Assumpta who was three months pregnant, scowled and replied, 'I see you're still here though.'
'Pregnant hormones. My cue to go,' Brendan said.
Padraig and Siobhan followed. Sarah was staying with Aisling and Caroline and Jeremy were at Keiran and Kara's.
'I'm sorry,' Assumpta said, turning to Peter.
'For what?' he asked, kissing her.
'I don't get it,' Padraig grumbled, peering in the window.
'Don't get what?' Siobhan asked.
'One minute she's growling at us and the next minute she's kissing him. What does he give her that we don't?'
'Love,' Brendan replied quietly.
Padraig nodded and they walked off.
'What kind of shop?'
'A specialty shop,' Brian replied.
'Specialty in what?'
'Anything and everything.'
Niamh raised her eyebrows. 'Uh huh.'
'Believe me Niamh, everyone will love it.'
'Right. Whatever you say Dad.'
Peter was serving at the bar and Assumpta was talking to Siobhan when Padraig and Brendan entered with big grins on their faces.
'What do you want?' Assumpta asked.
'A word with you two,' Padraig smiled.
Peter looked at Assumpta who shrugged.
'Ryan's Mother 2?!' Assumpta asked.
'The sequel to the prequel,' Peter smiled.
Assumpta stifled her laughter.
'Come on. Just read it.'
'Ok. Listen. We have three problems here,' Assumpta said. 'First of
all. We don't have Enda Sullivan. Second, I don't kiss
anyone except him,' pointing to Peter.
Peter shrugged. 'It's in the contract.'
'Thirdly,' Assumpta said, smiling at Peter, 'In case you hadn't noticed, I am pregnant.'
'Firstly we don't need Enda Sullivan,' Padraig replied.
'Secondly, Peter would be the leading man, thirdly you can hardly tell you're pregnant.'
'We'll look at it,' Peter said.
'What is all this?' Niamh said, stepping over boxes as she walked in.
'Merchandise from your fathers shop,' Ambrose replied.
'And what's it doing here?' she asked crossly.
'Apparantly, his house is already full so he had to leave it here.'
Assumpta curled up to Peter by the fire. 'Peter.'
'Does this play remind you of anything?'
'You don't think they decided that the sequal to Ryan's Mother should be our life do you?'
'Did you not read the front Peter? It's not called Ryan's Mother 2, it's called An Impossible Attraction.'
'Did we ever do this?' Peter asked, showing her a page.
Assumpta blushed furiously. 'I don't think so.'
'Dad what is all this?' Niamh asked, as Brian came the next day.
'Why is it here?'
'Sure, I told Ambrose that my house was full.'
'Yes but why here? Why not Liam's or Donal's?'
'Is there a problem?'
'Dad did you see what was in some of these boxes?'
'It's about us,' Peter said.
'Well, we based it on you,' Padraig replied.
'No kidding,' Assumpta replied.
'Look if we change a few bits will you do it?' Brendan asked.
Assumpta looked at Peter who shrugged. 'Only if the sexy stuff goes,' she said.
'What?!' Brendan said.
'You should be able to do this stuff now! You're married!' Padraig cried.
'Yeah but that doesn't mean we're comfortable doing it in front of a whole lot of people!' Assumpta retorted.
'Alright,' Padraig said. 'If we tone it down a little and change a few bits will you do it?'
'They sent me the wrong stuff!'
Niamh looked at him, tapping her foot.
'What!? They did!'
'I don't want to know Dad. Just get it all out of here.'
'Well?' Brendan asked.
'It's better,' Assumpta replied.
'Will you do it?' Padraig asked.
Peter looked at Assumpta. 'We'll do it.'
Caroline, Sarah, Aisling and Keiran were painting the scenery.
'Mary you look so beautiful,' Peter said.
'Um, Mummy,' Caroline giggled, walking on set.
' Um, Jeremy and Kara painted each other and a bit of Fionn.'
'Oh no,' Assumpta sighed.
'Where are you going?' Brendan asked, as Assumpta and Peter walked off stage.
'To clean up,' Peter replied.
Padraig and Brendan sighed.
Assumpta was washing the kids while Niamh stood and helped. Peter was washing Fionn. Niamh was grinning slyly.
'What?' Assumpta asked.
'How come you and Peter never had to work having the children around cycles?'
Assumpta blushed. 'You behave! Little pitchers have big ears you know!'
Niamh raised an eyebrow.
'Another word.....' Assumpta warned.
A knock came at the door.
'Come in,' Assumpta said.
A rather wet Peter opened the door. 'Fionn doesn't like being bathed.'
Assumpta and Niamh burst out laughing.
'Niamh can you dry these two and take them to the bedroom, while I get this man some towels,' Assumtpa smiled.
Assumpta came back in. 'Here you go,' she grinned, kissing him.
'It's not funny Assumpta,' Peter frowned.
'Oh yes it is,' she replied.
Brian came stomping into the pub. 'The usual Assumpta,' he growled.
'Hello to you too,' Assumpta replied, giving him his drink and change.
'Dry now?' Assumpta smiled as Peter came down the stairs.
Siobhan and Padraig laughed.
'Yes, thank you Assumpta.'
'Assumpta,' Siobhan said. 'Brendan and I are going into Cilldargen on Saturday. Where do you recommend?'
Niamh looked slyly at Assumpta.
'What does he want?' Assumpta asked.
'What makes you think he wants anything?'
'Well how often does he take you out?'
'I could ask you the same thing,' Siobhan told her.
'As a matter a fact I am taking her out on Saturday myself,' Peter told her.
'Very romantic,' Niamh grinned.
'Thank you Niamh,' Assumpta replied.
Caroline and Sarah sat on their parents bed, watching their mother put her make up on.
'You look really beautiful Mummy,' Sarah said.
'Yeah,' Caroline echoed.
'Thank you girls. Now you have to be good for Niamh tonight okay?'
'We will,' Caroline replied.
'Is Daddy going to take you out to a fancy restaurant?' Sarah asked.
'Yep. Where is Jeremy?'
'He's playing with Kara in his bedroom.'
'Right. I will come and tuck you in when I get home okay?' Assumpta asked, kissing them.
'Have fun Mummy.'
Assumpta walked downstairs.
'Cut it out,' Assumpta told him.
Peter smiled. 'Are you ready?'
Assumpta nodded. 'Are you sure you'll be okay with that lot upstairs?' Assumpta asked.
'We'll be fine,' Niamh replied.
'We're here too,' Brendan told her.
'That's exactly what I'm afraid of,' Assumpta smiled.
'Liam get over here!' Brian cried into his mobile phone.
'What is it Mr Quigley?' Liam asked sleepily.
'The damn shop is what it is! Now get over here! Now!'
Liam groaned and picked up his phone to ring Donal. 'I mean, if I have to do it so does Donal.'
'You know,' said Niamh. 'She was so worried. I mean what's there to worry about?'
A crash emitted from upstairs.
'Famous last words,' Brendan said as everyone went upstairs.
'Sarah? Caroline? Kieran?' Niamh called.
'Where are you?' Siobhan called, checking the nursery.
'We're in here!' Sarah called.
'Are you okay?' Niamh asked, running into Assumpta and Peter's bedroom.
'We're fine. It's all Caroline's fault anyway,' Sarah said as she entered.
'My arm hurts,' Caroline whimpered.
Niamh looked at the arm which was starting to swell. 'We better take you to Doc Ryan. Your mothers going to kill me!'
'That was a marvellous dinner,' Assumpta smiled at Peter.
'I'm glad you enjoyed it,' he replied.
'Ready to go home?' she asked.
'I'm ready to go wherever you go.'
'Uh oh,' Liam said, coming back in the pub.
'What?' Brendan asked.
'I hope they're coming back soon,' he told them.
'Why?' Siobhan asked.
'The van just pulled up.'
The bar became a flurry of activity. Peter walked in, his arm around Assumpta. 'It's quiet in here.'
'Where's Niamh?' Assumpta asked.
'Um, she uh, had to go tuck Kieran in,' Padraig told her.
'Talking about tucking in, we had better go see that our lot are nearly asleep,' Peter said.
'Uh no!,' Siobhan called.
'Why not?' Assumpta asked.
'Um, they're asleep,' Padraig said.
'Well, Caroline it looks like you have broken your arm,' Michael said.
'Cool,' Caroline replied.
Sarah rolled her eyes.
'We'll put it in plaster, which you'll have to keep it on for six weeks okay?'
'Assumpta's going to kill me,' Niamh groaned.
They walked back into the pub, where Assumpta and Peter were still trying to get sense out of their friends.
'Caroline what on earth happened?' Peter asked.
'I broke my arm. Cool huh?'
Assumpta looked at Niamh. 'We leave the place for two hours and my daughter breaks her arm?'
'Well, she was only upstairs for a minute.'
Assumpta sighed. 'Come on. Bed with the lot of you.'
'Thanks Niamh,' Peter told her. 'I think.'
About an hour later everyone had gone and Assumpta and Peter were cleaning up. A knock came at the door.
'Assumpta can you get that?' Peter called as he was washing up.
She nodded and answered the door to Brian Quigley. 'What do you want?' she asked.
'I want a favour.'
'Oh a favour. Well, out with it.'
'If I pay you will you host a party?'
'What kind of party?' Assumpta asked.
'Well, someone ordered the wrong stock for the shop and....'
'What kind of party?' Assumpta repeated.
Brian whispered into her ear.
'A lingerie party! You have got to be kidding!'
'Sure women do it all the time!'
'Not under my roof,' Assumpta replied.
She turned to go back to the kitchen when she noticed Jeremy standing on the stairs with his teddybear.
'What's the matter?' she asked him.
'There's a monster under my bed,' he told her.
'Peter!' Assumpta called.
'Help me get this little man up to bed. There is a monster in his room.'
'A monster!?' Peter asked. 'Well you know what we do to uninvited monsters!'
'Yeah,' Assumpta replied, glaring at Brian.
Peter picked Jeremy up and took him upstairs, with Assumpta following him. Assumpta tucked Jeremy in while Peter checked under the bed.
'No monsters but I set up the monster trap,' Peter told him.
'Sleep well,' Assumpta told him, kissing his forehead.
'Can you not talk her into it Niamh?' Brian asked.
'I can't make her do something that she doesn't want to do.
'But what?' Brian asked eagerly.
'Everyone knows that she listens to Peter.'
'Assumpta,' Peter said softly.
'What?' she asked, rolling over to face him.
'I'm going to take the kids to Mass now okay?'
She nodded and kissed him. 'Tell Fr Mac I hate him.'
Peter smiled. 'Maybe.'
'What are you doing lads?' Ambrose asked Liam and Donal.
'We're moving stuff for Mr Quigley,' Donal replied.
'Well can you keep it down a little? Some people are still in bed.'
'Goodbye Caroline, Sarah,' Fr Mac said to the twins.
Peter followed them out, carrying Jeremy.
'Can I have a word?' Fr Mac asked.
'Go and play with your sisters,' Peter told Jeremy, putting him down.
Jeremy ran off and Peter turned to Fr Mac. 'What is it?'
'Brian came to see me.'
'He wants Assumpta to hold a party for him.'
'What's the problem?'
'She won't do it.'
'What's it got to do with me?'
'He wants you to talk to her.'
'Father, I can't make her do something that she doesn't want to do.'
'Now take that lot to to the shop,' Brian instructed Liam and Donal. Liam and Donal looked wearily at each other.
Peter walked into his bedroom and smiled at the lump under the cover. 'I should have know that you were still in bed.'
'Your fault,' came the muffled reply. 'You kept me up last night. Where are the kids?'
Peter pulled the covers back. 'They're playing at Kieran's. Fr Mac had a word with me today.'
'Did he just?'
'Apparantly Brian wanted you to hold a party for him.'
Assumpta groaned. 'Did he not tell you what kind of party?'
Peter shook his head.
'He wanted me to hold a lingerie party.'
'Now I understand,' Peter smiled.
Assumpta kissed him soundly.
'Don't we have a pub to open?'
'Not for another two hours,' Assumpta replied, kissing him again.
'Right Mr Quigley,' Liam said, 'we moved all the stock to the shop.'
'Good. Now take those boxes to Fitzgeralds. Give them to Assumpta.'
'Is she expecting them?'
'No but she'll know what they are.'
'Did you hear that Enda Sullivan is back in town?' Siobhan asked.
'Is he just?' Assumpta asked, drying glasses.
Padraig and Brendan exchanged looks.
'Don't even think about swapping him for Peter,' Assumpta growled.
'Brian Quigley?' a tall man asked.
'Yes?' Brian asked, coming up from behind the counter.
'Apparantly you are in possession of stolen goods.'
Peter was unloading the shopping from the van when Liam and Donal arrived.
'What are those?' he asked, gesturing to the two boxes.
'Delivery of goods to Assumpta Clifford from Brian Quigley,' Liam stated.
'Does she know they're coming?'
'So everything except the lingerie is stolen?' Brian asked disbelievingly.
'Afraid so Mr Quigley.'
'Great, just great.'
'Thank you for being so co operative Mr Quigley.'
Assumpta took one look at Liam and Donal carrying in the boxes and sent
them straight back out again. Peter looked at her in
'Go and put the shopping away,' she smiled.
Peter nodded in bewilderment.
'Mm, still looks the same,' a familiar voice said.
Assumpta looked up. 'Enda?'
Enda Sullivan smiled. 'Assumpta Fitzgerald. You look absolutely gorgeous.'
Assumpta shifted uncomfortably. Just then four figures burst through the door and ran up to Assumpta.
'Mummy,' Sarah said indignantly, 'Caroline wants to swim in the Angel but I told her she can't because of her plaster.'
'I can put a bag on it stupid,' Caroline growled.
'Can she Assumpta?' Kieran asked.
Enda looked at Assumpta in surprise.
'No you may not swim today. Not just because of the cast but because
it's cold out and you'll all freeze. And Caroline don't
call your sister stupid.'
'Can we go ask Daddy?' Caroline asked hopefully.
'He will say no too. Now off you go and help him. He might have bought a present home from Cilldargen.'
'Great!' Sarah smiled as they took off again.
Padraig, Brendan and Siobhan looked to Enda, judging his reaction.
'You're not Assumpta Fitzgerald anymore?' he asked.
'No. The name can be decieving but Peter wanted to keep it Fitzgerald's.'
'Well who are you now?'
'Clifford? Who's Peter Clifford?'
'Assumpta!' Peter called. 'Did you just tell Caroline she could go swimming?' he asked, coming out.
Enda's mouth literally dropped. 'Fr Clifford?'
Peter turned to the visitor. 'Enda! How are you?'
'You're not Fr Clifford any more are you?'
'Uh no,' Peter replied awkwardly as Caroline ran into the back of him and hugged him. Peter picked her up. 'What is it?'
'Can we go down to the Angel if we promise not to swim?'
Peter looked at Assumpta who smiled. He whispered in her ear and she laughed.
'Go on. But I want you back in an hour for lunch okay?' Assumpta told him.
'Yes mum,' he replied, as she swatted him with the tea towel. He kissed her and took Sarah's hand. 'Off we go you lot.'
'I give up,' Mr Quigley groaned, head in hands. 'This shop is going nowhere fast.'
'What about the lingerie?' Donal asked.
'I'll sell it somehow. I'm afraid this shop is no more,' Mr Quigley replied.
'So,' Enda said. 'Your life seems to have changed quite a bit.'
Assumpta nodded. 'I suppose you want to know what happened?'
Assumpta sighed. 'Two years after you left, Peter and I found ourselves
to be falling even more in love. He was the one who
told me and then he left the priesthood. Sarah and Caroline were born and two years later, our son Jeremy was born.'
'And you're expecting again?'
Assumpta smiled and nodded.
'Congratulations,' Enda said forcefully.
'So, how's Aileen?'
'We divorced two years ago. She thought I was having an affair.'
Assumpta looked at him earnestly. 'Were you?'
Enda laughed uncomfortably. 'Sure, if you found the right man wouldn't you?'
'No. Peter is the only man I want,' she replied quietly.
Enda smiled and leant closer. 'You sure?'
'I'm positive,' Assumpta scowled.
Enda scowled back and left.
Peter came back in, holding a wriggling Caroline. Assumpta looked up. 'What happened?'
'Caroline tried to go swimming. But I caught her in time.'
Assumpta smiled. 'Good job. And you,' she said, looking at Caroline, 'are a terror. You take after your father.'
Peter looked at Assumpta. 'She does not! She...' he stopped as Assumpta kissed him.
'I love you,' she smiled.
Peter kissed her again. 'I love you too.'
'I'll get your lunch,' Assumpta said, getting up.
'Oh no you don't,' he replied, sitting her back down.
'What are you talking about?'
'You should rest, you were four months pregant a week ago,' Peter told her, placing his hand on her stomach.
Assumpta smiled. 'And you should stop treating me like I'm going to break.'
She got up and went into the kitchen.
Peter sighed. 'I told you that Caroline takes after you.'
A tea towel came flying past his head.
It was the night of the play. Kevin was baby-sitting all the children
at the pub. Assumpta was giving him last minute
'Assumpta,' Peter said, taking her hand.
'I am sure that Kevin is more than capable of baby-sitting the brood.
We have a show to perform and we are going to be late if
you keep talking.'
Assumpta relaxed. 'Sorry Kevin. Bye.'
Brian Quigley sat himself down, next to Enda Sullivan. 'You know, I'm
surprised when you turned up that they didn't replace
Peter with you.'
Enda sighed. 'Apparantly she won't kiss anyone except him.'
The end of the play was fast approaching. Assumpta smiled as she leaned
in to kiss Peter for the last time. 'This is the last
play I'm ever doing,' she whispered as their lips met.
The play was a great success. Kathleen was all smiles because she had
made an incredibly large product from the catering bill.
Fr Mac was all smiles because he had accidently arrived to late at the hall to see the play.
'Assumpta? Peter?' Niamh asked coming through the doorway. 'You have some people who want to congratulate you.'
They turned around to see Caroline and Sarah coming through with a bunch of roses.
'I thought you would be in bed?' Assumpta asked.
'They wouldn't go to sleep until I came and brought them here,' Niamh smiled.
Assumpta smiled. 'Thank you for the flowers.'
Enda Sullivan watched these goings on from the door. He watched Assumpta and Peter hug their children and he watched them kiss. 'How could I ever compete with that,' he sighed as he walked away.