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‘Great. I’m going to get off now. Have you got plans for this evening?’

‘Elsie’s going to cook macaroni cheese.’ Jessie smiled.

‘Oh, you’re kidding? She makes the best macaroni cheese ever! She’s been promising a macaroni cheese night for ages. I’ll have to talk to her and get her to invite us all round for one soon.’ Diane pulled the door open. ‘See you in the morning.’

‘Bye.’ After waving Heidi and Brooke off too, Jessie slipped back into her chair by the window and looked down at the list of ideas for the barn that she’d copied from the wedding plan. It did sound as though it would be amazing. The derelict barn could become the perfect place for Claire and Callum’s wedding. She smiled. She was actually looking forward to tomorrow now. If she could just pop Kelly, Brad and Kelly’s pregnancy to the back of her mind, then she might actually start enjoying planning other people’s weddings.

Leaning back in her chair, she brought her coffee mug to her lips. Yes, she just needed to shut everything out. Enjoy the break away from the dramas of home. She smiled. She could actually make this work. Macaroni cheese with Elsie tonight, off to the barn tomorrow and then the pub quiz the following day. With any luck, she wouldn’t have time to think about anything other than her volunteering role and mixing with the other members of staff.

A loud tapping on the window tore her from her thoughts, and she put her mug down. Diane, Heidi or Brooke must have forgotten something. Standing up, she pulled the door open. ‘Officer Groves? How can I help you?’ What was he doing here? It must be something serious. ‘Am I being charged with something? Disrupting traffic or something?’ Was that even a charge? Probably. ‘I didn’t plan on breaking down where I did.’ She gripped the edge of the door. Could she really be charged for breaking down in the wrong spot? Or maybe it was because she’d veered across to the other side of the road. Maybe the driver of the car she’d narrowly missed crashing into had reported her?

‘Simon, please.’ Chuckling, he shook his head. ‘No, I’m not charging you with anything. I was on my way home and thought I’d pop in to see how you were. You were pretty shaken up when I dropped you by earlier.’

‘Oh right. Umm, I...’

‘Jessie, I’m so sorry... Oh, hello, Simon. What can we do for you?’ Walking through the kitchen door, Elsie slipped a thin cardigan on. ‘Come on in, love.’

‘Hi, Elsie.’ Stepping inside, Simon glanced at the floor before looking back at Elsie. ‘I was just popping by to see how things were. Have you heard anything from Scott about your car?’

‘No, not yet. Look, I’m so sorry, but I’m going to have to be rude and leave you both to it. Daisy and Ollie have asked me and Ian to pop over to the restaurant and it sounded pretty urgent.’ Elsie looked across at Jessie. ‘I’m so sorry, love. I think I’m going to have to make our macaroni cheese another night. There’s plenty in the freezer though, and some ready meals in the fridge.’

Jessie nodded. ‘No worries. I hope everything’s okay with Daisy and Ollie.’

‘Oh, me too, love. Me too. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Daisy sound quite so urgent on the phone.’ Drawing Jessie in for a quick hug, Elsie checked her pocket for her mobile. ‘I’m going to get going. Help yourself to anything. Bye, Simon.’ Touching him on the forearm, Elsie stepped outside.

Watching her rushing across the cobbles, Simon grimaced. ‘I hope everything’s okay.’

‘Me too.’ Frowning, Jessie wound her hairband around her wrist.

‘I don’t suppose you fancy grabbing some chips, do you? We could eat them on the beach if you like?’ Running his fingers through his short hair, he looked at her.

Jessie glanced down at her notes strewn across the table. Why not? She’d basically finished and anything else she needed to know about Claire and Callum’s wedding, she’d find out tomorrow when they visited the barn. Besides, it would be nice to have a wander on the beach without her suitcase to worry about. ‘Yes, okay. That sounds nice.’

‘Great. I’m starving.’

‘Me too. Plus, I haven’t had proper seaside chips since I was a teenager.’ Jessie laughed. ‘The beach we used to go to had a fairground and for some reason, my dad would always insist on us eating first before going on the rides, which, as you can imagine, didn’t always end well.’

Simon grimaced. ‘That doesn’t sound like a great plan.’

‘No. It was for him. He’s always been a bit of a fairground daredevil. The faster the rides, the better. Unfortunately, my sister Kelly didn’t take after him.’

‘Ahh. How about you?’

‘Oh, I was fine. I love fair rides. I’m not quite as brave as my dad, but I do love a good rollercoaster.’ Jessie pulled the bakery door closed behind them and locked up using the key Elsie had given her.

‘In that case, why don’t we head over to Porthayle? It’s a seaside town and they’ve got a Pleasure Beach there. We could check out a few rides before we grab dinner?’

‘Sounds like a plan.’ Jessie grinned. When was the last time she went to a fair? Probably when she’d taken Brad’s brother’s children to one when they’d first begun dating.

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