Jennifer Sturman

The Key

© 2006 by Jennifer Sturman

This book is dedicated to Anne Coolidge Taylor

Thanks to Laura Langlie, Selina McLemore, Margaret Marbury and the team at Red Dress Ink for their help and advice, and to my family and friends for their encouragement and support.

chapter one

I was having my favorite type of dream, a flying dream, when the phone rang.

I opened one eye, testing to see if this was part of the dream. But in my dream the skies were blue and lit by golden sunlight. In my bedroom, it was dark, and freezing, since my new roommate liked to sleep with the windows wide open, even in March and even in Manhattan. And the phone was still ringing.

Peter mumbled something unintelligible and pulled the duvet over his head. I thought about doing the same, but surely nobody would call in the middle of the night unless it was important. I reached out for the phone.


“Rachel. Glenn Gallagher here.”

This had to be a joke. “What time is it?”

“Almost six. Listen, I need you in the office. We don’t have much time to get ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“I’ll tell you when you get in. See you in an hour.”

“But it’s Satur-” I began to say before I realized I was talking to a dial tone.

I was still half-asleep, so my reaction was somewhat delayed. It was nearly five seconds before I’d collected myself sufficiently to say the only appropriate thing that could be said in such a situation.

“You asshole!”

Peter gasped and shot into a sitting position. I’d spoken more loudly than I’d intended. “And a good morning to you, too.” Even in the dark, I could make out the silhouette of his sandy hair.

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