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The long night has finally ended, and now it's time to go to breakfast with Hollywood hunk Troy McGarrett! Ethan's sister is surely in heaven now! See what's going on in this week's chapter of Bad Karma and the Family Plan! Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!Bad Karma and the Family Plan #59 (12.4)
Call me unobservant, at least where women were concerned, but until that moment, I hadn’t noticed two things about Ethan’s sister. The first was that she was dressed rather nicely for first thing in the morning, at least when compared to how I remembered the way she dressed when she stayed with Ethan and me. The second was that she was wearing more make-up than I’d ever seen her use before. Not that I’m saying she was in full clown mode or anything like that. To be honest, it was minimal but tasteful… and I found myself wondering what Ethan might look like with make-up.
Note to self: Explore that possibility at a later date.
“I’ll get that!” she exclaimed in a chipper voice as she practically raced to the front door before the rest of us had even a ghost of a chance of responding.
Ethan cast a worried glance after her, and I knew what he was thinking. What if it wasn’t a certain actor standing outside? But moments later, our fears proved to be unfounded as Troy and Brendan trailed Sarah into the house. Their arrival was quickly followed by that of Ethan’s parents from upstairs.
The ever-polite Troy and Brendan wished everyone good morning and apologized for arriving so early.
“Nonsense,” Maureen responded. “You are both very welcome in our home. We’re very glad to have you, aren’t we, Joe?”
I glanced curiously toward my future father-in-law—and trust me when I say what a strange notion that was, to become related to the once-sinister minister—to see what his reaction would be. Joseph was at his most charming and seconded his wife’s words.
“I’m the one who should apologize for oversleeping,” Maureen went on, although truth be told it was still early. Barely eight o’clock. “Now, why don’t I put some coffee on? I bet most everyone could use a cup.”
Well, that did go without saying, didn’t it? I knew we were about to go out for breakfast, but even so, you couldn’t have too much of a good thing. Besides, that would give the early morning crowd, assuming there was one, time to thin out before we got there.
“Vinnie and I can do that, Mom,” Ethan volunteered our services. Not that I minded. That would just be some alone time for the two of us. I noticed Troy seemed about to offer to help as well, which would mean Brendan too, of course. But then he took one look at me, and I thought I caught a twinkle in his blue eyes, as if he knew just what I was thinking, and he turned his attention to Sarah instead, to her great delight.
“I’m shocked that Ethan never told me he had such a lovely sister.” I swear he just developed a very Southern accent such as I hadn’t heard since that ill-fated movie. I rolled my eyes and followed Ethan into the kitchen.
Once I was sure we hadn’t been followed, I pulled him to me and kissed him most thoroughly. Let’s just call this the early morning fiancé inspection. Utilizing both lips and tongue, I quickly ascertained that all was well. Better than well, actually—Ethan Thorne was perfect.
“How you holding up, Vinnie?” Ethan was nothing if not solicitous. Always thinking of me first. How could I help but love that man?
“There are worse places we could be,” I said, which produced a raised brow. Oops, open mouth, insert foot. My cheeks heated at my faux pas.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” I immediately apologized. I really hadn’t. Luckily, he knew that too. “I just meant that under the circumstances, we’re pretty lucky to be able to spend time with your family. Well, most of them.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean.” Ethan sighed. “Joey has gotten worse, I think. The stress of Heather leaving him must weigh on him. If I was in his shoes, I know I couldn’t bear not being with you. I’m trying to be understanding, but he certainly makes that difficult.”
Wasn’t that the truth?
“You know I’d never leave you, right?” I thought I knew the answer to that question, but I am still a little insecure… Okay, maybe more insecure than I’d like to admit. But hey, I’m getting better. Still, better to ask than to wonder.
“I know that,” he replied, gazing at me with those beautiful blue eyes so intensely I felt my insides begin to melt. Damn, I wished we were alone, but alas, that wasn’t meant to be. At least not anytime soon.
Our moment was interrupted by the entrance of Alex and our pup. It was hard to tell who was chasing who, but they looked as though they were both having fun.
“We better get on to making that coffee.” Ethan winked at me. “To be continued later.”
For now, I had to douse those fires burning inside of me, keep them on smolder. But I knew we’d find a way, and that would be well worth the wait.
to be continued
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