NOTE: Crud. I somehow didn’t get the autopost time right. Sorry I’m late. 🤦🏼♀️ The Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Wow. This week has flown by. Since this holiday is centered on family, today’s #1lineWed THEME of **SIBLINGS** is rather fitting. This snippet started live as a flash fiction prompt about being a prince. The two characters involved are Callum, who is the IT guru and 4th in command of the Borus, and Sophie, who’s father leads a rival gang.
Sophie became aware of the man as the maitre d’ escorted her to a table. She’d noticed he was with a woman so she reined in her immediate interest. Once seated, she remained aware though she attempted to focus on the menu. Except it was hard when he was staring at her. Like she was the premiere entry on the dessert cart. She was so captivated by him she paid no attention to his companion. Until she heard her sister’s voice.
“What is she doing here?” The shrill tone was worse than nails on a blackboard.
Well, shit. Wasn’t that just her luck? The first man to capture her attention in months and he was out on a date with her witch of a sister. Delilah was already bitching about her presence and she braced for the confrontation she was sure would come. While she could clearly hear her sister’s words, the man spoke so softly she couldn’t catch what he was saying.
Then, Delilah sprang out of her chair and Sophie winced. Those nails hurt when Del raked them across skin. She knew that sensation all too well.
The man’s movements were almost lazy as he blocked her sister’s blow. The approaching waiter halted mid-step, clearly appalled judging by the expression on his face. He balanced a tray of food, looking as stiff as a mannequin and now plainly terrified of interrupting the drama playing out in front of him.
The man gripped Del’s wrist with apparent carelessness. Sophie let out a soft whistle. She had never seen any man look more ruthless and she’d grown up in a viper pit of alpha males. A part of her brain wondered what her father would do if confronted by that look.
For a moment there, after realizing her sister was here, she’d almost left, but the stubborn streak that kept her chin up in the face of the shit storm that was her family forced her to stay. She had as much right to dine here as her estranged sister. And wow, was she glad she had. Del was famous for her dramas and this one was turning out to be a doozy. When she’d caught that glimpse of interest in Delilah’s date’s eyes, which were focused on her, not her sister, she’d decided to stay. Not that there was any sibling rivalry between them when it came to men. Except maybe this time because…damn. By every ounce of femininity she possessed, she was aware of him. In a visceral way that touched all of her. All of her. Her skin crackled like someone was tracing sparklers over it and she would swear there were skyrockets bursting across the ceiling above her head.
She didn’t move, hypnotized by the snake-like reaction of her sister’s date. The man brushed away Delilah’s attack and then the maitre d’ and two burly busboys descended. Sophie slipped out of her seat and all but ran to the ladies room. She could miss this part of the debacle and stay out of Del’s clutches. When she returned, her sister was gone and the man occupied the other chair at her table, looking as cool and controlled as a king cobra.
He rose and held her chair. Hesitating, she felt those sparklers again. She sat before her legs betrayed her. He sat and offered her his hand.
She knew the name. Irish mob. God knew he would never be a prince but she didn’t need one of those. She needed a man who would fight for her.
He smiled. And she was a goner.
For those of us dealing with family tomorrow, I hope that if sibling rivalry rears its head, it is due to competing culinary skills, because my rolls are so much better, y’all. Just sayin’. So’re my pecan and pumpkin pies but I’m only taking rolls and the pecan. Writers, any siblings in your WIPS? Readers, are your family gatherings full of friendly competition?