What Doesn't Kill You

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Chapter 17

Scout loved December and the run up to Christmas. The city became a little magical with Christmas lights up everywhere and shop windows boasting snowy scenes. It never snowed in Swansea. Rain just became torrential downpour but even that couldn’t dampen her spirits. The only issue with December was how quickly it flew by.

Lucky and Scout had spruced up the shop so that it looked like a winter wonderland, in addition to the brighter children’s section. With the help of social media, they’d started to pull in more customers of a younger demographic. Between work, shopping and trying to get out running more, Scout had spent a little less time with Lucky than she was used to.

Christmas morning, Scout and Jim spent time together while Lucky and his family went to visit his Mum. She’d be lying if she said she wasn’t nervous. She still wasn’t sure about letting someone into the Daniels bubble.

“And you aren’t going to embarrass me?” Scout asked.

“Have I ever?” Jim responded. Scout shot him a look and Jim grinned at her.

He pulled up outside of Chris’s home and she pulled out the gifts from the boot of the care before Jim took them. They walked up the path towards the door together. Scout felt like she might actually be sick. She raised a hand to knock on the door but before she got a chance it was pulled open.

“Merry Christmas!” Chris greeted cheerily.

“Merry Christmas, Christopher,” Jim returned.

“Nice to see you, Jim. Scout. Come in.”

Jim followed Chris into the house and Scout stepped inside, closing the door behind her. She could hear an argument and as they walked into the living room, Ava and Lucky were fighting over a tiny pack of playing cards that had fallen out of the cracker they’d just pulled.

“Hey, Scout,” Michael greeted her and kissed her cheek.

“Hey. How long have they been like this?”

“Since they got home.”

“You always take the best things from the crackers,” Ava hissed.

“You can have the bottle opened from earlier,” Lucky compromised.

Ava looked like she was thinking of the offer when she clocked Scout. “Oh! Hey, Scout.”

Lucky turned to look over his shoulder and broke into a grin. “Baby! Merry Christmas!” He jumped over the sofa and came at her while Ava pocked the pack of cards.

“Merry Christmas, Lucky.”

He leaned down to give her a kiss and her heart didn’t seem to understand that it wasn’t auditioning for the percussion section of the orchestra.

The sound of someone clearing their throat caused them to break apart and Jim stood with a small smile on his face. Scout felt herself go red as Lucky let go of her and stepped towards Jim, hand outstretched. “Sir. Lachlan James but I go by Lucky.”

“Nice to meet you, Lucky. You can call me Jim.” They shook hands and Scout stepped beside her boyfriend. “You’re dating my daughter?”

“Uh, yes, sir,” Lucky said, suddenly feeling nervous.

Jim’s eyes narrowed and Scout groaned, “Dad.”

“You’re going to look after her?” Jim asked, ignoring his daughter.

“The best I can, sir.”

“What are you playing at?” Scout hissed.

“I’m just doing my job, love. Lucky, you’ve made her the happiest I’ve seen her since she got home, meaning you have my blessing to continue courting my daughter.”

Scout groaned again and buried her face in Lucky’s side as he wrapped an arm around her.

“Thanks, sir.”

“Just call me Jim. Now, I best help your father with the dinner if we’re planning to eat on time.”

Jim’s footsteps faded away and Scout looked up at Lucky who was beaming. “Happiest you’ve been since you got home?” Scout poked him hard in the side and he pulled her in tighter. “I’m glad I can be the one responsible for that.”

“Who said it had anything to do with you?”

“Bit of a coincidence, don’t you think, sunshine?” He placed a kiss on her forehead. “How about we go swap gifts?”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Lucky took her hand and she picked up his gift before he led them upstairs to the guest room. They popped themselves on the bed, a little bit of calm away from their families.

“I’ve missed you lately,” Scout admitted.

“Same, babe.”

“I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I can’t wait for the holidays to be over so we can get back to our normal routine.”

He let out a small laugh and Scout picked up his gift before handing it over. Lucky had no patience and ripped clean through the paper. In his hands sat a framed star map that dated to when A Page A Day opened. Lucky’s first business deserved to be commemorated.

“This is being put up in the shop as soon as we open back up. Thanks, babe.”

“You’re welcome. It’s your baby so you should be damn proud of it.”

His cheeks coloured a little at her compliment. It had been a labour of love even if he had left it for a while. Between looking after this business and setting up the next, he poured a lot of hours into his work.

Carefully, he placed the frame down before handing Scout a box. He felt his mouth run dry as she took it from him and unravelled the bow on the top. She took off the lid and reached inside. The first thing she pulled out was a smaller box and when she opened that there was a necklace with a small four leaf clover pendant.

“Cute,” Scout laughed. She picked it out of the box and handed it to him before turning around.

“When I met you,” Lucky said, fastening it into place, “you told me to call you Unlucky so maybe this will help you out.”

“My hero.”

“Damn straight.”

She turned back around and kissed him before he gestured at the box again. She reached in and this time, she pulled out a pair of black pointe shoes and her heart gave a gentle tug. “Thank you.”

Lucky’s hand covered hers. “Scout.”


“You’re going to do it, you know.”


“You’re going to dance again and you’re going to be back on that stage in London.” Lucky looked her in the eye. In all the time they had spent together, he always wanted more. Scout had never meant to be anything serious when he first laid eyes on her but now it felt like he couldn’t go a day without her. December had been rough with their busy schedules and he didn’t want to do it again. “And I’m going to be right there with you.”

“You know it’s adorable how supportive you are.”

“No, Scout,” Lucky told her. He’d spent most of the month thinking about this decision. “I don’t think you understand. I… I…” Lucky was stammering.

She put the shoes in the box and pushed it aside before shuffling closer to him. “What do you want to tell me?”

He took in a deep breath and held her hands. He’d never offered commitment to anyone but he wanted this. “I told you that the man that deserved you wouldn’t be threatened by your career. And then you asked me about what happens when you move back to London and I said we just take each day as it comes. I’m telling you now that when you move back there, I’m going to come with you.” The shock on her face almost made him laugh but the panic was balled in his chest. “I mean, if that’s something you’d want. I… it’s… I don’t have to.”

Scout threw herself at him and hugged him with such force that he was knocked backwards onto the bed. “Are you being serious? Because if you are joking with me right now there’s going to be a murder.”

“I’m being serious, Scout. I’ll come with you if you want me there. I can’t imagine not being around you.”

She kissed him hard before resting her forehead against his. There was an overwhelming urge in her chest and it rose up her throat and three words almost slipped out of her mouth but she clamped down on it quick. She couldn’t say that. “I want you there,” Scout assured him.

“Scout!” Jim called from downstairs. “I hope you aren’t in the bedroom with a boy!”

After dinner, they all sat around to play monopoly. Scout was sitting next to Lucky, resting against his side.

“You didn’t each much,” she said to him. “Are you okay?”

Ava was currently counting through the noted in the back because she was almost certain Chris took some when she wasn’t looking. Monopoly: tearing families apart since the beginning of time.

“I’m fine,” he told her. “Just wasn’t hungry.” Lucky hugged her close.

Ava had rumbled Chris and the fact he had stolen money and was reading them the riot act. The game continued on and Scout couldn’t help but notice that the nerves had faded away. Their families had slot together with ease.

“Do you have any plans for New Years?” Jim asked.

“Nothing yet,” Lucky said. “We haven’t really discussed it.”

“Michael and I are heading up to Edinburgh for Hogmanay,” Ava said.

Michael added, “Why don’t you both join us?”

Lucky looked to Scout. “What do you think?”

“Could be fun.”

“Definitely going to be freezing,” Michael moaned.

“Oh hush you.” Ava gave him a gentle shove and he pulled her into his lap.

“Okay then,” Scout agreed. “Looks like we’ll be doing Edinburgh for New Years.”

“You owe me a roadtrip to Scotland,” Lucky reminded her. Scout groaned and he laughed. That sound would forever be one oof her favourite sounds. It was rich and deep. Lucky couldn’t control his laughter. It was never quiet or contained and she adored that because it was infectious. “We’ll share it, don’t worry.”

Scout played with the clover around her neck and Lucky moved in to kiss her.

“Hands,” Jim warned him.

Lucky raised his hands where Jim could see them and as he pulled away from Scout, she shot her Dad an unimpressed look.

Maybe letting people into their bubble wouldn’t be so bad.

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