Page 105 of Hopeful Hearts

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“I just know Emmet won’t like it if you stay because you feel like you have to,” Sophia explained.

“Then I’ll have to make him understand that I’m staying because I want to. It’s my choice. Lennon, the tickets are yours. Everything Is organised and booked. Half the stuff, I wouldn’t be able to get my money back at this short notice, anyway.”

“Callie, that’s worth a small fortune. You don’t have to do that.”

“My tickets, my choice. I’ll fire some emails off later and change the name on the tickets. You deserve a decent trip and I really hope it helps to keep your creativity going. It’s been lovely to see you be yourself again since we've been out here. Besides, you can always take a bunch of pictures for me, I can blog using those.”

“Of course, I can. You girls are actually the best,” Lennon announced. “By the way, Paige, I had the necklace valued by a jeweller in Truro. Do you know how much it was worth?”

“A lot,” Paige shrugged.

“Seventy-five thousand dollars, according to the jeweller”

“Holy moly,” Kate reeled. “Wait, wouldn’t that be enough to get you going on the bed-and-breakfast?”

“It would be a decent start,” Paige grinned as Kate's idea resonated with her.

“And if you’ve got others you don’t wear, you could sell them, too. You’d make a fortune,” Sophia beamed.

“How did I not think about doing this earlier? I’ve been sleeping in that hellhole for almost a week,” Paige shrieked, making her friends giggle.

“I’m the only one going back to my normal life?” Kate groaned.

“Basically,” Callie said.

“It sucks. Especially for Daisy. She’s been so happy here. I don’t want to take that away from her, but I can’t keep her away from her dad.”

“I hate that he has this hold over you, even though he’s moved on with his life.” Lennon pulled her friend’s arm to nudge her shoulder against hers. They all wished they had a magic wand to make Kate’s life easier, but all they could do was love and support her; and hope good things came for her in the end.

“We need to just make sure we don’t lose touch when we get bogged down in our everyday lives again,” Jayda said. She was the worst offender of avoiding her friends and everyone else in her life when work got busier than she could handle.

“Yeah, we need to make time for each other. Even if it's just a group phone call,” Lennon added.

“Agreed,” Paige said.

“Group hug,” Sophia suggested.

“Bring it in,” Callie ordered, and they dropped each other's arms to form a group huddle on the beach.

“I love you guys,” Sophia told them when they eventually came up for air.

“How did Brodie take the news?” Callie asked as they made their way towards the edge of the cove.

“He has been so supportive. I do worry about leaving him behind, but I won’t be gone for long and I know my mum and dad will look out for him. He’s close to Emmet, too. His parents are good and will probably do some cooking for him to make sure he’s eating right. Do you think he’ll be okay?”

“I think he’ll be just fine,” Paige chipped in. I’ll keep a close eye on him as I’ll be putting him to work at the bed-and-breakfast as soon as I’ve finished clearing it out.”

“I’ll make sure he looks after himself,” Callie added, and Jayda offered to pop in when she could at weekends.

Sophia felt better about going, knowing he had such a strong support system in place.

“I’ve just got to find a way to tell my mum and dad now.”

“Good luck with that,” Jayda raised a brow.

Mel would hate the idea of her only daughter leaving town so soon after a major ordeal with her health, but she also loved her enough to come around to the idea in the end.


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