Author's note: Here's a short, one-shot Sam/Foyle fic. Nothing risque, just good clean fun. I couldn't resist writing a sweet stand-alone fic where the two of them are happy together, because I'm struggling with the angst in my other S/F fic, "Up with the lark." I'm still working on the other fic but please accept this short piece in the meanwhile.
Thanks to JT and CB for their feedback and editing!
They had worked together for nearly three years, and there were days when Samantha Stewart still couldn't tell if Mr. Foyle was pleased with or annoyed at her. Not that he didn't give her signs of both—he certainly did—but she was left wondering what his predominant feelings towards her really were. Take the time when Milner was a suspect in his wife's murder: Foyle had chastised her severely when she had asked him if he thought that Milner was really guilty.
"We don't talk about cases, now do we?" he had asked sharply.
"No, sir," Sam meekly said, puzzled because they so very often had discussed cases together. It had taken her a few days to work it out in her mind and come to the realisation that he was not angry at her, even if he had spoken harshly. Rather, as he so often did, he was protecting her. He was letting her know, subtly but surely, that she must never reveal to anyone else how closely she worked with him and Milner. Both of their positions—hers, Foyle's—might be at stake if his superiors and hers found out just how regularly he included her in police work. As an MTC transfer, not a commissioned police officer, she really had no business being anything but Foyle's driver.
This is what Sam, quite frequently, had to remind herself—that she had no business being anything to him except his driver. She was not his friend, not his confidant, and certainly not his "fancy woman", as the Land Girls had teased her. Sam had to remind herself of these things, because if she didn't she was too often at risk of thinking of him as more than her boss. What exactly he meant to her, or what they were to each other, she could not say. There were mornings when she picked him up in the Wolseley and, without having to ask him a single question, she already knew that he had thought of another trail to follow on a case and would have the two of them prowling around Hastings until long after dark. She could also tell by the angle of his trilby whether or not it was going to be a casual drive that morning or whether he had hours of paperwork to attend to. And she knew, by his admiring glances at her, whether or not he approved of a change in her makeup or her hair. Although she wore the same uniform every day, he never failed to notice if she bought a new lipstick or shade of rouge, even if he never said as much. His wide-eyed stare told her enough.
But not quite enough, Sam thought. She still did not know if he were merely being observant, because that was what a detective knew how to do, or if he truly admired her and—she dared to hope—thought of her as anything other than his driver.
Now things were different, because Foyle had resigned from the police force, and he was no longer her commanding officer. The change had thrown Sam into confusion and a bit of despair, as she had worried at first that she would be transferred out of Hastings, never to see him again. But she found work readily enough in town, and was surprised, but delighted, when Foyle asked her to type his memoirs. It was the first hint that she had had in a long time that he might want to spend as much time with her as she wished to spend with him. She suspected, though she never asked him, that he would have been better off typing the manuscript himself, what with her clumsy fingers and frequent errors.
If I didn't edit the drafts afterward, and my initial transcript got into print, it would need pages of errata, she mused. Why he doesn't fire me and find someone more suited to the task, I can't make heads or tails of. But she would never have suggested such a thing to him, because the hours she passed with him, in his own home, were as precious to her as the years she had spent driving him around the South Downs. More precious, even—because she knew that they would come to an end once his book was finished, and she did not know if she would see him again with such frequency and such casual intimacy as they now shared.
Sam did not tell him that, in truth, she was a proficient typist, but that the act of sitting across from him and listening to him narrate one sentence after another was mesmerising. She appreciated how he always dressed neatly for her visits, wearing now a Fair Isle vest, now a trim waistcoat over his dress shirt. Sam was less formal, throwing on old scarves and sweaters in a jumbly sort of style that conveyed the ease that she felt in his presence. But Foyle was always proper, always a gentleman, with a fresh shave every morning, a tie that matched his clothes, and a pair of cufflinks at his wrists. As when they had shared the cabin of the Wolseley together, she could smell the cool pine scent of his aftershave and wondered how he had managed to procure such fine cologne, even throughout the war. There was nothing cheap, nothing unstudied, nothing coarse about Foyle. It fascinated Sam, how his effortless attention to detail had such an effect on her sensibilities.
Moreover, there was his voice! Listening to him dictate, all too often Sam became lost in the soft timbre of his voice, causing her fingers to fumble on the typewriter—thus his impression of her as a hopeless amanuensis. Sam prayed that he would not get fed up with her efforts and decide to finish the job himself. Later, in her own flat, she would work extra hard at editing the drafts, so that he would not find reason to fire her, as DCS Meredith had done. She didn't know what she would do with herself if Christopher Foyle fired her.
One clear Saturday morning, Sam was typing and Foyle was narrating: "...and then the commissioner hired three extra constables to make sure that my police driver was paying attention. You are paying attention, aren't you, Sam?"
She typed all this as he spoke, then looked up with a jolt as she realized that he was speaking to her, and had stopped the narration.
"I'm terribly sorry, sir," she cried, moving the back spacer key to cross out the section she had mistakenly transcribed.
He smiled a wobbly smile at her. "Quite distracted today, aren't you, Sam?" he asked.
"A bit," she admitted with chagrin.
"A penny for your thoughts," he said.
She looked him in the eyes. "I shouldn't think you'd really like to hear my thoughts, sir," she said. "It's just a silly thing."
"Oh?" he asked, raising an eyebrow and grinning. "Whatever it is, it seems to be keeping my assistant from doing her job."
"I'm sorry," she said. "It won't happen again. Now, where were we?" But Foyle would not be distracted so easily.
"So are you saying that I offered too little? Your thoughts are worth more than a penny?" he teased. "A shilling, then?" Sam reddened.
"I'm afraid they are not for sale," she said, blushing even more deeply. Foyle looked at her sharply. If he weren't mistaken, she looked exactly like a woman who had been caught in the middle of some sweet, secret daydream. As far as he knew, Sam hadn't stepped out with anyone since the "crossroads", but she looked sufficiently distracted to make him suspect that some romance was blooming in her life. He couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy as he pondered who might be the man lucky enough to win Sam's affection. She had been more reserved with him, ever since they began to meet in his home to work on his memoirs, and he missed the easy banter that had formerly flowed between the two of them. But Foyle couldn't resist asking her what—or whom—she was dreaming of, even if he feared that her response would not be to his liking.
At times Sam's romances had amused him, such as when she stepped out with the hapless Antonio but then assured Foyle that he really wasn't her usual type. At the time, he had felt more than a slight annoyance that Tony had interrupted what had been a private dinner between himself and his driver. Ignoring Foyle, the youth had made it into an occasion for wooing her.
It was then that Foyle had realised, for the first time, that he might have feelings for Sam that went beyond professional watchfulness.
Listening to her chatter away across the table from him during dinner, he had had the rare chance of watching her face as she talked. He noted how expressive and open her features were, how enthusiastically she described even the minor occurrences in her life. He had felt so weary and cynical only an hour earlier, when he had contemplated another night of eating out alone. And although he had feigned annoyance at Sam's breezily inviting herself along, he had felt no small satisfaction at Carlo's admiring stare when he brought her in with him. It was not lost on either of the men that the only woman Foyle had brought to Carlo's place before then had been Rosalind, his late wife. He had wooed Rosalind in the same restaurant, perhaps even at the same table.
"You be sure to take care of him," Carlo had whispered to Sam. "He works too hard." Foyle enjoyed the implications behind Carlo's words. In Napoli, Foyle knew, the sight of a younger woman stepping out with an older man would scarcely have caught anyone's attention. But in Hastings, Foyle rarely felt comfortable having Samantha accompany him anywhere, unless she wore her uniform and he could keep up a stiff front before her. In contrast, in Carlo's dining room, Foyle had been able to relax a bit, enough to begin to consider the beautiful woman who sat across from him and to enjoy the stolen moments in her company. He could almost have believed that they were on a date, if Tony had not come along in the middle of it to charm Sam with his broken Italian. It was perhaps petty of Foyle to tell her that Tony had never been out of England, but then again, Tony had made him feel like an irrelevant old man when he asked Sam to a dance right in front of him. Foyle had forgiven him this trespass when Sam had broken up with the youth soon after; the younger man's actions seemed harmless, even pitiable, when he considered how ill-fitting a couple Sam and Tony made.
Sam had indeed taken care of Foyle, as Carlo had surmised she might. Foyle felt certain that he would have left the police force much earlier if she (and Milner too, he had to remind himself) had not come along to vary the monotony of his days. Sam had been a real sport, always ready for an adventure or a lesson in crime solving, even if meant a late-night assignment or a bit of spy work. He did regret having put her in danger, albeit unwittingly, on so many occasions. Each time she had come close to getting blown up by a bomb—three times!—Foyle had contemplated telling Sam exactly how he felt about her. He had been terribly close to doing so when she was laid low by the anthrax; and had even gone so far as to tell her that he "couldn't go anywhere" without her—but he had stopped himself from saying any more. He would never have forgiven himself if he had disturbed her further with a confession of love, just when she was at her most vulnerable. And so he had contented himself with passing the hours at her side in the hospital, reading to her and seeking out the choicest treats to ply her appetite. The nurses had watched with interest, touched by his devotion, but had said nothing.
Unbeknownst to Foyle or Sam, Edie later commented to Milner that, "I have never seen a boss act like Mr. Foyle, to care so much for those under his command." Milner had drily commented that he doubted that he would receive so much attention from the Chief Superintendent, if he were the one who was ill. Since then, Paul and Edie had shared many a conversation in which they speculated about the relationship between Mr. Foyle and his driver.
Milner had long believed that Sam had a sort of schoolgirl crush on Foyle, but Edie urged him to consider that Sam was a woman, after all, and as liable as any other woman to fall in love, even if the man was so much older than she was.
After that, Milner had begun to view Sam's situation more seriously, and instead of teasing her when she waited late at the station for Foyle to finish, he would give her a knowing nod when he caught her preparing tea for their boss at nine in the evening. Both Milner and Edie were of the opinion that Foyle cared for Sam, but was too much of a gentleman to say so, and they waited for the day when one or the other would tell them that there was something more between the two of them. Milner believed that things would progress more quickly, once Foyle left the Force and Sam was fired by DCS Meredith; with neither of them working for the police any longer, he couldn't anticipate any obstacles to their telling each other how they felt. And now that Sam was spending all of her free time at Steep Lane— "helping Foyle with his memoirs," she had said, as if he would believe that flimsy excuse—Milner expected to hear the good news any day.
Of course, Milner had not counted quite so much on Sam's shyness nor on Foyle's sense of propriety. He wouldn't have known, for example, how reticent Sam was to share her thoughts with Mr. Foyle, nor how content Foyle was to let things go on as they were, indefinitely, rather than risk losing her gay company altogether.
"Come now, Sam," Foyle now urged. "I thought you knew that you can always tell me whatever is on your mind." He paused, reluctant to mention Joe Farnetti, but suspecting that Sam's silence had something to do with young love. "Remember the crossroads?" he asked her. "You didn't hesitate to consult me, then."
Sam looked up, startled. What in the world had possessed him to bring that up, now? Could he know that she was facing another kind of turning point in her life, as she contemplated what would happen once his memoirs were complete and she no longer had any (professional) excuse to see him? Did he know that she wanted to tell him how she felt, damn the consequences, because she was tired of keeping in all of her respect, all of her regard, all of her love for him?
No, he couldn't possibly know these things. And yet, for an instant, Sam thought that he should know, that she owed him at least that much. If he never wanted to see her again, that was just as well, as she might never see him again anyway. Reasoning that she did not have that much to lose, Sam took a deep breath.
"Yes, I remember the crossroads," she began slowly. "How could I not? I almost left England, Hastings—" she stumbled. "I almost left you, sir..." She trailed off, worried what his reaction might be.
"What made you stay?" he asked softly, with concern in his voice. She looked away from him, suddenly shy, but determined to say what had to be said.
"You were what made me stay," she said in a voice so low that he had to strain to hear her. "Remember when you came to see me, and I asked you if I was any help at all to you, and you told me that I was a vital part of the team?"
"I remember, Sam," he said tenderly, looking at her steadily, willing her to look back at him. But she kept her face turned away and he noticed a tremble in her lips. Sam was nervous and Foyle could hardly say that he felt any differently. So this was to be their denouement—he certainly hoped that it was leading in that direction!—and she was so scared that she could hardly look at him. Foyle wondered yet again how he had remained so impassive for so long, and whether or not he had done the right thing in hiding his feelings from her. She was obviously in great distress, and he yearned to take her in his arms and reassure her that there was nothing, nothing that she could say or do that would make him turn her away. He wanted to say that he would keep dictating his memoirs, even if it meant he had to dig deep into his past, if it meant keeping her by his side for a few more months.
Instead, Foyle reached across the table and took Sam's hand. She looked up at him in surprise. The times he had touched her before were so few that she could count them on her fingers. "Do you remember what else I said to you, in the hospital?" Foyle asked her. He squeezed her hand and, at last, she lifted her eyes to his. "I told you that I couldn't go anywhere without you." She nodded as tears came to her eyes. "Do you know what I meant, Sam?" She shook her head, hoping—praying—that he would continue. "I meant that I couldn't imagine… work—or life—without you."
Sam suddenly stood up, pulling her hand out of his and turning to face the wall so that he wouldn't see her tears. She crossed her arms over her chest and began to pace across the room, not daring to look at him again.
"Mr. Foyle—" she started, then paused to look at him, her brown eyes wide with feeling.
"I would have you call me Christopher," he said quietly. Sam held her hands to her face and began to cry in earnest. Concerned, Foyle pushed back his chair and rose to join her, rushing to put his arms around her. The feel of his embrace sent Sam even further into sobs, as she nestled into his chest and put her own arms tentatively around his waist. Her favorable response was not lost on him and, encouraged, he stroked her hair with one hand while the other snuck around her hip and held her close. She rested her head on his neck as she continued to cry, her whole body shuddering with her sobs and with the relief his confession brought. "Sam," he murmured, "Dear, dear Sam!" She whimpered something unintelligible and he leaned his ear to her mouth so that he could hear her better. "What's that?" he asked.
"I said that I never thought you—thought that you could—" Sam began to hiccup and had to stop. He put a finger to her lips to urge her to take her time. She shook his hand away and tried again to speak. "I can't tell you, Christopher, how long, how very long, it has been—how long I have waited for you to say—" She hiccupped again.
"Hush," he said. "Hush, darling, if I may call you that...?"
"Yes," Sam said breathlessly, burrowing more deeply into his shoulder. "Please—yes—you may!" He put his hand under her chin and tilted her face up, forcing her to look him in the eyes. She returned his gaze through her tears, seeing him look openly at her with affection and something else—amazement? love?—for the first time.
"My darling Sam," he whispered. "May I… May I—kiss you?" He practically stumbled on the words, even knowing what her answer would be. In response, she closed the distance between them, moving into his kiss.
His arms wrapped more tightly around her as he kissed her for the first time, gently at first; light kisses just brushing her lips. Then, as she began to respond in kind, he increased the pressure of his lips on hers, causing her to cry out suddenly and lean more closely into him. She moved her hands to the back of his neck, touching his short curls as she tried to pull him even closer. Foyle's knees nearly buckled in shock and delight. He could scarcely believe that it was Sam who was in his arms, Sam who was kissing him back, Sam who even now was murmuring his given name in a hoarse, throaty, moaning sort of voice. Sam!
Foyle closed his eyes and thanked whomever was responsible for assigning her to be his driver, in that errant act of chance that had left him so enchanted and, at once, so frustrated by the young woman whom he now held in his arms. His driver's incorrigible optimism, her fresh good looks, her innocent take on human nature, her self-effacing yet competent manner, had all conspired to make him fall deeply and madly in love with her, convinced all the while that she could never return his feelings for her—that she would always see him, as Joe Farnetti had speculated, as a father figure. For his part, from the moment she had walked into his office and saluted him with a cheery smile, he had rarely been able to see Sam as anything other than a beautiful, unattainable woman, her youth and spirits a reminder that, while he had once been handsome and admired by the fairer sex, he was now past his prime and was better off not hoping for impossible things. Yet here she was now, in his arms, eagerly kissing him back, her enthusiasm belying all of his fears.
Foyle had not been entirely blind to Sam's feelings for him, but he had chalked them up to a childish sort of admiration, one that he had seen before in the young men who were under his command: the kind of hero-worship that even Milner had displayed at times. But after Sam had turned down Farnetti to keep working with him, he had to admit to himself that her behavior was less like someone in awe of her boss, and more like a woman who was in love. As he kept kissing her, he mentally berated himself for the time that they had lost in the year since her hospitalisation, time when they might have been together like this.
Sam, in turn, had stopped crying, hushed at last by his sweet kisses. Her tears had been tears of relief, at finally having the truth out between the two of them. She had not been wrong, after all—it could not only be annoyance that Foyle had felt towards her—and still she wanted to know why he had so often teased her and even scolded her for her work.
Pulling back from him, she looked into his face and spoke. "Christopher," she said, thrilling to the sound of his name on her lips. "Tell me something."
"Anything, darling," he answered.
"I thought you were—how shall I put it?—I thought you saw me as a nuisance to you, as someone whom you indulged by keeping around. Why...?" She left her question hanging, and Foyle reluctantly broke their embrace as he stepped back and put one hand to his forehead.
"Sam," he started, wondering how little he could say, then deciding that he owed her a full explanation. "Milner teased me once about that, you know," he went on. Sam's eyes widened in amazement. "He said that I treated you as if you were a pesky annoyance, so as not to let on to anyone how much you meant to me."
"What did you say to him in return?" Sam asked. He harrumphed and looked at her from the top of his eyes, his head still bent in contemplation.
"I told him it was none of his business how I treated you." Sam laughed, imagining how Milner may have responded. "And he parried that he knew that it was none of his business, but perhaps I might let you know just how important you were to me. I could have had him cited for insubordination, but he spoke the truth. And then he got me thinking more about you, and me, and whether or not I had been quite fair to you. I had tried so hard not to show you any favoritism that perhaps I began to err on the other side."
"When was this?" Sam asked. "When I was in the hospital, or afterwards?"
"When you were sick. And that's what made me think that maybe I shouldn't be so miserly with my praise of you. It's what made me dare to tell you how important you were to the team—and to me." Foyle cleared his throat. "I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that you had gone straight at the crossroads, even if nothing had changed between the two of us."
"Something had changed," Sam said, moving closer to him and putting her arm on his. She kissed his cheek lightly, then pulled back and said, "I knew that I was in love with you, really in love with you, and couldn't marry another man as long as you were in my life." She laughed. "Even if you were still my boss."
"Thank God for the MTC," Foyle said, beginning to kiss her again. "And thank God I'm no longer your commanding officer."
"Mmmm," Sam said in reply, molding her body to fit against his own. Foyle, who was attractive to her even when he was scolding her, was even more alluring to her when he was holding her tightly within his arms. The sureness with which he kissed her and with which he held her, reassured her that he wanted this as much as she did. His kisses were nothing like Joe's or Andrew's, thank goodness (she couldn't bear being reminded of his son at a time like this), but more probing; hungrier…. His controlled exterior had hidden a man whose ardour surprised and aroused her. Now she knew that his moments of irritation with her were due, more than anything, to his feeling the rub at being her constant companion, and believing her entirely out of his reach.
There were still some questions that Sam was dying to ask Foyle. The relief of knowing that he cared about her—loved her, even—was accompanied by the sense that the floodgates had opened between the two of them, and she could finally ask him the questions she had been pondering for years. But first, the most important question of all:
"When did you start to feel this way about me?" Sam asked him, curious to learn whether they had fallen in love at the same time.
"I think I can trace it back to the night when you so unceremoniously invited yourself to dinner with me, at Carlo's."
Sam laughed. "Really? I was terrible that night, insisting on coming along with you, letting you pay, and then accepting Tony's invitation to the dance right there in front of you!" Sam covered her face with her hands, embarrassed. "I was dreadful to you!"
"That you were," Foyle agreed. "But you were also very good company, and you weren't hard to look at, either." Sam laughed, and his chest tightened at the sweetness of it. "I don't think I had let myself see you as a woman—not just as my driver—until that night, when Carlo and Antonio were clearly so taken with you. It made me feel all of a sudden like the luckiest man in England, to be accompanied by such a charming lady."
"Really?" Sam asked, somewhat doubtful. "You always treated me as if I were no different from Milner, or Brookie. You were completely professional towards me."
"I tried to be," Foyle admitted, "but there were so many occasions when I couldn't help but show you how much I cared."
"As you did when my house was bombed," Sam said softly.
"Yes," Foyle said. "If you only knew how I rushed over, desperate to know that you were all right."
"You don't know how happy it made me to see you come running over to me," Sam said, "although nothing else about that day was happy. I hardly realized at the time how much I had counted on you coming to find me, to make things all right. I think that was the beginning of things for me, sir—Christopher," she corrected herself.
"The beginning of what?" He kissed her forehead, then leaned down to kiss her lips again. She willed herself to pull away so that she could answer his question.
"I knew I had felt a desperate sort of need for your attention and approval, and before my house was bombed, I couldn't understand quite why. I tried to convince myself that my job was important, and that's why I wanted to learn everything I could and win your praise. But when you came over to me at Mrs. Harrison's, I realized that it was really your love I was seeking."
Foyle raised his eyebrows in surprise. "So it took a close call with death to see…?"
"Yes," Sam said. "It all became very clear to me. But you never seemed interested."
"It wouldn't have been proper for me to show you any attention in that way," he reminded her. "You were my subordinate. I tried hard to not let you know how much I cared. No…" he amended, determined to be honest, "it wasn't just that I cared about you. It was love that I felt towards you, and it wasn't the kind of love that I had expected to feel towards a young woman, not at my age. I tried to deny what I felt, and show you otherwise with my actions, but I'm afraid that I might have hurt you."
"Is that why you asked me to take Andrew out?" Sam inquired. "I had thought—hoped—that you were going to ask me to dinner again, but then you told me that you wanted me to spend time with your son."
"Yes," he said, "though when you asked me if I were inviting you out, I was sorely tempted to abandon the plan for Andrew and ask you out myself, as you seemed willing."
"Yes, I was willing," Sam assured him, "And, as you know, Andrew was terrible company that night." Foyle grimaced.
"Mmm. You did let me know about that," he reminded her. His mouth twitched as he remembered their heated conversation afterwards.
"And you must have spoken to Andrew," Sam said, "because he was a perfect gentleman to me after that."
"Too perfect," Foyle murmured darkly. "I didn't mean for the two of you to actually fall in love."
"We didn't," Sam reassured him. "At least, I didn't. I don't fall in love that easily." She looked at him meaningfully and winked. "Of course I liked him, but I really knew very little of him. Things were so intense, they happened so quickly with him—one day we were just stepping out, the next he was at my door looking for a place to stay while he avoided the RAF. It was all so unexpected. And then just as quickly, he was posted to Debden. And you know the rest. He sent me a letter, said that he had met someone else, and that was the end of that."
"Thank Heaven," Foyle said. "And you said things happened quickly between the two of you. Erm… did Andrew and you...? Did anything ever pass between the two of you when he was staying at your flat?" He wanted to know if Andrew had seduced her, but he would not offend her by asking her directly. It was really none of his business, and yet…It made him furious to think that Andrew might have taken advantage of Sam, like he had so many women, only to unceremoniously abandon her.
Sam hesitated before answering. "He wanted something to happen," she explained. "He tried to convince me that it would take his mind off the missions if we—you know..."
Foyle snorted. "Any excuse to get a girl into bed, that's Andrew," he said ruefully. "I'm sorry that he treated you that way." She still had not given him the answer he was looking for.
"Oh, he didn't treat me badly at all," Sam breezily told him. "I told him quite firmly that there was a sofa in the main room that he could use, and that if I caught him in my room I wouldn't let him stay with me any longer."
"I must admit that I'm relieved to hear it," Foyle said, giving her his small sideways smile and holding her more tightly in his arms.
"And that's what he did. Kept to the sofa. And then you figured out where he was, and came to talk to me about it." She smiled back at him, staring fixedly into his blue eyes. He felt the urge to kiss her again, but there was more to say, more misunderstandings to set right.
"It was more than a friendly chat, if I remember correctly," Foyle said. "You were stepping out with my son, and neither of you had felt it necessary to mention the fact to me. And what was worse, you were hiding him in your flat when he was supposed to be on duty. I couldn't help but wonder what else had passed between the two of you." He noted her crestfallen expression, so the gentleness of his next words belied their strength. "No, I was furious," he reminded her. Recalling the incident still made his bile rise, even now that Sam had explained what had really happened.
"I was so ashamed when you found out," Sam confessed. "I had let things go too far. I should never have let him stay with me, without telling you first. He is your son, and you were so worried that he had gone missing."
Sadness had replaced the joy of discovery in her eyes, and Foyle immediately forgave her everything. Part of him damned himself for bringing all this up, but part of him was relieved that they had talked about everything, especially about what they had felt towards each other, both the good and the bad. "Sam," he said softly, pulling her into his embrace once again. "It would seem we have some things to forgive each other for, but it should make us happy to put them behind us and start anew."
She looked up at him through tears, but she was smiling. "I wish that I could go back and erase all of those mistakes," she confessed. "I've made such a mess of things, haven't I?" He took her face in his hands and very gently kissed her on the lips.
"We both made mistakes, Sam," Foyle told her, as kindly as he could. "But there's nothing we can't fix."
"Like your manuscript," Sam said, with some humor in her voice.
"My manuscript?" he asked, a bit puzzled.
"It's full of my typing errors! You can't imagine the time it takes me at home to correct the mistakes I find when I read it over again."
He raised his eyebrows. "Hmm?"
"Yes, it's quite funny, actually." She laughed a little. He thought that she looked adorable and was relieved to see the happiness return to her voice.
"So…it sounds like you're quite the expert at fixing mistakes?" he asked, joining in to the joke.
"Would look that way—Sir," she responded.
"None of that!" he said, swiftly covering her mouth with his own. "If you call me 'Sir' again I'll have to stop your mouth with kisses." Sam laughed again and began to protest, but he silenced her with kisses. She was quite content that way, in his arms, and was disappointed when he broke their kiss at last.
"It's past lunchtime," Foyle said. "What do you say we grab a bite to eat—outside? The Royal Victoria Hotel? They always have a weekend luncheon spread."
"Does this mean you're willing to be seen in public with me?" Sam teased him.
"I always have been," he reassured her. "But this may be the first time you're out of uniform when we step out together."
"I think I can get used to the change," Sam said, smiling at him before going to look for her coat.
"Glad to hear it, darling," Foyle bantered. "You certainly won't disappoint me." He took her arm and led her through the hall and out the door. For the first time, they walked down Steep Lane with fingers linked, not caring who might see them.