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Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight

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“Jane, have you heard from Sabina? I’ve been trying to call her all week.”

Elena’s voice wobbled slightly between the static of the phone as Jane accepted a glass of something bubbly from her mother and held the phone closer to her ear.

“She messaged yesterday to say the reception where she is is terrible,” Jane smiled. “Don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll fill us in on her trip when we’re all back in LA. What are your plans for tomorrow?”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Elena seemed to brighten immediately. “We’re having everyone round my parents, so by lunch time tomorrow I’ll probably have taken part in at least three talent shows with my nieces and nephews. We’re still calling each other just before midnight though, right? Bring in the New Year together.”

“Yes!” Jane laughed. “I’ll message Sabina to remind her, you know what she’s like. She’ll probably be a few bottles of something in by then but hopefully she’ll be coherent enough to join the call!”

Elena laughed slightly at the thought of Sabina dancing round a chalet singing to whatever music was playing in the background.

“What’s your talent?” Jane asked playfully.

“Huh?”

“For the talent show!” Jane laughed. “I’m guessing you can’t hack into something or disarm a bomb during a family gathering.”

“Jane, they’re all under seven. I could do practically anything and they’d be impressed.”

It was Jane’s turn to laugh.

“Oh, I gotta go,” Elena said hurriedly. “Apparently we’ve ran out of white wine and they need me to go buy more.”

“It was you that drank it all, wasn’t it?”

“Maybe,” Elena laughed. “I blame Sabina, she’s the reason I drink it now.”

“You’re only saying that because she’s not here to argue otherwise.”

“Of course I am!” Elena laughed. “Speak to you tomorrow.”

Jane ended the call and glanced around her mother’s warm sitting room, watching the lights flicker on the Christmas tree. This year had been her third Christmas spent away from London but it was the first year she had a proper team at the Agency. Returning to her mother’s home had been the obvious option in previous years but this year had felt different.

This year she was leaving people behind and Jane had to remind herself that they all had plans elsewhere.

Elena had began decorating HQ at the very beginning of December, and within a week there were more Christmas trees and tinsel in each room than Jane had ever seen before. On more than one occasion she had caught Sabina wearing a headband with wobbling snowmen attached to small springs, her only explanation when Jane raised her eyebrow being ‘Elena’ accompanied with a shrug.

Even Saint and Bosley hadn’t escaped Elena’s decorating enthusiasm but neither seemed the mind the additional fairy lights in the closet or tangled around the gym.

Yet as the festive mood increased so did the tension until finally it felt like one of them was going to implode any time they were in a room together. Jane had noticed how quiet Sabina had grown over the past few weeks, disappearing for hours on end and only returning late at night.

They were supposed to be using the down time to catch up on paperwork before the Christmas break but Elena had taken the opportunity to plan as many festive activities as she could.

They had all gone ice skating, Sabina deciding they should have a competition to find who could skate the fastest which resulted in Jane and Elena colliding into the side of the rink while Sabina laughed from the middle.

And they had spent more than one evening walking the streets of LA with a flask of hot chocolate, watching the fairy lights twinkle in the darkness and the crowds of Santa hats stumble past them.

“One year my brothers tried to eat more chocolate elves than anyone else,” Elena had laughed as they weaved their way between the crowds. “It didn’t end well, my mother was not impressed when they puked before the turkey was ready to carve!”

“My brother tried to help one year and cremated ours,” Jane laughed. “It was unsalvageable. We ended up with chicken nuggets on Christmas Day instead and we both loved it.”

They had smiled and talked and drank more hot chocolate, but Jane had noticed how distant Sabina grew each day.

There were no stories of past family Christmases or Wilson traditions, and any time Jane tried to bring it up Sabina simply changed the subject. Or disappeared again.

And so Jane had stopped asking.

“I can’t believe we won’t be seeing each other until the New Year!” Elena had complained one evening as they sat in the living area together, a festive film playing in the background that no one was paying attention to. “Boz, when do you leave?”

“First thing tomorrow,” she smiled with a yawn. “My sister’s picking me up from the airport and then it’s two full weeks with her and her family.”

“You don’t sound too happy about that,” Jane smirked and Bosley rolled her eyes.

“All I want to do is drink a lot of wine and eat a lot cheese,” Bosley shrugged. “But my sister’s idea of a quiet week is to go walking for hours on end.”

Saint had left for Mexico earlier that day with the promise of bringing them back some proper coffee, and both Elena and Jane were due to fly out to their families later the next day.

“When do you leave for Canada?” Elena asked Sabina who seemed to be lost in her own thoughts, her eyes fixed on the twinkling lights in the corner of the room.

“Hmm,” she mumbled before turning to Elena with a grin. “Oh, the morning after you leave. My cousins are meeting me at the chalet and then it’s straight to the slopes. With any luck we’ll spend Christmas Day in the bar.”

“Please don’t break anything,” Bosley raised an eyebrow. “We have work to do in January.”

“I’ve been skiing since I was a kid, Boz. I’ll be fine.”

“I’ve never been,” Elena mused. “But if the skating was anything to go by I’d probably land on my face. Do you go every year?”

Sabina nodded and stretched out a knot in her shoulder, watching the smile grow on Elena’s face as she launched into another story about ice skating with her siblings when she was younger.

“Oh, I know!” Elena finished the story and jumped to her feet, disappearing from the room.

“What now?” Bosley almost groaned. “If she brings back any more fairy lights-”

But when Elena did return she had a large sheet of paper and a selection of pens, which she lay out on the floor in front of them and knelt down beside. No one questioned what she was doing, the sound of the pens etching across the paper the only thing to fill the room, until she sat back with a smile.

“There.”

“What is it?” Sabina asked with a tilt of her head.

“It’s a countdown,” she shrugged.

The paper was filled with small boxed, each with a number inside.

“The blue boxes are December and the red are January. Then we all have a different colour for when we go and come back,” she grinned, obviously pleased with her efforts.

“Does your December have thirty two days?” Sabina smirked and Elena’s mouth fell open as she turned to the paper, shooting Sabina a scowl when she realised she had been joking.

“Anyway, Saint left yesterday and gets back on the fourth of January,” Elena drew a small star in each box. “Bosley goes today until the fourth too. Jane and I will be back on the third. And Sabina?”

“The second,” she smiled and Elena filled in the paper with a different coloured star for each of them.

“Oh, you’ll be here on your own that evening,” Elena pouted, turning to Sabina.

“Good,” she laughed. “I’ll have the day to recover before you’re back. My cousins like to party as much as I do.”

Jane and Elena had left for the airport together the next day, each receiving a hug and a grin from Sabina as they left, Jane noticing how tightly Sabina seemed to hold on before she pushed them towards the door with choruses of ‘Merry Christmas!’

Jane had fallen into the family routine within hours of being back with her mother and had spent the past week eating her body weight in home cooked meals and chocolate cake. She had managed a short call with Elena and Sabina on Christmas Day in between party games and more food, but hadn’t heard anything more from Sabina until the day before when she had eventually responded to one of her messages.

She hadn’t been concerned at the silence from her team mate, not until Elena’s call. She could no longer imagine her life without Sabina and Elena in it, but she also knew they were very different people.

Whereas she received a message from Elena every night without fail, she had assumed Sabina was too busy partying with her cousins to keep in touch.

But now she was beginning to question herself. She knew Sabina had been unhappy, she had watched the sadness grow in her eyes as the happiness bloomed in Elena’s. She had been struggling and yet Jane had pushed her concerns to the side every time Sabina smiled and joined in with whatever game Elena had conjured up.

Sabina was used to pretending to be someone else. Jane should have spotted the signs sooner. She should have known something was wrong instead of getting caught up in her life outside of the Agency.

Sabina was her family too.

Jane put down her glass of bubbles and pulled out her phone again, hitting Sabina’s number and letting the call ring out. She tried re-dialling three times before sending her a quick ‘call me’ message and leaning her elbows on her knees, her head in her hands.

She had said the reception was bad, that was all. Sabina would see her messages that evening and send her a gif of an eye roll, telling her to stop worrying. That was usually how it went.

“Are you ok, sweetheart?” Her mum’s voice drifted into the room and Jane looked up with a smile that she knew her mum would see straight through. “Are you worried about your friend?”

“No,” Jane answered immediately and felt the lie burn her throat. “Yes.”

“Do you know where she is?”

“I think so.”

Her mum smiled, taking a seat next to Jane and clasping their hands together. Jane used to get annoyed when her mum listened in to her phone calls but had soon realised that she only ever did it to help. She seemed to know when to stick around and when to leave her to it.

“Then why are you still sitting here, go and call the airline. Change your ticket and leave as soon as you can,” her mum smiled, bringing Jane’s hand to her lips and placing a soft kiss on her skin.

“But we had plans for tomorrow,” Jane began but her mum shook her head with a laugh.

“Jane, darling. We’d planned to open a packet of nibbles and watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We can do that when you next visit,” her mum ran a hand through Jane’s hair and stroked her chin. “Anyway, Mr Andrews next door invited me round last week, he’s having an open house so I’ll have plenty of company.”

Her mum’s hand paused on her cheek.

“Go and look after her,” she smiled before pulling Jane into a tight hug. “You can’t start the new year with regrets.”

Jane laughed weakly, tightening the hug. She would never underestimate how her mum always seemed to find the right words when needed.

“Come on, go! Go call them,” her mum laughed as Jane let go and disappeared from the room, her phone at her ear within seconds.

Instinct told her to change her flight for an earlier return to LA. She didn’t know what it was in particular that convinced her Sabina wasn’t in Canada, but within half an hour she had a new flight leaving late the next morning and had packed her bags ready to go.

Her mum had dropped her at the airport with the promise of calling her after midnight and Jane had promised in return to visit as soon as she could. The flight seemed to stretch for hours on end while Jane watched the changing landscape through the plane window and by the time she had reached HQ the darkness had settled again, crowds of party-goers already lining the streets.

“Jane Kano,” she spoke at the gates and watched as the doors clicked open to an equally as dark entrance hall.

HQ was cold when she entered and Jane wrapped her jacket tighter around her waist. She didn’t know what she had been expecting now that she was back. Maybe it was the stark contrast between HQ and the warmth of her mum’s house, but for the first time since becoming an Angel Jane wanted to turn and leave.

Without anyone else there it was just concrete and glass. It wasn’t home.

Maybe Jane had been overthinking things. Maybe Sabina was in Canada after all and the reception was bad, and Jane had just travelled across the country on New Year’s Eve to spend midnight alone in LA.

She knew there was no point in checking Sabina’s apartment; she spent that little time there as it was that there was no way she’d return now.

Jane stepped inside and flicked the light switch, wincing slightly at the warm glow that filled the living area. It was then that Jane noticed the pillows strewn across the floor and empty glasses on every table surface. Elena’s countdown chart had been stuck to the tv screen, each day scribbled in dark black ink up until yesterday’s date.

Jane ran her hand across the paper and felt a lump forming in her throat as she noticed her fingers trembling.

How could she have missed this? She had watched Sabina grow quiet, distant, and not once did she question her apparent enthusiasm at visiting her cousins in Canada. Sabina had on a few occasions disclosed snippets of her childhood in casual conversation, or after one too many cocktails, but otherwise Jane knew very little about Sabina’s upbringing.

She stepped over an empty gin bottle and bumped her foot against a board game they had played a few weeks ago.

“How have you never played Monopoly before?” Jane had asked with her mouth wide open as they had sat around the board.

“I grew up in New York!” Sabina laughed, scanning the pieces. “But I want to be the dog.”

“I‘ve played it,” Elena grinned. “It usually ended up with my brother flipping the board over when he lost.”

“I didn’t have siblings to play it with,” Sabina shrugged. “And my parents would probably have changed the money to the real stuff if they were ever around to play something like this in the first place.”

“My cousin once ate three of the pieces in an attempt to cheat,” Jane added as she tried to distract Sabina from her thoughts.

“Ah, see,” Sabina held up the small metal dog. “I don’t have them either so no one to cheat against. Now come on, someone explain the rules so I can beat you both.”

Jane paused, closing her eyes and running a hand through her hair.

She had spent over a week with her family, had enjoyed Christmas and numerous nights in front of the television wrapped under a thick blanket, and all that time-

“What are you doing here?”

Jane spun round at the sound of her voice to see Sabina standing in front of her wearing an oversized jumper and with a large bottle in each hand. Her cheeks were red, her eyes puffy, and her hair hung over her eyes as she watched her intently.

“You weren’t answering my calls.”

“How did you know where I was?”

Jane wasn’t sure how to answer the question and chose not to try.

“Should I be worried about you?” She asked instead.

“No.”

“Well I am anyway.”

“That’s your problem, not mine.”

Sabina shrugged and brought the bottle to her lips, taking a large gulp and squeezing her eyes closed as the liquid burnt her throat.

“When did you get back?” Jane asked.

“Huh?”

“From Canada. When did you get back?”

“Oh,” Sabina shrugged. “Yesterday.”

There was a pause as Jane scanned the living area and noted the numerous empty glasses.

“You did go to Canada, didn’t you?” Jane asked with a frown, a sinking feeling forming in the pit of her stomach.

“Of course I did!”

“Then show me a photo,” Jane asked, feeling her hands begin to shake. “Just one. Show me a photo of your cousins, or the ski slopes, or whatever breakfast you ordered on Christmas Day.”

“Jane, no,” Sabina groaned, holding her arms out to the sides. “What is this? Don’t you trust me?”

“Always,” Jane answered immediately. “I will always trust you, but I know for a fact that you would tell me what I want to hear if you think it’ll protect me somehow.”

“Protect you from what, Jane?” Sabina’s voice grew louder, wobbling at the edges. “Protect you from my fucked up life?

“You know that’s not what I meant.”

Sabina took another drink and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.

“Then leave it,” Sabina frowned. “Either join me or leave me alone.”

Sabina held out a bottle in Jane’s direction but Jane only crossed her arms.

“Just show me a photo!”

“I didn’t take any!”

“You take a picture of your breakfast everywhere we go, I know you would have taken a hundred before you even got on the slopes.”

“Stop smothering me!” Sabina’s voice caught again, her eyebrows furrowed. “Does it even matter? Does it make any difference where I was for the last week?”

“It does to me!”

Jane realised her voice had risen to match Sabina’s volume and sighed slightly, releasing the tension in her shoulders.

“It does to me, Sabina.”

Jane took a step closer and held out her hands slightly.

“Sabina, this isn’t like you,” Jane spoke quietly, watching as Sabina seemed to sway on the spot.

“How would you know? No one knows me,” Sabina laughed before dropping her voice. “Not really.”

“Will you let me try?”

Sabina looked at Jane and smirked, raising a bottle in her direction.

“No one deserves that, Kano.”

Her arm fell back to her side as she closed her eyes and Jane dared herself to take a step closer.

“Sabina.”

“You don’t have to pretend,” Sabina opened her eyes and took another drink. “You don’t have to pretend to care about me. I’m your team mate, and I trust you, but you have your own family that cares about you. That loves you.”

“You’re my family too, Sabina!” Jane couldn’t help the rise in her voice. “I care about you too. If I’d have known-”

Jane broke off and looked away, shocked at the laugh that came from Sabina’s lips.

“You’d what, Jane? You’d have stayed?” Sabina raised her arms and looked around the messy room. “You’d have stayed here instead of spending time with your mum? I know how excited you were about going. I couldn’t tell you, it wouldn’t have been fair.”

Jane sighed and tilted her head, feeling the tears sting the back of her eyes.

“Sabina, please. Let me help you.”

Sabina frowned, fists clenching tighter on each bottle.

“Say it, Jane! Just say it. Let me fix you.”

A heavy silence cloaked the room as they watched each other before Sabina’s quiet words broke through.

“I’m not broken, Jane. I’m not.”

The look in her eyes was enough for the tears to spill down Jane’s cheeks, her body aching to close the gap between them and wrap Sabina in a warm hug.

“I know, Sabina,” she almost whispered. “I know. But you can’t hide at the bottom of a bottle.”

“Yeah?” Sabina raised an eyebrow. “Well it’s worth a shot.”

She laughed slightly; a manic, slurred laugh that caught in her throat.

“Get it? Worth a shot.”

And she threw back her head with another swig of vodka.

Jane was used to Sabina enjoying a drink. She was the life and soul of any party and Jane had directed her to her room on many occasions after one too many shots. There was a difference between the Sabina that would have a drink to seduce the target and the one that let her hair down with Jane and Elena.

But this was something different. This time Sabina was hurting, and Jane didn’t know how to stop it. Or for how long she had been drinking herself into a lonely abyss.

Sabina was a vivid, screaming colour in an otherwise black and white world. And yet now, standing in front of Jane with her chest heaving and her eyes desperately searching for something Jane was hoping she could offer, she had never seen her look so lost.

“I think you should leave,” Sabina spoke again, her voice catching.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

Silence again as Sabina clenched her fists.

“Fine, then I am.”

Sabina brushed past Jane on her way to the door, bare feet padding on the smooth flooring.

“Sabina, stop!” The forcefulness in Jane’s voice was intended this time and it seemed to work, briefly.

Sabina seemed to freeze, lowering her arms and loosening her grip on the nearly empty vodka bottle. It slowly slipped from her hand and smashed at her feet with a noise that made her jump.

Jane rolled her eyes slightly and took a deep breath to stop the annoyance from showing on her features.

“Leave it,” she spoke but Sabina had already knelt to clumsily scoop up the broken shards, letting out a quiet ‘ouch’ as her thumb caught the edge of the glass.

The thin line of blood that immediately started running down her hand seemed to entrance her as she sat on the floor and let it trickle down the length of her arm, her eyes fixed on the new injury.

“Sabina.”

Jane knelt in front of her and took a hold of her hand, raising it slightly.

“What is wrong with you?” She asked without thinking and instantly regretting the words.

“Now that’s the million dollar question,” Sabina mumbled in return, placing the other bottle beside her and closing her eyes.

“Stay there.”

Jane grabbed the medical box from the kitchen and brought it back to Sabina, emptying it in front of her. She smiled slightly at the colourful bandages inside that Sabina had insisted Saint buy when he had last complained that she was using up his supplies. Finding what she needed, Jane took Sabina’s hand in hers again and cleaned the deep wound on her thumb.

Sabina didn’t flinch.

Jane taped the dressing in place and held Sabina’s hand tighter.

“Why?” Sabina asked, barely audible.

Jane looked up and Sabina shrugged slightly.

“Why does it matter to you?” She asked again and Jane tilted her head.

“I’d never have left if I knew you’d be on your own at Christmas,” Jane admitted and was sure she could see something change in Sabina’s eyes.

“It’s just a day,” Sabina shrugged again. “What difference does it make?”

Jane felt a tear run down her cheek.

“I don’t deserve Christmas,” Sabina muttered and Jane let go of her hand, moving to sit next to her and kicking away the broken glass at their feet.

She cautiously wrapped an arm around Sabina’s shoulder and pulled her in to her side until she finally felt Sabina relax.

“You deserve to be happy,” Jane spoke, running her hand through Sabina’s hair. “You deserve to feel safe and loved and like you belong. I know your parents can’t give you that but Sabina, we’re your family now. Ok? We look after each other. We love each other. And you will always belong with us.”

Sabina sniffed and wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand.

“You have to speak to us about these things,” Jane continued. “No matter what you’re feeling we can work it out together. And this-” Jane picked up the unbroken bottle. “This isn’t the answer.”

Sabina nodded slowly and Jane glanced to the clock on the wall, noticing how Sabina shivered under her arm.

“It’s nearly eleven,” Jane soothed, her hand running down Sabina’s arm. “Come on, lets go warm up. We can wait for the New Year together.”

Jane pulled Sabina to her feet and guided her past the broken glass to her room, pulling back the sheets and scanning Sabina’s skin for any more cuts as she climbed on the bed. Turning on the tv she pulled out her phone and sent a quick message to Elena:

‘You were right. I’m back in LA but don’t think the call is going to work out. I’ll explain tomorrow but don’t worry about us. Happy New Year for when it comes xx’

“I’ll be right back, ok?” Jane left for the kitchen, filling a glass of water for Sabina and letting the tension finally leave her limbs. The broken glass could wait until the morning as could the pillows and blankets that scattered the room. Sabina had obviously been spending her nights on the sofa while alone.

“Jane?”

She smiled slightly at the tiredness in Sabina’s voice as she grabbed the glass of water and returned to Sabina’s room, pausing at the door.

“Yeah?”

“Did you mean it?” Sabina asked, her voice trembling. “About us being a family?”

“Of course I did!” Jane laughed, placing the water on Sabina’s bedside table and climbing under the sheets with her. Sabina instantly positioned herself against Jane’s side and pulled the duvet higher, leaning her head against Jane’s chest as she tucked under her arm. “Saint’s the weird uncle that everyone loves and who lets you get away with things your parents never would.”

“And Boz is the older sister who likes to mother you and scald you whenever you do something you shouldn’t,” Sabina added.

“Well you would have experience with that,” Jane smirked and Sabina laughed against her chest. “And Elena’s the younger sister with all the energy and enthusiasm to play board games and annoying Christmas music from the very beginning of December.”

There was a silence again, comforting this time.

“Then what does that make us?” Sabina asked quietly and Jane pulled her closer, resting her cheek on Sabina’s head.

“We’re whatever we need to be,” she whispered, a tingling in her fingers and a flutter in her chest that she didn’t want to consider in too much detail.

This wasn’t the time or place to let those feelings surface, not when she had finally managed to calm Sabina down.

They remained tucked up together, watching an old comedy sketch on the tv, until Jane felt Sabina’s breathing grow heavy as she fell asleep.

Ten minutes to midnight.

Jane tightened her grip around Sabina and let her blonde hair tickle her cheek. It hadn’t been the way she had planned on ending the year but right now, she wouldn’t change a thing. Not that she was happy at how they had got into their current situation. Thinking about it, she would probably change the mini meltdown and broken glass.

Jane wasn’t one to make resolutions, she never had been. But she promised herself as the minutes ticked closer to midnight that she would get to know Sabina better. To see past the bubbly exterior and get to know the real Sabina that she kept so well hidden from everyone around her.

She was an expert at pretending to be someone else but maybe, if Sabina trusted Jane enough, she’d finally open up.

Five minutes to go.

There was no way Sabina was going to wake up before the morning.

Jane pulled out her phone and clumsily found Elena’s name with her left hand, her right still holding Sabina close. Elena picked up almost immediately, her warm smile filling her screen. Jane didn’t miss the look of concern in her eyes as she ducked out of the busy kitchen and into the hallway.

“Sorry,” Jane spoke quietly. “If you’re busy-”

“No, no this is perfect,” Elena grinned. “I just wasn’t expecting you to call after your message earlier. What happened? Where are you?”

Jane held out her hand so Sabina was visible on camera and heard Elena sigh slightly.

“She didn’t go to Canada, did she?”

“Nope,” Jane shook her head and moved the phone closer again. “I’ll explain properly when you’re back but don’t worry until then. She’ll be fine.”

“And you?” Elena asked. “How are you?”

Jane smiled and felt the tears sting the back of her eyes again. That was their Elena, always thinking of everyone else.

“I’m fine,” Jane nodded. “I promise. Just tired.”

Elena nodded, as if satisfied that Jane was telling the truth, and looked over her shoulder.

“Three minutes to go,” she stated.

“If you want to-”

“No,” Elena grinned. “I’m spending midnight with you two. There’s so many people in there they won’t notice I’ve gone for at least ten minutes.”

Jane smiled and looked down at Sabina again.

“Next year we need to work out something different for Christmas,” Jane stated and Elena nodded in agreement.

“Agreed,” she smiled sadly. “As much as I love my family, this year has been manic. I’m up for a quiet one in LA next year, just the three of us.”

“And my mum’s thinking of visiting my brother in Australia,” Jane nodded. “Next Christmas we’ll make it special. One to remember.”

Sabina stirred and tucked herself in closer, the voice on the tv announcing the countdown was about to start.

“Ten seconds,” she smiled and Elena grinned in response as they counted down together. Jane could hear Elena’s family cheer in the background and the fireworks begin from outside HQ.

“Happy New Year, Jane!” Elena bounced on the spot, spinning around and holding her phone at arm’s length.

Jane laughed at the happiness on her features.

“Happy New Year,” she repeated, running her hand through Sabina’s hair again as a young girl appeared behind Elena and grabbed her legs. “Looks like you need to go.”

“Yeah,” Elena laughed. “It would seem so. I’ll call you in the morning, yeah?”

“Speak to you soon,” Jane nodded as the line went dead and she dropped her phone on to the bed beside her.

Sighing heavily she slouched under the sheets, repositioning Sabina next to her.

“Happy New Year, Sabina,” she whispered, leaning down to kiss the top of her head before resting her own back against the pillows.

The year had brought Jane many things, despite the hardships along the way. She’d forever miss Edgar and the way he’d push her in the gym, his caring nature hidden behind his stern exterior. But it had also given her Elena, now a fully formed Angel. And brought her so much closer to the feisty blonde now tucked under her arm.

There were worse ways to spend the beginning of a new year, she thought to herself.

Jane had waited until her mum called, reassuring her that she had made the right decision to return early, before switching off the bedside lamp and falling asleep beside Sabina, letting the tv play in the background.

She didn’t know what the new year would bring but she did know one thing.

When they were together, they could get through anything.