Miracle Under the Mistletoe - Page 10

It was all very depressing. Molly’s spirits were at an all-time low as she heated some milk in the microwave and made herself a cup of hot chocolate, hoping it would soothe her rattled nerves enough so that she could sleep. However, after an hour spent tossing and turning in her bed, she gave up. How could she sleep with all these thoughts milling around inside her head?

She went into the sitting room and curled up on the sofa, telling herself that it was silly to panic. After all, nothing had happened, had it? Even if Sean had guessed what she had been planning to do, there was still time to change her mind. Quite honestly, it wasn’t worth it if it caused this kind of upset; she would be stupid to go ahead... And yet there was still that niggling little thought at the back of her mind that she would never be entirely free of him until she had brought their relationship to a conclusion in her own time and in her own way too.

Molly closed her eyes, trying to imagine how she would feel afterwards. Elated, possibly? Relieved, hopefully? People continually trotted out that well-worn phrase about finding closure, so was that what would happen? Would it bring things to a nice tidy finale if she slept with Sean and subsequently dumped him?

She tried her best to imagine how she would feel but it was impossible to see into the future. She could only go by how she was feeling at this very moment—confused, embarrassed, scared. What if she followed through with her plan and it backfired on her? What if she slept with Sean only to find that she had fallen under his spell once again? That would only make matters even worse.

Her thoughts spun round and round in circles until she felt positively giddy. She knew that it was pointless going back to bed as she would never be able to sleep. She showered and dressed then left the house, hoping that a walk would help to calm her. She took the path leading to the river, carefully picking her way around the icy puddles. The river looked sluggish this morning, a skin of ice coating its surface. There were some ducks slipping and sliding their way across the ice and she stopped to watch them for a moment before the biting cold drove her on. When she came to the path leading up to the town centre, she hesitated, wondering if she should treat herself to coffee and a croissant before she went home. She hadn’t had anything to eat since she’d got back from work and her stomach was rumbling.

Molly followed the path and soon arrived at the market square. The council had erected a huge Christmas tree in the centre of it and she stopped to admire it. There was a group of carol singers from one of the local churches gathered around it and she listened as they sang several well-known carols. It was all very festive and so very normal that she started to relax. There was no point getting het up. The choice was hers. She could either put her plan into action or forget about it.

‘All very Christmassy, isn’t it? I love hearing Christmas carols at this time of the year, don’t you?’

Molly spun round, feeling her heart leap into her throat when she found Sean standing beside her. ‘What are you doing here?’ she snapped, unable to hide her dismay. That he should turn up just when she was starting to get her thoughts together was too much.

‘Same as you, I imagine. Enjoying the singing.’

He gave her a quick smile then dug into his pocket and dropped a handful of change into the bucket when a child approached them, looking for donations, and the fact that he didn’t even bother to check how much he had given struck a chord in Molly’s memory. Sean had always been incredibly generous, the first to donate whenever anyone was raising money for a good cause. It was one of the things she had admired most about him, in fact, his unstinting generosity.

It was such a small thing yet it had a profound effect on her. Somewhere along the way, she had forgotten all the things she had liked about him. The pain of his leaving had negated everything else yet all of a sudden it all came rushing back: his generosity, his kindness, his compassion for those less fortunate than himself. Sean had possessed so many good qualities, so many things to commend him that she found herself wondering all of a sudden why he had behaved so out of character towards her. Sean cared about people, genuinely cared, so why had he been so cruel when he had ended their relationship?

‘How about that cup of coffee you mentioned earlier?’

Molly jumped when he touched her lightly on the arm. She’d been so lost in her thoughts that she had no idea what he had said. ‘Pardon?’

‘Coffee.’ He smiled down at her, his blue eyes filled with laughter and another emotion that she had never expected to see again. Did he really care about her, or was he merely a highly accomplished actor? She had no idea and before she could attempt to work it out he slid his hand under her elbow. ‘I fancy a coffee and a croissant so will you join me, Molly? I think we deserve a treat after the busy night we had, don’t you?’

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