Lianna and Lauren were working at the shop on the Saturday as a small punishment for the trouble at school, but really it was to make sure that Danielle was away from the house while the final plans for the party were put in place for Sunday.
Carl had sorted out for a DJ and marquees to be put up just in case the weather let them down. All the food had been sorted out at the hotel, so Holly wasn’t stuck baking food, and with the number of people they had coming to the thing, it would be hard trying to hide it from Danielle until Sunday.
Lianna, Lauren and Danielle were all dressed in grey skirts white blouses and all looked ready for a busy day in the shop on the Saturday morning when they walked down stairs and entered the kitchen where Holly was just sorting out breakfast for Chrissy, Amy and Mandy.
“Good morning sweetheart.” Mandy said as she stood up and gave Danielle a hug and then kissed her on the forehead. “Is everything alright? You look a little down.” Mandy asked looking worried at the way Danielle seemed a little sad about something.
“I’m fine mummy.” Danielle said with a weak smile that didn’t even try to look convincing.
Danielle was feeling a little down because ever since the others got home from school the day before, they had all been whispering behind her back and conversations had stopped when she entered a room. Danielle was worried that other kids had all started to hate her like this all the times in the foster homes. Lianna and Lauren seemed to be the only two that still seemed to treat her normally, but she was worried about the way the other kids in the house were acting still.
“Are you sure you want to come into the shop with us today?” Mandy asked, but already knew what the answer would be.
“Yes I want to come and help out at the shop again.” Danielle said almost before Mandy had time to finish saying it. Danielle didn’t want to be left in the house with the others if they were planning to pick on her, even if part of her brain was saying she was just being silly.
They all had breakfast and then ran up to their rooms to finish getting ready and brush their teeth before returning back down to the hallway where Chrissy. Amy and Mandy were waiting for them. They were soon in the people carrier heading towards the shop and a busy Saturday.
Danielle had worked well with Amy the day before, so she set to work firing up the computer and logging onto the internet when they got to the shop, while Lauren set to work making a drink and Lianna helped to open up the main shop.
They all had a drink before they got stuck into unlocking the front door so Chrissy and Mandy could sort out the customers that entered the shop with some help from Lauren, while Lianna and Danielle helped Amy sort out the internet orders and checked the stock as they went.
“What’s wrong Danielle?” Lianna asked when she saw Danielle looking off into space at one point. “I can see that something’s bothering you.” She added with worry in her voice.
“It’s nothing.” Danielle lied with the same weak smile she’d given Mandy earlier.
“Pull the other one princess.” Lianna frowned. “I know you well enough by now to see when something is bothering you, so spill.” Lianna said as she placed the items down that they were gathering for the order Amy had given them, and placed her hands on her hips trying to look bossy.
“You’d just think me silly if I told you.” Danielle whined as she tried to step around Lianna, but Lianna stopped her.
“It’s a little late for that; I already think you’re totally insane.” Lianna grinned, hoping to get a smile out of Danielle. It worked better than Lianna hoped because she not only got a smile, she also got a small giggle.
“What does that make you then for falling in love with me?” Danielle asked just before she stuck her tongue out at Lianna.
“I was proved to be insane years ago.” Lianna said in a matter of fact way. “So what’s this silly thing that’s got you acting so distracted?” Lianna asked looking worried again.
“I don’t think the other’s like me as much as I first thought they did.” Danielle whispered, not wanting Chrissy, Mandy or Lauren to over hear her.
“What makes you think that?” Lianna asked like Danielle was being really silly.
“The other kids stop talking when I enter a room, and I’ve seen them whispering and looking at me funny the past couple of days. This is how it always starts at the other places I stayed.” Danielle said close to tears now.
“I know how you were treated at all those foster homes, but do you really think that any of the others would treat you like those other kids did?” Lianna asked with a smile as she pulled Danielle into a hug. “You’re just seeing trouble where there isn’t any, trust me.” Lianna added. “And if they were planning something, I can promise it wouldn’t be anything bad.” Lianna giggled.
“I did say it was silly.” Danielle giggled, feeling much better now Lianna had made her see sense.
“Very silly.” Lianna frowned. “Besides mother would kill any of the other’s if they did anything to hurt you, not that they would.” Lianna added with a shudder.
“I can’t imagine Aunty Chrissy ever losing her temper.” Danielle giggled at the thought of it.
“Trust me when I say that mother has one hell of a temper when someone tries to hurt one of us.” Lianna said looking very serious as she said it. “Have you ever seen the documentaries where the lioness fights to protect her cubs?” Lianna asked.
“Yes, she always fights more fearless than the male lion.” Danielle said.
“Times that by ten and you’ve got my mother.” Lianna said looking just as serious again.
“Wow.” Danielle said as she looked over to the other side of the shop where Chrissy was dancing around with Lauren as they both giggled. “Kind of hard to believe when you look at her though.” Danielle giggled.
“I know what you mean.” Lianna sighed. “I have to wonder if I should even call her our mother sometimes.” Lianna added with a giggle.
“She’s the coolest mother I’ve ever seen.” Danielle said with pride.
“I can be a cool mom as well.” Mandy said from just behind them with a pout.
Lianna and Danielle both jumped and spun around to see a hurt looking Mandy stood behind them.
“I’m sorry mummy. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” Danielle said as she dived at Mandy and wrapped her arms around her.
“I know that sweetie, and you’re right about my sister being the coolest mother, or the most childish.” Mandy added the last bit with a frown as she watched Chrissy dancing around with Lauren. She was soon giggling though along with Lianna and Danielle as they all watched the two of them.
“I’m happy to see you looking a lot happier now.” Mandy said after a customer entered the shop and Chrissy had to stop playing around and deal with her.
“She was just letting some demons from her past worry her Aunty Mandy.” Lianna started to explain. “Danielle was worried that some of the other’s were planning to do something bad to her.” Lianna added with a knowing look she hoped Mandy would understand.
“I’m sure they were just trying to think of some fun things for you all to do during the holidays.” Mandy said in a dismissive tone. “Some of their ideas can be a little crazy, so maybe they just didn’t want to get your hopes up before they spoke to one of us grownups.” Mandy added as she gave Danielle and Lianna a joint hug before sending them off to take the things through to Amy for packing.
They were soon back to work and helping Amy, but Lianna slipped away long enough to send a text message to Jessica, Jennifer, Nicole, Richard and Craig. Warning them to stop all the whispering as it’s upsetting Danielle, and making her think that they all hate her and are planning something bad.
Even after the talk with Lianna and Mandy, Danielle was still nervous as they pulled back into the driveway at home at the end of the day. Lianna helped her get out the car and then wouldn’t let go of her hand as they walked into the house.
Danielle found herself being jumped on by Jennifer as soon as they entered. “We didn’t think you were ever going to get home.” Jennifer said as she started dragging Danielle towards the stairs.
“What’s wrong?” Danielle asked as she was dragged along pulling Lianna with her as she still had hold of Lianna’s hand.
“Mum and dad are taking us all to the movies, so the three of you need to get changed.” Jennifer said looking excited as she spun around and hugged Danielle while winking at a grinning Lianna. “So come on.” Jennifer said as she started pulling Danielle along again.
“I see what you mean about them all hating you.” Lianna said sarcastically in Danielle’s ear.
“Who hates you?” Jennifer asked over her shoulder as she walked up the stairs.
“Nothing, just Lianna being silly.” Danielle giggled.
“Yep, just me being silly.” Lianna frowned as she looked at a sheepish looking Danielle.
Lianna and Lauren went to their rooms when they got to the top of the stairs, while Jennifer walked with Danielle to her room and sorted her out something to wear while she took a quick shower.
“Thanks for helping me get dressed Jen.” Danielle said as Jennifer zipped up the dress she’d picked out for Danielle to wear.
“That’s what sisters are for.” Jennifer grinned as she gave Danielle another hug.
Danielle was left feeling a little silly for her thoughts earlier about her brothers and sisters all hating her, and thought that maybe her mother was right when she said they could have just been planning this trip to the movies.
“Come in!” Danielle shouted when she heard a knock at her bedroom door. She smiled when she saw Lianna and Lauren enter the room both of them dressed similar to Danielle, but in different colours.
“You two ready to go?” Lianna asked.
“Yep.” Jennifer said as she handed Danielle her purse and then skipped off out the room with Lauren at her side, leaving Danielle and Lianna to follow behind.
“I’ll be glad when they get your bedroom sorted out, I won’t have as far to walk then to come and see you.” Lianna smiled as they walked along the hallway towards the stairs.
“I’ll be glad to have my very own room that I helped design.” Danielle grinned.
“You feeling okay again now you know they don’t hate you, or were planning anything nasty?” Lianna asked as she wrapped an arm around Danielle’s waist.
“Yes, much better.” Danielle sighed as she wrapped an arm around Lianna’s waist and rested her head on Liana’s shoulder as they walked along. “It’s hard for me to forget the past; it’s the only thing that stopped me getting beaten up more often.” Danielle added with a small shudder as she remembered some of the times she hadn’t been quick enough to spot a problem that had led to her getting beaten up.
“You’ll soon start to realise that the only time we start whispering behind your back is when we plan something good.” Lianna grinned.
“Did you know about this trip to the cinema then?” Danielle asked as she lifted her head and looked Lianna in the eyes.
“I knew about a couple of things they were planning to do.” Lianna said, not lying, but not saying yes she did either.
“I could get use to this sort of whispering behind my back.” Danielle grinned. “I’ve not been to the movies that much.” Danielle added sounding more excited now.
“We go to the movies a lot, so get used to it.” Lianna said as they reached the bottom of the stairs where all the other kids were stood waiting for them with Brad and Ann.
Brad led them out to the minibus and then helped them all to get on before helping Ann to get in the front with him before he drove out the driveway and up the road towards the cinema.
Ann had brought the tickets online and had the seats reserved, so they had no trouble when they got to the cinema. Ann told them all to pick what they wanted, and had to tell Danielle it was fine for her to pig out and have popcorn and a bag of sweets. Lianna got a large drink for them to share, and Danielle said she’d share her popcorn with Lianna.
Danielle enjoyed the Disney movie they went to see, but she really enjoyed getting to cuddle up next to Lianna on the double seat they picked as they shared the popcorn and drink.
“Pizza or burgers for dinner?” Brad asked once they were all back in the minibus after the movie was over.
“Pizza!” all the kids shouted back to him.
“Burgers it is then!” He shouted back with a chuckle.
Brad drove them to a pizza hut and they all took over a section of the restaurant before looking through the menu and picking what pizzas they wanted.
Danielle had forgotten all about the others hating her as they all made her feel loved while they asked her questions about the movie, and what other films she’d seen that she liked.
Lianna sat back and smiled as she saw how much fun Danielle was having, and just how well her text message had brought out the best in her brothers and sisters.
Things did get a little quieter when the food arrived, but they were still chatting as they ate. They pretty much ordered one of every pizza on the menu, and they all had a laugh at Danielle when she picked up a hot and spicy piece of pizza thinking it was another one. She ended up finishing her own drink and then Lianna’s, as she tried to stop her mouth burning. She was giggling though as the others laughed at her.
“How can anyone enjoy eating something like that?” Danielle asked when she finally put the fire out in her mouth.
“I didn’t think it was that hot.” Richard said as he took a big bite out of another piece of the same pizza.
“What planet are you from?” Danielle asked as she saw how it really didn’t bother Richard as he ate the pizza. Danielle’s question just made all the others laugh though.
“I have no idea how my brother can eat that stuff either.” Nicole said as she poked Richard in the side just as he was stuffing the rest of the pizza in his mouth.
“I think he takes after his Uncle Brad.” Ann said as she watched Brad stuff a piece of the same pizza in his mouth and then grin at her. “Don’t think you’re kissing me later after eating all that.” She warned Brad.
Brad just gave her a look that said we’d see, and even Ann smiled as she thought about kissing him once they got home and the kids were in bed.
The plan had been to keep Danielle away from the house until late, so she didn’t see all the stuff set up in the garden until morning. Danielle and Lianna’s bedrooms didn’t look out over the back garden, so they all knew they would be safe until breakfast, by which point the cat would be out of the bag anyway.
Danielle, Lianna and Lauren were all worn out by the time Brad pulled back into the drive way that night, and all three of them went up to get ready for bed before they all crawled into Lianna’s bed to get some sleep.
Chrissy, Becky, Mandy and Carl all popped in to see them and wish them good night before letting them go to sleep. Danielle slept much better that night, after being worried the past couple and not sleeping much at all.
Danielle woke on the Sunday morning to the sound of giggling as something kept tickling her nose. She opened her eyes to find Lianna lying with her head on the same pillow and lightly brushing the end of Danielle’s nose with her finger.
“Stop doing that.” Danielle grumbled as she battered Lianna’s hand away before closing her eyes and trying to go back to sleep again. “I need more sleep.” She added in a sleepy voice.
“You can’t sleep now; we have too much to get done.” Lianna said as she went back to tickling Danielle’s nose.
“It’s Sunday, the day of rest, or so I’ve been told, and I want to rest.” Danielle said as she slapped Lianna’s hand away again.
“I’m running a bubble bath for the two of us.” Lianna said trying to temp Danielle out of bed.
“That’s not playing fair.” Danielle pouted as she knew that a nice bubble bath was the only thing that would make her move right now.
Danielle was soon sitting up with some help from Lianna. Danielle saw that Lauren had already woken and left the bedroom. Danielle sat there trying to wake herself up a little before getting out of bed and following Lianna into the bathroom where the bathtub was filling up nicely. Danielle took in a deep breath and enjoyed the floral sent in the room.
“That does look good.” Danielle said with a sleepy look on her face as she let Lianna help her get undressed.
The two of them were soon relaxing into the mass of bubbles in the oversized bathtub, and they helped each other to wash before they cuddled up together until the water cooled and they were starting to prune. They got out and helped each other to dry off before getting dressed and heading off down for breakfast.
“I’m sorry about my silly mood yesterday.” Danielle said as they made their way down to the kitchen where they could hear the chatter of voices.
“I did say you had nothing to worry about, not unless doing fun things scares you.” Lianna giggled as she wrapped an arm around Danielle. “That is the only time you will find any of us scheming behind your back.” Lianna added with a grin.
As the two of them entered the kitchen, Danielle saw that something was happening in the garden for the first time. “Are we having another barbecue?” She asked as she looked out the window and saw the large marquee and people wandering around with boxes.
“No, it’s a birthday party.” Lianna said still grinning.
“A birthday party? Who’s? I’ve not got them anything, why didn’t anyone tell me?” Danielle asked sounding panicked.
“If we told you, then it wouldn’t be a surprise would it?” Lianna giggled.
“A surprise for whom?” Danielle asked, still not understanding.
“For you silly.” Mandy said as she walked over and wrapped her arms around Danielle and hugged her before stepping back and then leaning down to kiss her on the forehead.
“A birthday party for me? But it’s not my birthday.” Danielle pointed out.
“Did you have a party when it was your birthday?” Mandy asked.
“No.” Danielle said with a look that made Mandy think Danielle thought she was insane.
“Have you ever had a birthday party?” Mandy asked.
“Who’d want to give me a birthday party before coming here?” Danielle asked with a sad sounding noise that was a little like a laugh. “I never had any friends to come to a party before now.” She added with a sigh.
“Well now you know why we’re throwing you a late birthday party.” Mandy grinned as she leaned down and kissed Danielle on the forehead again.
Danielle just looked around the room in shock at all the smiling faces looking back at her. “You really are going to let me have a birthday party?” Danielle finally asked as she looked up at Mandy again with tears in her eyes.
“Yes sweetie, and we have presents for you to open later, but your father and I want you to have this gift now.” Mandy said as she handed Danielle a flat present that looked like a large card, but it was nicely wrapped with a bow and everything.
“What is it?” Danielle asked as she turned it over in her hand.
“It’s called a present, and you rip it open to find out what’s inside.” Lianna said sarcastically.
Danielle frowned at her just before she found a corner and started to do what Lianna said. Once the wrapping paper was removed, Danielle found herself holding a simple looking A4 sized folder, which she opened and found some official looking papers inside which didn’t mean much to her. “What are these?” Danielle asked with a puzzled look as she looked up at a grinning Mandy.
“This one is a new birth certificate with your correct sex on it.” Mandy said as she pointed at the gender box to indicate that Danielle was now a female. “And this one is the one to say that your name is now Danielle Wayne, and I’m sure that this one is the one you’re going to like the most.” Mandy added with a grin as she held up the last piece of paper in the folder.
“What’s this one?” Danielle asked as she looked at it, still not understanding what this piece of paper meant.
“That piece of paper says that you are now my daughter.” Mandy explained as a tear ran down her cheek.
“I’m really your daughter now? They can’t take me away from you anymore?” Danielle choked out as she was crying now as well.
“No they can’t, not that I would have let them if they tried.” Mandy giggled through her tears as she pulled Danielle into her arms.
“Thank you mummy, thank you for everything.” Danielle said as she gripped on to Mandy with all her might.
“Welcome to the family Miss Danielle Wayne.” Mandy said when they finished hugging and she was holding Danielle at arm’s length.
“Danielle Wayne.” Danielle said, trying it out and loving the sound of it. “When do we start the party?” Danielle asked with a grin.
“When all your friends get here later.” Mandy said as she led Danielle over to the table and made her take a seat so she could have some breakfast.
“But everyone I know is already here.” Danielle pointed out as she looked around the table at all the other kids.
“What about all your friends from school?” Lauren asked.
“What friends from school?” Danielle said looking confused.
“Naomi, Polly, Natalie to start with.” Lauren reminded her. “Not to mention all of our friends that took a liking to you as well.” Lauren added with a smile.
“We kind of made it an end of school year party as well as a birthday party, but they all wanted to get you a gift, so it’s going to be more of a birthday party for you.” Lianna grinned as she took the seat next to Danielle.
“Is this the real reason for you all whispering and talking behind my back?” Danielle asked as she finally saw the full picture.
“Yes, and we’re sorry if we made you feel like we didn’t like you anymore sis.” Jennifer said. “We just wanted to do something really special for you.” She added with a grin.
“You had already accepted me as part of the family, what more could I ever want?” Danielle asked.
“A birthday party, silly.” Chrissy giggled. “Every girl needs to have a birthday party with cake and presents.” Chrissy added with excitement.
Danielle found herself grinning and then she was giggling as she clapped her hands together excitedly. Holly managed to make Danielle eat a couple of slices of French toast before she was led back upstairs to get dressed properly for the part. Danielle had wanted to open her presents, but Mandy had said she could open them all later in the day when the other guests arrived.
Lianna and Lauren helped Danielle pick out a dress for the party, and then Chrissy arrived in Danielle’s room to help her with hair and makeup.
Danielle stood with her mouth hanging open when she saw the end result for the first time after they got finished with her.
“Wow, I look beautiful.” Danielle said as she lifted her hand to her face.
“You looked beautiful to begin with silly.” Lianna said with a grin. “Now you look stunning.”
“Thank you.” Danielle giggled as she looked in the mirror at the very different looking girl to the one that bumped into Lianna and Lauren all those weeks ago. “I feel like all my dreams have come true now.” Danielle added as she let Lianna wrap her arms around her so they could kiss each other.
“We better see about finding you some new dreams then.” Chrissy said as she wrapped her arms around the two of them, and was soon joined by Lauren.
“I’m living the dream now Aunty Chrissy.” Danielle giggled.
“That you are sweetie that you are.” Chrissy said just before she kissed Danielle on the forehead, just like Mandy liked to do.
Danielle and the others had just got to the bottom of the stairs when the doorbell chimed to let them know they had a visitor, so Chrissy walked over and opened it to find Cathleen, Damon and Tina stood there. Tina was carrying a large flat looking square box wrapped in shiny pink paper with a darker pink bow.
“Hi Aunty Chrissy.” Tina grinned.
“Hello Tink. You here for the party?” Chrissy asked with a grin as she looked at Tina in her best rock chic dress and makeup.
“Sure am.” Tina grinned back. “Is the birthday girl around?” Tina asked as Chrissy stepped aside to let the three of them into the house.
“Tink!” Danielle shouted when she saw Tina enter the house carrying the present.
“Hi birthday girl.” Tina grinned as she handed Danielle the box.
“It’s not really my birthday you know, but thanks for the present.” Danielle said as she took the box from Tina and then gave her a one armed hug.
After everything you’ve been through, you deserve this party girlfriend.” Tina scolded Danielle. “So just relax and enjoy the day.” Tina added as she hugged Danielle back.
“Thanks Tink.” Danielle grinned. “How are things going with your dad?” Danielle asked when she saw that Tina looked much happier than she had done the last time they spoke.
“They’re going really well.” Tina grinned excitedly. “I don’t know what Uncle Carl said to him, but we’ve been doing so much together the past couple of days.”
“That’s so great, so what you been doing then?” Danielle asked as she let Chrissy lead them through the house and out into the garden.
“This may sound a little weird to you, but we went for a picnic at the cemetery where my mother is buried, and we sat at her grave side telling her all about the things we’ve been doing. I told all about my new extended family, and Daddy said he was now taking better care of me, and still trying to get me to stop dressing like something from a horror film.” Tina explained with a giggle.
“I’m really happy for you Tink.” Danielle said as she gave her another hug. “Please don’t ever change the way you dress, you really rock that look.” Danielle added with a grin.
“Don’t worry, I don’t plan to.” Tina giggled. “It will just take the parental unit a little time to realise that, but we do have to have something to argue about.” Tina grinned.
Chrissy led them into a marquee and Danielle stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the long table along the far side that was over half full of wrapped gifts already, and Tina was the first guest to arrive.
“Is it someone else’s birthday as well?” Danielle asked with her mouth hanging open.
“Nope, just yours.” Lianna giggled as she started Danielle walking again. “You better get used to this sort of thing in this family.” Lianna warned.
“I’ve never seen so many gifts before.” Danielle said as she looked up and down the table. “Are they really all mine?” She asked as she turned to look at Chrissy, not trusting Lianna was telling her the truth.
“Yes they are all yours sweetie, but you still have lots more to come from your friends.” Chrissy reminded her.
“It’s going to take me all day just to open them all.” Danielle said.
“Well you better get started then.” Chrissy said as she handed Danielle a small box.
Danielle took the box from Chrissy and then looked at the tag hanging from it and saw it was from Lianna. She ripped off the pretty wrapping paper and then the lid to find a small velvet case the size of a ring box inside. She pulled it out and then opened it to find a gold ring inside with a set of diamonds in the shape of a heart inside.
“Wow Lianna, this is so beautiful.” Danielle said as she pulled the ring out the case and held it in her hand.
“I hope to place another ring on your finger one day Danielle Wayne, but until that day, this one will have to do.” Lianna said as she took the ring from Danielle and then slipped it onto Danielle’s ring finger.
“Are you asking me to marry you Lianna?” Danielle asked with a grin.
“No, not yet, but I will one day.” Lianna promised.
“I hope this won’t spoil the surprise, but I’ll say yes when you do.” Danielle grinned even more as she looked at the ring on her finger.
Lianna started grinning as she wrapped her arms around Danielle and they started kissing each other.
“Okay, okay, we all know you love each other.” Lauren whined. “Stop making out and get busy opening your presents!” She added as she pulled the two of them apart.
Danielle and Lianna were both giggling when they parted, and Danielle was soon ripping open gift after gift. She got skirts, tops, dresses, shoes, makeup, hair products, vouchers and a beautiful leather jacket from Tina.
The other guests started to arrive while Danielle was opening her gifts. So she greeted them all and thanked them for the gifts they bought her. Danielle was amazed at how many friends she now had, and she got hugs from Naomi, Polly and Natalie when they arrived.
“We’ll talk more to you later Danielle, but we just wanted to give you our gifts and let you know we’re looking forward to seeing you at school after the holidays, and I hope we can get together while we’re on break.” Naomi said as she hugged Danielle. “I must say you’re looking really pretty now as well.” Naomi added with a grin as she stepped back to take in the full look of their new friend.
“Thanks Naomi. I never thought I’d ever have anything like this.” Danielle said close to tears, but they were happy tears.
“Lianna and Lauren explained some of what happened to you, and I’m glad you found some loving parents.” Naomi said as she gave Danielle another hug, just before Polly and Natalie wanted another hug as well.
Danielle greeted more new friends from school, and was introduced to some of Nicole’s friends, as well as Richards and Craig’s. Tina wandered off with Nicole and her friends, some of which would be joining Nicole and Tina at the new school after the holidays.
“I’m glad to see you’ve recovered well from your surgery.” Simon said as he handed Danielle a card. “Sorry it’s not much, but I didn’t know what to get you.” He added.
“Thank you Simon, it’s the thought that counts.” Danielle said as she opened the card and saw a twenty pound voucher to spend on iTunes.
“Please call me Si, all my friends do.” Simon grinned as he stepped over and wrapped an arm around Lauren before leaning in for a kiss.
“Thank you Si.” Danielle grinned even more.
“Happy birthday Danielle.” Ian said as he handed her a card as well.
“Thank you Ian.” Danielle said as she opened it and saw another voucher for iTunes.
Lianna was just about to introduce Danielle to Charlie when Jennifer came bounding over screaming his name. “Charlie! You made it.” Jennifer said as she threw her arms around Charlie’s neck and then hugged him.
“This is Charlie, just in case you didn’t catch it just now when Jennifer said it.” Lianna giggled as she looked at a blushing Charlie with Jennifer still hugging him with a goofy grin on her face.
“Hi Charlie. It’s nice to meet you, and thanks for coming to my birthday party.” Danielle said as she reached out to shake his hand.
“Hello Danielle, thank you for letting me come.” Charlie smiled back nervously as he reached out with his free hand to shake Danielle’s, then he reached out with the other and handed Danielle a wrapped box.
“Awww, Thank you Charlie.” Danielle said as she took the present off Charlie and opened it to find a cute pink teddy bear and a large bag of gummy bears. “She’s so cute.” Danielle added as she hugged the bear before placing it on the table with all her other gifts.
Charlie looked happy when he saw how much Danielle loved the teddy bear, and he was soon being led off by Jennifer to chat with a group of her friends.
“Is that the Charlie you were talking about last week?” Danielle asked Lianna as they made their way over to get some drinks from the bar that Carl had sorted out for them. It was only selling soft drinks, but it was still fun to see the men behind the bar serving them like they were grownups.
“Yes, that’s him.” Lianna whispered back low enough so no one else would hear.
“I’m glad you’re all helping him to feel wanted.” Danielle said as she saw Charlie laughing at something one of Jennifer’s friends had just said to him.
A DJ started playing music and pretty soon Danielle was on the make shift dance floor with Lianna and some of the others as they danced around and had a good time.
Everyone moved over to another marquee when the DJ said the food was being served. Everyone helped themselves to a buffet style meal and then sat down at tables the grownups had provided. The weather was warm and sunny, so most of them went and sat out in the sun to enjoy the nice weather.
They were all called back into the marquee ready for a large cake being wheeled in as everyone started singing happy birthday to Danielle. Danielle squealed and clapped as she got to blow out the candles and then make the first cut into the cake before Chrissy and Amy took over slicing it up so everyone got a slice.
The party moved back over to the other marquee after that, and everyone carried on dancing and having fun as they celebrated breaking up for six weeks.
Danielle had never felt so wanted in her life as she danced with her friends and laughed more than she could ever remember doing. Lianna was there with her to enjoy some of the slow songs, but Danielle found herself dancing with some of the boys from the school, as well as Peter, Richard and Craig. Simon and Ian got in on the act as well, all of them wanting a dance with the birthday girl.
Lianna and Danielle were just taking a break from dancing, when they looked over and saw Jennifer sat with her friends, but Charlie wasn’t with them anymore.
“Jen! Where did Charlie go?” Lianna shouted over to her.
“He said he was going to the bathroom, but that was some time ago now.” Jennifer said looking a little worried. “I better go and see where he’s got to.” Jennifer added as she went to get up.
“I’ll go find him; I need the little girl’s room anyway.” Lianna said as she got to her feet. “Do you want to come for a walk?” Lianna asked Danielle as she held her arm out for her.
Danielle nodded and smiled as she got to her feet, happy to be getting away from everyone for a couple of minutes.
Chrissy and the others were in the house trying to keep out the way, but also keeping an eye on things from a distance. They did have a steady stream of children wandering in and out to use the bathrooms downstairs, but they had closed the doors to prevent any of the guests wandering around the house. Chrissy looked a little puzzled when she saw that the doors from the pool room into the hallway were open a little bit, so she went to make sure some of the children hadn’t decided to find a bedroom.
She got to the top of the stairs and couldn’t hear anyone up there, but she wandered up and down the hallways checking to make sure all the doors to the bedrooms were shut. They all were apart from Lianna’s bedroom door, that one was open just a crack, so Chrissy sneaked over and pushed it open slowly to see if she might catch a couple of kids making out on the bed, but what she found made her smile as it reminded her of being young herself.
Chrissy had found a young boy stood in front of Lianna’s full-length mirror holding up one of Lianna’s dresses to himself as he danced around looking at himself.
The door was still swinging open and it made a faint creak at one point which made the boy spin around and look right at Chrissy with fear in his eyes. He threw the dress back on the bed where he’d found it and tried to run from the bedroom, but Chrissy was blocking his path and she easily stopped him and then hugged him as he started sobbing how sorry he was.
“I think you’ve got some explaining to do.” Chrissy said as she led the boy over to the bed and sat him down before she sat down next to him. “Why don’t we start with your name?” Chrissy asked as she passed him a tissue.
“Charlie Whitmore, ma’am.” He said with a snuffle as he wiped away the tears.
“Oh, so you’re Charlie, or would you rather me call you Clare?” Chrissy asked with a smile.
To Be Continued Next friday
Story by SaraUK
Edited and Posted by SamanthaK
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Child and Parent guide:
Parents Children Chrissy & Becky Andrew/Lianna, Lauren (Twins) Amy & Amber Jessica Ann & brad Jennifer Sara & Cathy Peter Mandy & Carl/Carla Craig, Danielle (Adopted) Jayden & Callum Richard, Nicola (Twins) Dan & Faith Penny, Christopher
EDITORS NOTE: Please Comment and/or leave Kudos and let Sara know you like her work please, Any comments on spelling, grammar or the layout of the story please PM me “Samanthak” not Sara. Thank you
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