By the time Summer received a knock on her dorm door, she knew she was under inspection. Just as she had expected. Elizabeth had been sending streams of messages to Summer to tell her of the tones they had used and their mood.
Summer’s inspection come interrogation had taken an hour and a half, it would be safe to say no stone was left unturned.
Summer was left with a list of strict instructions; one was underlined repeatedly for tonight’s party at the other Darling house. They wanted her to make a True Effort with her appearance and demeanour tonight. The “black tie non optional” instruction had her repress a sigh in their company. Before they departed to go and finish up their preparations.
Both Elizabeth and Summer had been ordered to arrive at eight thirty precisely. They stood beside one another in front of the tall front doors looming over them. They imagined the doors swallowing them whole when they knocked, being invited and welcomed in was an experience every time.
It quickly became apparent that there was an abundance of gentlemen in the room and very few women. From what they could see it was a struggle to find any women in the sea of suited men standing about the house.
Summer and Elizabeth found themselves swallowed by the tide, the guiding hands of their respective grandfather’s leading them around. Introduced to one eligible bachelor to another. Elizabeth and Summer felt their smiles exhausting their cheeks as they remained polite.
It took Elizabeth less than an hour before she her temper was hot under her collar. She made an excuse, about work, and left. Leaving Summer to contend with the consistent parade of eligible though dull bachelors.
Summer excused herself into the garden for some fresh air. Finding her own temper and boredom beginning to rise she just needed to escape. Even for a short while.
Standing the garden, she enjoyed a deep breath of the cool autumn air.
“Excuse me, your grandfather suggested I keep you company.”
“Did he now?” The voice continued to talk to her despite her dismay. He began to talk about the stock market and Summer felt her eyes begin to glaze over. Her shoulders relaxed. The world began to pass by that bit slower. She began trying to search for an escape, knowing it would be futile.
She felt a warm arm reach up around her shoulder and pull her towards its owner, who planted a kiss on her cheek. She turned to find William, she hesitated the agitated response running through her mind and just went with it.
“Hey, thanks for keeping my girl occupied for me, I’m sorry I’m late Darling, got waylaid by a spectacle.” He planted another kiss on her cheek. The man who had been talking to no end about the stock exchange took the brush reasonably well, before shrugging his shoulders.
Summer turned to William and gave him a genuine hug. “Thank you, I think I aged a few years.”
“You’re welcome, but we should discuss recompense.”
“Pardon?” Summer’s eyebrows darted into her forehead.
“For your rescue, it’s going to cost you.”
“A date.” Summer laughed but he continued, “I mean it, one date, that was a damn fine rescue from your obvious predicament.”
Summer relented, “one date? That’s all I am agreeing to?”
“Fine, sure ok. I can handle that.”
“I wouldn’t count on it, I aim to woo you and win your heart.”
“I gotta have one to win first.” Summer challenged.
“Ouch… cold, but I know you have one, it’s a good heart I can tell.” He grinned.
“Don’t be so sure.”
“I am sure.”
“As you wish.” She smiled and turned to leave.
“Summer, just so you know, they are all jerks you know.”
“The guys who came up with the competition.”
Summer rolled her eyes. “You don’t want to be a campus legend then?”
“God no, I already am one, maybe you will be the campus legend who tames me.”
“You are already tame.”
“I’m not, I still bite, sometimes.” Summer rolled her eyes and walked back into the house.
Elizabeth walked into Grimeston town centre and strode into the almost empty diner, a couple were leaving as she arrived. She turned the sign on the door to closed. Not wanting any interruptions right now. Simon asked her what she was doing here.
Elizabeth began to tell him all about the grandparent inspection, and then she brought up the party she had abandoned Summer at. “It was horrendous, they had set up an event full of men that were dull and there was one huge massive flaw with all of them.”
“What was that?”
“None of them were you.”
“I mean it, tonight has taught me that there is only one man I want.”
Simon’s brow furrowed, Elizabeth walked around the counter until she was so close to him their bodies were almost touching. “You.” She kissed him gently, pulling him to her.
When they broke apart they stood smiling from ear to ear.
“Another date?” Simon asked.
“Another date makes…”
“Makes us exclusive”
“It does, does it?”
“If you want.”
“Oh I want…” Elizabeth pulled him into another long kiss.
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