A love meant to be

This is how I wish series three had ended with Peter and Assumpta. I know it's been, ah, many years since this series aired but it has always stuck with me…it was so refreshing to see a love develop so organically and purely. This is the first piece of writing I've ever done (fanfiction or otherwise!), so I hope it's ok!

"Ahm, have you got a minute?" Peter beckoned Assumpta to the end of the bar, away from the prying ears of the crowd at the food fair.

"I love you." He said it softly yet strongly, the force of his love not lost on Assumpta. Unable to take her eyes from his meaningful gaze, she felt her face heat with a blush only Peter could induce.

"Will you take that thing off before you say things like that" she breathed, eyeing his collar.

"I can't help it!" he grinned.

"I know" she said, her eyes betraying a knowing smile.

In a blink the lights flickered off and the patrons groaned as Fitzgeralds was plunged into darkness, but Assumpta's eyes remained with Peter's. After three long years of mixed messages and hidden feelings, neither Assumpta nor Peter wanted to break this spell.

"Assumpta!", Padraig yelled, agitating for some light so he could have his next pint.

"Will you fix it yerself Padraig!" Assumpta quipped, annoyed at her private reverie with Peter being broken.

Padraig shrugged sheepishly at Siobahn and Brendan and headed down to the cellar to check the fuse, but after a moment of fumbling in the dark, popped his head up.

"Assumpta it's no use – this wiring's a death trap. Promise me you'll not go near it 'til we get the place seen to."

"Right, I'm calling it a night …everybody out!" Assumpta gave her orders.

Incredulous cries of "But Assumpta!" came from the regulars, used to her ladyship's temper but confused by her sudden wish to put an early end to the night's revelry and rid the pub of her patrons, electricity or no electricity. She managed to quickly usher them out, turning from bolting the door shut to find only Peter left, lighting a candle to provide them with a flicker of light.

With the public gone Peter rolled up his sleeves and snapped off his collar, unbuttoning the top button of his shirt in one swift move. He looked up at Assumpta with a half-smile forming on his lips, his eyes betraying his adoration for the fiery publican. Assumpta didn't take her eyes from his…after three years of meaningful glances it was as though they could read each other's souls through just these looks. And tonight, as the truth of their love was finally revealed so wholly, it was their first chance to have unfettered, unguarded time together. It was an unspoken agreement that the night's clean-up could wait 'til the morn.

Without any words needed, Peter was quickly by her side and she felt herself enveloped into his embrace. His arms were strong, and as she rested her head on his chest he nuzzled his head into her curls, sensing a tantalising soft scent of vanilla and rose.

Peter's eyes shut as he cherished their embrace; to hold Assumpta after so much longing was nothing short of heaven. It was no question that he had chosen the right path, and that no matter which way he had prayed to God, the answer came back that Assumpta was the way and the light.

Relaxing in his arms, Assumpta lifted her head to find her lips attractively close to his neck. Smelling a delicious Peter-ness – a musky, manly aftershave that could only be Peter the man, not Peter the Priest – she couldn't help but lay her lips softly onto his skin. Peter responded with an involuntary shudder, every inch of his body alive in this intimate embrace. Assumpta's lips travelled gently, so tentatively, further up his neck, and Peter realised that every bit of his being was burning to be closer, and every ounce of his defences were rapidly melting away.

But he was still a priest, and she still married.

With shallow breath betraying the depth of his arousal, he gently pulled his head away and leant his forehead softly onto Assumpta's.

"Assumpta" he whispered, "I think we need to stop".

Assumpta could tell by his breathlessness that he was pained to part from her, and she flushed with pure joy in the reaction Peter was having to her body so close.

"I know", she said, herself husky with desire "…But I'll not make it easy for you," she tempted with a smirk.

Their lips hadn't yet met in a kiss, but both Peter and Assumpta were trembling from the power behind their first, passionate embrace.

They slowly, both reluctantly, disengaged. Peter poured them each a glass of red wine and they lounged on the floor by the fire, their banter as familiar as always, but whereas their recent conversations had been so marred by a delicate fragility they could now talk so openly, so honestly.

If anyone were to look into their window, they would see a loving couple chatting intimately in front of the fire as the last of its embers crackled away…but to Peter and Assumpta, this one, beautiful night revealed the happy future neither of them had dared dream after months of repressing love's flush.

"First thing tomorrow I'm going to see Father Mac to be released from my vows", Peter said as the last of the fire's embers died down, before taking both her hands into his.

"And I'll go into Cildargen to finalise my divorce," Assumpta replied steadily, as their fingers entwined themselves together. With their fingers enmeshed and their bodies just breaths apart, Peter mused with a quizzical look, "we neither of us took the easy route, did we Assumpta?"

"No," she smiled, and paused before adding in a soft, sultry lilt "but it'll be worth it!"

She could see Peter blush in the firelight, and his broad smile of agreement said it all as he rose to leave.

He shyly brushed a chaste kiss against her cheek to bid goodnight, and as he left, Assumpta – usually so guarded in matters of the heart – found herself leaning into the back of the door with a breathless grin.