Seventy-eight thousand listeners.
A small smile flitted onto Chloe Leighton's face. 128. She bit her lip to stop the grin threatening to take over her face as a box popped up on her laptop screen.
xJosh_Farrestx is requesting a video chat with @nonymous. Proceed?
Chloe moved the cursor over the blue yes box and clicked. Her best friend, Josh, took over the screen. "Hey Josh." She released the grin. So what if it was too wide? Too cheery? Right now her heart felt lighter than air and she was absolutely, positively drunk on excitement. "What's up?"
The bright glow of Josh's laptop screen traced along his blond hair and soft jaw. It was after 10 p.m., but he hardly looked ready for bed.
He sat at the computer desk in his room, the blinds closed tight behind him. Vaguely, she saw the outline of his bed and the dark posters of his favorite Ace band, Mark My Lyrics, on his wall.
"Heard my little Chlo made the top 200. Congrats."
Heard? Her grin faded. "Who told you?"
"I got a notification on my Musetunes page."
Chloe released a breath. "Don't scare me like that."
Josh brushed his blonde hair out of his face and gave a crooked smile. "Relax. Your secret is still safe, Anonymous."
She nervously glanced over her shoulder toward the door. "Keep it down," she whisper-hissed, "what if your Mom heard?"
He rolled his eyes. "Paranoia is not a cute quality on you."
"Does Danika know yet?"
Chloe snorted humorlessly. "Danika and I aren't like that. And if she did, she would tell my father and he would murder me in my sleep if he found out."
Josh furrowed his eyebrows and hesitated a moment before saying, "He's fine with Danika. I don't see why he shouldn't be proud of you."
She picked at her chipping nails and glanced over at the window. The moon was bright and full. A beautiful night indeed. "It's complicated. Besides, it's not about fame—I'm not Danika. It's about the music."
"Fine," he grumbled, crossing his arms over the gray t-shirt he wore.
"Hey," Chloe waited for him to look up to continue, "congratulations on 239. That's a great number."
Josh broke out into a boyish grin. "Thanks."
"Your Mom must be ecstatic."
"She's beyond excited. Wants to throw a party and everything."
"I better be invited."
Josh ran a hand over his face. His eyes drooped in that way they did when he was beyond exhausted. How many hours had he sat in his room in the dark today working on another song? "Your presence is mandatory. I can only handle my Aunt Krissy for so long before I'm ready to jump into a pit of acid."
She chuckled. "Well then, I'll make sure to be there so you don't have to do anything reckless."
"Chloe!" a voice yelled from downstairs. "CHLOE!"
Chloe swore under her breath. "Sorry, gotta go. The evil stepsister is beckoning. Text me?"
"Yeah, whatever. Give her a nice kick in the ass for me, will you?"
"Ha, sure thing."
"Bye, Chlo." Josh signed off.
YOU ARE READING
Chloe wants to show the kingdom of Sarias, where music is everything, that song should be filled with emotion and passion. But living in the shadow of her popstar step-sister, she has no choice but to hide who she is, even when her voice captures Pr...