Chapter 55

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Connie opened the front door to a strong smell drifting through the hall. A small smile came to her lips before it dispersed as she began noticing the boxes that were stacked to one side of the hall. Swallowing past the lump that had risen in her throat she painted a smile onto her face before she stepped into the kitchen.

"Hey!" Connie smiled at him as she placed her hands down to the kitchen counter. "Afternoon... Where did you find enough to make all of this?" He laughed as he turned back to the oven to stir the pan he had on the oven. "Well, there's this place called a supermarket and it sells all sorts of interesting things including food." Connie picked up the tea towel and threw it across the kitchen at him.

Connie moved to the sink getting herself a glass of water as she looked over to him. "Anything I can do?" "It's all under control, but I suppose you could cut those bits up on the side over there." She nodded pushing away to do as he had said, the tension somewhat lingering in the air between them.

After dinner was prepared and cooked, she noticed the table had already been set for them and she smiled sitting opposite him. "I can't remember the last time we had dinner together." He smiled looking across at her, taking her hand in his. "It was too long ago, partly my fault for being away so much." Shaking her head he stopped her from talking. "I'll never forgive myself for letting you slip away from me more than once, but I'll be happy knowing that you are too."

Connie's smile brightened a little before they resumed their meal with small talk. The atmosphere was more comfortable than it had been before, and they found themselves willing the minutes away as they chatted. Her laughter brightened up the mood as Greg stood up to move their plates out into the kitchen.

"So come on, what's this new place like?" He glanced up as she lifted herself to sit on the surface beside him with a smile. "It's certainly not Holby... It's big, one of the best apparently." She smiled across at him as she picked her glass up again. "I suppose that big head of yours will be needing a glowing reference too?" "Ha, yeah that would go down well for me." Connie nodded with a knowing smile before looking into the living room.

"It'll be empty around here without you." Greg dried his hands off before holding a hand out to Connie. "Come on, lets sit outside..." Taking his hand she slipped down from the side following him into the garden where they sat beside each other on the decking. Looking up at the darkened sky above, she released a heavy breath before feeling Greg's hand slip into hers.

Looking down at their entwined hands, she smiled before leaning into his side. "I can't believe you're going to be on the other side of the world from me. There was a time when I wished you would disappear, let me clear my head but that couldn't be further from what I'd want now. I'm losing my best friend Greg, if nothing else." "Hey... You're not losing me, just because I'm not here with you doesn't mean I'll ever really be gone."

He moved his arm around her shoulders as she rest against his chest. "You'll always be my best friend, nobody can ever fill those heels of yours." She laughed gently before sniffing, running a hand beneath her eyes. "Remember when we first started whatever this is, and you took me to that small restaurant-" "Okay it was your choice to chose somewhere I very clearly didn't fit into." She smirked placing a hand flat to his chest. "I think that's when I knew I needed to let whatever it was happen with us."

Greg moved a hand to her hair running his fingers through her curls gently. "And when you made me walk to the highest point in Holby, just so you could watch the sunset." "Tell me it wasn't worth it." He hummed in agreement as he rest his chin on top of her head. "I remember the first time you let your barriers down, you cried after the day from hell." "I lost a patient who I'd promised so much to..."

Her vision blurred as she looked to the sky feeling the impending future begin to dawn on her. "When Elliot found out about us-" "The look on his face was a picture, or when you met my parents-" "Shall we not bring that one up again? I was so embarrassed!" Connie laughed a little as Greg smiled holding onto her. "Ohhh we've certainly had a good run Mrs Beauchamp."

Connie moved over to sit across his lap as his arm remained wrapped around her. "You really are the most amazing woman Connie, don't let anybody ever make you feel worthless." Leaning into his embrace, she remained quiet unsure of what to say to him. "You're smart, funny, caring, beautiful... Any guy would be lucky to fall asleep next to you at night." "Greg, I-" "Shh, it's okay."

Pressing his lips to the top of her head she released a heavy breath. "I'm sorry I did this to us-" "You can't help who you fall in love with, I would know. I mean look at us, we both knew a future would never happen but we convinced ourselves it could." Connie moved her hand to entwine with his as it rest in her lap. "I really wish we could have, let's face it I'm not exactly one to settle-" "You will be, when you find the one you'll want nothing more."

Lifting her head from his chest she moved a hand to his cheek softly. "Thank you, for everything. You've never let me down, in all this time... I love you more than you will ever know." Greg smiled as she placed a soft kiss to his lips before she settled her head back against his chest again.

Everything was quiet for a while as they looked up at the sky, stars beginning to shine through the mist that drifted in the air. Greg looked down to Connie laying against his chest, unsure if she were still awake or not, her breathing slowed as she calmed in his hold. "You make sure he looks after you..." Connie opened her eyes remaining still as he continued.

"You deserve to be happy and I think you can be with him, I've seen how he looks at you. Then I saw how you looked at him, that's when I knew leaving Holby was the right thing for me to do... You were never going to let yourself be happy, I know you too well. Leaving and letting you be with him was the least I could do after everything I did to you." He rubbed a hand against her arm as she turned into him a little more.

"Connie Beauchamp you best let that man look after you or I shall make it my job to come back and haunt you." She smiled into his chest remaining quiet still knowing that she wouldn't know what to say. Glancing down at her, he smiled to himself before carefully lifting her up. Greg carried her inside, locking everything up behind himself.

Laying her down, he finished packing a few things before looking around downstairs. It would be strange leaving this town, this house but he needed to move on. She needed to move on. Picking up the box he had left out, he opened the lid to reveal the small silver locket. Running his thumb over it, he closed it once more before placing it beside the letter he had written earlier that day.

Greg picked up the last of the boxes before closing the door without a sound. Standing on the doorstep he locked the front door before pushing the key through the letter box. Wandering down the steps towards the taxi he took one final glance up at the house. "Goodbye Connie..." With a small smile, he got himself inside knowing this was easier for them both then anything that could have come tomorrow.

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