The Corrigan legacy
    'Des, darling! I didn't know you were coming tonight.' She held out her hand.
    He joined her on the couch, indulging her in her favourite programme, enjoying her rich chuckles. When it was over he began to kiss her.
    'Here or in bed?' she asked.
    He was getting too old for contortions on the sofa. That's what had gone wrong last time, he was sure. He'd twisted his spine. 'Bed, my pet. I like my comforts.'
    But he could feel his nerves growing taut as he followed Tiff along the corridor. She and his doctor were the only ones who knew about the difficulties he'd been having. Last time he'd used Viagra, and it had worked all too well, but he hated the damned stuff and anyway, it didn't wear off when you wanted it to. Tonight things would go fine, he was sure. He was relaxed and had a gorgeous woman to arouse him.
    She led the way into the bedroom and they helped one another out of their clothes.

    Ten minutes later he rolled off her and covered his face with one arm, ashamed that once again he'd been unable to finish what he started.
    She said nothing for a few moments, then reached for his hand and raised it to her lips. 'It's all right, Des.'
    He didn't turn to look at her. 'It damned well isn't! This is turning into a habit.'
    She squeezed his hand. 'Perhaps you'd better see a specialist, not just for those tablets, but for a good check-up? That's what your doctor wanted you to do last time, wasn't it?'
    He couldn't hold back a growl of anger at the thought of going back and telling a man he knew socially that he still couldn't maintain an erection.
    She pulled him round to face her. 'I'm not with you just for the money, Des, or for the sex. We'll sort this out together.'
    He lay scowling at her, then closed his eyes and sighed. 'You're a nice girl, Tiff.'
    'I'm thirty-eight. Hardly a girl.'
    'You won't tell anyone?'
    'Did you really need to ask that?'
    He pulled her into his arms and buried his face in the soft skin of her shoulder. 'No.'
    But he didn't dare try to make love to her again, and shortly afterwards he left.

    A chill wind whines across the moors, clouds tease the moon, hoar frost whitens the grass. Winter has suddenly sneaked back for one last thrust of the icy dagger.
    Walking on the grass so as not to make a noise, Judith crept through the darkness towards the light, which was coming from the furthest part of the long brick shed. The intruder was making no attempt to hide his presence but what would anyone be doing there at this hour of the night? Surely there was nothing worth stealing?
    She was so angry about this second intrusion into her refuge that she kept going, muttering, 'Just you wait, Des Corrigan.' The light was coming from a small window in the stone-built shed, two dirty panes of cracked glass festooned by cobwebs. To her annoyance, they were too high for her to see through, so she crept up to the door and listened.
    Was it a trap? She didn't know, only that she wasn't going to cave in and leave her house. Nor would she crawl back to Des, whatever he did or said to her. Taking a firmer grip on the poker, she hefted it in her hand. If someone leaped out at her, they'd get more than they'd bargained for. She reached for the handle, sucked in a deep breath and flung the door open. It bounced back on its hinges, creaking loudly, and thumped against the wall, rebounding so that she had to push it back again.
    By the light of a single bare bulb hanging from the ceiling she saw a man slumped forward across a rickety table with his head on one arm. His other arm was flung out next to an empty whisky bottle. He moved his head, grunted and settled down again.
    She took a quick look round, puzzled. The place looked lived in, with odd pieces of furniture, even a computer and a bed. She hesitated. If she had any sense she'd back out, lock herself in the house and call for the police.
    She had no sense. She stayed.
    From the direction of the table came a gentle bubbling snore. There was

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