I got really stuck for ideas for the rest of the series, so instead of continuing with the series as normal, I'm going to break with tradition and end with a bumper-length 13-part special episode. Most of the parts are pretty short… There might be a few more scattered episodes after that but with my A-levels I don't want to be bogged down with writing obligations as well as everything else. Plus, I've suddenly solved a problem in the planning of my original novel that's been bugging me for MONTHS so that's now going "ASDFGBHJB WRITE MEEEE!"
Dempsey waited a total of ten hours after Harry had left before ringing her. He had intended to wait until the next day, but he missed her, he worried about her, and he wanted to know what had happened when she had met Jack. Out of friendly curiosity, of course.
When the phone was picked up, it was a upper-class male voice that said: "Good evening, the Winfield residence."
"Hello, is Harry there? I wanna speak to her."
"Lady Makepeace is currently indisposed. May I ask who is calling, sir?" asked the clipped voice.
"James Dempsey; can I talk to her?"
"Lady Makepeace did say that she should be contacted if Mr Dempsey called" - James fought a smile: there was no 'if' about it - "so if you would mind waiting a few moments I shall tell her you have called."
"Thanks," Dempsey said impatiently. He tapped a foot nervously as he listened to the silence on the other end of the phone. At last, he heard a rustle and then Harry spoke.
"Hello, James," she said, sounding a little shy.
"Hiya, Princess," he responded, his voice softening. He could not resist a gentle tease, all the same. "So apparently you're indisposed but you should be contacted if Mr Dempsey calls."
He could practically see the faint flush creeping into her cheeks, the way her eyes would drop downwards as they always did when she was embarrassed. "You're the only one who wouldn't spout asinine condolences at me," she said as though she was trying to excuse herself.
"Well, damn, I'll have to think of somethin' else to talk about now," he protested, and was rewarded with a weak chuckle. "How are things?" he asked more seriously, leaving the question open for her to interpret as she wished.
"The funeral is going to be in three days; this Saturday. Freddie never wanted a big funeral, so it seems silly to wait too long."
James heard her sniff, and waited for her to collect herself.
"Will you come?" she asked tearfully.
"Sure," he agreed immediately. "What time should I get there?"
"It starts at eleven. I…I suppose you could get here earlier…if you want."
Hearing what she really meant - 'Please come earlier. I don't want to be on my own.,' - Dempsey suggested:"How 'bout I drive over the night before?"
"What are best friends for?" he asked with a smile.
"Answering your phone at nine-thirty in the morning?"
"Hey, you can't tell me off for that, I was tryin'a stop it wakin' -" he broke off as he realised that she was laughing at him. "So how did things go with Jack last night?"
"We broke up," Harry said, and Dempsey's face spontaneously broke into a smile.
"Yeah?" he replied, trying to inject a note of sympathy into his voice. "How come?"
"We, ah, we wanted different things."
James sensed that she was not telling him the whole truth. "Oh, right. Sorry to hear it," he lied, still unable to remove the smile from his face.
"Yeah," he insisted, knowing he sounded too defensive but unable to do anything about it.
An awkward silence overwhelmed them both, stripping their words from their mouths before they could speak.
"I miss you," James said abruptly, ashamed of the words as soon as they left his mouth. She'd only left that morning for God's sake.
The pause before Harry spoke made him nervous, but her words reassured him. "I miss you too."