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Y O U R   E C H O

How do you teach a rock star how to meditate?

The number one question on Stéphanie’s mind sounds like the start of a bad joke, and life would be a whole lot easier if she actually knew the punch line.

Her meditation coach job description said nothing about private lessons for the most infamous lead singer in Montreal, but somehow Stéphanie still finds herself sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat, right next to a pierced and tattooed music legend who’d rather be anywhere else.

Meditation classes are Ace’s final chance to convince his record label that the last bender he went on really was his last. The demons that have sent him to the bottom of countless bottles might not give a damn about ‘soothing rhythmic chanting,’ but it's either this or game over for his career.

He's not what she wants. She's not what he's looking for. Yet somewhere amidst all the incense fumes, the lines between student and teacher get blurred.

E X C E R P T

Stéphanie is already waiting for me in the meditation room, smoke from a burning stick of incense coiling around her where she sits on a pillow.

“Can you get high off that stuff?” I ask, dropping onto the pillow beside her. “It smells like it could make you high.”

She rolls her eyes. “It’s sandalwood. It can’t make you high.”

“Are you sure? Do you even know what being high feel likes?”

“Obviously.”

I lean back onto my elbows. “Actually, it’s not obvious. You’ve got this whole blonde ballerina princess look going on.” I wave at her leggings and light pink tank top. She’s even got her hair up in a bun today. “You don’t exactly scream ‘baked’ to me.”

“I’ve been high before,” she insists.

“Whatever you say, princess.”

The glare I earn is downright scary.

“Call me that again and we’re done here. Also, stop assuming you have me all figured out.”

“Hey,” I say, as gently as I can, “that was a joke. A bad joke. Trust me, the last thing I’m assuming is that I have you all figured out.”

“Good.” She straightens up a bit on her pillow. “Because there’s more to me than meets the eye.”

I laugh. “What are you, a Transformer?”

She stares at me blankly.

“You know?” I prompt. “More than meets the eye? Robots in disguise? Please don’t make me sing the song for you.”

“Are you high?” she demands. “What the hell are you talking about?”

I shrug. “Maybe it’s different in French.”

Her whole body goes rigid and her voice turns to ice.

Don’t do that either,” she nearly hisses. “Don’t assume I’m stupid and ignorant about things just because I’m French.”

“Whoa!” I shift forwards and hold both my hands up. “Whoa whoa whoa. Where the fuck did that come from?”

The tension in her posture is already loosening, and I see two spot of pink appear high up on her cheeks, almost the exact same colour as her tank top.

“Sorry. I just get...sensitive about stuff like that.”

“Yeah, I noticed.”

She blinks at me. “You noticed what?”

“I noticed you get kind of...weird about French. You only speak it when you’re angry or emotional, and when you do, you look like you’ve made a mistake, like you’re mad at yourself or disappointed or something.” I shrug. “I noticed it.”

W I T H   A   S I D E   O F   S M A R T

R O M A N C E   S E R V E D   S T E A M Y