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Leo Loves Aries (Signs of Love #1)
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A new person will enter your life in the early year, Leo. Look past any moments of frustration they might bring and laugh—this could be the start of a thriving friendship.
Theo Wallace usually laughs at the horoscopes his mom sends. Still hung up on his ex-girlfriend and practically friendless, this one begs him to reconsider. Because a friendship that stuck, that thrived…
Well, that would be a reason to leave past pains behind and look to the Bright Future.
When his sister Leone challenges him to find her the perfect date for a spring wedding, Theo uses it as a chance to make new friends. Theo’s ex economics tutor and newest roommate Mr Jamie Cooper seems to be a possible and convenient match. Real convenient. Like written in the stars, convenient.
All he has to do is make sure this Jamie is good enough. Could really be the one for her, and the friend for him.
But watch out, Leo, the stars have a surprise in store…
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“Stop trying to clean up the past, Theo. Focus on sweeping a path for the future.”
Leone to Theo at New Year’s Eve.
Theo Wallace stood in front of the mailbox, pinching a gold-edged card, his throat constricting with a rush of betrayal. Rain drummed over the card, making the ink of Samantha’s name weep.
A year ago last January, he and Sam were making snow angels right here in front of his two-story Victorian rental. His sister Leone and her boyfriend Derek had joined them. They had laughed so hard he’d felt it in his gut for the rest of the day.
Out of nowhere, Sam slammed him with the truth. She would prefer to spend her life with someone else. Someone easier to live with. Derek.
Theo swallowed and closed his eyes on the memory, focusing on the rain slithering down the gaps of his jacket hood rather than the emptiness he felt. A right sad sack he was. Fuck.
He moved to the trashcan at the curb, lifted the freezing, wet lid, and then slammed it down again.
The card still lay clutched in his hand.
He couldn’t bring himself to toss that damn embossed card away. Because…because… it was addressed to him and Leone.
Yeah. That was it.
He rolled his shoulders and tucked the card with the other two minor annoyances that had arrived with the mail. He splashed up the white stone path to the front door and let himself in.
“Leone?” he called over earsplitting indie electropop.
He toed off his shoes and slid them into the shoe rack, making sure to tuck the laces away. “You’re gonna want to hear this.” He hung his wet jacket.
“I’m in the living room.”
Theo rounded into the main room of their house. The previous tenants had knocked down a few walls, making a great room and open plan kitchen.
He found his sister in a pair of yoga pants and tank top, using one of the heavy wooden pillars that studded the space to stretch out her calves. She picked up her phone from the base of the pillar and spoke. The music pumping from the sound system faded.
Cola-brown hair swung with her ponytail as she turned in his direction and sniffed. “You smell like rain, bro.”
“I’m drenched. You didn’t hear it pounding out there?”
“Thought it got a bit darker,” she said. “But I wasn’t sure.”
Dragging her hand over their navy-blue couch, she moved toward the kitchen.
It didn’t look like she had to count every step. Didn’t look like she had difficulty pulling a black mug from the white cabinets and filling it with water.
Didn’t look like she was legally blind.
Water guzzled, Leone plunked herself onto the armchair. “What am I gonna want to hear?”
Theo pulled out the mail from under his arm and set it on the coffee table. He flung himself onto the couch, tipped his head against the arm, and pinched his nose. “It came.”
“It came?” Confusion edged Leone’s voice, and then she breathed in sharply. “It came.” Taut silence followed, then, “When is it?”
“It’s the square card on the end closest to you. I was tempted to throw it out.”
But he obviously had masochist tendencies, because some part of him wanted to suffer its contents.
Leone asked, “Are you doing the honors? Or do you want me to stick it under my magnifier?”
Theo rolled onto his side and plucked the offending card from the table.
Scrawled in large, now bleeding cursive at the top of a soft gold-and-cream card were the stomach-clenching words:
Save the Date.
Samantha Royce & Derek Johnson.
“Middle of May.” His voice cracked and his throat felt like he had swallowed fire.
Leone made a choking sound. Her light-green eyes filmed over with tears.
Theo tossed the card onto the coffee table and slid onto the armchair next to her. Her head cradled against his shoulder as he stroked a stray lock behind her ear. “Fuck ’em, right?”
“Not anymore,” she said.
Theo let out a raw laugh. “I guess you’re right.”
Derek had been Leone’s boyfriend for three years and Samantha—Sam, Sammy—had been Theo’s girlfriend for two.
A week after the snow angels, they’d discovered the two had fallen out of love with them and in love with each other.
He thought he’d gotten over the pain.
Seeing them together last Halloween, a twinkly rock bedazzling her ring finger, was hard enough.
Now this invitation…
His stomach knotted.
“I wish I could hate them,” Leone said.
But Theo couldn’t. Sammy and Derek hadn’t snuck around or cheated on them. Bit by bit over all the weeknights, weekends, and holidays Theo and Leone had them over, they’d become close. While Theo had focused on other things—programming, marathon training, rewriting papers—and Leone on her thesis proposal, Sam and Derek had fallen in love.
They’d both cried when they confessed they had feelings for each other.
Over and over they apologized.
Leone had been sitting on the armchair and Theo had been stretched out on the couch flipping yoghurt raisins into his mouth like he didn’t care. But he did.