Chapter Four

"What are you doing here?"

Jasper closed my bedroom door, of course my mother thought we were sharing a bedroom like any other married couple. If only she knew we hadn't shared a bed in half a year and now she expects us to share my small double bed.

He was not allowed in it.

"Is that how you greet me after a three hour drive? Do you know shitty the roads are filled with potholes."

I scoffed, "You drive more for your meetings, so why are you really here?" I picked up some of my things off the ground and chucked it into my suitcase. Did he need me to accompany him to some meeting pretending everything was okay?

"Do you want some water?" I asked when he didn't reply.

Silence, of course.

Jasper was on the bed studying his phone carefully, the bridge between his eyebrows knotted as he studied what I probably think was another email. I gave up.

"Who's car is out the front?"

Jasper looked up briefly but was back onto his phone when he answered me, "Oh, the insurance company."

"Oh, what happened to our car?"

"Small scratch nothing big."

A small scratch wouldn't mean the insurance company would give us a new car. Did that mean there was an accident? My eyes ran over what skin I could see, I couldn't recognise any bruises or cuts.

"Are you okay?" I asked, hesitantly wondering if he was feeling alright to drive all this way here.

"I'm here aren't I." he muttered focused on the screen.

I clenched my jaw, why did I bother?

I dropped the subject, "Okay well go have a shower or something. I'll go help mum with the dinner." Whenever Jasper came over she seemed to have gone overboard with the food and then Jasper would come and eat less than me and we would have leftovers for the day.

"Ok." I heard a voice say, too fixated on his phone as I closed the door, and sure enough I could hear mum talking to herself in the kitchen as I walked in.

"Mum...don't over cook."

"But Jasper is here, I might make his favourite, the chicken and leek pie."

"He already had food at work so he won't eat much.” I lied.

"Yes I will."

I looked over my shoulder, confused why he was in the kitchen. Wasn't he going to take a shower?

"I will always have room for your chicken pie Megan." I rolled my eyes, of course he would say that now.

Jasper walked past me, rolling up the sleeves on his white shirt that looked freshly ironed. Did he come straight from work?

As he walked me I smelt the familiar scent I had gotten used to, it used to mean comfort and home, now it was just familiar, bland, boring.

"Let me cut something up.” he offered.

"Oh no Jasper, you get ready hun, I'll have it all ready in a jiffy.” my mother waves a hand trying to usher him out of the kitchen. I stood there and watched.

"That's alright. I'll cut up these leeks."

"Oh thank you...Um Bella how about you set up the table. The crust of the pie is done and I already started the sauce so it won't be long.” she finally gave up

“Alright." I said, I couldn’t get out of his presence fast enough.

I should have known that Jasper was going to look immaculate in my mother's eyes, no matter what he did. And he didn't do anything wrong, right now. Helped with the pie, helped set up the table, greeted my dad when he came in, joked with them, helped them clean up and everything else that he possible could do well that night.

"Okay kids I might call it a night." dad excused himself from the table, "I need to hit the town early again to help Gary with the calf."

"Do you want some help?” Jasper asked. Three pairs of eyes looked at him.

I paused mid way eating my apple pie. Did he just offer to help with a baby cow? This was new. Whilst Jasper helped wherever he could inside the house, the offer didn't stretch outside the house into the farm world. He was far from a country man, brought up in the rich city suburbs I don’t think he spent a full proper day on the farm.

He wasn't the biggest fan of getting his hands dirty.

"That's alright son. The worst of the chid birth is over, we're just going to tag them now."

Jasper nodded, and I knew he had no idea what that could mean apart from labelling them, but there was a lot of process in tagging a cow, especially a new born but for the auction they had to do it.

Either way he was saved from the further explanation dad would have given if he wasn't so tired.

Mum soon followed, leaving just him and me sitting at the dinning table, Jasper's untouched dessert sitting opposite him.

He never had much of a sweet tooth.

I finished the rest of mine and stood up clearing his plate and mine now that my parents were gone his phone was back out and so was the slouch as he spread into a more comfortable position. I placed his untouched dessert in the fridge, I could eat it for breakfast tomorrow, what a waste of good apple pie. The thought of having that for breakfast made me a little bit excited, even though the tightness of my jeans were saying that I had enough apple pie.

But my brain just told me to get larger pants.

Rinsing the plates I left them there to deal with tomorrow.

I stood at the kitchen sink glancing at Jasper, his back towards me. Do I turn off the lights and go to bed? Or do I ask him if he wants the lights off. With the way he was fixated on his phone I felt like he was going to be here for a bit longer.

Why am i so awkward...with my own husband.

Deciding the best thing was to not engage him in discussions whilst he worked I slipped out of the kitchen back into my bedroom. I closed the door turning on the light to the dimly lit room staring at the bed situation.


It wasn't like I had much choice, I quickly changed into my pyjamas before he decided to come in and slipped into bed. It was freezing, the bed sheets were cold against my skin and my thick woollen pyjamas weren't as warm as I thought. But normally it always took a few moments for your body to get used to the position.

I lay on my side huddled trying not to move, my body temperature slowly getting warmer. Just as I was getting used to the temperature, Jasper entered the room, the movement letting in cold air as the door opened.

"You asleep?"

If I was, you just woke me, I thought as I peeked out of the blanket, "Yes."

"Oh good." He said the light was still off but there was enough light from the moon to make out his silhouette as he walked towards the bed.

"What time are we waking up tomorrow."

"Whenever you want I guess?" I replied.

"What time are you waking up?"

I frowned in the dark at the question, "I was going to help mum around the house and I still have a bit to do in the farm so early morning."

"Do you want me to set an alarm at seven then?"

I shook my head, then realising he can't see me, "I left the curtains open, so the sun wakes me up, if you want to close them for you then maybe."

There was a long pause and I could hear the ruffle of clothes and then the sound of feet against the carpet, "nah that's fine then."

I felt the bed dip and then the blanket lift, the cold air wrapping around me, before it was back down.

It was much warmer with another body in the bed, whilst it was far away from me I almost wanted to scoot closer to get the warmth.

Jasper moved around for longer than I wanted trying to settle in. The mattress would be much firmer than the one he had, and i wondered if he was comfortable.

He finally went still and I closed my eyes, I could hear his steady breathing and I wondered if he was already asleep. I always envied people who could just fall asleep so quickly.

I wanted to turn around and sleep on my familiar side but I also didn't want to turn and face him. It had been so long since I had shared a bed with him, it felt so weird.

Eventually I gave up, hoping that there was still enough distance between us.

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