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Title: Alternative 3.12
Author: Anne 

The lights flickered again.
"Oh God"' Assumpta groaned.
"Here"' Peter said putting his hand up.
Assumpta smiled at him.
"I'll get it"' Padraig said.
"Thanks"' Assumpta replied.
A few minutes later, the whole pub went dark.
"You okay Padraig?" Peter called.
"I'm fine. But that fuse is lethal."
"Well no more tonight"' Assumpta sighed. "Anyway, haven't you 
all got homes to go to?"
Brendan smiled. "Come on Padraig. Let's go."
One by one, everyone left the pub until only Peter and Assumpta 
were left.
The lights suddenly flickered back on again.
"I give up"' Assumpta growled. She noticed Peter had taken his 
collar off. "Why?" she asked gesturing to it.
"You told me that I had to take it off to say that I love you. 
So I love you."
Assumpta's eyes sparkled. "I love you too."
"I'm going to see Fr Mac tomorrow. I'm going to tell him."
Assumpta nodded but Peter noticed she seemed a little uneasy.
"It's going to be okay. I promise." He took her hands in his. 
"Trust me."
Assumpta smiled. "Always."
"I'll come and see you first. Do you want some help to clean up?"
"I'll be okay. You should rest for the Battle Royale tomorrow."
Peter smiled and kissed her hands. "Tomorrow."
Assumpta smiled back. "Tomorrow."

The next morning, Liam and Donal looked expectantly at Mr 
Quigley who was deep in thought.
"I want this place scrubbed from head to toe"' he explained. "No
 marks anywhere."
Liam and Donal sighed.

Peter walked into Fitzgerald's which, he noticed uncomfortably 
was populated by a handful of people. Assumpta saw him.
He smiled and mouthed "I'm off."
"Good luck"' she replied.

Liam and Donal were scrubbing the floor when Shamie arrived.
"You know, we could speed this up"' Shamie grinned.
Liam and Donal smiled.

"I take that you are here about your decision"' Fr Mac asked.
Peter nodded. "I love her."
"You must. Do you really know what you're doing?"
Fr Mac nodded. "Very well. You are relieved from your duties.
 Anytime you need to talk..."
"Thank you Father."

Back at Fitzgerald's, Assumpta was serving Brendan, Siobhan and 
"Assumpta are you okay?" Padraig asked.
"Yeah. Why do you ask?"
"You're shaking"' Siobhan told her.
Assumpta looked at her hands and found this to be the case.  
"I'm fine."

"What is it?" Donal asked.
"A floor polisher"' Shamie said, plugging the contraption in.
"Does it clean?" Liam asked.
Shamie sighed.

Assumpta was in the kitchen when a knock came at her back door.
 As she opened it, she was immediately enveloped in a hug which 
stunned her, but was relieved to find it was Peter.
"What took you so long?" she whispered.
"I had to talk to Fr Mac and go through some things. But I 
promised you."
She smiled.
"In a minute Siobhan."
"Have you got a room free?" Peter asked.
Assumpta nodded.
"I'll be back then."
"What are you going to tell everyone?"
"The truth is good."
"I'll be back"' he smiled.
Assumpta closed the door behind him and leant against it. A 
smiled formed on her face.
"Coming"' she replied.

"Ah Donal, how many times have you done this room?" Liam asked.
"Well that's the problem."
"I can't turn it off."

"You're glowing"' Siobhan observed.
"I am not."
"You are"' Brendan agreed.
"What's up?' Padraig asked.
"Nothing"' she replied hastily.
Peter came through the door and only Brendan noticed the look 
that passed between them.
"Right"' he said, putting his glass down. "I'm not trying to be 
blunt but what's going on?"
Assumpta looked at Peter who sent a reassuring smile her way.
"I left the priesthood"' Peter said simply.
The mouths dropped.
"Why did you..." Siobhan began, but stopped.
"You left because of her didn't you?" Brendan asked.
Peter nodded.
There was silence in the room and Assumpta began to feel uneasy.
"Uh, there's your key"' she told him.
"Thanks. I won't be long."
Brendan was the first to break the silence. "You love him don't 
Assumpta nodded. "Very much."
Brendan nodded and Siobhan and Padraig smiled.
"Congratulations"' Siobhan told her.
Peter came back down the stairs.
"So you're our new barman?'"Padraig asked.
Peter nodded. "Afraid so."
"Right so, a pint please"' Siobhan said.
Peter smiled.

"Well how do I turn it off?" Donal asked Liam who was sitting
 with his head in his hands.
A sudden crash came.
"No need"' Liam cried as they looked down. 
The floor polisher had polished a hole in the floor and crashed.
"Oh my God!" Donal cried. "Mr Quigley's going to kill us!'

"Have you told Niamh yet?"Siobhan asked, coming in.
"No, why?" Assumpta asked.
"She's coming down the road."
Assumpta looked at Peter. "Go and find that other crate of Harp
 in the cellar ok?'
Peter looked at her. "You sure?"
"I'm positive. In half an hour come back."
Peter nodded.
A few minutes after he went down to the cellar Niamh burst in.
 "Assumpta? A word."
They went into the kitchen. "What?" Assumpta asked.
"Fr Mac says Fr Clifford can't do the christening. Do you know 
Assumpta nodded. "He left the priesthood."
"What on earth for?" Niamh exploded. Then she noticed Assumpta 
looking down. "Oh God. He left because of you didn't he?" she 
said, in a softer voice.
Assumpta looked up. "I'm sorry Niamh. I know you disapprove but 
I love him. And he loves me as well. It's what we both want."
Niamh looked at her for a while. "Well. I suppose it was going 
to happen sooner or later."
Assumpta nodded. "I'm sorry."
"I just want you to be happy you know?"
"I am happy. I love him and I love being with him."
Niamh smiled. "Well then. That's good. What about Leo?"
Assumpta sighed. "I know I have to tell him. It's just something
 that I really don't want to do."
"Why did you marry him if you loved Peter?"
"To get over Peter. I thought in time, Peter would leave my 
"But he didn't."
"One question."
"What do I call him?"
Assumpta laughed. "Call him what I do. Peter."
Niamh nodded.
"Assumpta!" a yell came from the cellar.
"What?'"she asked, coming to the hole.
"There's no Harp down here. Just champagne."
Assumpta groaned. "I just bought a new batch. And how come 
there's champagne down there? I didn't order any."
"Well I didn't either"' Peter replied, coming back up. He 
noticed Niamh."Hi Niamh."
"Hello Fr Peter'
"It's okay"' he replied as she looked a little embarrassed. 

"Right"' Donal said. "Now it looks like nothing happened."
"Right"' Liam smiled. "It looks good."
They stared at the piece of timber that they had hammered over
 the hole.
Shamie came in. "Sure why is the timber different there?"
"No reason"' Donal replied hurriedly. 
"Sure it's always been like that"' Liam said.
Shamie nodded, too bewildered to pursue it.

"Assumpta"' Peter said, going up to her.
"You may think this is too early. but could I uh, take you out 
to dinner on Saturday?"
Assumpta smiled. "To answer your question I have been waiting 
for three years for that question. I would love to go out to 
dinner tomorrow night."
Peter smiled. Then he leaned forward and kissed her on the 
cheek. Assumpta looked at him wide eyed, and beginning to feel a 
little self conscious he went back out to the bar. Assumpta 

"Dad"' Kevin said, entering the room, the next day.
"What is it Kevin?"
"I got a letter from Mum today."
Padraig looked up. "Oh."
"She asked me if I was going to come and live with her."
"What did you say?"
"I haven't replied. But I was wondering. How can I write 
tactfully that I'm staying here?"
Padraig smiled and hugged his son.

Peter walked into the pub. He had just been for a walk to calm
 his nerves. Niamh noticed him.
"Ready for tonight?"
"Yeah. Is Assumpta ready?"
Niamh nodded. "Calm down while I get her." She went into the
 kitchen where Assumpta was fixing her makeup.
"He's ready."
"He's nervous. And you are going to make him more nervous by 
wearing that. You wore that to my Hardly a Wedding Reception"
Assumpta looked down at her skirt and blouse. "How will this 
make him more nervous?"
"Because you look wonderful."
"Should I change?" Assumpta asked, looking worried. "No. Go on."
Assumpta nodded and went out to the bar. "Ready?" she asked 
Peter nodded, too speechless by her appearance to say anything.
The regulars watched with interest as they left.
"They are going to have one hell of an interesting night"' 
Siobhan smiled.

"Are we ready for the inspection tomorrow lads?" Brian asked.
"We're ready Mr Quigley"' Liam answered.
"Good. Glad to see that you got this place spick and span. 
Cleaned it up good."
Liam and Donal looked at each other worriedly.

"You look beautiful Assumpta"' Peter said.
Assumpta looked at him as they walked into the restaurant. "Thank you"
"Ah Peter"' a little Italian man came up to them. "I will show 
you and your date to a table."
"Hi Mario."
Assumpta looked at Peter in surprise. 
"I know him from England"' he replied.
Assumpta nodded.

Niamh eyed Ambrose coming in, holding Kieran. "What are you 
doing here?"
"He couldn't sleep. Besides, my mother is coming tomorrow.'
Niamh looked at Kieran. "That  why you couldn't sleep hey? 
Because Grandma is coming tomorrow."
"Niamh"' Ambrose groaned.
"I'll be off Niamh"' Siobhan smiled.
"Bye Siobhan"' Niamh waved.

"That was a wonderful dinner"' Assumpta said, as they parked in 
front of Fitzgerald's.
"Would you like to go for a walk?" Peter asked.
Assumpta smiled. "I'd like that."

"I heard the car pull up"' Ambrose said.
"They probably went for a walk or something"' Padraig answered.

They were walking along the bridge when Peter stopped.
Assumpta looked at him. "What?"
He smiled and kissed her softly.
Assumpta looked into his eyes and smiled. Then she kissed him 
again. What started as a soft kiss quickly escalated into a 
passionate one until both were forced to part for breath.
"I love you"' Peter told her, running his hand down her face.
"I love you back"' she replied, drawing him in for another kiss.
"I thought you were supposed to be a priest"' an all to familiar
 voice interrupted.
"Leo!" Assumpta replied, startled.
"Having an affair with a married woman wouldn't look good on 
your resume Father would it"' Leo spat.
"Leo please"' Assumpta said.
"I think your Father and I need to have a talk Assumpta. Go back
 to the pub."
"Leo"' Assumpta pleaded.
"Assumpta please go back to the pub"' Peter said quietly.
She looked at him and nodded, and walked briskly back to the pub.

"Niamh get Ambrose"' she said as she ran in.
"Why what's going on?" Ambrose asked, standing up.
"Leo. He saw me and Peter and they're going to fight."
Ambrose hightailed it out of the pub.

"Kissing my wife eh?" Leo asked, punching Peter.
Peter flinched but stood fast.
"Is she good for you Father?"
Peter growled and went to punch him but Ambrose's hand caught 
him. "Don't do something you'll regret Peter."
Peter put his hand down.
"Go back to the pub Peter. Assumpta's waiting for you. And get 
her to fix you up."
Peter nodded and left.

Assumpta went to Peter as soon as he walked in. "Are you okay?" 
she asked.
"I'm fine"' he replied, smiling at her.
Niamh brought some ice out. "Put that on your eye Peter."
Peter thanked her and held the ice to his face. "I'm sorry about 
tonight Assumpta.'
Assumpta smiled. "Sorry? What for? I enjoyed myself. Well, 
except for the rather abrupt ending. But we can blank that out.
 I personally enjoy remembering that kiss."
Peter coloured a little.
Assumpta smiled. "Are you embarrassed?"
"You are"' she replied. "But I don't mind." She kissed him 
again. "You should go to bed."
Peter nodded. "See you in the morning."
"I love you."
"I love you back."

"What were you doing Leo McGarvey?" Ambrose asked.
"Making my opinions clear. I mean really, the curate taking up
 with a married woman!"
"He's not a curate anymore Leo."
"Then what is he? A wife stealer?"
"He's left the priesthood. For Assumpta.'
"He loves her. And she loves him."
Leo sighed. "I won't be able to fight it will I?"
Ambrose shook his head. "They've been denying their feelings for
 three years. I think the top finally burst."
Leo nodded. "They're really in love?'"Ambrose nodded.
"Ok. Tell Assumpta I said goodbye. She can do whatever is 
Ambrose shook his hand. "Goodbye Leo."

"Right boys"' Mr Quigley said entering. "All ready for the 
"Definitely Mr Quigley"' Liam replied.
"Yeah definitely"' Donal echoed.
Mr Quigley smiled. "Good."
Shamie brought in a short man with rather large rimmed glasses.
"Mr Quigley this is Mr McRan"' Shamie introduced.
"Pleased to meet you"' Mr Quigley said, extending his hand.
They shook.

Peter winced as Assumpta inspected his eye.
"Ah stop being such a big baby"' she admonished.
"I'm not"' he replied stubbornly.
She got the teapot out and poured some tea into a mug.
"You're not drinking cold tea are you?" Peter asked, shocked.
"Of course not you dope. My mother always bathed my eye in cold 
tea when I got a black one."
Peter looked relieved until she dabbed his eye. "Ow!"

"Your restaurant seems in very good order Mr Quigley"' Mr McRan 
said. "I see no reason to not open it."
Liam and Donal sucked their breath in as he stepped onto the bit
 of floor that they had replaced. They let their breaths out as 
he was still standing. Then an almighty BANG emitted as he fell 
through the hole.
"Oh my good God!" Mr Quigley cried. He looked at Liam and Donal.
 "Well don't just stand there! Get him out!"

"There"' Assumpta smiled. "I've put that on and you should be 
okay for awhile. I'll put some more on later."
Peter smiled. "Maybe you should have become a doctor."
"Well, if I had become a doctor, I probably wouldn't be here and
 we might have never met"' she replied.
"I can't imagine life without you"' Peter told her.
Assumpta smiled. "I can't imagine life without you either."
Peter kissed her softly.
"That's all I get for fixing you up?" she asked, kissing him soundly.
At this moment Ambrose walked in. He coughed.
Peter and Assumpta pulled apart, trying to disguise their 
shallow breathing.
"Sorry to interrupt but Assumpta, we need to talk."
"Right"' Peter said. "I'll make myself scarce."
Assumpta smiled. "Would you take Fionn for a walk?"
Peter nodded. "I'll be back later."

"I think that you will be hearing from my company"' Mr McRan 
said harshly.
Mr Quigley sighed. "Nice to meet you."
Mr McRan scowled.

"So?" Assumpta asked Ambrose.
"I had a word with Leo."
"In his words, you can do what you want."
Assumpta sighed. "I want to be Peter's wife. As soon as I can."
"No time like the present"' Ambrose answered.
Assumpta nodded. "If you see Peter will you send him back?"
"Will do"' Ambrose replied.