Angels, Lovers and Songbirds – Chapter 28 – The Grateful Angel
On Friday the pattern that they had quickly fallen into was to be broken when Paul and Katie would be picked up in a taxi and taken to the Bishops residence for high tea, a singular honour by all accounts.
Selfishly, on hearing this news the day before Jack thought that, that would be his chance to spend some private time with Kayleigh.
So as he watched the taxi drive away on Friday lunchtime he felt a tingle of excitement tinged with guilt, but predominantly excitement.
It was partly the secrecy and the planning as well as the anticipation but mainly it was his love of her that stirred him.
He dropped the latch on the front door and then went out through the back door via the kitchen, locking the door behind him.
Once outside Jack hurried through the side gate into Kayleigh’s garden and found the kitchen door open so he stepped in and called
And a grinning face appeared from behind the door.
Jack felt rather guilty after his sinful afternoon in his lover’s bed while Katie was being entertained by the Bishop, but not guilty enough to prevent him from enjoying Kayleigh’s company again when the chance next arose.
There were no visitors on Friday Evening as was to be expected as the Vicar was too exhausted after tea with the Bishop.
She slept for much of Saturday as well but on Sunday she was feeling much better, so much so that she felt in need of spiritual refreshment so after he helped her with her bath Jack wheeled Katie down to the church.
It was a cold damp foggy morning and he wasn’t sure it was altogether a good idea but he had her well wrapped up and Paul Massey, the new Vicar, had saved her a seat nearest the heater.
She was in sparkling form, almost up to her former best and she chatted enthusiastically with all those in earshot and she enjoyed the service very much and was much moved by Paul’s choice of hymns.
However by the end, she was flagging and although her spiritual self was indeed refreshed, her body was left exhausted again, which kept her confined to bed for the rest of Sunday and a large part of Monday.
Every morning Sarah Peters, Verger at St Lucy’s and receptionist at the doctors surgery, phoned him to see if Katie was up to visitors and Jack would say yes or no, having already consulted Katie to see if she wanted to or not, but the ultimate decision was his.
Katie would never turn anyone away no matter how drained she was, but on Monday he provisionally said yes.
Just after he’d hung up the phone there was a knock at the door and when he opened it, it was the nurse, a different one this time, a district nurse it turned out.
After she’d gone Jack had to carry Katie all the way upstairs for her bath and all the way back down as well.
Dr Anderson came around midday and was persuaded to accept Jack’s hospitality to lunch with them, not that it took too much persuasion, and he had noticed her visits had been particularly well timed of late.
In the evening it was a different nurse again, a pleasant enough woman though but somewhat sour faced.
After the Doctor had gone Jack and Katie ended up watching a lot of old movies together and in the evening after she had seen her visitors they were joined by Kayleigh and after they had eaten a sublime Lamb Curry donated by the Khan’s, Katie asked if Jack would read to her.
“Which book?” he asked and after about thirty seconds of deliberation she said
“Let’s start at the beginning “The Philosophers Stone” she said, “Hopefully we’ll get through all of them before the end”
Jack glanced at Kayleigh and he could see that she didn’t like to think about the end either, and like Jack she hoped it wouldn’t come for a good while yet.
Jack shook off the morbid thoughts and read to her for the next couple of hours.
Virtually the same routine was repeated the next day, only the faces and shapes of the nurses varied, but then on Wednesday evening Katie went down with a fever.
He called Dr Anderson immediately, she played it down of course, but he could tell she was concerned.
She told him what tablets to give her and in a reassuring voice said she would pop in the next day as usual.
The next day Kayleigh called in at 7.30am and tried to pass it off as coincidence but she was clearly worried.
Carole administered the usual meds and something else for the fever.
“That will suffice for now” she said and instructed him to check her temperature regularly and promised to return later in the day.
As Carole had done everything already she called the surgery and asked Sarah to cancel the nurse for that morning but to leave the evening one in place for the time being.
Despite her fever Katie insisted on having her bath as usual, claiming it couldn’t do any harm and would probably even help, and then she gave him one of her lopsided grins so he gave in providing she ate her breakfast first.
She duly complied and he carried her upstairs and sat her on his bed while he ran her a bath.
He helped her into the tub in the usual manner and as he didn’t want to leave her alone upstairs as he normally did, he pottered around upstairs, changing the bedding, putting towels away, that kind of thing.
Once Jack had done everything he called into her
“Are you ready to get out yet your ladyship?”
“In a minute peasant” she replied
He was still laughing when he noticed Katie hadn’t sorted anything out clothes wise, so he went down and chose some for her, underwear as well, and when he was halfway up the stairs he went back and got a clean nightie just in case.
Before he got back upstairs he was surprised to see Kayleigh walk in.
“Hi Hon” he said “I wasn’t expecting to see you until later”
“I’m not coming later, remember” she said
“Of course” he said “Well now you’re here you can help me with Katie”
They went upstairs and he put the pile of clothes on the bed and Kayleigh helped her out of the bath.
Jack withdrew while she dried herself, but after a few moments she went a bit wobbly so they sat her on the bed and Kayleigh finished drying her herself.
When they had finished their joint venture Jack said
“I sorted out some clothes for you”
She had a quick look and replied
“Have you been rummaging through my knicker drawer?”
“Yes I have indeed rummaged in your drawer full of drawers” he responded proudly
“Pervert” she said and laughed.
After a moment or two of inactivity he was getting concerned she would get cold so Jack decided it was time to get her moving.
“Right let’s get you dressed,” he suggested “or would you rather just wear your nightie?”
“Nightie and Knicks” she said weakly
He picked up a pair of pale yellow knickers from the pile of clothes, and handed them to Kayleigh who knelt down in front of her and got her pants on over her feet and then pulled them up to her knees.
Jack then encouraged Katie to stand up and hold onto him for support while Kayleigh pulled her knickers the rest of the way up.
“Oops” she exclaimed with a giggle “they’ve gone up my bum”
“Well putting knickers on isn’t my sphere of expertise” Jack said “but I don’t mind helping out”
“I don’t think you should be poking around up there,” Katie said
“I’ll get them roughly in situ and you can adjust them later” Kayleigh replied.
Once she had finished Katie sat back down on the bed and Kayleigh stood up in front of her and picked up her nightie and put in on over her head, she then put her arms through in turn and she prepared to pull it down as Katie released the towel.
“No peeking,” she said
“I can’t promise that” Jack said honestly “I am a pervert after all”
But as she let the towel drop Jack did avert his gaze until Kayleigh had pulled her up to her feet and the garment had covered her modesty.
They both held onto her while she adjusted her pants and when the final adjustments were made and the snap of elastic sounded no more she leant against Jack and hugged him tightly.
“Thank you Jack,” she said softly
“For what?” he asked
“For everything” she replied “for this”
“It’s no trouble” he said
“It’s a lot of trouble” Katie corrected him
“And it means a lot to me”
“My pleasure” he said “well you know what I mean”
She suddenly broke away and exclaimed
“I forgot to squirt”
“Not to worry” he said “that’s soon remedied”
So he went into the bathroom and grabbed her deodorant and returned to the bedroom where Kayleigh still had her standing by the bed.
She lifted her arms up one at a time while he squirted.
“Anywhere else?” he asked
“No that will suffice” she replied
“Sure?” he asked again
“Ok” he said and pulled the neck of her nightie out and gave a quick squirt down her front.
“Behave yourself” Kayleigh said and slapped his arm “you’re incorrigible”
They were all laughing when she went all wobbly again and fell against Jack limply.
“Oops a daisy” he said as he took hold of her.
Holding her firmly with one arm he used his spare hand to gesticulate to Kayleigh to turn back the duvet before he lowered her onto the bed.
“Let’s get you lying down,” he said gently
“No” she replied, “this is your room”
“Well for the next few days it’s your room” he insisted “I put clean bedding on this morning”
She didn’t have the strength to argue anymore so she lay down and as he and Kayleigh sat beside her on the bed she drifted off to sleep within a few minutes.