Today's Tuesday's Tales prompt is Finger. So I have gone back to a former work in progress about one of my royal twins, Sacha.
While she cradled her son, Melanie watched the twins from her seat on the edge of the group. She noted while Sacha laughed and joked with his twin, the camaraderie didn’t reflect in his eyes.
Of the two he was naturally more suave than Sacha, drew the women to him without even trying but beneath the free and easy façade he presented to the world was a hard working earnest young man. Sometimes too earnest, Melanie thought.
Sometimes too earnest?
Was that because as the younger twin he constantly felt obligated to prove himself?
But this man was hard, honed, and alert. But was it because he was a killer, or did he have some other, different agenda. No one here could deny the man could take out two of the four heirs to the throne—her heart stuttered—and their children. Would that make him a suicide bomber, or had he already secreted some device to go off after he left?
When the door opened and Liam joined them she studied his reaction to their latest visitor closely. And there it was; the slightest withdrawal, the anxious glance in her direction, but no agitation.
Thrown by his lack of surprise she waited until his gaze rested on hers, narrowed and then with the slightest of nods he crossed the room to sit on the arm of her chair.
He took his son from her and cradled the sleeping child against his shoulder. “Did you know about this?”
Liam’s question wiped the smile from her eyes.
“I did not,” she snapped, and almost too late remembered to lower her voice. “Is there something you should have told me?”
“That’s just it, my dear. I may have got there in the end, but Sacha knew almost before the man got out of his car that he—“ He pointed to their visitor “— is not Simeon, and your father seems to have suddenly dropped off the planet.
Schooled to maintain her countenance under stress, Melanie knew she’d failed this time. Fear for her father, and worry about their intruder coalesced and cut right through her normal ability to maintain self-control.
Laying a restraining arm on her husband’s shoulder Melanie rose, crossed to the wet bar and held up the whisky decanter.
“Anyone for a snifter?” When Liam nodded she glance at the picture of the grouse on the lable and splashed some of the finest blended whiskey into a glass and handed it to him.
“Simeon? What will you have?”
“Nothing for me, thanks, I’ve just told Sacha I’m on the midnight flight to the States.”
The midnight flight? There was no midnight flight from Glasgow and he’d have to leave now if he wanted to reach Edinburgh. And why state a specific flight time when their family jet would be waiting for him.
“Oh? I tend to forget that although the main Jubilee events are over, you all still have foreign celebratory tours to make.” Apparently without thinking she handed Simeon a glass of whiskey and watched him toss it back in one gulp. Whoever schooled their visitor had overlooked a few of the little, but still important details. Like Simeon never drank whiskey.
Sacha’s rueful glance in her direction affirmed his appreciation of her tactics. “I think I’ll have a drink too.” He rose, stood next to her with his back to the room. “It’s a pleasure to watch you at work. No wonder Liam failed to penetrate your cover. Although I at the time I thought it was because he was besotted with you.”
With a laugh she looked up at him and for the first time that evening, Melanie watched Sacha’s mischievous smile reach his eyes. “Besotted, Sacha?”
“Besotted, Melanie, and you know it.”
“Actually, no I didn’t.” her suddenly serious response had them both glancing at the man posing as Sacha’s twin.
“I have phone calls to make. Don’t let him leave before I return.”
Without a backward glance at her husband still snuggling their child, she left the room.
Thanks to everyone who visits me on Tuesdays and for the comment and helpful suggestions you offer. They are all appreciated. :-0
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