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Expecting their own miracle baby, Miriam and Ben Hooley rally the town to help the young couple, and Lena draws strength from their unexpected support. Though trouble may come calling, in this season of joyous rebirth, a little child will lead them. And two couples will see their dreams of forever family come true…
After Nora and Luke had cut their tiered wedding cake, Miriam, Lena, and a few other ladies began to plate cake for the guests. Nora had decided to serve the cake right after dinner rather than later in the day as newlyweds traditionally did. This suited Miriam, because she was feeling heavy and tired—maybe because she needed to speak with Naomi about her decision not to work at the Sweet Seasons anymore.
How should she break the news to her business partner, her cook, her best friend? As she sliced the large bottom layer of the beautiful white cake she’d made, Miriam searched for the right words and the right time. When all the guests were visiting and Lena had gone to sit with Josiah and Savilla, she smiled at Naomi. “How about us two stayin’ right here in this corner to chat?” she suggested. “I’ve got something to say, and it’s not for just anybody to hear.”
Naomi’s brown eyes widened. She picked up two plates of cake and handed one to Miriam before scooting her chair so they sat side by side. “I hope ya haven’t had a bad report from Andy about the baby,” she murmured.
“No, no, nothin’ like that.” Miriam pressed her fork through the layer of moist cake and frosting, but didn’t eat the bite she’d cut. “Ben and Tom are sayin’ I’ve overstepped by workin’ at the café, especially with a baby comin’. So Saturday’ll be my last day,” she murmured. “I hate springin’ it on ya this way, but—”
“Oh, dearie, I’ve been waitin’ for this shoe to drop ever since ya married Ben,” Naomi said with a chuckle. “When we closed up for a couple weeks between last Christmas and your New Year’s Day wedding, I figured ya wouldn’t come back to work after that.”
Miriam let out the breath she’d been holding. Why had she lain awake the past two nights, fearing Naomi would fuss or feel overwhelmed?
“I’m mighty glad ya did come back to work, though,” her partner added as she squeezed Miriam’s hand. “Won’t be the same without ya there, Miriam. It’ll be a challenge to find enough help with the bakin’ and servin’, because three people won’t be able to fill your shoes.”
“I’m relieved that you’re takin’ this so well.” Miriam laughed nervously. “Should’ve known you’d be prepared for this situation.”
Naomi blinked quickly, busying herself with a bite of cake before she spoke again. “Like everybody else, I knew ya should be stayin’ home, but I was hangin’ on to every day we could work together.”
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