'It's her father's turn.'
'Talking of fathers, where is Peter?'
'Looking through the mail. Peter! Aren't you going to come and help your pregnant wife with serving!?' she called.
There was silence. Assumpta frowned and went into the kitchen. Peter's head was bent over a letter. She ruffled his hair. 'Are you deaf?' she asked.
Peter put his arm around her waist and let it rest on her stomach. 'I'm fine.'
She sat down next to him. 'Don't lie.'
Peter sighed. 'I think I need to go back to England for a couple of days.'
'Something's happened concerning my mother.'
Assumpta looked at him strangely. 'What?'
'A man has turned up, claiming he knew my mother and that he wants to talk to us.'
'Do you want me to come?'
'I don't think you should be travelling. You're four months gone.'
'Peter if you need me I'll come.'
'I'll be okay. I'll probably ring you every night anyway.'
'How long do you think it will take?'
'Probably only a couple of days.'
Assumpta nodded. 'I love you.'
Peter smiled and kissed her. 'I love you too.'
'Is Peter coming home?' Susan asked.
Jack nodded. 'He'll be here.'
'What about Assumpta?'
'They decided that she shouldn't travel being four months pregnant.'
'Pity. I like her.'
'Do you have to go?' Niamh asked Peter.
'I don't want to. But I do have to.I'm just glad that you will be able to keep an eye on her.'
Niamh smiled. 'I don't know how me or your family are going to cope with the two of you away from each other.'
Peter smiled. 'I'll miss her, that's for sure.'
'What's going on?' Assumpta asked, coming in.
Peter kissed her. 'I was just telling Niamh how much I will miss you.'
'You better,' Assumpta replied.
'I'll ring you when I get there,' Peter promised.
Assumpta smiled and kissed him. 'I love you.'
'I love you too,' he replied. They hugged and kissed again.
Niamh smiled. 'I'll look after her,' she told Peter.
'Thanks,' Peter replied. He hugged Assumpta and was gone.
'I think Assumpta is lovesick,' Padraig grinned as he drank his pint.
Siobhan and Brendan were laughing and Niamh was grinning from ear to ear.
Assumpta glared at them all. 'I am not lovesick, I am just tired.'
'Oh is that all,' Brendan smiled.
Peter had been gone two days and the regulars had not let up teasing Assumpta.
'Oh grow up Brendan,' Assumpta groaned as she went to clean up.
An elderly man entered the pub and smiled at Niamh.
'Mr Hanley,' she smiled as she shook his hand.
'Niamh I would have hardly recognised you. Is Assumpta still working here?'
Niamh nodded. 'I'll just get her.'
Assumpta came out. 'Mr Hanley. It's wonderful to see you again.'
'It's wonderful to see you again to Assumpta. And I see that you must be married?'
'Where's the lucky man?'
'He had to go to England.'
'And he left you here? Pregnant?'
'It's okay Mr Hanley. He didn't want to but I told him to go. I'm perfectly capable. Besides, I have Niamh here if I need anything.'
Mr Hanley nodded. 'Can we talk in private.'
'Sure,' Assumpta replied, showing him into the kitchen.
'Now when he comes Peter, behave okay?' Susan smiled.
'I don't know Susan. I mean we hardly know this guy and he's coming for dinner,'
'He knew mum.'
'Or so he says,' Michael interjected.
Susan glared at him. 'He's very nice,' she said and went back into the kitchen.
Peter turned to his brothers. 'So tell me about this guy.'
'He says he and mum used to be sweethearts. They sent letters to each other. That kind of stuff,' Stephen explained.
'Susan's taken a real liking to him though,' Michael told him.
'Yeah but remember what happened last time. The guy turned out to be a burglar,' Luke told him.
'Instead of talking to us he talks through Susan,' Michael said.
'Yeah. He really likes her.'
Peter frowned as the doorbell rang.
'Now be nice,' Susan said as she answered the door.
'Hello Mr Wagner, it's so wonderful to see you again!'
'Well it is always a pleasure to see you as well Susan,' the elderly man smiled.
'I don't think you've met my brother Peter.'
'No I haven't had that pleasure yet.'
'Peter, this is Mr Wagner.'
They shook hands.
'I hear that you are about to become a father Peter,' Mr Wagner said.
Peter nodded. 'Yes.' He gave his brothers a 'what else has she been telling him?' look.
They just shrugged.
'A pity she is not here. I would like to meet her soon Peter. I also hear you were a former priest.'
Peter went dark. 'Yes,' he replied, tight-lipped.
Michael could see something none to pleasant was going to happen so he ushered everyone to the table.
'He owned a what?'
'A house. In Dublin.'
'I didn't know that. He never mentioned it. But then he was always cryptic.'
'Well, all the pictures, your baby things and stuff are there.'
'Good. That means we can use them for the baby.'
Mr Hanley nodded. 'Your father was always cryptic. But I presume that he put them at that house to keep away memories.'
'He didn't like remembering things that hurt him.'
'Well, I better be off. When that husband of yours comes back, I'd like to meet him.'
Assumpta smiled. 'I'll make sure you do.'
Mr Hanley kissed her on the cheek. 'Look after yourself Assumpta. And if you need anything...'
'I know,' Assumpta replied.
'I really wish you hadn't told him all that,' Peter chastised his sister.
'Why not? He wanted to know everything about you.'
'Well, that was a little more than he needed to know,' Peter replied.
Susan scowled. 'You weren't very polite,' she told him as she went to clean up.
'We're on your side Peter,' Michael told him. 'I don't like that guy.'
'I wish he'd hurry up and tell us what he wants,' Peter sighed.
'Why?' Jack asked.
'I'd like to get back to Assumpta. I don't want her to have to cope on her own for too long.'
'I thought you said Niamh was with her?' Stephen asked.
'She is, but even Niamh has things to do and can't be with her all the time.'
'Speaking of Assumpta, why don't you go and call her,' Luke said.
Peter nodded and left.
'He's lovesick,' Michael smiled.
Kieran was crying and Niamh was serving.
'Where's Assumpta?' Padraig asked.
'On the phone,' Niamh replied.
'No prizes as who to,' Siobhan laughed.
Assumpta came down the stairs and went into the kitchen, calming Kieran.
Niamh frowned. 'Siobhan, take over for a minute.' She followed Assumpta into the kitchen where she was rocking Kieran.
'Was that Peter?' Niamh asked.
'Does he know when he'll be back?'
Assumpta shook her head. 'He's having a lot of trouble with the man that claims to have known his mother.'
Niamh looked at her hard. 'And how are you doing?'
Assumpta groaned. 'Will you all just stop!?'
Niamh sighed. 'We're only trying to help.'
'I don't need any help! I'm fine.'
'So what do we know about this guy, other than he knew mum?' Peter asked.
'Supposedly,' Luke interrupted.
Michael nodded. 'So far, all he's said is that he and mum used to be sweethearts and that he sent her letters all the time.'
'Where are the letters?' Peter asked.
'Well let's find them then.'
An hour later, the brothers had found the letters, and they were indeed from Mr Wagner.
'When's the last letter dated?' Michael asked.
Stephen went pale. 'My birthday.'
Peter raised an eyebrow.
'Same year?' Luke asked.
'Wonderful So now our mother was carrying a torch for another guy when we were born,' Luke muttered.
'We don't know that,' Michael admonished him.
'Well what else are we supposed to think?' Stephen asked.
Peter stood up.
'Where are you going?' Luke said.
'To see this guy.'
'Pint please Assumpta,' Liam asked.
'Where's Donal?' Padraig questioned.
'Have you two had a fight?' Brendan asked.
Liam glared at him. 'No. He just had to go somewhere.'
Assumpta raised an eyebrow and handed him his pint.
'Niamh?' Ambrose asked.
'Kieran need his dinner. I have to go out and patrol.'
Niamh sighed. 'I have to help Assumpta,' she hissed.
'Go home to your son Niamh,' Assumpta told her. 'I'll be fine.'
Niamh looked at her. 'Are you sure?'
Assumpta nodded. 'Go on. Kieran will want you anyway.'
'Alright. If you're sure that you're okay.'
'Peter? I didn't expect to see you here,' Mr Wagner said.
'Yes, well I needed to ask you something.'
'Sit down. What is it?'
'Was there something going on between you and my mother, after she married my father?'
Mr Wagner sighed. 'You found the letters then did you?'
'Did you not see the letter?' Luke asked Susan.
'It was probably just a friendship letter.'
'I don't receive letters from my friends like that do you?' Michael replied.
Susan groaned. 'I just hope Peter doesn't make him mad.'
'You are such an ignoramus sometimes Susan,' Stephen told her.
'Assumpta!?' Siobhan said.
Assumpta jerked from her thoughts. 'Sorry?'
'Can I have a pint?' Brendan asked.
'Sorry, my mind must have been somewhere else,' she explained.
'Obviously, unless you reguarly ignore your customers,' Padraig told her.
Assumpta glared at him.
'I'd say her mind was in another country,' Brendan grinned.
Assumpta banged his glass down in front of him. 'Would you all ever grow up?'
'I loved your mother. We were an item for awhile, but then we broke
up. About a year later, I heard that she was getting married to your dad.
All throughout that time I had been sending her letters. I continued to
send them. She never wrote back except once.
She said that she loved your father and you boys and Susan and that you were all very special to her. I realised that although she was special to me, someone else needed her.'
'So why did you come into our lives now.'
'Because your mother loved you. And she would want someone to watch over you.'
The next evening, Assumpta was cooking in the kitchen while Niamh was serving.
'Did he say when he was due back?' Niamh called.
'No,' Assumpta replied.
A knock came at the door and Assumpta answered it.
'I left my key here,' Peter grinned.
Assumpta looked stunned for a moment and then she kissed him soundly.
'Miss me did you?' Peter asked, as he put his arms around her and kissed her again.
'You have no idea,' she replied.
Peter began to kiss her again and then jerked away. Assumpta looked at him and smiled..
'Sounds like baby missed you too.' she told him.
'That's our baby?'
Peter looked at her in wonderment and placed his hand on her stomach. The baby kicked again.
'Hey Assumpta!' Padraig called. 'Are you going to keep your husband to yourself all night?'
Assumpta smiled at Peter. 'Yes! You can have him tomorrow.'
Everyone at the bar laughed.
'Another pint Niamh,' Brendan smiled.