Bliss lifted her glass, a smile spread across her face. “A toast, to the new house!”
“My favorite!” Nathanael exclaimed upon taking a sip. “How did you know?”
Bliss smiled softly. “You pick up a thing or two after two life stages of marriage.”
“And a blissful two life stages they’ve been!” Nathanael chuckled at his own pun.
Jenna rounded the corner, having just finished exploring her future home office. She pulled her mom into a big hug. “The house is perfect, Mom. It’s like a chance to start over, and at the same time bring back the beauty of Old Oasis Springs. I’m glad we did this.”
“Thank you, Sweetie.” Bliss couldn’t believe how well her daughter was taking this…all she’d gotten for weeks was snarky remarks or silence. Teenagers…they get a lot of plum for being unpredictable, erratic, even — but it may very well be their biggest strength. They’re adaptable.
“Has anyone seen Kylie?” Dale asked as he walked up to his new family. Future family, he reminded himself. We aren’t married yet… He was grateful they’d taken him and his daughter in after the accident, but something felt different since they actually moved in. Jenna seemed different. Things change when you move in together, I guess… He shook the thought from his head, not wanting to dwell on it.
Jenna’s smile dropped ever so slightly upon feeling Dale’s presence behind her. “She’s checking out her new room,” she answered, focusing her attention on a corner of the ceiling. She could feel his warm gaze as he walked past her; she hoped he didn’t notice her, however subtle, change in mood. As he ascended the stairs, she realized she shouldn’t have given it a second thought — he was oblivious.
And that only made her feel worse.