Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (56) Moonlight Serenade
Twenty eight year old Paul Ingram was involved with an older woman, a forty year old woman to be precise, who was a beautiful unhappily married, Carrington Chase educated woman called, Francesca Carrington-Webber.
Paul and Francesca both lived in the village of Forest Dean situated equidistant between Shallowfield and Childean, she lived in a huge house that backed onto the The Forest Ridge Golf Club, and coincidentally Paul worked for the Golf Club.
They became involved after three chance meetings, two on a train and the third more significant one was on the Promenade in Sharpington, where he came upon her small huddled figure on the bench ahead of him in some distress and after some tender moments of consolation lead to them making love in his caravan.
Since that night they had had a non-physical relationship and on the rare occasions that they managed to get to spend some time together they always made the most of it, sometimes they had to create opportunities and sometimes they just happened.
On the night of the Harvest Festival Fair there was always a dance on the village green in Forest Dean, in a great marquee, and everyone dressed up.
Paul and Francesca both attended but discreetly kept their distance, but exchanged glances all night.
He was wearing a suit and she had on a powder blue dress which made her look stunning and him feel proud, the moment he laid eyes on her in it.
At the end of the evening he positioned himself near the exit so he could see when Francesca left for home.
When she did she left in a small group and headed in the direction of the Vicarage and he followed at a safe distance as they went down the lane by the church, half of the group broke away at that point so he followed the remaining three as they took the path that crossed the golf course.
Once they had traversed the course the group split again two of them went left and Francesca went right and so did Paul after about 30 yards he had caught up with her.
“Hello gorgeous” he said
“What kept you?” she said and hugged him
Francesca shivered so he chivalrously gave her his jacked, which reached down to her knees and she kissed him gently, just once, then again more passionately.
“I’ve been waiting to do that all evening” she said with a giggle.
“I’m always happy to oblige” he said and kissed her eager lips.
Francesca roughly rolled up the sleeves of his jacket and then held his hand as they walked along the fairway.
“All evening eh” he said
“Yes and I was so desperate to kiss you that it hurt” she admitted
After a few yards they started along a track which was quite dark even in the moonlight.
“Have you got a torch” he asked
“I don’t need a torch I can see fine” she replied
“I’m like a cat” she added and she made a little clawing gesture with her hand, accompanied by a growl, then they emerged onto the fairway again but she was headed in entirely the wrong direction for her house
“Where are we going?” he asked
“We’re going for a walk in the moonlight”
Francesca said “very romantic”
“Yes but where are we going?” he repeated
“Wait and see” she answered
They finished up by the 17th tee which was elevated and commanded a great view of the moon lit valley below, which to Francesca’s mind was a very romantic spot and entirely suitable for what she had in mind.
It had been almost three and a half months since she first met Paul and two months to the date since they made love in his caravan after the Yacht Club Dinner Dance and the same period of time since she fell in love with him.
But despite the fact that she loved him to distraction, and that she thought about him every waking moment and he filled her dreams every night, she had been unable to say the words.
He told her all the time but all she could say in response was “me too”
She sat down on the bench and he sat next to her and put his arm around her and asked
“So why are we here?”
“Because I have something to say and I wanted to say it in a very romantic setting” she said
“What is it?” he asked and then as she was sitting in her lovers arms on a bench bathed in moonlight Francesca took a deep breath and screamed out under the Harvest moon at the top of her lungs.
“I LOVE YOU”
Then she turned and looked at him and he was staring at her with a broad grin on his face.
“I thought you were never going to say it” he said still staring at her until she suddenly became self-conscious under his gaze and buried her face in his neck.
“I love you so much” he said and his mouth sought out hers and they sealed their joint declaration with a kiss.