Darling Daughters

Chapter Twenty-Seven


Summers absence over the two weeks had lead Elizabeth to be a hive of productivity. The house was clean, the laundry and ironing had been done. In Elizabeth’s opinion the house was perfection. Except for the mess and chaos that Summer brought with her. Elizabeth had gotten so used to hanging around with Summer it was like she had lost a sister, even if it was for two weeks, she felt lonelier now than she had in a long time.

Thankfully Summer was due back the next morning, something Elizabeth was now well prepared for. She was very well prepared at home, but at work she wasn’t prepared for what had happened over her lunch break. In her absence the bread dough ball had become a mountain and it was going to take a lot of work for her to tame. Elizabeth found herself cursing this particular recipe before setting to work.

Caroline had closed up while Elizabeth finished baking off the dough that had been put into the hot ovens. Caroline was elbow deep in the display stands when the door opened. The man she had heard rumours of, the rude one, always in the hoodie and grey slacks stood in the doorway. The one who had barged past so many people.  Caroline told the man they were closed, but he smiled calmly, “it’s ok, I’m just here to see Ellybeth.”

Caroline looked at him for a moment, no one ever called Elizabeth that. He put his rucksack down on the chair and made it clear he would wait. Caroline disappeared to the door way, still keeping an eye on the man. “Someone here to see you.” Caroline grimaced, Elizabeth walked towards her, “I’m not sure you want to see this one.” Elizabeth walked into the room buttoning up her cardigan. “I’ll check on the ovens honey, yell if you need me.”

Elizabeth nodded, not quite noticing Caroline’s tone. Her face went white as a sheet when she heard the man’s voice.

“No need to button up for me, I’ve seen it all before Ellybeth.” He smirked striding across the room, “you look surprised to see me, did you really think I wouldn’t come and find you honey, I’ve been keeping an eye on you.”

Elizabeth stepped back into a table. “Oh I wouldn’t back away like that if I were you, it could be” he paused turning his smirk into something more sinister, “dangerous.”

Elizabeth couldn’t move, it was like she had been pulled back in time, “you’re already in enough trouble as it is, I know what you did. Did you really hate me that much?”

Elizabeth tried to pull her body back towards the oven room where she had faintly heard Caroline’s footsteps retreat to a minute or two earlier. But she couldn’t find a way to get her mind and body to act as one as he continued.

“I didn’t think you had it in you,” he was closer now, his body casting a shadow over her. “You used to say you didn’t think you could do something like that, I remember how against abortion you used to be. Yet here you are, standing like nothing ever happened. Like we never happened. Like it never existed.” The venom in his voice was the same poison he had used before, Elizabeth remembered it.

His words, his tone, everything had gotten under her skin, her blood ran hot and she remembered everything he had made her afraid of. Suddenly all the rage and hatred she had for him was right under her skin instead of blood it was hot lava and it seeped from every pore.

“I didn’t have an abortion. I didn’t kill my baby. That was you. That night I ended up in hospital, again, after you lost control, again. I miscarried. It took losing my baby to make me see I had to leave. You are poison, I wish I had done it sooner.”

Elizabeth held her fists tight by her side, she had stopped cowering and stood straight.

He took Elizabeth’s words in, his face flushed, it wasn’t the shame that lingered it was anger. She was right. He refused to believe it still, “you’re a liar. You did it. It is your fault.”

“Steve, you and I both know it is your fault. You are pathetic. You kept using your girlfriend as a punching bag, even when you knew I was pregnant. Men like you, they aren’t men at all. You don’t deserve pity, or sympathy, or forgiveness. You deserve nothing, not from me, not from anyone.”

Steve snapped, he reached for the chair behind him and lifted it over his head to bring it down on Elizabeth. Elizabeth put her arm out to protect her, it took the force of the chair and there was a rather audible snap that turned her stomach. “Not the first time you’ve done that is it?”

He turned around and began throwing tables and chairs around. “It’s you, you do this to me. You turn me into this monster!”

Caroline came in through the doorway at the noise. Steve kept throwing things and this time he threw a napkin dispenser in Caroline’s direction. It hit her hard in the side of her head. She was still standing but her body swayed on the spot. Elizabeth moved towards her with her other arm to keep her standing upright.


Excited for their plans this evening Simon locked up the Diner to go to see Elizabeth. The sound of shouting and the smashing of glass caught his attention. A sudden burst of flames erupted in the bakery and a man, a rather familiar looking man ran from the building pushing past a group of teenagers that had tried to block his way. They couldn’t stop the man, he barged past like a bull.

Simon felt a swarm of panic in his throat. He yelled at the teenagers to call for help.

Somewhere behind the flames Simon saw a shadow in the smoke moving back. Taking a chance Simon ran inside trying to get past the flames that flung themselves at him and the fresh wave of air from the door. The heat hit him like a wall. He couldn’t get past.

Simon swore and ran around to the back exit. He heard the teenagers in the background calling him back, calling the emergency services. The commotion was attracting attention but Simon didn’t stop. He reached the back door to find Elizabeth struggling with Caroline trying to force her to stay awake, trying to force her to move.

Simon called out into the growing smoke, he heard Elizabeth shout back, she told him to take Caroline. He pulled Caroline, Elizabeth told him she was right behind him, she was choking on the smoke but she pushed herself. Simon left carrying Caroline. He put her on the grass and turned around looking for Elizabeth. She hadn’t come out.

He ran back into the building to find her. Something heavy had fallen and pinned her to the ground. Simon tried to pull it off her, it was hot. He pulled his sleeves over his hands to try again and shifted it enough that he could pull Elizabeth out, her scream pierced through his ears. He pulled her up by her arm which made her scream again, the arm she had used to block Steve’s chair. The smoke was growing even thicker.

He pulled her out of the building and onto the street, the smoke tumbled out behind them but the heat pursued them, stuck to their sweating skin.

The paramedics pulled them apart to assess them before the town saw them being taken in the ambulances as the fire crew arrived to tackle the inferno.


The police had gotten access to Simon first and began to ask him questions. His main concern however was Elizabeth, remembering how Caroline and Elizabeth had disappeared almost immediately as they arrived.

Simon kept asking for answers but no one could give him any. He tried to call Summer reaching voicemail he stuttered, he didn’t know what to say or how to put what had happened into words that made much sense, he kept telling her to come straight to the hospital.

They had bandaged Simon’s rather lucky minor burns and kept an eye on him for the smoke inhalation. But he was free to go. Instead he found out where they had taken Elizabeth.

He walked into the room, her body was limp in the bed, she had been knocked out with sedatives. The cast on her arm and leg looked so big and she looked so tiny to him. So fragile. He sat in the chair next to her bed and kept watch until he finally gave into the heavy feeling in his eyes and dozed off.


Summer switched her phone on as she got off the plane, in moments it was alive and buzzing with texts and voicemails. Summer left baggage having heard the messages she was panicking, struggling to wait for her case, desperate to leave. She found Cassandra waiting for her.

Thomas and Kingston had left voicemails filled with wild speculation. Simon had stuttered and rambled, he never rambled. Zach had texted her to say he would keep an eye on the house for her. No one told her what she wanted to know most, is Elizabeth ok?

Cassandra pulled Summer into the car with her suitcase and they drove straight to the hospital as Summer sat silent trying her best to just breathe.

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Twenty-Six


Come Monday morning Darling Honor were very unimpressed by two students wearing visible marks from a brawl. It turns out that was heightened by the gossip that flew around the school thanks to Jamie. Summer had an obviously cut lip that didn’t seem to help her though. There was one consistency to the rumours, Summer broke up a fight between a couple of boys.

In truth Summer ignored it. She ignored the hype around the choosing of the valedictorian. The only thing she cared about was what her options would be for college even if she knew she had no choice. Cassandra was an anxious ball of energy. Even after an in theory relaxing weekend with Elizabeth and Summer.

When Summer returned that evening after a day of enduring Cassandra’s nervous chatter Summer walked into the kitchen to find a pile of letters on the counter. Elizabeth’s mail still in the mix, but Summer picked out her letters. Not wanting to deal with the pile of letters right this moment, her shift at the diner was speeding towards her. Summer threw her post into her bag and got ready for the next few hours.

With Summer flying about the diner she didn’t notice her bag fall from the peg, or Simon pick it up. He didn’t have the intention to pry, but the small stream of letters that fell out piqued his curiosity. He read the return address labels and called Elizabeth asking her to get to the Diner as soon as she could.

Within ten minutes Elizabeth and Caroline appeared in the Diner which was crammed full of people who had heard rumours. Summer returned from her short break having a snack. Everyone had their eyes to her, darting their gaze from Elizabeth to Summer.

Simon put Summer’s bag on the counter in front of her. “You might as well open the mail; we all want to know. Plus, you know, it saves time having to announce it repeatedly later.”

Summer didn’t bother to argue, Elizabeth handed her the first letter. Summer fumbled opening the envelope shaking slightly. Simon read the letter over her shoulder and yelled that she had got into Harvard. The crowd cheered. Summer still shook opening the next envelope thrust into her hands. Yet again Simon yelled the result. “She got into Yale.” Summer’s heart raced. She gulped trying to get rid of the tight dry feeling in her mouth and throat. Her heart raced. As she saw the next envelope to be thrust into her hands.

It was from Darling. She felt silly, she already knew the result, even in denial she felt that same niggling nervous energy. “We are delighted to inform you…” the words echoed in her mind as Simon announced that she got into Darling. “Darling is going to Darling.” The crowd in the Diner cheered.

Kingston called halt to the celebration that there was another envelope which he had taken from her pile and was waving it around. Summer whipped it out his hands reading the back “Kingston leave my bank statement alone.” He made a swipe to get the letter but missed. Summer frowned and put it away.

The crowd thinned and Summer and Elizabeth hugged before they had to go back to work.


The next morning in the school hallway Cassandra seemed to be skipping her way towards Summer. Summer smiled when Cassandra finally burst with joy, “I got into Yale and Harvard and… Darling. I did it I’m in. That makes me the first Devonthorne in a hundred years. I did it!” Summer congratulated her. Cassandra took a while to ask where Summer had been accepted.

It didn’t take long for Jamie to pounce on the clearly excited girls who were both set on Darling, even mildly pleased that one another was going to be there. “Anyway, it’s not like we will see each other much.” Cassandra had reminded her. Jamie finally spoke, “So I’ll be seeing you both at Darling too? I can’t wait.”

Summer’s heart sank, “somehow it doesn’t sound so attractive.” She said before walking towards the assembly hall. Summer sat herself away from Cassandra and Jamie. She prepared from the oncoming tide of boredom.

Half an hour later and Headmaster Maiden was still talking. He was no closer to announcing the valedictorian than he was to announcing lunch. It took him a while to talk himself full circle back to the topic of the assembly. The hall descended from boredom into a tension that was palpable especially surrounding Cassandra. Headmaster Maiden announced that he was unable to make a decision, instead the choice was made for three students to be valedictorian this year.

“First I would like to welcome to the stage, for their ambition and humour to all that he applies himself to, Jamie Godson, congratulations.” Murmurs spread through the hall with the applause. Cassandra’s face was pure envy watching Jamie saunter to the stage.

“The second, is thoroughly tenacious, bright and passionate, congratulations Cassandra Devonthorne.” The hall clapped, some reluctant. But the headmaster reminded the hall that there was indeed to be another valedictorian, spreading a stir through the students.

“Last but not least, our newest addition who has proven herself with determination, Summer Darling.” Summer’s legs were jelly, she felt a numb wave hit her.  She heard herself being beckoned forwards.

On the stage Cassandra whispered in Summer’s ear, “shared valedictorian better than not being one at all.” Summer shrugged. Cassandra pulled herself to the microphone on the stage. “Thank you headmaster, on behalf of all of us. I know it may not be perfect, but if I had to share being valedictorian, I am glad it’s with these two.”

Jamie nodded and went to sit back in his seat.

With graduation tomorrow there was a distinctly excited energy pulsing through the school. That energy seemed everywhere.


Summer was finally able to relax and enjoy her graduation, after the fact. It wasn’t until the wave of relief hit in the car leaving the ceremony.

Summer couldn’t argue with her grandfather when he told her she was going to Orkney for a few weeks. She wanted to stay behind with Elizabeth but she was reminded that she needed to see her mother for a while. However unhappy about it she was she had to agree.

Simon felt the odd one out on the drive back as the girls were told their fates this summer. That was until Simon was asked to look after Elizabeth while Summer was away. He agreed and said he would do his best.

From the end of the car journey to the manner it would be the last time they would be all together for a couple of weeks at least.

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Twenty- Five


It started subtly at first. After Summer’s birthday, Elizabeth would come home and find one or two of Summer’s school books left on the table. By the end of the week, the table was littered with books and notes. Occasionally she would find herself catching a rare glimpse of Summer buried under her mountain of books. Summer even kept herself buried away through the Easter break defending her hiding away in the mountain of books with the constant reminder of the impending doom known as exam time.

Elizabeth hadn’t minded too much, she remembered all of the days where she was absent from spending time with Summer when she had been buried in books herself. Elizabeth had taken a three-month intensive course recently, this course gave her something that would placate the family, she had finally graduated with the high school diploma.

Elizabeth hadn’t told Summer about her graduation, the only person who knew was the one who signed her up, Caroline. Elizabeth had been so afraid of failing that she never expected to pass. Now she had, she wanted to celebrate.

Caroline had started to give Elizabeth more responsibilities now that the course was over. Elizabeth was being rotated around all the aspects of running the bakery. One thing that Caroline had tested her with, was the secrecy around some orders.


Elizabeth had been working on a few orders recently, but today was Summer’s last exam. They had spent breakfast preparing Summer, not that she needed quizzing on her English paper, but it didn’t hurt.

Elizabeth had been working on the to do list Caroline had set her, a few hundred miniature graduation caps and diplomas made from fondant had to be made for all of the cakes, cupcakes and cookies that had been ordered.

A few days had passed and the next mission for Elizabeth the baking of the cookies and cakes. Summer and Elizabeth had barely seen each other thanks to work and school. Although Summer’s exams were over the school still had them working hard.


Through all this time no one paid attention the stranger that had been lurking in the shadows just out of sight. The only people that noticed him were people he had barged past in a hurry. He was simply described as an ordinary looking guy when people told the story of their interaction. But he was always quickly forgotten.

He had barged past Summer more than once now, but she hadn’t taken much notice of him. The most recent collision had been when Summer was in rather a hurry, she was on her way to Oaks bakery to help Elizabeth with frosting a few hundred cupcakes. Simon had tried to help but his icing skills were a bit insufficient. But he had found his niche in making teas and coffees while everyone else worked.


A sense of relief had spread through Grimeston and Darling Honor now that graduation was imminent. There was just one person who hadn’t relaxed, Cassandra. Summer could understand, they were both concerned with College places but Cassandra was wound tight. Summer rather sweetly took the opportunity to persuade Cassandra to come to the towns “Summer Lovin’ Fayre” to relax, just for an afternoon.

While Cassandra was still reluctant about relaxing she managed to smile more than usual. She soaked up the strange humour of the town, the water fight stand had her attention for a while before she met Summer who finished her Saturday morning shift.

Summer and Cassandra were giggling watching Kingston break dancing, rather badly to the barber shop quartet that seemed to know only one song, which was sung on a loop. They struggled to take their eyes away from the spectacle. Beyond their view of Kingston however was a familiar face, one Summer really didn’t want to see.

Jamie Godson was pulling himself out of his parent’s car having spotted the fayre, and the two familiar faces wishing they hadn’t been seen. Trying to avoid the interruption that Summer had anticipated she steered Cassandra away. Cassandra joked that “men with giant butterfly nets would be in heaven here.” Summer laughed until the voice behind her made her heart sink.

“Who would have thought it? You two are secretly friends. Everyone thinks the Devonthorne Vs Darling animosity is real, just wait until I tell them.”

Cassandra whipped her head around biting back a remark about keeping silent. Summer didn’t care as much about appearances. When she turned she noticed he looked remarkably different not in the school uniform. He seemed lazily handsome in jeans and a t-shirt. She wasn’t the only one to notice, Cassandra had been dazzled. Summer walked towards the ice cream stand.

Cassandra caught up with Summer, unfortunately bringing Jamie with her. Jamie seemed intent on causing some sort of friction between the uneasy friends. Summer remained determined to ignore his efforts, the girls had maintained their stand off-ish attitude towards him.

Elizabeth decided to go for pizza with Summer and Cassandra, but with Jamie tagging along like a lost puppy it made for an uncomfortable meal. Especially when she discovered he was fluent in “moronic jerk”.

Summer hadn’t noticed Zach watching from a distance. Summer, Elizabeth, Cassandra and Jamie had finally found a shared humour. Jamie had bumped into Zach earlier while he had watched Summer for a distance. Safe to say, Jamie had rubbed Zach the wrong way. It seemed to reach a head when Jamie stole a lick of Cassandra’s lemon ice cream and then a lick of Summer’s bubble gum leaving the girls cringing and joking about “Jamie germs”.

That was the last straw for Zach, Summer had no idea what Jamie had said before, but that didn’t stop her stepping in when Zach flew at Jamie. She pulled the two boys brawling like children apart. Zach took another swing at Jamie but missed and caught Summer in the lip. She still stood her ground trying to pull them apart. It took Simon giving her some help to pull them enough of a distance away.

The adrenaline seemed to drain away rather quickly. Zach finally saw the blood flowing from Summer’s lip, he tried to apologised but was swallowed by the crowds while Elizabeth and Cassandra had pulled them away.

They had gone straight to the manner to clear up the mess and blood. Jamie’s nose was bleeding, and Cassandra tended to his cuts and bruises. Summer refused Elizabeth’s help insistent she would sort herself out. With her phone left on her bed she disappeared into the bathroom for a while. When she came out with her lip no longer bleeding as badly she finally looked at her phone. Eleven missed calls and four voicemails, all from Zach, deleted without acknowledgement.


A few hours later Jamie left and Cassandra had agreed to stay the night. Summer didn’t seem to mind, but insisted on her company to pick up some food from the Diner and the market for the movie night Elizabeth had in mind.

Summer was glad for the company, and the diversion. Not to mention the buffer that Cassandra provided. No one got to ask questions, but that didn’t stop the staring.

By the time the girls reached the market they could hear the gossiping a few aisles over. The story had escalated beyond tele novella dramatic into the downright absurd. Summer “might as well have a cape and leotard, that girl is a super hero stepping into the brawl like that, the girl is fearless.”

Cassandra broke into loud laughter and had taken to asking questions like “are red vines worthy of wonder woman?” and “are cola bottles super enough?”

It was all fun and humour until Cassandra decided that Summer needed a better superhero name. That was the last straw, Summer said they would have to work out Cassandra’s side kick name which quickly shut her up.

Still mocking “super Summer” saving the day the girls got home to find Elizabeth setting up the movies ready for the chick flicks with fairly decent brawls in the plot. Summer finally accepted she wasn’t going to live down the “superhero at the Summer lovin’ fayre” headline.

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Twenty-Four


They rolled out of bed at eleven the next day. An achievement considering, they hadn’t gotten home until the early hours of the morning. The toasts and repetitive chant of “Promitto Memorari” still seemed to echo in their ears. There were many goodbyes to endure before they were allowed to leave. They had a weak night sleep. But Elizabeth had plans.

Elizabeth had been messaging Simon to find out if it was safe to bring Summer to the Diner for breakfast or if the preparations had already begun. Sadly, it was too late to take her to the Diner without her plans being discovered so she made breakfast.

It took a bit of persuasion to get Summer up and dressed. Thankfully Elizabeth found Summer too tired to argue too much. That started to change the more she woke up, the tea and breakfast had perked her up. Elizabeth told her to get her things, they were going to the Diner.

At the door, Elizabeth insisted Summer had to be blindfolded. Summer was reluctant, she felt stupid being pulled along slowly by Elizabeth. Who stopped just after stepping up onto a curb. Elizabeth undid the blindfold.

It took a moment for Summer’s eyes to adjust, the whole town was in the square, it was a huge party. Simon and a few chefs from the Ivy Rose Inn were working on a barbeque. Watching for a moment as Simon began to lose his temper as rubs, marinades and sauces were being pushed on his barbeque as the chefs took over everything he kept getting involved in.

Summer saw the pair of bouncy castles both with a sign dictating “shoes off”. One castle was designated for kids, the other, adults. Sure enough the children were jumping on a bouncy castle sporting primary colours. The grown-ups had purple, red and blue panels on theirs.

The village strangeling, Kingston kept yelling about his champion jumping. Much to Summer’s surprise both Matthew and Stuart were jumping on the castle trying to wind Kingston up by trying to do tricks.

Standing on the grass in front of the castle Thomas was yelling at them for jumping in the wrong way. Everyone continued to ignore Thomas. His face went red, then purpled before he stormed off.

Summer and Elizabeth were enjoying that magic moment. they looked around to find a paddling pool in the town gazebo with the mysterious flying candy overhead (which was a clever use of netting) with children running with butterfly nets trying to catch the candy.

The decorate your own cupcake stand was busy. The magician nearby kept making the cakes disappear. There was a small stage and sound system being set up in another corner. The other side had a movie being projected onto a large sheet.

There was a three legged race and bobbing for candy, but it wasn’t water that they had to contend with, it was jelly, and lots of it.

With the open bar providing the drinks. Summer and Elizabeth took a bottle of water and walked around looking at the silly competitions, games of pass the parcel which was interesting. An adults and child version. Summer would have loved to have swapped the parcels around.

Summer took a moment to realise what Elizabeth had done, again. She threw her arms around Elizabeth, it was perfect.

Summer dragged Elizabeth to the bouncy castle and began to try trick jumps just to annoy Thomas. They only paused to take a break to watch Simon explode from frustration at the barbeque station. He had a yelling fit before storming off to the bouncy castle that was empty. He struggled to climb up and balance for a few minutes finding his feet. He began bouncing like a mad man until his expression broke and fell into fits of laughter.

Elizabeth felt a surge of childish energy and took the opportunity to run at Simon and tackle him. Before long they had broken out into a game of chase on the bouncy castle that infuriated Thomas as it spread through the party.

Even as the sun went down the party continued. Although the children had disappeared and it became exclusively adults who had split into teams occupying corners of the party with buckets full of water balloons at their disposal before a session of karaoke before they began to call it a night and go to bed.

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Twenty-Three


The girls felt spoiled for certain. They were almost ready at the deadline that Stuart and Matthew had set them. The music had kept them moving at a pace. Elizabeth was nervous and shy at the attention the gown brought her, she looked stunning. As for Summer, she felt giddy and strange, and very grown up.

They sat in silence in the car that had been sent for them, they were awkward and very nervous. Neither knew what to expect. They didn’t know where they were going. It took a while before Summer developed a sense of where they might be headed to.

Arriving at their destination Stuart and Matthew had taken to being their guides to where they were meant to go. Summer and Elizabeth felt it strange, walking around Darling College. Summer hadn’t seen this route before, not on the tour, this hidden area of campus. They had ben lead through what felt like a labyrinth until they arrived in a beautiful courtyard.

Summer hadn’t expected such a beautiful hidden cove in Darling College. Elizabeth and Summer squeezed one another’s hands tightly. As they made their way down the steps they heard the gentle trickle of music that sounded so soft and sweet. The dresses and suits whirled around the room.

Both girls were guided firmly to what could be assumed the centre of the space best described to be a dancefloor.

The stars above shone through the room, like the only light they would need as the light seemed to multiply and shatter from the glass, the glittering dresses and the shining silver. The girls had been introduced to almost everyone in the room. Some guests were close to their age and seemed to find this normal and natural.

All were the friends of their grandfathers, yet all of them were some form of Darling College, some past, present and future members. All congratulating Summer on her birthday who felt increasingly awkward being on parade like this.


Having met most of the people in the courtyard and danced too many times. Summer’s grandfather introduced her to a Mr (something) Alexander, she hadn’t heard his first name, or she couldn’t remember it for some reason. So she smiled and prayed she wouldn’t have to use his first name. Summer was told that his son was at Darling this year, away next year and then back to do the rest of his college years. Summer smiled politely barely absorbing this information.

She discovered, with a quick question in her grandfather’s ear when the man’s attention was drawn away that he was called Justice Alexander. She nodded and kept her thoughts to herself, even if she suspected his parents to have a sick sense of humour. Justice introduced his son bringing him into the group, “this is my son, William” Summer’s eyebrows could have hit her hairline for all she knew. “William this is Summer Darling, the birthday girl herself.”

The panic shot over William’s features for a moment as he placed her name and face. The boy who had stumbled into her while he was drunk. Summer smiled and said nothing about it. She kept her responses polite.

Justice urged them both to dance. William took her hand and lead her to the dance floor. “Should I be wearing safety gear and steal toecaps just in case?” She jested, trying not to draw attention to his obvious squirming.

“Should I? I’ve seen your grandfather dance, and if your skills are inherited… well that would be unfortunate.” Summer took the opportunity to slyly step on his toes. “Ouch what was that for?”

“My foot slipped, here was me being nice keeping your indiscretions quiet. Thank heavens you haven’t stumbled yet.”

“Fair enough, thank you, for not saying anything.” Summer nodded and smiled. The tension faded for a moment between them, understanding the need for privacy.

Out of the corner of her eye Elizabeth watched Summer dance with William. Slightly upset that she hadn’t spent much real time with Summer doing something she wanted to do. Elizabeth promised herself that tomorrows plan would be a good opportunity. After all, she had gotten to know Summer well enough to see that goofy side dying to come out, even though everything seemed so serious right now. She just needed to unwind a bit.

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