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Jean stormed into the kitchen in a huff, throwing a towel onto the counter. "I love your son very much, Doctor, but..." She opted to not finish her sentence, instead she began slamming things around the kitchen, preparing dinner. Thomas was trying to hide his amusement. He understood completely given the source of her frustration. "You were bedridden for weeks! You didn't give me any trouble at all. He has only been home for one week and..." Her eyebrow went up as she pointed her finger toward the stairs. "I'm about to send him back to the hospital!"
Thomas stood and put his hands on her shoulders, guiding her to sit down at the table. "Jean, sit. I'll make us some tea. You need to take some time away from Lucien for a while. I knew he was going to be difficult."
He smiled as she huffed at his comment. "Difficult?! He's bloody impossible!" His eyebrows went up hearing Jean speak in a manner he was not accustomed to. She pushed her hair back and took a deep breath. "Thank you, doctor." They exchanged smiles.
Once the kettle was ready, he poured them both a cuppa and sat down next to her. "What are the boys up to?"
"I think they're reading in their room. Why do you ask?"
Thomas grinned as he explained, "I think Lucien needs to feel useful. What better way to do that then to send the boys in there? How is Jack's science coming along?"
Jean slowly smiled as she realized what he was doing. "You are brilliant." He smiled back, quite proud of himself. More so, he was elated he knew his son well enough to know what he needed. There was a time when he never thought that would ever be possible again.
Thomas stopped her from getting up. "No, Jean. You do what you need to do down here. After that, you draw yourself a warm bath and relax. The boys and I will see to Lucien." He wagged his index finger at her. "Doctor's orders."
Jean opened her mouth but no words came. She felt the tears threaten and tried to swallow them down. She cleared her throat before she spoke. "Thank you, doctor. That's very sweet of you." Touched beyond words. Thomas Blake had always taken good care of Jean. She knew she shouldn't be surprised by his caring actions anymore but it still choked her up.
Thomas smiled sweetly and patted her hand as he got up. "Now, I'll go see to the boys and Lucien."
"Chief Superintendent, good to see you."
"Cec, you as well. Whiskey, please." He scanned the room and was pleased to see it was a quiet evening at the club. "Is my favorite armchair available?"
Cec slid his drink over to him. "It is, Sir. I believe Patrick Tyneman is in that room."
"That will do. Thank you, Cec." Ashby grabbed his drink and walked over to the room, closing the door behind him after entering. Patrick nodded at him as he approached. "Patrick."
"Doug. How are...things?"
Ashby sat in the armchair next to Patrick. "I think we are getting close. I don't like keeping this from Lawson but I think it's working."
"Oh? What happened?"
Ashby sighed. "Matthew was upset because I told him Taylor told me Blake had interfered with the arrest and that's why he was hurt. I told him I agreed with Taylor."
Patrick chuckled. "I bet that went over well."
Ashby smiled. "Not so well for Lawson but Taylor was in earshot. He seemed a bit more…confident afterwards. I think it may be the push we needed."
Patrick looked down at his drink, his smile having faded. "I'm sorry, Doug. He used to be a good kid. I tried to set him straight when he approached me with his offer." He was quiet for a moment, shaking his head. "I just can't believe it. What makes someone think they can get away with something like this?" He downed his drink, looking at the empty glass. "And my cousin of all people. What a disgrace."
"I don't have an answer for you, Patrick, other than to say the uniform can change some people for the worse. Give them a sense of power, a sense of being untouchable. He definitely fits that, as far as I can tell." He drank the rest of his whiskey and looked to his friend. "Patrick, I know it wasn't an easy task coming to me with this. Thank you."
Patrick sighed heavily and nodded. "How long do you think?"
Ashby cocked his head to the side. "I don't think too much longer. His ego got a mighty boost when I took his side over Lawson. He'll stuff up pretty soon and we'll catch him in the act." Ashby stood. "Of course, do let me know if you hear anything before then." Patrick nodded as he twirled his empty glass.
"There, now put that chap over that and back away." Lucien winced from the pain as he tried to get in a better position to see the experiment from where he was sitting up in bed.
The substance went up in a puff of smoke. The boys both laughing as it did, thoroughly enjoying their science lesson. Lucien grinned ear to ear, loving their excitement. Jean was smiling from the door, out of eyesight from them, about to shoo the boys off to bed when she heard Jack speak. "Lucien, since you and mum are getting married, does that mean we should start calling you dad?"
Jean put her hand over her mouth. Lucien's mouth opened but he found the words difficult to come by. He looked from Jack to Christopher and back to Jack. He cleared his throat and patted the bed on both sides signifying for them to come closer. When they sat next to him, he said, "I can never replace your dad. I wouldn't want to. He'll always be your dad. You must keep him in your heart. You can call me Lucien or dad, whatever you are comfortable with. You'll probably want to call me a few other choice words from time to time. That's all right too." They all laughed lightly at that. "Know this though, I love your mother very much and I will always be here for you boys. I hope you know you can come to me with anything and I will be there to help. No questions asked, most of the time." He smiled, trying to gauge their reaction. He needn't worry as they both had tears in their eyes.
Jack through his arms around Lucien and squeezed tightly, mindful of his wound. "Thank you, Lucien."
Jean quickly wiped at her eyes and nose, trying to compose herself before entering the room. "Alright you lot, time for bed!"
Lucien chimed in, "I'm already in bed." Jean jokingly glared at him. The boys rose from the bed and made their way out of his room saying goodnight. She shut the door behind them and turned to Lucien, sitting next to him on the bed. He grabbed her hand and brought it to his lips. "I'm sorry I've been a pill."
She smiled. "I won't lie, you have been rather…difficult." They both chuckled, knowing she was putting it mildly. "We should change that bandage." Wincing, he moved to lie flat on the bed. "Easy does it." She hated seeing him in pain, even after the week she had with him. He squeezed his eyes shut as he waited for the pain to subside. She helped him unbutton his pajama top. Carefully, she removed the old bandage.
He looked down at the wound, happy with what he saw. "That looks really good."
Jean cringed at the nasty redness and drainage on the old bandage. "Hmm, I'll take your word for it." She took care in cleaning the wound and applying the new dressing. He watched her intently. This wasn't the first time she had changed his dressing but it seemed to be the first time he really noticed her level of care. Never had he felt more loved than at that exact moment. She had finished by dropping a light kiss to the wounded area. He moved his hand to her cheek, his eyes translating perfectly the amount of love for his fiancée. He brought her face to his in a deep, languid kiss. Before she knew it, she was lying next to him on his uninjured side, stroking his beard. She was torn between wanting to go further with him and thinking they should stop as his hand got lower on her back and resting on her bum. Lucien knew it too. He brought his hand back up to her back and slowed the kiss until they were resting their foreheads together. They were both breathing heavily. "I should go." Lucien slowly nodded but neither made a move to separate. Rubbing his chest, she said, "I think you can go downstairs tomorrow. We'll see how you do with that." He nodded again but continued to look into her eyes. She was going to have to be the one to break this spell. She gave him one last kiss and rose from the bed, smoothing out her clothes. She almost laughed out loud at his pout. "Do you need anything?"
He half-smiled, knowing they both knew his answer would be her. "No, thank you, dear. Good night. Sweet dreams."
She squeezed his hand and smiled. "Good night, Lucien."