A/N: Thank you to those of you who have written in with comments and have urged me on. It's always a pleasure to know that others are enjoying one's story. This is a little something for Valentine's Day, and the last chapter.
Feeling both cold and stiff, Sam stirred and nestled closer to Foyle's body, seeking the heat from his skin. He, too, stirred and cracked one eye open. Uttering a small groan, he shifted before muttering about the hardness of the floor. Foyle sat up and pulled her with him. He whispered in her ear, "Come on then, let's find somewhere more comfortable."
Taking her hand, Foyle led her upstairs. Sam smiled broadly, feeling very naughty, as if they were sneaking about like rebellious children. They were both naked in the soft light that tried to make its way through the glass and around curtains. She felt excitement rising through her middle again at the sight of him. He was still trim, the war rations having helped with any excess fat he might have otherwise acquired, and his barrel chest was only slightly hairy. She admired his legs and shapely buttocks as she climbed the stairs behind him, and was gratified with a glimpse of his front as he turned to her at the top of the stairs. Her stomach contracted and she sucked in her breath audibly. Seeing that part of him was both fascinating and overwhelming as his own desire returned.
They entered his bedroom, and Foyle led her to bed and pulled back the counterpane. They lay down beside each other, and Foyle put out his hand to reach for her. Sam could not lie still however, wanting to see more of him, and to explore his body now that she had been given such a satisfying glimpse. They kissed hard and long, tongues exploring the other's mouth deeply. Sam gave a small groan, a flush of desire sinking through her. Foyle guided her on top of him and it seemed almost too easy that Sam should feel him beneath her before she sank gladly down, taking him inside her with delight. It was so fulfilling somehow. She could not explain it, but she wanted him more than anything and the sudden urgency that overcame her fuelled their lovemaking. It was new, and yet not so, as if she were guided by some ancient instinct, and their eagerness made up for any fumbles. She loved seeing his face in the soft dawn as he gasped with delight or gritted his teeth against some inner primal feeling.
Foyle sat up, taking her by surprise, and moved gently in rhythm with her. Sam threw her head back, amazed at the change in feeling and delighting in his closeness. Their chest touched and she imagined she could feel his heart beating wildly. She finished before he did, crying out with the surprised pleasure of it, and he grinned against her lips as he kissed her. Sam felt him release inside her, which gave her a sort of satisfaction she could not deny.
They lay, curled within one another's limbs, and slept heavily, worn out and finally able to relax in warmth and comfort. The morning came and went without them, and it was nearly noon before Sam woke. Her stomach growled and she sighed slightly, hungry, yet sated in quite another way.
She began to think, heart swooping with romance, before beating faster with practicalities. Sam knew Foyle well, and she thought this bliss that they had experienced in the last twenty-four hours would not last. He would soon become upright and either send her on her way for the sake of decency and propriety, or worse, send her home to her father because he would feel ashamed of what he had done. Suddenly, these floods of worries of what Foyle may or may not do became so overwhelming that she sat up, trembling at the thought of being sent away in disgrace. She began to cry, head held in her hands.
Foyle woke with a start and sat up too, putting a hand on her arm. "Sam, darling, what is it?"
"Christopher, don't send me away, please don't."
His voice was croaky with sleep. It was immensely endearing and she turned and buried her head in his shoulder, clasping his bare back with her hands tightly.
"Don't send me away…" she gave a small hiccup as a fresh wave of tears claimed her.
"Sam?" Foyle pulled back a bit to look at her. "Darling, whatever do you mean? I'm not going to send you away. We shall have to get up and find a change of clothes and be a bit sensible, but I'm not sending you away."
He stroked her cheek and gave her a small smile. "Sam? What is it?"
"I was afraid you'd become very stern and think we'd behaved badly and … and… and not want me."
Foyle grinned, despite himself. "You've worked yourself up into a right state for nothing."
He wiped away a tear and tilted her head towards him. "Sam, my darling, we must be a bit practical: we can't hide away here forever, and life must go on as normally as possible. But not want you? Nothing could be farther from the truth."
He pulled her down again, and she lay against him, her breathing beginning to calm at last.
Sam gave a large sniff and looked at him. "I've been rather silly. Sorry, Christopher. I suppose I thought you'd not want others judging and would send me home to get me out of the way."
Foyle frowned slightly. "Goodness, Sam, surely you know me a bit better than that? I should never send you anywhere against your will." He pinched her bottom gently and cocked his head to one side comically. "I doubt I could."
They smiled at one another, and Sam laughed suddenly. "You aren't going to become very proper on me?"
Foyle smirked. "Rather too late for that, my dear. No. I'm going to keep you with me in Hastings; marry you; raise a family with you. I want you more than anything in the world, and I want to be with you. And if that is what you want too, my darling girl, then we shall make a life together."
Sam began to cry again and nodded.
"Too much?" He asked hastily.
Sam sniffed. "I love you, Christopher Foyle. I want to be your wife. I don't care a tuppence about what others might say. You and I function so wonderfully together; if people truly care about us, they will be only happy for us."
"I couldn't have said it better myself." Foyle kissed her sweetly, reassuring her with a nudge from his nose. He pulled her close. "So...um, that's settled then?"
They both began to laugh, and Sam covered his face with kisses, relieved and happy all at once. She felt slightly ashamed for thinking he would be so upright as to send her away, but perhaps the Christopher Foyle she held close in her arms was a new version...a man who had taken a leap of faith and landed quite soundly and was no longer tentative.
That he wanted her by him in life was an overwhelming but wonderful thought, and it was what she wanted more than anything. To be without him seemed unfathomable. She had perhaps not given him enough credit, and it was a relief to know that he would not exclude her or retreat behind walls previously built at this moment. He had opened himself to her and she saw that they were linked undoubtedly by the intimacy that had been shared. They had shared their bodies, but it was more than that - deeper, even.
The practicalities of what faced them, while daunting perhaps, were overshadowed by the rightness and truth of the feelings they shared. It felt right, so how could it not be? They hurt no one by proceeding in life together, and after so many years of war, how could love be anything but positive.
They whispered to one another: sweet things, practical things, dreams, and words of love. They were in awe of one another as well as the feeling that had suddenly captured them. How could one feel so deeply for another in so many ways? It was remarkable to Sam as well as to Foyle. He whispered to her that he hadn't believed he could feel this way again, instilling a sense of pride in Sam. Foyle's bedroom became a small love nest as the afternoon inched forwards, holding the two lovers in suspension. They knew not the hours nor were they inclined to think about the outside world. It was their time at last.
It was only when Sam exclaimed how hungry she was that Foyle glanced at his bedside clock.
His eyes widened. "It's nearly three o'clock!"
"Won't we have been missed?"
Foyle nodded and sat up. "I expect so."
Sam began to giggle. "If they are sending out search parties, we'd better get dressed."
Foyle grinned down at her. "I suppose we better had."
By four o'clock they had washed and dressed and sat down to a meal of mixed things, including biscuits, tea, and a tin of spam with the last of the bread.
"How do we go about it from here?" Sam asked seriously after they had finished.
"Honestly," Foyle said simply.
Sam nodded, smiling softly at him. "Father would approve."
"Of the honesty bit or of us?"
"Would it shock you if I said I don't mind what Father says?" She tapped her fingers against the table and then frowned. "I realised when thinking about the last few days that perhaps one ought to live their life truly - so that one isn't regretful at the end. Life is so short. I choose you...and it's my life isn't it? I've always tried to do what was expected of me...to be good and demure. But it still never led to approval. Never. What if one is better off doing what feels best for oneself?"
Foyle took her hand and squeezed it lightly. He smiled at her and she thought he look almost proud. "We'll ask for their blessing, but I think you're right, Sam...You are a strong young woman and also very kind; you could never intentionally hurt anyone."
She smiled back. "Besides, things have changed now with the war. Life as it was before seems hardly recognisable. And yes, we've done things out of order...but does it truly matter?"
"A part of me thinks it does, but the other…" Foyle paused. "I've been in two wars, Sam, and life seems very transient. I don't want to miss out on any more than I can help it."
Sam kissed him. "Precisely."
"Will you ring them up?"
"Yes. Mummy will be on board, even if Father isn't."
"Well, that's something."
"And Andrew? Paul?"
"Milner probably will think it's lovely. And Andrew, well...I would hope that he would be glad to see us happy."
"And the chaps at the station?"
"No one need know yet, if you're worried, Sam."
"I'm not worried, but it's more...well, it's only just become ours...I almost want to keep it just for us for the time being."
Foyle smiled, understanding. "Then we do that."
His face clouded briefly, "Though I haven't done my part in protecting you, Sam...we do have to keep that in mind...time may be of the essence."
Sam blushed a rather becoming pink and smiled shyly. "Gosh, yes." She chewed her knuckle and then added, "But I don't need a big church wedding...we can keep things quiet and personal."
"We will do whatever you like." Foyle stood and came around the kitchen table to gather her in his arms. "My wonderful darling." He nuzzled her cheek and kissed her sweetly.
"We have each other...that's all that matters," Sam said quietly.
"Indeed," Foyle agreed, hugging her more tightly.
"But, first things first," Sam said, clearing her throat. "We need to buy in some rations for you."
Foyle began to chuckle and before they knew, they were both laughing loudly, eyes sparkling with their newfound intimacy and the promise of life together. While they still had questions of how to make things work in the practical sense, there was no doubt about being together. A bridge had been crossed, and they both leapt forward gladly into a new life that promised love and friendship. There were more questions than answers, perhaps, but for now, those could wait.
Sam and Foyle left Steep Lane in the late afternoon, moving together towards a new life with the same purpose and determination they had shown their work. In a world where there were so many uncertainties, the love they shared was not one of these doubts.