"That's not intimacy May." Leo says as he scolds me gently. He'd asked me what I thought intimacy was and didn't like my answer.

"Then tell me what exactly intimacy is because apparently I've missed some part of my love education." I say indignantly.

"What if I show you instead of telling you?" Leo says cheekily.

"What did you have in mind?" I ask seductively as I walk towards Leo swaying my hips side to side.

Leo doesn't answer but merely sidles closer to me and slips his arms around my waist. He runs a hand though my hair, as best he can with it up, and down my face. He traces a finger across my lips and smiles at me, lowers his lips to mine and kisses me using such a technique that was, as yet, unknown to me. Our bodies now have no space between them as Leo pulls me still closer. My hands come up and drape softly around Leo's shoulders. I slowly pick my feet up off the floor causing Leo to hold me even tighter.

"Mother!" Grace cries in astonishment as she walks in the front door.

Damn I think as I place my feet back on the floor and try to wipe the lipstick smudges off Leo's lips.

"Mother, what is going on?" Grace steps further into the house and closes the front door.

"Do you have a problem with this, Grace?" I ask as I straighten my dress. I'm certainly not going to answer all of Grace's questions just because she asks them.

"I'm just surprised is all. You didn't tell me any of this was even going on." Grace looks surprised.

"I don't report to you, Grace. I'm your mother, not your daughter. You don't have any right to reprimand me." I am beginning to get angrier with her

"But, mother, Mr. McGinty? I didn't think you even liked him. You never showed any inclination towards him." Grace seems sceptical.

"Not in front of you, Grace, but Leo and I have a long history together. We loved each other once and when he came back we rekindled the romance." I try to explain.

"Mother! I can't believe you never told me any of this! Don't you think I had a right to know?" Grace's voice is getting screechy at this point.

"No, Grace! My private life is none of your business! I don't question your relationships and what's going on. I allow you to tell me in your own time what's going on in your life." I turn sharply towards Leo. "You're not feeling guilty are you, Leo?"

"Of course not. We haven't done anything wrong. We're both widowed and we have every right to be in a relationship. Grace should be happy that her mother has found someone that she's loved her entire life. At least we know we both truly love each other this way. We chose this relationship and Grace should be thrilled that you're not going to be interfering in her love life any more trying to set her up with men her age." Leo always has firm opinions.

"I'm thrilled that mother isn't going to be interfering quite as often in my life I just wish she'd shown me enough respect to consider that perhaps I had a right to know that she'd replaced my father with you! My father and I were very close and I thought my mother would have a little more consideration for my feelings in this before she went and jumped into bed with someone else!" Grace throws a wild accusation at Leo and I.

"Grace whoever said that happened? I'm not a common tramp! I don't just jump into bed with just anyone and I resent the insinuation that I have ever done that! Leo and I love each other and we will only take that step when we are both absolutely ready. Neither of us is pushing the other into doing any such thing too early. We've both been hurt in the past and we're being cautious in this relationship." I am irate that she even thought that was possible for me.

"Well, heaven forbid, mother, that at your age you should be even remotely sexually forward! How can you even be considering this? Don't you realize how people will talk? This town is not going to take this lightly mother. How do you suppose that you're going to be able to keep the mine? When people realize that you won't be a Bailey for very long they're going to ask for your resignation." Grace tries to use my job to make me see sense. She thinks I'll just give up the man I love. She must know me better by now.

"They won't dare, Grace. There's no one else intelligent enough in this town to run the mine any way. The only two people in the whole town who can run that mine are Leo and I. At this point in my life, Grace, I'm not concerned about what people in this town are going to say about this relationship. It's time for me to be happy again. Leo makes me happy despite any misgivings you might have about him." I fire back at my daughter angry that I am being challenged so openly, especially in front of the man I love.

"All right mother if that's what you think. I just came to tell you that you needn't make dinner for me tonight because I'm going out with Del." Grace says as she walks out the front door.