Snow Queen

Snow Queen by Emma Harrison Read Free Book Online

Book: Snow Queen by Emma Harrison Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emma Harrison
Tags: David_James
her measurements—something the pageant needed for some costume she had to wear. She hadn’t had a clue what her measurements were, so Rose had taken them for her after breakfast, which was when Aubrey had learned that she had zero curves. None whatsoever.
    “I didn’t think I’d need a coat,” Aubrey said as a stiff wind nearly blew the breath right out of her. The last thing she’d wanted to do was show up in her lumberjack gear and invite moreinsults from Layla and her friend Rebecca. Not to mention the fact that it didn’t exactly seem like the type of outerwear a pageant girl would wear. She had thought she’d just have to go from the car to the hotel, not sit in the cold for an hour. “Why do they hold this thing outside? Doesn’t everyone freeze?”
    “They’ll have heat lamps the night of the event,” Christie said, looking perfectly toasty and warm in her own jacket. “Are you not wearing your coat because of what Layla and Rebecca said about it? Because your comfort is way more important than what other people think.”
    “I know,” Aubrey said defensively, annoyed all over again that she had let Layla get to her. “That’s not why I’m not wearing it,” she lied. “I just thought we’d be inside.”
    They had just come to a fork in the path and the girls ahead of them veered off to the left. Aubrey could see the huge stone amphitheater down the hill with at least fifty rows of seating facing the stage. She gulped, imagining the place packed with spectators. Was it too late to back out of this?
    “This thing doesn’t, like, sell out, does it?” she asked Christie.
    “Oh, every year,” Christie replied casually. “Standing room only. That’s why I’m so glad you’re doing this with me. If you weren’t, I’d definitely chicken out.”
    Right. You’re doing this for Christie. Remember that , Aubrey told herself. And so that she can win and Layla can watch it happen. And so that you can prove to Grayson that you can be a pageant girl .
    Every time Aubrey thought about the encounter with Grayson that morning, she felt a thrill of excitement followed by a rush of annoyance. The flirting had been fun, but why had he laughed about her being in the pageant? Was the idea of her as a beauty queen that hilarious? She had told Christie about the whole thing while they were getting ready to come to the meeting, and Christie had been thrilled that Grayson Chamberlain was the gorgeous boy from the lake. She had insisted that Gray was an incredible guy and was sure that Aubrey had taken his laughter the wrong way.
    Aubrey hoped her friend was right, but Christie hadn’t been there. She hadn’t seen howhumiliating the whole thing was.
    Christie wrapped her arm around Aubrey’s, which served, at least, to warm one side of Aubrey’s body, and started down the hill toward the seating area. There were already about a dozen girls crowded into the center of the front row, Layla and Rebecca included, so Aubrey slipped in behind them and settled into a chair in the middle. Layla glanced over her shoulder as they sat. She was looking cozy in a gray fur jacket and matching earmuffs.
    “Hey, FL, I know you surfer girls are supposed to be ditzy and all that, so I’ll give you a helpful hint. It’s called a coat.”
    Apparently Bitchy Layla was back in action. As she and the girls around her giggled, Aubrey tried to look unaffected by the cold. But her fingertips were starting to go numb. How long, exactly, did it take a person to develop frostbite?
    “Ladies! Welcome one and all to the tenth annual Darling, Vermont, Snow Queen Pageant!”
    Aubrey looked up at the stage to find a diminutive woman in a long, purple, faux-furcape waltzing toward center stage. She wore a matching fur hat that stood up a good foot off her head, and so much makeup her face could have been a Halloween mask. Long, white silk gloves covered her arms, and her knee-high, mustard-colored heeled boots were decorated with long fringe.

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