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The Storyteller

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“You know, it’s funny. I thought you might be making it up just off that name.” The bride said as she began to walk towards the door that lead into the hallway.

“That name?” Jamie asked curiously.

“But then I figured, how could you know that?” Jamie regarded her closely as she continued to speak. “It’s a funny coincidence I suppose. My middle name is Flora.”

“Is that right? Huh.” She knew, of course she knew.

“Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.”

The bride turned to walk out of the large room, walking away from the older woman, exhausted from the late night and the excitement for her wedding that would take place the next day.

Jamie turned back into the room before creeping up to the fireplace in the centre of the wall to look closely at the painting just above it. She brought her hands up to fiddle with the ring that lived on her third finger.

After a few seconds, she heard the old wooden floorboards creek slightly from behind her.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think you wanted rid of me.” She heard the familiar American accent of her lover echo through the room with a small laugh. She turned to meet the mismatched eyes of Dani with a large loving smile.

Dani had decided to keep her head down and stay out of the way until the day of the wedding. Seeing Flora after all this time, aware that she had forgotten her and the events that took place at Bly Manor was something Dani had been struggling with since Owen had told the two of them. 

“You know I tell them it’s a horror story because losing you is my worst nightmare.” Jamie explained as Dani crept closer.

When she finally reached her wife, Jamie placed a kiss on her soft cheek and let her hands rest on her hips.

Dani shook her head at Jamie, pretending to be offended. 

“I just think it’s an important lesson to teach, never to take anyone for granted.” Jamie explained knowing Dani already understood without having to hear Jamie’s justification for killing her off in her stories. 

“Jamie Taylor, look at you all soft!” Dani said playfully. She closed the tiny gap between her and Jamie fully in an embrace, wrapping her arms around her wife’s shoulders. They stood there, in front of the fire, holding each other for a few moments.

Jamie pulled away slowly with a sigh. She was amazed that even after all this time with Dani, their love still felt as intense as it had right at the start. She often wondered how it was possible to never be sick of Dani, even after living and working together, rarely a moment apart.

“You made me soft, Poppins.” Jamie replied finally with a crooked smile. Her hands falling back to their place resting on Dani’s hips.

The nickname always made Dani smile. It had been decades since she last worked with children, yet Jamie insisted on keeping it.

"The most unbelieve part is that you think I'd leave you a note." Dani joked.

"You wouldn't even leave a note?" Jamie asked with fake outrage.

Dani sighed, rolling her eyes. "I mean, I wouldn't be able to leave without saying goodbye. I wouldn't be able to leave, period, but I'd always say goodbye, Jamie."

Jamie wasn't expecting such sincerity. She felt her heart stutter at Dani words.

Dani suddenly and desperately wanted to change the subject before Jamie had a chance to respond, regretting where the conversation had gone. She never wanted to dwell too much on the thought of the inevitable end of their relationship. It had always been one day at a time, it was dangerous for Dani to get caught up in thinking about the future.

"So, how is she? Did she seem happy?"

All Dani ever wanted was to make sure the Wingrave children were happy. She wanted to be thrilled to be invited to the wedding but there was only so deep she could bury the feeling of betrayal that they didn't remember. 

"She did." Jamie said bluntly. "She seems nice and normal. More than we could ever have hoped for coming from that place." Jamie flashed Dani a reassuring smile.

"She's beautiful, too." Jamie continued. "Shame we didn't get the chance to vet her fella though."

Dani laughed. Of course that would be Jamie's biggest concern. Dani had been thinking that Flora was almost lucky to miss out on over-protective Jamie. She knew Jamie wouldn't think any man in the world was good enough for Flora.

"We should get to bed. You can see how happy she is for yourself tomorrow, okay?" Jamie lifted her hands to squeeze Dani's arms and gestured towards the hallway through the door, where they would find their room for the night.

"And hopefully we'll see that Miles grew out of being a little shit." She added, sensing how tense Dani had become.

Dani let out a chuckle before nodding at the suggestion to turn in for the night. She allowed Jamie to take the lead towards their room as Dani followed closely, catching her wife's hand on the way, letting their fingers lock together.