This idea popped into my head whilst I was working on a different story and just begged to be written. Hope you guys enjoy.

"Well at least you're doing something about the rubbish problem on the estate." Audrey said crisply.

"Rubbish problem!?" Richard looked at her indignantly, "People are dumping their entire three-piece suites at the side of the road and leaving more than a little bit of a rubbish problem." He gestured to the skip that the estate workers were using to clear the small mountain of unwanted goods at the edge of the field. From their vantage point at the edge of a wooded area, they could observe the entire operation without getting to close or being spotted and no doubt roped into helping by Marjory or one of her 'nature activists'. And whilst both Audrey and Richard were willing to help in the fight to save the country side, neither really wanted to get in on the manual labour. "And it's not just this estate, all the other major landowners are having the same trouble as well."

Audrey couldn't deny this. People were dumping a whole manner of things, ranging from small sweet rappers to giant industrial sized washing machines. "Well I think it's very decent of you to pay for the removal lorries and skips. It gives one confidence to know that you're doing something for the good of the community."

"Yes, well that's not the only reason." A mischievous smirk answered Audrey's raised eyebrow. "It was blocking the entrance to one of Grantleigh's larger fields. I couldn't get the tractor in."

Huffing and scowling heavily, Audrey turned on her heel, heading back the way they came, muttering something that sounded like "of course you had an ulterior motive." Richard chuckled, secretly admiring the sway of her hips as she stormed off. "Audrey," he called after her, his long strides catching up to her quickly.

"Audrey," he said again, catching her hand and spinning her round to face him again.

"Just for once," she hissed after a few moments of glaring silent daggers at him. "It would be nice if you did something that didn't start and end with your bank balance. Of course you wouldn't have done it if it wasn't affecting your crop yield, you just don't care…"

"That's hardly fair!" He kept a tight grip on her hand as he felt his own temper rise. "Why else would I have made the effort to help with the clean up?"

She knew this was true and that her words were unfair but at that moment she couldn't bring herself to care. "You…You're such a-an arrogant, manipulative hypocrite!" Richard gawked at her in shock before laughter over took him. She glared at him as he continued to laugh, her cheeks flushed with annoyance. "What is so funny?"

"Oh Audrey," he chuckled. "There really is no one who could compare to you."

"Richard," She murmured, all previous trace of her anger melting from her voice. "If you think you can worm your way out of this through flattery…"

He gazed into her sapphire eyes fondly. "Would I do such a thing?"

"Most certainately," she laughed, raising her hand to rest on his chest, the new engagement ring glittering in the sunlight that distorted shone through the trees. "Darling…"

Gently cupping her check in his hand, he softly ran his thumb along the soft alabaster skin. Then, he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her gently towards him. "You should know by now profit doesn't motivate me anymore." At her raised eyebrow he corrected himself, "That much anymore."

"Then what does Mr Devere?" She purred, sliding her arms up over his shoulders, her fingers toying with the hair at the nape of his neck.

"You," he growled before capturing her lips with his own in a passionate kiss, determined to leave her with no doubts.


Unbeknownst to the couple, too wrapped up in their own passionate embrace, was a pair of old eyes that had accidently stumbled across the scene. Old Ned had been planting some young saplings further along when he heard raised voices, and decided to investigate for fear it might be trespassers or poachers. When he encountered Mr, and the soon to be, Mrs Devere arguing, he knew that he should have left. Like most others he had been pleasantly surprised to learn of the engagement between the two and had been one in a long line of well-wishers for the happy couple.

However, there had been some doubts. The arguments that occurred between Mrs fforbes-Hamilton and Mr Devere had been legendary, and no one would believe that those would simply stop now that the two were soon to be wed. On the contrary, some even believed that they might increase, and perhaps even lead to a divorce long before there was a wedding.

Yet as Ned observed the two argue he realised that the rumours were just that. Nothing more than idle gossip, with no merit to them what so ever. Mr Devere seemed to be more than capable of coping with Mrs fforbes-Hamilton's outbursts, and Mrs fforbes-Hamilton seemed to struggle to stay mad at him for too long. And as for their making up, well that just showed a true devotion between the two. And if Brabinger's hints had been anything to go by, that Mr Devere not only spent most nights at the manor but in Mrs fforbes-Hamilton's bed too, then they would no doubt find a way to muddle through.

Silently, Ned snuck back the way he came leaving the two lovers in their own world, wrapped up amongst the trees.

Not sure about the last bit, might alter it at a later date, but please let me know what you thought of it.