They grew up best friends, both of them never wanting to admit their feelings for the other.
Until one day.
A hot summer day, in the holiday cottage of his parents he finally confessed to loving her. And everything fell apart.
She left, terrified and confused and didn’t say a word. High school sweethearts torn apart and he was left behind, confused.
Anger consumed him, rage and rejection seemed his only company.
She returned, after years in college and getting her life back on track. She had never moved on, she had tried.
She has a party, a welcome home celebration and he is invited.
Maisie did remember they would fall asleep on video call to one another, she’d even woken up before him once and saw him comfortable at his desk, asleep. She wondered why he hadn’t gone to bed that night when she had fallen asleep.
“Dads always grumpy about something.” She said with a giggle. Carter had always been great with kids, he’d always had a way with them and Maisie had always been quieter around kids, unsure of how to approach or what to do. She guessed being a single child she never really got the experience of other kids.
“Why don’t we share something?” Maisie suggested and eyed over the menu. She knew this place was expensive and she wasn’t hard for money but she just didn’t want Carter to feel like she was the sort of girl who needed flash things and expensive dinners to be happy.
“I tell you what, let’s split some of the cake and ice cream and then have a walk through the park, so long as you don’t steal all the ice cream.” She said.
“You used to steal all of the milkshake at the parlour when we were kids. You knew my favourite was banana and you always stole the cream off the top.” She giggled softly at the memory. She had never really cared, except for a whiny complaint here and there. Tonight had been so special and Maisie wouldn’t ever forget it. She didn’t want it to end, because when it ended it meant she had to face reality tomorrow.
“Falling asleep on the phone,” Carter said with a chuckle. Those were good times, great memories that he would forever hold. It made him miss them, but there was no doubt that they wouldn’t have more to make. Already the night as turning into one and he was sure to catalogue away. “Yeah and your dad was upset the whole time until he saw how happy you were.” Carter hadn’t really thought about it much, but he and Maisie had spent a lot of time together actually, so much so that one would’ve thought they were dating. And it was only proof to show that maybe they were meant to be with one another. Still, he wondered what would have happened had Maisie not come bac? Would he have finally found the courage to just send her a message and rekindle things? Sure, he had been scorned, but that didn’t mean that there wasn’t a day that he didn’t think about her. In fact, there was plans of the high school reunion coming up and he had wondered if she would show up.
Caty had kept up with her as much as possible via social media, but Carter had just never had the courage or maybe he was just too embarrassed considering how badly he had handled things. That was nothing to dwell on though. Here he was having a romantic date with Maisie, talking about buying houses and children – talking about finally being able to confront traumatizing pasts with the hopes to finally move on.
“Too quiet? Definitely the words of a single child,” he said with a chuckle. “Though, I will admit having a sibling is fun. Don’t tell Caty that though.” He was eager to eat, knowing that the restaurant had good food. This dinner was something different though, he found that he was enjoying himself much more than when he was with Gabriella. “Me a softy?” he asked with faux shock. “Well, I guess you’re right.” Carter had always loved kids; he used to volunteer at the local youth baseball camp when he was younger.
“So, what about dessert?” he asked as he looked over the menu. They were a bit expensive, but it was a special night. “Whatever you want.” He said. The night was still; young, or maybe he was taking advantage of his time with Maisie. “Maybe we can take a walk through the park?”
Maisie watched him and gave a brief smile at the memory. It had been stupid of him to drive and she had been nervous the whole way home. Of course the cop knew her dad, and she had been given a real third degree when she had gotten home. Her father had almost forbid her from seeing Carter ever again and thankfully her mother had intervened and pointed out no harm was done and all the teenagers had been shaken up by the experience and wouldn’t be doing it again. She had been grounded though.
“Didn’t we just video call all week after we both grounded?” She commented with a small giggle.
“Well, until our moms outsmarted our dads year inviting each other for dinner so we could see each other.” She said with a laugh.
She paused at his question about kids and thought for a while. She’d have loved children, eventually. But anytime she had tried to get more intimate with men, it always served for flashbacks of that night in the subway and had ended in disaster. Maisie figured she didn’t need to bother Carter with that,
“I’d like kids. Definitely more than one though, being a single child is too quiet.” She pointed out with a smile as their food arrived. It looked divine and tasted perfect. Maybe two was a good number to go with if she ever found the right person, she couldn’t help the feeling she was looking at the perfect person when she looked to Carter.
“I always said you’d be a great father, just not when it comes to telling them off. You’re a soft touch.” Maisie said with a smile, teasing him of course. She couldn’t see kids in her own future, anytime she got close to someone and they ended up in bed, it only served for panic attacks and offended men. She’d made more than one man angry at her for her responses, shoving them off and trying to catch her breath. It was hardly romantic.
“Well after knowing you for so long I would hope that you didn’t change,” Carter said. Though, the Maisie he knew was not the same of course. That didn’t change his feelings about her and like him, the changes were only signs of growth. It made it exciting for him to get to know Maisie as their relationship progressed. He knew not to get ahead of himself, they had to take things slow considering what she was going through. It in a way felt like getting to know her all over again, but it was rewarding to know that some things about Maisie hadn’t changed, like her smile or sense of humor. He still grinned just at the sound of her laugh.
“Well, of course why wouldn’t he be protective of you?” He asked with a smile. “Especially considering how I almost got us killed that night we came back from the beach.” It was a stupid decision for Carter to drive them home, even after drinking, but Caty had passed out in the backseat with her boyfriend and Maisie was still not comfortable behind the wheel. Fortunately, they hadn’t gotten in an accident, but Carter had run a red light and they were pulled over. They were let off with a warning, but the cop knew Maisie’s father and of course had brought up what happened. He thought he would never see Maisie again after that, especially considering his mother had grounded him for a whole month. Caty of course got a shorter sentence. He was the [I oldest] and he should’ve been smarter with his decision. Carter had certainly learned his lesson.
Her mother had always had a soft spot for him through and had convinced her husband that Carter would never intentionally mean to put Maisie’s life in danger. He always suspected that she was aware of his feelings for her daughter.
“When have you known me to talk about trains?” He asked with a chuckle. “Cars and tools, that’s all my niece will know.” He said. “And if I ever have kids that’s all mine will know.” The waiter had returned then with their meals and to freshen up their drinks. Carter realized the topic of conversation had somewhat swayed then. “You think you’ll ever have kids” he asked then suddenly.
Of course Carter had helped with this place, she so often forgot that he was a man now and not the same teenager he had been. Maisie still couldn’t believe that he had helped to create such a wonderful place and it really was beautiful. Maisie glanced to the menu and thought for a while, she did like pasta and seafood and figured the seafood pasta was sure to be a good hit. She gave him a smile at his suggestion and nodded,
“You know me too well.” She pointed out but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Maisie looked over to him when he reached over and held her hand, it still made her blush every time he looked at her that way. Had he looked at her like that when they were younger and she had just missed it? She couldn’t know but she bet he had, the same way she had often found herself looking at him, captured by how he looked in the lighting or how he smiled.
“You don’t have to have me home by eleven.” She said to him with a small laugh,
“Just don’t tell my father, he might string you up.” She remarked to him as the waiter came around to take their order and Maisie figured she would go with Carter’s suggestion of the seafood pasta.
“My dad likes you, you know. He just has to act the tough old man because I’m the only daughter.” She commented with a small smile. Her father had always been protective whereas her mother had been a lot more forgiving and encouraging.
“Mom loves you, sometimes more than me.” She jokes and it wasn’t a total lie. Her mother had always been fond of Carter and she supposed parents could see things their children couldn’t.
“So, you’re going to be an uncle, right? Are you gonna be a cool uncle or are you going to be the weird, boring uncle who talks about trains and stuff all the time?” She teased him with a small laugh.
Maisie e was impressed and that was more than he could ever ask for. It made him sigh out with relief, glad that she would be enjoying herself. He wondered if she was just as nervous as he was. “I’ve made a lot of connections. I worked on the blueprint for this place before I started my company. Miles father had given me my first lead job.” The restaurant was a nice cute place for their charming small town, and despite it being so expensive, it was still a must go to. Carter had reached for the menu, thanking the waiter as they soon left to give them time to look it over. “I have to admit, I’ve only been here once.” He said with a laugh. Of course, that had been with his ex and Carter knew Maisie wasn’t the jealous type, but he’d already bought Gabriella up too much. I was time to let that part of his life go. It was bad to say, but Carter was already having a much better time with Maisie.
Carter had let Gabriella do much of the ordering as he hadn’t really experienced a=anything outside of fast food and home cooked meals. This was a finer dining experience. Though, she had been patient with him, the date had been mostly her talking about herself. Carter took a sip of the wine; it was interesting to him then how he hadn’t noticed such signs when dating her. He looked up from the menu then at Maisie.
“Well, everything sounds good. I suppose maybe seafood wouldn’t hurt, can never go wrong with pasta? Dessert always is the most important to not mess up,” he said with a wink. He felt like Maisie deserved the best, especially after what she was going through currently. It was enough to be attacked in the first place, but to return back to the case was traumatizing he would think. Carter reached his hand out to take Maisie’s, it was weird how he still felt shy about [I making a move] on her. “I wanted you to feel special.” He said. She looked beautiful with the setting sun behind her. “So, this means I don’t have to have you home by 11?” He teased.
Maisie was nervous and even though she knew she had no reason to be, it still didn’t stop the butterflies in her stomach when carter said she looked stunning. She shook her head with a laugh when he said he was a ‘loser’ and Maisie figured he would never see his own worth. Carter had his entire life ahead of him, he was smart and handsome and had such a wonderful personality, he always knew exactly what to say. She eyed him and honestly she hadn’t heard of this new place he was taking her to. She figured it must have opened when she left but it did sound quite magical. She wasn’t disappointed.
Maisie stared around the place as they pulled up and looked to Carter,
“How did you manage this?” She asked him, a little taken aback as they were shown to their seating outdoors. It was beautiful and the lighting was just perfect with the whimsical, fantastical theming. She looked to Carter as he pulled her seat out for her, when had he become such a gentleman? She gave a soft giggle and pressed a kiss to his cheek,
“You’ve fine amazing, this place is stunning.” She said to him with a bright smile as she couldn’t stop looking around. It was beautiful, everything just seemed magical and she finally looked over to Carter when he took his seat, he was really something else and she couldn’t believe he had done all of this. She didn’t deserve it, not after running away and abandoning him instead of confiding in him.
A waiter approached and poured a glass of wine and a glass of water for them both and Maisie had to admit somewhere like this made her feel so special and being with Carter somehow made it perfect, how did he manage to do that? She smiled a little as they were given menus and she looked it over, no matter how hard it was to keep her eyes off of Carter.
“What’s the best thing to get here?” She asked him. This was their first official date, she supposed. They probably had so many before this when they were teenagers; the movie trips, the drive-ins, the shared milkshakes at the local diner and everything in between but that had always been as friends with chemistry, this felt more intimate.
“Thanks, for this. You couldn’t have chosen a better place.” Maisie said to him. Her parents were out of town, she didn’t have to watch the clock like when she was younger. She could just be herself and be at peace with Carter and his company. At least until things started rolling with the case. She had already sent off numerous emails and communications about locations and other victims and similarities. Was Carter really going to go through it all with her, listen to the grisly details and still not change how he saw her?
Carter couldn’t believe that he and Maisie were actually going on a date. He felt nervous and some pat of him wondered if maybe he would arrive to find she had changed her mind. He knew that Maisie had reason for why she had denied him and now knowing why, he felt guilty for how he had acted toward her. Yet, now that his fantasy was finally coming to fruition, he was in a whole different sense of shock. That said, he was incredibly nervous by the time he got to her place and before he had gotten out of the car, he had spent time giving himself a pep talk. He wasn’t sure how to react around her. Was it okay to hold her hand? To kiss her. Things at the lake house had gone well, but he still figured Maisie would like to take things slow and why not? There was no rush, now that she had decided to stick around. Still, she had a lot on her plate and Carter felt like what they had was so fragile and delicate, that it was only right that they take their time.
“I know, I clean up nice.” He said with a chuckle. “Of course, you look great.” Carter said as he leaned in to kiss her cheek, his hand at her hip. He didn’t think that Maisie ever had a day when she didn’t take his breath away.
“Ah, the one you don’t like?” He teased. He had only met Aunt Ruth once and she was not really someone you wanted to spend a lot of time around. The face Maisie made was accurate to how he felt when she had visited. He’d dropped by to give Maisie back her book she left in his car and her aunt had made it out to be something of a big deal. How funny that at that time she accused the two of being together which was completely not the case.
Now here he was going on a date with Maisie, something he had imagined quite a few times. This was different than a trip to the movies or going out for ice cream; at those times, it was a big deal for him, but they weren’t dating. They were just friends hanging out. Now there seemed to be a bit of pressure as they both had come to confess their feelings for one another. Carter was intent on not messing this up. He wanted this to be one of the many best nights they were to have with another.
“I’m just glad you agreed to go out with a loser like me,” he teased. Though, Maisie thought highly of him. She always had been his biggest supporter, well other than his mom or sister. He opened the passenger door of the car for her to get in. “I think the dress definitely works better,” he told her. “You look stunning.” Carter found himself lost in her gaze before chuckling, turning his head to hide the reddening of his cheeks, but that did little. He realized they were running short on time though and what he had planned depended on them making it before sunset. “We should get going, you’re going to love this place.” Carter said. Once settled, he got into the car. “There’s this one place I neglected to mention that has become really popular as of late. This cute farm to table place: The Secret Garden.” It wasn’t so much of a secret as it was just a cute little building downtown. It had a very fantastical vibe though, the entrance being a black iron gate. The pathway was lit with small lights toward what one would consider a cozy little cottage. It didn’t seat may people which provided a cozy and intimate setting.
“I managed to get us outdoor seating, very hard.” He told her. There were a few tables outside, white sheets covering the tabletops and gold painted chairs. Around them were clusters of different flowers, faux fireflies dangling from wires above them. He’d made the reservation so that they’d be able to enjoy the sunset together. After confirming, they were shown to their table. “So? Did I do good?” He asked with a smile as he pulled her seat out for her.
Maisie was making sure she looked as nice as possible without overdoing it. This was just dinner, and she had imagined how this would go so many times in her head as a teenager. It sounded silly now but back then, before the dreaded event, she had often tried to figure out how a date between them would go and she could never quite get the details perfect. It had seemed farfetched back then, like it would never actually happen. Maisie felt self-conscious and she wanted to try and prove to herself that she wasn't worth nothing.
Maisie heard the doorbell and took a deep breath, opening the door and smiling at Carter. He looked great and she wasn't sure she had seen him looking this smart before. Maybe on the odd occassion but he looked better now he was older and more mature.
"You look, I mean... Wow." She said to him quietly and hid the blush on her cheeks, giggling awkwardly.
"My parents are out for the next few days, visiting Aunt Ruth." Maisie made a face at that because her Aunt Ruth had always been a bit of a character, stuck up and older.
"Thank you for this." She said to him quietly, getting out with just him was exactly what she needed and she wanted nothing more than to spend time with him. It took her mind off the case and everything else that had gone on. He just had that effect somehow. She looked to the floor and sighed out,
"You really are something you know?" She said to him with a tender smile as she followed him to the car. Tonight was about relaxing and having fun and maybe laughing about the past.
"Sorry, no cheerleaders outfit." She said to him with a shake of her head and knowing laugh. Somehow after all these years it just felt like nothing had changed, like they were still great friends with electricity sparking between them. She loved Carter, she always had and she didn't think she would ever stop.
He would be happy in the home and Maisie was only further convincing him it was a good idea. Maybe she was right to suggest he just take the leap and put in an offer. He really wanted the house and he felt like it was a right step in the direction of fully getting his life together to a point he’d be happy. Things were going well at work and with Maisie; what could go wrong? Carter looked to her, smiling as he thought about the possibility of her coming by and them enjoying a trip to the beach or even just relaxing on the balcony, sharing a laugh and reminiscing about old times . . . about a future with one another. They had both bene so young when he confessed his love for her, and they were moving inn opposite directions. Carter had always suspected that Maisie had gotten married and had children. He was angry, but soon his anger had grown into a sad sense of jealousy as he wondered if maybe his life would have picked up after her, had he decided to go to school. Though she was successful, he wondered if he had prevented himself from growth by staying home. Even now with his career, he was still plagued with the constant thoughts of ‘what if’. With Maisie returning though, it was proving to him that maybe it wasn’t too late to change one’s life; it wasn’t too late for them.
“I was thinking of that cheerleader’s uniform,” he teased her. He kissed her cheek back, his hand grabbing hers for just a second, just to feel that connection. Though, he found it hard to let go. He’d missed her, badly. He missed her smile and the way she laughed; thinking about all those months she must’ve cried after what happened to her had truly hurt him. He never wanted Maisie to have to experience that sort of pain. That said, he hoped she had managed to heal well enough to put herself through the torture once more as she was trying to solve her cold case. He just wanted her to know that if she ever needed him, he was going to be there at her side. He would never think any less of her.
“Midnight? I’m sure Papa Kent would prefer before then.” Despite them being friends, her father had always kept a close eye on Carter, especially when taking her out. He understood his need to be protective of Maisie though as she was his only daughter. Carter himself had reacted the same way with his sister Caty. “Alright, let’s get out of here. I don’t live here, [I yet].” He said with a wink. He’d drove back to the office, letting Maisie know he would text when he was on the way, teasing that she would probably need a few extra hours considering how long it took women to get ready. His time with her had greatly improved his day and made it easy for him to relax when he attended his meeting.
By the time he was off, he was practically shaking with excitement, trying not to drive too fast as he headed home for a quick shower and to change.
“Where exactly are you going?” Caty asked as she noticed Carter practically running up the stairs.
“I’ve got a date.” He said to her, to which Caty’s eyes lit with joy. “And don’t you say anything.” He knew she was quick to tease him, all in good fun of course.
“Carter and Maisie sitting in a tree – “
Carter had rolled his eyes, escaping her childhood ways as he continued upstairs.
After showering, he went through a bunch of dress shirts before he found one that looked casual enough to show he wasn’t trying hard to impress Maisie, despite that being exactly what he was doing. He found some dark slacks and left his hair untamed, pushing the strands back and glad they were cooperating for once. He’d shot Maisie a text and eventually made his way to her apartment, not before stealing a flower from the garden to give to her. He rang the doorbell once reaching her doorstep.
Maisie looked around and then back to Carter,
"I can see you living here, you know? And that view every day would never get boring." She couldn't imagine waking up to this kind of place. New York was loud, busy and the lights never seemed to go out. That's why she loved the lake, she could see the stars up there.
"I think you should take it, Carter. You'd be happy here, right?" She murmured but she couldn't make the decisions for him. She knew only eh would know what would make him happy.
"Hm?" Maisie looked him over when he asked her out to dinner and she nodded,
"Alright, but if this is an excuse to get me into a dress then I'll poke your eyes out." She said to him with a small smile.
"So... are you going to pick me up, have me back by midnight?" She said with a soft laugh. She wandered over to him and kissed his cheek,
"Come on then, I'll need a while to get dinner ready." Especially after today she would need to shower and sort her hair and everything. She wanted to make an effort for him.
Once she was home, she tidied away some papers and was glad her parents were away for the next few days at least, she would avoid any awkward questions and she went for a shower, fixing her hair and finding an old dress she hadn't really worn before. It was knee length, flowy and evidently made for summer nights. She sorted out her heels and let her hair down around her face.
At one point in time Carter had considered going to school for architecture. Building and working on things with his hands had always been a hobby of his. Yet, when his mom got sick, he felt like his father needed their help and staying home just seemed to make more sense. He didn’t regret that he was able to spend his time with his mother as her health declined, but there were days he often thought about where his life would have turned had he decided to go to school and sometimes he thought about taking the chance. He was still young, he had time and with the bigger projects that he was coming into, it was serving well for his savings account.
“Well every bachelor needs a bar,” Carter teased Maisie. He followed with Maisie, walking along the house. He was glad his hard work was being recognized and appreciated it. It meant a lot coming from Maisie, who’s opinion had always mattered to him. “Well, it’s not mine yet. It seems I made it too good, there is already a family interested in buying. I’d have to make the decision quick.” He was taking his time with putting an offer in, not sure if he really was ready for a house. Moving out of his father’s home was no longer questionable, but maybe he was thinking it best to start out small.
“If so, the of course a housewarming party is a given. Though, there is no way that you are convincing me to put anything pink anywhere in here.” He said “Besides, I would assume you wouldn’t be in the guest room.” Carter looked down at his phone which had chimed from his back pocket. He had to get back to work as one of the men involved with the project would be arriving soon to look at the blueprints.
“So, since you brought me lunch,” Carter said as he leaned against the wall, looking Maisie then, “Why don’t I take you to dinner? Tonight?”
“You didn’t even try to hide it, you were snoring.” Maisie said to him with a nudge. She loved being by the sea, especially in summer when it was warm. Her red hair meant she nearly never tanned but it was nice all the same. She followed Carter and eyed the house, she was honestly lost for words.
“It’s beautiful, Carter.” She could completely see him relaxing on the balcony and soaking up the sun. He’d always liked the peace and quiet.
“A bar, huh?” She giggled a little. The house was wonderful and she was really impressed that Carter had designed all this. She never really thought about him settling down, it had always seemed too painful to think that he would just move on, even if she knew deep down she did want that for him. There was no reason he couldn’t be happy.
“This is going to be amazing when it’s finished. It’ll be like living in your very own palace, Carter.” She giggled softly. It was odd how magnificent it was and yet so humble in a lot of ways. Just like Carter.
“Okay, okay. But you have to promise me something.” She said to him and gave a gentle smirk.
“You’ll need to throw a housewarming party. Maybe a barbecue or something.” A beach barbecue with that view would be stunning and Maisie was really pleased for Carter.
“Do I get dibs on a guest room?” She asked him, cheekily. “If so I would like it really pink and fluffy, just to embarrass you.” She said with a laugh.
Maisie inspected some of the rooms and she had to admit Carter had done very well. It was spacious but still cosy and comfortable. The floors needed work but by the time that was all done, Carter would have a wonderful place to call his own.
“Yeah, I was just as shocked. Some people aren’t a big fan of it, they like the charm of the small town. Everything eventually changes though you know?” He was surprised that Maisie was so excited to see the house, though he figured with what she had been spending her time doing, anything was just as exciting as long as it didn’t deal with that nightmare. “Yes really; come on!” Maisie didn’t know it, but he needed a break too and he had missed her already since the weekend. They headed to his car carter deciding to take the lead on driving so she wouldn’t have to deal with taking directions.
They were heading about an hour away, closer to the beach. He always knew he wanted to live by the water. The houses were a bit pricier, but Carter had been saving up for a while. It was an investment he was thinking the hardest about actually taking the leap on.
“You’re judging my driving really? How long did it take you to get your license again?” He teased back as he looked at her briefly. He had brought the windows down a little, the smell of the sea getting more intense the closer they go to the house and the wind blowing Maisie’s auburn strands.
They’d finally reached the house then; he pulled into the driveway. Just behind the home was the large expanse of the sea: it was a beautiful beachfront property. Each house was stretched out from one another. This house was a two-story building, that had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was painted a soft blue and resembled something like a really nice beach house. Though on the inside it was more modern, ivory white counters and high ceilings. There was even a nice balcony that extended from the master bedroom which would make for beautiful nights enjoying staying under the stars.
He looked to Maisie as he worked to find the keys for the house. He looked back at Maisie. “Yes, the woman next to me didn’t take kindly to my power nap during the second half.” He had been incredibly bored, but he would have done anything for Maisie and that meant sitting through a two-hour recital just to see her dance for all of but thirty minutes. “I still think you were the best onstage,” he said with a smile. Carter unlocked the front door.
“So, what do you think? We’ve still got to go over the flooring once more, I want it to shine and there was some talk about building in a bar over in that unfinished corner.”
Maisie watched Carter as he spoke and she couldn’t help but smile at his worry,
“I’m fine. Im glad I’m taking a break though.” She said to him as she watched him speak about his latest designs and work and she smiled a little. It was so strange to see him grown and working but it was wonderful.
“Les miserables? Really?” She couldn’t quite believe it. Their town had always been so sleepy and small and yet here it was, expanding and moving with the times. She eyed him as he stood up,
“Wait really?” She said with a smile, getting to her feet and she was excited to see everything.
She really was excited to go along and she figured they would take Carter’s car,
“Carter I don’t know where you learned to drive but you should get a refund.” She giggled, teasing him but his driving was fine, at least better than hers probably given she rarely ever drove in New York. It was always too busy and the traffic was a nightmare. It was easier to get a cab or bus down to wherever you needed be.
Maisie stepped outside the car at the theatre and she thought for a while,
“You remember when I made you sit through that awful ballet that one year?” She said with a small laugh. Carter had looked bored beyond belief but whenever he had caught Maisie checking him, he had smiled and pretended it was the greatest thing ever to save her feelings but she had known he had sat through it all for her.
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