The Wrong Sister

By: Kris Pearson

“Sorry,” he said, seeming to regret his brusqueness. “I’d programmed myself to be a twosome and now I find I have to juggle you into the equation as well.”

“Don’t,” she begged as to her mortification sudden tears threatened. She was an absolute mess of nerves. “Don’t worry about me. Ignore me. I’ll keep right out of your way if that’s what you want. But why not let me do the cooking at least? Give Mrs Houndsworth a rest. I’d enjoy it—I get no chance on the boat.” She flicked him a quick cautious glance. “That’s probably why I didn’t think to use the microwave oven for the porridge this morning. I’m out of practice. I need some.”

She turned away so she could swipe at her face covertly, hoping he wouldn’t notice she was trying to hide her desolation. “Then you can spend as much time with Nicola as you want,” she added. “Organize the damn nanny yourself if you’d rather. Whatever—it’s fine by me.” She cut his sandwich swiftly in two and felt the clean sharp pain as the knife sliced the side of her thumb.

She gasped, snatching her hand away from the food to assess the damage, and releasing the knife with a clatter. A drop of bright blood seeped out and hit the table-top. She stared at the crimson spot. Another landed beside it.

Christian lurched from his chair, raised her hand to his mouth, and sealed his lips around her thumb. He closed his eyes and they stood pressed together for a few frozen seconds as he ran his hot tongue over her flesh and sucked softly.

Acting on long-suppressed instinct, Fiona cupped her hand around his jaw, smoothed her fingers against his cheek and caressed the spiky bristles of his beard. She’d imagined touching him for years. And now, under the most unlikely circumstances, her wish had been granted.

Everything about her jolted into a different context. She sagged against him, absorbing his warmth, imprinting her body on his, wanting to stay like that forever.

Somehow, she wrenched herself away.

He raised a napkin to blot at the blood as she slid her thumb from between his lips. “It’s only a tiny nick—I can feel it,” he muttered, still avoiding her eyes.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

This is crazy. He licked me. He sucked my blood. I touched his face. I threw myself at him. Oh, Jan—I didn’t mean to.

Waves of remorse and embarrassment rolled over her as she dropped down onto her chair again.

“We always keep the first-aid kit in the drawer over here.” Christian heard the strangled tone of his voice, and cursed under his breath. “Mostly for Nicky,” he added as he walked across to the long polished-granite counter.

He rummaged in the box and found what he needed. Blew out a slow soft sigh of frustration before he tore the protective wrapper off the dressing. Why the hell had he grabbed her like that? He’d found yet another excuse to touch her, and once again it was because she’d been injured.

This time, dangerously, she’d responded to him. If she hadn’t peeled herself away at that very instant he would have clasped her closer...hauled her hard against him and held her there despite any protests she might have made. The game would have been up then. How could he have explained his behavior in any way that would make sense to her?

“That’s not the one you burnt this morning, is it?” he asked, trying for casual.

“No, that was this one.” She extended a forefinger. They both stared at it rather than look at each other.

He drew the napkin away from her thumb. The cut was barely oozing now. With none of his normal deftness, he covered it with the dressing.

“What a klutz,” she said.


“No—me! Twice in a day. I’m not normally so clumsy.”

“This is not a normal situation, Fee.”

“Right,” she agreed, at last lifting her eyes to his.

“Kiss better,” Nicola squealed, breaking the spell. They both jumped.

“You don’t miss much, do you?” Fiona asked, amused.

“Kiss better, Daddy?”

“That’s what Mummy always says when she fixes you up, isn’t it, Nic?” He reached across to wipe some banana off her cheek and kissed her flossy hair. “Fixed you up,” he corrected himself under his breath. “Fiona’s all better now.”

Fiona sat there trembling, far from ‘better’. Her heart fluttered, jittered, jumped behind her ribs as though a rock drummer pounded out a savage solo. Her blood rushed through her veins at double speed. And deep inside she throbbed with a dark insistent yearning, awakening, unfurling, threatening to take over her whole body and brain.

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