David’s flat was everything Julia expected it to be, cold and plain apart from the few pictures on the wall, clearly drawings done by his children, but otherwise, the flat was almost as cold as her home, something else they clearly had in common.
She shouldn’t have been there. The doctors still needed her in hospital for tests, to make sure she was okay despite her constant protests that she was fine, and if they took any more blood, she was sure she’d faint.
She really should have been in the safety of her guarded hospital room, but she wasn’t going to get any answers there, and right now she needed answers, she needed to look this man in the eye and see for herself if he was involved.
“Ma’am,” She heard David say, but she didn’t want him to give her some bull shit excuse, she wanted answers to all the questions spinning around in her head.
“Did you do it? Did you know about the bomb under the stage?” She asked, trying to be as firm as she could, trying to stand as tall as possible, while wanted to curl up into a ball and cry because she’d just seen people she knew blown to pieces.
“Ma’am,” She heard David say again.
“David! For god sakes, did you know?” She asked, letting her anger get the better of her. “Kim and Tom are still in hospital being monitored, Rob is dead, Tahir is fighting for his life, I, I could have died, you could have died…”
Julia could feel her emotions getting the better of her, taking a deep breath she looked at David again, hoping that he would say something.
“Ma’am, I had nothing to do with it.” His voice sounded firm, professional, just as it should do when speaking to the principle, just how every other protection officer had spoken to her, but right now she needed more.
She shook her head, resisting the urge to throw something just to make more of a point.
“I need you to be a lot more convincing, immediately.”
“I am telling you I didn’t have any knowledge of the,” David tried, but Julia cut him off, emotions fully getting the better of her, showing him the side to her that no one ever saw.
“I am not the principle, David, I came here, as, as your lover, I need you to tell me you had nothing to do with that bomb…”
She felt David take a few steps towards her, taking hold of both her hands.
“I promise you, Julia. I had nothing to do with it.” Julia looked him in the eye for the first time since walking into his flat. She had to believe him. Looking at him right now, she had no reason not to.
Julia wasn’t sure if the silence was a good thing, but she was here now, so she might as well stay.
“They don’t bite, or at least they haven’t done lately.” David was with a small smile as he followed Julia’s line of sight to his sofa where his kids were sat watching a film.
“I just don’t want to interrupt their time with you, seen as you don’t see them all that often.” Julia put her bag on the kitchen counter, looking at David, before looking back at his children.
“I could spend all night locked in the bathroom, as long as they have access to food and maybe some water, they’re not all that bothered. Besides, I want you here, and I do pay the bills, so,” Julia couldn’t help but smile a little wider.
“Fine, but we’re drinking the wine I bought.”
“You brought wine, to meet my kids.”
“I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, David, but I’m not the most likable person in the world. And, clearly nothing like your ex-wife, and, well, I am not sure my law degree makes me anywhere near qualified to deal with children.” Julia told him, shrugging off her coat, before bending down to pull the bottle of wine out of her bag.
“You have had way too much time to overthink this, ma’am.” David said, taking a few steps towards her, resting his hands on her waist.
“Yes. But as you once said, I didn’t expect this,” That much was true. If you had told Julia Montague eighteen months ago that she would survive a bombing, reveal to the world she was dating her bodyguard and would then be standing in his flat about to meet his kids, she would have probably glared and walked off.
However, no one did tell her, she had no warning, but here they were.
“Ella, Charlie, come here, I want you to meet someone.”
Julia watched as the two children got off the sofa and ran into the kitchen, something that made her smile, a child’s need to run everywhere.
“This is Julia,”
“Your girlfriend?” Ella asked looking between her dad and Julia.
“Yes, my girlfriend.”
It wasn’t like David hadn’t heard it, the way people spoke about her, what people said, there was a time in his life where he would probably agree with them, but that was before. Before he got to know her, before he saw the side of her that no one else did, before the shooting and the bombing, before he really understood why she got into politics.
He would have agreed with them a year ago, but now, now he couldn’t. He wasn’t her biggest fan politically, but he knew that there was more to Julia than just the politics.
Turning to his friend he shook his head to their earlier question. He didn’t want to leave, it was a public place they could say whatever they wanted to.
“They don’t know her like I do.”
He felt the same way when he made it back to her flat, and where she was laid in bed, reading a book.
“Good night out?” Julia asked him.
He nodded his head, all in all, he enjoys being able to sit and drink a beer with good friends, talking about whatever comes up, it makes a change from accompanying her to gala dinners and sitting at a desk all day.
“How about you?”
“My face is plastered all over the news again, but I guess this new bill is pretty controversial, not that it’s any excuse for the country to see me as cold hearted, but I guess by now I should be used to it.” Julia says with a hint of annoyance in her voice.
David sat down on the bed next to her, reaching out to touch her hand. “They don’t know you, like I do, Julia.”
That much is true, they could say what they wanted to, but David had a suspicion that not many people knew Julia like he did.
David enjoyed being in Scotland, he enjoyed being around his school friends, his mum, his sisters, he didn’t have to worry about the job for a few days.
“So, tell me about her.” His mother brought him out of his thoughts.
“Who?” David asked, only one woman’s face flashing in his mind, as he sat drinking coffee with his mum.
“The woman who’s got you so happy. I have noticed you know, you even sound happier on the phone, I can hear you smiling.”
“Is that even possible? To hear someone smile?” He asked, a hint of sarcasm in his tone.
His mother didn’t give him an answer, so instead he answered her original question all while thinking about bringing Julia up to meet his mother, his sisters and everyone else he enjoyed spending time with when he came home.
“Her name is Julia. Julia Montague.” David said, not able to hide the smile his mum was talking about.
“The Home Secretary?”
“Yes, ma, the Home Secretary, but she usually prefers Julia.” His mother gave him a smile.
“So, Julia, she makes you happy?” It was a question with a simple answer.
“Yes, ma. Julia makes me happy.”
Neither of them wanted anything big. It was too much, Julia’s life consisted of doing things on a grand scale, even as a child she talked about birthday’s where people would come around, people she’d never met, even now, her entire life was in the public eye, but this, neither of them wanted this moment to be anything but theirs.
In Scotland in the middle of December, Ella and Charlie were tucked up in bed waiting for tomorrow, David and Julia stood in the master bedroom, slowly getting ready for bed.
“I know you said nothing traditional, but I still want to ask.” David said, taking a few steps towards her.
“No one is stopping you, David.” Julia said, with a small smile on her face.
David walked up to her taking both her hands before getting down on one knee.
“May not be as effective because you already have the ring…” David chuckled lightly.
“Oh, believe me, it will still be effective.”
“Julia Elizabeth Montague, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?”
“Yes.” It was all David needed to hear before the pair of them ending up in a giggling fit.
David stood up, wrapping his arms around his soon to be wife.
“When did you know?” David asked after a moment of silence. “That this was what you wanted.”
“Well, my darling,” Julia began, still wrapped in his arms. “I guess it was the moment I met you, confirmed the moment you said my name.”