next-door neighbor—an up-and-coming chef ready to make his mark on the world.
His dreams are bold and limitless, his drive even more so. He offers me
a favor, one that I can’t refuse … only there are strings attached.
next-door neighbor—a talented photographer waiting for her big break.
are authentic and intense, her art even more so. I made her
an offer and she accepted … but I asked for something in return.
meant to make our dreams come true. Our careers were supposed to change, not
our friendship. Success was the ultimate goal … until we saw each other in a
late. You’ll be the first to leave tomorrow night, if you choose. Good night.”
Davis dismisses everyone without divulging who the winner is.
questions about wagers and who will be cashing in on what between us.
and I notice my coat and purse lying across the bar. Todd motions toward it
with his head, and I scrunch my eyebrows at him. He in turn widens his eyes,
and his head points a little more exaggerated this time. I shake my head, and
his lips form a tight line while his jaw juts out at me. Someone should remind
him that he isn’t my father, and I don’t need his permission to stay.
Davis, and Todd.
Don’t worry. I’ll make sure Amelia gets home safe,” Davis tells Todd.
saying ‘you have a date, so leave me alone’.
struggling inside of himself, and I’m curious to why. He’s the one who wanted
me with Davis to distract him from the kitchen.
I’m okay with it, and I silently nod. Hopefully, Davis can’t pick up on our
back and forth. “Yeah, I’m already kind of late due to this whole lame hot chocolate
contest.” He releases an uncomfortable chuckle. “Noodle, we’re still on for
tomorrow morning?” he asks.
have a photo shoot with Gia, the female model I’ve been working with.
late.” I point my finger at him.
“Never. See you then.” He bends over the bar and kisses my cheek. His hot
breath erupts goose bumps along my neck when he lingers longer than usual. “Be
careful,” he whispers in my ear.
anxiety I just heard in his words are vividly clear in the lines of his face.
date.” I smile, but he doesn’t.
When Todd reaches the door, he glances at me one more time before the cool
night breeze streams into the restaurant with his departure.
around the Midwest most of her life, transferring from school to school before
settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten years ago, where she now resides
with her husband and two kids. She
developed a love of reading at a young age, which helped lay the foundation for
her passion to write. With the
encouragement of her family, she finally sat down and wrote one of the many
stories that have been floating around in her head. When she isn’t reading or
writing, she can be found playing with her kids, talking to her mom on the
phone, or hanging out with her family and friends. But after chasing around twin preschoolers
all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after putting the kids to