I couldn’t just leave you with that tiny little chapter, so here is another an extra chapter if you will…
Thanksgiving had been a quiet affair at Darling manner. Elizabeth was still obsessed with reading old Archie’s papers. She had found another account in her name. It seemed to be that Archie had developed a habit of squirreling things away for the girls. Including stories. Elizabeth had become obsessed with Archie’s papers in place of making a decision about Oaks. It had weighed heavily on Elizabeth’s mind and conscience. While Summer had tried to bring it up in conversation, Elizabeth liked to change the subject every time.
It had been a couple of weeks since Summer had gone back to Darling, although Elizabeth had heard concerns that Summer had become withdrawn she understood why. But she knew that the family would catch wind of Summer being reluctant to up hold the family social status. Elizabeth wanted to throttle Jamie, but she enjoyed relishing in Cassandra’s tale of how she revealed his true colours to a hallway full of women.
Elizabeth had begun to feel better about spending time outside Darling Manner with some insistence from Simon. She was regularly found at the Diner chatting with Simon. Her notebook becoming more used with every day; as Simon indulged Elizabeth in talk about how he ran the diner and made it work. It was a slow process, but Elizabeth was coming to accept her choice, not that she verbalised it.
Simon suspected, but no matter what Elizabeth refused to tell him what her plans were.
Elizabeth being back on her feet gave her more freedom. Simon had given Elizabeth a few of Summer’s old regular shifts. It gave them more time to talk. Sometimes with the notebook, sometimes without.
Occasionally Elizabeth would find herself absorbed back into Archie’s papers. She had come across a thick wedge of papers bound together. He had titled it “Archie’s transcript- True Love”. Elizabeth found the story rather interesting, it didn’t feel too fictional, and the main loves seemed so desperately genuine. She read when she had time, but time was becoming a bit of a struggle to manage. She had enrolled herself on a business course, something she was keeping a secret from everyone, everyone except Simon.
It wasn’t until after Christmas that Elizabeth had quietly had contractors go over Oaks bakery. The town still noticed, how could they not, the rumour mill was working at full capacity.
Simon and Elizabeth were talking after closing the Diner one evening when she finally decided to reveal her plans. She was going to revive Oaks bakery and return it to its original charm, but the baking and bakery, that would be where the change would be. Some old classics, some new ideas. It would be her turn to poach the staff that had worked at the bakery and since found new jobs.
Elizabeth was nervous, telling Simon felt too real. Simon held back is sadness that she wouldn’t be doing her shifts anymore, but he did offer his help as much as he could. He even agreed to share his kitchen and let her use this time while it is being rebuilt to test some new recipes on the customers at the Diner. On one condition. They go on a real date. No work talk, a real date.
Elizabeth giggled as Simon sat beside her on the porch swing, she had taken off her heels on the way back from the restaurant with Simon. The giggling subsided for a moment. Simon just smiled, absorbing the evening beside her.
“It’s cold, did you want to come inside,” Elizabeth asked, “for some coffee?” She was already standing, hand outstretched to him. He took her hand and she lead him inside, throwing down her shoes by the side of the door.
Elizabeth stopped to kiss him, closing the door behind them. “How badly do you want that coffee?”
Simon shrugged as she kissed him again. This time, she smiled when their lips met as she took him further into the manner.
For those of you wanting to get your hands on the ending… here is the pre-order link for Darling Daughters! Releasing 22nd August 2018