Chapter 2

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Nearing the end of my workday there was a sharp throbbing above my left eyebrow, I’d already had four cups of coffee, and I was ravenously hungry for a cherry Danish.

I kept repeatedly glancing at the time at the bottom of my computer screen while I worked on organizing and editing the final shots for a family photo-shoot I’d just done the other day. I didn’t mind this part of my job so much.

The couple had a little boy that never stopped smiling and was easily distracted by birds flying overhead, so it wasn’t that difficult to take the pictures they had been asking for. I didn’t care for working with children on occasion, mainly because they had a nasty habit of never listening, but this little boy had been a godsend.

  I’d already finished that damn model’s portfolio and emailed her the final proofs, glad to be done with her. Thank God. Hadley had been right – the girl was way too bitchy for her own good.

   I blew out a sigh as I finished copying the proofs to a CD for the couple and leaned back in my computer chair, rubbing my hands over my face.

  It wasn’t even five in the evening yet and I was already bloody exhausted.

That was really depressing. And I really didn’t like depressing things.

  I was about ready to fall asleep once I had finished taking care of all the CDs of proofs that needed to be sent out when my cellphone vibrated loudly in my pocket, startling me in the quiet silence of the room.

  I quickly answered the call without checking caller ID. “Hello?”

“Arrrccchhheeerrr….where are you? I miiissss youuu…”

“April. I just saw you yesterday.”

My little sister scoffed over the line, and I could tell she was rolling her eyes. “Yeah, but still. You never come around much anymore, and who else do I know that still ties my shoes for me sometimes?”

  “Shut up.”

April sighed exasperatedly and started whining again. “Don’t be mean, Archer. Will you please just come over?”

  I loved my little sisters, I really did. I’d practically raised them, and I wasn’t about to let them walk out of my life anytime soon. I was just so damn tired.

  I let out a heavy sigh and slouched in my desk chair. “Look, I really need to – “

“Mom’s making pizza with pancetta.”

 Shit.

Pancetta? That was one of my major weaknesses – thick, juicy Italian bacon – and especially on pizza. How could I say no to that?

   “Fine. I’ll be over as soon as I can.”

“Yay!”

April hung up on the other line without another word.

 It looked like I was going to get to leave work early today, which was perfectly fine with me. After three days straight packed full of photo shoots and the added bonus of helping out the family at the coffee house on Black Friday, I think I deserved a little relaxation time.

 I had no desire to trudge the public transport system, but at the very least I wasn’t going to have to make dinner tonight, and I could bring home pizza for Hadley and I for later. 

I turned off my computer, grabbed my coat from the bedroom and pulled out my cellphone to text Hadley while I shoved my feet into my shoes.

  Going to Ma’s for dinner. Bringing home pizza.

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