On a Thursday in late summer, Foyle lingered at the open window in his office, hearing the roar of London, but unable to see it. Rather like how he felt about this most recent case: aware of the problem of Karl Strasser, but unable to see - how to have made a way forward without going behind Hilda Pierce's back? The Americans were happy, the Security Services were not.
In all the months he had been stuck here in London, Foyle had only been down to his home in Hastings once. Everything was still as he had left it, though now covered with fine layers of dust. He all at once longed to be there again, to find peace and solitude in the cawing of the seagulls and the fresh sea air. To be away from the murk of the Service and the hustle that was London.
After the Americans had taken custody of Strasser at the airfield, he and Sam had driven away, leaving a rather flustered Hilda Pierce behind. Foyle had uncharacteristically slid into the back of the car, worrying his lip, deep in thought.
Sam had asked, "Where to?"
Catching his eye in the rearview mirror, she held back her questions, suddenly realising just how grave he looked.
"Good question," Foyle replied, leaving it at that.
They had gone back to the small flat the Service had organised for Foyle, quiet and dejected. Sam was staying in a boarding house not far away, but they often ate together before he walked her home. It was a boarding house run by the Service, so late comings and goings, or not showing up at all, went unnoticed and unmentioned. It suited them perfectly, and more often lately Sam had stayed, despite Foyle's mild protests about decency and "the done thing". As Sam had pointed out, they were rather past that. In London, they seemed to live an anonymous life, and some things appeared to no longer matter.
After a silent tea, and with no response to Sam's gently inquiring kisses on the back of his neck, she had thrown the tea towel down in frustration and said, "I hate it when you're like this, Christopher. Let me try to help, at least."
He'd stood and said harshly, "Let me be, Sam. For once, let me be," before stalking into the bedroom. Sam hadn't said a word, and though he had expected her to come to him again - to try and open him up, she hadn't. She had, instead, left quietly.
It was only now, standing here in the office that he felt regret at his harshness. He wished Sam had tried to make him talk about what he was thinking. He wasn't used to sharing his thoughts so easily anymore, and he felt a pang of guilt.
"I mustn't push her away," he said to himself, chewing his lip and listening to London below.
Foyle decided then and there, that what he needed most was to get away. Sam's divorce from Adam had come through, they were practically living together, they worked together, and yet he felt so distant. From his darling Sam, from his home, his son, and yes, even himself. He no longer understood why he was here, and felt an urgent desire to get away.
Walking briskly into the secretaries' room, he called out to Charlotte. She came over with an ever radiant smile and eyes that hinted at her underlying cleverness.
"Charlotte, I'm going back to Hastings for the weekend. I'll need Mrs Wainwright to drive me down tomorrow, so she won't be in either."
Sam had kept the name for now, though the Service knew exactly what had occurred. Foyle had once hinted they probably even knew precisely what they were getting up to.
Charlotte tried to keep her face passive as she replied, "Of course, Mr Foyle."
"Thank you. If Valentine or Ms Pierce need me, they will have to drag me away."
He added as an afterthought, "Haven't fished my river in months, you know. The trout will be getting too confident for their own good."
She smiled back at him, "Good luck, sir."
Foyle collected his hat and stopped at Sam's desk. She wasn't there - "Probably hunting down a file...or sniffing out a biscuit," he thought fondly, hoping she wasn't too angry with him. He left a note, tucked under one corner of the typewriter. It read:
Mrs Wainwright - Mr Foyle requires your presence tomorrow, Friday, in
order to drive him to Hastings. Please be ready by 8am.
"If they want to make up their theories about that, well then let 'em," he thought, straightening his tie.
When Sam came into the flat much later that evening, she found Foyle sitting comfortably behind a cracked teapot.
Tentatively she said, "A weekend by the seaside, Christopher?"
"Good, you got the note."
She stuck her head around the door frame, looking at him quizzically, "Temporary or ...?"
"Yes, for now."
"Good, I can do with keeping a steady job," Sam said, coming into the room properly, "Plus, it's a jolly exciting one."
Foyle smirked, "Even more so than the Police force?"
"Rather!" She ran her fingers through his thinning hair and planted a kiss on his cheek.
As she turned, he caught her hand and pulled her down onto his lap. His lips were at her throat, whispering upwards. "I'm sorry about yesterday, darling; I know I shouldn't keep things in."
"As long as you are all right," Sam said in reply, fingers intertwining with the small curls at his neck. "I was worried about you."
Foyle sighed into her hair, "I know. I wasn't being fair to you - you were on this case as much as I was."
"Nevermind." She kissed him again, this time on the lips. "Tell me about our trip to the seaside!"
Foyle gave her a half smile. "I can't stand London a moment longer, and I want to be with you, away from work and prying eyes."
"I like that idea," she whispered. She moved one hand inside the top of his shirt, the other undoing a button, "And there are no prying eyes here tonight...perhaps we can go over the...intricacies of your seaside plan..."
"You've been typing too many files, dear girl," Foyle said with a short laugh. It was smothered by Sam's warm kiss, and he allowed himself to forget the recent weeks, sinking deeply into her lips.
Driving along the seafront, along familiar roads, Sam shivered pleasantly. This was where it had all begun, so many years ago. These roads, with this man beside her, during a war: how different everything felt now. Foyle touched her shoulder, his arm lazily draped across the back of the bench. She changed gear, then looked at him briefly, smiling and feeling slightly giddy. He felt it too - she could see it in his eyes.
The long sweep up to Foyle's house was overwhelming for Sam, and she felt the prick of tears behind her eyes. She felt at once that she was being silly, but it was as if she were coming home after a long ordeal.
Foyle took her hand once she parked the car, and somehow reading her mind, said softly, "Welcome home."
Bounding up the steps, he opened the door, stepping over the piles of post that scattered as the door swung in. Inside it smelled musty and had a distinct un-lived-in feel. He set their suitcases down in the hall, and began opening windows in the sitting room and kitchen. Sam stared around at the house, suddenly seeing it again in a new light. She was going to live here, in this wonderful house, full of so many memories. No more knocking on the front door and waiting to be let in...
Foyle came up behind her suddenly, putting an arm around her waist. "It feels so right having you here with me," he said softly.
"It feels so safe and calm," Sam said, "Just like it did during the war. I feel so at home. It's all familiar."
She turned to him, "It's so wonderfully you."
Foyle laughed. "Such a Sam thing to say," he said, giving her a kiss.
"Well, it is," she insisted, smiling at him.
Foyle nodded. "What should we do first?"
Sam looked around again, "Well, if I were my mother I would say, dust, but thank goodness I have none of her sense."
She squeezed his hand, "I rather think I'd like to see where I'll be sleeping."
"As you wish," Foyle grinned at her, leading her up the stairs. On the landing, he paused, twitching his lip, "You remember Andrew's room, don't you?"
She gave him a friendly punch and he grinned again, "Or perhaps you would be more comfortable here?" He pushed open the door to his own room, leading her inside. In this room he and his late wife had slept, had conceived Andrew, and made many memories; he did not feel the pressure of those memories swooping in, however, just a joyous feeling of satisfaction that this room would somehow be complete once again.
Foyle let go of Sam's hand, letting her wander further into the room. She went to the window to look out, admiring the sea view. Then, seemingly satisfied with the view, the Victorian wardrobe, the washstand and side table, she sat down on the edge of the bed, bouncing slightly. She looked up at him. His knees felt as if they would buckle under such a look. It was one of utter love and happiness. He felt weak and buoyant at the same time. She held out a hand and he came to sit beside her.
"I can't wait to make our memories here, Christopher," she said, "I feel like after all we've been through, we've made it here - where we are supposed to be."
Foyle felt his throat constrict and he could only nod.
Sam touched his cheek, "When I walked through the front door just now it was like everything in the last six years was leading up to that moment."
With a catch in his voice, Foyle said, "I'm so glad, Sam. I love you ever so much. I can't wait to begin our life together - here in Hastings where it all began."
He kissed her tenderly and she too felt a lump grow in her throat.
"Who would have thought, all that time ago, when I came to first collect you with the Wolseley, that we would one day be here?" she said slowly with a smile, "Do you remember? I was looking at Rosalind's watercolours."
"Of course I remember. I felt quite...er...unnerved by having a lovely young woman show up at my door at 8.30 in the morning... and I wasn't ready yet, I seem to think, still doing up my tie?"
"Mmmm," Sam purred, "You cut a charming figure in your waistcoat."
Foyle chuckled, "Ah well...um, I suppose."
Sam leant back, propping herself up on her elbows, so that Foyle had to shift around to look at her. She could see how at ease he finally looked.
"It feels so wonderful to be back, Christopher, thank you for bringing us here."
"We deserved a break." He paused, "It hasn't been an easy time for you, and work has been non-stop."
Sam gave a non committal shrug, "Adam and I parted amicably, as you know, but yes, it was strange. I felt so horrid, even though it was the right thing to do. I'm just glad it is over and we can all move on."
Foyle lay down beside her, "I want to start moving on, right now, right here."
He cleared his throat, "Sam, I love you and I will never forget how lucky I am to have you."
"As do I. I love you, Christopher Foyle, and I want you to know how grateful I will always be to you. You saved my life in so many ways and have made it far better than I could have ever imagined."
"We saved each other, I think." Foyle paused before saying softly, "Sam, I want you beside me the rest of my life. I know you mustn't feel much like marriage again just now, but will you consider it?"
Sam gave him a cheeky smile, "It would be the decent thing to do. Make an honest woman of me."
Foyle rolled his eyes before fixing them on her. "What do you think?"
Her face broke into a grin, "Of course, silly! I couldn't bear to be anywhere but with you. Though I don't think I'll ask Father to preside with this one... "
He pulled her to him, feeling her against him, the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed, her curves and softness of skin. "My darling Sam..." his voice fell away as he began to kiss her. He felt as if every sense was on fire, and he wondered if his heart could burst from this feeling of love.
Outside the sea breeze was blowing hard; it blew through the sitting room and kitchen windows of Foyle's house, churning up the dust, then drifting up the stairs and into the bedroom where he was making passionate love to the young woman who had once stood on his doorstep. They breathed deeply of each other and the fresh wind, and the taste of the sea was left on their tongues. It was once more a happy home, bursting with life.