No one stirred until near noon, something uncharacteristic in the Beazley household. Danny had been at the station until nearly dawn assisting Superintendent Lawson with Derek Alderton. Jean spent a largely sleepless night besides Lucien, whose thrashing in her small bed nearly knocked them both out of bed more than once. Mattie, who had been unaware of the events of the night before, was stunned. Jean filled her in on the whole thing over breakfast. By the time Lucien finally stumbled downstairs, Jean was in her office, pouring over Derek Alderton's case notes. Lucien slumped into the chair across from her desk. Jean did not look up.
"I left you some breakfast in the kitchen."
Lucien leaned over and glanced at the papers in front of Jean.
"I think we can safely say the Alderton case is closed."
Jean looked up and sighed.
"Yes but I should have demanded payment upfront. I am trying to figure out if there is some way I can bill the army."
"You're right. This is a lost cause. I think my time is best spent in the garden."
Jean left the room, leaving Lucien to wander towards the kitchen in search of breakfast. Mattie found him quickly, peppering him with questions about the previous night's excitement. Lucien humored her. When Mattie was satisfied she had all the answers she wanted, she smiled archly."
"So, Mr. Blake-Steele-Doctor-Whoever, your mortal enemy goes after Jean to get to you, holds her at gunpoint, and you come charging in like a white knight and wrestle an armed man to the ground?"
Lucien laughed at that.
"I wouldn't put it that way. Jean was holding her own, and I had the element of surprise."
"I stand corrected. Jean gave me the distinct impression you saved her life."
Mattie nodded, then feigned an intense interest in her cup of tea. Lucien sat for a moment, thinking about what Mattie said, before getting up.
"I uh, think I'll go check on how Jean is doing. We all had a long night."
Mattie smiled knowingly as Lucien left the room. He found Jean sitting on a bench in the sun room. She was uncharacteristically still, staring off into the garden. Lucien sat down beside her.
"It's not like you to just be sitting here. You should be putting some of those green things in...that pot."
Lucien gestured vaguely in the direction of some of Jean's treasured ornamental plants. Jean smiled weakly.
"Maybe you should stick to medicine. Or spying, or whatever it is you do."
They spoke at the same time, followed by silence. Lucien extended a hand towards Jean, who spoke first.
"Lucien, I was wrong to ask you to leave."
"I am so glad you have decided to see reason."
Lucien grinned and stretched an arm over Jean's side of the bench. Jean got up quickly, wringing her hands. She looked away when she spoke.
"It's not fair to you. Legally I doubt I'd even have a case. Regardless of what happened between you and your father, this is your house and I have no right to kick you out."
Lucien stared at Jean with his mouth open. Jean continued.
"I'll need a few weeks if you'll give them to me, perhaps a bit longer. I'll need to find new premises for the business and a place to live, if that's ok with you."
Lucien jumped to his feet.
"No! Jean, this is your home. This house, this town, it meant nothing to me until I met you. When I said Ballarat was a good place for a fresh start I wasn't feeding you a line, I meant every word. The things I said in the pub, to Derek, that wasn't an act, and he knew it. Why do you think he came after you? I care for you Jean, more than you ever know. And I thought...I hope...you care for me too. I know I messed up. I know we started all wrong. But I'd rather be wrong with you than right with anyone else."
Lucien placed his hands on Jean's shoulders and stepped in close.
"I don't want to live a lie anymore. Can't we start again? No cover stories, no fake names. Just Dr. Blake and Mrs. Beazley. We can stay here, and love each other, just like any ordinary couple. What do you say?"
Jean sighed and wrapped her hands behind his neck. She regarded him carefully.
"I don't know. Love seems like an awfully strong word."
"Give me some time, I promise I'll convince you otherwise."
Lucien lowered his head and pressed his lips against Jean's.
They were distracted by the sound of shouting at the door. Mattie's voice could be heard in the hall.
"I'm sorry but you will need to make an appointment."
"I don't have time for that, I must speak to Lucien Steele right now! This is an emergency!"
Jean and Lucien ran into the kitchen in time to see a man barrel past Mattie, nearly knocking her over.
"What is the meaning of this?" Jean demanded.
A short man with a pale face and light eyes stopped short in front of them. He wore a dusty brown suit that was well out of fashion and a hat which he clung to as if it might fly off in a sudden breeze.
"My name is Joe Springer and I need your help. The Belle of Ballarat is gone!"
"A woman is missing?"
"Ha! No woman is that valuable. The Belle is the largest gold nugget in eastern Australia! We haven't a moment to lose, you must get to the museum now!"
Mr. Springer turned on his heel and stormed out as quickly as he came in, this time with Mattie jumping out of the way. For a moment Lucien and Jean stood and stared at each other in stunned silence. Jean smiled.
"We'd better see to it then. I think you may need to be Lucien Steele for a while longer. I hear this gold nugget is more valuable than even a woman."
"My dear Jean, I think Mr. Springer is in love with the wrong woman."
Lucien took off his fedora and placed it on Jean's head. Jean tipped up the brim so it sat and an angle. Lucien nodded his approval.
"Well are you coming, Mr. Steele?"
Lucien placed his arms at Jean's back and motioned towards the door.
"After you Mrs. Beazley."
With a wave to Mattie on the way out, Lucien and Jean left their home in search of the next adventure.