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A Gathering of Hearts

A Gathering of Hearts

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A Gathering of Hearts

4.5/5 (4 Bewertungen)
66 Seiten
1 Stunde
May 19, 2020


About A Gathering of Hearts
When researchers and dog trainers fly from all over the country to a canine-behavior conference in Miami, unexpected chaos ensues. One ambitious dog trainer ends up sidelined by helping an exotic stranger, while a hopeful young researcher enters risky emotional territory when her hotel reservation is lost. Two disillusioned people find new friendship, which an unreasonable boss may quickly extinguish. Lives and professional hopes are subject to abrupt change as a handful of people find much more than they signed up for during this fateful weekend.
Sonja hopes that attending a canine-behavior conference will help her break the habit of putting everyone’s needs before her own. When she volunteers to help out a desperate man in the airport, she ends up sidelined once again from where she wants to be… but that’s not the end of the story.
About Bryant Street Shorts
Bryant Street Shorts is a new publisher specializing in exciting short-form fiction from talented and emerging writers. We’re passionate about creating immersive works that represent our readers and celebrate what matters to them, which is why our catalog of stories reflects a wide range of experiences and voices.
Many Bryant Street Shorts are collections of stories that follow ensembles of characters across multiple storylines. We suggest reading these stories in order to get the most out of your experience. Simply scroll down to “Titles In This Series,” located just below the description of every Bryant Street Short, to find the stories in their correct order.
To find mor

May 19, 2020

Über den Autor

Iris Forester is never happier than when she’s tossed everything aside to follow one of the story threads that cross her path. She shares her home place with eagles, ravens and owls — but also makes time every year to spend in New York City. When she’s not writing, Iris works with paint, clay, and various difficult creatures.

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A Gathering of Hearts - Iris Forester

Part One: Detained

Sonja looked out the window as the airport crew loaded luggage onto the plane, and sighed. She hated flying, but was forcing herself to endure it because the result would — she hoped — be worth it. She had taken an antihistamine tablet, and planned to defeat her nervousness by simply sleeping her way across the country. Lonely and determined, she was making this trip for herself, one of the first times she had chosen her own goals and dreams over the needs of the people around her. It had not been easy.

When she announced that she would be traveling three thousand miles to a dog-training conference, her plan had met with objections from several quarters. Sonja’s sister, Candy, had fallen back into her old flaky habits a few months ago, and Sonja had been talked into helping her sister out by taking over part of Candy’s dog-sitting business. Now, Sonja was trying to keep her own tiny dog-training business alive, but she had less and less time available for it. Instead her days were consumed by managing Candy’s two unhappy employees while trying to figure out whether she should make Candy sell the business before it went bankrupt. The whole thing was a giant mess.

While all this had been happening, Sonja had become increasingly fascinated with dog behavior, and she yearned to study with some top-notch expert. Her own little puppy-training business, which she conducted mostly through FaceTime, was just the beginning. She didn’t know how she would manage it, but she wanted to become part of the world of training service dogs, or somehow get into the highest levels of working with these animals.

Candy, who had come to rely on Sonja, had gotten their mother on her side. The two of them had ganged up against Sonja and done everything they could to persuade her that taking this trip was completely irresponsible and selfish. Which was pretty funny, considering that Candy’s whole reason for not being able to run her own business was that she had to go with her fiancé to Australia. But their mother would do anything to see one of her daughters married, and so she was categorically on Candy’s side as long as Candy had a fiancé.

But Sonja, for once, had held her ground. The conference featured experts on dog psychology from all over the world, and she wanted to soak up every scrap of insight they were able to share. She wanted to chat them up, interview them, ask them a whole list of questions that she’d carefully written down. And maybe… just maybe… among this like-minded crowd of dog-lovers, she might find someone whom she could date. Although the chances of his living anywhere near Seattle were scarce, given that this nationwide conference was happening in Miami.

Sonja sighed. She was twenty-nine, and emphatically single. Her last round of dating had been a dismal failure; three men who seemed perfect in their online profiles had turned out to be, in chronological order, a nonstop talker, a person whose political views she found revolting, and a guy who fidgeted endlessly and talked so loudly that everyone in the whole coffee shop had glared at them. After that, Sonja had spent a couple of months in a slump, living in sweatpants and spending more time with dogs than with human beings.

She knew she had to emerge from this slump, however, and flying to Florida for some professional excitement seemed like a beautiful way to accomplish this first step. She was a nice person, after all, and not bad-looking. She couldn’t stay single forever, right? For this trip, she had had her sandy-blond hair trimmed into a super-cute short layered cut, and she’d put a few excellent new outfits onto her credit card. The purchase made sense, she told herself, because why spend all the money to go to the conference if she wasn’t going to do everything possible to bolster her confidence? She looked with satisfaction at the comfy white jeans she was wearing, which looked like denim but were secretly all stretch. They were perfect travel pants, and she had paired them with a turquoise tunic that complemented her eyes. She felt pretty, for once, but was anyone looking?

Sonja suddenly became alert as the airport crew brought out a large crate with a dog in it and carefully loaded it into the hold. Dogs had a hard time with this type of travel, and Sonja’s heart went out to the creature. She hoped that he or she would be OK, not too cold. The sight made her miss Iggy, her brilliant border collie, who usually went everywhere with her.

The abrupt presence of a man at her shoulder startled Sonja. He was leaning over to look past her out the window, in an anxious, preoccupied way. She hadn’t noticed him arriving to claim the aisle seat in her row (the middle seat was still empty), and now he was seriously invading her space. She leaned away from him slightly and fixed him with a less than

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