I had a difficult time choosing a scene. I suppose I chose this because it reminded me of a soap opera, and if anything is high drama, it's a darn soap opera.
Like yesterday's blogfest post, it's from my new WIP, The Paladin. It's a bit longish, but reads quickly because of all the dialogue. Please be gentle as my entire WIP is in infancy and has been written over the last two weeks. Thus it's an unedited, very first rough draft.
Rainee rounded a corner not too far from her suite when she saw Tom. He stood an inch or two away from a tall, voluptuous blonde, leaning toward her and speaking urgently against her ear. The woman’s hands rubbed up and down his upper arms.
Her immaculate, label-heavy apparel and glamorous hair and makeup pegged her as a socialite. Even the shoes she wore cost more than the average person made in a month or two. Not one to avoid conflict, Rainee ditched her limp as best she could and approached the couple.
“Hello, Tom. Amber.”
“Oh!” The blonde startled at Rainee’s sudden appearance at her side. “Rainee, I didn’t know you were out of the med ward yet.”
“I never went to a med ward, Sis.” Rainee knew her sister hated being called anything but her own name. “Nice of you to come and visit your wounded sister, though.”
“Now Rainee, you know how busy it is at the office, and I’ve been in committee meetings the last two days. It’s very hard work. Isn’t that why you left the business?”
“Yes, of course. It must be tough fitting in the salon visit every other day. What brings you to Aurora, Amber? Didn’t you say this settlement was the ghetto?”
“I’m sure you’ve heard about the shipping transport losses recently. We met with the Security Director and the Council to find a solution to the security issues within the shipping lines.” So that’s where Dan and Emma were this afternoon. “Tom was amazing with his insight and support. I feel confident he can get us what we need to continue operations in the area.” Rainee could almost hear the purr in Amber’s voice. The woman kept a hand possessively on Tom’s arm.
“Sounds like all’s well in the land of movers and shakers.” Despite her gentile, upper-class upbringing, Rainee wanted to punch Amber in the face. Instead, she smiled politely and patted her sister’s cheek with her left hand.
“What is that?” she gasped, grabbing Rainee’s hand to examine the exquisite dihydra diamond. “I’ve never seen one of these in person. How’d you get this?”
“If you’d find a moment to answer my comms you’d know Tom and I have been dating for several months. He’s asked me to marry him, and I said yes.” Rainee bathed Tom in a radiant smile as she looped her arm through his. He’d been silently watching the terse exchange between the sisters, but when she turned the full force of that smile on him, he virtually melted.
“I’ve been working up the nerve to ask her for weeks,” he said. Inadvertently brushing away Amber’s hand, he bent his head to kiss Rainee. Her sister’s eyes narrowed, though she pasted on a delighted smile.
“How wonderful! Father will be happy to hear of it,” she said. Rainee noticed Amber’s sharp fingernails dig into the palms of her hands. “When is the wedding to take place?”
“Well, our engagement is new. I’m arranging an engagement party which you’re welcome to attend. The invitations will be sent soon. I think we’ll be announcing the wedding date at the party.” He looked at Rainee.
“Yes, that sounds good,” she answered the question in his eyes.
“I suppose I should not hold you up any longer, Councilman. I look forward to hearing your final plan for security on the transports. I’ll be in touch with you soon.” Amber nodded curtly to him and made her exit without another word to her sister. Rainee waited until she was out of view before she turned on Tom, jerking her arm from his. He’d had a strange look on his face as he watched after Amber’s departure.
“What the hell were you doing with that viper?” He almost cringed at her harsh tone.
“I didn’t know she was your sister. You never talk about your family.”
“It doesn’t matter if she’s my sister or not. She was all over you, and you let her. Why were you whispering in her ear?” His face flushed slightly.
“She wasn’t all over me. We were just talking, and I wasn’t raised to be rude to a lady. They’re having problems with their supply transports, and I’m trying to work out some way to minimize the losses. We actually have been in meetings the last two days. Like it or not, we’ve been working together and we’ll continue to work together until the problem is solved. It’s my job, Baby.”
“I don’t like it, and that harpy is no lady. Whatever you do, don’t make that mistake. You’re too damn nice for your own good sometimes, Tom. She will chew you up and spit you out before you know she’s taken the first bite.”
“Were you jealous?” he asked quietly. Her jaw dropped.
“Jealous? Of her? No. Not really. You could have been just anybody she was hanging all over, and I’d be angry. She’s a beauty on the outside, but never forget she’s really a troll. And now that she knows we’re engaged, she’ll try digging her claws into you.”
“That’s an awful thing to say about your sister.”
“It would be if it wasn’t the truth. I know her, Tom. Trust me.”
“I do. I just think maybe you should give her a chance.”
“I’ve given her plenty. When is it enough?”
“It’s never enough when it comes to family.”
“Once we’re married, she’ll be your family, and you can give her all the chances you want.”
Yep. I did warn you it was longish, but I promise to make it up by reading all of yours ;) On another note, I hope you take a moment to check out the "Help find a cure" platform contest in my sidebar. It'd be awesome if the blogosphere can spread the word for a good cause, if only by posting the link.