Georgina had asked for and received a day off work but finding somewhere to stay for their two days together had proved challenging. So many of the larger, more comfortable hotels had been taken over by the military or government for a variety of purposes — just like the mansion turned hotel which now served as the officers’ mess at Woodhall Spa. As a result, the demand for comfortable hotels far exceeded the supply and that meant the price of most nice hotels were beyond Kit’s means. Yet neither of them wanted to end up in some tawdry seaside boarding house where they would be treated like dirt, either. They could have gone down to London where affordable hotels were in greater supply, but they both wanted more peace and quiet than could be found in the capital. After considerable effort, Georgina had found a country hotel in the Lake District that had a vacancy. It was perfect, not too far away, but situated in beautiful countryside surrounded by hiking trails.
Georgina had booked one double room for two nights for Flying Officer and Mrs Moran. She put Don’s engagement ring back on her finger and turned Kit’s engagement ring around so only the gold band showed. Nevertheless, during the drive, they prepared for questions about their marriage.
They agreed that they had been wed on the 2 January 1945 at St. Andrews Church in Foster Clough by the Rev. Edwin Reddings. Their witnesses had been Kathleen Hart and Adrian Peal. It had been a very small wedding. Kit’s family was in Africa, after all, and Georgina’s brother in the Far East, so the only family present had been Georgina’s parents and her three maiden aunts Anna, Emma and Lucy. “You really must meet them one of these days,” Georgina commented. “Anna and Emma can be terribly amusing once you get past their forbidding exteriors.”
The other guests, Georgina decided, had been a couple of her friends from the teaching college, and Kit’s crew.
“And don’t forget Reggie and Toby,” Kit added before asking, “Did we invite Fiona?”
“No, we considered it, but decided it would be awkward. Then to our surprise, she showed up as Adrian’s guest.”
“Yes, he did seem rather more interested in Fiona than I had expected,” Kit answered reflecting on what he had just seen at Kirkby Grange.
“I’ve never seen Fiona so keen on anyone before,” Georgina replied. “She looked positively dejected when he said he was going to London and couldn’t see her.”
“If you have the chance, you should warn her that he’s already engaged.”
“Adrian?” Georgina gasped. Over the last fortnight, Adrian had come to Kirkby with Kit on a number of occasions and appeared to pay court to Fiona. He’d even taken her to the flicks once. Fiona had indicated she thought the relationship might “go somewhere.”
“I’m not sure it’s an engagement that will last,” Kit conceded, “but Adrian’s currently committed to a young lady named Julia. Now where were we? Tell me what you wore.” He smiled over at her.
“For the wedding ceremony or the wedding night?”
Kit burst out laughing. Once he’d got a grip on himself, he asked with a sidelong grin, “I hope, Miss Vicar’s Daughter, that you did not choose something too puritanical for the wedding night?”
“Well, no, not exactly puritanical, but I didn’t want the tarty look either. I opted for what I call transparent elegance. Did that work for you, Flying Officer?”
“It sounds…” He glanced at her and they dissolved into giggles. Sobering but still smiling, Kit concluded, “enchanting. I do hope you are still in possession of that particular piece of attire?”
“Indeed, and it’s in the boot. And you?” Georgina asked. “What did you wear?
“My bunny suit, of course.”
“Bunny suit?” She asked puzzled. She’d expected “birthday suit.”
“The long underwear we wear when flying. You know: all one piece and zips up the front. All that’s missing are the long, floppy ears.”
“Just what I always wanted!” Georgina exclaimed clapping her hands. “To sleep with the Easter Bunny!”
By the time they arrived at the hotel as dusk settled down upon the hills, they had invented a number of comic incidents that had enlivened their wedding. They were also a little slaphappy, and so, somewhat disappointed when they were received as Mr and Mrs Moran with warm smiles and no questions at all.
The anti-climax of not having to defend their fictional marital status was almost immediately dispelled by the magnificent room to which they were led. It was tastefully furnished in dark wood with plush carpets, solid furniture, and weighty curtains. It had an en-suite bathroom, a bay window offering views down to Derwent Water, and a large double bed under a canopy.
The door had barely clicked shut before their eyes met. Georgina couldn’t contain a giggle, but then she lifted her arms and clasped her hands behind Kit’s neck demanding a kiss.
“Don’t you need to get changed for dinner, Mrs Moran?” he asked between kisses.
“If you’d be so kind as to help me out of my traveling clothes, Mr Moran.…”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish