A/N: this fanfic is completely dedicated to my wonderful beta granthamfan, who is also the most wonderful friend one can ever dream of. Thank you for your support...I hope you'll like it.


"Telegram, milord." Barrow stepped inside the library holding a silver tray.

"Thank you, Barrow," said Robert, wondering what the telegram could be about. Mary, Henry and George were in London; Edith and Bertie were in Brancaster back from their honeymoon with Marigold. If there was something wrong, his daughters would have certainly telephoned him. There was no reason to send a telegram….at least he hoped.

He began to read it and felt a sudden pang in his heart. No, it couldn't be true! Philip, the man he had been friend with all his entire life was a healthy man and now, now he was gone. Throwing propriety away he ran out of the room and made his way to the grand staircase of the Abbey. There was only one place he could find comfort, and that place was in the warm and reassuring embrace of his wife. He didn't knock, as he was his habit of the last 36 years, and when he stepped inside their room he couldn't held back his tears anymore.

"Darling, what's happened? Are you in pain? Is it your stomach? I'll call Dr. Clarkson…" Taking him by his arm she was leading him towards their bed.

"Cora…." he couldn't speak, he could only shake his head.

" Please, Robert; talk to me…look at me." She knelt in front of him taking his hands in hers, searching for his eyes and when she found them, they were full of sorrow and disbelief.

"Cora….it's Philip…he….he's gone."

"Oh my love I'm so sorry, so very sorry." She knew this was very hurtful for him. They had been knowing each other since they were born; they were very good friends, and she knew it was partly thanks to Philip that their marriage had turned into a real love match. She threw her arms around his waist and held him close, letting him cry as she whispered sweet, reassuring words against his neck. Seeing her husband in such a state brought hot tears to her own eyes.

They kept holding each other for a long time, rubbing their hands on their backs and comforting each other. When Robert's sobs seemed to cease, she tried to speak. "Did his family set the date for the funeral?"

"Yes, it's the day after tomorrow," Robert answered. I'll tell Bates to pack something; I'll be back the following day. I know you can manage without me". She knew he needed her, now more than ever. And after what had happened to him, she couldn't let him go on his own. Besides; she wanted to let Philip's wife know that she could count on them for anything.

"I'll come with you."

"Darling, there is no reason to, and I won't even take Bates with me. It's just for a day and a night," he said, stroking her wet cheek with his thumb.

"Robert, I want to come. I want to be there with you. I want to be there for you, and I want to see if Rachel needs something….I want to help her.

"Thank you, Cora. You are the most wonderful wife a man could ask for." She smiled at him, and he was so thankful for her that started kissing her soundly on her forehead.

""I'll ring for Baxter then, just to pack my things….it's going to be only the two of us".