Kiera's Moon (Chapter Two, page 1 of 22)

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The next two days passed quickly as Kiera helped Evelyn set up her sudden wedding. Evelyn handled it all with cheerfulness while Kiera stressed over the shade of flowers clashing with the décor, and the cake containing nuts, which Romas was allergic to. Evelyn's wedding was for a hundred invitees in a small chapel by the ocean followed by a reception for over twice that many guests. Most of the guests were Evelyn's friends and family; Romas's small party consisted of only a handful of men-- cousins, according to Evelyn-- looking like an NFL team dressed uncomfortably in their tuxes.

The newlyweds spent the night at a local luxury hotel-- also an arrangement made by Kiera-- and she was left alone in the row house full of boxes.

Given her first chance to rest in over two days, she sighed, exhausted and irritated at having to dig her own clothing out of a box. The movers had gone crazy and even packed her stuff. Her make-up was smeared from walking through the Monterey mists, her maid-of-honor dress wrinkled from constant sitting and standing. She wove her way to her bathroom through the maze of boxes and took a long shower to ease her tired body. The day had gone beautifully, and the sight of Evelyn's beaming, glowing face stuck in her head.

Kiera had never seen anyone so happy. Hot water ran over her head and down her body, soothing her. Would she ever be so happy?

Not if it has to do with a man. She smiled, finished washing, and emerged from the shower. The new necklace she wore that matched the one she bought for Evelyn glimmered in the mirror. Disappointed her friend was leaving for somewhere across the world, she'd bought them matching necklaces featuring whimsical half moons in rose gold with a single, small, sparkling diamond of a star embedded in the moon.

She left the bathroom, pulling on an oversized, soft T-shirt Evelyn had shanghaied from Romas and Kiera had shanghaied from Evelyn.

The boxes were gone. Startled, she looked around twice. She listened but heard no one downstairs to indicate the movers had been through and glanced at the clock on her nightstand. It was nearly one thirty.

Perplexed as to what kind of movers worked at such an hour, she roamed through the row house from top to bottom. All the boxes were gone. No strangers were in the house, and the doors were bolted. She briefly considered calling Evelyn to ask about her moving arrangements. Evelyn might love her but would probably not welcome a call on her wedding night.

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