Today's Reading

CHAPTER 1

BONNIE BLYTHE HOVERED near the tall windows, nursing her cocktail and watching the lights from the Navy Pier Ferris wheel twinkle in the fading spring twilight. It was a romantic moment, one she should have been enjoying with Gabe, except her fiancé wasn't here. As was so often the case lately, her significant other was significantly absent.

Gabe had promised he'd accompany her tonight, but then begged off at the last minute. His PhD adviser had called and requested another meeting, and as Bonnie well knew, all things related to Gabe's dissertation came first. Thank God he was almost done with grad school, so they could focus on other things—like finally deciding on a wedding date.

The reminder of her prolonged engagement had Bonnie knocking back the rest of her drink. The bittersweet sting of alcohol burned her throat and warmed her belly, but did nothing to loosen the knot of frustration in her gut. She set her empty glass on the window ledge and adjusted her crown of flowers, fingers tingling. She never could hold her liquor. A source of eternal amusement for her Irish cousins, one drink was often enough to do her in.

Right now, she could go for a little bit of doing in. She was Ophelia without her Hamlet, so why not drown her sorrows in another cocktail? Bonnie turned away from the wall of windows and headed for the bar, attention focused on the trailing ends of her gauzy dress as she dodged Romeos and Juliets, Oberons and Titanias, Henrys and Falstaffs. The foyer of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater was stuffed with a menagerie of the namesake playwright's characters.

Each April, the company held a gala in honor of the bard's birthday, and this year's event was a costume ball. Bonnie had been looking forward to the gala for months, ever since her best friend, Cassie, invited her to attend. As a broadcast journalist covering stories for the local morning show, ChiChat, Cassie often scored tickets to the city's hottest events. Fresh drink in hand, Bonnie surveyed the room, looking for any sign of her friend. A flash of plaid caught her eye, and Bonnie grinned. 'Of course'. She headed toward the couple lingering in a quiet corner.

"Bonnie!" Cassie exclaimed, pushing away from the man she'd been canoodling with. "I was wondering when you'd get here."

"Oh, I've been here awhile, but I think your attention was elsewhere." Bonnie nodded at the tall auburn-haired man standing next to Cassie. "Hello, Logan. Let me guess . . ." She pointed at the kilt he was wearing. "Macbeth?"

"And Lady Macbeth." Cassie held up her hands. "What do you think? Is it too much?"

Bonnie considered her friend's palms, dyed a grisly red. "I think you both look perfect."

"Aye. Well, I already had the kilt, you ken." Logan winked. "And seeing as how the first time we met, I was accused of talking like a—what was it you called me, love?" he asked Cassie, a mischievous smile playing about his lips.

"A Macbeth reject." Cassie shook her head. "You're never going to let me forget about that, are you?"

Logan pulled Cassie close. "Neverrr," he growled against her neck, his Scottish burr a low purr that likely had every female in hearing distance perking up. Even Bonnie wasn't immune to the Scot, though she enjoyed his charm on a purely spectator level.

Not that it mattered. Logan only had eyes for Cassie.

Which was at it should be. Since he was engaged to her best friend, Bonnie would punch Logan in the sporran herself if she ever caught the Scot checking out another "lass." But Bonnie couldn't imagine such a thing happening. She knew how much Logan loved Cassie, had watched their romance blossom from the start—she'd even had a hand in bringing them together. Though, she hadn't expected their relationship to progress quite so quickly. Cassie and Logan had gotten engaged this past New Year's and had already set the date for their wedding in early August, on the one-year anniversary of the day they met.

Yep, Bonnie had been engaged for over a year to a guy she'd been with since middle school, and still didn't have a wedding date. Meanwhile, Cassie and Logan were getting married in less than four months.
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