7. Chicks

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"First things first," Maggie said. "We need a name."

The four members of Wynter's all-girl pop band sat out on the deck on Sunday afternoon, preparing for their very first rehearsal.

"Maybe we should agree on our musical style first," Eliza said. She'd come well prepared, with lots of sheet music printed off, some of which she'd already emailed around to the group, and Wynter had her own set of songs, too. Wynter had never been in a band where everyone read music, so this was going to be a cinch.

"I thought we already established that—'eighties UK pop," Maggie said with a definitive air.

"That's kind of narrow," Eliza said. "But it's a good start."

"Let's play through a few of the songs we know, and we'll see what feels right," Wynter suggested.

"Also, what are we going to do about a drummer?" Eliza said.

"Once school starts, we'll hold auditions." None of them knew a girl who played drums, but they could expand their search if necessary to local young musicians. "We can get plenty of work done without a drummer."

Meisa was busy watching Wilma, Hypatia and Ripley browse in the backyard. "Do you milk your goats?" she asked.

"No. Wilma's dried up now. The goats are just to keep the grass and weeds down, near the house. We're getting chickens soon—their house is over there, and Caleb's building little nesting boxes inside."

"Oh, baby chicks!" Maggie gushed.

"Well, no," Wynter said. "We're not getting a rooster and I have no plans to hatch chicks."

"No, silly, our band name. Baby Chicks. Or something with chicks in it."

"That's a bit... obvious for a girl band," Eliza said.

"What's wrong with being obvious?"

Eliza shrugged. "Better than being pretentious, I guess." She had her phone out. "I'm checking band names with 'chicks' in them. We don't want to double up... Oh, how cute!" She showed the others her screen. "Look, I'm getting links to companies where you can order chicks. Actual live chicks, in the mail!"

"Chicks in the Mail?" Maggie said, trying out another name.

"Mail Order Chicks?" Meisa said.

"Yes! Love it," Eliza said. "Mail order sounds a bit naughty, doesn't it? Like you can pick us out of a catalog to play at your party."

Meisa giggled, hiding her mouth behind her hand. She had a shy personality and didn't always catch every word of an English conversation.

"Okay, Mail Order Chicks," Wynter said. "Let's go downstairs and play something."

Eliza fetched her electronic keyboard from her car, and Wynter led them down the back corridor leading to the basement. Indio's studio door was open and he was drilling shelf brackets to the wall. Wynter walked quickly past, hoping the girls would ignore him. She'd had too many bad experiences of her friends meeting her brothers.

When she reached the basement door, she realized Maggie was lingering in Indio's doorway. Wynter backed up.

"I met your brothers at our Crunch gig in June," Maggie was saying.

Indio had turned around to talk to her. "I heard you guys were great."

Wynter introduced everyone and nervously watched the girls for signs of interest as they made small talk. Indio had a striking presence—not just because he was tall and at least as good-looking as Caleb, without their older brother's severity, and showing off his muscles in a heather-gray t-shirt. He'd been in a pretty good mood for days, once the jet lag wore off. Indio in a good mood was all approachable charm and friendly smiles.

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