“Winter Rental”, Ch. 11 (Epilogue):  New Beginnings,  by Gratiana Lovelace,  December 31, 2022 (Post #1505) 

[“Winter Rental” is an original contemporary romance story copyrighted
by Gratiana Lovelace,2022; All rights reserved.];
[(1) the “Winter Rental” story cover (below left)]

0-2022--aa-Winter-Rental-story-cover-256x402_Jan09-2022byGratianaLovelace [Author’s notes:  I cast my characters as I write my stories—to help myself and my readers visualize the main characters.  So my main characters for “Winter Rental” are:  Richard Armitage as Greg Halliday; Cameron Diaz as his younger sister Connie Halliday;  Anne Hathaway as Diana Langley; Liam Hemsworth as Eddie Hughes; Rege-Jean Page as Mike Porter, Octavia Spencer as Octavia Porter, Perry King as Phillip Townes,  Gal Gadot as Vanessa Townes, and others as noted.

This is also a gentle romance (with chapters being rated as PG-13 or so, unless otherwise noted), with some heartfelt romantic moments—and some mature romantic discussions put to humorous effect.  So if you cannot or will not attend a movie with my maturity ratings, then don’t read that chapter.  And though I set my story in the lovely city and area of Galena, IL—which I have enjoyed visiting many times—for the purposes of my storytelling here, I use dramatic license of the facts, individuals, locations, etc.  These are my disclaimers.]

“Winter Rental”, Ch. 11 (Epilogue):  New beginnings

If Greg Halliday thinks that his past two weeks of wooing and proposing to Diana Langley in January of 2022 have been the quickest and the easiest transition toward their lifetime of happiness as a married couple, he will soon find out that–like most worthwhile endeavors—loving someone every day requires love, consideration, tenderness, patience, fortitude, and a host of selfless acts for their love’s benefit, including admitting that one is wrong (or at least, not right) with alarming regularity.

And for Diana, meeting Greg again after all these years and being swept away in a loving romantic whirlwind  by him is a dream come true for her.  Yet in truth, Diana wonders if her own obliging nature—which includes acquiescing to her brother Gary’s requests/demands for help at their family’s sporting goods store, as well as, Diana allowing her home to be rented to the Hallidays at an astoundingly short 6 hours notice to help out her friend and Pineridge Mountain Ski Resort Manager Mike Porter—is also a factor in her rapid romance with Greg Halliday.  It is, tangentially—in the sense that Diana let herself be open to seeking and exploring a relationship with Greg, rather than her fading into the background as she had done in the past.

It is in Diana’s nature to ponder and reflect—and they are also good skills to have DI0078~1as the educator that she is.   And Diana really wants to make a happy life with Greg, and hopefully, their kids someday—despite the inevitable intrusions into their lives from family, friends,  and bosses.  So she is determined to take a stand for her right to have  the life and the future that she wants–and on her terms.  Diana [(2) right] is taking charge of her life, finally,  and she now enjoys the confidence and happiness that she could only dream of before Greg came back into her life.  So Greg has met his match in in the beautiful and empowered Diana—in more ways than one.

And now that Greg and Diana  are engaged to be married, they need to share their happy news with their respective families first.  Greg perceives that his sister Connie will be thrilled for him—as he is for her, in Connie reconnecting with her first love Eddie Hughes.  So later in the week, after checking in with Connie daily by phone as she tends to Eddie as he  recovers at home from his wolf attack injuries—Greg discerns  from his sister Connie’s comments over the phone that Eddie is likely improving, but he is still in the very early stages of healing.

So Greg and Diana make a brief visit to the small two bedroom Cottage on the Hughes estate where Connie is tending to Eddie’s recovery 24/7, with the help of a trained nurse during the daytime—to make sure that his healing wounds don’t get infected.  To prepare for Greg’s and Diana’s visiting them, Eddie requests that his orderly attendant bathe him, shave him, and put him in day time clothes—compared to his mostly briefs attire in bed—and that Connie and the nurse help him move from his bedroom to the spacious sitting and dining area of the cottage that is open to the kitchen.  Eddie opts for a Barcalounger chair with a remote control switch for changing the chair’s position—from sitting up to laying back for sleeping if he chooses.

All is in readiness as the nurse sits with Eddie whilst Connie takes the quickest shower and the fastest makeup application in her life. Then Connie moves a chair to sit next to Eddies chair lounger, gently clasps his hand, and smiles radiantly at him smiling bravely through his pain, as they await her brother Greg and his fiancé Diana.  They do not have to wait long, and there is a gentle knock on their cottage front door.  The nurse opens the door and ushers Greg and Diana into the cottage.  Connie nods and beckons to Greg and Diana to come closer to she and Eddie.

Connie: “Greg  and Diana!” Connie greets them in cheerful yet loud whispered voice—to maintain soothing calm for Eddie’s sake. “We’re so glad that you could stop by for a brief visit.”

Eddie: “We are.”  Eddie confirms economically, since he is still in a great deal of pain.

Greg and Connie and then Connie and Diana gently hug each other.  Greg and Diana do not attempt to hug or shake hands with Eddie—them knowing the pain that he is in. So they speak their greeting.

Greg: “Well Eddie, we’re so sorry for your injuries and hope that you’ll soon be on the mend.”  Diana nods her agreement.  And Greg and Eddie exchange manly gazes that convey much, without having to speak.  “But I must say that you are looking much better than the last time I saw you in the hospital, Eddie.  It must be your nurse attendants’ constant care.”  Greg smiles, for he well knows that his sister Connie has not left Eddie’s side—and she has the tenacity of an Irish wolfhound—wrapped up in a loving and caring lady.

Connie: “Thank you, for both of us.” Connie gently squeezes Eddie’s hand, and he gratefully gently squeezes her hand back.

Diana: “You’re more than welcome.  If there is anything we can do, please let us know.”  Then she turns to Connie. “Truly Connie, either Greg or I can sit with Eddie and keep him company, if you need to slip out at some point  to discuss wedding plans and such with Mrs. Hughes, so as not to tire out Eddie.

Connie and Eddie share a quick look of dread and frustration.

Connie: “That’s kind of you to offer, Diana and Greg.  But if it were just our choice, Eddie and I would keep it simple—have a quiet wedding here at the cottage with only immediate family and close friends while he’s still recovering, then submit to a wedding reception by Mrs. Hughes in three to four months when Eddie feels up to it.”

Greg:  Noticing Eddie’s grimace at their wish to disappoint his mother’s grand wedding plans, Greg weighs in.  “Hmmm.  Parents can be intrusive at times.”  He nods sagely.  “But they are such a blessing”.  Then something occurs to him.  “Eddie and Connie, might you enlist Eddie’s doctors to forbid a tiring wedding shindig or reception now—so as not to expose Eddie’s healing wounds to other people’s germs?”

Diana: “Greg!”  Diana squeals in a loud whisper as she leans into him and squeezes his arm.  “You are positively diabolical.”  And she kisses him for good measure.  Then Diana turns to Connie and Eddie.  “You just need an official looking doctor’s note on letterhead, prescribing that wedding ceremony/reception event limitation for Eddie.”

Connie and Eddie now share a hopeful look. So much can be conveyed with just a heartfelt gaze.  And Diana and Greg perceive hope in Connie’s and Eddie’s eyes.

Connie: “That might just work—so as not to tire out Eddie, nor expose him to germs, and also salve Mrs. Hughes feelings about not getting to plan a large society wedding.”


Announcing their engagement to Diana’s family, was  somewhat different.  Her brother Gary tried to be obstreperous as usual.  But his wife is working on keeping him in line and less of a bother to his younger sister Diana.  So Gary amazingly acquiesced and congratulated his sister Diana and Greg Halliday on their upcoming nuptials. Progress!

So, wedding planning was soon on the fast track—for both couples for late February, Greg & Diana wanting a low key ceremony and reception with only close family and friends– and Connie & Eddie wanting the same.  Well, Eddie’s parents wanted that, too, now—with a bit of cajoling from Eddie’s physician.

Phillip Townes, CEO of Resorts International tables his plans to acquire Pineridge Mountain Ski Resort and Hotel properties, and instead creating a consortium of such properties and their owners at Greg Halliday’s astute suggestion—to allow each resort property to retain its ownership and its uniqueness, but also benefit from being part of a larger whole of a new ski resort and lifestyle consortium. So Greg gratefully relocates permanently to Galena, Illinois and serves as the Resorts International Liaison to the Pineridge Mountain Ski Resort and Hotel. And he and Mike Porter work quite closely together with Mr. Brent Hughes on strategic planning for the resort.

And a compromise about Halliday House is reached.  Instead of Greg buying it back from the ski resort at the same purchase price—which the contract for deed’s clause about the use of Halliday House for his and Connie’s lifetimes stipulates if the Hughes family does not strictly honor the no repurposing/renovating clause, which they did not—the current Mr. Brent Hughes deeds the house over to his son Eddie Hughes and Eddie’s  new bride Connie Halliday Hughes in February—with the subsequent relocation of eight of the ten small two bedroom cabins to elsewhere on the resort property–with Eddie and Connie keeping the two cabins as guest cottages for their home.  And Connie will put her fashion merchandising expertise to good use by opening a new family department store for stylish clothing and accessories at every price point in Galena, Illinois.

And Greg Halliday and Diana Langley Halliday?  They elect to add an addition to her, now their, family home, Lakeside Cottage, for the hoped for expansion of their new family in the coming years.

The future looks bright for all concerned.  For when equals meet, intertwining one’s life with another with love, consideration, and respect is a wonderfully life affirming and life enhancing result. And Greg’s unwavering love and support of his love Diana has helped her come out of her shell, gain confidence in her choices and her actions, and stand on her own two feet.

And with Diana’s unwavering love and support of her love Greg, he  is happier and he GR80AF~1now smiles and laughs more [(3) right]–since she has helped him find a balance between his professional career and his personal life, in that, he now has a personal life with his loving wife Diana.

The End

Dear Friends and Readers, Some stories have to percolate a while before I reach what I consider to be the right resolution and completion of my story.  And this story, “Winter Rental”, was one of those.  I hope that you enjoyed this story of personal fulfillment and empowerment for Diana and for Greg, as well as, focusing on love and commitment for them and for Connie and Eddie.  Wishing you all a wonderful New Year of 2023 filled with every happiness that you wish for yourselves.  Holiday Cheers!  Gratiana Lovelace

References for Ch. 11 Epilogue   of “Winter Rental”, by Gratiana Lovelace, (December 31, 2022  Post #1505)

  1. The story cover for my original contemporary romance “Winter Rental” is a composite of three images:
    a) a Wintery image of ski chalets previously shared by Sueli; Grati edit for color and size; with AR Berkley text;
    b) Greg Halliday–2022—is represented by Richard Armitage-in cream-sweater-pensive-photographed byKaitlynMikayla_Jan04-2022viaNobleman-Magazine;
    c) Diana Langley—is represented by Anne-Hathaway-2021—in butterscotch-sweater-flyaway-hair-no-makeup_Jan09-2022viaVariety—Grati-crop-szd; image found at https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/anne-hathaway-jared-leto-wework-series-apple-1234895727
  2. DianaLangley–2018–on-phone-in-blk-furry-sweater–isAnneHathaway-inOceans8-fanvid-byMooCli_Jan14-2022Grati-cap-szd-clr; Claude and Daphne Oceans 8 kissing and flirting fan vid link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGptMk_4fIw
  3. Greg Halliday is represented by Richard Armitage 2022 portraits in cream sweater by Kaitlyn Mikayla found in the Nobleman Mag interview at https://noblemanmagazine.com/richard-armitage-a-nobleman-to-watch/?fbclid=IwAR1kYnjjbbab03_pgQ2aDdLK02xTUarLq9DS4S8JDyvH0IHhvTqd78jua1Q&doing_wp_cron=1642221318.9211430549621582031250

Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch. 11 Epilogue “Winter Rental” (Post #1505):


Previous Something About Love  blog Post #1454  link for Ch. 10 End  of “Winter Rental”:

About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
This entry was posted in "Winter Rental" by Gratiana Lovelace, Creative Writing, Empowerment, Family, Gratiana Lovelace, happiness, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling, Weddings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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