Today's Reading

CHAPTER ONE

What Summer Song Are You Based on Your Zodiac Sign?

Aries—"Cruel Summer" by Taylor Swift
Taurus—"Summertime" by George Gershwin
Gemini—"Summer Lovin'" by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
Cancer—"Summertime Sadness" by Lana Del Rey
Leo—"Hot Girl Summer" by Megan Thee Stallion
Virgo—"Summer Games" by Drake
Libra—"Cool for the Summer" by Demi Lovato
Scorpio—"This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like a Motherfucker" by Maroon 5
Sagittarius—"Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams
Capricorn—"The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley
Aquarius—"Summer Girls" by LFO
Pisces—"Summer Love" by Justin Timberlake


Friday, May 28

Annie nearly wept tears of joy. Starbucks, the holy grail of coffee, was within spitting distance of Gate D2. Something cold, creamy, and above all, caffeinated was exactly what she craved after a day of planes, trains, and automobiles.

Dragging her carry-on with its one busted wheel behind her, she joined the line, fishing around inside the chaos of her bag for her wallet. Her fingers brushed the creased edge of her boarding pass and the plastic wrapper of the protein cookie she'd purchased before sprinting to catch her connecting flight in Atlanta. It claimed to be birthday cake flavored but instead tasted like sawdust and sadness. What a waste of five bucks.

She found her wallet just in time to step up to the counter, where a pretty barista with lilac-colored hair and an ear full of silver jewelry smiled at her, Sharpie at the ready. "Hi. Can I get an iced quad grande cinnamon dolce latte?"

The barista grinned, revealing an intriguing glimpse of silver hardware in her tongue. "Can I get a name for your order?"

"Annie." She slid her credit card inside the reader and waited for it to chirp before tucking her card back inside her wallet.

"You in town for business or pleasure?" the barista asked, handing Annie her receipt. "Or are you from here?"

If Annie had a dollar for every time she'd been asked that question, she'd have been richer than sin. Thanks to her job at Brockman and Brady Inc., an independent human resource consulting firm that specialized in international mergers and acquisitions, she traveled thirty weeks out of the year. But that wasn't why she was in Seattle.

"I'm visiting my best friend."

If she didn't visit Darcy now, who knew when she'd have a chance? In little more than a month, she'd be moving to London, permanently, having accepted a promotion as the managing director of the new Brockman and Brady London branch. She didn't know when she'd be able to take off to visit her best friend again, with an ocean and the entire United States separating them.

"Well then, I hope you enjoy your stay." The barista winked and handed over her receipt.

Annie's face went pleasantly warm as she stuffed the receipt and her wallet back into the black abyss of her bag, before stepping over to the bar. She adjusted the French tuck of her button-down shirt, smoothing the wrinkles from eight hours of sitting in a crammed window seat, then snagged her phone from the back pocket of her jeans.

She hit call and cradled her phone between her shoulder and her ear, lips curving in a smile when Darcy picked up on the second ring.

"Annie?"

"'Guess where I am'," Annie answered in singsong, sliding to the side to make room beside the coffee bar.

"Mmm . . . Istanbul?"

Her grip slipped and her hand lurched out to save her phone before it clattered to the tile floor. Her screen already had a decent-sized crack across it, a fine spiderwebbing that rendered the bottom left corner ineffective no matter how hard she pressed or swiped. "Why the hell would I be in Istanbul?"

Darcy huffed. "You told me to guess, I guessed."
...

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