Welcome to my spot the ‘Butterfly In Frost’ Tour. Today, I have an extract of the newly released Sylvia Day novel that will whet your appetite for more.
I smile. I missed Roxy, too. She’s a gossip but never malicious about it. Still, she can’t keep a secret beyond five minutes.
“Yes, Gideon and Eva Cross are still amazing in every way. And I’m not Eva’s doctor, so I can’t say if she’s expecting or not. In any case, as good as you are at ferreting out info, I expect you’d know as soon as she did.”
“Ha! If only. Kylie Jenner’s hidden pregnancy proved even famous people can have secrets.” Her eyes brighten with excitement. “So maybe Eva’s expecting and keeping it under wraps.” I hate to disappoint her, but . . . “For what it’s worth, there was no visual evidence of a baby bump.” “Damn it.” Roxy pouts. “Oh well. They’re young.” “And busy.” As someone who works for them, I know that firsthand. “What was she wearing when you saw her? I want a full recap: outfit, shoes, accessories.” “Which outfit?” I ask innocently. “I saw her more than once.” Her eyes light up. “Ooh, girl. Let’s have lunch at Salty’s so you can tell me everything!” “I could be persuaded,” I tease. “In the meantime . . .”
Her lush perfume fades as she moves into the living room. “I’ve got a lot to catch you up on.” “I’ve only been gone three weeks. How much could possibly happen?” I follow Bella and Minnie to the edge of the living room, instantly feeling settled in the familiar place. Decorated mostly in white with pops of navy and gold, the traditional style of Roxy’s home is both elegant and comfortable. Scattered here and there are vividly colored mosaic pieces—coasters, decorative bowls, vases, and more—which she creates and has employees sell at Pike Place Market. But it’s the expansive view of Puget Sound beyond her windows that steals the show. The panorama of the Sound, along with Maury and Vashon Islands, stops me in my tracks. A giant red-and-white barge weighted with stacks of multicolored shipping containers rumbles carefully away from Tacoma, slowing in preparation for the sharp pivot required to exit from Poverty Bay. A tugboat, looking so tiny in comparison, chugs in the opposite direction. Private boats, ranging in size from dinghies to cabin cruisers, dot the anchorages near the shore. Gazing at the glittering water and the vessels that come and go at all hours is something I never tire of. In fact, I missed this view terribly while in New York. And to think, I’d once sworn that just as I had been born in the Big Apple, I would also die there. I’m definitely not the woman I used to be. I check the giant old-growth tree on the edge of the bluff for the telltale bright white of a bald eagle’s head. The bare branch that serves as a favorite perch is empty now, but in the distance, a row of planes descending into SeaTac Airport from the north tells me which way the wind is blowing. I turn back to watch Roxy finish sliding her feet into spotless white walking shoes. She stands. “So you know you missed the get-together— again.
I don’t think you’ve been to one since the holidays, have you?” I slide around the corner to escape the question and grab the dogs’ leashes hanging on wall hooks in the front hallway. “I mean, did I really miss anything? I’m thinking no.” Every month, A-frame signs appear on our streets, announcing the date and location of the next community gathering, a useful reminder when planning my work trips to New York. Gatherings of people are problematic for me and best avoided when possible. “Emily showed up with her gardener.” Roxy joins me, clipping a carabiner holding a tube of biodegradable poop-scoop bags to her belt loop. “They’re dating now, if that’s what you call it.” The news makes me pause, peripherally aware of the dogs now spinning around with excitement. “The kid? Isn’t he, like, sixteen?” “God.” Roxy’s laugh is a throaty delight. “He almost looks it, doesn’t he? He’s actually twenty.” “Yikes.” Emily is a bestselling novelist who recently went through a painful divorce. Having experienced that myself, I wish her the best. It’s unfortunate that a recent string of boyfriends the same age as her son is scandalizing our neighborhood. “Trauma can really screw people up.” As sympathetic as I am, I’m careful not to reveal too much of that sentiment in my voice. We all wear armor in different ways. Mine is reinvention.