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Title: Another Alternative 3.12
Author: Anne

I want to thank Becks very much for letting me use the quick way 
of getting rid of Leo. You are my inspiration THANKS!!!!!! 
A tall man stepped off the bus. He saw Fitzgeralds and started 
to walk towards it.

'I'm telling you its in there,' Assumpta told Peter.
'It's not,' he called back.
Assumpta sighed and came into the cupboard. 'There it is,' she 
said and pulled the box out. 'Are you blind?'
The bell rang.
'I'll get it,' Peter smiled.
Assumpta walked out from the kitchen.
'Assumpta, this is my brother Michael,' Peter introduced.
'I thought you were a priest?' Michael asked.
'That's right. Were.'
Michael smiled. 'Did she lure you away?'
Peter nodded.
Assumpta smiled. 'Do you need a room?'
Assumpta wrote his name in the book.
'Oh and Peter?' Michael asked.
'I brought your guitar.'
Peter's face lit up.

Michael was getting to know the locals. Assumpta noticed Peter
 was missing so she went upstairs. Peter was on his bed, 
strumming 'When a Man Loves a Woman' on his guitar. Assumpta 
leant in the doorframe, her eyes focused on him as a smile 
begain forming on her face. Peter finished and when he saw her, 
a blush started slowly creeping up.
'My dad used to play this for my mum,' he said, by way of 
explanation. 'How long have you been there?'
Assumpta sat on the bed. 'Long enough.'
Peter fidgeted.
Assumpta noticing this, moved a bit closer. 'Will you play 
'You want me to?'
Assumpta leant against him. 'Please.'

'Where's Assumpta gone?' Brendan asked, gesturing to his empty 
Siobhan smiled and motioned them all to be quiet as music wafted
 down. 'There's your answer.'
Michael smiled. 'How long have they been in love?'
'We suspect about three years but they only admitted it last 
week,' Siobhan explained.
'I'll take over,' Brendan sighed.
'Should I go and get them?' Michael asked.
'If you  want your head taken off,' Padraig laughed.
'What are you talking about?' Assumpta asked, coming downstairs,
 with Peter behind her.
'Speak of the devil,' Padraig muttered.
'I heard that,' Assumpta growled.
Padraig made a face.
'Ah would you stop acting like children,' Brendan said, 
Assumpta raised her eyebrow at him.
Brendan smiled and sat down.
Liam and Donal came in, Donal wearing a tweed hat with a pencil 
stuck behind his ear. Assumpta smiled and Siobhan grinned.
'Good evening everyone,' Liam said importantly. 'What's the 
Assumpta burst out laughing, Siobhan and Padraig too.
'What did you say?' Peter asked.
'The latest news of Ballyk. What's going on?'
Siobhan barely stopped laughing to contribute. 'Eammon's sow had
Eammon stood up and walked over to Liam and Donal. 'Her name is 
Susan and she had Luke, Michael, Steven, Karla, Lucy, Mary and 
Donal looked a little bewildered but wrote down the names anyway.
'Who are you?' Liam asked pointing at Michael.
'Jayz Liam did your parents never teach you any manners?'
 Brendan asked.
'Nope,' Liam replied, smiling.
'I'm Michael Clifford,' Michael said, sticking his hand out. 'You are?'
'Liam. And that's Donal.'
'You related to Peter?' Liam asked.
Michael nodded.
'Write,' Liam said to Donal.
Assumpta looked a little bewildered at all this going on.
'You fine Assumpta?' Padraig asked.
'I am but there is going to be two barred lads if they don't get
 their high tailed jinx out of here now,' she growled.
Peter smiled and continued washing glasses.
The phone rang and Assumpta answered it. 'Fitzgerald's.'
Peter watched her go white and walk into the kitchen. He 
abandoned the glasses and followed her. 'Assumpta?'
She turned around, still a little pale.
'He was already married,' she said with no expression.
'What!? To who?'
Assumpta looked at him. 'When we were married he was already
'I gathered that. You're avoiding my question. Who to?'
Assumpta sat down. 'That girl you knew from England. Jenny.'
Peter sat down next to her. 'Are you sure?'
Assumpta nodded. 'The lawyers want me to go to Cilldargen 
tommorow to see Leo and finalise legalities.' She looked him in
 the eye. 'I don't want to go alone.'
Peter smiled and kissed her forehead. 'I shall wait outside with
 my book.'
Assumpta smiled wanly. 'Thanks.'

Later that night, Peter and Michael sat at the bar while 
Assumpta dried the last few glasses.
'So Michael what are you really here for? If you had come to see 
me you would have done it three years ago.'
Michael sighed. 'It's Susan. Our sister,' he said to Assumpta 
who nodded. 'Now that Mum and Dad are gone she's gone all 
familyish. She wants to have a family reunion.'
Assumpta laughed. 'That'd be a show to see, a Clifford family
Peter smiled sweetly at her. 'So would a Fitzgerald family 
reunion. All those stubborn people in one room.'
'Now children, must I get out the measuring stick?' Michael 
Assumpta smiled. 'No thanks. Why don't you have it here?'
'Here?' Peter asked.
'Yeah. Give everyone a chance to meet your family. Including me.'
'That's a great idea!' Michael said. 'Everyone loves pubs.'
Peter smiled. 
'Could you put them up here?' Michael asked.
'How many rooms are we talking?'
'Well, one for me and Jane, one for Susan and Seth, one for the 
three kids, and one for Stephen and one for Luke.'
'Stephen and Luke are my other brothers,' Peter explained to
She nodded and looked at the register. She smiled. 'Next 
'You're on,' Michael answered.
'And I'm going to bed,' Assumpta told him. 
Peter kissed her. 'See you in the morning.'
She nodded. 'Night Michael.'
'Night Assumpta.'
When she had gone, Michael turned to Peter. 'You're not sleeping
 in the same room?'
Peter slapped him on the arm.

The next morning, Peter knocked on Assumpta's door.
'Wake up Assumpta,' he called.
'Because it's eight o'clock and we have to be in Cilldargen by 
Assumpta groaned. 'Five minutes?'
'No,' Peter replied firmly. 'I'll wait downstairs while you get

Ten minutes later, Assumpta emerged dressed and ready but still 
looking sleepy.
'I think, one look at you, we'll get coffee on the way,' Peter 
Assumpta glared at him.
'You really aren't a mornings person are you?' he asked.

'What is this?' Ambrose asked, accepting a paper from the 
'Quigley's Ireland. Today's copy is complementary but tommorow's
 is a pound.'
Ambrose raised his eyebrow. 'Thanks, I think.'
'No problem. See you tommorow Ambrose.'

'Right,' Assumpta said, sucking her breath in as they stood 
outside the room. 
'I'll be right here,' Peter said, gesturing at the waiting room.
 'If you want me I'll come.'
Assumpta nodded. 'Thankyou. For everything.'
Peter smiled. 'It's going to be fine.'
Assumpta smiled and walked in. Peter sat down and watched her go.

'He did what?' Niamh asked, feeding Kieran.
'He's started a newspaper,' Ambrose repeated.
'A newspaper. About what?'
'News?' Ambrose answered helpfully.
Niamh gave him a look. 'What's on the front page?'
'Um, Peter Clifford's brother arrives, Eammon's pig has piglets,
 Con O'Neill has been asked to play in an Eisteddford and Mystic 
Donal's astrology.'
Niamh chuckled. 'He's going to have a hard time finding 
information around this place.'

It had been two hours since Peter had watched Assumpta walk into 
the room and frankly, he was beginning to worry.
Two minutes later, Assumpta walked out, looking a little pale.
 Leo followed her, looking angry. 
'Are you okay?' Peter asked her, putting his arm around her, not
 caring that Leo was watching.
'Can we go somewhere else?'
Peter nodded. 'I know the perfect place.'

'We need more news,' Brian groaned. 'I want you to find 
Liam sighed. 'This is Ballykissangel, there is no news.'
Brian sighed. 'Then go to Kathleen. She always has news.'

As Peter stopped the car, Assumpta looked out.
'This is where...' she trailed off.
'We had our talk,' he answered. 'I've always found it a good 
place to think or talk.'
Assumpta smiled. 'Well, then. Let's go find out.'
They sat side by side on the rocks, watching the water lap over 
them. Peter was silent, he wanted Assumpta to talk in her own 
'Well,' Assumpta said.
Peter turned to her.
'I went in. Leo told me that he had married Jenny two months 
before our marriage. He agreed to a dissolvment and that was it.'
Peter looked at her. 'And you're okay?'
She looked at him. 'Truthfully? I don't know. This is all not 
clear in my head yet. I mean, I have everything with us clear in
 my head, just not everything with Leo.'
Peter nodded. 'I'm here when you need me.'
Assumpta smiled and leant against him. 'I'm glad.'

'Right. Did you see Kathleen?'
'Yeah,' Liam nodded. 'She wasn't very cooperative though.'
'She thought we were going to steal stuff,' Donal said.
Brian sighed. 'Right. Tell her what it's for you eejits. When 
you come back in two hours I want enough new to fill the paper!
'Yes Mr Quigley,' they answered.'

'Did you read Dad's paper?' Niamh asked Assumpta who was filling
'Yeah. Don't know how he's going to get any news around here 
though,' Assumpta replied.
'Well he'll get enough with my crazy family on the weekend,'
 Peter sighed.
Assumpta smiled.
'How many brothers and sisters do you have?' Siobhan asked.
'Three brothers and one sister.'
'How did she ever cope with you?' Assumpta asked sweetly.
'How did we ever cope with you?' Padraig asked.
Assumpta glared at him.
'Now children,' Brendan warned.
'And you spend way too much time with kids,' Siobhan told him. 
'Did I hear a ãcoolä escape your lips earlier today?'
The bar erupted into laughs. The concept of Brendan saying 
ãcoolä was hilarious.
'So we can expect your family when?' Padraig asked Peter.
'Probably Friday.'
'This shall be a treat,' Brendan smiled.

Peter lay back against the couch watching the fire.
'You're thinking about something.' Assumpta observed, sitting 
down next to him.
Peter nodded. 'Nothing you need to worry about.'
Assumpta looked at him. 'Listen, today I told you stuff now its 
your turn. What's up?'
'Well, I don't want to rush you,' he began.
Assumpta stared at him. 'Rush me in what?'
Peter sighed. 'When I went back to see my mum, I told her about
 you and how I felt. She gave me something.'
'You're being cryptic. What?'
Peter pulled a box out of his pocket. 'She told me that it was 
once given to her, as a token of how much my father loved her
 and thought she was special. She said that I was to give it to 
you, another special woman, as a token of my love.'
Assumpta felt tears running down her cheeks. 'Are you asking me 
to marry you?'
'Only if you're ready.'
Assumpta nodded.
Peter smiled. 'Marry me Assumpta.'
'With all my heart,' she replied, kissing him.

'Are you sure you still want them here?' Peter asked Assumpta as
 he handed her a coffee.
'You don't want me to meet them?' she said, accepting the coffee.
Peter sighed. 'Of course I do. I love you. If I didn't you 
wouldn't be wearing that ring, which you haven't stopped staring
 at for over half an hour.'
Assumpta coloured. 'It's just so beautiful. And after what you 
said last night...'
Peter smiled and kissed her. The bell dinged. Assumpta stared at
'You're going to stare me out until I get that aren't you?' he 
asked her.
She nodded.
'And you're going to win aren't you?'
Assumpta smiled and nodded again.
Peter smiling, got up and went out to the bar. He smiled at the 
small woman standing there, holding a toddler with her husband 
behind her. 'Hello Susan.'
'Peter,' the woman smiled and hugged him. 'Say hello to your 
Uncle Peter Jack.'
Jack waved.
'Hello Peter.'
'Hi Seth.'
During this Assumpta had come out.
'Hello,' Susan said.
'Oh Susan,' Peter started. 'This is Assumpta, my fiancee. 
Assumpta this is my sister Susan, her husband Seth and my little
 nephew Jack.' Peter picked up and hugged the boy.
Susan smiled and shook Assumpta's hand. 'Congratulations. But 
are you sure you want to marry him?' she asked, poking her 
tongue out at her brother.
Assumpta looked at Peter. 'I'm definetly sure that I want to 
marry him.'
'Good,' Susan answered. 'It'll be wonderful to finally have 
another girl in the family.'
'Here's your key,' Assumpta said, handing it over.
'Great,' Susan smiled. 'Thanks. Good to see you Stinky.'
Peter winced.
'Stinky?' Assumpta inquired.
'When I was younger, I used to love playing in the mud. 
Especially when I played football.'
Assumpta smiled. 'Does that mean I should call you Stinky now?'
'Don't you dare,' he answered.
'Or what?' she demanded, giving him a look.
Peter contemplated for a moment. 'Alright you win.' He kissed 
'Let's make a tie,' Assumpta smiled.
'Good evening all,' Brendan said, arriving with Siobhan behind 
'What'll it be?' Peter asked.
'A bottle of Harp,' Siobhan replied.
'Pint of stout,' Brendan answered.
'Run like clockwork don't they?' Assumpta asked Peter.

'Can I help you?' Brian asked, as two men pulled up in a rangerover.
'Yeah. We're looking for Peter Clifford.'
Brian Quigley smiled. 'Are you two of the brothers?'
One of them nodded. 'Where can we find him?'

'So, what was Peter like as a child?' Siobhan asked Susan.
'I'm going to bury myself in the kitchen and I think you should 
too,' Peter told Assumpta.
Assumpta laughed. 'Oh no I want to stay for this.'
Peter sighed and whispered in her ear. 'Just make sure you don't
 take back that yes.'
Assumpta smiled. 'Never,' she replied.
'He loved football. Mum would have to stop him playing in the 
house. He broke nearly every vase we had. He got this telescope 
for his birthday one year. He took it up to the attic and we 
never saw it again. Three days later, the neighbour who was a 
very leggy blonde, came and complained that he was spying on 
The bar burst out laughing. Assumpta, taking pity on Peter, went
 into the kitchen.
'Don't worry Peter,' she said, 'as long as you don't spy on 
blondes when we're married I'll be happy.'
Peter smiled. 'There's only one person I want to spy on.'
'Assumpta! Peter! Customers!' Padraig called.
Assumpta sighed. 'Coming Padraig.'
'Hi Peter,' one of the men greeted.
'Stephen! Luke!'
'This is Ballyk huh?' Luke asked.
Peter nodded. 'This is Ballyk.'
'Nice place,' Stephen said looking at Assumpta.
Peter grinned and said, 'Assumpta, these are my brothers Luke 
and Stephen. Luke, Stephen this is my fiancee Assumpta.'
'Fiancee?' Siobhan asked.
Peter looked at Assumpta. 'We haven't told them yet have we?'
'Congratulations,' Padraig said.
Brendan and Siobhan echoed his sentiments.
'Anyway Stephen were is Molly and the girls?'
'Ah well, Molly had to finish some business and you know what 
Elly's like in the car. Luke won't travel with anyone who has 
car sickness.'
'Too much of a mess,' Luke explained.
'Hi Assumpta,' Kevin said, entering.
'Fionn's waiting for you.'
'Is it okay if Feargal comes?'
Assumpta and Peter looked up in shock to see a sullen Feargal 
Sullivan standing at the door.
'Yeah,' Assumpta answered, in a daze.
'How is your Dad and Aileen, Feargal?' Peter asked nicely.
'Divorced a year ago,' Feargal answered sullenly.
'Come on Feargal,' Kevin said and they left with the dog.
Peter quickly exited the room. Assumpta gave his brothers the 
keys and followed him.
She found him by the river Angel staring at the water.
'What did you leave so quickly for?' she asked.
He looked at her and smiled. 'No reason.'
She took his hand in hers. 'Why?'
'Enda's back in town.'
Assumpta  looked at him. 'So?'
'So, he likes you very much.'
Assumpta sighed. 'Peter I love you very much. If I didn't I 
wouldn't be wearing this ring or meeting your family. I don't 
love Enda. I never did. You are the only man I love and I will 
Peter turned and smiled at her. 'I love you Assumpta.'
'Forever,' Assumpta answered, as they kissed.