Husband Wanted: Will Train (Chapter Six - While Mozart Decomposes, page 1 of 15)

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The facade of normalcy Charity and Ross had constructed hadn't withstood the onslaught of her sister and her friends. The place was unrecognizable. All the beautiful furniture had been shoved to the side of the room, except for the coffee table, which now stood dead center. On top of the finely rubbed finish stood a tabletop electric hibachi, fake coals glowing. Rough sticks were stuck in all around, brown things skewered to the tips.

It looked like dinner, but one might not want to get more specific. Charity knew her sister wouldn't eat red meat, but she wouldn't put insects past her.

Pillows had been pulled off the couches and placed about the coffee table on the floor. Faith sat on one, her blond hair billowing about her ethereally, her blue dress, made of something light as a spider's web, falling about her in haphazard folds.

On one side of her sat a short, intense-looking young man, on the other, a tiny young woman with gorgeous blue eyes and chopped-off black hair.

"Faith," Charity said ominously, totally unable to muster a smile of greeting. "How did you get in here?"

Her sister looked up dreamily. "I still have my key from my last visit." She held it up with a triumphant smile. "See?"

Ross came up from behind, taking Charity's arm as though to hold her steady.

"Remind me to have the locks changed immediately," she said to him through gritted teeth.

He looked from her to the beauty seated on her floor. "I take it this is your sister."

"Yes." She glanced around quickly to see what Aunt Doris was doing, and found she'd sunk onto the cushion-less couch, which was now jammed up against the wall. She was looking suddenly old, fanning herself weakly with her hand.

Charity felt sick. She knew Doris hadn't seen Faith for at least ten years. Her memories had most likely softened with time.

"My sister," she repeated and sighed. "Would you like a glass of water or something?" she asked her aunt anxiously.

"Herbal tea will fix her right up." Faith had a ceramic teapot and poured some quickly into a black enamel cup, rising to take it to Aunt Doris.

"Here you are, Doris, dear," she said affectionately. "It's nice to see you again. I dreamed about you last night. You were beckoning for me to follow you into a room full of toasters, but when I got there, you slammed the door in my face."

She leaned down to kiss the woman's cheek. "What do you think it means?"

Aunt Doris stared at her, tried to smile, then looked down suspiciously into the tea Faith had handed her.

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