Today's Reading

"Really?" she asked. She didn't mention the whistling.

"What time did you finally put the book down last night?"

Lindsey glanced at the floor, where the book she'd been reading had landed when she'd fallen asleep. "One thirty, maybe two."

"In the morning?" Sully asked. He ran a hand through his reddish brown hair, making the curly waves stand on end.

"I was suffering from OMC syndrome," she said.

"OMC, is that some sort of insomnia?"

"Sort of. It stands for one more chapter."

"Book nerd," Sully teased. Then he leaned forward and kissed her on the nose before standing up.

Lindsey yawned. "Yes, I am, and I have no read-grets, not even for missed sleep. The book was that good."

"Is that another made-up word?" he asked. Lindsey nodded. "Fine, then here's one for you. If you don't get moving, you're going to have to break the read-o-meter to get to work on time. It's already eight fifteen."

"What! I thought it was five. You always get up at five."

"Not today," he said. "I have a late boat tour, plus I was tired because somebody keeps their light on into the wee hours of the morning."

"Gah!" Lindsey lurched from the bed, dislodging her dog, Heathcliff, from where he was resting his head on her knee. She grabbed the hot mug of coffee and slurped some as she hurried into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.

• • •

"You look awful, like someone left you out in the rain, tossed you on the floor of their car, where you were stepped on for a few months, and then they stuffed you in the book drop and pretended they had no idea how you got into such bad shape," Beth Barker said. She stared down at Lindsey, who was sprawled on the couch in the crafternoon room at the back of the library.

"Gee, thanks," Lindsey said. She opened her eyes and glanced at her best friend, who was also the children's librarian. "That means so much coming from a woman who is dressed like a pigeon."

Wearing an oversize gray sweatshirt that had big, round eyes and a beak sewn onto the hood, Beth flapped her arms, which had been fashioned into wings, and then clasped them in front of her in a begging pose. "Please, can I drive the bus? I'll be your best friend."

Lindsey snorted. No one could act out Mo Willems's Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! better than Beth.

"You're already my best friend," she said. "Which is why I forgive you for saying I look awful."

"It's a book hangover, isn't it?" Paula Turner entered the room, pushing a cart full of craft materials. "Was it A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, our discussion book today?"

"No, I finished that one a few days ago. This was one I picked up on the way out of work last night. I couldn't put it down," Lindsey admitted.

"That's the worst—the best, but also the worst," Beth said. She plopped down on the couch.

Lindsey draped her arm over her eyes. It wasn't that she wished her friends would go away exactly, but she had almost managed a fifteen- minute power nap. She had read somewhere that fifteen-to twenty- minute naps could refresh a person without sending them into such a deep sleep that they were groggy all day. Oh, how she wished for that right now.

"What was it? A thriller, romantic suspense, murder mystery?" Paula asked. She tossed her thick blue braid over her shoulder while she set up the large table at the side of the room. "I'm looking for a good read."

"Thriller," Lindsey said. "But the author killed off one of my favorite characters at the end, and all I could think was No, take me instead!"

"I hate that," Nancy Peyton said as she entered the room. "It destroys me when an author kills off a character I'm fond of, especially in a series."

"But sometimes it has to be done," Violet La Rue said as she followed her best friend in. "You have to trust the author to be true to the story they need to tell."

"Not if it breaks my heart, I don't," Nancy insisted. Her bright blue eyes sparked with a fierce light as she tossed her short bobbed silver hair as if emphasizing her point. "I will break up with an author over something like that."


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