Rosalie turned the milk pan down to its lowest setting and went to peer out of the living room window once again. It really wasn't like Tom to be late. She had such a strong belief in manners and "gentlemanlike behaviour" that Rosalie had never known her to be more than 10 minutes late even when she was a heedless middle.
There was still no sign of her walking down the road and so, with a sigh and a slight frown, Rosalie returned to the kitchen and added the chocolate to the almost boiling milk. Stirring in the grated chocolate her mind wandered back to school days and that safe feeling of being tucked up by matron with a warm drink on cold and stormy nights.
"Penny for your thoughts?"
Rosalie jumped; nearly spilling the burning chocolate from the pan but Tom had her arms around her preventing any sudden movements.
"I'm sorry," Rosalie could feel Tom's chin settle on her shoulder as her arms tightened. "Every time I tried to leave it seemed someone else had to come and tell me just how badly behaved my boys were and…"
Unable to move anymore of her body Rosalie turned her head and kissed Tom on the cheek.
"And you just couldn't help explaining yourself," her voice couldn't quite hide the smile.
"Of course not." Tom hid her face in Rosalie's shoulder. "Never could abide sneaks."
Rosalie laughed out loud at that and, as the chocolate reached the boil, she pulled her arms free to pour two brimming mugs.
"If you hadn't you'd hardly be the Tom I know."
"But I might have been a better…"
Rosalie stopped Tom's mouth with her own and pressed a mug into her hands.
"You couldn't be a better anything to me however hard you tried."