"It's happened," Nell informed Con as they strolled along the lakeside. "You have a nickname! Cornelia was screeching about finishing her timeline for 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'."
"'Bonnie Prince Charlie'? From Stewart, I suppose… Joey's idea, no doubt." Con laughed. "I was dreading 'Stew'!"
"It's very fitting; you have the surname, and you're Scottish - and pretty." Nell's gaze spoke volumes beyond her words.
Con blushed and looked away, heart racing. "Thank you," she murmured.
"You realise we'll be 'Bill' and 'Charlie' forever," Nell said lightly; but her grip on Con's arm tightened.
Con smiled. "'Bill and Charlie'... I like that."
"Has anyone done Charlie's ghastly History prep?" Ailie's voice echoed through the corridors, startling Nell.
Of course, she realised, Ailie meant Miss Charlesworth, not Con Stewart; it was just this 'Charlie' teaching History too that had surprised her. She walked on, remembering the bygone Tiernsee days. When they had been 'Bill and Charlie'… forever, she'd thought.
"Nell? Is everything all right?" Hilda asked, and Nell realised she'd reached the study without noticing.
She smiled warmly back. Those days had been good, but they were gone; and she wouldn't lose what she had now for anything. "Yes, my dear. Everything's fine."