The shortage of beds at Lou’s house finally becomes a bigger problem than it’s worth, even with Lou offering to sleep at Patrick’s house. Lou and Patrick drift further apart as he focuses solely on the upcoming triathlon. Lou doesn’t sleep well, distracted by her discomfort in Patrick’s apartment and the knowledge that she won’t actually by going to Norway with Patrick. Will starts to notice how tired Lou is at work and offers to let her sleep in his spare room during the weekends. Lou declines, and Will asks why she doesn’t just sleep at Patrick’s. Lou says she does, and Will drops the subject.
Lou’s house is getting literally too small for her, yet she does not feel ready for the next step in her relationship with Patrick. The better Patrick performs physically, the more he and Lou drift apart emotionally. Will is the one who actually notices Lou’s discomfort, even though she is sleeping in Patrick’s bed, showing the emotional connection that Will and Lou share.
Will mentions that Lou saw his dad, Steven, in town with another woman and probes to see if Lou will say anything to Camilla. Lou focuses on hanging out the laundry and says that it’s none of her business. Lou concentrates on her mission to make Will happy, leaning on the internet support groups more than ever. One user, named Ritchie, is especially kind to Lou, but Lou still realizes that the list of things Will can’t do is much longer than the list of things he can. Many forum users suggest that Lou arrange for Will to have sex, but Lou can’t even consider that.
As Lou hangs laundry, Moyes points out how Lou could air the Traynor family’s “dirty laundry” by speaking openly about the many problems in Camilla and Steven’s marriage. Yet Lou is more focused on helping Will, now that she sees more of the limitations that Will has to deal with. Part of Lou’s reluctance about sex comes from her trauma in the maze, but it also seems like Lou does not want to share such intimate moments with Will even with her online community.
A few days later, Lou comes home to find her father celebrating a new job. Steven Traynor called Bernard to make him the new head of maintenance at the castle the Traynors care for. Lou’s parents are very happy, but Lou feels uncomfortable about Will doing her family this favor. She calls Will to voice her concerns, but Will tells her not to worry. The job will benefit both sets of parents and it will free Lou up to follow her own dreams without supporting her parents. Lou thanks Will but fights back tears.
Lou is grateful to Will, but also uncomfortable at the thought that her family no longer needs her. Though Lou has felt stifled by her life with her family, she also feels safe in that role. Now that Will has arranged an alternate path for her family, Lou actually has to face up to what she wants to do outside of taking care of her family.
Lou goes to the pub with Patrick to distract herself. Patrick too finds Bernard’s job for the Traynors suspicious and is even more annoyed when he finds out that Will offered Lou his spare room. Patrick tells Lou to officially move in with him, though he seems more resigned than excited. Lou focuses on the practical benefits of this arrangement and accepts. Both Patrick and Lou try to convince themselves that this will be a good step for their relationship.
Patrick jealously dislikes any signs of closeness between Lou and Will. Patrick’s offer to move in is a reaction to keep Lou away from Will, rather than a true desire to be closer to Lou. Lou is also uncomfortable, and Moyes foreshadows that this rushed step will not bring good things for Patrick and Lou.