And so we come to the end of our special Round Robin and our birthday celebrations! Thank you to everyone who joined us on Facebook and Twitter for our #ChocLitParty. We had a lot of fun and we hope you did too Here’s to many more Choc Lit birthdays.
But now back to Joss’s party – is a happy ending on the cards? Sheryl Browne decides!
To win an ebook copy of Sheryl’s fab summery novel The Rest of My Life (which is yet to be released!) read on until the end
I did. Oh, how I did. My small hand clasped firmly in his strong, manly – furry – hand, I didn’t really care who might be delivering what at the door. I hardly even noticed the strippergram, who obviously was back again, gyrating with gusto in the hall. Or what Izzi was doing with his banana.
‘Close your eyes,’ Harry instructed, pausing at the front door and turning towards me.
‘Your eyes,’ he said, the twinkle in his indecently, far-too-blue eyes now in megawatt overdrive.
Breathe, Jocelyn. Feeling a little faint, I heaved in a breath, possibly asphyxiating the palpitating mouse in my corset, and reluctantly lowered my eyelashes.
I wasn’t peeking. I was puckering. His face was now so close to mine, my lips had taken on a will of their own.
‘Now, don’t open them until I say so. Okay?’
‘Yes,’ I squeaked. He was still holding my hand. I had no idea what he was doing, but I felt a definite ruffle run down my taffeta.
‘Right,’ Harry said, also drawing in a breath … from somewhere down below, ‘go for it, Lisa.’
Go for it. Go for what? Should I duck? Run? In these shoes?
Imagining with sick certainty that Harry was about to pay me back for that really embarrassing thing, I twanged open my eyes, just in time to see Lisa pull open the door. ‘Ta-dah!’ she said, looking at me expectantly.
I, in turn, looked astonished from her to our caller, and then stared down at Harry, who was looking similarly thunderstruck towards the surprise at the door.
‘Oh, grrreat.’ His broad shoulders slumped, visibly.
‘Jocelyn!’ Great-Gran scowled, her four-foot three inch frame looming in the doorway. ‘What on earth are you wearing, dear?’ Pausing, she peered disapprovingly at my black taffeta. ‘You look like something from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Not at all suitable for a wedding. Honestly, you young girls nowadays. No dress sense.’ With which she swept in, stepping between Harry and me, who wobbled precariously on his one knee.
‘Hell,’ he growled, righting himself, with the assistance of Julia and one of his hairy band of brothers. ‘It was supposed to be a quartet.’
‘What?’ I managed to close my mouth in order to gasp.
‘A quartet,’ he repeated, running a hand through his temptingly clutchable hair, once assisted to his feet. ‘It was supposed to be a string quartet, not the bloody Rottweiler.’
‘I heard that, young man!’ Gran boomed from the kitchen, as Harry stared forlornly back towards the door, probably in hopes of Gran’s chain yanking her back.
‘A quartet?’ I was struggling now, but definitely surprised. I’d give him that.
Harry met my eyes briefly and then glanced awkwardly down. The twinkle in his eyes had gone, I noticed. They were more the colour of a summer storm than summery blue skies. ‘I was going to …’
‘You need to wear white, dear, not black,’ came Gran’s voice, now from the bedroom. ‘At least I hope you do.’
‘Propose,’ Harry mumbled, glancing warily back up.
‘I wish you’d stop repeating everything he says,’ Julia said behind me. ‘The poor man’s embarrassed enough as it is.’
‘You’re blushing,’ his hairy friend commented, giving Harry’s cheek a hearty tweak.
‘Come on.’ Julia sighed, leading Liam off by his vine.
‘I’m coming. I’m coming.’ Liam wiggled his eyebrows in Harry’s direction before obliging. ‘But promise you’ll take me gently.’
‘I’ll leave you two alone,’ Lisa said, eyebrows also in insinuating wiggle mode as she too stepped between us.
‘Propose?’ I uttered again, utterly bewildered.
‘He’s been trying for donkey’s years,’ Gran announced, emerging from the bedroom, various white items from my wardrobe in hand – and one suspiciously grey.
‘But you will keep thwarting the poor boy’s attempts to…’ Gran stopped in order to accept the drink she was proffered. Then, sipping it, she promptly spat it out. ‘Call this a Pimm’s,’ she spluttered, twirling around to head back to the kitchen. ‘Tastes like cat’s pee.’
Harry laughed, a rather strangulated laugh. ‘I never got chance to say yes.’ He shrugged, so boyishly I wanted to hug him to my cleavage, wherein my mouse had possibly passed out. ‘You know, after that, um …’
Really, really, embarrassing thing: my proposal. He’d wanted to get me out of my dress then too. You’ll have to marry me first, I’d slurred merrily. And then was immediately sick, again.
‘So?’ He smiled, his true-blue eyes so twinkly, I swear the lightbulbs paled. ‘How about I carry you over the threshold?’ He nodded mischievously towards the landing. ‘And then get you out of that uncomfortable dress?’
‘Yes and yes!’ I tried not too squeal too inelegantly as he scooped me up in his hairy arms, like some magnificent hero in a romantic movie.
‘Excellent,’ Harry said, his lips a soft breath away from mine.
‘Harry!’ Liam yelled up the hall, as Harry squeezed me and my many layers through the door. ‘Watch the banana …’
Make that a rom com.
What a wonderful ending! Both to the Round Robin and our birthday celebrations. Well done Sheryl
If you’d like the chance to win a copy of The Rest My Life by Sheryl Browne, simply comment on this post or on Facebook/Twitter.
To read Part One by Berni Stevens click HERE.
To read Part Two by Kirsty Ferry click HERE.
To read Part Three by Laura E James click HERE.
To read Part Four by Jane Lovering click HERE.
To read Part Five by Christina Courtenay click HERE.