Rory’s voice called through the open window. As she trotted up the steps, she looked for the stranger but he had disappeared along an overgrown grassy track leading away through the trees. Rory walked out onto the bolly, a glass in each hand.
Melissa gestured to the grassy area. “The man who stood there two minutes ago and waved at me. He walked away up the old track.”
She tilted her head back and smiled at him. How good to have a man prepared to cook for her. “This looks delicious. Does Jonny plan to do a lot of work here?”
He picked up his cutlery and cut into his steak. “The grand plan is for two bedrooms and a bathroom on the lower level so Jonny can invite friends. The bathroom’s finished, but the rest is a muddle.”
The chilly edge on her voice brought his head up.
He put down his cutlery and picked up his wine glass. “What do you mean?”
He flung himself out of his chair, coughing, one fist to his mouth as he strode across the bolly. As the fit lessened, he thrust one hand against the oak upright supporting the roof and stood there, head down, breathing hard.