Chapter Twenty-One

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"Snap!" Becca shouted from where she was seated across the counter on a stool and collected all of the cards in the middle. Leigh looked down at her hands and counter her cards- she had the same number of cards left as the age of the child sitting across from her and couldn't believe that she was about to be beaten by a four-year-old...again. Becca flipped over a card with a pig on the front and then it was Leigh's turn. She laid a cow which was followed by another pig and then a horse. She came to her last card hoping it would be a horse and laid it in the centre. A sheep stared back at her. Her fingers tapped repeatedly on the table as her gaze connected with the young girl's across from her. She was ready to slap her hand down on the table and yell 'snap! Then it all happened so fast, Becca slapped a sheep down on top of the pile and before Leigh had a chance to move her hand the word 'snap' was yelled and the four-year-old was collecting her cards into a neat pile.

"You beat me again!" Leigh muttered in defeat but inside she was simply happy to be playing a game to take her mind off of her life.

It was early in the morning and Annalise had left her daughter in the shop once again as she said there was so much she still needed to do. The wedding was scheduled for mid February and a peculiar month for a wedding, especially with the weather being bitter during the winter. She assumed that a woman with beachy waves and a brown tan would want nothing but a summer wedding but Leigh had been wrong. She had asked Annie why she had chosen a winter months for her wedding and she explained that it was tradition. Her mother had married in February and so had her grandmother and despite it being a small tradition it wasn't something she wanted to break. But the weather in Oak View hadn't been great so far that year. Snow still covered the ground and that wasn't typical for the small town they lived in. Usually it snowed in December and into the beginning of January and by February the climate would begin to warm but that didn't look likely for that year.

Annie was often seen pacing the farm pulling her hair with her hands- a clear sign that she was stressed. Their plan was to have the wedding outside under a marquee but that didn't look likely now which was why Brett was working tirelessly to get the barn to a place where it would be suitable to hold a wedding. But despite all of their hard work and dedication to the project Leigh saw the probability of success to be extremely low.

They had finished clearing out the fallen debris from the ceiling and both Brett and Leigh had been up a ladder securing new beams of wood to the ceiling to stop the rest from collapsing. It was a big job- bigger than the two of them put together- and Leigh saw no sign of completion anywhere in the next two weeks let alone in time for the wedding. They had a few weeks until then and even though Leigh wasn't invited she was nervous that Annie and her fiance wouldn't get that fairytale day everyone dreams their wedding to be. But it made it slightly easier that Maggie had left Oak View to visit her sister who lived across the country and was bringing her back for the wedding because it meant that they didn't have to hide their project from her. Occasionally they came close to being caught but that only happened a couple of times and with each passing day their lies became easier and easier to tell.

From outside the shop, the sound of feet stomping on the porch grew closer and closer to the door and before Leigh could slide down from the stool and peer out of the window a man came into view. He was tall but no more than six foot and his hair was blond. A short beard covered his cheeks which gave him a slightly intimidating look but the grin present on his lips seemed to soften his features all together.

"Where is my little princess," he spoke in a low voice with a smile still present on his lips.

Becca shrieked in excitement and jumped down from her stool and ducked down behind the counter. She glanced up at Leigh who looked down at her in confusion and she pressed her finger to her lips telling her to be quiet.

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