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The Braemar Bed & Breakfast

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Friday 24th December 2021

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It was now Friday and everyone was adding the final touches for the party. They had a birthday breakfast for Bren and Ajay to let them open their presents from everyone. The B&B was officially closed for the Christmas and New Year. Bren and Tony were in the kitchen with Morag and Anna who helped them make the food for tonight. The dinnerladies, Stan, Philippa, Ajay and Liv all helped Amy and Hamish with decorating the pub. Hamish’s wife, Eileen, also popped in after eleven to help with the food. It was fairly relaxed in the pub, they had music playing and all chatted happily as they put up balloons and bunting. Amy and Ajay laughed as they sung along to the Girls Aloud song playing through the speakers.

“What was the dance to this again?” Ajay asked, “Y’know the bit when they’re walking back and forth in front of the camera?”

“Oh, it’s like this.” Amy started walking back and forth, “Remember Cheryl and Kimberley walk really slow in it.”

“Yeah, yeah. And then Nicola, Sarah and ‘Nadine’ all walk fast.” Ajay replied as he put on a Northern Irish when he mentioned Nadine Coyle.

“‘Born fifteenth of the sixth, eighty five making me a Gemini’.” Amy quoted also in a Northern Irish accent. The two laughed. As they talked, Lewis walked into the pub. He was looking around for Amy and spotted her quickly. He rushed over to her and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned and smiled when she saw him, “Hi, Lewis. You alright?”

“Can I talk to you?” Lewis asked. Quite abruptly actually.

“Yeah. Yeah, of course. Liv, can you help Ajay with these lights?” Amy asked. She handed Liv the lights she held before her and Lewis went off to a quiet corner of the pub, “You okay?”

“Aye. Listen, I can’t stay for long but I’m not gonna make it tonight.” Lewis said.

“What?”

“I know, I know.”

“What’s happening?”

“I applied for a job in Glasgow. Ages ago but they got back to me last night and said I have an interview today. I need to leave now. I only saw it this morning, I’m really sorry.”

“When did you apply for a job in Glasgow? You never told me that.”

“It was ages ago. I was trying to keep my options open.”

“What’s it for?”

“Some office job. Y’know I did think about moving there, I wanted to get a job before I went.”

“Yeah.” Amy nodded, crossing her arms as she bowed her head.

“I’m sorry, Ams. I really am. I genuinely forgot about it, I didn’t think they’d get back so late.” Lewis rested his hands on Amy’s upper arms as he rubbed them, “I mean, it’s Christmas Eve eh?”

“It’s fine. You should go. You’ll do well.” Amy forced a smile.

“Are you sure?” Lewis’ eyes widened.

“Yeah! Get your life going. Don’t worry about this.” Amy replied, “I know you’ve wanted to go to Glasgow for ages. This is your time.”

“I knew you’d understand.” Lewis smiled before hugging Amy. She laughed but bit her lip. He broke off the hug, “I am sorry. I’ll get back asap.”

Amy watched as Lewis left in a rush. Liv nudged Ajay as she watched Amy and Lewis. Ajay turned to look at them and saw that Amy looked sad. He watched as Lewis looked away and he frowned. 

“Stan? Could you do these lights?” Ajay turned to Stan who was just walking past.

“Roger Wilco.” Stan nodded, “Put me to good use.”

Ajay went over to Amy. She stood at the window, watching Lewis leave the B&B. Ajay put his hand on Amy’s shoulder.

“You okay, hun?” Ajay asked with a smile.

“I’m fine.” Amy scoffed. She looked back out the window, “He’s going to Glasgow.”

“What? Why’s he going there?”

“Job interview. He applied ages ago and they only got back to him last night. He thinks he might as well go.”

“And miss his best friend’s birthday party?”

“He’s wanted to live in Glasgow for ages. He’s gotta go.”

“You want him here though?” Ajay raised a brow.

“Of course I do, I… he’s my best pal, eh?” Amy looked down at her feet. She could feel a lump in her throat forming but she looked up and smiled, “I’m sorry. This is your birthday. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer.”

“It’s your birthday as much as it’s mine, Amy. You’re allowed to be upset.” Ajay put his arm around his friend.

“You two alright?” Twinkle asked as she walked in.

“Yeah.” Amy nodded as she bowed her head but Twinkle lifted her chin.

“What’s up?” Twinkle asked.

“Lewis can’t make the party. He’s going to Glasgow.” Amy explained.

“Glasgow?! You’re kidding?” Twinkle frowned.

“Nope. He’s just left.” Amy shrugged.

“Aww, Amy.” Twinkle sighed. She brought Amy over to a table near them, “That’s really manky.”

“Tell me about it.” Amy scoffed.

“You should enjoy yourself tonight. Get rat arsed.” Twinkle nodded, “Don’t worry about any of that.”

“I know. I was so looking forward to having him here though. Like he was the only person I really wanted to see here. Except from you guys of course.” Amy explained.

“I know. But it’s your birthday, you should enjoy your night.” Twinkle gave her a smile.

Later on, everyone was getting ready for the night. Bren, Tony and Amy went back to their house. Ajay and Liv were getting ready with Amy in her room whilst Bren and Tony got ready in theirs. Tony sat on the bed tying his shoelaces when Bren walked in from the bathroom. She wore a black shirtdress that went down to below her shins with long sleeves. She wore black court heels on her feet. Her hair was more styled, her curls framing her face. She was fiddling with her earrings when she noticed Tony on the bed. Tony looked at her and smiled to which she smiled back.

“You alright?” Bren asked.

“Yeah. You?” Tony asked.

“Yeah. I did have a bit of a meltdown earlier though.” Bren replied as she walked over to the chest of drawers.

“How?” Tony frowned.

“I couldn’t pick what dress I wanted to wear. It was between this and that sagey one but I looked like I were gonna fight in the army.” Bren explained, pushing her bangles onto her wrists.

“You look great.” Tony told her. Bren started to giggle, trying to hide her rosy cheeks as she still had her back to him.

“Give over.” Bren replied over her shoulder.

Tony chuckled before getting up from the bed. He walked over to Bren as she put her jewellery box back into a drawer. As he walked up to her, Tony put his hand on her back which made Bren turn. She looked up at him and gave him a smile.

“You look very handsome. Dapper.” Bren lifted her hands to Tony’s collar, making sure it was straight.

“Dapper?” Tony scoffed, “That’s a first.”

“You do dress nice when you want to, y’know.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means I like when you wear a suit.” 

“Well, make the most of it. I doubt I’ll be wearing a suit anytime soon. I give it a good six months at least.”

Bren laughed as she ducked her head. When she lifted her head, she looked up at him with a smile growing on her lips. Tony tucked her hair behind her ear. He gave her shoulder a squeeze.

“Hey, listen. I’ve got a present for you.” Tony said.

“Eh? You’ve already given me presents.” Bren frowned, “You didn’t need to get me anymore.”

“I know but I wanted to.” Tony shrugged. He went into his pocket and took out a small black velvet box. He handed it to her as he watched her open it up, “It was more of an anniversary present but I wanted to give it to you today.”

Bren looked at the piece of jewellery inside. It was a simple gold band with small diamonds around it. She looked up at him with a grin on her face.

“It’s lovely. Thank you.” Bren said as she wrapped her arm around his neck and went to hug him. Tony brought her close, his arm wrapped around her waist, “You really need to stop buying me so much at this time of year. Just get me one present at least.”

“You spoil me as much as I spoil you, mate. No way.” Tony smiled, “Go on then, put it on.”

Bren giggled. She took the ring out of the box and slipped it onto her ring finger with her engagement ring and wedding ring. She looked at the ring on her finger and grinned. 

“I love it.” Bren smiled before cupping his face and kissing him gently. 

“Mum?” Amy called as she knocked on the door. She then walked into the room and Bren and Tony turned to look at her, “Oh, you look very nice.”

“So do you.” Bren smiled, “You alright?”

“Yeah, I was just wondering when we’re leaving.” Amy asked as she played with her necklace.

“Oh, soon.” Tony looked at his watch, “Are you all ready to go?” 

“Yeah.” Amy nodded, “Will you be able to get us all in the car?”

“Eh?” Tony frowned.

“Well, there is five of us.” Amy shrugged.

“We’ll get a taxi.” Tony told her.

“Oh. Oh yeah.” Amy sighed before leaving the room.

Bren and Tony looked at each other with little smiles. They then headed downstairs and Tony called the taxi. Bren was just putting her new anorak on when she noticed Amy on her phone in the kitchen. Ajay and Liv were in the living room chatting so she wondered why she wasn’t with them. Bren walked through to the kitchen.

“You alright?” Bren asked.

“Yeah.” Amy put her phone down and gave her mother a sad smile, “You look really pretty, mum.”

“Thanks, love.” Bren smiled. She then moved closer when she noticed Amy was quiet. She took Amy’s hand as she looked up, “What’s the matter?”

“Lewis isn’t coming tonight.” Amy sighed.

“What? Since when?” Bren frowned.

“This morning. He told me he had to go to Glasgow.” Amy explained.

“Glasgow?! Why did he have to go there?” 

“A job interview. Remember he said he wanted to move down there. He applied for a job and only heard about it last night.”

“Oh, Amy.” Bren put her arm around her. Amy rested her head on her mother’s shoulder, “I’m sorry. Listen, you just enjoy your night. You deserve to.”

“Taxi’s here, mate.” Tony popped his head into the kitchen.

“Okay.” Bren smiled, “Come on, love.”

“You alright?” Tony asked as Amy walked past him.

“Yep.” Amy replied.

“What’s up?” Tony asked Bren when Amy went into the living room to get Ajay and Liv.

“Lewis can’t make it. I’ll tell you later.” Bren tapped his shoulder, “Come on, coats on.”

They left in the taxi and headed to the B&B. The party was already in full swing with music playing and drinks flowing. Plenty of their friends were there and it seemed like everybody was having a great time. Amy tried to have the best night she could but without Lewis there, it didn’t feel the same. Out of everyone, he was the one she wanted to be there the most. She couldn’t help the way she felt about him and she felt like him not being there was a sign that maybe she should just let him go. 

As she talked to Jean, Stan and Dolly, there was a sudden cheer from a group of people near the door of the pub. Amy turned to see what was going on and that’s when she spotted him. There was Lewis standing there, back from Glasgow. He must have gone back home because he was in different clothes from before. He said a quick hello to her friends sitting at the side but looked around for Amy.

“Go see him.” Jean encouraged her.

“What?” Amy turned back to her.

“Go see him. He’s come back for you, hasn’t he?” Jean replied.

“I don’t even know what to say to him.” Amy shrugged.

“For a start, tell him how you feel. You don’t want to continue pussyfooting about it like your mum and dad.” Dolly said.

“Yeah, that took ages.” Stan nodded, “You don’t want to be waiting for eight years to tell someone you fancy them.”

Amy chuckled. She then looked back at Lewis who was still looking for her. She decided to go over to him. Amy weaved her way through the dancing crowd until she reached him.

“Lewis?” Amy said.

“Ams.” Lewis smiled. He rushed over to Amy and hugged her which she was surprised at, “You look stunning.”

“Thanks.” Amy chuckled, looking at her dress. She looked up at him, “I thought you weren’t gonna make it.”

“So did I. But see when I left for the train station right? I got another email. Apparently they sent it to the wrong Lewis. They were meant to send it to a Lewis Mclachlan and not Maclaughlin.” Lewis explained.

“Oh God. So did you go to Glasgow?” Amy frowned.

“Did I bugger? D’you know how much a return is to Glasgow and back? Sixty pounds and fifty pence. No danger, I’d be better flying down.”

“You’d be better walking.”

“Exactly. But listen, I did go into town for a bit and I didn’t want to tell you because I wanted it to be a surprise.”

“You haven’t got me another present, have you? Lewis, this is too much.”

“No, no. Well, not a proper present. I did want to get you something better but I saw this.” Lewis went into the small gift bag and pulled out a little cupcake in a box. On the cake there was a reindeer on it in icing, “It’s not a lot but thought you’d like it, being a Christmas baby and all that. A peace offering as well.”

Amy smiled. It was such a little thing but she appreciated it. And she appreciated him. She looked up then and noticed the mistletoe above their heads. Amy then leaned in, kissing Lewis on the lips softly. Lewis was surprised. He did not expect this at all. He didn’t realise she actually liked him back. Amy broke off the kiss then.

“Thank you.” Amy said.

“You’re um, you’re welcome.” Lewis scratched the back of his head before laughing, “I didn’t expect that.”

“Did you not like it? Have I done something wrong?” Amy’s heart dropped.

“No, no. I did, I did like it. And I like you. A lot.” Lewis grabbed her hands. He gave them a squeeze, “I’m glad I didn’t go to Glasgow the day. I would’ve hated not being here for you.”

The two smiled at each other but then felt themselves moving closer to each other. Lewis cupped Amy’s face as she held onto his waist when they kissed once more. 

“Bren? Bren? Bren?” Ajay rushed over to Bren with two drinks in his hands.

“What is it?” Bren giggled.

“Look!” Ajay pointed over to Amy and Lewis.

Bren turned and her jaw dropped when she saw them. She looked at Ajay and Twinkle who she stood with who both wore big grins. She then looked for Tony in the room and noticed him standing talking to Philippa and Anita.

“Tony? Tony?” Bren called to him.

“What is it?” Tony asked.

Bren simply pointed over to Amy and Lewis. Tony looked and his eyes widened. He then looked at Bren and mouthed the words ‘finally’.

Later on, they did the cake and Bren, Ajay and Amy all blew out the candles together. As the night went on, people started to leave as they had to ‘get home in time for Santa’. It soon was just immediate friends and family but that was alright because that was really what they wanted. Everyone still danced and talked happily. During one of the slow songs, Bren and Tony danced together. They were cuddled into each other with Bren’s head against his chest. She watched Amy and Lewis sitting in a corner talking quietly and couldn’t help but smile.

“Look at them.” Bren looked at Tony.

“Eh? Oh yeah. Love’s young dream over there.” Tony nodded.

“They look happy, don’t they?” Bren smiled.

“They do.” Tony looked down at her, “Really happy.”

“You still happy with me?” Bren asked.

“Are you joking? Twenty two years with you? I’ve never been happier, you poxy lamebrain.” Tony grinned.

Bren laughed. She stood on her tiptoes, pressing her lips against his. As they kissed, suddenly everyone was cheering and shouting ‘Merry Christmas’. As they broke off the kiss, Bren and Tony looked around to see everyone hugging and wishing each other a Merry Christmas. The couple looked at each other and smiled.

“Merry Christmas, mate.” Tony smiled.

“Merry Christmas.” Bren grinned.

They were about to kiss again but Amy rushed over to them and hugged them both tightly. They looked at her and smiled.

“Merry Christmas.” Amy laughed.

“Merry Christmas, kid.” Tony brought her into their embrace, kissing her head.

“Merry Christmas, love.” Bren giggled.

“Come on, let’s get some proper Christmas music on. None of that Alma frigging Cogan.” Twinkle walked over to where the music was playing.

“Here, here!” Tony called over to her.