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Story Notes:
Most of my stories about the Mob are about the good points of being a Maynard. This one is about the bad points.
A broken vase...a torn dress...her dress...there was a doctor looking at her...she opened her mouth, but no sound came out...but the doctor looked shocked...she turned...

Then she was walking...through the dark night...everyone pointed and laughed, or else turned their faces from her in disgust...

She reached the hollow in which she and her husband had shared many a happy moment alone together before that awful realisation. She flung herself down and cried and cried and cried.

There was a lot of strain on her to behave "properly", Jack being who he was. The wife of the great Dr. Maynard, climbing trees and getting muddy like a common tomboy?! Unacceptable!

They were right. thought Joey sadly. Jack deserves so much better than me.

Then she fell out of bed and she was still crying, down on the floor.

Then suddenly, there were strong arms moving over her, holding her and lifting her to her feet. It was such a lovely sensation, but she drew away. She was not good enough for Jack.

"Jo!" There was frustration in his tone. "For Heaven's sake, don't say that I can do better than you! We've been through this before. Why, you always ask, do I stay with you, who can't cook, can't clean, can't set an example to our children, when I could leave you and marry a rich, elegant, dignified woman who is very skilled in the home? Now listen to me, darling. I'll tell you why."

Jo looked up, nervous and scared of what he was about to say. He sighed deeply and his face softened.

"Come here, darling."


"Because you're my wife." He smiled at her. "And I love you."

Jo obediently took a step forward and allowed her husband to hold her tightly. She could feel his arms round her, moving and stroking her comfortingly. She did not draw back, instead, she relaxed into it and rested her head on his chest. Jack felt her rapid breathing slow and he felt satisfied that he could go on.

"Jo. This is why. I am hopelessly in love with you. I can't bear to see you unhappy and I just want you to feel loved. You have a place in this household just as much as I do, or any one of the Mob. This is where you belong, believe me. You are as much a woman as any other. Trust me. Please. If you went, Jo, it would break our hearts. We would be a broken family. It would feel as though there was a huge hole in our lives."

His wife would not meet his eye. Jack could feel that his chest was suspiciously wet.


She looked up, ready to dispute what he had said, but she got no chance. Her husband knew what was in her mind, and in one swift movement, he kissed her.

Her doubts fled temporarily as his lips touched hers. His hands started moving again, one minute they were at her back, the next, they were wrapped around her waist, then he just touched it, hands on either side, then down to her hips, her behind, then they flew back up to hold her under her arms. She could feel his wrists lightly touching her breasts and she shivered, her arms tightening round his neck. At last, his hands came to rest tangled in her hair, although she would have preferred them to have stayed by her breasts. The depth of the kiss surprised even him, but at last, he drew away and pulled her back into bed.

She lay in the middle, with Jack's arms round her, and he fell asleep with her lips lightly brushing his neck.

Jo, however, stayed awake, terrified of sleep lest her dream return, and when she felt her husband drop off, she disentangled herself from him and, donning her dressing-gown, went to her study to finish a chapter of story that she had been writing.

All that flowed from her pen, however, was her nightmare, so she shoved the pages she had written that night into the stove for use as kindling when it came to be lit.

She went into the Salon, as she called it, and lit one of the lamps. She curled up into her armchair, which was next to the shelf with the lamp on, and picked up a reading book.

She read for a while, but all the characters seemed to be taunting her, laughing at her. She flung the book down and collapsed onto the floor, sobbing desperately.

She failed to hear the patter of small feet in the hallway outside and she did not notice the fact that she was no longer alone until she found small arms around her and soft hair against her cheek.

"There now, Mamma." said a familiar voice in her ear. "Sit up now, and stop crying. Be good for Eu, now."

Jo almost laughed at the stern, motherly treatment that she was recieving from her own daughter, and one of the younger ones at that.

She sat down in her armchair again and pulled the small girl onto her lap.

"Was it the dream again?" asked Eu. Jo nodded silently.

Eu rested her head on her mother's chest.

When Jack came down half an hour later, he discovered the two fast asleep in each other's arms.

He lifted up his daughter and carried her up to her room, before tucking her up and gently kissing the small ruby lips.

He went back for Jo and carried her up with ease, for she was feather-light - too light, Jack felt - and removed her dressing-gown and slippers.

As she lay there in bed, Jack felt that she looked so vulnerable, so pale and drawn.

He would have to find a way of helping her.

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