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‘No, they won’t mind.’ Brooke looked down at Jessie’s bare feet. ‘Just mind yourself on the rocks.’

‘But I...’ Looking across at the lighthouse, she frowned. What would they think of her, turning up and getting seawater everywhere? ‘I don’t think I can turn up like this.’

‘Honestly, they won’t mind. You’ll have the chance to clean up and then we can talk to Elsie.’ Reaching forward, Brooke took Jessie’s suitcase and began walking back across the causeway.

Swallowing, Jessie pulled her hairband off her wrist and hurriedly tied her hair up into a messy bun, anything to stop it dripping across her shoulders. Glancing down at her clothes, she shrugged. Her dripping hair was the least of the issue.

‘We don’t have to if you feel uncomfortable. We can go back to the bakery if you like?’ Pausing, Brooke turned, concern etched across her face.

Shaking her head, Jessie smiled. She seemed nice, Brooke. She’d rescued her suitcase and if she said Elsie and whoever else was at the lighthouse wouldn’t mind, she trusted her. ‘No, it’s fine. If you’re really sure they won’t mind?’

‘I promise.’ Passing Max the suitcase, Brooke waited until Jessie had reached them before linking arms. ‘I recently discovered that Ian, the lighthouse keeper and Elsie’s partner, is my birth grandfather, and this is the first proper family dinner I’ve had with my newfound family. So, if I’m honest, you turning up will be a welcome distraction.’

‘Oh wow.’

Brooke shook her head and laughed. ‘It’s a long story and I’m glad I’ve found them, but you turning up will lighten the mood. Everyone’s on their best behaviour and I’m not used to that. No one is.’

Glancing down, Jessie narrowly avoided cutting the sole of her foot on a jagged rock. ‘Well, I’m glad to be of service then.’

Chapter Two

‘Here you are. I wasabout to send out a search party.’

Looking up, Jessie watched as the door to the lighthouse opened.

‘Hey, Ian. We ran into Jessie here who’s come to volunteer at the bakery so wondered if she could join us?’ Brooke unlinked arms with Jessie before walking the final few feet and hugging Ian. ‘Ian, this is Jessie. Jessie, this is Ian, Elsie’s partner and my grandfather.’

Glancing across at Brooke, Ian grinned before looking at Jessie and holding his hand out. ‘Lovely to meet you, Jessie.’ Shaking her hand, Ian frowned. ‘Oh dear, you’re soaking wet. Is everything okay?’

Jessie glanced down at her skirt. Even after the walk across the causeway, the sun had done little to dry the fabric out and a small puddle was already forming on the rocks beneath her. ‘Yes, sorry. I stupidly fell asleep, and my suitcase got swept into the sea.’ She shrugged. ‘I can go, though. I don’t want to put anyone out or get water everywhere.’

‘Ah, I see. Easily done. The tide coming in has caught more than a few people out. Myself included on occasions. Come on in and get yourself dry. Don’t worry about the water. It’ll be no worse than what I bring in.’

‘Hello. I thought I heard voices. You’re back. Oh, love, what’s happened to you?’ A woman with the kindest smile Jessie had ever seen rushed towards them.

‘Elsie, this is Jessie. She’s come to volunteer at the bakery. Jessie, this is Elsie.’

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