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Chapter Fourteen

As they pulled intothe sanctuary, the car dipped as they drove through a pothole, and Jessie’s notebook flew from her lap. Bending down, she grabbed it from the footwell.

‘Sorry. That’s strange. I wonder why the police are here. I hope everything’s okay.’ Wendy pulled the handbrake up.

Straightening her back, Jessie smoothed the cover of her notebook and looked around. Sure enough, a patrol car was now taking the spot they’d parked in only an hour before. Slipping the notebook in the door pocket, she stepped out, careful to avoid the particularly muddy areas, and followed Wendy to the gate.

‘Chris? Freya?’ Wendy called as she opened the gate, holding it open for Jessie.

‘Thanks.’ Holding her hand up to her eyes, Jessie squinted into the sun. There wasn’t any sign of them.

‘Let’s try the farmhouse.’ Leading the way across the courtyard, Wendy paused outside the farmhouse and knocked loudly.

‘Come in.’

Wendy pushed open the heavy wooden door and stepped inside, indicating Jessie to do the same.

‘Hi, Wendy. Hi, Jessie. How did the wedding plans go? Do the couple still like the idea?’ Freya walked into the hall.

‘Good, thanks. Is everything okay with you? We saw the police car.’ Wendy frowned.

‘That was just me.’ Simon walked into the hallway, shortly followed by Chris, who seemed to be carrying a cockerel. ‘Hi, Wendy. Hi, Jessie.’ Simon smiled.

‘Hi.’ Jessie grinned.

Looking from Simon to Jessie, then towards Chris and the cockerel, Wendy grinned. ‘You’ve got a new resident?’

‘Yes. Simon brought this little fella in just now.’ Chris stroked the head of the cockerel.

‘His owners had abandoned him after receiving noise complaints from their neighbours. Instead of taking him to a reputable sanctuary, they just let him roam free.’ Simon shrugged. ‘I’m assuming as an act of revenge after their neighbours complained. Anyway, the neighbours have been trying to catch this guy for months and today they succeeded.’

‘And they called the police on a cockerel?’ Wendy laughed.

‘Ha-ha. No, to be fair, I just happened to be in the area, heard what had happened and volunteered to bring him here.’ Simon chuckled. ‘I probably could try booking him for noise disturbance but...’

‘Are you two staying for lunch? I’ll get this one sorted and then make us some salad wraps if you like?’ Chris opened the front door.

‘Thanks, but I’ve got to get back and ring Hudson’s dad.’ Wendy grimaced.

‘How about you, Jessie?’ Chris stepped outside; the cockerel still firmly held in his arms.

‘I can give you a lift back to the bakery after if you’d like. I’m staying for lunch, then have to pop back to the bay to pick something up from home.’ Simon grinned.

‘Okay then. Thanks. Salad wraps sound good.’ Jessie smiled and looked across at Simon, who grinned at her.

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