Page 104 of Hopeful Hearts

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“I can’t believe you’re all going away and I’m going to be stuck in the B and B from hell. Can we just think about that for a moment?” Paige sounded genuinely miffed.

It made everyone fall apart laughing.

“Well, if I had my way, I’d be sticking around, too.” Callie announced.

“What? I can’t keep up with all this.” Paige waved a dismissive hand in the air. “You want to stay. Sophia wants to go. It’s like you’ve swapped bodies or something. Is this freaky Friday?”

Callie and Sophia chuckled at Paige’s bewilderment.

“Don’t ask. I don’t fully understand it myself, yet. All I know is the closer it gets to leaving, the more I feel like I should stay here. With Emmet.” She mumbled the last two words.

Sophia didn’t say anything. She knew there was no way Emmet would let Callie stay with him but she hadn’t told her friend that. Their relationship was up to them, but she hadn’t been surprised when Callie told her she’d shared the idea with her brother, and the idea had sunk quicker than a winter sunset.

Paige let out a squeal. “I knew it. You’re in love with him.”

It was more an accusation than a question, but Callie shook her head.

“I’m not in love with anyone. It just feels like the right thing to do. Emmet’s a good friend to all of us. He didn’t think twice about putting us all up when we came to town without a minute's notice.”

“Bullshit. Sophia, can you please speak the truth here? She’s hopelessly in love with your brother and doesn’t want to admit it.”

Callie rolled her eyes. “It doesn’t always have to be about romance, Paige. I think you’ve been watching too many of those mushy Christmas movies, again. It’s just a friend helping a friend.”

“Okay fine,” Paige shrugged. “Friends it is, but just for the record, if you guys ever want to stay in the honeymoon suite, it’s yours for half price.”

Callie fell apart laughing, and the rest of them joined in.

“What about me?” Jayda asked.

“Oh honey, I don’t mean to dampen your sunshine, but I think you’re a long way off the honeymoon suite.”

“It’s a good job.” Jayda hit back. “The last time I stopped by, the only thing sweet about your new place was the smell of fresh air when I left.”

“That was brutal.” Paige side-eyed her friend. “True, but brutal.”

“Are you staying in town, too?” Sophia asked.

“You got the job?” Lennon guessed.

Jayda nodded with a smug smile, and everyone exploded with congratulations for her.

“It’s funny that so many of you are going to be in the bay now and I’m going to be miles away,” Sophia commented.

“Which reminds me, Lennon, how are you getting on with raising the funds for your tickets?”

“Not great. I didn’t sell the necklace, it just felt wrong.”

Paige threw her an annoyed glance and Lennon hunched her shoulders up.

“You can have my tickets,” Callie smiled. “The more I think about it, the more I wonder why I’m listening to Emmet instead of not going with my gut.”

“What are you saying?” Sophia asked.

“I’m saying that I want to stay. It’s what my heart’s telling me to do and you girls know I’ve always chosen heart over head. If Emmet doesn't want me to stay with him, that’s fine. I’m sure Paige has room at the Bed and Breakfast or I can rent somewhere with Jayda in Truro.”

Sophia’s voice turned solemn. She didn’t want to burst her friend’s bubble, but she had a suspicion that if Callie stayed, after Emmet had been clear about not wanting her to, it wasn’t going to go down well with him.

“It’s not just about your brother, Sophia. This is about me doing the right thing.”

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