♦ ♦ ♦
𝘈𝘶𝘨𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘗𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘳’𝘴 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦—𝘵𝘳𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘦 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘨 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦. 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺’𝘳𝘦 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘴. 𝘈𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧…𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯…𝘪𝘧 𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦’𝘴 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘥.
𝙒𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩, 𝙤𝙧 𝙨𝙪𝙘𝙘𝙪𝙢𝙗 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙙𝙖𝙧𝙠?
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘈𝘭𝘷𝘢𝘳𝘢 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘺𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘺 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦. 𝘉𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘶𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘪𝘮. 𝘠𝘦𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘯𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘴. 𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘺𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘭, 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘨𝘰…𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘏𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘪𝘵𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧—𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘭 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘢𝘧𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘪𝘮. 𝘚𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘰𝘰.
𝙃𝙚’𝙡𝙡 𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙚. 𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝙞𝙛 𝙨𝙝𝙚 𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙨𝙩.
♦ ♦ ♦
That all you got, Coach? August gained speed, fists unclenching at his sides as he poured himself into the sprint.
Our coven and friends gradually fell further behind, unmotivated by our silent competition…
Still, we pushed, farther, harder, faster, our shoes slapping against the pavement now, as mortal as could be.
First one back wins? I could feel his smile, although I didn’t dare a glance his way as I focused my burning eyes on the front awning of the Westerlunds’ building.
A round of truth or dare.
It’s that or strip poker.
I snorted. I wouldn’t last long.
Don’t know how to play poker?
I met his cocky stare, trying to hide as I fought to keep my breathing even. I’m just not wearing much under these clothes.
August cleared his throat, the sound tight, making it impossible to fight back my smile. “Fuuuck,” he growled.
I’d been fooling myself, thinking I stood a chance.
♦ ♦ ♦
♦ ♦ ♦
Sydne Barnett is a lover of spunky, badass heroines, and heroes that embrace their wild. She’s an avid reader, never turns down a good cup of coffee, loves hiking with her hubby, Joel, and lives for finding their next adventure.
If she’s not writing, you can probably find her behind her camera, swimming, or curled up with a homemade pastry, watching Friends, HYMYM, or Gilmore Girls.
Raised in the Treasure Valley, Idaho, Sydne has a love for one-light towns, and winding backroads. But refusing to ignore her soul’s call for adventure, she hit the road with her family, and now they call the world their home.
♦ ♦ ♦