Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (48) A Man to be Trusted (Part 02)
On the journey from Northern Downshire all the way down through the Pepperstock Hills National Park on their way to Finchbottom, Clare was still berating Martin on her mother’s distrust of her.
“It’s not that she doesn’t trust you,” He said for the tenth time.
“She doesn’t seem to realise that I’m a grown woman,” she continued
“We are all aware you are a grown woman” Martin said and after pause added
Clare looked at him and raised her eye brows
“So what have you noticed?” she asked with amusement and
Martin blushed to his roots under her gaze
“Nnnnothing” he stammered
“Come on Martin” she pressed
“Just that I have noticed that you are no longer a child” he replied
The rest of the journey passed largely in silence with Clare admiring the countryside while occasionally sneaking glances at her driver.
Clare had always been in love with Martin Bailey or at least since she became a woman, which in her case was at the age of 13.
Which coincided with Martin having the task of driving her to school adding to his list of duties.
She fell instantly and irrevocably in love with him despite the age difference, not that she did anything about it and he had always behaved like a perfect gentleman, treated her with respect and spoke to her as an equal, all of which made her love him even more.
But she continued to hold a candle for him right up to the moment he let it slip that he had noticed her, as a grown woman, and was well aware of her being a grown woman.
She took that as a sign that her feeling might after all be reciprocated, and that gave her food for thought as they approached the Finchbottom Vale.
The Vale nestled comfortably between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest to the south and the rolling Pepperstock Hills in the north, and those who are lucky enough to live there think of it as the rose between two thorns.
The Vale was once a great wetland that centuries earlier stretched from Mornington in the East to Childean in the west and from but over the many centuries the vast majority had been drained for agriculture, a feat achieved largely by the efforts of the famous Mornington Mills, of which only three had survived to the present day and even those were no longer functional and were in various states of repair, the result of the reclamation of the Vale was a large and sparsely populated area, and it was in that area that they had planned to cover on Clare’s first buying trip.
But as they drove into Finchbottom antiques and collectables were the farthest thing from her mind.
When she first fell for him she was grown up enough to assume it was just a crush and she would soon grow out of it, but she was wrong, her feelings did change of that there was no mistake, but they didn’t fade instead they matured as she did.