“For good friends,” Rachel said.

“For new friends,” Yvonne said, her eyes shining.

“A toast!” Marina cried, and rose to her feet. “To the woman who gathered us here for this most special of meals, the woman to whom we all owe so much, the woman we all want to be when we grow up. To Beth Kennedy!”

“Don’t be silly,” I murmured, but everyone stood and clinked glasses while I sat in hot embarrassment at the head of the table.

“To Beth!”

“To Mom!”

“To Mrs. Kennedy!”

They sat, laughing and talking as they rattled their silverware free of napkins. Marina caught my eye. “What?” I asked.

“You’re not mad, are you?” she whispered.

“About the toast? No. Mortified, but not mad.”

“A little mortification is good for the soul.” She gave a wise nod.

“One of these days I’m going to mortify you and we’ll see how you like it.”

Her eyes sparkled. “Me, mortified? What fun!”

I shuddered to think of the events that would require Marina mortification. “Thanks, but I think I’ve had enough excitement in the last year to last a lifetime.”

She quirked an eyebrow. “Really?”

I looked out across my Thanksgiving table. Friends, food, and family. What more could I want? “No more excitement,” I said firmly.

Well, at least for a little while.

Also by Laura Alden

Murder at the PTA

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