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Chapter 5

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After school, Chloe and Josh took a trip out to the nearby coffee shop. "You need some caffeine before you do all those chores." Josh grabbed her by the elbow and practically threw her into the passenger seat of his run-down car.

When they got there, they secured a little booth along the back wall of the restaurant. The warm smell of coffee grounds cleared Chloe's sinuses and relaxed her. That, combined with the smooth jazz playing on the speaker system and the dim chatter of the customers calmed her. If she ever had the time to get a job, the first place she would apply would be here.

Coffee shops brought in so many eclectic mixtures of people – older customers, young customers, creative souls, and everything in between. Not only were they an excellent place to people-watch and collect song ideas, but there was a certain lightness to the air that had the muscles in her shoulders relaxing. Even if they would only be there an hour, it would be an hour well spent.

Josh sipped at his drink. "What does the old man have you doing, Chlo?"

Chloe shrugged. "I won't know until I see the list at home."

"You sure you don't want me to sneak in and help?"

Chloe gently slid her cup back and forth between her hands. "Yeah. He already took away my phone. I can't imagine what he'd do if he found you at the house. I think he'd have a coronary."

"He's still going out of town this weekend, right?"

"Unfortunately." Every time Chloe's father went out for the weekend on business he instructed her to clean the house from top to bottom.

"Good. I'm coming over." Josh gave a wide grin.

Chloe couldn't see anything wrong with that idea. "As long as you don't get me busted."

"Thank Creator!" Josh exclaimed. "It only took two years."

Chloe rolled her eyes. "You've been to my house before."

"Uh, yeah," Josh said, "but not inside."

Josh continued to chatter excitedly about the house and all the things he'd get to see. "Your room has to be amazing. I've seen a picture of your living room and if it's anything like that...Oh Creator, what if I get lost? That place is freaking..."

Chloe's attention caught on a group of young girls near their booth. They were all giggling around a pink phone and almost bouncing in excitement.

The blonde one in the middle—whose ownership of the device was obvious—gasped at something she read on the screen. "Jenny, go get them to turn the TV to channel 2," she urged and pushed the girl next to her out of her chair.

How rude, Chloe thought, her attention still on the young teenagers.

Near the drink counter, a medium-sized flat-screen mounted to the wall played music that drifted through the room. The girl, Jenny, spoke in desperate half-whispers to the frighteningly balding manager. With a tiny frown, he picked up the remote and flipped to channel 2.

The sound of young girls screaming through the TV speakers had every head turning.

"How are you all doing today?" Prince Ethan asked loudly into the microphone. His signature metallic navy-blue guitar hung low over his neck.

The crowd voiced their happiness.

"That's good." Prince Ethan gave a heart-stopping smile. It curved at the edges—the kind of smile that made people think he was up to no good. He placed his fingers near the top of the fretboard and strummed a few quiet notes as he talked. Chloe enjoyed the soft, smooth melody. "So I had this idea the other day, and my friend Jason agreed with me. You guys know Jason Phillips, right?" The crowd roared. "Ah, so you do."

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by Cayleigh
@CayleighKennedy
Chloe wants to show the kingdom of Sarias, where music is everything...
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