twenty eight || leslie's skirt

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Leslie never had been one to made a big deal out of things which meant that by Wednesday afternoon, Sue was still the only one to know that she had elevated her status from girlfriend to fiancée. That wasn't to last long, though. On Sunday, she had paid the local jeweller a visit - along with Greg, Emma and Freddie - and a simple silver band with the smallest of diamonds now adorned her ring finger. She hadn't yet spoken to her parents or sister, and she got a certain pleasure out of having her engagement as a secret.  

"So," Sue said, leaning against the counter that Leslie stood behind, "when're you going to announce it?" 

"Announce what?" Leslie asked, in the middle of shutting up the register for the night. Her mind was elsewhere, focused on getting ready to go home. To Greg's home, anyway. She had only been back to her own flat over the weekend to pick up a few outfits. 

"Your engagement, idiot." Sue laughed and adjusted the straps of her bra. Leslie frowned. 

"We're not announcing it," she said, wiggling her left hand. "If people ask then I'll tell them but I'm not, like, throwing a party or anything." 

Sue grinned mischievously. "I did. We had a big party, really went all out." 

"I just don't see the point," Leslie said with a shrug. While she loved a good party, she didn't see her engagement as reason enough: celebrations could wait until the wedding. 

"Well, Rod and I were together fifteen years before we got engaged. We figured the moment deserved a bit of a party." 

"Fifteen years?" 

"Mmhmm." 

Leslie let out a long whistle. "I can't imagine waiting that long. That's twice as long as I've known Greg. Why'd you hold it off?" 

"Well, I mean, we met in high school. Started dating at fifteen. I guess we just didn't need to be married, until we decided to have kids. It was just easier for them to have married parents." Sue stood straight and ran a hand through her hair, in need of a cut. "You planning on having kids any time soon?" she asked with a glint in her eyes. She knew the reaction it would prompt, though Leslie didn't guffaw as she used to. 

"God, no. I'm only twenty-seven, Sue. I'm in the prime of my life." She shrugged slightly, closing the till, and put a hand over her stomach. "This isn't a shotgun engagement." With the shop ready to close, she stepped out from behind the counter and swung her bag over her shoulder. "I just don't want to spend my life with anyone else." 

Both Leslie and Sue had walked to work that morning so once everything was done, they headed off in the same direction together. Even at only half past five, the quiet streets were virtually empty and they ambled along together in comfortable silence until Sue checked her watch as they passed their favourite pub, a hive of activity behind closed doors.  

"Fancy a drink?" she offered. "Or have you got to get back?" 

"I don't have to be anywhere. Greg's got to stay late at work today and he's got the kids," Leslie said, checking her bag for her purse. "I'm banned from cooking duty." 

Sue raised a questioning eyebrow. "Why?" 

"Because I really, really suck at it," Leslie said with a chuckle as they veered into the pub for a post-work tipple and hovered at the bar, waiting to be served. "Greg says I'm at risk of poisoning Emma and Freddie, not to mention him. I'll save my practising for when they're back with their mum." 

"When are they going back?" Sue asked. 

"A couple more weeks. We've got them until Greg's mum's back on her feet." Shrugging off her jacket, Leslie flashed her friend a bright smile and scanned the drinks menu. Sue fixed her with a gaze. 

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