Time to finish my story about Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall! It was surprisingly fun to write about Bess and George being in the same room as Nancy. Usually in the Nancy Drew games, they're only in the same phone call as her.
The fire burnt Thornton Hall to the ground, as none of the firefighters could arrive on time. Thanks to Nancy's actions, no one was seriously injured, but the leader of the firefighters ordered that everyone be sent to the hospital.
Nancy's trip home was delayed by three days, as she was made a virtual prisoner of Georgia's hospital system. The doctors determined that she and everyone else was suffering from exposure to carbon monoxide, and they wanted to be absolutely sure she was healthy, before releasing her.
Nancy's response to the diagnosis was grim acceptance. If there was carbon monoxide in the air around Thornton Hall, that would explain a lot. It explained why she felt so strange and why her sleeping patterns were off. It would even explain the visions she had of Charlotte's ghost.
But...did they explain what happened with Ned and Bess?
Now that her head was clearer, Nancy had to wonder if she had a legitimate cause for concern. Just because Ned was staying at Bess' house late at night, it didn't mean he was her secret boyfriend. Ned was a lot of things, but he wasn't a liar or a cheater. And Bess was a flirt sometimes, but she never messed around with other girls' boyfriends.
Nancy sighed. She knew this was a conversation she and Ned needed to have, face-to-face. She pulled out her phone and sent Ned a text.
We need to talk. Can you stop by my house tomorrow?
Hannah picked Nancy up from the airport and drove her home. Nancy was usually talkative after solving a case, but this time, she rode in silence. Hannah found it odd, but she didn't say anything.
Nancy sighed as she dragged her luggage up the walkway and into the Drew home. The lights were on, and Nancy was wondering where her father would be when she saw a huge group of people in the living room.
"SURPRISE!" everyone shouted. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NANCY!"
"Wha-WHAT?" Nancy said loudly. "But my birthday is two days from now!"
Nancy's father stepped forward to hug his daughter. He was wearing a pink party hat, on top of his usual suit and tie. "Welcome back, Nancy," he said. "You stay here and enjoy your party. I'll take your luggage upstairs."
Nancy looked around the room in surprise. "But how did you prepare this?" she asked.
"Ned and Bess have been planning this party, ever since you left for Georgia," Carson said. "She was the one who forced me to wear this ridiculous hat."
"It looks good on you, Mr. Drew," George said. She was wearing an "I heart NY" t-shirt. "It's great to see you again, Nancy. Did anything interesting happen in the state named after me?"
"Hmmm...let's see," Nancy said, tapping her bottom lip with her finger. "I got trapped inside a burning building, was almost decapitated by a scythe, got attacked by an evil ghost, and ended up in the hospital."
"In other words, it was just an average case for you," George summarized.
"Yeah, pretty much," Nancy agreed. "Except for, you know, the whole Ned and Bess thing."
"Which we're going to resolve right now," George said, grabbing Nancy's arm. She led Nancy to Ned, who was standing next to the sofa. He nervously ran his hand through his hair.
"Hello, Nance," Ned said. "I, um, I got your text. Did you get my voice messages?"
"I did, but I didn't listen to any of them," Nancy said. She paused for a second and said, "Bess, I can see you there."
Bess got up from the sofa that she had been trying to hide behind. "Heh heh...right," Bess said.
"So...this is what you two were up to, when I was gone," she said.
"Yeah..." Bess said. "We couldn't tell you the truth, because it would ruin the surprise! You love surprises!"
"I'm sorry we gave you the wrong impression," Ned said. "We only wanted your birthday party to be perfect. Do you forgive us?"
Nancy glared at them for a few seconds, before grabbing Ned and kissing him. Bess squealed in happiness, while George smiled.