Only Forever

Page 9

Chapter 4
Get ‘you’ sorted – an excuse sisters use to invade your home and steal your beer
“We’re here!” Ashlyn exclaims as she along with my other sisters – Aspen, Ellery, and Juniper – invade my one-bedroom apartment.
“There’s no need to announce yourself. A herd of elephants would have been quieter,” I chastise.
“Elephants are actually usually quiet,” Juniper says. She’s an animal lover and has a vast array of knowledge about them making her position as manager of the Wildlife Refuge outside of town the perfect job for her.
“I didn’t think you noticed our grand entrance since your head was buried in your laptop,” Ashlyn says.
“It’s impossible to bury your head in a laptop. I hope you know this.”
“It’s Friday night. Why aren’t you at the bar drinking?” my oldest sister, Aspen, asks.
My brow furrows. I’m never at the bar drinking on Friday night unless they drag me there. They know this.
“Yeah. I thought I was the workaholic in the family,” Ellery adds before she plops down on my sofa.
If anyone in the family can compete with me with regard to the number of hours worked in a week, it’s Ellery. She runs the Inn on Main and practically works from sunrise to sunset. Or, rather, she used to. Now she has an adorable baby daughter and a fiancé to spend her time with.
“No, you’re the stubborn one,” Aspen tells Ellery.
“Me?” Ellery points to herself. “I’m not the one who—”
“Nope,” Aspen cuts her off. “We don’t discuss the ancient past.”
Ellery’s referring to when Aspen believed her high school sweetheart, Lyric, betrayed her causing her to abandon Winter Falls for a decade. She had no choice but to return to our hometown last summer when her bookstore and apartment in Dallas burnt down.
Since then, she’s rekindled her love affair with Lyric and the two are now engaged. I’m happy for her, but I do not approve of how she’s nominated herself to be the family matchmaker since Lyric put his ring on her finger.
“You don’t have any beer in your refrigerator,” Ashlyn remarks from the kitchen where she’s searching the appliance.
“You shouldn’t be drinking. You’re pregnant. Drinking alcohol while pregnant causes—”
She slams the refrigerator shut and shoves her palm in my face. “No. You don’t get to lecture me about what I can and cannot do as a pregnant woman.”
“Why not?” Ellery asks. “Everyone thought they could tell me what to do when I was pregnant with Willow.”
“Oh please.” Ashlyn rolls her eyes. “You hid your pregnancy from the entire town for the first two trimesters whereas everyone in town has known I’m pregnant since the second the line appeared on the stick.”
“Because you told everyone,” Ellery reminds her.
Ellery is correct. Ashlyn eloped to marry Rowan, the man she has loved since high school, before Christmas, and by Easter she was pregnant. I realized she was pregnant straight away as I did with Ellery. But unlike with my older sister, who wanted to keep her condition a secret, my youngest sister tells everyone who will listen about how she’s ‘knocked up’.
“I could use a beer,” Juniper says as she collapses on the sofa next to Ellery.
“Why do you need a beer? Is your handsome movie star fiancé keeping you up late every night?” Ashlyn waggles her eyebrows.
“I’m not engaged to Maverick. We barely moved in together.”
Ashlyn waves away Juniper’s comment. “You’ll be engaged soon enough. Word on the street has it he wanted to propose last weekend when you moved in with him.”
“The gossip gals are the bane of my existence,” Juniper mutters.
I have to agree with my sister in this regard. The gossip gals are five elderly women in Winter Falls who have made it their mission in life to know every single piece of gossip in town. It’s impossible to keep a secret when they’re around. And they’re always around.
Aspen claps. “We didn’t come here to discuss Juniper’s love life. She’s sorted.”