A large white van drove Jasmine and Paul a few hundred miles to Ile D'Yeu.
They arrived at a small house just out of sight of the island. They arrived late at night.
The house was of a modest size. There was a living room, a kitchen with a dining room and two bedrooms, one single and one double.
The house wasn't luxurious and it was basic with few furnishings. It had no TV and only a radio in the corner of the lounge.
Their was one other person that had joined them, Timothy's son Nathan Elmerson, an ex British marine had been drafted to help out.
They all sat in the lounge and they were tired by the long drive. They agreed that a nights sleep was the best thing for them and that they would plan their strategy the following day.
Nathan and Helena were the first to head to bed and they took the only two bedrooms. Paul and Jasmine were left with a sofa bed.
They both sat by each other, their was a tension between them. Jasmine was angry that Paul hadn't said anything about seeing her mother and taking off when he did.
Paul was uneasy with Jasmine and he had learned how prickly she could be and he was eager to avoid confrontation. Sensing his presence was making her uncomfortable he left the room heading into the dining room to sleep on his rollable sleeping bag.
As he was preparing his bedding Jasmine walked into the dining room. This was a conversation Paul was wanting to avoid.
Jasmine leaned on the door frame "We need to talk."
Paul replied and he was eager to send her away "About what?"
Jasmine looked at him with a narrow gaze "You know what. Let me spell it out for you. You left me alone in Rouen with only a note. Then you don't say anything about seeing my mum and you have been avoiding me for the past three days?"
Paul tried to play dumb "Avoiding you. What do you mean?"
Jasmine wasn't amused by his antics "Their were several times during the meeting in Benodet when you tried to avoid looking at me. You've never done that before. My sister was the first one to point it out. At first I dismissed it, but then I spotted it again and realised that you tried to avoid looking at me."
Paul tried to defend himself "I had to leave because your mum rang me."
Jasmine continued to sound irritated "You've already explained that. But I am still angry. "
Paul said nothing knowing that they were talking in circles.
Jasmine turned off the light and walked back into the lounge and pulled out the sofa bed. She knew she was angry but it wasn't to do with Paul. Paul had to leave her and had to do what he did and she would have done the same if she was in his shoes.
The anger in her wasn't about Paul but the destruction of her city and the terror that swept the streets. Her mind raced with images of the panic she saw on peoples faces from the TV.
For Jasmine their was a deep sense of pain as most of her colleagues that she had fought by had been killed. She hadn't been back to Paris since the bombings and she had heard reports the city was in chaos and Jasmine wanted to be there helping. But Minister Jaro had wanted her in Benodet and had said their was no job to go back to with her offices being destroyed.
Paul however lay in his duvet as his eyes were wide open and stared at the ceiling. He was angry for not being with Jasmine when she had found about Paris and the things she had been through. Paul could see her scars though not physical were etched in her mind, experiences he wished he could have taken for her.
He turned his face to a narrow window which was lit by the orange glow of an outside street light. He wasn't sure what he was feeling was it love, concern or a desire to end this and get back to his own life. Emotions was something he wasn't good at recognising and this was one time he wished that he knew what he felt.
The room was pitch black and was furnished with a small wooden table and two benches set on smooth grey stone flooring. He noticed that the room was cool. Paul looked at his surroundings and he couldn't make much out and could barely see beyond his own hands in front of him.
Paul prayed that they would all be safe and that they would get through this situation. He hadn't been to church in years. He believed that there was a God and that we were more than just the descendants of a primordial soup. Yet he knew that what he was in was beyond his capability and he needed help.
He prayed a quick prayer
Keep us safe in the trials we are about to face. Amen.
Jasmine got up and walked to the dining room door turning on the light and saw Paul lying on his back. Paul heard the footsteps and turned to see Jasmine standing at the doorway. She was dressed in a body length black night dress and she stared at him.
Paul turned to look at her.
"Can't sleep?" he said.
Jasmine said "No."
Paul dragged himself and his sleeping bag against the wall. Jasmine sat on the floor next to Paul.
"I am sorry for getting upset with you. Its been a rough few weeks for me." Jasmine sighed.
Paul sounded sympathetic "Same here. I wanted to keep in touch."
Jasmine looked to him "You have nothing to apologise for. I would have done the same thing if I was you. You had to see my mum and Tim. None of us would be here without your help."
Jasmine smiled and said "Can we at least be friends?"
Paul nodded "I would like that."
They looked to each other and smiled.
Jasmine got up satisfied that they had sorted out their differences "Good night."
Paul got into his sleeping bag "Good night."
The door closed and Paul laid his head on the pillow getting up quickly to turn off the dining room lights. Jasmine sat on the edge of the sofa and she bit her lip. She got up and walked to the kitchen door and it creaked as it opened.
Jasmine looked at Paul as she turned back on the dining room lights "Are you still awake?"
Paul turned his head towards her "Yes I thought that you would be asleep by now."
Jasmine leaned on the doorway and she frowned.
"Not really I am in need of a friend could you come into the lounge with me?"
Paul nodded and walked with Jasmine into the lounge and he saw a large roaring fire. The orange warmth lit his face and he could smell burning logs. It was an evocative smell and Paul loved the smell of burning logs on an open fire. He laid his sleeping bag on the floor.
Jasmine looked to him on the floor.
Paul nodded as he placed his pillow on the floor "Yes."
Later in the night as they both slept the fire barely kept the room warm. The house was draughty and a raging wind blew harshly outside.
Jasmine shuddered in her thin blanket trying not to admit that she was cold.
Paul could see that Jasmine was freezing and he felt guilty. He was warm and comfortable, she wasn't.
Jasmine was curled up in a ball trying to sleep. Yet she was wide awake and cold. Paul walked over to her and sat at a chair close to where she was sleeping.
Paul knew Jasmine was trying to put on a brave face and said sarcastically with a wry smile on his face "Cold are we?"
Jasmine tried to pretend that she was alright and look towards Paul "What makes you say that?"
Paul continued to be amused "Your shuddering."
Jasmine smiled in the orange glow of the fire "You got me. I am cold, this blanket is so thin you could see through it."
Paul put his hands on the blanket and it was thin. His sleeping bag was on the other side of the lounge. He walked around and placed it over Jasmine.
Jasmine felt instantly that the coldness had gone and it was replaced with a deep warmth "Thank you. Where are you going to sleep?"
Paul tried to put on a brave face "Their's another blanket nearby."
"No you don't" she said and she was insistent.
Jasmine opened up the sleeping bag "There is room for two in here."
Paul nodded and walked over and placed his pillow next to Jasmines. The idea of spending a cold night on the floor wasn't appealing. He took off his dressing gown and got under the covers. He got in and zipped up the sleeping bag and rested his head on the pillow.
Jasmine giggled which surprised Paul.
Paul asked "What are you laughing about?"
Jasmine responded and she tried to contain her laughter "Being in bed with you."
Paul could see what she was giggling about and laughed in response.
"It is pretty funny."
They both turned to face each other.
Jasmine looked into Paul's eyes "I feel so comfortable with you. I normally am so closed and protective."
Paul was about to speak but Jasmine placed her fingers on his lips.
"I know you are the same way and you try to protect yourself. I see the difficulties you have but you have a good heart."
Paul moved away Jasmines fingers and he said "It can be difficult. Being a journalist I have a natural confidence when interviewing one or two people but I still can find it difficult dealing with people."
Jasmine nodded in agreement and said "I see that but you look at things in depth. You want to know things and you explore the world through questions and curiosity."
Paul nodded knowing and agreed with what Jasmine had said. He stared into Jasmines eyes.
After a moment Paul broke the silence "What do you want to do now?"
Jasmine stroked his cheek "Nothing. Just being here is enough. I want to make love to you but I don't want to rush."
Paul held her hand "This is fine. Being next to you is enough."
Jasmine moved closer and lay her head on Paul's chest and she fell asleep.
Paul lay still on the pillow with his arms around Jasmine. His breath synchronised with Jasmines as they both drifted off to sleep.