The cottage garden was sheltered from the breeze and, with the chimnea blazing, the patio felt cosy and intimate. Lit tealights in old jam jars were scattered around the boundary of the paved area, their flames flickering in the darkness. Plucking a gentle melody, Taylor watched as Nana and Jen brought out bowls of crisps and dips and some beers and cider. He smiled over at Ellen, who was sitting on a pile of cushions beside the fireplace.
“You ok?” asked Taylor, noting that she was staring intently at the flames.
“Never better,” she replied with a relaxed smile. “I was just daydreaming.”
“Ghosts in those flames?”
With a wistful smile, she nodded before confessing, “A year ago I couldn’t have sat here. Couldn’t stand to see flames. My dad helped me over those ghosts. Calmed my fears.”
“Shit! I never thought!”
“It’s fine, Tailz,” assured Ellen warmly. “In fact, it’s more than fine. This is perfect.”
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