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“Made with love,” Claire chimed in.

Eleanor covered her mouth and broke into heavy sobs as her emotions took her over. She became completely overwhelmed and Lorelai went over to hug her.

“It’s okay, Ellie. You don’t have to be sad.”

“Oh, no, I’m not sad, sweetheart. I’m just so unbelievably happy. You see, when I was a girl, my mother used to make me cardigans, and one just like this one right here was my favorite of all. When I lost them all, I thought I’d never have one again, so this is beyond amazing.”

“So, those are happy tears?” Lorelai asked.

“The happiest tears,” Eleanor replied. “Thank you so much. Thank you all so much. This is the greatest gift I’ve ever received.”

“Shay told me how you lost your other cardigans. I know we can’t replace those, but I hoped this could bring a smile your way.” I smiled. “Happy birthday, Ellie.”

“Thank you, Grey.” She smiled back, and my heart skipped a beat.

I hadn’t known it could still do that.

I hadn’t known it could skip for another person.

And it felt kind of beautiful.

Later that afternoon, the girls headed to their bedrooms after a bit too much cake. Eleanor headed home to go out for a birthday dinner with Shay, and I was left to clean up from the birthday celebration.

“Eleanor’s great,” Claire said as she walked into the kitchen, where I was loading the dishwasher. “She’s really good for you.”

“Yeah, she’s great with the kids,” I agreed. “Even Karla is opening up to her, and we all know that’s a huge deal. Eleanor has been great for them.”

“Yes, I agree fully, but I was mostly talking about how she’s good for you.”

Her words caught me off guard, and I stood up and looked her way. “What?”

She gave me the gentlest look ever and walked toward me. “I get it, Greyson, I do. I know you’re probably trying to ignore it, trying to push the feelings away, but you don’t have to do that. I know you’re probably scared of what it means, having these feelings coming up, but you shouldn’t be afraid of them. I knew my daughter. I know what she’d want for you. She’d want you to be happy again. That’s all Nicole would ever want for you. She’d want you to find happiness. If Eleanor is that for you, and I think she is, please don’t pass it up.”

I put down the plate in my hand, and leaned back against the countertop. “Is it that obvious?” I asked.

“Only when you look at her. When you look at her, it’s as if the whole world lights up inside you.” Claire moved in closer and placed a hand on my forearm. “And that’s a good thing, Greyson. That’s a beautiful thing.”

My chest tightened and I took a deep breath as I shut my eyes. “It just feels like a betrayal…like I’m betraying Nicole.”

“No,” Claire said quickly, shaking her head. “No, no, no. I figured that was what has been holding you back, and I worried about those thoughts floating around in your mind. You are not betraying anyone, Greyson. You and my daughter, you had a beautiful love story. You two created a love so strong it will live on forever, and that’s an amazing thing, but that doesn’t mean you’re never allowed to love again. Your heart is still beating, son, which means there’s room for more love, and if there’s anyone in this world who deserves to find that love, it’s you.”

I pinched the bridge of my nose and inhaled. “It’s scary.”

“Yes, it is, but still worth it.”

“What if there’s nothing there? What if Eleanor doesn’t feel it back?”

“She does.”

“How do you know?”

“Because when she looks at you, it’s as if the whole world lights up inside her. So, trust what you’re feeling, and don’t let doubt creep in. Sometimes in life you just have to leap, Greyson. You have to take the leap and just trust that you can fly.”

She smiled a smile just like Nicole’s, and that made me happy and sad all at once.

I exhaled slowly, feeling my heart racing throughout my body.

She was right.

She was always right.

“Thank you, Claire.”


“I just…” I cleared my throat and shifted around in my shoes. “I don’t think I’ve ever said this to you, but I just want you to know that I’ve always looked to you as my mother. I’ve never really had a motherly figure in my life until you, and from day one, you welcomed me into your life with open arms. You’ve given me guidance when I needed it. You talked me off the ledge when I was ready to jump. When I hit my lowest, you didn’t leave my side. You fought for me when I couldn’t fight for myself. You stayed by me, and I don’t think you know what that means to me. I don’t think you understand how much of an honor it is for me to call you Mom.”

Tears filled her eyes as she walked over and wrapped me into a hug. “You are the son I always prayed for.” That choked me up more than she knew. After a moment, she pulled back and placed her hands on my cheeks. “Now go,” she whispered, her voice filled with nothing but love. “Fly.”



Once I’d received my cardigan from Greyson and the girls, I wouldn’t take it off. I wore it out to my birthday dinner with Shay. When we made it back to the apartment, I curled up on the couch with my newest novel, and even though I wanted to dive deep into the world of my characters, I couldn’t. My focus was shot, and I couldn’t stop thinking about Greyson.

Out of all the gifts I’d ever received, that dragonfly cardigan was at the top of my list.

After time passed and I’d only gotten through eight pages of my novel, I put the book down for the evening.

When my thoughts wouldn’t remain silent, I pulled out my phone and began typing an email.

FROM: [email protected]

TO: [email protected]

DATE: August 24th, 10:34 PM

SUBJECT: Dragonflies


I just wanted to thank you for today. You have no clue how much today meant to me…how much this cardigan means to me. I would come over now to thank you again in person, but I would start crying like a crazy person, and I don’t want you to have to deal with that.

I love it so much, Grey. I’m going to treasure this forever.

Also, today I was talking to Karla, and I realized something that might help you with reconnecting with her. It might be a small step, but maybe it’s something worth looking into.

She feels lost, and she feels like you don’t really trust her in a way. I think showing a little trust might go a long way, even if it’s just letting her take care of Lorelai for a few hours a week. She’s really great with her sister, and I think it might make her feel a bit more independent and useful in a way.

Again, just an idea. Feel free to ignore it. I just wanted to pass it on.


FROM: [email protected]

TO: [email protected]

DATE: August 24th, 11:02 PM

SUBJECT: Re: Dragonflies


I’ll take any tips and tricks you can think of.

Thank you.

Also, there’s this big launch party happening for EastHouse’s new line of whiskeys. My friend Landon is coming to host it, and it’s going to be a big event. Would you and Shay like to attend? I remember parties not really being your scene, but you are more than welcome to bring your own book.

I’ll make sure you have an antisocial corner to hide in.


FROM: [email protected]

TO: [email protected]

DATE: August 24th, 11:09 PM

SUBJECT: Re: Re: Dragonflies


You had me at antisocial corner to hide in.

We’ll be there.


FROM: [email protected]

TO: [email protected]

DATE: August 24th, 11:17 PM

SUBJECT: Re: Re: Re: Dragonflies

Happy birthday, Ellie.

I hope all of your dreams and wishes came true.




The night of the whiskey launch, Shay and I got ready at Greyson’s guesthouse. Greyson had arranged for the three of us to ride there together in a limousine, so it made sense for us to get ready at his place.

The event was supposed to be one of the biggest of the year, and with Landon being the celebrity guest and inviting his other celebrity friends, I knew it was going to be a wild night.

Even so, I brought a big enough purse to hold the novel I was currently reading, because the introvert within me was still alive and well.

“Does this look okay?” Shay asked, smoothing out the black gown that fit her perfectly. She looked freaking incredible, but that wasn’t hard for her to do. She could’ve worn a potato sack and looked like a million bucks.

“It’s amazing,” I said, stunned by her beauty. I turned back to my mirror and put on red lipstick, the finishing touch to my whole look. “And me?”

I was wearing the fanciest golden dress I’d ever seen, thanks to Shay. She took me shopping for it, and once I tried it on and noticed it sparkled alluringly when I turned, I thought it was overwhelmingly over the top, but Shay had convinced me that Hollywood was too much, which meant the dress was perfect.

We finished getting ready, slid on our high heels, and then headed over to Greyson’s. The limo was already sitting outside waiting for us, and when I saw that, a knot formed in my stomach. This was going to be the weirdest night of my life, I was certain of it.

“Do you think Chris Evans is going to be there?” Shay asked as we approached the front porch. “I need Captain America to be there. Or Chris Hemsworth, or hell, Chris Pratt. Honestly, I’m not picky. I just need a Chris.”

“Are you sure you don’t need a Landon?” I joked, mocking her first high school crush.

Her face tensed and she made a gagging sound. “You know what’s worse than dating a boy who becomes a famous celebrity and therefore being forced to see his face everywhere? You know what’s worse than that?”