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Finn Rhodes Forever: Chapter 52

Olivia

LATER, I headed inside to use the washroom and lingered in the hallway, peering at the family photos hanging on the wall.

My gaze landed on the one of me and Finn on grad night. We were standing under the wooden arch Sam had made in the backyard, laughing and smiling at each other, so happy and young. Elizabeth had snapped the picture at the perfect moment. My breath caught in my throat. In the picture, we looked at each other like we loved each other.

Footsteps made me turn, and Elizabeth stepped up behind me.

“I love that one,” she said softly. “I always knew you’d find your way back to each other.” She slid a gaze to me, studying my face. “You and Finn see each other.”

In my chest, my heart did somersaults.

Her eyes lingered on my face. “Honey, I’m sorry if I ever made you uncomfortable, trying to talk to you over the years. I should have given you more space.” A wry smile twisted onto her mouth. “It was hard, not having you around. You were always like a daughter to me.” She sighed. “I didn’t get a girl, and you were always so special.”

Elizabeth’s gaze swung to the other pictures—a candid photo of Avery behind the bar at her restaurant, Hannah smiling with pride in front of her bookstore, and Sadie standing beside a painting during her exhibit at the art gallery in town last year.

Oh. My heart ached, and suddenly, I saw the last twelve years through her eyes. The air whooshed out of my lungs.

“Now you have a whole bunch of girls,” I said quietly.

“I do.” Her arm came around my shoulders and with her other hand, she tapped the framed photo beside Sadie’s.

It was a picture Finn had taken of me in front of the flower, eyes shining in the bright sun. My eyes stung again and I sniffed.

“Even if you didn’t find it, honey, I’d be so proud of you and the woman you’ve grown into.” She smiled at the photo of me. “You and Finn getting into trouble never mattered, only that you were there for each other.” She pressed a kiss to my temple before letting me go.

“Elizabeth?”

She turned at the end of the hall.

“I’m sorry I brushed you off for so long.” I swallowed with difficulty, glancing away. “You reminded me of Finn.”

She nodded, eyes bright. “I know. I guess I didn’t want you to forget about him. But even if you never got back together, you were still special to me.”

She sent me a wink before returning to the backyard, and I took a few more minutes to study the family pictures on the wall.

“Hey,” Finn said at the end of the hall.

I straightened up. “Hey.”

“Everyone’s getting ready to leave.”

I nodded. “Okay. You want to go home?”

His eyes glinted as he shook his head. “Not yet.” He tilted his head behind him and held his hand out. “Come on.”

Finn led me upstairs and into his old bedroom. It was nearly the same, although there was a new duvet cover, and the room was tidier than when he had lived here. Through the window, I could see my old room.

“Finn,” I said, laughing. “Everyone’s downstairs.”

He grinned at me in disbelief. “We’re not doing that. Jesus, Morgan, you horndog.”

My chest shook with laughter. “Why are we up here in your old room, then?”

A moment later, we lay out on the roof, watching the sun set as pastel pinks, golds, and oranges washed across the sky. Birds chirped their last songs of the day from the trees, and Finn’s hand snuck into mine. I gave him a quick squeeze.

We heard the front door open.

“Bye,” Sadie called.

I lifted my head to watch her and Holden walk down the front path to Holden’s truck parked on the street. She turned back and met my gaze before she lifted her hand in a wave. A little smile played at her mouth, and I waved back.

“You know that old house we always pass?” Finn asked, playing with my fingers.

I nodded.

“What kind of changes would you make to it?”

I hummed, letting my mind drift to the old property. “The yard needs a lot of work.”

“Yep.”

Last time we passed it, the roof was covered in moss. “A new roof.”

“Definitely.”

“I’d evict all the rats and raccoons that live there now.”

Finn chuckled. “Without a doubt.”

I thought about the projects Sadie and Holden did and how, when she redesigned a space, she let her imagination run wild. In the inn they owned together, she had convinced Holden to install a secret library with a hidden door in a bookshelf. There was even a treehouse bar in the forest behind the inn. The homes she worked on mixed function and joyfulness.

I pictured living in that house at the edge of town. I imagined it full of our furniture, full of our families as we hosted Thanksgiving or Christmas. The big party we’d host at Halloween, kids in costumes running around the yard.

I pictured being happy there with Finn.

“I’d put a skylight in over the bed,” I told him.

His eyes pinned me. “For stargazing?”

I nodded. “Every night before we fall asleep.”

The corner of his mouth hitched, but his eyes melted with longing. Again, I thought about the words I wanted to say.

“Thanks for being patient with me,” I whispered.

He sighed, smiling back at me. “I’d wait forever for you, Morgan.”

In my memory, I heard the word Finn said months ago. He hadn’t said it since.

Soulmate.

I peered up at the sky and hoped it was true.


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