"I'm sorry." He was curled up at her side, his head against her chest, his arms encircling her, clinging tightly around her middle.

"I know," she whispered, stroking her fingers through his hair. She noticed the trembling on her hand and hoped he didn't feel it. Despite the fact he had calmed after his medication, she was still shaken from his actions a mere half hour before. She held him tighter, needing to feel him close to her, needing to convince herself that he meant none of the harsh words he'd fired at her. "I'm sorry you have to go through this."

"It's my own fault." He yawned then, relaxing further against her. "I should have managed better… Should have talked to you." His words were becoming more and more slurred as he spoke. She doubted he would take in much of was she said. Nevertheless, she attempted to placate him and reassure him he shouldn't be so hard on himself.

"I love you Jill," he murmured even more sleepily.

Tears once more came to cloud her vision, though they were ones borne out of relief at his words. "I love you too. I know the next few weeks are going to be difficult for you, but please always try and remember that." He nodded, and she reluctantly raised her arm, hitching back her sleeve to take a look at her watch. "Gordon love, I have to be getting back to work soon."

Once again he nodded, grudgingly releasing her and laying lethargically back against the pillows. She bestowed a final kiss to his cheek, her figures following her lips before making a hurried start at repairing the damage her tears had done to her makeup. The trembling in her body was decreasing to be replaced by her earlier exhaustion; the temptation to crawl into bed and sleep the afternoon away was almost too great. Yet she knew she couldn't. It was with a start that she realised she hadn't yet packed Tom and Katie's suitcases. Betty, Henry and the children would be waiting at the train station in – she checked her watched and winced – 15 minutes. The undercurrent of panic which accompanied this information served to propel her towards the children's bedrooms and once again diminish some of her weariness. After handing over the luggage and saying goodbye to her step-children, she would likely be late beginning her house calls. The possibility of a simple afternoon and an early finish was fast slipping from her sight.