Summer, even though she doubted his sincerity fulfilled her side of the bargain by getting ready for the date. She felt stupid waiting for seven pm to arrive. She had convinced herself he wouldn’t follow through. She left her bedroom door open and started working on an assignment.
At five past seven summer heard a knock at her bedroom door. Summer was deep in studying, highlighter pens littered her desk.
“You’re here” her surprise was unmistakable.
William clasped his hand to his chest, “why does the beauty hurt me so?”
“Sorry I will just be a moment.”
“You didn’t think I would come?”
“I’m dressed aren’t I?”
“Was that optional?”
“Shut up. Where are we going?” William lead her out of her room, she pulled her bag over her shoulder as he guided her out of the dorms. From the dorms they left campus off to one of the nearby fields where he helped her up onto an abandoned pickup truck. The floor of it was covered in blankets and there was an over flowing picnic basket.
“So you take all the girls on this date.”
“Only the ones I like.” He grinned pulling himself up onto the truck.
He handed her a can of cola from the basket. “So what do you want to know?” He asked.
“I didn’t say anything.”
“You are thinking though, there is a question, I can see it on your face.”
“You need an eye test.”
“I don’t, so what is it?”
“Why are we here?”
Summer followed his instructions and looked up, the night sky was filled with stars. “Oh, ok that is smooth, so how many girls does it work on?”
“You tell me, you’re the only one I’ve brought out here. When I want to get away and forget whatever it is that is bothering me, I just need the night sky.”
“I hide in the Storm and Fire room.”
“Yeah, I hide there sometimes, it can feel a bit overwhelming and I just need to escape once in a while.”
“Can you see the stars in there?”
“Yeah, when there isn’t an event.”
“I’ve not been there when there isn’t an event.”
The evening passed by, the conversation flowed, it just felt like a lovely evening. It was friendly chatter.
He escorted her back to her dorm suit, he kissed her on the cheek and bid her goodnight. He turned to leave when she caught him by his hand, he turned around and she stood up on her tiptoes and kissed him. Her lips brushed his softly.
She lowered her from her tiptoes, he was smiling, unmistakably. She pulled his lips to hers again smiling. Pulling apart just a little, “thank you” she breathed, with one last kiss she pulled away and walked into her dorm leaving William staring after her, the door closed between them.
A few weeks later and William was happily treading the line between dating and “in an exclusive relationship” with Summer. William rather tentatively even suggested going with Summer on her next trip back to Grimeston.
Walking beyond the crossing of the line Simon and Elizabeth were “going steady” as she called it. Elizabeth encouraged Summer to bring William with her, after all she wanted to see if he was good enough for her.
Summer walked into the bakery holding William’s hand as she approached the counter. Elizabeth was over the moon to see Summer, she ran round the counter and hugged the living daylights out of Summer covering her in icing sugar. Elizabeth chatted away for a few moments finally she noticed the man standing beside Summer, “you must be William” and with a heartbeat they were talking. Before Elizabeth caught Summer by surprise “you hurt her and I swear they will not find your body.”
“You can’t say that!” Summer turned to William, “I’m sorry, she is very overprotective. She doesn’t mean it.”
“Ellie shut up.”
“Don’t worry about it Summer, Elizabeth I swear I have no intention of hurting her.”
“Good” Elizabeth nodded.
“Right, now that this is sufficiently awkward, Ellie I will see you this evening, we are off to the Diner to get some chips”
“Fries. It’s been years, use the words.”
Summer smiled and hugged Elizabeth before she left.
When William and Summer entered the Diner Simon was elated to see the awkward grin on Summer’s face. That quickly turned to surprise when William introduced himself as her boyfriend. Summer’s head turned so fast to look at him you would have thought she could have snapped her neck.
By that evening there was no mistaking the rumour mill was running rife around town at the young Darling’s new boyfriend.
By the end of the weekend the town knew without a doubt that Summer was in a relationship. Elizabeth seemed quite impressed with the speed of the rumour. But there was something that troubled her and it had nothing to do with Summer’s new relationship, it was with her own relationship with Summer. She had come across something in Archie’s transcript that was niggling away at her and she needed to read more.
William drove Summer back to campus. Summer’s smile seemed to be contiguous because even Cassandra was smiling, it turned out that she had had a great weekend too. She was now the editor of the college paper. That Sunday evening was a truly recklessly fun evening for Summer who had a drink and celebrated with Cassandra, who even welcomed William’s presence.
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