'What?' Peter asked.
'There's no bread left.'
'It's alright Assumpta. No big deal. I'll go to Kathleen's.'
'You'll go to Kathleen's?'
Peter looked at her strangely. 'Yes.'
Assumpta shrugged her shoulders. 'Fine. Go.'
'Are you okay?'
'Pregnant hormones,' Niamh said, coming in.
'Thank you Niamh,' Assumpta replied.
'Right. I'll be back in a minute,' Peter said, still looking at Assumpta strangely.
'You want me to what?' Brian asked.
'Come on Mr Quigley,' Ambrose said. 'I just need you to watch him for awhile.'
'I don't have time Ambrose!'
'I'll only be half an hour.'
'Giving Assumpta a hand.'
'What does Assumpta need a hand for?'
'Niamh told her that she shouldn't overdo it. So Niamh's been helping her out at the pub.'
'And why can't you take Kieran with you?'
'To a police meeting?'
Brian sighed. 'Half an hour.'
'Thank you Kathleen,' Peter said, handing the money over.
Kathleen didn't respond.
'Kathleen?' Peter asked.
Kathleen looked out the window at Fitzgerald's. 'Terrible business.'
Peter looked out at Fitzgerald's and saw nothing out of the ordinary. He raised an eyebrow. 'Sorry?'
'You and Miss Fitzgerald having a child.'
Peter stood fast. He knew this had been coming. 'Kathleen we are married.'
'And what's the matter with a married couple having a child together?'
'You're a priest!'
'Ex-priest,' Peter corrected.
'Same thing,' Kathleen muttered.
Peter scratched his head. 'Kathleen I still do not see the problem here.'
'You wouldn't,' she replied stiffly.
Peter sighed. 'I give up.' He took his change and headed back to Fitzgerald's.
'Liam, Donal, watch him.'
'Why? Last time we looked after him...'
'Listen. I have a meeting with the Swedish fellow whose bringing the swings. I can't take him along with me. I'm too busy.'
Liam sighed and took Kieran. 'Come on Donal. We'll take him on a drive. Then maybe he'll sleep and we won't have to worry about him.'
Aisling was screaming. Siobhan sighed. This wasn't getting any easier. Niamh would know what to do.
'What happened to you?' Assumpta asked, as Peter sat down.
'Kathleen and I had a chat.'
'Oh really? I warned you.'
'She says that it's "terrible business" that we're having a baby together. Oh and by the way, she still calls you Miss Fitzgerald.'
'What did you expect? She has never liked me, and of course she didn't like you.'
'What do you mean of course?'
Peter looked at her. 'You meant something specific. What?'
'Just that, she has never like Englishmen.'
Peter was going to ask more, but stopped as Assumpta looked finished with the subject.
'Is he asleep yet?' Liam asked Donal.
'No. He's sucking his thumb. And he smells bad.'
Niamh turned around from where she was talking to Assumpta and saw Siobhan walk in, with Aisling.
'What is it?'
'Can you baby sit for awhile? I need to hear myself think.'
'Siobhan I'm helping Assumpta in the bar.'
'Just for awhile.'
Niamh sighed. 'Alright. Give her here.'
Siobhan handed Aisling over and hurried out.
'What?' Assumpta asked, coming out.
'Siobhan apparantly need time to herself. So we have Aisling.'
'You need practice.'
Assumpta sighed. 'Niamh I don't need practice. Peter and I are fine.'
Niamh narrowed her eyes. 'Sure, you've only ever looked after Kieran before.'
'No we haven't.'
'You remember how that baby was left on Peter's doorstep?'
'Yeah well, when I saw Michael's car I was worried something had happened to him. So I went over and we spent the night together.'
Niamh raised an eyebrow.
'Looking after the baby Niamh!'
Fr Mac arrived. 'Hello Niamh, Assumpta.'
Assumpta darkened and cradled Aisling.
'I was wondering if your husband was here.'
'You can call him Peter you know,' Assumpta replied, as she went to find him.
'So how's Kieran?' Fr Mac asked Niamh.
Fr Mac nodded as Peter came out. Niamh quickly disappeared to talk to a fuming Assumpta.
'I believe congratulations are in order,' Fr Mac smiled.
'Your impending fatherhood.'
'I heard you and Kathleen had a discussion this morning.'
'She is right in a way you know.'
'Well, she is. You are an ex-priest.'
'So that makes my wife and I having a baby wrong.'
'Fr Mac, I have things that need to be done.'
Fr Mac took the hint. 'Don't say I didn't warn you,' he told him as he left.
'Where's Mr Quigley?' Ambrose asked Liam and Donal.
'He's in a meeting with a man from Sweden,' Liam answered.
'Where's Kieran? In with him?'
'Of course not,' Donal replied. 'He's in the car.'
Ambrose found Kieran happily in the car, sucking his thumb. 'Don't you know any better than to let a child travel without a car seat?'
Liam and Donal looked at each other and shrugged.
Assumpta was pacing the room as Peter watched her.
'Assumpta, no offence or anything, but you're making me dizzy.'
She turned around and looked at him. 'Sorry.'
Peter smiled and held his arms out. Assumpta smiled back and walked into the hug. 'I love you,' he told her quietly.
Assumpta settled into the embrace and kissed him. 'I love you too.'
Niamh walked in and smiled at the two hugging. 'I hope you don't expect me to run this bar by myself.'
Peter smiled as Assumpta got up. 'Of course not Niamh. We would never do a thing like that.'
'Liam! Where is my grandson?' Brian asked, fuming.
'Ambrose took him.'
Brian went pale. 'Ambrose?'
'Yeah, Ambrose,' Donal answered.
'I'm just going to to see Fr Mac okay?' Assumpta asked Peter.
He sent her a sideways glance. 'Are you sure that's a....'
Assumpta held a warning finger up. 'Don't argue with a pregnant woman.'
Peter smiled. 'Fair enough.'
Brian knocked on the Egan's door. Ambrose answered it, positively fuming.
'I'd like a word with you Mr Quigley.'
Brian sighed. 'I thought you might.'
'Niamh?' Peter asked.
'Would you be able to watch the bar for awhile. I need to go and see Kathleen.'
Niamh raised an eyebrow. 'Do you really want to do that?'
Peter smiled. 'I have to ask her some questions.'
'Something like that,' he replied.
'Mrs Clifford to see you Father,' the lady smiled.
Fr Mac raised an eyebrow as Assumpta came in. 'I never expected you to come here willingly.'
'It's a treat,' she replied, sitting down. 'I heard what you told Peter.'
Fr Mac sighed. 'So you're here to have an argument with me?'
'Not today. I just want to know why you are so against Peter and I having a child. I mean I know that it clashes with your Church teachings but that wasn't it.'
'It doesn't look very good.'
'So that's why you don't approve. Because it doesn't look good for the church?'
'Among other things.'
'Oh do tell.'
'It sets a bad example.'
'I mean it Assumpta. I understand that you two love each other but what about the rest of the town, especially the children?'
'Most of the town invited themselves to our wedding. Peter may have been a priest but he's not anymore. He's a husband, and going to be a father. We don't care what anyone else thinks.'
Fr Mac sighed. 'I give up Assumpta. Just be careful.'
'Kathleen?' Peter asked.
An ice-cold glare was sent his way.
'Kathleen I have to ask you something.'
'Kathleen it's important. I know you don't like me or Assumpta but I need to talk to you.'
Kathleen sighed. 'Let's go out there. I'll put the sign on the door.'
'Where's Peter?' Assumpta asked.
Niamh looked uncomfortable.
'He, uh, went to see someone.'
Assumpta began to get suspicious. 'Who?'
Assumpta's eyes nearly popped out of her head. 'What on earth for?'
'I don't know. But I don't think you should go after him.'
Assumpta narrowed her eyes. 'Do you think there's going to be a big blowout?'
'I don't know, but you probably shouldn't go after him.'
'Why do you hate Assumpta so much?' Peter asked her.
Kathleen sighed. 'You don't know much about Assumpta's past do you?'
Peter shook his head.
'Assumpta loved her family. Her father was the closest to her. However when the troubles started, she began to become different. She was quiet at school, anyone who tried to talk to or help her she instantly hated. When Fr Mac tried to put her parents back together she hated him and the church for it. Then, anyone who was dedicated to the church, she hated.'
Kathleen nodded. 'Others as well. She was known for using the fists a little to often at school. Mainly against kids that spoke badly of her parents. Then when she left school, she met her first boyfriend. An Englishman. He encouraged her to use her anger and let it all out. That's why I hated Englishman. Especially that one. Then Leo McGarvey came in the picture. He took her away with him. Almost broke her dear fathers heart when she went away. No one saw her again till her father died. She came back, bringing him with her. She was different. A little less aggressive. People actually saw her cry for the first time at her father's funeral. When people tried to offer their condolences she shrugged them off. Wouldn't talk to anyone. Then he took her off again. No one heard of her till her mother died. She came back, and without a word or anything, she took over the pub. She still hasn't talked to anyone about the day her father died.'
Peter looked grave. 'Tell me more about the Englishman. Why did you hate him so much?'
'He was too aggressive. Used to pick fights over how much a bar of soap was. Explained that everyone was like that in England.'
Peter changed the course of topic. 'So that's why you hate Assumpta? Because of what happened to her parents?'
Kathleen shook her head. 'I don't hate her. I dislike her for taking everything out on the church.'
Peter stood up. 'Thank you Kathleen.'
Kathleen nodded and let him out.
'Liam and Donal took him in a car without a carseat! He could have been killed!'
'He wouldn't have been killed. I only left him for half an hour.'
'Two hours according to them.'
'Niamh is not going to be very pleased.'
'Now Ambrose we don't really have to tell her do we?'
'I think she'd want to know.'
'And where were you?' Assumpta asked, as Peter came in.
'Um, I need to talk to you,' he said.
She followed him into the kitchen and closed both the doors. 'What's the matter?'
'Nothing,' he told her, sitting her next to him. 'I had a chat with Kathleen.'
'She told me a lot about you when you were younger.'
Assumpta sighed. 'I suppose you didn't like it very much did you?'
'That's not what I was going to say or what I was thinking. I understand you a lot more now. Why Kathleen and Fr Mac don't like you, about your parents. Why you don't like the church. And from what she's told me, it's made me respect you even more.'
Assumpta looked up at him. 'Don't tease a woman in my condition Peter.'
'I'm not teasing. Everything I just told you is the truth.'
She sat up. 'You forgive me?'
'There's nothing to forgive Assumpta. What you did was right for you at the time. If it had been me I would probably have done the same thing.'
'I doubt that somehow!'
'I also heard that you were good with the fists when you were younger.'
'You beat up Ambrose?'
Assumpta nodded. 'He started it though. He was dreadfully put out that a girl had beat him up.'
'Is that why he's always careful around you?'
'I'd be worried if I were you.'
'I can still knock him out, imagine what could happen to husbands that take it a step too far.'
'Assumpta Clifford are you threatening me?' he asked, holding a hand to his head in horror.
She turned around, smiling. 'You don't really want to know the answer to that do you?'
He raised an eyebrow. 'Why not?'
Assumpta looked at her watch. 'Two hours till closing time. Then I'll show you.'
Peter smiled. 'I'm shaking in my boots.'