Chapter Nine

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The shattered glass was littered in a dangerous mess at Cynthia's feet. Her mouth was formed in an apologetic 'O' and Amanda rushed towards her, albeit forgetting Simon was standing right there.

"Are you alright??" She asked and guided her aside from the broken pieces of glasses.

"I'm fine" Cynthia returned, obviously shaken up and nervous by her slightly intoxicated state. She had her head held down, never meeting either of their glances and Amanda felt sheer pity at how embarrassed she must be feeling at that moment.

"I'll clean that up" Simon offered and brushed past them into the kitchen to retrieve the broom.

"I'm so sorry" Cynthia said, over and over. Her ease and the confidence she had oozed earlier had been replaced by something else. Regardless the alcohol had taken a toll on her mind a bit, Amanda could sense a hidden emotion had surfaced. One of discomfort and nervousness and she had no idea where all of that had suudenly surfaced from.

She waved her hand aside, dismissing Cynthia's apologies and led her back into the kitchen, side stepping Simon as he came around the counter with the broom and walking past them to clean up the mess.

They sat at the table and Amanda got a glass of water for her to drink. Simon joined them not long after and for the first time since he came in, Cynthia looked up and smiled a rather shy smile in his direction.

"Sorry for making such a fool of myself and your glass...."

"Nonsense, it's fine" he said and smiled warmly at her.

Amanda gave Cynthia's hand a reassuring squeeze and turned to Simon.

"This is my husband, Simon"

"Nice to meet you" he said and offered a hand for Cynthia to shake which she obliged.

They exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes then began eating.

Simon took a drink from his glass of water sitting beside his plate and wiped his mouth.

"So, Cynthia, my wife tells me you'll be working with her at the store?"

It was more of a question than a statement and Amanda nudged his foot under the table for fear Cynthia would pick up through Simon's half statement, half question, her hesitance that she had had in the decision she made.

"Yes" she answered and picked at the potatoes she herself had made.

"That's nice. I hope things turn out well. You've met Brianna?"

"I have"

She seemed......tense.

She relaxed however and within minutes had regained her composure.

"So....Simon, have you been born and raised here in BurghersBridge?" She asked.

"No. I moved here, much like yourself" he answered and wiped his mouth with a napkin.

"Moved here and met and married the love of my life" he finished and smiled cheekily at Amanda who blushed at his blatant show of affection.

"Isn't that sweet" Cynthia cooed and looked back and forth between them both.

Amanda decided to change the topic but Simon beat her to a question which he turned to Cynthia, "what brings you here, if you don't mind me asking"

"Not at all" she said and smiled in his direction, "I lived with my aunt in Clarkesville, being the only family I had, after she died I decided I wanted a fresh start. Too many memories, however some fond" she said and looked down at the half empty plate beneath her.

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