Thomas put her arm through Martha’s, it snaked around her back until he found her hand.
Martha noticed a spare cup on the mantlepiece, and tried to release her hand, but Thomas had a strong grip. ‘That will wait till tomorrow darling.’
‘It just saves time tomorrow that’s all.’
‘You planning to go anywhere tomorrow then?’
‘My library books need changing, I’m so forgetful, they were due yesterday. I don’t want to pay any fines if I can help it.’
Thomas flicked a switch on his gold watch and stared at the time. ‘My, it is getting late. Shall we call it a day ladies and gentlemen?’
Fred was the last to leave and gave her a small peck on the cheek. Thomas was given a firm handshake, before he waved them both goodbye. Martha went into the kitchen. She returned a few minutes later with a tray.
The rest of the dirty plates, cups, and glasses removed from the room, Martha emptied out the dishwasher. She put another load on, rinsed the cloth in the sink and washed down the sides.
‘Stop that for a moment,’ Thomas said. His shadow fell across the blue and white tiles. ‘I didn’t know you helped Fred out.’
‘Fred’s exaggerating my help, I just walked with him to go shopping a few times, until he was able to go by himself.’
‘I get that Martha, but we can’t get too involved with the neighbours can we.’
‘As I said, it was only a few times, and he’s okay now.’
‘Even so, I don’t trust him.’
‘He’s a harmless old man,’ Martha said.
‘Still, probably best to keep your distance from now on, I saw the way he was looking at you.’
Martha kissed Thomas and wiped away a crumb from his bottom lip. ‘You were brilliant tonight Thomas; everyone was so pleased with your efforts. I’ll get to writing that letter for you tonight. That way you can give it personally to the mayor.’
‘No, that can wait till tomorrow. It will give you something to do once you’ve changed your library books.’