Another Excerpt – The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups!

(In which a blue silk scarf throws our hero under the love bus and big sister can’t wait to bust his chops about it)

…“Ta me ar meisce,” said Ian, his voice muffled by lying face down in the pillow.

“Jaysus, Ian. It’s nearly seven thirty and I can see for myself you’re drunk. My question is why, and at this ungodly hour of the morning,” Meg called from the door of Ian’s bedroom. “I’m not even going to ask why you didn’t even bother to change clothes when you got home last night. Lord, you’re a mess.” When he didn’t immediately rouse to defend himself, she knew. “You two had a fight and it’s your fault.”

“Don’t want to talk about it,” Ian groaned from his prostrated position.

“Oh, you poor dear,” Meg said, flinging open the heavy curtains to allow the early morning sunlight to stream into the darkened room. He moaned and tried to roll into a ball to avoid the light. She laughed. “No help for it, boyo. You’ve got to get up.”

“You’re the devil. Poor Dan,” he muttered, pulled the pillow over his head then hurled it at his tormentor instead.

“I brought you breakfast,” she said, nimbly dodging the feathery missile.

“Not hungry,” Ian growled.

“You need to get some food in your stomach, it’ll make you feel better,” she assured him.

He struggled to sit up and fell back on the bed. “No, Megs, it won’t. I hurt her on purpose and it made her cry. I was a perfect arse,” he said, clenching his eyes against the pain. “Sweet bleeding Jaysus, just kill me now and be done with it.”

“Aw, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re nowhere near perfect,” Meg said, biting hard on the inside of her cheek to keep a straight face.

“It’s not funny,” Ian snapped, managing to sit upright on the second attempt. “Lily might not ever speak to me again after last night.”

“What the hell did you do to her?”

“I kissed her,” he mumbled, pushing off the bed and disappearing into the bathroom.

Meg gasped. “Oh, the horror,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Well, it seems to me you’ve done that before and she didn’t run screaming.” When the door opened again, Ian stumbled through the bedroom to the kitchen, returning with Meg’s covered plate. “Thought you weren’t hungry.”

“Changed my mind,” he said, sullenly spearing a chunk of buttery fried egg and shoving it in his mouth. “Thanks, Meggie. S’good.”

She nodded. “So what was different about last night?” she asked.

Ian wolfed down the rest of the eggs, sausage and fried potatoes then set the empty plate down carefully on the bed. “She told me she was seeing someone else.”

“Since when has something like that ever bothered you?” Meg asked

Ian blew out a heavy sigh. “Since now. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” He went into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. The shower came on, followed by several muffled thumps. Moving about the room as she tidied up, Meg noticed something blue tangled up in the rumpled sheets and gave it a tug. She eyed the length of silk curious then gasped in realization that maybe for the first time ever, her little brother was hopelessly in love.

Doing all she could to keep from laughing out loud with sheer delight, she banged on the bathroom door and yelled through. “I’ll see you later.” No response. “I’ll let myself out.” Hearing a crash and something sounding like a string of very creative curses, she sprinted for the door, grinning as she stepped out into the sunshine on what promised to be a grand and glorious day…

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~ by Shannon MacLeod on January 15, 2013.

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