'What can I do for you Ambrose?'
'Mr Quigley is a man short on the team this season. We wanted to know if you'll play?'
Peter started to accept and then paused to look at Assumpta.
'Go on,' she smiled. 'But I don't want any mud on the carpet.'
Peter smiled and kissed her. 'Thanks.'
He and Ambrose left as Niamh came in, Kieran on her hip.
'You letting yours go off are you?'
Assumpta nodded. 'No one can come between him and football.'
Niamh smiled. 'Do you want a hand?'
'If you've got nothing else to do then sure. Cantona back there was putting the chairs down until he left to become a star.'
Niamh laughed and put Kieran down. 'Do you know what Eammon's up to?'
'What?' Assumpta asked.
'He's opening a house.'
'A house?' Assumpta asked, puzzedly. 'What for?'
'Poor, injured and sick animals.'
'That's why he was asking your dad to build him a house?'
Niamh nodded. 'Siobhan says that he thinks it will be a madhouse once it takes off.'
Assumpta laughed. 'Is there enough business for him?'
'It's better than what Dad wants to do.'
'Well, once he realised that the paper wasn't going to work, he decided to do something different.'
Assumpta looked sceptical. 'What?'
'He wants to open up a park.'
'A park. You know, with swings and stuff.'
'That's what I thought.'
'Well who's going to use it? There are hardly any kids around here.'
'Maybe he won't have long to wait,' Niamh said, looking pointedly at Assumpta.
'Niamh! We haven't even gotten married yet!'
'Don't even say it.'
'Sure, Mr Quigley, we can't find the man you said would be here,' Liam told him over the phone.
Brian watched the men playing on the pitch. 'Alright. He better really
not be there because I'm cutting training.' He slammed
his mobile shut.
'Over here!' he called to them all.
Everyone ran over.
'Right, we have to cut training short today, there's been a slight problem.
I want you all here same time tommorow so we can
train for the match against Cilldargen on Saturday.'
Assumpta was cooking when Peter arrived at the back door.
'Don't even think about entering this room before you take those boots off,' she demanded.
'Good morning to you too,' he replied.
She smiled sarcastically at him. 'Why such a short training session?'
'Brian had a problem with his business.'
'He's opening a park.'
'That'll be nice,' Peter said. 'Listen, do you want to do something tonight?'
Assumpta turns around and looks at him. 'Like what?'
'Well, what would you like to do?'
'Pity the Ritzy cinema's closed.'
Peter smiled. 'Would you like to go to a movie at the other theatre?'
Assumpta nodded. 'I've got a better idea. How about we rent one out?'
'I think that's a great idea.'
'I need you to go get some things from Cilldargen, do you want to pick up the video then?'
Peter nodded. 'I'll go get my coat.'
'Sure, Mr Quigley, should we just quit waiting for him and go and see that other guy?' Donal asked.
'Yeah, it'll be last orders at Fitzgerald's soon,' Liam replied, pulling his coat tighter around him.
'Listen, you wait until he comes. If he doesn't come by 10 then you can go. Understood?' Brian asked. They nodded.
'Any business today Siobhan?' Eammon asked.
'No Eammon. No business. You might not get a lot you know. There isn't the call for it in Ballyk.'
Eammon shook his head. 'They'll come from miles around, you'll see.'
'Yeah, right Eammon,' Siobhan smiled and left.
Peter was sitting on the couch, Assumpta curled up next to him.
'Did you like the movie?' she asked drowsily.
'It was okay.'
'You're distracted,' she observed, sitting up.
'I was just thinking.'
'About us. About our lives together. About our lives before.'
Assumpta looked at him strangely. 'Such as?'
'Well, did you really know who Jenny was?'
Assumpta raised an eyebrow. 'You told me she was a friend from Manchester.'
'She thought we had something going. That's why I got transferred.'
'Why didn't you get transferred from here if you knew you were falling in love with me?'
'I couldn't leave knowing that you were here. I wanted to be with you.'
Peter smiled. 'What do you want out of life?'
Assumpta just smiled. 'You.'
Peter hugged her. 'You know that you'll always have me.'
'Children, sorry I wasn't hinting.'
'I want children to. But it'll have to be the right time.'
Peter noticed she was looking drowsy. 'Come on,' he said pulling her up to stand up next to him. 'Bed.'
Assumpta raised an eyebrow at him.
'Separately,' he smiled.
'Right. The swings are being sent from Sweden and the slide is here,'
Mr Quigley told the boys. 'I want that place ready to
have things installed understood?'
'Yes Mr Quigley.'
'Can I help you?' Niamh asked a man, who seemed to be lost.
'Uh yes. I'm looking for the church. I'm Father O'Connell.'
Niamh tried to hold back her surprise. 'Right. Um, the church is just up there, to your right.'
'Thank you. Do you know of somewhere I might stay? It seems that the presbytery is full of children's playthings.'
Niamh raised an eyebrow. She didn't want to suggest it but it was the only place. 'Fitzgerald's.'
'Peter!' Assumpta called.
She gestured to the unclean boots just outside the back door. 'I hope you don't except me to clean them?'
'I thought I'd leave them till after the game on Saturday.'
'If there is mud in the pub...Stinky,' she added as he turned around to go back out.
He whirled around. 'Stinky?'
'I think it fits,' she smiled sweetly.
'Right, that's it,' Peter said, trying to look stern. He walked over
to where she was and gave her a look. 'Do I have to order
you not to say that?'
'Ho! No one orders me around,' she smiled, as she leant against a wall.
Peter brought his face a little closer. 'No one?'
'No one,' she smiled as their lips met.
The priest clearing his throat, brought them out of their lip-locked state.
'Sorry, can I help?' Assumpta asked, as Peter discreetly moved to stacking crates in the kitchen.
'Yes. I was wondering if you had a room free?'
'Sure. What's the name.'
Assumpta stiffened and Peter turned around.
'Oh,' she recovered. 'Um right. How many nights?'
'Just one for the moment please.'
The priest went upstairs and Assumpta gave Peter a withering look.
'I hear the new priest is staying here,' Siobhan smiled at Assumpta.
Assumpta frowned. 'Yeah. And if I ever find out who sent him here....'
'It was probably Fr Mac,' Padraig told her.
Assumpta nodded. 'Probably. Especially since I stole a live one from him,' she smiled at Peter.
'Talking of which, have you two set a date for the wedding?' Brendan asked.
Assumpta and Peter exchanged a look. 'Not yet,' Assumpta replied.
'Well, I hope it's going to be soon,' Niamh told her.
Assumpta raised an eyebrow. 'Why?'
'You ask why?' Siobhan smiled. 'The town's been waiting for this for years,' she explained as she took another sip of her pint.
'Well, Kathleen will never speak to me again when we get married,' Peter told her.
'Kathleen barely speaks to you now,' Assumpta told him.
'Good point,' he replied.
'You'll have to make it before the 21st,' Brendan told them.
'Because the church is having renovations.'
'Renovations?' Peter asked.
'Yeah. Fr Mac insisted.'
'That'd be right,' Assumpta added.
A short statured grim man entered the bar. 'Pint of stout please,' he growled.
Peter served it to him.
'Anyone here in the Ballykissangel Football team?' he asked.
Several hands went up including Ambrose's and Peter's.
'Well, let me warn you. I am the coach of the Cilldargen team....'
'Ah why didn't you spit in his drink,' Timmy Joe piped up.
'And,' the man continued, 'we are going to win.'
'Ha! Over our dead bodies,' Siobhan told him.
The man harumphed.
'If you hate the team so much, why are you drinking in this bar?' Assumpta asked.
'And who are you? One of those bar waitresses?'
Assumpta was fuming. Peter, fortunately, had been out the back looking for another crate of drinks, so she was glad he hadn't heard otherwise Ambrose might have had a fight on his hands.
'This is my bar. Consequently, you are barred,' she growled.
The man smiled. 'See you all on Saturday so.'
'Yeah, right,' Padraig answered.
Peter came back out with a crate and asked where he had gone.
'Don't worry,' Assumpta answered, sending glares to Brendan and Niamh who were about to tell him.
'All set?' Assumpta asked Peter as they walked into the park.
He nodded. 'All set.'
She smiled. 'Kick butt will you?'
Peter grinned. 'You really get into this don't you?'
Assumpta swatted at him as he went to meet up the other players. She went and sat next to Niamh.
'How are the wedding plans coming?' Niamh asked.
Assumpta glared at her. 'Don't push Niamh.'
'I just want to make sure its going to happen.'
'It is. When we are ready,' Assumpta replied, closing the subject.
Niamh sighed in frustration.
'Are they all ready?' Siobhan asked, sitting down beside them.
Assumpta nodded. 'They've been training full stop except when Quigley had to work on his new project.'
'Ah yes the park,' Brendan said, sitting down. 'It shall be interesting.'
'Well look what we have here, the bar girl,' a familiar voice entered.
'Brendan would you ever go and keep Peter away from here for a while,' Assumpta interjected.
Brendan nodded and took Siobhan with him.
Assumpta turned to face the man. 'Now, what is it that you want?'
The man smiled a leery smile. 'Just happy that you're here.'
'One of us won't be in a minute,' Peter's voice came behind them.
'Peter,' Assumpta warned.
'It's okay I'm off.' The man left.
'Peter!' Ambrose called. 'You're on the starting line!'
Peter looked at Assumpta.
'Go,' she told him. 'I'm fine.'
Peter nodded and kissed her, then ran off onto the pitch.
'What's the score now?' Niamh asked Assumpta who was intently watching Peter.
'Tied. Whoever scores the next goal in this shootout wins.'
Cheers arose in the crowd as Peter took his place in goal. Then the Cilldargen striker positioned himself in front of the ball.
'Come on Peter,' Assumpta whispered to herself.
The Cilldargen striker kicked the ball and noone saw what happened. Then Peter grinned and threw the ball out of the net. A thunderous roar went up in the crowd and most of Ballykissangel went to congratulate Peter.
Eammon sat down next to Siobhan in the bar, while everyone was celebrating the win.
'Ah, a word Siobhan?' he asked.
'I need business. I need you to help me get business.'
Siobhan raised an eyebrow. 'Sure I can't make animals become poor or sick or unwanted.'
Eammon harumphed. 'Why not? You're a vet.'
'And you, Eammon, have been spending too much time around Brian Quigley.'
Peter came out of the kitchen and sat beside Assumpta. 'There,' he said, pointing to a page in the diary.
She looked at the page and then at him. 'What?'
'Our wedding. What about there?'
'That's two weeks from Saturday!'
Assumpta looked him in the eye. 'Are you sure?'
Peter nodded. 'I think we've waited long enough.'
Niamh sidled up at that moment. 'Waited long enough for what?'
Peter quickly moved away, leaving his pint behind. Assumpta finished it and then looked at Niamh. 'We're tentatively having the wedding there.'
'Why haven't you told anyone?'
'It's not official.'
Niamh sighed. 'You both are too slow. I'll make it official.'
Assumpta watched helplessly as Niamh shook the bell. 'Two weeks from
Saturday there will finally be a wedding in St Joseph's. I
hope you have your wedding clothes ready