Home > One More Promise (Band on the Run #2)(3)

One More Promise (Band on the Run #2)(3)
Author: Samantha Chase

   Yes, she had ideas—so many that it made her brain hurt—but that didn’t mean she was going to shy away from the challenge. Reading programs. Tutoring sessions. Story time for all ages. Her heart began to beat faster as she thought about all the possibilities. If everything went smoothly, she was going to have a roster of distinguished authors in all genres and present them to the world as ambassadors of reading—well-spoken individuals who would show all the ways in which reading could enrich a person’s life! They’d start at the preschool and elementary-school levels to help build a foundation, and then move on to find those who still struggled or who had gotten lost in the school system.

   This campaign was her way of saying thank you to the thousands of authors who put their work out there and found ways to put their books in readers’ hands—and encouraging the world to pick up a book even if they struggled with reading.

   “Whew!” she chuckled as she fanned herself. It all was so exciting that she knew, in a matter of minutes, everyone on the board was going to feel it too.

   “That’s not what you’re wearing, is it?”

   Paige turned as her sister, Ariel, walked into the ladies’ room. Ever the glamor gal, her sister looked impeccable—porcelain complexion; long, silky, pale-blond hair; blue eyes; and, at five foot ten, her willowy frame towered over Paige’s mere five feet four inches.

   “What’s wrong with my outfit?”

   Ariel gave a delicate snort as she faced her sister. “Do you see my suit?”

   Hard not to, Paige thought and then nodded.

   “This is an Ann Taylor suit.” She struck a pose and smiled serenely. “And the shoes?”

   Another nod.

   “Manolo Blahnik.” She pointed her foot for emphasis. “This is how an executive dresses, Paige. You need to throw out your wardrobe and let a stylist help you. It’s time to stop dressing like your office is at a coffeehouse. It’s not the image Daddy or any of us want for PRW.”

   Paige sighed. “The only one who seems to have an issue with my wardrobe choices is you. No one has said a word about it.”

   “Actually, they have. To me. This is me telling you—from everyone—that you need to start dressing the part.”

   For a moment, all she could do was stare. “Um…excuse me? What?”

   Carefully, Ariel leaned against the countertop and then made a pinched face at her suit touching the surface. “Look, you’re an executive now, Paige. College is over. I mean…honestly. If you weren’t my sister and I saw you walking around here, I’d swear you were an intern.”

   Looking down at herself and then at her reflection, Paige still didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. “I’m wearing a skirt!”

   With an eye roll, Ariel studied her. “It’s a knit skirt. And clingy. And…are those tights you’re wearing?”

   “Um…yeah. Why?”

   “Oh God,” Ariel murmured and smoothed a hand over her hair. “Okay, let me try another approach. Turn and face the mirror.” They both did. “Look at us side by side. What do you see?”

   “That genetics clearly favored only one of us?” Paige joked.

   Ariel didn’t smile. She rarely did. She thought it caused wrinkles.

   “Okay, fine. I’m looking.”


   “And I see that you are wearing a suit and I’m wearing a skirt and sweater.” She shrugged.

   “You’re overaccessorized,” Ariel pointed out. “The scarf, the bracelets, the giant watch, and don’t even get me started on those clunky boots.”

   Okay, now she was getting pissed. “Look, I happen to like all these accessories, and there’s nothing wrong with any of it. I’m not you. I’m not going to wear a suit or stilettos. That’s not who I am! And even if I went out and copied your entire wardrobe, I can guarantee you it won’t look the same on me as it does on you.”


   “Why are you always like this?” Paige asked wearily. “It’s like you purposely choose the worst times to pull these stunts.”

   “Stunt? What stunt? I’m trying to help you, Paige! You’re about to go in front of the board with your whole…book thing. I want you to put forward the right impression. Gosh, excuse me for trying to be a good sister.”

   And there it was—the start of the martyr act. If she had a dollar for every time Ariel…

   “I mean, every time I try to do something nice for you, you get mad and make me feel bad. I don’t know what else I can do to prove to you that I have your best interests at heart.”

   Okay, she is still going…

   “Remember when we used to play together and you would tell me how much you wanted to be like me when you grew up?”


   “What happened? What did I ever do to you to make you so ungrateful?”

   “That’s enough,” Paige said finally. “I’m not ungrateful. I’m not. I’m sorry you feel that way. It’s just that I’m stressed enough right now, and if you were really concerned about my choice of wardrobe today, you could have told me sooner than three minutes before the presentation.” She did a quick double take at her watch and gasped. “Three minutes! Oh crap!”

   “Language, Paige,” Ariel said with disdain. “Daddy would have a fit if he heard you cursing like a sailor.”

   Seriously? That was cursing like a sailor? Then it was a good thing her father wasn’t in her head right now because he’d probably have a stroke.

   With one last glance at herself in the mirror, she couldn’t help but be self-conscious. Her hair was a mess compared to her sister’s. Where Ariel’s was pale blond and silky, Paige’s was more of a honeyed blond and wavy. Even tied back like it was now, it didn’t look neat. And she wasn’t kidding on the genetics comment. Besides the height difference, Paige was…curvier. And not in a way that made her feel like a model. Her curves were… Well, they were everywhere and tended to make her look chubby rather than shapely.

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