I have to say a quick thank you for those who take the time out of their busy schedule to stop by and be amused by my scribbling. Please make sure you stop back here to read the rest of contributors. This week's prompt was the word "TREE". With that being said, we'll continue where our tale left off...with Zeke's sister giving him hell because of his highhandedness with Thea...
“And how exactly do you propose I do that? She’s in Rio!” When his sister glared at him, he fell silent, hoping that his sister would let the subject drop. He should’ve known better.
“Stubborn man! You just open your mouth and tell her.” Charlotte scowled at him. She jerked her pencil out of the messy bun on her head. “I don’t know why I bother with you at times, Ezekiel St. John. Maybe I should go outside and talk to a tree because at least the leaves would move.”
Zeke groaned. “Aw come on, Sis…don’t be that way. Even if I do find her before she gets hurt by some dude who’s only looking for a vacation fling, she’s going to be too pissed to listen to me.”
She harrumphed before finally relenting. “Then you apologize until she does hear you.”
“Fuck!” If there was anything he hated more than the idea of seeing his Thea with another man, it would be apologizing to the little wench for trying to protect her. She had a knack of pissing him off without even trying. Pain exploded in the back of his head. “Ouch! Why the hell did you hit me?” Rubbing the back of his head, he stared up at his fuming sister.
“Language! Don’t you use foul language in here, Ezekiel. This is a family establishment – not some bar.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” How his older sister reduced him to a young boy in a matter of minutes opposed the twenty-eight year old man he was, still baffled him.
“Now, I know where she is staying, but I’m not going to tell you if you’re going to handle her like you have been.”
“So what do you want, Charlotte? Me to swear on a stack of bibles that I’ll play nice?”
“No, I want your word that you’re not going down there because you’re pissed she left.”
He folded his arms over his chest. “But I am angry! She’s taking a huge risk!”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “And she’s being braver than you are. She’s not content to sit at home anymore waiting for your dumbass to wise up.” Scribbling something on her order pad, she folded it in thirds.
“What the he…” As she raised her eyebrow, he swallowed what he was going to say. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
She rolled her eyes. “If I’ve ever seen a more oblivious pair than you two, I don’t know when.” She leaned forward to hand him the paper, but just before he grabbed it, she withheld it. “Not so fast. That girl has been in love with you since…”
His jaw clenched. “That’s not love, Sis – it’s gratitude. I saved her from a bad situation…”
“Do I need to pop you again, boy?” At her sharp tone, he shut up. She gave a short nod. “I swear I don’t know why I put up with you. She’s been half in love with you since before you left for the service. What you did to save her only cemented the feelings she had.”
“I don’t believe it. Most days she hardly tolerates my presence.”
Charlotte sighed. “Because she’s sick and tired of you treating her like a kid sister.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because us women talk.” She handed him the paper. “So for once in your miserable life, Zeke, be honest with her, or you’re going to run her off for good.”
He pocketed the paper, before rubbing his hand over his face “And when I tell her I want her so much I can’t stand the thought of another man touching her and she runs off?”
Rounding the corner, she sat down next to him. “What makes you think she’s going to run, Zeke?”
“After what happened with her father, the last thing I want to do is remind of what a man is capable of when he's jealous.”
Charlotte wrapped an arm around him. “You’re nothing like Nathanial Lewis. He was obsessed with her every move. He wasn’t normal so he saw things that weren’t there. There’s a difference in being jealous of another man touching her and wanting to control and own her. You won’t fly into a rage because she rejects your advances, right?”
He shook his head rapidly. “Hell no! I’d love for her to be mine but she’s her own woman, and if she decides she doesn’t want me…” He took a deep breath. “…then I’ll deal with it.”
“Then I’m not worried about it.” She sighed. “Thea told me the other day the only reason she went on this trip was because a certain deputy sheriff wouldn’t give her what she wanted. She’s ready to be more than the sweet innocent librarian everyone sees her as. You can’t stop her. In the end, it’s her life. You just have to ask yourself, who is going to be the one to teach her? Some gigolo in Rio or you?”
“I don’t fu – freaking think so!” He pushed his chair back as a wave of jealousy washed over him. He’d beat the hell out of any man who touched what he considered his. At least until she says otherwise.
“I didn’t think so.”
Grabbing his hat from the counter, he was halfway out the door, when his sister hollered at him.
He stopped. “What?”
She flashed him a grin. “Don’t tell her I was the one who ratted her out; that little girl has one helluva temper.”
He nodded before exiting the diner. He had a lot to get done before he tracked down his woman again.
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