Tangled in Moonlight: Unshifted – Ava: Paranoia and Secrets (I)

Ava: Paranoia and Secrets (I)

The bell above the door jingles, signaling another customer's arrival at The Novel Grind. I glance up from where I'm restocking the pastry case and feel a smile tugging at my lips. It's become such a familiar routine these past four months—the steady flow of customers, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingling with the scent of old books, the comfortable chatter filling the cozy space.

I nod in acknowledgment, my hands continuing their task of arranging the muffins and scones just so. This place has become more than just a job to me; it's a sanctuary, a haven where I can breathe easy and simply exist without the weight of expectations bearing down on me.

As I work, my mind wanders to the evening ahead. It's been two weeks since Franklin and his wife, Emily, last had me over for dinner. I'm looking forward to the home-cooked meal and easy conversation, a stark contrast to the strained silences and disapproving glances that used to fill my family dinners back home.

A pang of guilt tugs at my heart, but I quickly push it away. This is my life now, the life I've chosen, and I won't let the ghosts of the past haunt me anymore.

Chapter end

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