Darling Daughters

Chapter Forty-Two

 

Summer had been avoiding Elizabeth a little bit, Summer had been avoiding everyone. So when she snuck into Grimeston for this year’s winter festival, Cassandra gave her away a bit. She headed straight towards the bakery’s stall for a dose of sugar. Cassandra had fallen in love with Grimeston and its sugary bakery treats that Summer would return to campus with. Cassandra had even found a genuine love for the town.

Summer had agreed to cook the Christmas dinner as long as she had nothing to do with decorating and so on. It hadn’t escaped Simon’s notice when he saw Summer with Cassandra at the bakery stall that she hadn’t brought William with her. He hadn’t returned her call or text so she left things with radio silence.

Summer helped out on the bakery stall while Cassandra walked around the festival, she was quieter than usual. Her smile was half warm when she first arrived to help out. By the end of the evening she had taken on the warm hum of the town, even if a small dark cloud rained over her.

***

Christmas day was hectic, messy, and wonderful. The odd awkward moment. Summer had ignored her phone all day leaving it on her bed at the sixth missed call. She spent most of the day fussing in the kitchen. Cassandra did her best to help, though Simon kept trying to interfere. It was refreshing to finally find something that Cassandra was rubbish at.

Summer had been ignoring her mother’s calls and texts all day, she had been ignoring her since Thanksgiving not wanting anything to do with the sense of betrayal she felt. The one text made her pause, it was from William, Summer was in no mood to read it. It seemed a bit insufficient “sorry hun, been busy, what’s up?”

***

New year had brought the town back into a celebratory mood which had even touched Summer. Cassandra answered Summer’s phone when she was in the shower, it was William, Cassandra had seen enough of Summer moping and told him where they would be for the celebrations. “You better not mess her around again.” In her perfect matter of fact tone that could change the world.

Cassandra put the phone back on the bedside unit and sat nonchalantly on the bed when Summer entered. They got ready for the town’s open party finally building enough layers that kept them warm and looked cute. The plan was to enjoy the bonfire. Which reflected light in all directions, the Christmas decorations, and the gazebo filled with sparkling edible bats and ghosts thanks to Summer and Elizabeth. It infuriated Thomas but the town loved it.

A few minutes to midnight and Elizabeth and Simon had walked off to get hot chocolate talking about the tradition of the midnight kiss. Cassandra had even found herself chatting with Zach, each holding a steaming cup of mulled wine. Summer stood watching the fire when a familiar voice appeared behind her. William was there. Her heart leapt for a moment before she remembered how mad at him she was. She turned and walked towards the manner abandoning the warmth of the bonfire.

“Summer stop! Wait!”

“Why?” Summer hadn’t stopped she carried on walking but her voice carried over her shoulder.

He grabbed her by the wrist, she spun around and tried to wrench herself free. “Stop it, I won’t hurt you.”

“Do you not think maybe you had already?”

“Summer…” he released her wrist, “I didn’t mean it, when I said we should get some space, I didn’t… I thought it was what you wanted, what you needed.”

“I needed you to be there.”

“I wanted to be.” Summer shook her head and turned again, “please Summer. Don’t walk away.”

“Like you did you mean?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Me too.” she carried on walking towards the manner. This time he ran after her and came to a slipping stop in front of her.

“Summer” the crowd began the countdown he looked over her shoulder for a second, “Summer I love you.” The crowd reached the end of the countdown and began to shout “Happy New Year” and he kissed her. she fought him away for a moment, still processing what he had just said. When the kiss ended she didn’t want it to stop.

Pulling away again Summer spoke at last, “happy New Year, you jerk.”

“Ouch, happy New Year to you too. Do you want to maybe, go get some hot chocolate and watch the rest of the fireworks?”

“Fine… Yeah, let’s go.” Summer took a deep breath when he took her hand, she still felt unsteady, from her chest radiating from her body. She just felt weak in that moment. “You love me? Did you mean that or…?”

“I mean it; you were right I was acting like a jerk. But so were you.”

“I know, I apologised.”

“I know you did, I just I kept acting like a jerk because it was easier.”

“Easier than what?… Easier than admitting it hurt?”

“Yup.”

“Let’s skip the hot chocolate, let’s go back to the manner, I have a bottle of whiskey we can share.”

“You are definitely the girl who stole my heart.”

“Calm down, it’s just a glass of whiskey.” Her smile turned into that cheeky grin and she sighed as she walked a little way ahead enjoying that moment of feeling in that flirty mood.

 

 

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

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