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Jo lay on the sofa in the Salon and stared at the ceiling. She had been intending to spend the time she had to herself in making a start on a new book. She had gone to the study, but found that she had no inspiration. Returning to the Salon, she had picked up her book to read for half an hour before intending to try again. It had failed to keep her attention and she had found herself beginning to doze off. Giving up the fight, she had made herself comfortable on the sofa, with a couple of cushions beneath her head and allowed herself to enter dreamland.

She had just woken up to discover a blanket had been thrown over her. She was trying to work out where it had come from, when she noticed someone else sitting in the room with her. She moved her head to see who it was and was pleased to discover her husband sprawled inelegantly in one of the chairs by the fire.

“Jack! When did you get home?” Jo untangled herself from the blanket and sat up to look at him with a smile on her face. He’d been conspicuous by his absence over the past few days, thanks to a seriously ill patient at the Sanatorium needing his attention.

“Hello, sleepyhead. I got back about half an hour ago.”

“Why didn’t you wake me?”

“And disturb your beauty sleep? I wouldn’t do that.”

“I was intending to make a start on a new book, but had no inspiration. Then I couldn’t seem to keep my eyes open when I came in here to read.”

“You were obviously tired if you managed to fall asleep on the sofa. Is everything all right?”

“Yes. I don’t know why I’m so tired lately. It’s not as if I’ve been doing very much. How are you, Jack? You look exhausted.”

“I am. I’ve not had much sleep for the past three days, hence why I’m home now. I’ve handed my patients over to Phil and told him not to ring me for the next two days unless it’s an emergency.”

“Good. It’s time you had some rest and a little time at home. We’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed being here. For now, though, I’d appreciate it if you’d go and make us some coffee.”

“I’ll go and see what I can rustle up.” Jo stood up and folded the blanket, dropping it onto a chair arm as she crossed the room. She kissed Jack before departing to the kitchen to make them both a drink and a bite to eat.

When she returned, Jack was dozing in the chair. She set the tray down and poured him some coffee, setting it noisily by him. He jerked awake and she just smiled sweetly at him as she took her own cup back over to the sofa.

“Thanks, Jo.” Jack picked up his cup and drank the bitter liquid. When he’d finished, he came over to sit on the sofa with Jo. She happily curled up into his arms and laid her head against his shoulder. They enjoyed a companionable silence as they sat there, listening to the crackling of the fire and the ticking of the mantle clock. Eventually, Jack moved and stretched.

“I’m going to go up to bed, Jo. I can barely keep my eyes open anymore. I’m glad I have you to come home to every day. You don’t ask questions and you know exactly how to comfort me.” He kissed her gently and stood up.

“I’m glad you come home to me every night, Jack. I love you and I miss you when you aren’t around.” Jack just smiled at her.

“A moment of quietness. That’s all I asked for and it’s just what I got. Goodnight, darling.”

“Goodnight. Sleep tight. Mind those bedbugs don’t bite,” Jo replied as she watched him leave the room, a smile on her face.




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