Chapter 22

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Chapter Twenty-Two

"Morning," Janice greets the next morning when I emerge in the kitchen. After Jake and I came down for dinner, they all seemed to have calmed slightly and I found myself enjoying being around them. They do ask a lot of questions about me, but Jake and sometimes Trevor interrupt to distract the others for a while but eventually the conversation comes back to me. I don't mind as much though as like Trevor, they don't seem to be judging me as they listen and ask for more details.

They were that consumed with me that they never actually had a chance to watch the wedding before bed, which I know will happen today.

"Morning." I greet back, stepping further into the kitchen where everyone else is already, showered and ready for the day.

"Where's Jake?"

"In the shower. He'll be down in a minute. Can I grab a coffee? I'm not a morning person." I ask, making them all give a little laugh as Janice gestures to the machine.

"Knock yourself out. None of us are morning people either. That's the third pot that's been made." She tells me, grabbing a mug for me and letting me fill it.

I am suddenly aware of everyone's eyes on the back of me, likely noticing my wet hair, skinny jeans and woollen jumper.

"So, Nicole, I thought you'd like to see the town some more. Jake didn't stop on the way last night, did he?" Janice asks cheerily.

"No, he didn't. I'd love to though." I say, turning when I have the coffee pot placed back into place to see her bringing food out of the fridge, clearly going to make a cooked breakfast.

"Great. We'll have a girl day." She declares making me pause, wishing Jake was here. Instead, my eyes land on Trevor who looks amused and pitying at once. Clearly, he was going to be no help. "I'll show you where the boys grew up, their school and everything else."

"Mum, don't you think Jake might want to do that?" Nat tries, making Janice frown.

"What night I want to do?" Jake asks, appearing in the doorway, smiling and looking as handsome as ever. He walks over and grabs another mug and starts filling his own cup before leaning on the counter beside me.

"Show Nicole the town," Nat replies.

"If we leave soon, we'll be back just after lunch. I want to show her something." Janice says pointedly at Nat, who holds his hands up in surrender.

"I'll get our coats." Jake merely says, making me roll my eyes at his cluelessness.

"She means her, me, Jessica and Julia." I clarify, making Jake pause and look at me before turning to his mother who is beaming at him.

"A girls morning." She declares happily.

"I'm not invited?" Jake asks, clearly thinking about how to work this.

"No. You boys are free for the morning."

"But-"

"Is it ok with you, dear?" Janice interrupts Jake and looks at me with a motherly look, with a little bit of a pleading look. She wants to spend some time just us.

"No, of course not," I say, knowing there is only one polite answer. She nods happily before continuing with her cooking. Jake looks back at me with a guilty look, taking the coffee pot and filing his mug back up before topping mine up as if it was a peace offering.

I don't comment, a lot calmer with the idea of going than I thought I'd be but I still can't help but think I won't have Trevor or Jake there to distract her when I need a break.

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