I wasn’t ready for his sweet voice to stop talking, a tall graceful figure came loping through the kitchen.

“Hey you two,” Evie chirped.  “Did you talk her into going with us?

Alex’s tone was flat and unfeeling.  “I believe so.”

That was all he said before rushing out of the room.  In a single, fluid movement he turned and raised from his chair.  He was half way across the house before I could wonder what I had done to earn yet another cold dismissal.  He was in such a hurry that he left the rope he was fidgeting with.  He had tied and twisted it into a series of well rehearsed knots, resulting in an intricate, quarter sized mat.  I kept that one.

Evie grinned with satisfaction.  “I knew he could talk you into it.”

I conveyed my disapproval with a hard glance.

“What?”  Her question oozed with false innocence.  “It was a nice talk, right?”

I sighed, disheartened.  “Clearly not.  He couldn’t get out of here fast enough.”

“Just ignore him.  I do,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

It infuriated me how easily I let him get under my skin.  I just didn’t get it, one minute he’s burning holes through me with his glares and the next we’re immersed in perfectly polite conversation.  I had to shake off the vertigo his mood swings were giving me.

Evie lifted her face slightly as she gave a quick sniff of the air.  “What is that awful smell?”

She took my protein shaker, examining it.

Amused by the disgust overtaking her usually splendid features.  “You smelled that from there?”  I asked.

“You really drink that?  Intentionally?  Oh Kat, we can do better.”

“This is fine, really.”  I laughed, sniffing the bottle incredulously-not even a faint strawberry scent escaped the closed lid.

The mid-morning sky was fair-puffs of white fleece scattered across the sky, occasionally blocking the suns’ warmth.  But, in the distance a less promising horizon offered up dark, ragged, cumulonimbus clouds rolling towards the shore.  I wasn’t sure if I should be saddened that I would have to say my farewells to the warmth for a while, or relieved that I could postpone my fate with a certain boating excursion.

I imagined that Chloe would be there, being that Alex spends so much time with her.  I wondered for a moment what she would be like.  Perfection obviously.  She would have to be perfect-Blonde hair, blue eyes maybe, tall and slender.  Stupid Barbie doll.  I laughed a little at how irrationally bitter I was, like a jealous ex.

I closed my eyes and lifted my face to the sky, I could almost feel the vitamin D soaking into my skin.  The warmth of the sun had just melted off an ocean breeze chill when Matt hollered from the deck that I had a phone call.

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