Chapter 9

Dean was rather disappointed to find that Tilly had already left by the time he'd finished in the records office. The disappointment turned to apprehension when he found a note pushed under the door of his flat.

'Dean I've lost my watch.' Dean let out a sigh of relief. 'It isn't on the ward or in my locker and your flat is the only other place I've been. I had it on in the golf club. It's not valuable but it was a gift from Dr. Fallon so it's valuable to me. If you find it can you bring it into work tomorrow please? Thanks. Tilly.'

Dean ransacked the sofa and the chairs then went to raid the bedroom. He found the tiny, gold faced watch in his bed.

“What you done in here?” Joe was in the sitting room.

“Looking for Tilly's watch. I found it in the bed.” Dean came through and put the sofa back together. “There's only one betting shop in town isn't there?”

“Two. I didn't know you gambled.”

“I don't, usually. Two? Bah.”

“The one Friar's road is part of a social club.” Joe told him.

“So it won't have a flat above it. Where's the other one?”

“Oak Road. Anything wrong?”

“Tilly's flat.” Dean held up the watch. “Can I borrow your car? Mine's still sick.”

The betting shop stood on the corner of Oak Road and Wilson Terrace. It was a gaudy red and blue affair, but the flat on the second floor was markedly different. Two windows were visible at the front and both were festooned with beautiful flowers in window boxes. Tilly's front door was on Wilson Terrace and that had two hangers full of flowers on either side of it too. Dean hesitated and frowned at the name plate above the bell. M Marsden. M? Tilly herself answered the door armed with a step ladder and a watering can, before Dean had chance to ring the bell.

“Dean!” Tilly sloshed water over Dean's boots. “Ack!”

“Here, give me that. I can probably reach without the ladder. Want me to do it?”

“Have at it.” Tilly took a few steps back and watched Dean get drenched from watering the hanging basket while standing under it. “Hehe.”

“OK, so horticulture isn't my forte.” Dean laughed. “I hope you don't mind me just turning up like this. I found your watch. I had no phone numbers or anything.”

“You found it! Oh I'm so pleased. I was starting to think I might have lost it in the tank. You really needn't have come out with it straight away.” Tilly smiled. She put her watch back on her wrist. “I'm pleased you did though. Come in.” Dean squelched upstairs after Tilly.

“I'll take these boot off, Tilly. I'm making a mess.” Dean did so, at the sitting room door. “Nice flat.” Everything was so neat and tidy. Plants figured a lot in here too and even though the flat was quite compact, it oozed style. Everything was coordinated and everything matched or complimented. Dean and Joe's dump was a hotch-potch of whatever would fit in there physically.

“Thanks. I like it too. There's even a yard round the back of the bookies, that's mine too. Tea? Coffee?” Tilly headed for the kitchen, Dean ambled after her and stood at the door. He could see over the herb crowded window sill and into the yard. “Who's is that?” He pointed down to a motorbike covered in plastic sheeting.

“Mine.” Tilly laughed. “It's waiting for a new exhaust and I can't afford one just yet.”

“Is there anything you can't do, woman?” Dean took his mug of tea. “It says M Marsden on the door, I had to look twice. M?”

“That's the landlord's fault.” Tilly rolled her eyes. “He had the plate made and he used the name on the lease form. Mathilda and if you laugh, I'll beat you with that cactus.”

“Laugh? Me?” Dean sniggered. “Well my middle name's Sebastian so I can shut up eh? So Dr. Fallon gave you the watch?”

“She did, yes. I've known her a long time. I'd have been gutted if I'd lost it.” Tilly looked at her watch and smiled. “I tend to hoard things that people give me no matter what it is.”

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