AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hi! This is an AU/missing scene type of thing from Hope Springs (an amazing programme where Alex Kingston plays the leader of a group of female cons (not the movie with Colin Firth)). It is one of my favourite programmes and I'm aware that myself and many others feel that Ellie & Gil should have ended up together! So that is kinda what I've done, haha :)
DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately I do not own any of the characters mentioned in this fanfic and I do not own Hope Springs. Hope Springs belongs to it's creators and this is purely for fun and non-profitable purposes!
Secrets and Lies
"Gil!" She shouts his name from across the gravel path, coming to a halt with a faint smile flickering across her lips as she watches him approach.
"I just came to wish you and Ann-Marie a wonderful marriage together" She sighs, attempting to look as sincere as she can, considering the amount of bollocks that just came out of her mouth. Oh, but he's standing so close, devilishly handsome with his rugged smile and lush brunette hair. She wants nothing more than to hold him close and tell him how she really feels. She tells herself no. She just needs to say what she came to say, and get the hell out of there. "She's a very lucky woman to have you" She turns to leave, trying to escape the torment this is causing her, knowing she has to leave him behind, and let him get on with his life with someone else.
"Are you... ok?" He asks softly.
"Yeah" Her breath hitches as he begins to advance towards her. "I just wanted to tell you that whatever happens, I hope you'll be very happy"
The proximity between them now is unbearable, as they stand together in the cool air, his captivating green eyes desperately searching hers for something, but she isn't quite sure what.
"Are you trying to tell me something?" He mutters, looking at her longingly. She thinks she can see some hope in his expression, or hear it caught up in his soothing voice. Almost as if he wants her to give him a reason not to marry Ann-Marie. Wishful thinking, probably.
"No, no!" She tucks a strand of her coiled golden locks behind her ear. "Just, congratulations. Have a nice life together" She doesn't mean it. Not one word. And she can't take it anymore. She leans in, closing the gap between them to press a tender kiss to his cheek.
It doesn't take much more than that. And within seconds, he has captured her lips and put his arms around her. She flails her arms, quickly realising what she's doing, and as much as she wants to keep going, if Ann-Marie or anyone else were to walk up the drive to the Hope Springs hotel and catch them, it would grind Ellie and the girls' escape plan into the dirt whilst she explained what the hell she thought she was doing snogging a man getting married in a few days. She gasps and pulls away, squirming her way out of his arms, but he tries to pull her in again, his lips seeking hers, until she finally breaks free.
"Oh, god, Ellie, I..." He begins.
"I didn't mean to do that, I'm really sorry" She mumbles apologetically, untangling herself from his arms and turning hastily to leave.
"You... you can't just..." He stammers.
But she's walking away, desperate to avoid more complicated questioning or embarrassment. She's reaching for the handle of the rusty old door when she feels his hand clasped tightly around her wrist, restraining her from making an exit. She pauses in her tracks, attempting one last time to shake him off her and make a run for it, but the second he feels her try to escape, he spins her gently round to face him. Their arms still tangled together, she rests the palm of her free hand on his chest and closes her eyes solemnly.
"Please, Ellie..." He whispers. "You can't just run away"
"Gil, let go of my arm"
"No" He replies stubbornly, slipping an arm around her waist and pulling her closer to him. "Not until we talk about what just happened"
"It was a mistake, that's all" She says adamantly. His grip on her arm has loosened, and she twists it free.
"A mistake? Ellie, you don't mistakenly kiss someone! You kissed me, Ellie"
"You kissed me!" She protests, stepping back to create some much-needed space between them.
"Ok, ok, we need to talk about this" She opens her mouth to speak but he interrupts "Just, not here"
Before she can say anything, he is taking her hand and pulling her gently along with him, as he guides her round the corner and into an alley round the back of the hotel. The alley is between the hotel and an outhouse, and the rough, stony walls of the buildings are very close together, so there isn't much room for personal space. They are practically pressed chest to chest, and her breath is ragged as he lays his hand tenderly on her left cheek and begins to brush his thumb over her cheekbones. His other hand brushes her hair back, tucks an errant curl behind her ear and lets his fingers dance down the cool skin of her arm.
"Gil, stop" She whispers, although she really doesn't want him to. "I thought you wanted to talk about this. If we're not gonna talk about it, then I best be getting back to the girls and Sadie..."
"I do want to talk about it" He begins, taking a deep, shaky breath. "I can't stop thinking about that kiss, Ellie. But I don't want to talk about it now"
He begins to press soft kisses into the crook of her neck and along her collarbone, as his arms slip around her waist and strokes lines into the dip of her lower back, just how she likes. She arches into his touch, aching to be caressed and loved for once instead of used in the way Roy had used her.
"Gil, don't" She whispers, restraining herself from getting lost in the moment as she pulls his head back up and he drops his forehead against hers. "What about Ann-Marie? She's your fiancée! You're getting married to her!"
"Don't talk about her, Ellie" He mumbles, as he cups her cheek and pecks her lightly on the lips. "She's been trying to find a way to make me doubt you, and stop us from growing closer. She's jealous of you, Ellie. She's jealous and thinks that you're going to take me away from her"
"And aren't I?" She huffs, tilting his head back up to stop his gentle caresses. "Look at yourself, Gil. Look at what you're doing right now! She's right. I mean, how could you do this to Ann-Marie? It's not right, Gil. You know that"
"I don't love her"
"So why are you marrying her?"
"... I don't know" He mutters, moving his arms away and letting her go, before slumping against the adjacent wall. "I really don't. She's pregnant. I tried to do the honourable thing by her and propose. She doesn't really love me, I can tell. She only wants to marry be because she thinks I can take her to Edinburgh" He sighs, rubbing his temples in slow circles before dropping his head into his hands.
Ellie watches him in silence for a moment, before approaching and putting her arms around him in an attempt to console him. The look of despair painted across his features is heartbreaking. He looks so sombre, and she can see that he feels he's failed. Failed to solve the mystery of Katie's death, failed Ann-Marie, and failed her. She hadn't meant for this to happen. She only wanted to say a quick goodbye to him before leaving Hope Springs with the girls. She hadn't meant to kiss him, or give him cold feet about his upcoming wedding. She exhales shakily and pressed her forehead against his temple before pressing a reassuring kiss into his hair, but suddenly he moves his head, and before she knows it, his lips are slanted against hers in a slow moving kiss. This time, she doesn't pull away.
He buries his hands in her mane of golden curls and she opens her mouth to him to allow the exchange of tongues. Her hands wrap around the nape of his neck and pull him closer, and before she knows it, he's picked her up by her thighs and wrapped her legs around his waist as he slams her into the wall opposite, pinning her there. She groans a little, and he apologises hastily, kissing down her neck and occasionally biting down hard enough to leave a love bite. She lets out a soft moan and pulls his head up to kiss him again. Just as Gil reaches down to undo the button of her purple trousers, Ellie catches the sound of Ann-Marie's shrill Scottish accent floating through the air and grabs his wrists to stop him before he goes any further.
"Ann-Marie" She whispers and he groans, removing his hands reluctantly.
They pause like deers in headlights, Ellie's arms and legs still wrapped tightly around his body, as their current positioning and the proximity between them would be difficult to explain should anyone find them. They hear Ann-Marie calling Gil's name over and over, and Sadie attempting to calm her down. Ellie wonders what she's fussing about now, but she quickly brushed it off when Gil starts to peck at her neck again.
"Gil, stop it" She hisses.
"Why? They won't find us"
"They might. And then what would you – we – do? How are you going to explain this to Ann-Marie? Kissing another woman in a dark alley just days before your wedding? Hmm? Please, Gil, just keep quiet and still for a few minutes" She whispers, pleading with him with her eyes.
"Fine" He sighs.
When Ann-Marie's voice finally evaporates into the air and they hear the crunch of the gravel as Sadie escorts her back inside a few minutes later, they breathe a huge sigh of relief. Ellie drops her feet back to the floor and unravels herself from Gil's arms.
"I should be getting back to the girls" She murmurs, brushing past him, but he slips his arm around her waist and pulls her back into him, pressing one long, final, kiss to her lips.
"I really like you, Ellie" He smiles, stroking his knuckles along the soft skin of her cheek. "I'd like to see you again, like this... when we won't be interrupted. But there are a lot of things I need to think about though"
"I'll see you later?"
"Yeah" She nods; planting a chaste kiss on his lips for what she knows will be the last time, before smiling faintly and turning to walk away.
He believes that he'll get to see her again, but she knows he won't. She's leaving Hope Springs with the girls for Barbados in half an hour. They've got the fake passports, everything's set, and she can't let them down now. What would she even say? How could she possibly tell the girls that she's bailing on their plan because she's fallen for the local policeman? Oh god, he's a policeman. He's a policeman, and she's an ex-convict in hiding. Getting involved with him is about the most dangerous thing she could possibly do. She hates to have to leave him in the clutches of the manipulative Ann-Marie Cairncross, but if she wants to protect herself and the girls and stay out of prison, it's something she's going to have to do. At least she's learned one thing through Gil, and that's that not all men are as inconsiderate and rude as her tough, gangster husband, Roy. She glances over her shoulder and back at the darkened alley where Gil is standing, leaning against the wall and gazing at her with a schoolboy smile plastered on his face as she walks away. She doesn't want to hurt him, but she knows it's for the best. When he goes looking for her later on, she'll be long gone. But there's no looking back now, she tells herself. Secrets and lies are all that will protect her.
Any feedback would be brilliant, I'm nervous about this because it's not usually what I write for! :D