Lavender Lass Books - Thursday Newsletter 27
Welcome to Lavender Lass Books - Thursday Newsletter! Abigail and I have decided to publish The Magic of Burrows Bay one chapter at a time. As always, you can find out more information on these and all our other books at the Lavender Lass Books website.
We’ve created a group on Facebook just for our Thursday newsletter! It’s a fun place to talk about all things Burrows Bay related…and as we progress through the story, you’ll find out why we post all those 1920s-inspired dresses. Hope you’ll join us!
And just a reminder that you can save 25% on ebooks at our Lavender Lass BookShop. We also have FREE stories! Hope you’ll stop by and check out our store.
Finally, here is the next chapter of The Magic of Burrows Bay! We’ll have a new chapter every Thursday, so we hope you enjoy the story…and if you missed the FREE ebooks last weekend, we will do that again at the end of our story. We have 30 chapters total so only a few more to go!
Maggie McCrae knew her granddaughters were not ready for the legacy she must leave them. The house, the grounds and everything that went with it would now be theirs. She vowed she would do all she could to protect them and hopefully, give them the time they needed to fulfill their destiny. Gabriella and Moira must learn to trust themselves and each other as they discover the true magic of Burrows Bay.
And remember, you can always catch up on all earlier chapters here.
Half an hour later, Montgomery was knocking on their front door. Moira opened it, so Gabbi could make an entrance. As she looked out at the drive, she saw a red Porsche sitting there instead of the sedan he’d driven off in a few days earlier.
“Nice car, Uncle Montgomery,” Moira said as he hugged her on his way in the door.
“Why thank you, my favorite niece.” Montgomery said with a smile. “Where is my date for this evening?”
“I’m right here.” Montgomery turned to see Gabbi coming down the stairs.
“My beautiful girl.” He smiled and walked over to her. “Look at you! I’m going to be the envy of every man in the place.”
Gabbi gave her dad a careful hug. “Don’t mess up my hair,” she teased. “It took me forever to get this just right, so I could show off my earrings.”
Montgomery raised a hand, lightly touching one of her earrings with his finger. “You still have these?”
“Of course, I do.” Gabbi raised one eyebrow and smiled. “It’s not every day a handsome man gives me such lovely jewelry.”
Montgomery took her hand and placed it over his arm, escorting her towards the door. “Your carriage awaits, Princess.”
“Just a minute,” Moira said, holding up her phone. “I have to get some pictures to commemorate such an important occasion. Two world-class chefs about to go out for a night on the town, sampling the best that Seattle cuisine has to offer.”
Montgomery and Gabbi posed for the camera, then started out the door. Gabbi stopped and grabbed her father’s arm. “Dad, where did you get this car?” She hurried over and ran her hand along the hood. “A Porsche Cayman S, carmine red with black leather interior. This is going to be an amazing ride.”
“Ride? You’re driving, Sweetheart.” Montgomery handed her the keys. “I’m the passenger tonight. You know the roads, and I want to enjoy the scenery.” He winked at Moira. “You don’t think she’ll mind driving, do you?”
Moira started giggling, while Gabbi did a little dance over to the driver’s door. “I’m driving a Porsche! See you, cuz.” She waved as she slid into the seat and started the engine. Montgomery got in and barely had his seatbelt on, when the car sped down the drive.
Moira laughed and went back into the house, locking the door behind her. On her way upstairs, she stopped and looked into the ballroom. No music now. And none in the library, she thought with relief as she walked upstairs to her room.
She called her parents, but they were out, so she left a message saying she wouldn’t be flying back due to a change in plans, and she’d call them the next day. Then, she took a long, hot bath and got ready for dinner.
At six sharp, Jack was knocking on the front door. Moira looked out the sidelight and smiled as she opened the front door. “Hi, Jack. Please come in.”
Jack followed her into the kitchen. “You look very nice tonight,” he said. “Are you sure you don’t mind meatloaf for dinner? We could go somewhere else if you like.”
“Oh, no,” Moira said, smiling, “I’ve been looking forward to meatloaf all week.”
She walked over to pick up her coat and turned back, surprised to see Jack standing in front of her. “I’m sorry we didn’t do this last night,” he said, taking her hand. He looked into those amazing green eyes for a moment, then added, “We should probably go to dinner.”
Moira smiled and nodded in agreement. They walked outside, and she carefully locked the front door. When they reached the convertible, Jack opened the passenger door for her, then walked around and tossed his hat on the back seat. As he started the car, Moira looked up at the sky and said, “I’m so glad it quit raining. It’s nice having the top down.”
Gabbi absolutely loved driving a Porsche. She knew she would, but this was even better than she had imagined. “I love this car!” she exclaimed, looking over at her dad and giving him a big smile. There were in fairly heavy traffic, but she moved from lane to lane with ease. Occasionally, she may have hit the accelerator a little harder than she should just to feel the surge of the motor. It was amazing.
Montgomery laughed. “I have a speed demon for a daughter. Why am I not surprised?”
“Maybe because you’re the one, who taught me about cars.” Gabbi smiled and thought about the many days she’d watched her dad work on his. She had been too young to help but loved spending time with him. After the divorce, she learned all she could about the different types of cars, hoping to impress him with her knowledge. While she might not understand the mechanics, she could recognize almost every model and manufacturer.
As they got closer to Seattle, the traffic increased until the car was barely crawling through the I-5 Corridor. “How much further?” Gabbi asked.
“Take the exit at Northgate,” Montgomery replied, smiling.
“We’re going to dinner at the mall?” Gabbi looked down at her dress. “Dad, I know you said it was a surprise…”
“No, not the mall,” Montgomery said, laughing. “We’re eating dinner at the nicest restaurant in the area, the Shilshole Seafood & Wine Bistro. Wonderful seafood, amazing desserts, and a view of the sun setting behind the Olympic Mountains.”
“That sounds perfect,” Gabbi replied, smiling. She took the exit and headed towards the water.
Jack and Moira were having a wonderful time at the café. The meatloaf and mashed potatoes were excellent, and now, they were sharing a piece of apple pie. They had talked about the storm the night before and the damage to the grange roof. Moira didn’t tell him how worried she’d been when Callie showed up at the house, but she did tell him about the idea for the party.
“So, you and your cousin are actually going to host a party for almost two hundred people?” Jack shook his head.
“Two hundred?” Moira asked, surprised. “Callie said it was over a hundred, but I guess if they fit into the house, we’ll make it work.” She laughed. “Gabbi is going to have a great time overseeing all the food preparation. I just hope we have as many volunteers as Callie said we would.”
Jack smiled. “My sister is very good at convincing people to help her, especially when it’s for the animal shelter.”
Moira nodded. “Gabbi and I are living proof of that.” She smiled. “I think the house will feel happier with people in it again.” She blushed. “If you know what I mean.”
“Actually, I do,” Jack said, surprising her. “We lived in an old house when Callie and I were growing up, and the place came to life during the holidays. My dad used to have his friends from the force over with their wives and kids. Callie and I would help my mom get the place ready. It was a lot of fun.”
Moira watched him as he talked about his childhood, imagining what he must have been like as a boy. “Was it a big house?” she asked.
“Not as big as the mansion,” Jack replied, smiling. “I don’t know how you two keep that place going on your own. Ours was a two-story Victorian on the edge of town. My mom loved that place.”
“Where does your mom live now?” Moira asked. “Callie mentioned she watches her boys.”
“She lives in a smaller home now. A bungalow with built-in bookcases and a big fireplace in the living room…she still puts up a Christmas tree every year.” He drank some coffee and looked at Moira over the cup. “What about you? Have you always lived in old houses?”
“No, I moved a lot when I was younger.” She took a sip of her coffee. “My mom and dad covered all kinds of news and feature stories together, then ended up buying a newspaper and settling down in eastern Montana. They decided to live in a condo, saying it was easier than a house and a lot less maintenance.” Moira shook her head, remembering. “My grandmother had an old house. My dad’s mom,” she clarified, “and I loved it. She had a big Christmas tree in her front bay window, and we made cookies and candy every year.”
Jack nodded. “It’s funny how we remember holidays more than anything else. Having Callie’s boys really brought the light back into my mom’s eyes especially at Christmas.” He picked up the check. “Ready for that drive?”
When Gabbi and Montgomery walked into the restaurant, she could feel everyone watching them as they were seated. They did look like a power couple, she thought, smiling. Too bad she couldn’t find a date this wonderful, who wasn’t her father. She sat down and squeezed his hand across the table.
“Thank you for this,” she said, looking at Montgomery. “You are the best dad ever!”
He smiled. “Order whatever you like on the menu. I booked rooms for us at a nice hotel just down the street with a shared sitting room. We can walk there if we need to since I just slipped the maître d’ a fifty to leave the car here overnight.”
Gabbi shook her head. “You’ve been having too much fun in San Francisco. Do they let you get away with this type of thing all the time?” She laughed. “Not that I’m complaining.”
“When you own a high-end restaurant in a city like San Francisco or Seattle, it’s made up of a small group of people, who all know each other,” Montgomery said. “We all make allowances especially when friends or family visit.” He looked at the maître d’ walking by. “His niece works at a restaurant owned by one of my best friends in San Francisco. I found that out when I made our reservation.”
Gabbi smiled and looked at the menu. “I’ve got to try the clams. They’re supposed to be amazing. And while the salmon is tempting, I think I’ll choose the sablefish.”
“I’ll get the oysters and the salmon,” Montgomery said, “then we can try them all.”
Gabbi nodded. “Great idea. Oh, and maybe some prawns.” She laughed. “What do you want for wine?”
“Champagne.” Montgomery waved over the sommelier. “I’d like some champagne while we’re waiting and then a bottle of your best Pinot Noir.” He smiled at Gabbi. “Didn’t you say those were the grapes you have in your vineyard?”
“Those are the ones. If we can bring them back.” Gabbi looked at her dad, her eyes dancing. “Can you imagine? One day, people at this restaurant may order the MacInnes House Pinot Noir.”
Jack drove along the north side of the island, then turned south following the road that ran along the edge of Burrows Bay. “I thought you might like to see this part of the Island,” he said, looking at Moira.
They had the top down and although it was brisk, she was enjoying it immensely. “This is wonderful, Jack.” She smiled and pointed at the islands to the west. “Look at those lights. Are those the ferries?”
Jack slowed down to take a particularly sharp curve. “Yes, they have them running until almost midnight on the weekends.” He looked over at her. “Are you sure you’re warm enough?”
She laughed. “Yes. Thank goodness, I had my gloves in my jacket pocket.” She sighed. “This is really lovely.”
He looked over at her and smiled. “Yes, it is.”
They followed the road until it turned inland, and the water disappeared. A few minutes later, they were pulling into the drive. As they parked, Jack got out and walked around to open Moira’s door for her.
“Would you like some coffee?” she asked. “To warm you up before you drive home?”
Jack hesitated, then said, “That would be nice. Let me get the top up on the convertible, and I’ll be right in.”
Moira walked up the steps, unlocking the front door. As she went into the kitchen and started the coffee, she wondered if she’d sounded too forward. It was just coffee she reminded herself.
“When is your cousin supposed to be home?” Jack asked as he walked into the kitchen. He shook his head, smiling slightly. “Let me try that again. Do you expect your cousin back soon? I don’t like leaving you here alone. Especially, after what happened the other day.”
“Gabbi and her dad are going to be staying all night in Seattle,” Moira replied. “It was his treat to her, so they could drink wine with dinner and not have to worry about driving back.” As he started to say something, she smiled. “I’m a big girl, Jack. I refuse to be afraid to spend time in my own house, and Uncle Montgomery has the cameras set up, so I can see everything from the back hall.”
Jack nodded. He didn’t like it, but he could hardly tell her he wouldn’t allow it. “If you need anything, call me.” He looked at her for a moment and the light in the room seemed to dim slightly as if time itself were slowing down. Moira realized it was the same feeling she’d had in the ballroom earlier when Emma had played the piano.
“Thank you for taking me to dinner,” Moira said. Her eyes seemed so dark and green that Jack had to catch his breath.
He nodded and got up from the table. He’d wanted to kiss her all night, but suddenly, the urge was almost overwhelming. He felt like the air had gotten heavier, and it was all he could do to keep breathing. And still those lovely green eyes just stared into his.
Jack took a step towards her, then caught himself. With her cousin out of town all night, it was hardly the time to take their relationship to the next level.
“Moira, thank you for the offer, but I think I’ll have to pass on the coffee.” He glanced at his watch. “I have a lot of paperwork to finish tomorrow with the storm and flooding in town. I’d better get an early start.” He picked up his hat and started for the entry.
She walked with him to the front door. As he started to leave, she placed a hand on his arm. “I really had a wonderful time tonight. Thank you.”
Jack nodded. “Good night, Moira.” He turned and walked out the door.
Gabbi and Montgomery drank some champagne, had two glasses of the Pinot Noir wine and sampled almost every dish on the menu. Once the chef discovered Montgomery was in the dining room, he insisted they give him their opinion on most of the specials of the house as well as one he was working on for the holidays.
They complimented the chef on his food, then told him they’d never dreamed that coconut and prawns could be mixed with mango salsa and chili peppers in such a unique and wonderful way. After that, he insisted they come back in two weeks for the October Oyster Celebration. Many Seattle restaurants had this type of event, and Shilshole Seafood & Wine Bistro had been doing so for twenty years.
Montgomery thanked him and explained that his daughter was opening a business of her own since she was also a wonderful chef. When he heard this, the chef took Gabbi’s hand and kissed it. “You will be my most beautiful rival once you open your magnificent restaurant. All that I ask is that you do not open it in Ballard.”
Gabbi laughed, explaining that it would be outside of Anacortes. At which point, the chef insisted that she invite him when her restaurant opened. Montgomery and Gabbi were still laughing about it when they walked to the hotel. They got their keys and went upstairs to the adjoining suite. As she walked in, Gabbi let out a low whistle.
“What a room!” She looked at the sofa and chairs in front of the fireplace and walked over to the mini bar. “Want some more wine or maybe some coffee?” There was an espresso machine on the bar.
“Coffee would be great, Sweetheart.” Montgomery walked over and opened the door on one side, saying, “There’s the view of the city, so the other one must have a view of the water. Which would you prefer?”
“Definitely water if you don’t have a preference.” She laughed. “This feels so odd. I remember, when we used to think it was a big deal to go out for burgers.”
Montgomery smiled. “It was a big deal, and I loved every minute of it.” He sat down on the sofa and took the espresso Gabbi handed him. “Thank you, Gabriella.”
She made herself one, then came back and sat across from him in one of the chairs. “Dad, are you ever going to tell me what really happened with the restaurant?”
“Okay, I did get a bit more than I expected in the buyout. It just so happens that when I invested in the business, there was a stipulation in the contact that if any partner was bought out, it had to be for 33% of the overall value of the restaurant and property at the time.” He smiled. “Who knew our location would be in the middle of the largest urban renewal on The Embarcadero?”
Gabbi’s jaw dropped. “Dad, are you telling me you’re rich?” She smiled. “I am your only daughter you know.”
Montgomery laughed. “Let’s just say I couldn’t afford to stay in a room like this every night, but we won’t have to eat burgers the rest of the month either.”
“Wow! My dad the investor.” Gabbi laughed.
Montgomery came over and gave his daughter a hug. “And the best part is that I can invest in your restaurant. I want you to have your dream, Sweetheart.”
Gabbi smiled but shook her head. “No, Dad. I really appreciate it, but if you decide to invest in my restaurant, or whatever I end up opening, it will be because it makes financial sense not because I’m your daughter.”
Montgomery nodded. His daughter never ceased to amaze him.
Jack knew he was right to leave before things went too far. They’d only gone out a few times, and he didn’t want to fall for someone this quickly, but there was something almost magical about her. The way she looked up at him with those lovely green eyes that danced with laughter one minute, then seemed to cast a spell over him the next.
He knew it was a mistake to go back. He’d gotten all the way to his car, when he stopped and turned around. Before he realized it, he was knocking on the front door.
Moira opened it. She started to draw a breath, probably to ask him if he’d forgotten something. He had. This.
Jack leaned down and kissed her, his hands running across her shoulders and through her hair, then moving down her back. Moira reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. The spark she’d felt touching his hand was nothing compared to this.
When he finally let her go, Jack said, “I’ve been wanting to do that all night.”
“I’m glad you came back to tell me that,” Moira replied, smiling.
Jack ran his finger along her cheek. She was so beautiful. “I really don’t think you should stay here alone,” he said.
“I’ll be fine,” Moira said. Seeing the worry in his eyes, she added, “If you’re really worried, you could stay in the guest room.”
Jack smiled and leaned down to kiss her once more. “Top of the stairs?” he asked, taking a step back.
“First door on your left,” Moira replied. She watched him walked upstairs, then shook her head. She hadn’t expected him to come back, but she was very glad he did. Smiling, she locked the door and went up to her own room.
Join us next week for the another chapter of The Magic of Burrows Bay!