“What do you think she’s doing?”
Nathaniel gave Jacob an irritated look. “How am I supposed to know?”
His friend smiled blandly. “Well, you usually act as if you know everything. I thought you knew this too.”
Arching his eyebrows, Nathaniel asked sardonically, “Aren’t you confusing me for yourself now?”
Jacob chuckled. “Perhaps. But the question remains. I don’t understand what’s taking her so long. We should be much further along than this.”
“Maybe you scared her off,” Nick supplied helpfully from where she was sitting by the window petting one of Rain’s kittens.
“I did not!” Jacob scoffed. “I’ve been on my best behaviour.”
“Even your best behaviour leaves much to be desired,” Nathaniel muttered. “I’ve not forgotten what you did to my sister.”
“Are we back to that again?” Jacob sighed, looking bored.
Nathaniel looked as if he was going to boil over, so Jessica quickly stepped in. “Nathaniel, it’s fine. Let’s not argue. What’s done is done.”
“Fine,” Nathaniel bit off with an angry glance at Jacob who was now smiling blithely. “Let’s concentrate on the issue at hand. But he better wipe that smug look off his face before I punch him.”
Nick stood up and walked over to the group gathered at the table. “So, why isn’t she writing? She should be working on finishing Jacob and Jessica’s story, shouldn’t she?”
Everyone nodded. “That’s what we’re talking about.”
“Maybe she’s tired of them?” Nathaniel pondered.
“Hardly,” Jacob scoffed. “It’s rather that she knows that our story is much better than yours. If she finishes it’ll just prove this fact and it’ll make yours seem so much worse. You couldn’t handle that.”
“There is nothing wrong with my story!” Nathaniel snapped.
“So you think,” Jacob mumbled, his eyes glittering with suppressed mirth from having been able to poke Nathaniel’s temper once again.
“She needs to get back to writing. The story has to finish so that she can start on mine,” Nick complained. “I want to be a grown-up and have my own fun!”
“Just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean you’ll actually act like one,” Rain called from where she was sitting on the floor, surrounded by a litter of kittens.
“But I’ll have fun,” Nick said. “And that’s what matters. Besides, she’s going to write my story before yours, even though I’m younger,” she added as she stuck her tongue out at her older sister.
“That’s just because mine is much more important and she needs more time to plan it,” Rain grumbled. “I’m going to be the Incomparable during my London season. Everyone knows that. Then I’ll meet a handsome man and we’ll fall in love instantly and live happily ever after.”
“Hardly,” Nick said with a big smile. “You’ll be miserable, else there will be no story to tell.”
“We’re digressing,” Nathaniel cut off their bickering. “We need to find a way to sort this out. How can we get the writer to start writing again?”
“Let’s send her a letter?” Jacob suggested with a grin.
“Well,” Jessica said slowly as she was thinking. “To be honest I can’t really think of another way. So let’s do that. Who will write it?” She looked at the others and then sighed when she noticed that they were all looking expectantly at her. “Fine!” she muttered. “I’ll do it.”
“Very well,” Nathaniel said, satisfied. “Maybe you can finally get your happily ever after now, Jessica.”
“I sure hope so,” Jacob muttered. “Maybe then people will get off my back…”