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‘Positive.’ Jessie smiled. It may have taken her a trip down to Cornwall to understand how she felt, but, right now, she knew she was happy for Kelly to be with her ex, and she also knew she wanted to spend a bit more time in the bay hopefully getting to know herself a bit better. Yes, she’d have to spend the time avoiding Simon. What she felt for him was still too raw, but if she could do that, then there was no better place for her at the moment than Penworth Bay.

‘Thank you.’ Kelly grinned before shifting in her seat. ‘Oh, I think this little guy is kicking my bladder again.’

‘There are toilets over there.’ Cecilia pointed to the side of the garage. ‘You go and then I will once I’ve filled the tank up.’

‘I’ll fill it up. You both go.’ Jessie slid her mobile into her pocket. Once she’d got the petrol, she’d speak to Elsie and then order a taxi.

‘Thank you, Jess.’ Cecilia blew her a kiss before leading Kelly around the side of the petrol station as Jessie began filling up the car.

Watching the gauge on the petrol pump rise as the tank filled, Jessie smiled. She felt in control again. Going back to the bakery would be the right thing for her and the right thing for Kelly. For all of them. She glanced across at the next pump as a patrol car pulled in. Swallowing, she looked away as two officers jumped out. Was this what it was going to be like? Looking, expecting to see Simon? She took a deep breath in, immediately regretting it as the unmistakable smell of petrol fumes hit the back of her throat.

‘Do you think he should go? You saw what he looked like this morning, didn’t you? He looked as though he hadn’t slept a wink last night.’

Jessie focused on the petrol gauge, trying not to listen as the officers walked past her.

‘That’s being heartbroken for you.’ The other officer shrugged. ‘He’s got Steve by his side, anyway.’

Steve? Wasn’t that Simon’s partner? If so, was it Simon they were talking about? What were they talking about? Simon wasn’t heartbroken. He’d been the one to admit he didn’t see a future between them. He’d been the one to end things, push her away. They must be talking about someone else. There was bound to be more than one Steve working as a police officer locally. They’d be talking about his partner.

A loud crackle filled the forecourt, and one officer pulled a radio from his belt.

Jessie narrowed her eyes as she strained to hear what was being said. She couldn’t hear it properly, but the snippet of sound she could hear filled her with no doubt that it was Simon’s voice. Maybe they had been talking about Simon after all.

‘... back up... urgent... RTA...’

Turning, Jessie watched as the two officers jumped back in the car and sped away, blue lights flashing and siren blaring. It had been Simon’s voice and whether he was heartbroken or just relieved she was gone; it was him, the Simon she’d fallen for, who was in trouble. Something had happened. Something was happening, and it didn’t sound good. She needed to get back. Now. She needed to get back to the bay now.

‘Jessie, watch out! Look, the petrol.’

Jessie looked from the disappearing patrol car to Kelly, who was heading back in her direction to the pump in her hand. She watched as petrol overflowed from the tank, down the body of the car, and splashed against the floor. Loosening her grip on the pump, she replaced it and shook the dribbles of fuel from her sandals. ‘I need to get back to the bay.’

‘Are you okay?’ Coming up to her, Kelly replaced the petrol cap. ‘I’ll go and pay, and we’ll take you back.’

Chapter Twenty Eight

Balancing on the stepladder, Jessie moved the swathe of cream tulle an inch to the left.

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