Chapter 29 ~ December 11th

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"Hey!" I answered.

"Hey Coral, happy birthday," he said in his deep sexy voice.  

"Thank you so much Walter!" I replied.

"Was I first to say it?" he asked almost excitedly.

"Yes baby you were," I said to him holding the phone close to my ear.

"Yesss!" I could hear his grin in his voice. "I've got a present for you."

My eyebrows shot up in excitement. "Really? What is it?"

"Not telling you....it's not that good. You never told me what you wanted," he said.

"Don't say that," I tutted at him. "As long as it's from you it's amazing. No joke."

Walter laughed, "Well you still have time to change your mind about that."

"I won't be. Anyways I'll see you at the school gates okay? Love you." I said to him.

"Later. Love you too."

I dialled Hayley's number ready to thank her.

None of the brother's I had spoken to sounded upset...maybe it was going to be okay after all.

********

I knew I had spoken too soon as soon as I saw Eli at school. He looked so broken, I couldn't smile at him even if I really tried. He walked ahead of us, his head down.

"Don't worry about him," Walter said quietly as we entered the gates. 

"Is he gonna be okay?" I asked, holding Walter's hand.

He shrugged, "Yeah."

Severn reached down and pulled our hands apart. "Sorry man," he said to Walter. "Happy birthday Coral," he hugged me tight. 

"Thank you," I smiled, laughing at Walter's unamused face.

"Blondies!" Gio yelled and before I knew it he collided into us. "Group hug!"

Gomez joined in almost knocking us off our feet. "Happy birthday!"

I tried to thank him but I was squished in the middle of them all, almost suffocating with the after shave they were wearing. I almost smiled imagining the triplets with beards.

Walter shoved them off me and smoothed my hair down. "Piss off," he said scowling.

"Walter smile," I said poking him in the side. He flinched. 

"You really are ticklish aren't you?" I asked watching him closely. 

He grabbed both of my wrists and held them together, pressing his lips to stop himself from smiling. "Nope."

In Art Hayley got the whole class of nine to sing for me, which I wasn't so happy about. It made me blush, but Walter held my hand the whole time. 

"Here's your present!" Hayley said afterwards.

"Hand it over," I joked, holding out my hand.

She reached down to pull a wrapped present out of her bag, then she gave it over to me. "Happy birthday!"

I ripped off the blue wrapping paper a reveal a nice looking purse. 

"Thanks!" I said, taking it out.

"Open it," Hayley demanded.

I did so, and inside was a a new phone case and a voucher for one of my favourite shops. 

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