The Standalones

Chapter Thirty-Three

Ken Preston

30 June 2024

Silhouette of a rock band against a spotlight and the words The Standalones

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Chapter Thirty-Three

A man in a top hat and coat tails rode past on a Penny Farthing.

Chloe giggled. “All of a sudden I feel like I’m in a Charles Dickens novel. Is London always like this?”

They were walking hand-in-hand along the city streets, wandering, talking, growing close.

“No, I think there might be some event on, I’m not sure,” Matt replied. “Do you want to follow him?”

Chloe leaned in closer to Matt. “No, I’m happy just walking with you.”

“Same here.”

Enveloped in a warm glow, Chloe had never felt happier. All her doubts about Matt’s feelings towards her had disappeared.

Except…

“Can I ask you something?”

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“Uh-oh, not sure I like the sound of that,” Matt said. “Alright, go on then.”

“Last night, in the camper van, we were talking, and then you suddenly closed down and turned away from me. I didn’t know what to think.”

“Yeah, sorry about that.” Matt paused. “It’s just that, after me and Lexi split, I promised myself no more relationships for a while. I’d been hurt, you know? And I thought it was best if I just concentrated on the music for the time being.”

“And then I turned up. Sorry!”

Matt chuckled and pulled Chloe closer. “Definitely no apologies needed. The thing is, as soon as I saw you at Euston Station, I fell for you. Even if you seemed a little bit crazy at the time.”

“Well, I was just flustered. I was falling for you, too.”

“This morning, when I woke up, I was kicking myself for acting the way I did last night. And I promised myself I was going to explain how I felt about you, but—”

“We never seem to get a moment alone together, do we?”

“No, we don’t, but this has been nice.” Matt stopped walking and turned to face Chloe. “What do you want to do now?”

“I suppose Chris and Scarlett will be wondering where we are.”

Their lips were only inches apart. Chloe’s surroundings were disappearing again.

“I suppose they will,” Matt murmured.

“They can wonder a little longer,” Chloe whispered, and their lips touched, and they kissed.

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