When Jon had arrived back in Wishcliffe two nights before, he'd been too exhausted to do more than acknowledge that the interior designer he'd hired from across the ocean hadn't painted the place purple. Over the next couple of days, he'd found himself appreciating the calm, fuss-free neutral decorating scheme she'd gone for.
But tonight…tonight he was seeing Sailaway cottage through Lucy's eyes, and that was entirely different.
He'd been thinking of her, of course, when he bought the place.
It had been one of those evenings when nostalgia had overtaken him, and he'd been perusing the property websites for his old hometown that he'd spotted the old cottage for sale. The one he and Lucy had talked about running away to as kids.
When he'd bought it, on a whim, he hadn't even known when he'd get the chance to visit it. But now he was here, with Lucy at his side, he wondered if stumbling over the estate agents' photos that night hadn't been a sign. That this reunion was meant to be.
He hoped so, anyway.
"What do you think?" he asked, trying not to let his voice betray his nerves.
Lucy spun slowly around in the middle of the open living space. "I think…" she said slowly. "I think it's every bit as perfect as I always hoped it would be."
Her smile chased away the last of his nerves. "And there's even local beers in the fridge."
He opened a bottle for each of them and, despite the chill of the autumn air, they headed out onto the tiny deck at the back of the cottage to drink them. Over in the States, Jon was used to huge houses with porches that wrapped around the whole house, open to the warmer climate and usually with swing seats. Here in England, his deck was little more than a sheltered overhang from the upper story that gave them little protection from the wind blowing in from the sea. But he still thought the views out over the waves couldn't be beaten.
They sat and sipped from the bottles in silence for a while. It was so familiar that it took Jon a moment to realise what was different—in him, rather than the situation.
He felt relaxed. For the first time in months—maybe even years—he felt perfectly and utterly content and stress free. Because Lucy was beside him again.
He'd spent so much time in Nashville wondering what was missing, why all the success he'd sought hadn't made him as happy as he'd expected, why the music wouldn't come anymore right when he really needed it. Now he was starting to understand.
Smiling to himself, Jon sank into the feeling, his muscles loose and his mind at ease.
At least, until Lucy said, "So, are you ready to tell me why you're here yet?"
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