Saliva. He used the right foot to work his left stocking down and off. He shoved it away with distaste. He did love Cloud to distraction-- yes. He did not know how he had managed the years without a dog. And she loved him back. Thus the head on his foot, thus the drool.
Much better. He wiggled his toes to warn her off. She gave a great sigh, and rested her head on the floor.
"Good morning, Mary."
"Yes. A very good morning.," She said.
For the first time in years, Mary had brought the tray, with extra cups and a whole pot of coffee.
"They are still asleep," The doctor said.
"I hope they wake before the pot goes cold," Mary said, "The poor lambs." She gave a kindly smile.
"H'ahmm." Dr Hornblower said.
he poured a cup for himself, and one for Mary. She would take hers back to the kitchen. He added milk to his own, and milk and sugar to hers. he wrapped the coffee pot in a napkin, and secured it with a number of spoons.
He was fairly sure that he had heard a strangled shout from the poor lamb's bedroom last night. Twenty years celibate, but he still knew that sound.
The sun was warming his toes now, and Cloud let him rest them against her side. They were warm, and for once not aching. And the coffee was warming him from the inside. Lovely. Twenty years gone, his Helen. And now he could not really picture what the marriage woud have grown to be. He alone had had the joy of watching Horatio grow.
There now. He could hear them on the stairs. There was Mr.Kennedy, his voice soaring as he made some jest. They clattered on the stairs, like boys, hungry and careless, as boyhood streamed away behind them.
Love comes with no announcement. Who could have predicted Archie Kennedy? He heard them giggling, as they composed themselves to enter the room. Dr Hornblower spared a thought for arthritic admirals, and lifted his cup in greeting.
"Good morning boys," He said