting to slap him for coming out with the facts instead of having some sympathy.

"She had her scarf on?" Rose asked. "We both have similar ones, just a slightly different pattern but from a distance, you wouldn't notice. It got her killed?"

"We're afraid so. Who knew you were filming here this week?" Alec asked, dotting a few 'I's' and crossing a few 'T's' as he tended to do, which annoyed Ellie to the point she really wanted to slap him.

"Just my agency and the film production company, oh and my family of course and Mandy's mum, her dad left home ages ago. Have you told her mum yet?"

Ellie had to smile. "She'll be contacted shortly, given the time," Ellie told her.

"I have to call my stepfather," Rose told them.

"Leave that for now," Alec replied. "Rose, we have every reason to think whoever came up behind Mandy believed it was you."

Rose almost dropped her cup, Ellie grabbing it and putting it down.

"What? Why would anyone be after me or Mandy?" Rose wanted to know.

"A crazed fan, a disgruntled member of the film company, even someone who works for your agency. Most likely someone followed you here and waited for the opportunity," Alec replied. "Think carefully Rose, yesterday, was anyone hanging around while you were both sat on the beach?"

"I don't think so," Rose tried to remember. "Just the usual crew members. I got her killed."

Ellie patted her arm. "No Rose, don't even think that," she told her.

"Don't blame yourself," Alec assured her. "Right now we need you to get dressed, pack your things and come with us, you can't stay here."

"Then where are ya taking me?" Rose asked, still feeling slightly rough but it had been her own fault.

"Just get ready, we'll take you to the station for now," Alec replied as Ellie's phone rang.

"Sir, they have some preliminary results," Ellie told him. "Rose, go get dressed in the bathroom and I'll start packing your things," she offered.

"I will be downstairs in the bar, hopefully one of the crew may have seen something," Alec told them.

"I doubt it," Rose replied, going for her jeans and a t-shirt. "A few of them were drinking with us last night."

"Then maybe someone went out early for some fresh air and may have seen something?" Ellie suggested.

"Or maybe someone looked out of the window, saw who they thought was Rose and saw the opportunity?" Alec told them.

Rose grabbed her clothes and retreated to the bathroom. Ellie whacked his arm.

"Not exactly Mr Tactful, are you?" Ellie asked him.

"What was that for?" he asked, thinking Miller was taking one too many liberties these days. "That could have happened, it has to be someone staying here, how else would they have known?"

"Yeah and anyone working would know the difference between the two women," Ellie told him.

"Not if it was still dark?" Alec asked. "They are both the same height and build from behind and if they both wore similar scarves?"

Ellie had to give him that one, reluctantly. She saw Rose's empty case and picked up the clothes from the chair and was clearing a drawer when Rose came out, just as Alec had left.

"Where's DI Hardy?" Rose asked.

"Gone to interview some of the film crew," Ellie told her. "We'll wait here until he calls, then we'll take you to the police station. We'll have a few more questions for you, sorry."

"I don't mind if it gets whoever killed my friend. Can I call my stepfather now?" Rose asked.

"Leave it for now, DI Hardy will maybe want to speak to him," Ellie replied.

"When he finds out, he'll send my two friend down," Rose told her.

"Friends from Torchwood?" Ellie smiled.

"Well anyone from Vitex is no good," Rose tried to joke.

"I'd leave that for now, we want whoever killed Mandy to think they succeeded, for now."

"They'll soon find out it wasn't me, if they're watching?" Rose suggested.

"Maybe they already left? We have officers talking to the other crew members, the manager said they're in another hotel. Once we have a complete list, we'll see if anyone is missing or if there's one too many," Ellie told her.

"So ya think someone was tagging along with the crew?" Rose asked as she went to clear the bathroom.

"Possibly," Ellie admitted. "We'll just wait here a while, I have a car outside but it's not far to the station though we don't want you walking across. Rose, have you had any fanmail, someone a bit over-enthusiastic? Maybe someone on social media?"

"I don't use it, not so fans can write things but I have a private account, for my real friends, under another name," Rose admitted. "I still don't put where I'm filming though."

Downstairs, Alec was talking with the production manager, who had made a list of those in the other hotel and Alec had sent someone to organise talking to them but he'd told them not to mention who it was, in case the killer was amongst them. He had every reason to think whoever it was had indeed seen Mandy from the hotel, if she wasn't in the habit of taking early morning walks.

He called Ellie and told her to bring Rose down, offering to take Rose's holdall and leaving Ellie with the case, getting him a scowl from her.

"You can leave all your things in my car," Ellie offered as she drove to the back of the police station.

"Where am I gonna stay then? I don't want to be on my own, what if the person realises it wasn't me?" Rose asked.

"We'll put you somewhere safe and you'll have someone with you at all times," Alec assured her, trying to think where to hide her.

Then he thought the reprieved DC Harford would come in useful after all.

They took Rose to Alec's office, Ellie offering to make another drink since Rose still looked a little out of it. Rose flopped down on the leather sofa, Alec feeling sorry for her.

"May I have your stepfather's phone number?" he asked her when Ellie had left, giving Rose her drink.

"Yeah, sure. What about Mandy's mum?" Rose wanted to know.

"DS Miller is going to contact her now," Alec told her, as he'd spoken to Ellie as Rose had waited in the car.

Pete was in the kitchen, trying to persuade Tony to eat his breakfast instead of asking where Rose was. His phone rang and he saw a strange number and debated whether to answer or not, this early in the morning but maybe it was about Rose misbehaving on the film set?

"Mr Tyler, this is DI Hardy, Wessex police," Alec told Pete when he answered.

"The infamous Alec Hardy? What can I do for you? I know my stepdaughter's in your town, I hope she's not causing any problems?"

"Your stepdaughter is not the one causing problems Mr Tyler. There was an incident just yards from her hotel this morning. Her friend was found on the beach, she'd been strangled."

"I see. Is Rose okay?" Pete asked him.

"Yes, she's in my office, we are going to find her somewhere else to stay. We have reason to believe they mistook Mandy for Rose."

Pete was hoping Jackie wouldn't walk in. "Why would anyone go after either of them?" Pete asked.

"We are still investigating. Mandy went for an early morning walk on the beach, we believe someone saw the opportunity. We are interviewing all the film crew and other guests at the hotel to find out if anyone saw her leaving."

"Do you think Mandy went out on her own or someone arranged to meet her?" Pete asked, not looking forward to telling Jackie.

Alec hadn't thought of that. Maybe she'd got a text or someone had knocked on her door but her phone was still with the crime lab, he'd have to ask, not that he liked dealing with Brian Young.

Chapter 2

Rose was looking at him as Alec talked to her stepfather, who had plenty more questions for him.

"I want to send her two friends down," Pete told him.

"With respect Mr Tyler, it's best they stay away for now," Alec replied. "For now, we want the killer to think they succeeded, her friends coming down may do more harm than good. I can assure you Rose will have 24 hour protection. We have forensics working on the beach, as soon as we get Mandy's phone analyzed we'll know if she was lured down there. If not, we know Rose was indeed the intended target."

Rose knew Pete wouldn't be happy leaving it up to the police to take care of her and Jake and Mickey would be upset.

Ellie didn't like the job of informing Mandy's mother, especially when she'd had to explain they thought Mandy had been mistaken for Rose from behind.

"You think my daughter was killed because of Rose?" Eileen Smith was asking her.

"I'm sorry but yes, we think from behind, the killer mistook her for Rose. You're welcome to come down, to identify Mandy but we could ask Rose to do that," Ellie told her.

"No, I'll come down but it will be tomorrow," Mrs Smith told her.

"Well we can't release Mandy yet, not until tests have been completed but I'm very sorry to tell you but she was strangled, by her own scarf," Ellie told her.

The line went quiet until Ellie was asked if they had any clues.

"We hope to find traces of whoever went up behind her or if she was lured onto the beach," Ellie replied. "It was only a few hours ago, we're asking all the film crew and hotel guests if they saw her going out."

"What about Rose?" Mrs Smith asked her. "If they got my Mandy instead of her, isn't she still in danger, if they find out?"

"We're taking care of her and moved her out of the hotel, she's still shocked. She's blaming herself," Ellie admitted.

"That's Rose for you," Mrs Smith told her. "They were good friends when they were working but Mandy had other jobs, when Rose wasn't filming. Sometimes she'd cover for Rose as a decoy when she wanted a night out."

Ellie found that interesting and wanted to know more but would have to ask Rose.

"Can you make us a list of where else Mandy was working?" Ellie asked hopefully.

Rose had been handed Alec's phone to assure Pete she was okay.

"Yeah, they're taking care of me," Rose told him. "What are ya gonna tell mum?"

"Will it be in the papers?" Pete asked. "I'll get Jake to quash any speculation."

Rose handed the phone back to Alec.

"We can deal with the press, there's no paper in the town as such, it's all done online now but I know the former editor. If it gets out, we'll try and get it stopped," Alec assured him.

"Well no harm in being ready. What about Mandy's mother?" Pete asked.

"My DS is talking to her, I expect she'll want to come here," Alec replied.

"Tell Rose to assure Mrs Smith that I'll take care of everything," Pete told him.

The conversation over, Alec went to sit next to Rose.

"How are you doing?" he asked sympathetically, since he'd mellowed somewhat the last few years, being closer to Daisy.

"It's not really hit me yet," Rose admitted. "So where are ya planning on putting me?"

Alec had an idea but Rose might not like it and Miller definitely wouldn't.

"I think the safest place for you is to come and stay with me. I live halfway up the cliff just by the hotel you were in, no-one will think you have gone there," Alec replied.

It went better than he expected.

"Unless you want me to get you in a caravan?" he offered.

"I'll try your place first then," Rose agreed. "I've still got a headache, can we go now? Have you any more questions?"

"Not for now, we're still waiting for reports, I can take you over. I'll get you settled then call for someone to stay with you. It will be best if I get a female officer."

"You mean Ellie?" Rose asked.

"No, just a DC but she's capable of looking after you and like I said, no-one will think of looking there for you. You can have my daughter's room, I'm not expecting her back for about a week. I was going to get her to come back early, to go to the music festival, she's a fan of yours," Alec admitted.

Rose wondered if he was covering the fact so was he. He called Ellie to take Rose down to her car and get her belongings transferred to his, after telling Ellie where he was taking Rose. Rose knew this was asking for trouble so she asked where the ladies room was, Ellie calling Katie to show her as she went into Alec's office.

"That has to be one your worst ideas to date," Ellie told him. "What are you thinking?"

"Well she can't go to your house Miller, you have no room plus you have a teenage boy who'll tell all his mates who's staying," Alec replied. "No-one will bother climbing up all those steps if the press get hold of it."

"You'd better hope not," Ellie told him. "Honestly, you get worse."

Alec pulled a face and got up when he saw Rose coming back in with Katie, Rose hoping Alec wasn't going to leave her with the DC, she seemed a bundle of fun. As Alec drove them across the harbour, pulling in by one of the food stalls to get Rose something to eat then Alec giving in and getting something for himself, Rose looked where he indicated at a white house halfway up the cliff.

"There's only one lot of steps," he assured her as he got her case out of the back, Rose taking the holdall and her shoulder bag.

"Are ya gonna leave me with that Katie?" she asked as Alec tried to balance the food cartons.

"She's the only one I can spare, for now. If you get any calls from the press, hang up," he advised her.

"Don't worry, they don't have my number and even if they did, my calls are intercepted if it's flagged as a nuisance call or the press," Rose told him.

"Very sensible," Alec agreed, leading the way.

Rose offered to take the cartons as he opened the door.

"I'll give you the keys, the patio door is locked but lock this one when I leave," he advised her as she followed him into the kitchen.

"Crikey Alec, it's just around the corner from where Mandy was found," Rose reminded him.

"Yes, I had to walk all the way round though since there is no access from the other side of the house," he replied.

He showed her Daisy's room, which fortunately was tidy and had twin beds, Rose being able to tell one had been used.

"You can have my room, if you prefer," Alec offered.

"Thanks, I'll manage," Rose replied as he put her suitcase on the bed.

"Come and get your food before it goes cold."

He made a drink, he knew he'd have to call at the store for a few things on his way back and he joined Rose, who was standing at the patio door.

"Don't go out Rose, you never know who is walking on the path just across there."

"You mean people walk up a steep cliff?" Rose smiled.

"More fool them I say," Alec replied, drinking his tea. "Your stepfather wanted you to tell Mandy's mother he would take care of everything."

"Yeah, I guessed as much. When does she arrive?" Rose asked, going to sit down, since Alec looked nervous she was standing at the glass patio door.

"DS Miller said some time tomorrow. Do you want to be there?" Alec asked her.

"It's only right I'm there, I still feel responsible," Rose replied.

"You can't have known she was going to take a walk," Alec told her. "We'll soon know if she was lured out or not, we should get the details from her phone soon."

He thought Brian Young was doing it on purpose to get him going.

"I have to go back soon, I'll call DC Harford to come over, she'll stay until I get back. Do you need anything fetching?" he asked, getting his phone out.

Rose was rather hoping he would stay but she knew he had a job to do, that of finding her friend's killer.

"No thanks, I think I'll have a lie down though, it wasn't my idea of fun getting woken up early by loud knocking on my hotel room door then getting told my friend had died."

"Sorry," Alec apologised, since Miller had told him to go easy on the knocking.

Rose smiled at him, to say she was just winding him up.

"Harford, come over to my house, it’s the one on the side of the cliff. You're looking after Miss Tyler for the rest of the day."

He could imagine what she was saying under her breath at him, they just didn't get on, even more so since he suspended her and she'd wormed her way back in.

"Yes Sir, I know where it is. Is that going to be every day?" Katie asked, thinking it was a fair question.

"That depends how soon we catch her friend's killer," Alec replied, seeing Rose was looking tired as she leaned against the cushion. "Call and get yourself something for lunch, I don't want you leaving her, I'll put her on but she's just eaten so maybe she just wants a sandwich."

"I'm okay for now," Rose assured him, yawning.

"Yes but it may be late when I get back, get something just in case, I need to go grocery shopping, I've not bothered since my daughter went home."

"Can you just ask her to get me a ham salad sandwich then?" Rose asked him.

He relayed the message then got up to move the cups.

"Alec, do I have to stay here every day?" Rose asked him.

"You need some rest, you've had a shock. You can come to the station for a while tomorrow, to meet your friend's mother."

"Yeah, okay then. I should call my mum, dad must have told her by now. She'll demand he brings her down."

"It's not a good idea Rose, we have a lot going on, officers and forensics are working at it, we'll find whoever killed your friend."

"Yeah, I know you will, you got the killers of those two girls in the end. You never gave up, did ya?" Rose asked.

He put the cups down and sat next to her.

"I thought I would never get justice for those two girls Rose, it's the best feeling in the world to know they finally got it and the killers got locked up. Go have a rest, I will see you later."

"Thanks, for not making me stay on my own," Rose told him.

"How could we leave you on our own? You may wish you are on your own after spending the rest of the day with DC Harford though."

Rose thought that was his attempt at humour. Leaving her unpacking, she pulled the curtains across and lay on the made bed and promptly fell asleep. Katie arrived, not being too happy at being put on babysitting duty.

"Miss Tyler is having a rest, don't wake her," Alec warned Katie.

"Of course not Sir, what time will you be back?" Katie dared ask.

"When I get here, there's a lot to do," Alec replied, going to wash the cups finally. "I gave Miss Tyler the key, it's probably in her pocket so ask her when she wakes up but until then, put the chain on the kitchen door when I leave."

"Are you expecting anyone?" Katie asked him.

"No, I'm normally out all day, unless someone comes looking for my daughter, which they had better not, well not unless it's Chloe Latimer, she's the only one I trust out of the lot of them," Alec replied.

Katie wondered if she was supposed to know who Chloe Latimer was but since there had been a boy killed a few years ago with the same name, assumed she was the boy's sister.

"Anyway, don't let anyone in, even if they say I sent them, you call me or DS Miller to check and I mean anyone, don't take their word for it, understood?" Alec asked her.

"Yes Sir, understood. Am I allowed to make drinks?"

Alec wondered why she'd even asked, did he expect them to go without all day?

"Yes, go easy on the milk though until I bring some back," he replied.

A few hours later, Rose woke up, seeing a text from her mother and thinking she'd leave it for now. She went to unpack her suitcase, seeing room in the wardrobe as Alec's daughter must have taken most of her stuff with her then ventured out into the living area.

"Hi again," Rose smiled as Katie had made herself at home and put the TV on.

"Hi, feeling better?" Katie asked, wondering if she should call her Rose or Miss Tyler.

Over at the station, Ellie had got a message to say Mandy's phone contained no texts asking her to meet anyone and the last call had been to Rose, probably to make arrangements. Alec cursed himself for not making a note of Rose's number but he could call Harford if need be, he wasn't going to ask Miller for it.

"So she wasn't lured onto the beach then?" Alec mused as Ellie told him.

"It must have been to clear her head then, if she'd been drinking with Rose," Ellie replied.

Alec thought that was rather stating the obvious.

"I wonder how Rose is getting on with Katie," Ellie grinned.

"She has a job to do, she'll manage," Alec replied.

"I can't see them getting on though," Ellie told him.

"Well someone has to stay with her, no matter where she'd have gone. I offered to get her a caravan, she did not seem keen on the idea," Alec admitted.

Just after five, Alec drove up to the supermarket to get milk and other essentials and he picked up a bottle of wine, thinking maybe Rose could use a drink. He thought he could get some ingredients to make something nice for dinner to try and impress his house guest. He was just about to set off back when his phone rang, hoping it wasn't his annoying DC asking when she could leave. It was Daisy.

"Hi Dad, how's things?" she asked.

"Fine, how are getting on with your mum?" he replied.

"Okay I suppose. Chloe called me to say that Rose Tyler's appearing at the music festival and tickets are going on sale. Can you get me one Dad?"

"Well I was going to ask if you will be back in time," he smiled.

"Yeah, tickets go fast though, don't leave it too late," she reminded him.

"We're in charge of seeing they comply with regulations, I'm sure I can get you a ticket," Alec replied confidently, since Rose was now staying with him.

He dare not mention the fact to his daughter though.

"Dad, are you still there?" Daisy asked him. "I might come back early, when you call me to say what day you got me a ticket for. I heard she was making a new video somewhere, she didn't come to Broadchurch did she?" Daisy joked.

"Daisy, I will get you a ticket but as for knowing if your favourite singer is making a video here, I can't comment."

"She is, isn't she?" Daisy asked excitedly.

Alec thought he'd best not say any more but she'd recognise the scenery as soon as the video went live, wherever that was.

"Yes, okay, she's making the video here but you can't tell anyone," he admitted.

"I'm miles away Dad, who am I going to tell? So have you met her yet?"

"We've crossed paths. Daisy, you are going to see something in the news eventually, there's been an incident here, I want you to promise you'll stay where you are until I send for you, I don't want you coming back early."

"What happened Dad?" Daisy asked.

"I can't say anything Daisy, just trust me it's best you stay away and I'll get you a ticket for the last day, it should all be over by then."

"Well okay Dad, if you think it's best, can you get me her autograph though, if you see her?"

Alec smiled to himself. "I'll see what I can do, I may be able to get you a backstage pass."

Rose was counting the minutes until Katie left, she really wasn't getting on with the young DC as hard as she tried.

"Are you staying in tomorrow?" Katie asked her.

"No, I'll be meeting Mandy's mum, to tell her how sorry I am for what happened," Rose replied.

"You know it wasn't your fault? How were you to know?" Katie asked her.

"I still have to face her though, Mandy was employed by my agency to be my double, my stand-in but she was like the sister I never had."

They sat in silence the rest of the time, Rose breathing a sigh of relief when she recognised the knocking on the door from the morning and they looked across at the patio door since Alec thought it would be better if he stood there. Katie got up to let him in.

"Everything okay?" he asked, holding the plastic carrier bag from the supermarket.

"Yes Sir, it's fine. Do you want me over in the morning?" Katie asked.

Rose was praying he'd say no.

"No, Miss Tyler will have to answer a few more questions and Mrs Smith will probably want to meet her," Alec replied, walking across to the kitchen area and seeing the key in the lock and wishing Daisy hadn't taken the other one with her.

He could have just taken the patio door key he supposed but he didn't want to spook Rose by just walking in and the lock from the outside was a bit tricky anyway. He thought Rose looked relieved the DC was leaving.

"Need help making something to eat?" Rose asked as he let Katie out of the kitchen door.

"No, I can manage. How are you feeling now?"

"Okay I suppose. I have to face Mandy's mother tomorrow."

"Rose, there was nothing you could have done to prevent this. The killer would have got to you or her any place you had gone to make your video," Alec told her.

"You still think someone followed me here?" Rose asked as he put the groceries away and she noticed the bottle of wine.

She thought she just might finish it off but it wouldn't make things go away.

"I don't think it is anyone local, unless they saw you were appearing at the music festival and saw their chance," Alec replied. "Even then, it's doubtful they would have known where you are staying. We are now working on the assumption the killer found out you were in town and was mingling with the film crew on the beach. Was anyone there you did not recognise?"

"They get new crew members all the time, I never know from one shoot to the next. You think someone joined to get to me?" Rose asked.

"It's a possibility, we're going through the list the production manager gave us. Is he normally in charge?" Alec asked her.

"Yeah, Andy's done the last two or three, he does background check's on the crew, I think. The agency get in touch with him and he fits me in but this time, I got the music festival next weekend so if we finished early, I was just gonna hang around and take some time off."

"With your friend or was she going home?" Alec wanted to know.

"No, she was going home for a few days then coming back. I don't think anyone would have noticed me," Rose replied.

Alec sincerely doubted that. "So you were going to be on your own, was that wise?" he asked.

"I would have been fine Alec," Rose told him.

"Well maybe before someone was out to get to you," Alec replied.

"Yeah, thanks for reminding me, you're almost as much fun as Katie," Rose smiled.

"She is not easy to get on with," Alec had to admit. "There is no-one else to spare."

"Then let one of my friends come down," Rose asked.

"I will consider it but not tomorrow. Once we have seen Mrs Smith, we'll put out a brief statement but we still may not release her name."

"Then everyone will think it's me, won't they?" Rose asked.

"Maybe not, if no-one knew you were coming here before you were due to appear at the music festival," Alec replied.

"I wish I'd never agreed now, I might still pull out of it," Rose admitted.

"You would be letting your fans down," Alec told her. "My daughter rang earlier, she wants a ticket," he smiled.

"She's a fan then?" Rose asked, not seeing any evidence in what was his daughter's bedroom but there again, she'd not really looked.

"Yes but I never told her you were staying here but she knows something is going on, she will be back on the phone when we release the details," Alec replied.

"That's just it Alec, everyone will think it's me, how are you gonna stop the gossip?" Rose wanted to know.

He knew she was right, fans would think the worst.

"Then you be present when we make the statement, drive the killer out of hiding, if he or she are still in town," Alec told her.

"Great, then whoever it was will know they didn't get me," Rose replied.

"I'm sorry Rose, there is no easy way of doing this. We should drive the person out, they will make a wrong move and with most of the film crew leaving, it will narrow things down."

"What if it's not one of them?" Rose asked, feeling hungry now he was making something to eat. "What if it's a jealous fan or someone who doesn't like me?"

"Then after tomorrow, we will have a better idea, we can narrow it down out of the film crew, leaving us to follow other lines of enquiry. If you appear on the press release, hopefully the killer will be mad enough to come out of hiding."

"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" Rose smiled nervously.

"There's no easy way of doing this, we can't wait forever for them to come out of hiding," Alec replied.

"Maybe not but I'm not happy at being used as the bait," Rose told him.

"I know but there is no other way, we have to get whoever it is mad enough to make another attempt, sorry."

He saw that had upset her. Maybe he should give in and let her send for one of her friends? She was about to go back in the living area when he touched her arm.

"It's okay, we won't let anything happen but you are our best chance of catching who killed your friend."

He opened his arms slightly to show if she wanted a good cry he was willing to comfort her and hoped she wouldn't throw it back in his face like Ellie Miller had done several times. She didn't as she leaned on his shoulder.

"It's okay Rose, we'll take care of you but after you have appeared in the statement to the press you can get your stepfather to send someone down, unless you want DC Harford to look after you," he half joked.

Rose looked up at him. "Very funny Alec, she's a real bundle of laughs," Rose replied, thinking maybe she'd better step back but she was enjoying it and she thought maybe he was too.

Chapter 3

Over dinner, Rose relaxed a little, which relieved Alec somewhat, considering she'd been woken up by them telling her that her friend had been killed.

"Tell me more about Mandy," he asked her.

"She's worked for me around three years, just after I started making music videos. It made things easier if she was in the background or a shot from behind, it cut down on takes and me having to be in two places at once."

"I suppose a lot of stars do that," he smiled. "I suppose it saves money in the long run?"

"Yeah. Anyway, my agents put out an ad in the trade papers for anyone who thought they looked like me. They had to send a photo and we got it down to half a dozen but Mandy applied late. I'd got it down to two when she showed up and I knew straight away she was the one I needed."

"She did not appear to be a close double," Alec pointed out.

"That wasn't what was needed. She was willing to work when needed and cover for me to throw the press off, which isn't easy," Rose smiled. "The other one, she wasn't so willing to oblige when I called her back to ask so Mandy got the job. Alec, I just thought, the one I let go wasn't happy about it. In fact my agent showed me a letter from her saying she believed she should have been offered the job, I just shook it off, that's show-biz for ya."

"Rose, do you think she was jealous of Mandy?" he asked.

"It was three years ago Alec, if she was, she'll have got over it."

"Not necessarily, what if something set her jealous streak off?"

Rose put her knife and fork down. "You mean she could have killed Mandy, thinking it was me?"

"No, because Mandy got the job she wanted. What better way of having another chance than to eliminate the competition?" he asked.

"That's going a bit far Alec. Why not just trip her up and make her twist her ankle or something? Why kill her? How did she know where I was anyway?"

"Come on Rose, even my daughter guessed you were here filming, since you are attending the music festival. Think about it, what better way of getting to know where you were? Did you see her amongst the film crew?"

"I don't think so but I might recognise her though it was some time ago. So you don't think I'm in danger?"

"I never said that, we still have to consider you were the real target. If this person was upset she never got the job, she may have been planning this for a long time. She could still go after you."

"I'll call the agency tomorrow, ask if they still have the details and the letter. Mind you, she might not have been using her real name," Rose suggested.

"Give DS Miller your agent's details, she will contact them," Alec told her as he gathered the plates. "You can come with me in the morning to meet with Mandy's mother. Did Mandy have a car?"

"She left it, a driver brought us down, you'll have to ask her mother about it. I got picked up first then we went to her house, my stepfather pays for it."

"I will ask her mother tomorrow. Do you know Mrs Smith very well?"

"I've met her a few times, she's separated from Mandy's dad. I don't know how she'll take it, she might blame me."

"From what DS Miller said, she was concerned about the killer still going after you. At least we have something to go on, you may have saved us some time."

"If I'm right," Rose smiled, getting up to help him clear the dishes.

"Well you still need to be protected. Whoever it was may not be satisfied with just killing her rival."

"Geez, that makes me feel a lot better," Rose half joked.

"If we can get some names from your agency, they may still have the photos, we'll get copies and you just point out the one who lost out to Mandy," he told her.

"Is that all?" Rose smiled. "It could still take a while though. She may have already left after killing Mandy. Maybe she didn't intend to kill her though? Maybe she only wanted to scare her or get her out of action then turn up for filming the next day and ask if she could replace Mandy?"

"You think she just went too far? It's still murder though," he reminded her. "Would you have taken her on, if that had been the case?"

"I don't know, maybe? I mean I'd have had no reason to suspect her I suppose?" Rose replied.

"No, neither would we, had you not mentioned it. Let's hope she's not left town."

"Do you want me to start filming again, to draw her out?" Rose asked.

"No, she'll know it's a trap and stay away now, if she went too far," Alec replied.

"Not if she's over-confident? It'll take a few days to get everyone back, we might not be able to resume before Monday now anyway. She might just leave since nothing's happening."

"Maybe?" Alec asked, running the water into the bowl.

"I'll just wait around, unless I can go home?" Rose asked. "I can get one of my friends to come down for me, I'll be out of your way then."

"Rose, you are not in the way. You can stay here as long as you want, my daughter won't be back yet, I advised her to stay where she was, for now. The last thing you need is a teenage fan in the same house," Alec joked.

Rose laughed, picking up the cloth to dry the dishes. "Sure you're not a fan yourself Alec?"

"I'm saying nothing," he replied. "Why all the old songs though? Haven't they all been re-released at some point?"

"Some have but I choose those that haven't. Bet ya can't guess what my new one is?" she teased him.

"I have no idea," he replied.

"Well, you're a detective and I'm filming on a beach," Rose hinted.

"Well maybe I can put things together?" he teased her back. "Get through tomorrow morning then I may allow someone to collect you and take you straight home."

"I thought I could stay as long as I wanted?" she reminded him.

"The option is there, see what your stepfather and my chief think. You could always come back on Monday."

"You could offer to show me around at the weekend," Rose smiled.

"If that's what you want? I don't expect you to stay in all the time, it was just safer today that you did so. Now we have an idea who may have done it, I know what we are up against. I should call Miller and fill her in."

"Can't you leave it until tomorrow?" Rose asked him. "I mean if she's already left town and my agency's closed."

Alec supposed she was right, there was nothing that couldn't wait until morning. They finished clearing up then Rose went to put the TV on, Alec sitting on the chair as opposed to sitting next to her. For some reason it reminded him of when Daisy had admitted her phone had been stolen with her photos on it but after the case he'd been working on had been closed, he'd lined all the boys up at the school and one had been found with it and the boy had got suspended.

He was just glad it hadn't been Tom Miller who had taken it.

"So will you take me out at the weekend?" Rose asked.

"Yes, I can do that. I'll do the shopping after work tomorrow then, make a note of anything you may want."

"Can't I go with you?"

"You want to draw attention to yourself?" he asked her.

Just after eleven, Rose said she was tired and went to get ready for bed and he thought maybe for once he could get an early night but Rose had just gone off when Ellie called.

"How's she doing?" Ellie asked, amused he'd chosen to take the pop star in. "Your place isn't exactly the Tyler mansion, is it?"

"Stop it Miller. Rose thinks it may have been someone she turned down for the job as her stand-in."

"Seriously? Why didn't you call me earlier?" Ellie asked him.

"What good would that have done? She'll give you her agent's details and you can call them about it. She said it was about three years ago, they should still have a record of it. Anyway, she knows who it might be, she just doesn't have a name, that was why I never called, since the agency is closed."

"I saw Katie before I left, she didn't seem all that happy babysitting," Ellie told him.

"Well someone had to do it, Rose was not keen on her either. I thought Harford was a fan?"

"You should never meet your heroes," Ellie laughed. "She said she didn't know what to talk about."

"I'm sure Rose felt the same Miller," Alec replied.

Not wanting to argue the finer points of looking after the pop star, Alec ended the call and making sure the doors were locked, was just about to go to his bedroom as Rose was coming out of the bathroom.

"Oh, sorry," Rose grinned as she almost collided with him.

"It's fine. I was just talking to DS Miller. Goodnight Rose."

"Yeah, goodnight and thanks for letting me stay but I just wondered, can we just talk for a while longer? I don't mean about what happened. I heard you went away Alec, what made you come back?"

"How did you know I'd been away?" he asked, since he'd not made it public.

"I have my ways," Rose smiled.

"You followed my cases?" he asked, aware Rose just had a dressing gown on and what looked like a short nightdress.

"I have a younger brother Alec, when that boy was killed a few years ago, my stepfather followed it but that case a few months ago got everyone."

"I had just got back when that happened. I'd been trying to settle down where I used to live but I never did, it wasn't home any more so Daisy needed a fresh start so I asked to come back. I suppose I've made it my home."

Rose touched his arm. "I know what happened to you Alec, that you almost died."

"Yes, well I escaped from the jaws of death so I had to put things right, did I not?" he asked.

"Did ya try and make up with your ex?" Rose asked, thinking he'd tell her to mind her own business.

"No, I just tried to make friends with her again, there was nothing to go back to her for, she turned me down flat before I even went back. You must be tired now?" he smiled.

"Yeah, a bit, sorry, I'm keeping you up."

"It's a long time since I had some adult company, well apart from Miller climbing all the way up here at two in the morning to tell me about the victim of that assault case," he smiled, Rose's hand still on his arm. "You want to stand here all night?"

"Well, you could invite me to your room?" she teased him.

To her surprise, he took her hand from his arm and indicated to his room door.

"Then after you."

Rose just grinned as he reached to open the door.

"You have twin beds as well?" Rose smiled, looking around the door and seeing a double with a red patterned duvet with matching pillow cases and curtains.

"Disappointed?" he asked. "I will be right back."

He grabbed a t-shirt from the drawer and left, leaving Rose to pull the curtains over and shivering slightly.

It may be classed as summer but halfway up a cliff, it was a bit chilly at night. She saw the knob on the radiator and turned it up and hoped he wouldn't mind. She thought if he was too warm, he may not bother with the t-shirt, well that was half a plan. The other half was not getting thrown out before he went to sleep. She could certainly use some company since it was just sinking in she'd lost her friend.

Was that it though? She'd never really expected to meet him, she'd seen him pass by yesterday when Mandy had pointed him out but as long as they stayed out of his way, she never thought she'd get any attention from him. Maybe she would have sought him out after the filming, she'd never really thought about it but she should have had a few days between filming and the music festival though why they'd chosen to start filming on a Thursday, it hadn't been her idea.

She supposed it was meant to have tied in with the festival, her agent trying to get the dates as close as possible. She heard Alec closing the bathroom door and stood up to see what he wanted to do.

"You are free to go back to your own room," he told her, putting his trousers over the back of the chair and hanging his shirt in the wardrobe as if she wasn't there.

Rose just smiled and pulled the duvet back then took off her dressing gown.

"I don't want to be on my own Alec, if you don't mind some company? I don't think it's hit me yet."

"It won't but it will soon sink in. I'm sorry Rose but it may just hit you suddenly. You are welcome to stay though I apologise for my attire."

"Don't worry, I had a boyfriend who thought it was perfectly normal to walk around his flat in his shorts. Mind you, I was only young at the time, I sort of left him when I was nineteen."

"You got tired of it?" he asked as he got in beside her.

"You could say I got a better offer. I met someone and I travelled with him for a while but we were just friends. Then it all stopped as suddenly as it started."

"Want to talk about it?" he asked, not bothering to turn out the light but Rose had noticed the lights along the path behind the cottage.

"Nope, it was a long time ago, I just think about it now and then, sorry."

"It's okay, I don't talk about the past either."

"My friend used to say the past is another country," she smiled. "I lost him Alec, he followed the Cybermen to stop them coming back, along with a few others. They all got back except him, he'd insisted they all left."

"Why? How was he stopping them?" Alec wanted to know.

Rose was well rehearsed in the story she, Pete and Jake had come up with.

"It was Torchwood, the Cybermen opened a gateway, operated by some levers and when they were followed, well they went to a parallel world and found the same setup there. It's a long story but to stop them coming back, the plan was to open the gateway at that end and send the Cybermen into the space between the two worlds, called the void."

"As interesting as it sounds, everyone believed they had just used the Torchwood here to get to another planet."

"That was the story the old Torchwood put out. When Pete took over, he decided it was as good a story as any."

"Is that how you know so much or were you involved?" Alec asked her.

"Yeah, I wanted to follow him, he wouldn't let me. That's how I met Pete and he met my mum."

That was what they had all agreed on to cover for herself and her mother, Pete considering it was safe enough.

"So there was another Torchwood? I would like to hear more but maybe not now eh? Would you be upset if I asked you for a goodnight kiss?"

After Rose had readily agreed and Alec noticed she'd turned the heating up, he put his arm around her and she fell asleep on him. When she woke up, she was on the pillow and Alec was facing her.

He reached out and moved a strand of hair from over her eye, reminding him of when he'd taken Claire to the clinic, then for some reason he'd thought about her – not that there was ever anything between them since she'd deceived him several times.

"Good morning Rose,"

"Hi Alec. It's so quiet up here, I thought there would be noisy seagulls," she smiled.

"I expect they are all waiting for the fishing boats to come in," he smiled back.

Rose leaned over and touched his cheek. He took her hand and kissed the back of it.

"Can I have another kiss?" he asked.

"You need to ask?" she teased.

Half an hour later, Rose was lying on him, Alec having taken the t-shirt off and teasing her about turning up the heating.

"You knew I would have to take that off," he told her.

"Well I was hoping you'd do it last night."

"Were you now? Well you should have suggested it then."

"I thought I did when I turned the heating up," she smiled at him.

That got her into more trouble as he turned her over and hovered above her, making her giggle.

"Thought you had to go to work?"

"Yes, I do and you have a meeting with your friend's mother and you need to give your agent's details so we can find this person."

"You don't think she'll go after me then?" Rose asked as he kissed above her nightdress.

"It depends how crazy she is but what could have brought it on after all this time?"

"Who knows what lengths fans will go to?" Rose asked him, holding onto his shoulders. "Alec, she could be anywhere and though I might recognise her, she could have changed her appearance."

"Are you sure you never saw her amongst the film crew?"

"I don't think so. Alec, I only met her once. She came for the interview and I told her she was short-listed along with another woman then Mandy turned up. Mandy had been working somewhere else and heard about it so she'd taken a chance. I liked her and she wasn't bothered about all the extra jobs I'd need her to do, like just pretending to be me for an hour by turning up at an event, sneaking in then leading the press astray and posing. We had a lot of the same outfits, I'd send her a photo, she'd get in a cab and I'd sneak off and leave her to it."

"Very sneaky. So this other woman wasn't so willing to go along?" he asked, moving her nightdress to kiss her shoulder.

"Not so much but I told her it was part of the job and she said she'd do it if she had to but expected me to pay for the outfits. I told her she'd get a clothing allowance and she'd get photos of my outfits and she could claim the cost back. Why wait all this time?"

"That's a very good question and if your agency has her details, I can ask her. Let me up Rose, I will get you some breakfast. Behave yourself in the police station."

"Huh? Think I'm gonna pull the blinds to your office down and snog ya?" she teased him.

"Hopefully but it would only make Miller suspicious. You should have heard her when I suggested you stayed with me."

"Why do ya think I disappeared? We can't really hide the fact though but we should be careful. I'm not gonna deny anything Alec, if I'm asked."

"Neither am I but it's not a good idea to make it obvious," he replied, getting out of bed.

"You take all the fun out of it," she smiled, going to get out herself.

They drove over to the station, Alec parking behind it and taking her through the underground car park.

"I'm used to sneaking in and out of places," Rose reminded him.

"I can imagine but wearing those sunglasses does not help Rose."

"It fooled the press when it was Mandy. Alec, I don't think I want to carry on, not now she's gone, I got her killed," she told him as they stopped at the stairs door.

"Rose, stop blaming yourself, you are not responsible because someone took a job offer the wrong way when it was given to someone else. Maybe it led to her becoming obsessed with getting it, that Mandy would give up and you'd call her to step in? There are a lot of factors to consider."

"Yeah, I know that Alec. I still don't think I should go ahead with that video though, we'd hardly got started and if I do everything on my own, it'll take twice as long and they may not be prepared for it."

He opened the stairs door and allowed her to go first.

"Then make it known you are looking for a replacement and make her want to apply again," Alec suggested.

"She won't fall for it Alec, maybe she didn't intend to actually kill Mandy, maybe she just wanted her to quit, then if she did apply I'd be left with a psycho for a double."

Chapter 4

Alec felt sorry for her. It had been mostly innocent, the few kisses they had shared but he was sure on her part at least she just wanted some company and it could never lead anywhere. Rose gave Ellie her agency details to get them to dig out the applications to become her double then Alec asked if Rose wanted to see Mandy's mother after he and Ellie had talked to her.

Eileen Smith had been shown into an informal interview room and Ellie introduced herself and Alec.

"We are very sorry for your loss Mrs Smith," Alec told her as they shook hands.

"Where's Rose, is she okay?" Eileen asked him.

"She's safe, she's in my office," Alec assured her. "She wanted to talk to you after we have finished. We are working on the assumption it was a rival for the job Mandy got, that of being Rose's double but we still need to ask a few questions."

"Anything you need," she replied, Ellie thinking the woman looked tired and must have come down last night, since it was early.

"Did Mandy have any enemies, anyone she fell out with recently?" Ellie asked her.

"Not that I know of but she was Rose Tyler's stand-in, she was the envy of a lot of fans. You don't think whoever killed her was after Rose?"

"We have to rule out it was a rival who applied for the job that Mandy got," Alec replied. "It was Rose who put us onto it, her agency are co-operating with us over it."

Ellie had got through to the agency and although they doubted they still had all the details, were trying their best, Alec not being very happy about it on the way to see Mandy's mother. Ellie had questioned why they were trying.

"That's what Rose thinks and she could be right," Alec had told Ellie on the way down, now he could take the stairs without it being a strain.

"They're hardly likely to have kept all the details," Ellie insisted. "So how was she last night?"

"Tired, upset and she questioned why I left Harford with her," Alec replied.

"Yeah, I bet they got on well," Ellie laughed, remembering Katie's mood when she'd got back last night.

"Most people would have jumped at the chance to look after Rose," Alec told her.

"Seems Katie was the exception, like I said you should never meet your heroes. Does your daughter know Rose is staying with you?" Ellie asked him.

"Not yet but she guessed Rose was in town, the music festival was a give-away. Once we've seen Mandy's mother, I'll take her home, take her out of town since she was in all day yesterday. Even she didn't know why they began filming on Thursday."

Ellie called Katie to bring Rose downstairs, her glancing at Rose who had made herself at home in Alec's office, having teased him suitably about the kissing before he'd gone downstairs.

"Do I have to bring her down?" Katie replied.

"You can't pick and choose what you're asked to do Katie," Ellie reminded her from outside the interview room.

Katie had then got up and tapped on the office door.

"I'll take you down to see your friend's mother," she told Rose, who was texting Jake, who had been annoyed Pete hadn't sent him and Mickey down to look after her.

She'd already called her mother, who had been less than happy Pete had left Rose in the care of a Doctor look-alike detective.

"I'm fine Mum," Rose had told her when Alec had left. "They're taking good care of me."

"Well you could have at least stayed in the hotel, where are you staying?" Jackie asked her.

"Don't worry about it, I'm with one of the detectives all the time," she tried to bluff, not wanting to say it was with Alec.

So Rose had put her phone away and was being escorted by Katie, who had even less to say than the day before as Katie opted to wait for the lift even though it was only one floor down to the interview rooms but Rose assumed pressing the lift button repeatedly was her way of avoiding talking.

"You won't have to look after me today," Rose smiled as the lift finally arrived, wondering why it had taken so long.

"I've never had to look after a celebrity before," Katie admitted as the lift went down after the doors eventually closed.

"Yeah, I don't expect any special treatment though," Rose tried to assure her.

She thought Katie must have thought she had to be kidding, getting her boss's personal attention but he was male, of course he'd insist on looking after the stunning singer and Vitex heiress. Katie saw Ellie waiting for them.

"What took so long?" Ellie asked Katie.

"Blame the lift, it must be ancient, it's so slow," Katie replied, Ellie seeing a smile on Rose's face.

"Katie, the station has only been here a few years," Ellie told her.

"Well they must have put a used one in then," Katie quipped.

Alec was answering Mandy's mother when she'd asked him if he thought it really was a jealous rival.

"Everything is pointing to it but we are testing the scarf that Mandy was wearing and also her phone. Rose said Mandy had a car but she left it at home."

"Yes, Rose always called for Mandy, her stepfather insisted they never drove anywhere, he always sent a cab or a car and driver, even when Mandy had to act as decoy and she had to call for a cab, he'd given her the number of the firm his wife and Rose always used and told her to charge it to his account."

He looked up when Rose and Ellie appeared at the door and Eileen got up to greet Rose.

"I'm so sorry Mrs Smith," Rose told her, a tear in her eyes.

"Rose, I'm not blaming you for what happened, Mandy loved that job, she always said you were like the sister she never had," Eileen told her as Rose sat next to Alec, Ellie having gone off to give Katie a few lessons in manners.

"I feel it's my fault, she was here because of me," Rose insisted.

"No-one is blaming you," Alec tried to assure her. "You are not responsible for her when she's not working, she choose to go onto the beach. Mrs Smith, we will try to release Mandy as soon as possible. I will leave you two to talk. Rose, there will be an officer just outside, they will bring you back to my office."

Alec went off and finding a WPC, told her to wait for Rose. After he'd left, Mandy's mother got up.

"He's right Rose, you are not to blame for this," she told Rose.

"I still feel responsible. My stepfather will take care of everything, tell me where you're staying, he'll have someone pay for your room. What about Mandy's things from her hotel room?" Rose asked her.

"DS Miller's taking care of it to see I get them back. Rose, Mandy loved that job, out of all the others she took on, she'd sometimes sit at home playing with her phone and hope you'd text her to say you needed rescuing," Eileen smiled.

"I wondered why she was always so fast," Rose smiled back, getting up to hug her friend's mother. "She was always there when I needed her, she loved evading the press."

"What about the papers? Why haven't any details been released?" Eileen asked her.

"They thought it best to tell you first, I expect they'll announce it soon but DI Hardy thinks it's someone she beat in getting the job."

"Yeah, he already said. Is he the one looking after you?"

"Yeah, he seems to think I've become his responsibility, I'm trying to get one of my friends to come down, Jake's going nuts. There's also a young DC called Katie, she's driving me up the wall."

They talked for a while longer then Eileen wanted to get back to her hotel to contact Pete about him taking care of everything, since she had his phone number for emergencies.

"Let him make all the arrangements," Rose insisted as Eileen got up again to leave.

"Thanks. I had to tell her dad last night, we're meeting when I get back. I hope the press don't start when I get back."

"Just leave it, Pete will take care of it. Did you come down on your own?" Rose asked her.

"Yes, by train, I couldn't have driven down Rose, I don't think it's hit me yet. DI Hardy said you were very upset yesterday. Did you move out of the hotel then?"

"Yeah, they insisted. Don't tell anyone but I'm staying with him, his place is a bit remote," Rose tried to joke.

"Who would I tell?" Eileen asked her. "I'll stay tonight and leave in the morning, I had to get a taxi from Dorchester station yesterday afternoon, they don't have one here."

"There's an old railway station just near where I was staying, well just a platform from what I saw on the way in. Take care and I'll call you soon."

As they left, the WPC who had been left outside followed Rose and Mandy's mother to reception then she pressed the lift button, Rose wondering why it had taken so long earlier when it opened right away for them and they got in.

"We waited ages for this earlier," Rose told the WPC.

"It defaults to the ground floor, everyone got used to it," the WPC replied as they got out.

Rose thought that Katie must be the only one who hadn't then. The WPC knocked on Alec's door then went off.

"Everything sorted?" Alec asked, closing the door as Rose sat on the sofa.

He went to pull the blinds to and sat beside her.

"I will just finish up and take you back. Do you want to go anywhere, do you need anything?" he asked.

"Can we just do some shopping? I just want to do something normal," she replied. "I don't have people who do everything for me."

"I never suggested you did," he smiled, taking her hand.

"Sorry. It's just getting to me."

"No need to apologise. It's completely understandable but I can send DC Harford with you if you like?"

"Very funny Alec. She got annoyed waiting for the lift to take me downstairs."

"Why didn't you take the stairs?" he asked.

"You tell me? She probably thought someone would get me on the way down."

"I was talking with DS Miller. We don't think you are in any real danger, we think the person saw the opportunity to get revenge on Mandy for stealing the job she wanted. It can take people years to plan this sort of thing. She may even live locally and that was why she wasn't keen on doing last minute jobs. You coming to the music festival, she knew you'd bring Mandy with you, the filming was a bonus."

"I never thought of that. Did my agency get back to you?" Rose asked him, trying not to reach over to kiss him.

"There was only one person in the office, being Saturday. She didn't sound too hopeful of getting the information, so Miller said. We won't hear back until Monday now. Forensics are still working on Mandy's scarf and her phone plus her clothing. Rose, you said she had a lot of outfits like yours, what were you wearing the other day when you were filming?"

"You never noticed when you passed us?" Rose teased him.

"That's not fair Rose, we were there to see the unit manager, not to spy on what you were wearing."

"A blue floral top and blue jeans, we'd just rehearsed then went for the take. Sometimes we film on location and a studio but this was gonna be all on location. We filmed the bit where I was about to wander onto the beach, Mandy was in the distance but don't ask me how they merge it all."

"I don't expect they would tell you anyway?" Alec smiled, making a note of what she was telling him. "So Mandy was wearing exactly the same outfit?"

"Yeah, the idea was I walked onto the beach, then as I got towards Mandy, they would merge us into one. We only get told when we turn up for filming what we're doing and we were a bit late in starting, the sun had gone in a bit so they were just getting background shots of the beach and the cliffs. I wonder if they got your cottage in?" Rose smiled.

"I hope not," Alec smiled back, putting his notebook and pen away, reminding Rose of the Doctor putting his sonic screwdriver away. "Now we have informed Mandy's mother, we are going to release it to the press. I have told her we will only give the minimum information and that the investigation is ongoing. We are going to have reporters back in the town so be careful eh?"

"Yeah, I've no double now," Rose replied sadly.

Alec put his arm around her shoulder, not bothering the door wasn't entirely covered. He wondered whose bright idea that was to have a glass door.

"Sorry love. Let me get finished then we will go shopping."

"Yeah, nothing like a bit of retail therapy," Rose managed to smile as he got up. "Mind if I get another drink first?"

"No, go ahead or ask DC Harford to make you one," Alec joked.

Rose pulled a face. "I can make my own, thanks."

Just as she went out, Alec's mobile rang, it being the coroner's office. He ended the call after listening and called for Ellie.

"Rose seems a bit better," Ellie commented as she sat opposite him.

Rose had seen Ellie go in so she just sipped her coffee and leaned against the counter.

"Miller, the coroner thankfully says there was no sign of any abuse so we can safely rule out a male attacker for that reason. I think we should stick to it being a rival, for now. The coroner also said it had to be someone of the same height or slightly taller so when the agency get back to you, we can rule anyone out who was smaller than her."

"You seem to forget that Rose would only have employed someone of the same height," Ellie reminded him.

Alec pulled one of his faces that said she didn't have to be such a smart-arse.

"Maybe so then? Mandy must have known someone was approaching her, why did she not run away or fight whoever it was off and was she standing or sat on the beach?" he asked.

Ellie thought he would never change, never giving anyone chance to reply.

"Well that would rule out if someone was taller than her or not," Ellie replied, since he'd stopped.

"I was saying to Rose that we could be dealing with someone local. She said one applicant was reluctant to fill in at the last minute, meaning she maybe never lived in London."

"You would have thought anyone would jump at the chance," Ellie replied.

"Exactly Miller. If we can get photos of those who applied, Rose will hopefully recognise the one who lost out to Mandy. Right, I'm away, Rose wants to go to the supermarket with me, it will take her mind off things."

"Is it wise going locally?" Ellie asked.

"I'll take her to the other one down in Dorchester then? She just wants to do normal things."

"I bet she does. I hope you behaved yourself last night?"

"What's that supposed to mean?" Alec asked her, reaching for his jacket.

"You two getting cosy in that cottage of yours, what do you think?" Ellie grinned. "Oh, when are we giving a press conference? I'm going to release the details shortly."

"Arrange it for tomorrow night, I'll ask Rose if she wants to attend. Is there anywhere we can hold it?" he asked, since he'd only ever done them at the school.

"I'll see what I can do," Ellie replied, getting up and wondering why Rose hadn't followed her in.

Rose had figured they may want to talk about her or what they were going to do once they got what they needed from the agency. She just hoped they still had all the details but if the one she suspected was still in the town, how did she expect to hide?

Ellie startled her. "You can go in now," she smiled as Rose looked at her.

"Oh, yeah, I was miles away," Rose smiled back.

"Rose, were you okay last night?" Ellie asked, trying to be quiet.

"Yeah, fine. Don't you get on with him or something?"

"We used to fight like cat and dog but since we solved his old case together, we got on better. It got to him, a few months back about that assault so that's why he's being a bit over-protective of you. He even told his daughter to stay were she is for now, he was worried about her before."

"He said she knew I was in town, she guessed, since I'm at the music festival. I hope I can still attend or I'll have to let them know."

"Let's see what happens? There's still plenty of time," Ellie replied.

"I told Alec I don't think I can go ahead with the video, not now anyway. It won't be ready in time for my new single being released anyway and how can I do it without Mandy?"

Ellie touched her arm. "You'll get through Rose, Mandy couldn't have hoped to have a better friend than you were to her."

"Ready to go?" Alec asked from behind Ellie, handing her jacket and shoulder bag to her.

"Yeah, sorry. See ya later Ellie."

After their shopping trip down to the next town, Rose wanted to sit outside for a while after they'd called for some food on the way back.

"You should be okay," Alec assured her. "Want to go for a walk?"

"No, not if that statement's gone out," Rose smiled, taking his hand.

"I'm calling a press conference tomorrow night, you don't have to attend if you don't want to," he told her.

"I want to. Alec, if who we think killed Mandy is still in town, it might get her annoyed enough to make a mistake."

"I'm not risking it Rose, someone will be with you all the time though maybe she got what she wanted?" he asked. "We just don't know yet."

"Yeah, she might want you to think it was only about getting Mandy out of the way then go after me?"

He went to put his arms around her. "Maybe not? Rose, if she's also a fan, she may have thought Mandy wasn't doing you justice by being your double? We can't be sure."

Rose buried her head in his shoulder.

"Great. I can't win, can I?"

"We'll know better when we make an appeal if anyone saw Mandy on the beach that morning and when we hear back from your agency. We'd best hope they kept those photos and details."

"So can one of my friends come down?" she asked as he kissed her forehead.

"Will it make you feel better?"

"Yeah and my mum will stop nagging that I've been left down here on my own," Rose smiled.

"You are not on your own Rose, don't think that. Did you tell her I am looking after you personally?" he asked.

"Yeah, I think that was half the problem," Rose teased him.

As it got late and Rose was staring out of the window at the lights below, he asked if she was sleeping in Daisy's room.

"Aren't I invited to stay with you again?"

"Yes, if you want but I had to give you a choice, did I not?" he replied. "Rose, the kisses were nice but this can't go anywhere."

"What? You think I'm using you because I'm upset?" she asked, trying to get away. "Or is it because of who I am and you think as soon as I get the chance I'll leave? I told you Alec, I don't think I want to be famous any more, not like that. You want to know why I became a singer?"

"I've read your story Rose. I had to know everything about you to see why someone would go after you like that but I suspect that's not all, is it?"

"You have no idea Alec. I don't want it any more, this is gonna be my last single, I'm gonna tell my agency on Monday. Can I do the music festival? That way I can make the announcement."

Alec couldn't help but admire her, telling her fans herself without the media doing it for her but how would she cope at the press conference about her friend?

"Come back here Rose, if you say you are giving it all up, that's good enough for me but you have to see it from my point of view?" he asked. "If you want to make something of it, well I want to but I can't go for anything short term, that's just how it is."

"I get tired of men trying to get me to date them when they just want to brag about it. It's been a long time since I had anyone who wanted to be serious," she admitted.

"I can imagine. When I was ill a few years ago, I used to get turned down and when I got well, I'd just got used to being on my own, I had to put Daisy first."

"She's lucky to have you. When is she coming back?"

"For the music festival?" he smiled, going to kiss her. "Maybe you can help me get her a backstage pass?"

"You'd better not be getting friendly with me just for that Alec."

"I would never dream of it. Now, are we sharing again?"

It went better than Alec dared hope as she relaxed more once he took his t-shirt off, since she'd left the heating turned up. He was finally being able to test how good a job had been done by the surgeon who had inserted his pacemaker but he couldn't help think if it was going to suddenly fail, he would rather it be by having sex with Rose Tyler than dying chasing a suspect.

When Rose woke the next morning, Alec wasn't there, he was making some breakfast and putting it on a tray just after eight and hoped he'd made her coffee how she liked it since she'd only bought it yesterday. He opened the bedroom door carefully, still in his shorts and a t-shirt and Rose sat up in bed.

"Good morning, Miss Tyler. So how is the princess of pop music this morning?"

"I don't hold that title, some Australian singer going by the name of Kylie beat me to it," Rose smiled as he handed her the coffee.

"Then that is a real shame, I will have to give you another name then?" he replied. "I will just go get my tray, I should get one that has room for two lots. Give me a kiss first though."

Rose put her coffee down as he leaned over.

"You were amazing last night Alec, I can't remember the last time I felt like that. Were you really that bad when you were ill?"

"Yes but I exaggerated slightly, only one turned me down, the hotel owner where I was at the time. She was Australian as well."

"Sure it wasn't Kylie?" Rose smiled.

"You are teasing me love. I will be right back, get your toast before it goes cold although you left the heating on full again."

"I'm surprised this place even has any. Why build a cottage up here?"

"I believe back when the town was new, well this part of the town, there used to be a golf clubhouse up here. There is a golf club nearby so from the top, they would have come down to it. I expect this was built to replace it."

"Thanks for the history lesson, Professor Hardy," Rose laughed.

"Right, you are in trouble when I get back."

Chapter 5

After Alec pretended he was going to get her back for that remark, he drove them up to the next town where he thought Rose would relax more and over lunch, he asked if she wanted to go to the press conference, since Ellie had persuaded the school to open the hall up for them yet again. Ellie had remarked to him they may as well just give her a key.

"You need not be there," Alec reminded Rose.

"I owe it to Mandy, she didn't deserve that, she never hurt anyone. Maybe I should announce I'm retiring or whatever they call it?"

"You were going to do that at the music festival, remember?" Alec asked her. "Maybe you would be best making your appearances and tell everyone on your last day?"

"Yeah. Shame you're not my agent," Rose smiled.

"So you have no manager as such?" Alec wanted to know.

"I wanted to be independent, they're aren't that many agencies who treat you independently. My stepfather didn't want anyone taking advantage of who I already was and if it's good enough for a certain Scottish actor I used to fancy before he got married, not that I've gone off him entirely," she teased him.

"There is nothing wrong with liking someone just as long as you do nothing about it. Half the entertainers and actors would be nobody if fans dropped them when they got married or had a girlfriend," Alec told her, remembering a suspect in the sexual abuse case a few months back who had 5000 or so photos of the victim.

"Yeah. In case ya were wondering, that's not why I don't have a boyfriend Alec," Rose replied.

"I never said anything love," he smiled, going to help her up. "If you want to attend the press conference, leave the talking to me and just indicate if you want to say anything."

"Are you giving all the details?" she asked as they went outside.

"Just what the public need to know, then if whoever is responsible is watching, if you were the intended victim, they will know they failed."

"Geez Alec, then they'll try again, with me," Rose replied.

"Nothing will happen, I promise. Someone will be with you all the time," he tried to assure her. "Why don't we look around some of the shops then go back and you have a rest?"

"Yeah, I suppose I can manage some shopping?" Rose smiled.

"I thought you would," he smiled back, squeezing her hand.

He called Ellie when he got back to make sure everything was ready as Rose went to get changed.

"How's she doing?" Ellie wanted to know.

"She's coping, we had a few hours up in Lyme, she managed to drag herself around the shops," he replied. "She might have money but she likes a bargain."

"Don't we all?" Ellie laughed. "Everything will be ready, the chief will meet us at the school. The question is, are we ready to draw the killer out? I mean we have to be ready for whoever it is to make another move."

"You think I am going to leave her alone long enough?" Alec asked her.

"I didn't mean that but aren't you taking it a bit personally?" Ellie replied.

"She's agreed to whatever it takes," Alec told her.

"Does that include you making her your girlfriend?" she asked. "Oh, she has?" Ellie confirmed as he was guilty by his silence.

"It's no-ones business what our arrangements are Miller. She's a big girl, she is free to choose to be my girlfriend or not."

"What about when she leaves?" Ellie pointed out.

"She may not, well not permanently anyway. She will be making an announcement at the music festival, she doesn't want to continue now she's lost her friend."

"It seems to have affected her a lot then?" Ellie asked him. "She'll be letting a lot of fans down."

"Just because she's giving up doesn't mean she'll be any less popular Miller," Alec reminded her. "Her leaving the music business, her downloads and CDs will still sell and she'll get the royalties, not that she does it for the money."

"I don't expect she does?" Ellie replied. "Has she told you what made her become a singer?"

"Read her biography Miller," Alec told her.

"Well she's not made you any less grumpy, has she?" Ellie huffed. "Fine, don't tell me then and don't go moaning to me when she leaves and doesn't come back either."

"If she leaves, it's up to her if she comes back Miller," Alec replied.

"Admit it, you'll be upset if she doesn't come back."

Alec wasn't going to admit anything, not to Ellie Miller anyway and he and Rose hadn't even discussed she'd suddenly become his girlfriend, well if she wanted to be, he wasn't going to object but who was he fooling?

"Leave it Miller, we'll see you at the school. I expect someone will be covering the story for the local paper?"

"It's been swallowed up by the parent company, you know Maggie's gone out on her own," Ellie replied.

"Can't say I blame her. I'd best go check on Rose, she still might change her mind about being there later," Alec told her.

"Hardy, don't you go messing her around," Ellie warned him. "Remember who else she is."

"I know who else she is Miller, she's scared the killer's still out there waiting for another chance. It's up to us to protect her but I may let her send for her friend, since she and Harford don't get on."

"Katie was just nervous, that's all," Ellie told him.

"Since when did you stick up for her?" Alec wondered.

"You're such an ass sometimes, see you at the school," was all Ellie replied.

Alec just thought good, he could still get her annoyed when he wanted to. He wondered what was taking Rose so long, it was after four and he wanted to tell her what to expect when they got there. He supposed she was used to the press but she'd never been involved in a murder investigation before, well one where she was the intended target anyway but was she?

They were no nearer finding out if Mandy had been mistaken for Rose or not and no nearer determining if the killer had left town and had just been jealous and wanted Mandy out of the way. He went to knock on what had become their bedroom door and when Rose didn't answer, he opened the door to see her lying on the bed, still not changed from her jeans and t-shirt she'd gone out in earlier.

He sat on the bed and leaned over to kiss her cheek, making her stir.

"Hey sweetheart, you fell asleep," he smiled as she opened one eye.

"Hey, sorry. I should maybe get changed?" she smiled back at him, touching his cheek.

"Are you hinting I should get rid of this? It's considerably shorter than it used to be," he teased her.

"No, I like it. Alec, I was thinking. Maybe it wouldn't be a good idea to let people know we're together?"

"Yes, it is. It may get the killer to make a mistake. Think about it Rose, it could have been a man who is obsessive of you and saw the chance. Have you met with any fans recently? Anyone sent or asked for an autograph?"

Rose shook her head and Alec put his arms around her.

"Alec, it could be a man or a woman, we already thought someone was after Mandy's job and if we get those photos tomorrow, I should be able to identify the one who lost out to Mandy."

"Yes, I know but we could be wrong about it. Do you read all your fan mail or does someone do it for you?"

"Someone sorts it into signed photo requests and if there's a name, they wait for me calling in 'cos there's a pile of photos I already signed that go out. Then I get mail asking me to attend charity events and personal appearances but for such as TV appearances, concerts and festivals, the agency have a calendar and then let me know. Sometimes fans just want to say they enjoy my music."

"Rose, if you give it all up, you will still get asked for autographs and to events. The press will want to know what made you decide to give it all up, it won't die down that easily."

"I know that Alec but I have to make a start. If I stop making records, I won't get asked to any more festivals or onto talk shows and asked to sing. People will still hear my songs on the radio and watch the videos."

"Maybe except this one?" he asked. "What are you going to do about it?"

"Call them tomorrow and send the rest of them home, most will have gone anyway. I don't know why we couldn't have waited until Monday."

"I'm sure they planned it for the festival, to allow for any delays, they were not to know what would happen," he told her. "Best get changed love, I'll go make a drink. Miller called to say everything was arranged."

"You could have left it until tomorrow, why do it today?" she asked him.

"We have a lot to do tomorrow and by doing it tonight, we could get a lot more information. Someone may have seen her leaving the hotel early that morning."

"I suppose so?" Rose agreed as Alec tried to get her to let go of him. "How did this happen so fast?"

"How did what happen so fast?" he teased her as he left the bedroom.

When he returned with two drinks, she still hadn't got changed.

"Us spending the weekend together?" she replied, seeing the smile on his face as he handed the drink to her. "Okay, we keep it quiet for now but there are bound to be reporters speculating."

"Well we could give it to the local reporter, she only does it online now, she will be fair."

"Yeah, if she's there tonight, then ask her. Alec, you have guessed I want to stay here with you?"

"Are you sure that's what you really want Rose? What about all the interviews and other things you'll be asked to do?"

"Then they'll have to video call me, won't they?" she replied.

"Rose, don't be too hasty, once the music festival is out of the way, you still have your new single to launch, remember?"

"Yeah and I'll have to go back for that but you could come with me?"

"You don't need me Rose, you go do what you have to do," Alec told her.

"What? Alec, what if you've not found Mandy's killer by the time the festival is over? I have a deadline to launch my new single, I'm revealing it on a famous talk show. Come with me Alec, I didn't spend the weekend with you to just go off. Hang on, is that what ya thought? You thought it was because I was upset about Mandy and scared the killer was still after me?"

Alec knew it was a mistake. She had been upset, he had comforted her but surely that was all? Why had he opened his big mouth to Miller and say Rose wanted to be his girlfriend? Rose was staring at him.

"Come on Rose, we have to get to the press conference, unless you want me to send for your favourite DC to look after you while I go?" he asked.

"Fine, I'll get changed then, if you'll excuse me?" Rose huffed.

He knew he'd done it now, she wouldn't speak to him again, let alone have sex with him again. Why did he keep doing that to himself? Maybe Miller had been right to question him looking after her.

"You can send for your friend tomorrow if you want?" he offered as Rose was choosing an outfit.

"Is that what you think I want Alec?" she asked, choosing a blue jersey dress.

"You asked the other day," he replied as she unzipped her jeans.

"You don't get it do ya?" she asked, taking her t-shirt off. "Yeah, I wanted Jake or Mickey here but I trusted you to keep me safe Alec, I didn't feel a need to insist one of them came down."

"You did? I mean you think I can keep you safe?"

"Yes, you plum," she replied, lifting the dress over her head. "I am trusting you and if the killer's not caught by the time I do the music festival, I'll ask Jake to come down, you'll get on better with him than Mickey, he might scowl at you a bit, we used to go out."

"Oh. Did you mention that before?" he asked as Rose turned around for him to fasten the dress zip.

She went back to the drawer and got a white leather belt out, which Alec thought probably cost the same as the dress, since it had a large diamanté buckle on it.

"I don't remember, I was a bit upset. If I ask Jake to come down, I don't expect him to stay all night. I know you have other things to do. Alec, I'm trying to say I want to stay here, the rest of the week with you and go to the station with you and help in any way I can to find Mandy's killer. If ya think we got carried away, I can move back into the other room, I mean if ya think I'm just leading you on."

"Rose, I don't know what I think. You are young, you are famous and yet you are here, halfway up the cliff in a rental cottage."

"I used to live on a council estate Alec, my mum had to scrape by until she met Pete Tyler. You're a bit slow, to say you're a detective."

"I am? I mean, oh hell Rose, you know what I mean?" he asked as she took her other pair of shoes from the bottom of the wardrobe.

"Yes you plum, I know what ya mean. I'm not leading you on, when I go promote my new single, which now will be minus a video but my fans will live, I want to come back here and live in a cottage halfway up the cliff, with you but only if your daughter agrees."

"Are you kidding Rose?" he asked as he held one of her arms while she put her shoes on.

"Well she could be like Katie, all star-struck," Rose smiled.

"I very much doubt it, I'm surprised you never found photos and posters of yourself in her room," he replied as he caught her other arm and pulled her closer.

"I'm sure she has them stashed away somewhere? I'm sorry Alec, I never meant for it to sound like I was just using you but I've made my mind up to come back here, if you want me to?"

"Yes, I want you to but you can't blame me Rose, for thinking why would you want to come back here and stay with me?"

"Alec, I lost someone, a long time ago, the last place we saw each other was by the sea. I have to know that if I met another man, he wouldn't do the same."

"Who did you lose Rose?" he asked, pushing her hair back. "Who could ever leave you?"

"You were going to or at least you thought I was leaving you. It doesn't matter, it was a long time ago Alec. I want you to go back with me, bring Daisy if you have to but after the press conference, we tell that reporter you know that we're together and she can break the story."

"You really want that?" he asked, not being able to be mad at her and going to kiss her neck.

"Yes, I've not been in the papers for a long time for having a boyfriend and even then, they were only that, just someone to keep up appearances. I love you, Alec Hardy."

She reached up to kiss him but he stopped her.

"Rose, are you sure?" he asked.

"What do ya think all that me coming back was about?" she laughed.

"Well, how was I to know? Rose, it's been a long time since anyone was interested in me. My ex wife led me on that she may want to make up but when I got back, it was just an act. Daisy got herself into some trouble, that's why I came back here so I never allowed myself to get distracted."

"Oh, so she might object then?" Rose asked.

"No, somehow I don't think she will," he replied, going to kiss her but she stopped him.

"Because of who I am?"

"No, she always talked about you before you became a singer, you know what young girls are like. When you were in the magazines when you became the Vitex heiress, she and her friends used to envy you."

"That's just as bad Alec," Rose smiled.

"Not quite. Why don't I get her to come back early, then she can meet you, say Wednesday? That will give us a few days to try and catch who killed your friend? Rose, what if they weren't after you as a singer?"

"What? You mean they're jealous of me being the Vitex heiress? What for?" Rose asked him, wishing he'd just kiss her and return the sentiment that she'd just told him she loved him.

"Think about it Rose. You became a successful singer because everyone already knew who you were."

"Yeah but that woman who wanted Mandy's job, maybe she started getting jealous before I became a singer? It could still be her Alec."

"Maybe so. Wait and look at the photos tomorrow. We should be going soon, to get you inside the school before the vultures gather and yes, I heard what you said and I'm sorry I questioned it. You are something else Rose, I don't deserve you. If you had wanted to leave on your own, I wouldn't have stopped you but you would have broken my heart, that's only just got mended after I was ill."

"You went through that all on your own Alec, that took some bravery."

"No, it was determination to catch another killer after I failed before."

"You got them though Alec, even if the other one got off. What happened to him?"

"He got run out of town. I heard Mark Latimer went after him but couldn't bring himself to do anything so he left town as well. Danny was not the only one Joe Miller killed that night, he split families, set people against each other who drove an innocent man to take his own life and left his own sons without a father. He was told if he came back, he'd get the same as the boy he killed."

He recalled Ellie admitting what went on when they'd driven her ex husband out of town or was he her ex? She'd never admitted if she'd got divorced or not and she'd never tell him anyway.

"The town's recovering though?" Rose asked, going for his shirt collar.

"Very slowly. Maybe you being at the music festival will cheer them up?"

"Well, I'll do a song and dedicate it to the town and Danny then?" she suggested.

"I just bet you will. We should get going."

"Yeah, I'm used to dodging reporters but I got too dependant on Mandy. So ya think she wasn't the target after all?"

Alec didn't like what he'd just told her about.

"Well it could be the same person we suspect but for other reasons? Who would be jealous of you being adopted by Pete Tyler? I mean besides those who would love to swap places with you?"

"Maybe someone who already knew Pete?" Rose suggested as she went for her white jacket, then changed her mind and got the black one.

"Then maybe I should talk to him tomorrow? If it's someone from before you knew him?"

"Alec, I have a confession to make," she told him as he opened the kitchen door.

"What's that love?" he asked, stopping and leaning down to kiss her, for the whole town to see, if they were looking up at the cottage.

"Alec, before my mum met him, me and that friend I lost, we met Pete three years before."

"You did? How did you meet him Rose?' he asked as he locked the door.

"We gate-crashed a party for his first wife's fortieth birthday, the night the Cybermen invaded."

Now all she had to do was try to remember the version Pete and Jake had come up with, in case she ever had to admit it, which so far she hadn't but she was falling in love with Alec and she knew it.

"You were caught up in that? Why did you go? You could have been killed."

"Well we didn't know that when we posed as the serving staff to get in," Rose admitted, trying to keep up with him going down the steps.

They got to the bottom and he turned to help her down the last steps.

"Rose, you must have seen the president get killed? How old were you?"

"Old enough and yeah, it wasn't a pretty sight. Let's get this press conference out of the way, then I'll tell ya all about it and trust me, I don't usually tell anyone."

"Then I look forward to it love and you look really nice. Maybe we can go out to dinner afterwards?"

"I'd love to. So, let's get it over with then?"

Chapter 6

Alec had to shield her from the press, with some help from Ellie on the other side of her. Ellie had seen the crowd gathering outside the school and figured her boss would need some help. As they reached the safety of the school hall entrance, uniformed officers were holding the press back so Rose could be briefed by the chief and given time to take her seat between Alec and Ellie.

"Miss Tyler, this way," the chief indicated from the doorway.

Rose took Alec's arm and he led her to the few steps onto the stage, Ellie just behind but the chief held her back.

"What's going on between those two?" the chief asked her as Alec was seating Rose.

"Sorry Ma'am, I thought you knew she was staying with him?" Ellie asked.

"I was away, remember?" the chief replied. "I expect it was his idea?"

"I'm afraid so, he said it wasn't a good idea she stayed with me, not just because I don't really have the room but with a teenage boy in the house. She needs a friend right now," Ellie told her.

"So, you'll have to bring me up to speed in the morning then," the chief suggested.

Well Ellie hoped it was a suggestion as they joined Rose and Alec at the table that had been set up for them.

"Miss Tyler, I'm CS Clark, I'm sorry I wasn't here when you were taken to the station for your own safety. I hope my two top detectives have been looking after you?" she asked Rose.

"Yeah, thanks. Can I just let DI Hardy do all the talking?" Rose replied.

"Yes, of course, whatever you feel the most comfortable with. You need not have attended in person though," the chief told her, glancing at Alec.

Rose felt like saying she'd rather be there than have Katie watching her again. She was sure the young DC hadn't had much experience, given her flippant remarks about the lift being ancient in the police station.

"Miss Tyler insisted she came here," Alec replied for her.

"You are looking after her personally, so I've just been informed," the chief stated, well to Alec it didn't seem like a question.

"I thought it the safest place for her, considering I live halfway up a cliff and my daughter is away. Do you want to read through the statement I will make on Miss Tyler's behalf?" he asked.

"No, I'm sure it will be suitable. Miss Tyler, I hope you're ready for this, once we let the press in?"

"I'm used to being in the news," Rose replied. "Just not being in it because someone I cared about dies in my place."

"Do we know yet if Miss Tyler was the intended target?" the chief asked Alec.

"Not yet but we have several leads where we are awaiting more information, one being it could be someone who lost out on the job of being Miss Tyler's stand-in," Alec replied.

"I see. Well, let's get started with this press conference then?" the chief suggested, calling an officer over.

As everyone was let in, mostly the press but Alec suspected other interested parties had sneaked in under different guises, Rose blinked at the camera flashes even though she was used to them. She felt for Alec's hand behind the table, him giving it a quick squeeze for reassurance.

The chief got up to say Alec was conducting the proceedings and sat down. Rose couldn't help admire who had suddenly become her lover and boyfriend in just a few days as he spoke clearly, recalling the events of the fateful day her friend had been found yards away from where she was now staying with him.

"I will now take questions on Miss Tyler's behalf," Alec finished as he put his notes down, Rose wondering how he'd had time to write them, then wondering if Ellie had done them and handed them to him while she'd not been watching.

Rose sat and listened as he answered questions about where she was currently staying and Alec refusing to answer.

"That is of no concern to anyone. Miss Tyler needs her privacy, she is somewhere safe and is being given 24 hour protection."

He suddenly got a shock when someone had the nerve to ask if he was doing the watching. The chief answered for him.

"That is not relevant," the chief replied angrily as everyone began talking. "We have several officers watching Miss Tyler."

Alec wondered where that had come from and wondered if Harford had taken it personally he'd picked on her to watch Rose the other day.

"Is Miss Tyler staying for the music festival?" someone asked.

"That is yet to be determined," Alec replied, finding his stride again.

It wasn't often he got surprised by a question but he really hadn't wanted to answer it.

"All being well, she will still be able to attend. We are investigating several leads and hopefully, whoever killed her friend will be apprehended before then."

He was then asked if they had any suspects.

"We can't reveal any information at this time, we cannot risk putting Miss Tyler in any more danger. We are working on the assumption Miss Tyler may have been the intended target although this is not a hundred percent certain. It could also be that Miss Smith attracted some jealousy amongst fans who wanted to get close to Miss Tyler," he replied, not wanting to say a jealous rival in the doubles business.

"DI Hardy will take one more question," the chief decided, since nothing really useful had been asked so far.

He recognised Maggie Radcliff, the former editor of the local paper which had been swallowed up into a larger area.

"DI Hardy, Miss Tyler is rumoured to have come to the town to make a video, is that true? If so, will she continue?" Maggie asked.

Alec figured Rose had already been seen on the beach with a film crew, even his daughter had worked it out since Rose's new single would soon be released.

"That was partly her reason for being in the town," Alec had to admit. "Her agency may have seen the opportunity since Miss Tyler was making an appearance at the music festival next weekend."

"So she could have made her video anywhere then?" Maggie asked, getting a smile from Rose as she was sure her agency had chosen the town because it killed two birds with one stone and made use of the fact.

She just hadn't expected it to end in the tragedy of her friend's death.

"Miss Tyler has not specified the location of her new video had been chosen for that reason," Alec replied, since Rose had not given him all the details.

"Can I answer that?" Rose spoke up.

That got everyone's attention as they were messing with their cameras and phones, Alec thinking they were twittering all the answers as he spoke. Daisy still laughed he'd not joined the popular social media site, him stating the whole world didn't have to know every time he had a question to ask her or what he was doing. It hadn't stopped him getting any local alerts though.

"This has been a very upsetting time for me," Rose continued. "I don't know if we had not chosen Broadchurch as the filming location if my friend would still be alive or not and I'm not blaming my agency for combining the two events to save me travelling. All I know is I lost a very good friend for no reason than someone either being jealous of her or me. I'm still going to attend the music festival as I'm going to be making an announcement to my fans and also as a tribute to my best friend."

Alec noticed Rose reaching for the customary glass of water that was in front of each of them and pushed it nearer to her, seeing she was close to tears.

"No more questions," Alec insisted as the reporters continued to call Rose's name to get her attention. "Miss Tyler's statement will be made available to your agencies shortly."

He indicated for Rose to get up and took her to the side of the stage until the hall had been cleared, Ellie joining them as Rose leaned into him, Ellie hoping the chief didn't follow her.

"You didn't have to say anything," Alec reminded her, resting his chin on her head.

"I know but I won't have the press putting the blame on anyone. Mandy agreed with the idea, to save time when I said it was a good idea," she admitted.

"Rose, you can't blame yourself either," he told her as he let her go when he heard the chief's voice at the other side of the curtain.

"It's safe for Miss Tyler to leave now," the chief told Ellie. "Miss Tyler, can you be in my office at some point tomorrow morning?"

Rose nodded her agreement, wanting Alec to put his arms around her again but thought the chief may not approve and was going to warn them both it wasn't a good idea. Alec led her down the few steps, hoping there were no stray reporters in the corridor but knowing they would get caught as they went outside so Ellie volunteered to go first.

"Go bring your car nearer," Ellie suggested in the doorway, since a lot of people were still around.

"What do you want me to do, plough through the crowd?" Alec asked sarcastically, making Rose smile as she let go of his arm before she was seen.

"It's fine, I've faced worse," Rose told them, seeing they were going to argue over this.

She ignored her name being called, trying to stare at the ground as Alec took her arm and waved everyone away from her. They reached his car, officers preventing anyone following and Ellie was about to get in hers.

"Are you two eating out?" she asked as Alec opened the front passenger door for Rose.

"Yes, we'll find somewhere quiet, I promised her," he replied as Rose got in, hoping his DS wasn't going to suggest she joined them now she had a ready-made babysitter.

"Fine, don't let me stop you then," Ellie grinned.

"You won't," he told her sarcastically.

"What was that about?" Rose asked as he got in the car beside her, Alec not sure if the press were still taking pictures and would speculate he was taking her protection a bit too seriously.

"Nothing love. Let's go get something to eat, since you got all dressed up?" he suggested as he reversed and half hoping reporters would jump out of the way.

He drove back towards the town and pulled into another pub car park and helped Rose out.

"You were brave speaking up back there," Alec told her, taking her hand as she got out. "I almost thought you were going to make your announcement."

"Not in at press conference about my friend dying Alec," Rose half smiled.

"Sorry love, I never meant it like that," he smiled back as he locked the doors.

"I know you didn't Alec, I was tempted though, to just get it over with but I owe it to my fans and to Mandy not to. Let's just eat and forget about it for now?"

When they got back, it was getting dark and Alec was glad of the lights on the side of the steps. Whatever had come over him agreeing to take the cottage there were thirty-odd steps to? He thought someone should have put better access, it was breaking a lot of health and safety rules not to mention equality rules. He let them in the kitchen door and went to make a drink as Rose stood at the room window.

"It went better than I expected," Rose called out to him as he checked his messages since he'd put his phone on silent before entering the school hall. "So, we have a lot to do tomorrow?" she asked as she went up to him in the kitchen.

He reached his arms out and Rose went to him.

"You have a meeting with the chief, I'm surprised she kept out of it but since you are a guest in our town, I expect she tore herself away from whatever prevented her seeing you the other day."

Rose tried to look up at him. "Maybe she was busy Alec, she is the chief," Rose teased him. "I hope she's not gonna warn me about staying with you?"

"I doubt it, I don't make a habit of protecting famous people. Not that I've met a lot of famous people," he added as he heard the kettle switch off.

"I find that hard to believe," Rose smiled as he made the drinks.

"Well you are my first pop singer," he added, though he couldn't think of anyone famous at present. "I should call Daisy tomorrow, get her to come back on Wednesday, unless you prefer she stays away?" he asked, handing a drink to her.

"No, as long as she doesn't object to us sharing and wants me to stay with her," Rose grinned.

"We'll worry about that when she comes back. I just hope she's not told all her old friends."

"She's a teenager Alec, of course she'll have told her friends," Rose replied.

That was what he was worried about. They got to bed, not being shy around each other and Alec wondered how she managed when she was doing a tour or away promoting her latest single. Then he realised that would be exactly what she'd be doing after this one was released.

"Something wrong?" she asked him as he stopped kissing her cleavage suddenly and looked up.

"Nothing love," he tried to assure her as he moved a strand of her hair to kiss her neck. "You were more than amazing again Rose, what am I going to do when you have to leave eh?"

"Come with me," she replied. "I mean it Alec, I won't be going anywhere again, I don't care about doing all the promotions I usually do, I've no interest in it this time. Tomorrow I break the news to my agents and the publishers, that I'm giving it all up."

"You should reconsider love, you're very good, so Daisy says," he teased.

"You mean you've never heard me singing?" Rose asked, thinking she should be insulted by that.

"I may have heard Daisy playing something but not known who it was. I knew about her being a fan of yours but I had to pretend to everyone I did not know who you were, I have a grumpy disposition to maintain."

Rose giggled. "Yeah? Bet ya were really good at it too?" she teased him.

"I would not want to spoil things love. Tomorrow, we get the photos and hopefully, arrest someone on suspicion of murder, just as long as they did not give your agency a false name?"

"Yeah, I was thinking about that Alec. Someone who wanted to be my double would have wanted everyone to know who she was, if she was obsessive enough. I think she'll have used her own name as an ego booster, I almost gave her the job but I decided on Mandy for a few reasons. Mandy was more willing to do what was needed to start with and I only offered it to the other one because she was almost the same height as me."

"Would height have made a difference if your double was only in the background or distracting the media?" he asked, going back to what he'd been doing as she ruffled his hair.

"Well whoever I chose had to look similar close up but most of the time, Mandy liked to fool everyone, she was very sneaky," Rose recalled.

"Don't get upset talking about her love. Come here, are you tired?" he asked as he moved to one side.

As Rose went to lay on him, she knew she wanted to get the whole sordid business out of the way and lock her friend's killer up then give her last performance and stuff releasing the single. Maybe she should talk her agents into putting it on an album and dedicate it to Mandy?

The only sounds that could be heard were both of them enjoying the sensations they gave each other as Alec called her name, saying he never wanted her to leave. He was missing again the next morning and brought some coffee in for her, touching her cheek then kissing it.

"Hey sweetheart, you have a lot to do today and I have to get to work."

"Mmm, come back to bed Alec," Rose told him sleepily.

"Well only for a kiss," he tormented her.

"Huh? Is that all? Forget it then, being grumpy this morning?" she teased him back.

"Right, don't say I never warned you," he replied, pulling the duvet off her and making her move so he could get under it. "And don't blame me if your coffee goes cold either, Miss Tyler."

Rose squealed as he climbed on her and went for her underwear.

"Shush, do you want the whole town to know you are here?" he asked as she reached for his shorts.

After a rushed breakfast as Rose had detained him longer than he'd intended, they drove across to the station, Alec parking around the back. They got a few stares from the office staff who had seen them on TV last night and speculations were being quashed by poor Ellie when Katie started a rumour the pair of them must already be sleeping together since she'd hardly seen them apart, which had got her a lecture from Ellie again.

"Katie, that was uncalled for," she chewed the young DC out in Alec's office before he'd got there when she asked who had started it and everyone had looked at her.

"Can't anyone do anything for a bit of fun around here?" Katie asked her.

"That is not a bit of fun Katie, it's someone's private life we're talking about, which is why, if you'd bothered to listen to the statement last night you would have heard DI Hardy say Miss Tyler needed her privacy. If he hears about it when he gets here with her, just watch out. Now get back to work, you were lucky he let you back after last time, he wanted you transferred to another team but I said he should give you another chance, since your dad wasn't guilty over anything."

Ellie waited for the DC's smartass remarks but got none.

"Don't make me bring you in here again," Ellie warned Katie as she left.

Alec took Rose to see the chief then leaving her there, said someone would escort her to his office when they were finished. The chief offered Rose a drink and Rose prayed she wouldn't be asked any questions as to if she and Alec were involved. Just when she thought she'd got away with it after the chief asked her about Mandy and what her announcement was going to be, the subject came up.

"Is there something wrong if I'm staying with him?" Rose asked.

"I'm not saying there is but the press were already asking about that last night," the chief reminded her.

"Yeah, thanks for the rescue but where I stay is none of their business, is it? Anyway, I'm announcing I'm giving up, I just wanted to tell my fans personally, not at a police press conference. I have to call my agents and tell them. I don't want to cause anyone else's death by replacing my friend."

"I can understand that Miss Tyler and I'm very sorry your friend died but from what DS Miller told me earlier, she may have been the intended target, not you. Hopefully when you see the photo's she's expecting, we may know who we are dealing with," the chief replied.

"Yeah, I hope so. My stepfather wanted to send one of my friends down but I'm happy with the arrangements, DI Hardy won't leave me on my own and yes, we are involved but it was mutual, he didn't put any pressure on me," Rose told her.

"I've not known him all that long. When he came back, he'd been gone a good while and he'd suddenly asked for his old job back. Seems like you know him better than I do?" the chief smiled.

"I'm not just gonna leave here when this is all over. I'll wind things up and I'm coming back, I'm going to dedicate my last performance to Mandy and the town and I'm telling my publisher's to put my new single on an album."

"You'd let the death of your friend end your career? That's some sacrifice Miss Tyler," the chief told her.

"Well, how can I go on? What if I'm responsible for something else like what happened to Mandy? I have every faith DI Hardy will catch whoever is responsible but what's to stop anyone else?" Rose asked.

"I can see your point Miss Tyler. If you're happy letting him look after you, I can allow him more time to do so," the chief offered.

"I won't stop him from doing his job but if you don't mind, I'd rather stay here than on my own at his place. No disrespect to DC Harford but I'm not happy with her looking after me. I don't know if she's just star-struck or she's just the quiet type but she seemed a bit unhappy with babysitting me," Rose replied.

The chief thought she wasn't the only one who didn't think the young DC would get any further in rank. She had taken Ellie's suggestion that they give Katie the benefit of the doubt over her dad being involved with their last big case and let her back, though she knew Alec had only agreed reluctantly and reckoned Ellie had twisted his arm over it.

"Yes, that's quite alright, if you feel happier here and you do have those photos to look at. Do you think you will recognise the woman?" the chief asked.

"Yeah, it's been a while but I'll know her. That's if she is responsible though, I could be wrong," Rose admitted.

"Well Alec Hardy doesn't seem to think you are or he wouldn't be asking you. I expect they've heard back from your agency, let's hope they still have the photos?"

"Alec thought it could be someone who lives locally, that they saw I was going to be appearing at the music festival and hoped to get me there. Me doing the video here was a bonus," Rose told the chief, dropping the DI Hardy as the chief had just done.

"Yes, there could be something in that I suppose," the chief agreed.

"I told him whoever I turned down for the job wasn't willing to do last minute things for me so that made him suspicious. Mandy got the job instead, she seemed a lot keener."

"Well I'll let you go see the photos though we could be completely wrong about it being a rival applicant for the job as your double but let's hope we're not. I'll just call an officer to escort you upstairs. I hope to talk to you again soon," the chief told her as she picked up her desk phone. "I'll try not to send for DC Harford," the chief smiled as she waited for an answer.

"According to DS Miller, she's a fan, she was probably just nervous," Rose smiled as the chief told the desk sergeant to send someone to her office.

A WPC knocked on the door and Rose got up, Rose recognising her from Saturday so she knew she could be trusted.

"You look nervous Miss Tyler," the chief noted as Rose was leaving.

"Sorry, don't mind me," Rose tried to smile. "It was just something Alec said, about whoever killed Mandy being taller but she could have been sat on the beach when she was strangled, so that puts paid to that I suppose?"

"Forensics are still working on what happened, they should be finished soon," the chief replied. "I was told you wore similar clothes when you were working so why would your friend be wearing a similar scarf when she was out early morning?"

Rose wondered if Alec had thought of that?

Chapter 7

Once back in Alec's office, stopping to get a drink, she asked him about what the chief had mentioned.

"So was she in the habit of wearing the same things when she wasn't working or being your decoy?" Alec asked her.

"You'd best ask her mum but we never even spoke about it," Rose replied. "Still, her mum probably wouldn't know anyway, it's not like Mandy kept a list of what things she had that were like mine and what were hers. Sorry, I shouldn't have mentioned the scarf."

"Don't be sorry Rose, anything is worth mentioning if it helps catch Mandy's killer. You said something about she could have been sitting on the beach, meaning whoever came up behind her need not have been any taller than her?"

"It was just something your chief mentioned, about the scarf. I don't know anymore Alec, it had to be someone who had a grudge against her, for being my double and if I'd never employed her, she'd still be alive."

Alec got up and sat on the sofa beside her.

"Rose, you can't keep blaming yourself. You said she was happy to take the job," he tried to tell her.

"Yeah but maybe if we'd not chosen this location? Do ya still think it's someone local?" she asked.

"Maybe? DS Miller is trying to rush your agents into emailing the photos of those you interviewed for the job. She'll forward them to me when she gets them. There's nothing else you can do for now. Just try to relax love, you've had a shock. Have you spoken to your mum?"

Rose shook her head. "What do I tell her Alec? I'll wait for my stepfather to call, he gets less emotional than she does. He's probably got Jake on stand-by to come down here."

"Then go call him, you can use the office next door. It's up to you if you want your friend to come down," Alec told her.

"Yeah, sorry about what I said before, I'm just upset."

"I know love, forget about it, I am making allowances for you. If your friend comes down though, it will only be to watch you during the day," he smiled.

"Yeah, bit of a waste of time when I could just stay here all day," Rose smiled back, leaning on his arm that was now around her.

"I could get DC Harford to take you shopping," he joked.

"I'd rather not, she might get envious when she sees how much I spend on a pair of shoes," she replied.

"I'm sure you have expensive tastes love, though I would not want to wait outside a shoe shop for you. I'll go check how Miller's getting on about those photos."

"Yeah, okay but we could still be wrong about the one I turned down Alec," she reminded him.

"Well if you pick her out, we can see where she lives. I doubt it will be anyone who lives in London. That's it Rose! It has to be someone local, who has been waiting for you to come to the area and make an appearance. When did you find out about the music festival?"

"A couple of months ago, I don't think the announcement of the artists was announced until recently though," she replied.

"Yes but that could have been enough love? If she's held a grudge all this time, she could have waited. You deciding to do your video here was an added bonus but what if she didn't actually know about that but thought you'd come down early for the festival? You could still be in danger Rose, in the early hours of the morning, Mandy's scarf could have been mistaken for yours. Have you worn it in photos?" he asked her.

Rose suddenly leaned forward, clasping her mouth.

"Geez Alec, she thought it was me then? She wouldn't have known Mandy had arrived with me, she could have thought I'd just decided to take a break?"

"How would she know that love?" he asked, putting his hand on her shoulder. "What did you do when you first arrived, before you went to film?"

"Alec, we just arrived the day before but I went for a walk on the beach instead of unpacking and I was wearing my scarf, I'd forgotten. There was no-one around so I may have been fooling around, we went to the dance studio a few days before we left, Eileen, our choreographer showed us a few moves when we told her what my latest song was. So when I got on the beach, I may have been singing to myself and dancing."

Alec wished he'd known himself – he would have watched her but at that point, he doubted she'd known he existed.

"I think it was merely by chance she saw you that day and could not resist," Alec replied, trying to get her to sit back. "I'm sorry love, I think you are right about who it is and when we find out she lives fairly locally, we can bring her in for questioning. She will know by now she got the wrong person, maybe if you'd continued filming, she may have applied for the job?"

"How could she have known Mandy was even here, let alone I was filming?" Rose asked.

"Maybe when she saw you the day before, she began to follow you? Once she knew you were in the town, she would have been watching out for you and saw the film crew?"

"Yeah but she'd have seen Mandy, wouldn't she?" Rose replied.

"Yes but she would not have known Mandy had a scarf like yours, would she?" he asked.

"Well I told her I expected her to wear some of the same clothes. Hang on, I never mentioned about accessories though, it was just Mandy thought it was a good idea when she was being my decoy so when I needed her, I'd send a photo of what I was wearing, like a scarf or a belt. When I got something new, I'd send a photo to her, it was up to her if she got it or something similar. Take the scarf for instance, I told her where I got it but the chances of it being exactly the same were pretty slim. So if I was going to need her, I'd ask if she had what I was gonna wear."

"You women love being complicated," Alec joked, hoping she wouldn't retaliate.

There was a tap on the door and Ellie entered, smiling at them as they remained on the sofa.

"The photos have just come through, with the addresses. One of the women lives in Dorchester," she told them. "She could easily get here if she had a car."

"Rose was just saying she may have been observed the day she arrived, she went for a walk and was singing her new song to herself and maybe dancing," Alec told Ellie, who saw Rose blushing.

"The woman got lucky then, she must have been here by chance?" Ellie suggested.

"That or she hoped Rose had arrived early for the music festival. Come and take a look at the photos Rose, just to make sure we have the right one, I can't just show you hers."

"Like a sort of digital line-up?" Rose smiled at him as he helped her up.

"Something like that. Let's hope we are right?"

"If we are, she won't know I'm here will she?" Rose asked worriedly.

"We won't tell her where you are Rose," Ellie assured her. "We'll just tell her we were looking at anyone who had been associated with you since your singing career took off and we asked you to verify a few things. We won't tell her you picked her out, if we have the right woman."

Alec allowed Rose to sit in his chair after he opened the folder Ellie had sent him containing the photos and details of each of the women Rose had seen a few years ago. She flicked though each one as Alec had indicated and stopped at the third one.

"That's her Alec. She even had the same hairstyle as me when she came for the interview."

"Are you sure?" he asked, thinking the woman had similar features but wasn't nearly as pretty as Rose was.

He asked Rose to move and opened the attached file with the woman's details. She wasn't employed as anyone's double, she worked as a tele-marketer, Alec remembering it was the same firm as where one of the victim's of the serial offender who had recently been locked up had worked. Ellie had already noticed but didn't say anything in front of Rose.

"Right, come on Miller, let's go pay her a visit at home and if not, we'll go to her place of work though I bet she's taken some time off. I bet that once we revealed she'd missed her intended victim, she's been plotting on how to get to Rose?"

"Yeah but Alec, how did she find Mandy on the beach early that morning?" Rose wanted to know.

"She has a point," Ellie agreed.

"If she was obsessed at getting to Rose, the car park by the hotel is free overnight. No-one would have bothered, loads of people come and take a walk on the pier when it's lit up," Alec replied, not wanting to say he and Rose had been amongst them. "We only have an estimated time of death for Mandy, she may only have been there a short time when she was found. You stay here Rose and call your stepfather, tell him we may have found the person responsible but I'll talk to him when we get back, when we've interviewed the suspect."

After Ellie and Alec set off, Rose made the call to Pete.

"That's good news then?" he asked, thinking it was a bit obvious. "Seems you were right in mentioning it then?"

"Yeah, she lives fairly locally, they've not said where though. Dad, they think I was the intended target and mistook Mandy for me."

"Oh Rose, I'm sorry love but from now on, no more filming or promotions without a minder, a female one if you feel more comfortable," Pete replied.

"Didn't I tell ya? I'm giving it up Dad, I was responsible for Mandy's safety and I let her down. How can I employ someone else?" Rose asked him.

"Rose, if they've got the person responsible, you're safe now," Pete reminded her. "Don't give up love?"

"I'm sorry Dad, I can't forget it. It was my fault, if that person hadn't noticed Mandy was wearing almost the same scarf, she would have probably backed off. I never mentioned to Alec but whoever it was, well she must have been light on her feet to have sprung up behind Mandy but I would have heard something, because I went through basic Torchwood training when I was deciding if I wanted to join or not."

"You didn't tell Alec that bit then?" Pete mused.

"I didn't see any need Dad, I decided to leave, didn't I?" she reminded him. "He said he'd speak to you when they got back and they had interviewed the woman, she lives fairly locally. I can't say who we think it is, he wants to tell you, if we're right."

"I'm sure you are love, if it was someone you interviewed? I'll talk to you later and Rose, it's up to you what you do with your singing career, we can always use you at Torchwood, you and Mickey are the most valuable alien experts we have and you'd be a valued member. You're going to have a lot of disappointed fans though."

"That's why I'm gonna announce it at the music festival. I can't go on now Dad, it's not right and what if there's some other nutter out there?" she asked.

"That was why I suggested a minder love. Still, I know you like your independence. Have you told the agency yet?"

"No, I was talking to the chief then Ellie got the photos sent through. They're not gonna be happy."

"That's why you went independent love, so you had no contracts to get out of. Are you glad I convinced you?" Pete asked her.

"Yeah, well I still have to launch my new release, just without a video this time."

She knew her fans looked forward to seeing it on the music channels and it helped boost sales and got her to the top of the charts and the DJ's always scrambled to be one of the first to play it but since she was announcing she was giving it all up, the song would probably go straight to the top and knock whatever was already there off, which wouldn't go down well with the artist, especially if it was one of her rivals.

"So the music festival will be your last appearance? What about the promotion?" Pete asked her.

"I think it'll take care of itself Dad, don't you?" Rose asked him. "Dad, after the festival, I'm coming back for a few days, I want you and mum to meet Alec. I'm coming back here with him."

"I guessed as much love," Pete admitted. "What does he think about it?"

"He was surprised I'd give it all up for him but I think I've convinced him it's for real. I could always work remotely for Torchwood, it'll give me something to do while Alec's at work."

Pete let out a laugh. "I would have thought you would rather be keeping an eye on your past singles being re-released?"

"I'm gonna see what the record company thinks of putting my latest on an album instead though, that'll get me out of promoting it and appease the fans why there's no video with it. They might agree to put one together and have my latest as the title track? My fans would have to wait a bit longer though."

"I'm sure they'll manage if you tell them you're doing that instead? Right, I'll wait for another call then, hopefully that whoever killed Mandy will be locked up for a long time. What you said though love, she could still have hated the fact Mandy stole the job from under her nose and gone ahead? Maybe Alec realised that?"

"Yeah, he must have, when we realised who it could have been. I wonder if they caught up with her?"

Ellie and Alec had arrived at the home of Mandy's rival and a woman with brown hair answered the door. They both showed their ID.

"Miss Bridges? We're from Wessex police, we have a few questions to ask you regarding Rose Tyler," Ellie told the woman, hoping they had the right person.

Alec was wondering why she'd dyed her hair if she was such a big fan of Rose's.

"Why would you be asking me questions about Rose Tyler?" the woman wanted to know.

Ellie had printed a copy of the woman's promotional photo.

"Does this ring a bell?" Alec asked her, seeing the look on her face.

"So you have a photo of me when I was blonde?" the woman replied, still not letting them in despite seeing a marked police car opposite. "What has that got to do with her?"

"You went for a job as her double a few years ago," Ellie reminded her. "Maybe we should talk about this inside, or do you prefer to be cautioned and we'll do it at the station?"

Alec had to hide a smile, she was a lot tougher now than she'd been a few years ago after her husband was arrested.

They were invited in, Alec doing his usual 'thing' of looking around but seeing no photos of Rose but it didn't mean there were non elsewhere.

"So, I auditioned as her double, so did a lot of others," Alana replied.

"Yes, you were almost selected but a few things held you back, according to Miss Tyler," Ellie reminded her.

"Hang on, is this to do with her double being killed?" Ellie was asked but she was looking at both of them.

"You had reason to be jealous of Miss Smith did you not?" Alec asked her.

"Yes, I was jealous when I didn't get the job. It put me off applying elsewhere, it was disappointing."

"Enough to want to cause her or Miss Tyler harm?" Alec asked, wondering now if she'd not actually intended to kill either Mandy or Rose but put them out of action.

He did wonder though if she wanted to take Mandy's place, why had she since dyed her hair, unless that was her natural colour?

"Are you a natural brunette Miss Bridges?" Alec asked, seeing Ellie glance at him.

"What? Oh, you want to know if I dyed my hair blonde to look like Rose Tyler's? The answer is yes, I wouldn't have been able to be her double otherwise, would I?"

Alec shook his head – women and their hair.

"So when you lost out on the job, you went back?" Ellie asked her, Alec thinking they were going to discuss hair all day.

"You must have been disappointed when you lost out?" Alec asked before she had chance to answer, Ellie thinking some things never changed.

"Yeah, I bet everyone else who applied was disappointed as well, it was a once in a lifetime chance, even if it was in Rose Tyler's shadow."

Alec thought that may have been the problem, not getting any credit for playing the part.

"Is that what made you want the job? Doubling for her but no-one knew who you were? I seriously doubt that," Alec replied.

"What are you getting at?" Alana asked him. "You think I was jealous of both of them? Hold on, you think I killed her double to get revenge?"

"Did you?" Alec asked. "You came very close to getting the job, closer than the others did, they had no reason to go after either of them but you did. Also, none of the others live in the area and Miss Tyler's appearance at the music festival gave you the opportunity to go after her. So which one were you really after? Did you get Mandy Smith instead of Rose Tyler?"

The woman went silent.

"Alana Bridges, I'm arresting you in connection with the death of Mandy Smith. Miller, read her rights to her," Alec continued.

"I want a solicitor," Alana told Ellie as she was handcuffed, Alec having signalled the WPC who had followed them with a male officer to take her out to the car.

"So, who was she really after?" Ellie wondered as they got back in the car after the male uniformed officer had locked the door. "Did she think we wouldn't work out it was her?"

"We wouldn't have done if Rose hadn't mentioned it," Alec insisted, putting the seatbelt on and wondering why he still insisted she drove him around.

Two hours later, Alec had collected Rose from his office and walked her across the road to get a late lunch.

"So it's over then?" Rose asked.

"Yes love, her solicitor advised her to admit to involuntary manslaughter, not that I agree calling it that when two women are involved. Seems she didn't know her own strength and thought Mandy, or rather you was only unconscious, she didn't know until we made the announcement. She was mad at you for turning her down but you already knew that. Then she realised it wasn't you but guessed you'd now be protected and she wouldn't be able to scare you."

"Geez Alec, what if she'd gone after me that first time I was out? Maybe that gave her the idea, something must have snapped. Will I have to appear in court?"

"No love, I spoke with your stepfather before I came to get you, he'll send his solicitor to represent you and he'll also take care of it if Mrs Smith wants to attend. I spoke to the coroner, a funeral director has been instructed to take care of the details and they know to refer to your stepfather. So, you can go home for a few days."

Rose reached for his hand. "I'm staying Alec, I came prepared to go straight to the music festival. I called the agency while I waited for you and they'll tell the record company I'm announcing I'm giving up. They're gonna recommend an album release and put my new single onto it, it should be out in a few weeks and half the proceeds are going to Mandy's mother, Pete's arranging it."

"It will go straight to the top of the album charts love," Alec smiled as their meals arrived.

He thought she might have plenty of money but she was still just the same as everyone else and she didn't mind eating outside.

Rose's next challenge was meeting Alec's teenage daughter when they went to collect her from the coach stop, Alec wondering why she wasn't getting the train but considering it saved her changing trains, thought it was just as well. He was pacing up and down outside the amusement arcade just behind the bus shelter, ten minutes before the coach was due to arrive and Rose had tried her best to get him to sit down on the wall at the side.

"I can't, it reminds me of going across the bridge when I lived in that chalet," he had to admit as he threw his empty carton into a bin.

"Then come and sit in the bus shelter, you're making me nervous," she smiled at him. "What's that empty house there?" she asked, pointing to where the down-sized 'Broadchurch Echo' office that was now empty had been.

"It's not a house as such, it was the newspaper office but it's been swallowed up by the parent group. Why?"

"I was wondering, that's all. Alec, I have something to tell you when Daisy gets here, well while she's unpacking. Pete offered me my old job back, the one I was gonna take up before I got the singing bug."

"What job was that then? Is he looking to open a branch of Vitex in the town," Alec smiled, looking at his watch for the 100th time Rose thought.

Rose dragged him towards the bus shelter, via the green in front of the amusement arcade.

"No, that would be Torchwood," she stopped and whispered to him.

"What? Is that what you did before you became even more famous than you already were?"

"Yeah, alien expert, that's me," she smiled as he helped her down now there was a wall supporting the green patch.

"Seriously?" he asked, raising his eyebrows that made her love him even more. "Why did you leave?"

"Come on Alec, when I found I liked singing better than kicking a few alien butts? It's a specialist job, trying to get those who have ended up here to go home or find somewhere quiet to live."

"You know them personally then?" he joked as he caught a glimpse of a coach.

"I used to, I gave up, remember? I thought maybe I could rent the office and do some work instead of doing it in London. What do ya think?"

"That you would probably do a good job love. There's Daisy," he replied, as his daughter was coming down the few steps, a large holdall with her that he went to take as he stepped to one side and kissed her cheek. "Daisy, meet Rose Tyler."

After Alec introduced them, Daisy left him with her holdall, took Rose's arm and began chatting away, asking how she like the town and could she get her a backstage pass for the weekend, which got her a scowl from Alec, Rose saying consider it done.

"I expect you want one as well?" Rose smiled as she turned to him.

"Well I have to keep an eye on my daughter," he replied, getting giggles out of the two of them.

Once back at the cottage, Daisy didn't even seem to mind when told she didn't have to share. While Rose was moving the remainder of her things from Daisy's room, Daisy took his arm and leaned on him.

"She's not like I expected her to be Dad. So you share?"

"If I said yes?" he questioned her.

"Well mum has Dave but I don't know what she sees in him, he's gross. He's totally out of shape and he's no fun at all, then she has the cheek to say you were boring. Sorry, I shouldn't have said that."

"It's okay, I know how your mother feels about me. Maybe it was true back then but not any more. You know I was becoming ill, now I have a new lease of life."

On the Friday morning, Rose had to be at the showground early, insisting on taking Daisy with her as her assistant, which the teenager hadn't quite got over and had tweeted all her friends and making them jealous, which Alec said Rose didn't need. Rose got hold of the organiser and introduced her and Daisy was given a special badge to wear around her neck. Rose of course didn't need one. She also told the man she was making an announcement on the closing night, leaving everyone wondering what it was.

They were both sat in the large tent they'd been allocated and Daisy asked her why.

"Daisy, I told your dad, I can't go on after what happened to Mandy. I'm gonna mention her on the last day and dedicate my new album to her, it's the very least I can do."

"So someone's been locked up for it?" Daisy asked, Rose hanging up her outfit.

"Yeah, she didn't intend to kill anyone, it went too far but she'll go to prison for it. Anyway, for the weekend, you're her replacement. I'm sure your dad will be along later to check up on us," Rose smiled.

"Yeah, bet he won't use the pass you got him either," Daisy laughed back.

"Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised. So go on then, wanna know what my new song was gonna be?"

"You’re not releasing it are you, because of Mandy?" Daisy asked.

"No, the record company agreed to it going on the album, finally. I'm leaving it for my final set on Sunday night, just after I tell everyone. Shall I tell ya something? I don't think I'm gonna miss all the touring. Years ago, I used to travel around with someone, I guess that's why it never used to bother me. My stepfather's setting me up in that empty office by the amusement arcade and I'm gonna need a part-time secretary – interested?"

Daisy's face lit up. Rose had already cleared it with Pete and after the weekend, they were all going up to London for Daisy and Alec to meet her family.

"Yeah but I've no experience and I'll be going to college soon," Daisy replied, not thinking she was good enough.

"Then do your lessons online, that's what I did, I'll even pay for them or you can go to college part-time? I left school with no qualifications Daisy, when my mum married Pete Tyler, he made me catch up and offered me a job. I don't need you to work with me all the time."

"You mean work for Vitex? But why here?" Daisy asked.

Rose smiled at who was looking more and more like she'd become her stepdaughter, since things were going well with Alec and he'd accepted she was going back to getting aliens to co-operate. She knew she could never tell him the truth, of where she came from and why her and Mickey were the most qualified.

There was little chance any being she'd met in the other universe would make it here but if they did, she was prepared for them. All she had to do was claim she was this world's version of Rose Tyler, Pete would make sure she was backed up.

"Well not exactly and when you meet my step-dad, you'll find out. Right, best go see if they're ready to tell me when I'm due on stage then we'll go grab some lunch. Call your dad and see if he's free and if he is, tell him we'll meet him at the end food stall by the gap in the wall."

"Sure Rose. I'm looking forward to meeting your family, it sounds like your little brother's a bit of a mischief?"

"Yeah, the mini tornado, that's Tony and he'll have a captive audience when he goes on about police cars. I feel sorry for your poor dad," Rose laughed.

After finding out when she was due on stage, last but one act for Friday and Saturday night, they went to meet Alec but Rose was surprised they'd not told her about Sunday. What she didn't know was that the organisers had decided to give her top billing for the Sunday, in view of her losing her friend and she was dedicating that performance to Mandy and the people of the town and the top billing, a Scottish band of all things, who Alec had to admit he'd liked their music when he was younger, had graciously agreed to step aside for the occasion.

"All sorted then?" Alec asked as he greeted them at the gap where the bridge crossed the river, remembering the last time he'd left his riverside home and gone back to make peace with Daisy.

"Yeah but they only gave me tonight and tomorrow, don't know why. I mean I might be famous but the band who have top billing have been around longer than I have," Rose replied.

Alec was rather looking forward to seeing them on stage and maybe bumping into them when he took advantage over the next two days to hang around with his now girlfriend and his daughter, who was grinning at the thought of her dad meeting his old idols and seeing him dance to their catchiest tune.

As the arena started to fill up late afternoon, Daisy was all excited at seeing the dozen or so acts before Rose was due on stage but Rose wasn't expecting all the cheering she received when it was her turn and Daisy held onto her dad.

"She's really loved, isn't she Dad? I hope you're serious about her and you're not going to let her go?"

"Yes, I'm serious about her, who wouldn't be? Look at her," he replied as the crowds continued to cheer when the first of her three songs began as the backing musicians began to play one of her older hits.

He knew he loved her and even though when he'd met her, she'd been in danger but it was all over now and she wasn't willing to take any more risks and put herself or whoever she eventually found to replace her friend in any danger, not that putting aliens into society, well the friendly ones anyway made him feel any better that she was safer. He'd joked about it and had told her he was going to make her watch 'Men in black', which had got him into trouble in bed last night.

He watched in awe as she came to her final song, Rose shouting over the crowds that this one was for him and Daisy. By Sunday afternoon, the festival was buzzing over what Rose was going to announce, her having being told she had top billing for the night so she'd grabbed Alec while Daisy was occupied and gone to see them to thank them.

"That's okay Rose," Craig, one of the brothers told her, in a accent thicker than Alec's. "We were sorry to hear about your friend so we decided we'd step back for the night when we were asked, we didn't have to think twice, did we?" he asked his identical brother.

"Well thanks, both of you. Oh, this is Alec, my boyfriend, he's an old fan of yours," she grinned, seeing Alec blush.

"Hey, not that old," Craig laughed as Alec reached out to shake their hands. "Well done on catching that attacker a few months ago, we couldn't believe there were still men around like that."

"Well they are locked up now, they won't be doing anything like that again for a good while. It's really great to meet you both, finally. Thanks again for doing this for Rose."

"How could we not?" he was asked.

So as Rose got ready for her last ever performance, Alec asked Daisy to give them a few minutes.

"I love you Rose, I've never met anyone quite like you before so I want you to wear this on stage."

He got a box out of his pocket and carefully lifted a silver necklace with sparking stones in a crossover and fastened it around her neck.

"I love you too Alec and when we go to London, if you want, I'll get Pete to tell you more about me," she replied.

"Then I can't wait love but if you say the person you travelled around with before you became famous was an alien from another galaxy, I may have to think again."

She turned to kiss him after someone shouted she was on stage in ten minutes.

"Alec, you have no idea but as I told Daisy, when you meet my stepfather, you can ask him."

Alec thought he couldn't wait then as he escorted her to the side of the stage as his favourite band were coming off. One of the brothers turned to him, Alec having never been able to tell them apart and told him not to let her get away.

As she climbed up the few steps and she turned and blew him a kiss as the crowd cheered even louder than the last two nights, he couldn't care less if she had travelled with an alien from another galaxy, even if it wasn’t in this universe.

The End!