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Searching through her bag, Jessie pulled out the notebook she’d been jotting the details in yesterday evening. She flicked through the pages until she found the sketch she’d drawn. ‘I have this. It’s a quick sketch I made using all the notes we had about your wedding. I was just trying to get in clear in my head what it would look like, but you’re welcome to take a look.’ She glanced at Wendy. ‘If that’s okay? You might want to take a look first and check it.’

Wendy stepped towards her and looked at the sketch. ‘Wow, this is really good. It’s exactly as we’d discussed and how I’d been picturing it myself.’ Grinning, Wendy waved Callum towards them. ‘Come, take a look.’

Jessie passed the notebook across to Callum, who leaned against the wall and glanced between the sketch and the barn and back again. Nodding, he smiled. ‘Right, I see now. Yes, it’s going to look fabulous.’

Wendy grinned at Jessie and stood next to Callum, talking him through all of the ways they were going to decorate the derelict barn.

Walking towards the end of the barn, Jessie stood at a large gap in the stone wall and looked out across the field. A few metres away, numerous sheep occupied the field, grazing, running or huddling up. She smiled. This would be the perfect spot for Claire and Callum’s wedding. It would be the perfect spot for anyone’s wedding. For people looking for a venue that was that bit different, somewhere surrounded by nature. It was the complete opposite of the venues she’d looked at with Brad. He’d only been interested in the grand venues, the classic venues. She’d always fancied something like this, though, not that she’d ever discussed it with Brad. She’d just been so grateful he’d chosen her to marry that she’d never have dreamt of giving him any excuse to change his mind. Of course, as it turned out, he didn’t need any excuse and had changed his mind, anyway.

Taking a deep breath in, feeling the clean country air fill her lungs, she smiled. It was a good job he had changed his mind. She would never have stepped away from the relationship herself. Even if she’d felt it was the right thing to do. No, she would have stayed with him, probably realising they simply weren’t compatible too late. The last few months had been awful, but she could finally feel her luck changing. She was enjoying her stay down here, even enjoying planning other people’s weddings, which she hadn’t thought would even be possible for her, but she was. Plus, after that kiss with Simon last night, who knew what the future would hold? There had been more feeling in that one single kiss than there had been in numerous kisses between her and Brad in the last year of their relationship.

‘Are you okay?’ Sidling up to her, Wendy placed a hand on her shoulder.

‘Yes, I am actually. I was just thinking about how much I’m enjoying my time down here.’



‘You’re getting the bug.’

‘The bug?’ Frowning, Jessie turned to Wendy.

‘The Penworth Bay bug.’ Wendy laughed. ‘Don’t look so worried. It’s a good thing. Like I said the other day, a lot of the volunteers come down here and fall in love with the place. They realise they can walk away from the drama or whatever was holding them back home and start afresh down here.’

‘I guess it’s the same as going on holiday. You get to leave real life behind for a while.’

‘Yes, unless you move down here. You’re coming to the pub quiz tomorrow night, aren’t you? You’ll meet everyone else who’s stayed too.’

Jessie nodded. She’d completely forgotten that the pub quiz was tomorrow. She remembered Diane telling her but so much had happened she’d lost track of the days. Maybe she could ask Simon to come along? ‘Is it just the past volunteers who go to the quiz?’

‘And their partners and sometimes someone will bring along a friend or two. We’re a friendly bunch. It’s just an excuse to all meet up regularly. The more the merrier.’ Wendy grinned and turned. ‘Look, I think Callum’s getting the grand tour of where everything will be.’

Turning around, Jessie watched as Claire pointed this way and that, talking quickly and seriously to Callum. ‘Aw, their day is going to be amazing, and this venue is just beautiful.’

‘It is, isn’t it? It will take a bit of vision and a whole lot of hard work, but it’ll be worth it. One hundred percent. Are you okay coming along to the big day with me?’

‘To the wedding?’

‘Yes, we tend to go as guests but run around behind the scenes and make sure everything’s in place and deal with any emergencies. Hopefully, there won’t be any, but just in case.’

‘Oh right. Yes, I guess so.’ Jessie grimaced; she hadn’t been to a wedding in years. ‘What should I wear?’

‘Anything you feel comfortable in. We don’t have a uniform or anything.’ Wendy smiled. ‘Shall we see if they’ve got any questions? It’ll be time for lunch and then Finley and Evelyn, the couple we showed around the venues, will be coming in for their meeting to discuss which one they want to go for.’

‘Ah yes. I wonder which one they’ve chosen.’

‘I reckon the last one we showed them round. The hotel with the chandeliers.’ Wendy grinned. ‘Oh, before we head back, I need to run something up to Chris. I forgot to tell him the final number of guests so he could make sure there was enough parking. I’d ring him, but he doesn’t always have his phone on him. Sorry.’

‘No worries.’ Jessie smiled. She’d loved the tour Freya had given her of the sanctuary. Any reason to pop back sounded good to her.

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