Before Ep 6, Hadn't anyone wondered why Flora would suddenly decide to declare her feelings to Walter and why a certain chef seemed to be doing his damnedest to get them to talk what if after leaving Walter's office at the end of episode 5 a tearful Flora Ryan had run into Felix Kraus?

- - - -

How could he say that, how dare he say that to me? Not quite enemies! If I had not been so shocked and hurt I would have slapped him for that comment. What more can I do for the man? I've lied for him covered for him gambled with my own soul to protect his miserable hide and all I wanted in return was a kind word now and then, an understanding glance perhaps even to laugh over a shared joke as we used to. But all that has fallen to dust, he cannot seem to be able to stand the sight of me let alone my company, I am become a leper in his eyes, a liability.

What am I going to do? I offered to resign, he slapped it down and I could barely keep my tears from falling let alone give him the piece of my mind that I should have. My feelings for him are making me vulnerable; I am no longer capable of defending myself from his barbs and cruel comments nor can I seem to cope with his absence. Our estrangement has left a devastating hole in my life that I never thought to find and yet he can brush me aside as if I meant less to him than that bloody book he is always scribbling in.

"Mrs Ryan?" A sudden clipped voice intoned shattering the pretence of solitude Flora had found in her dark corner.

"Mr Kraus." She replied automatically cringing at the weak husky tremble of her voice as she spoke.

"Goodness Mrs Ryan what is the matter?" He insisted closing the distance between them his eyes widening as he saw the tracks of tears on her cheeks.

"Nothing…Why should anything be wrong?" She snapped turning her face away from his scrutiny and furiously wiping her cheeks. "Just something in my eye."

"What both of them?" The chef insisted softly causing her to visibly flinch.

"How can I help you Mr Kraus." Flora replied ignoring his enquiry completely.

Bristling slightly at her abruptness the chef replied. "Have you seen Mr Jarvis?"

However at the mention of the butler's name Flora felt her walls begin to crumble and so muttered quickly. "He was still in his office when I left him…."

Sighing deeply as he had at least pin pointed the source of her tears, the chef gently grasped her elbow escorting her into the relative privacy of his pastry sending the other staff scurrying with a sharp look and a few biting words. Pulling out a stool he insisted she sat while he fussed at the pies one of the maids had been decorating. "What has he said now?"

"Pardon?" Flora replied staring out of the window to avoid meeting the chef's knowing gaze.

"Walter that is who and do not try to pretend that he is not the cause of your un-happiness…What has he done this time?"

"I don't know…"

"Fine." Felix cut in. "You do not want to tell me that much is obvious, first we have this atmosphere and the two of you hardly speaking for weeks and now only days after you appeared to consider a reconciliation you're crying in corners and he is locked in his office like a bull with a sore head…It affects us all you know so perhaps if you…"

"It is a personal matter Mr Kraus!" Flora snapped causing the chef to raise his eyebrow in surprise.

"My apologies Mrs Ryan I wasn't aware that the two of you were…"

"Oh no!" Flora gasped whirling round in shock. "We aren't I mean we never…Nothing of that nature Mr Kraus, Mr Jarvis and I are strictly colleagues and certainly not…involved in such a manner…" She added shocked that the chef would automatically assume their disagreement was of a romantic nature, he really did not seem to know his friend at all.

"I see." Felix replied his eyes narrowing as he scrutinised her tearful expression. "Then why…"

"I cannot explain…It is very complicated but let us just say we had a disagreement over a matter of principle and now things are strained between us, and it appears no matter what I try and do or say nothing will make him forgive me and things are made far more difficult as he seems to deny there is any sort of problem well none that he cares enough to fix anyway." She trailed off getting to her feet and pacing to the window wrapping an arm around her own waist in a gesture of reassurance.

"But you do care do you not?" Felix replied so softly she could barely hear.

"Yes I do…care…" She muttered sighing as if the burden that she thought would one day kill her suddenly felt lighter with that admission. "I care a very great deal indeed."

"Forgive my bluntness Mrs Ryan but do you…Are you in love with him?"

"I…"

"I think you are."

"You may think what you like Mr Kraus it is everyman's right after all." Flora retorted bitterly. "What does it matter at any rate if I do or if I do not, it will not change a damn thing in any case?"

"What are you going to do?"

"Do?" Flora exclaimed whirling round to face the chef astonishment clear on her face. "I am not going to do anything…There is nothing I can do that I have not already attempted, except accepting the situation for what it is and moving on with my life."

"You do have an alternative."

"Oh really?" Flora snorted.

"Yes you could tell him everything how you feel, not holding anything back, don't let him go on ignoring the situation." The Chef insisted much to the housekeeper astonishment.

Shaking her head vigorously Flora moved towards the door. "Never…Don't you understand I have barely to resolve to stand in the same room as him I could never find the strength to tell him I…"

"Then perhaps what you need is an alternative strategy!"

"Pardon?"

Smiling softly at her clear confusion the chef crossed the room patting her gently on the shoulder. "Why don't you try writing him a letter?"

- - - -