Page 85 of Hopeful Hearts

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“This is the cutest day.” Kate looked out to the water and with her curls bouncing in the breeze, she’d never looked more relaxed.

“I wish you could all stay here forever,” Sophia sighed. She adjusted the beach towel, making sure her wound was covered from the sun and closed her eyes again.

“About that.” Jayda grabbed her phone and pulled up the screenshot she’d saved on it. “I wanted to ask your honest opinion about this girl. I’ll ask Lennon when she gets back, but listen to this.”

Callie sat up, instantly all ears and ready to give her view.

Kate continued swirling shapes into the sand as Daisy bashed down the sandcastles they’d built with her spade, just so they could build them up again.

Sophia rolled onto her side to face Jayda and Paige, then tilted her oversized Dior sunglasses down a fraction to peek over them, before repositioning them and resuming her model-esque pose.

“A unique opportunity to join a small but passionate team of Youth Justice Workers committed to deterring children and young people from entering the criminal justice system has arisen. Applicants must be willing to work flexible hours, including evenings and weekends. Social worker qualification is needed and applicants must be available for an immediate start date.”

“That sounds right up your alley. Are you really thinking about changing your job?” Callie asked.

“I think the time might be right. Something’s telling me to go for this.”

“How long have you been at your place for?” Kate asked.

“Four years, but it feels like forever.”

“Because they work you into the ground,” Paige chipped in.

“What made you start looking around? This is so out of the blue.” Sophia asked. She knew Jayda never made off-the-cuff decisions. She was a planner. Even more so than her. There must be more to the story than her friend was sharing.

“Actually, it was being out here with all of you. At home I get so bogged down in my cases and dealing with the day-to-day drama that I haven’t stopped to think about what I’m doing with my career for the longest time.”

“There is something about this place that makes you pause for thought. I know what you mean about that,” Kate agreed.

“I think if you want a change, you should go for it,” Sophia said with a smile.

“Me too. Life’s too short to not take chances, especially if you’re not happy,” Kate glanced down at Daisy, who seemed preoccupied, digging as deep a hole as she could in the sand. Kate lowered her voice to almost a whisper. “I’ve been thinking about making some changes, too.”

“Like what?” Paige asked, suddenly interested in the conversation.

“Like staying put.”

“What? As in staying here?” Callie asked.

Kate nodded.

“For real? This is huge,” Sophia’s eyes flew to Kate’s in disbelief and Jayda chuckled.

“Great minds think alike, girl. I was just about to tell you, the job I’m thinking of going for is in Truro.

“As in Truro, Cornwall?” Callie asked.

“Yep,” Jayda grinned and Lennon returned, holding a rainbow selection of popsicles.

“What did I miss?” Lennon asked, sensing it was more than just sandcastles and sunbathing.

“Screw the popsicles honey, we’re going to need champagne,” Paige said with a deadpan expression and everyone giggled.

Callie was quick to fill Lennon in. “Jayda’s gone rogue and is applying for a job here. Kate’s decided to stick around too and Paige is no doubt thinking of ways she can put them to work at the bed-and-breakfast from hell.”

Paige bolted upright. “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.”

“Really Kate? You’re staying?”

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