Chapter One

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"I hope you ordered one of those for me."

I dropped my bag to the ground and sank into the seat opposite my sister, who was about to shovel a huge spoonful of chocolate sundae into her mouth. She chomped down on the ice cream and shook her head, clutching the glass flute of dessert closer to her body.

"No way, Ari," she told me. "This baby is all mine."

We were sat outside at our favorite cafe overlooking San Francisco Bay. Sure, it was full of tourists, with the ferry shipping boatloads of them out to Alcatraz Island every half hour during the day, and if the wind happened to be blowing in the wrong direction, you often got a lungful of the rank smell of all the sea lions that had hauled themselves up onto Pier 39, but we still loved it. We'd grown up here, and being able to see the Golden Gate Bridge—at least on the days when the fog wasn't obscuring it—made me happier than any place I'd ever been.

"You'll get fat, you know," I told her with a smirk.

There was no way my super skinny sister Karina was putting on weight anytime soon. I was the one who had to watch what I ate before it ended up on my thighs. I'd always told myself it was puppy fat, and I'd soon shoot up just like she had, but now she was twenty-four and I was twenty-two, and I had to admit the growth spurt probably wasn't going to happen.

She swallowed her ice cream, then offered the glass flute over to me.

I shook my head. "No thanks." I signaled the waitress. "I'll get my own. I don't want your drool all over my food."

Karina laughed and swept a strand of her jaw-length blonde bob away from her face, before spooning more dessert into her mouth. She always looked so mature, and I wondered for the thousandth time if I should get my own blonde hair cut into a shorter style. But mine was wavy, while hers was poker straight, and I was pretty sure mine would end up looking like a helmet if I tried to get it any shorter than the current middle-of-my-back length it currently was.

The waitress came over and I gave her a smile. "I'll have what she's having, thanks."

The waitress returned my smile. "I'll bring it right over."

"Thank you," I said, thinking I'd give her a decent tip. I'd been doing exactly the same job for the past eight hours, and I knew what hard work serving tables was. Where my sister had some important job in an office, I still hadn't figured out what I was going to do with my life. Waitressing would have to do for the moment. I still lived with our dad, so it wasn't as though I had massive bills to pay, though I always tried to contribute. He waved my money away, but I made sure I slipped my fair share into his wallet when he wasn't looking.

"So how was work?" I asked my sister.

Karina gestured at her dessert. "How do you think?"

I grimaced. "Bad as that, huh?"

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