Dear Roomie (Rookie Rebels #5) by Kate Meader



Those silver eyes took inventory, but he got the impression she wasn’t seeing what everyone else did: Canadian hockey player, the oldest Durand boy, the crank who hated small talk.

Well, look at him now.

This woman saw something else, maybe something he couldn’t see for himself.

“To lighten the fuck up.”

He snorted. Okay, maybe she saw exactly what everyone else did.

She grinned and then she blushed, as though she realized that might be considered inappropriate to say to a customer. It probably was, but Reid didn’t care. He valued honesty above all else, even from his coffee supplier.

A movement interrupted his sightline, someone coming in through the back door and tying an apron. The manager, the one with the simpering smiles. Her gaze split between the two of them, before finally dialing up a fake grin.

Feeling lighter of heart, and with a nod at the pink-haired pixie, Reid picked up his drink and stepped away to doctor it to his liking.





2





“And now breathe in … and out … and assume corpse pose.”

“Get the mirrors out,” someone called from the back. It sounded like Mrs. Goggins. “Check if they’re still with us.”

To the soundtrack of a coven’s cackles, Kennedy Clark jumped up to walk around and check that they were indeed still with us. She hadn’t lost a client on her watch yet, but she wouldn’t put it past one of them to give up the ghost just to spite her.

She dimmed the lights of the activity room at Larkvale Senior Living, so that the last five minutes could be spent in a womb-like shroud. It was the best way to have the students center themselves after yoga practice.

“Try to empty your mind of all that worries you. Let it all slip away.”

Except your life force. Please hold on to that.

If only letting her own worries dissolve were that easy. Kennedy needed to find somewhere to live. She’d had a nice, rent-free deal for the last few months but all good things had to crash and burn. She just hadn’t expected it to end with no notice, changed locks, and a banker’s box of memories in the trunk of her car.

Now would be the moment to call it quits and head back out on her travels, yet she wasn’t quite ready to move on, not when she’d only arrived a few months ago to be nearer to the person who was currently not doing what she was told.

“Edie, you’re supposed to close your eyes and assume corpse,” she said to the woman looking up at her like a cheeky cherub. “This is the time to relax.”

“I’ll relax when I’m dead. In real corpse pose!”

Oh God. When Kennedy had volunteered to give this class to the seniors at Edie’s residential home—had to put that yoga certification to some use—she hadn’t expected that the most troublesome student would be the woman who was the closest thing she had to family.

Edie Dobson had moved into the senior’s home about six months ago, though to hear her say it, she was pushed headfirst by her son, who lived in LA and never came to visit. Kennedy had been in Malaysia when she heard about Edie’s health troubles, so by the time she returned to Chicago, it was a done deal. Not that she could have changed the situation but she would’ve preferred to be here to put Edie at ease and help her settle.

Thrilled to have Kennedy back on US soil, Edie had offered her use of the house on Primrose Avenue until it was sold. Now it was and squatter’s rights weren’t a thing. Neither was Kennedy sure she could tolerate another night sleeping in her car.

Almost five minutes had passed and the inmates were getting restless, so Kennedy raised the lights. “Okay, everyone, great session! I’ll be back on Friday but in the meantime, try to remember to stretch when you get out of bed in the morning. It really helps to keep those bones limber.”

“Watch you don’t fracture something in the meantime,” Edie offered.

“No one will fracture anything if you’re mindful of your body and its limits,” Kennedy called out. “Just don’t push it into anything that feels painful.” To Edie, she hissed, “I could do without the colorful commentary. You’re scaring people.”

Edie held out a hand for a boost upright. “Let’s hit the juice bar.”

A few minutes later, they were in the sunroom with the Jamba Juice smoothies Kennedy had brought and refrigerated in the community kitchen during the class. Larkvale didn’t have a juice bar, of course, but Edie liked to refer to their post-yoga meet-ups over smoothies as such. Adorable.