Today's Reading

"Okay, fine. But I need ice cream if I'm going to be back out in that heat."

"It's called gelato."

"I'm doing it again, aren't I? Being the stupid American tourist?"

"Kinda."

"Sorry, sis." I rope my arm around her neck and pull her close. She smells like lemons and home to me, a slight variation on my own scent.

"I saw a gelato shop around the corner," Harper says.

"You're a lifesaver."

"You get any insight in there?" She points over my shoulder.

Oh, crap, I left Mr. Texas alone without saying goodbye. "Hold on."

I step to the confessional and pull the curtain back. "Are you still there?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"I've got to go."

"Go with God."

"Okay, thanks." Okay? Okay? Do I go directly to hell now, or do I at least get to plead my case at the pearly gates? "Thank you for listening."

"You can leave an offering in one of the boxes."

"Oh, right, sure. Will do."

But wait. Wasn't he supposed to give me rosaries to say? A penance? Something that will wash away the sin of wanting Connor Smith dead, even if it's just on paper?

I search around for the offering box. Harper's standing with her hands clasped behind her, staring at the huge stained glass window above the altar of Madonna and Child. The sunlight is filtering through it, throwing out a pinwheel of colors. She looks angelic, and I almost don't want to disturb her. But I also badly want a gelato, and she's carrying my wallet.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm working on being less dependent, I promise. But the truth is that my life would be a mess without her.

"Harper?"

She brings her head down and turns. She looks disappointed, like I've woken her out of a particularly good dream. "Yeah?"

"We're not Catholic, right?"

"How could you not know that?"

"I remember church at Christmas, and didn't we go at Easter sometimes? Am I making that up?"

"I'm not your memory palace."

"Aren't you?"

"Ha."

"So?"

"Yeah, we went at Christmas. Mom loved the carols."

"Right. And Dad loved the Easter egg roll!"

She touches her nose with one finger and points the other at me. "We have a winner."

"I wish I remembered them more."

Our parents died when I was eighteen. Which should be more than old enough for me to remember them, but instead, having to immediately become Harper's parent seems to have erased most of my memories.

The good ones, anyway.

Harper smiles sadly. "Me too."

"Anyways...Should we jet?"

"You wouldn't happen to know where Connor is, would you?"

"Isn't it your job to keep tabs on him?"

"I was too busy looking for you."
...

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