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If the Sun Never Sets: Epilogue

“I can’t believe you pulled this off.” Farrah shook her head in awe. “Unbelievable.”

“There’s almost nothing money can’t buy,” Kris drawled. “Consider this my honeymoon present to you, even though you got engaged after me and married before me, you bitch.”

“Your fault for prolonging your engagement so you could throw the wedding of the century.” Courtney nudged Kris. “Your words, not mine.”

Farrah laughed. The “almost” caveat surprised her—what in the world had Kris Carrera ever wanted that she couldn’t buy?—but she was too happy to dwell on it.

She was officially Farrah Lin Ryan.

Married to a man who drove her crazy and sent her over the moon with joy at the same time.

A huge grin overtook her face when she looked across Gino’s and locked eyes with Blake, who was getting another round of drinks with the guys. He winked at her, and her breath quickened.

They’d been having nonstop sex the past few weeks (because what else are you supposed to do on your honeymoon?) but he still had the ability to turn her inside out with one look.

Farrah and Blake got married a month ago, on a beautiful rooftop garden in New York City. Her mom wanted them to tie the knot in California; his mom wanted to do it in Austin, but they’d stayed in the city that reunited them and that they now called home.

The wedding had been a small, intimate affair, planned to perfection by her maid of honor. As expected from an Olivia Tang-coordinated event, the ceremony went off without a hitch. Even the weather cooperated with clear skies and sunny weather, so they didn’t have to draw on one of Olivia’s five backup plans.

Everyone they loved had attended: their families, closest friends, colleagues (including Justin, whom Blake had threatened to yank off the guest list after Justin cheated at poker during guys’ night), and members of their Shanghai group whom Farrah hadn’t seen in years.

She’d invited Leo, Luke, and Nardo on a whim, despite not being close with them anymore, and had been pleasantly surprised when they RSVP’d yes. She was even more surprised they’d agreed to come on this trip.

Blake and Farrah had been getting ready to return home from their honeymoon in the Maldives and Sri Lanka when Kris messaged saying she had a present for them and they “may as well stay in Asia because they were going to Shanghai, bitches.” She’d emailed them two first-class tickets to China; when they arrived, a driver whisked them to Kris’s penthouse near the Bund, where they found their old group of study abroad friends waiting for them.

Kris. Courtney. Olivia. Sammy. Leo. Nardo. Luke. They were all there.

It was a long-overdue reunion, Kris said, and fitting since Blake and Farrah’s story started in FEA. They were a family, and even if you went years without seeing some members, family was family.

Farrah would’ve teased her friend for her shocking sentimentality had nostalgia not overwhelmed her.

Surrounded by her old friends, in the city that started it all, made everything that happened in Shanghai real and not just a fantasy so beautiful she’d willed it into memory.

The guys returned with beers, fries, and two mojito fishbowl cocktails the size of small aquariums.

Blake slid into the seat next to Farrah and draped an arm over her shoulder; she snuggled into his side and grinned as her friends fought over the fries.

“I bought the fries. I get first dibs.” Luke dove into the basket and shoved a handful in his mouth.

“Ugh.” Kris crinkled her nose. “They’re for sharing, you Neanderthal. Now that you’ve contaminated the basket, we have to get a new order.”

“Cry me a river,” Luke said through a mouthful of deep-fried potato. “You’re rich. You can afford it.”

“I love how you work for a university and still have no class.”

“I love how you have millions in the bank and still no way to remove that stick from your ass.”

“That’s it. You’re disinvited from my wedding,” Kris fumed.

“Fine by me. I’ll save money on airfare, hotels, and a wedding gift.”

“Children.” Courtney slammed her hands on the table, her mouth twitching with suppressed laughter. “I swear, it’s like we’re in college again.”

“If we’re going to do throwbacks, might as well do it all the way.” Sammy grinned. “Never Have I Ever?”

Courtney’s face shone with excitement. “Best idea of the night. You always were my favorite.”

Beside her, Olivia rolled her eyes.

“I’m offended,” Leo drawled, not sounding offended at all. He and Courtney had ended their fling long before study abroad was over, and the years had placed a comfortable, if somewhat distant, camaraderie between them.

The brunette released a sheepish shrug. “Sorry, Leo. You were a great kisser, though.”

“I know.”

Everyone laughed.

Blake whispered in Farrah’s ear, “Not as good as me.” His arm tightened possessively around her shoulder, and she stifled a laugh.

No doubt Blake remembered her fleeting crush on Leo at the beginning of FEA. Even though they were married, and it had been years, Blake still eyed the other man with suspicion.

“No one is as good as you.” Farrah patted him on the knee.

“Damn right.” Blake preened with male satisfaction.

“We should play a different game than Never Have I Ever.” Nardo adjusted his glasses. “Something more intellectually stimulating.”

Sammy clapped his friend on the back. “Dude. We’re in a bar. Chill out.”

“Exactly. Besides, should and want are different things.” Courtney’s tone brooked no opposition. “I’ll start. Never have I ever pierced anything below my neck.”

Nardo sighed.

The group stayed at Gino’s until last call. It was a long, decadent night, and it made Farrah feel nineteen again—young, wild, and free. Only better, because this time she knew how the story ended, and it was better than she could’ve hoped for.

Blake ducked into the restroom before they left, and Farrah waited for him outside, trying to piece together what, exactly, was going on between Olivia and Sammy, who stood on opposite ends of the sidewalk. They hadn’t exchanged one word all night, but the glances they threw each other could’ve burned the city down.

Farrah wondered how the sweetest couple in FEA devolved into this weird, do-they-hate-each-other-or-love-each-other dynamic.

It was going to be interesting to see how things played out, now that Olivia was moving to California to get her MBA at Stanford.

Farrah was going to miss having her best friend in the same city, but she supposed that was selfish. She had, after all, moved into Blake’s apartment after their engagement, leaving Olivia with a subletter in their Chelsea apartment.

“Hey.” Leo ambled over with his signature relaxed grin. “Settled into married life yet?”

“It’s only been a month, but I have no complaints so far.” She smiled at her old friend. “Thanks for coming. You didn’t have to.”

“Trust me, I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.” Leo raked a hand through his curly dark hair. “Actually, there’s something I want to give you. Another wedding present, though nowhere near as extravagant as a weeklong trip to Shanghai.”

“It’s okay. I think Kris has the market cornered on extravagant gifts.” Curiosity pricked at Farrah. She had not expected a second present from Leo, of all people.

Leo pulled a thick, bound stack of papers from his weathered brown messenger bag. “It’s the first draft of my next novel. Written under a pen name.” He flashed an abashed smile. “The story has been in my head for a while, but I lacked the will to finish it until I received your wedding invite a few months ago. I wanted you to read it first.”

Farrah’s brow furrowed. “Why me?”

“Read it,” Leo said simply.

The next day, Farrah curled up in a seat by the window and read the manuscript from front to back, until the sun sank beneath the horizon and moonlight streamed through the windows, illuminating the tear-stained pages of a story about a girl and a boy who fell in love, in a city long ago and far away.

Blake liked his friends. They were great.

But after a week of their nonstop company, he was sick of them. He wanted alone time with his wife. He wanted to kiss her without other people interrupting, and he wanted to make her scream at night without having to deal with seven sets of knowing eyes and shit-eating grins the next morning.

Kris really needed to soundproof her rooms.

So on their last day in China, Blake moved their shit from Kris’s penthouse to a suite at Z Hotels Shanghai. He had downright wicked ideas for what he and Farrah could do in that massive hotel bed, but first, they needed to complete their nostalgia walk.

Farrah had insisted on visiting all their old date spots—Moller Villa (that hadn’t been an official date, but they’d had their first dinner alone together there), the M50 art district (again, not a real date, but close enough), the ice-skating rink they went to on Valentine’s Day—and Blake indulged her. At first, he did it because Farrah wanted to, but as the day wore on, he found himself enjoying the walk down memory lane. It reminded him of how far they’d come.

They ended their night at the Bund. Five years later and the Shanghai skyline was still a fucking beauty. Ageless, timeless, and so dazzling it hurt to look at it.

Blake remembered staring at the spires rising above the city when he was twenty-two and feeling so tiny, so insignificant. Now, when he looked at the sprawl of glittering buildings across the river, he felt like he was on top of the world.

He had a booming business, amazing friends and family, and the woman of his dreams in his arms. He had everything he needed.

“It’s like we never left.” Farrah sighed, lacing her fingers with his as they continued their leisurely stroll along the waterfront. “God, I missed this place.”

“This city has seen some things.” Blake’s dimples made a sneaky appearance. “Do you remember what I asked you when we came to the Bund for the first time after we kissed?”

Farrah’s smile matched his. “You asked me to be your girlfriend. In the clumsiest way possible, I might add.”

“It was not clumsy. It was adorable.”

“Sure it was.” She patted his cheek; he caught her hand in his and brought it to his lips.

“Five years ago, I asked you to be my girlfriend in this very spot. Now, you’re my wife.” Blake stopped walking and pressed his forehead against her. “We’ve come full circle, haven’t we?”

Farrah’s eyes shimmered brighter than the symphony of lights behind her. “Yes, we have.”

“Are you happy?” His lips brushed hers as he spoke. Of all the things in the world, that was what mattered most.

“Yes.” Simple, confident, no hesitation or explanation needed.

Blake cupped Farrah’s face with his hands and kissed her, a deep, lingering, breathless kiss that had them melting into each other beneath the beaming smile of the city that had changed their lives.

They’d kissed before, many times. But this time was different.

This time, it was forever.


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