Copyright © 2007 Alyce Brown
All rights reserved, Freya's Bower.
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"Think about it, Tammy. Two whole weeks of hot men in skimpy clothes on the white beaches in Tahiti. Now if that doesn't appeal to you, you're dead," my sister said. Her hands planted firmly on her hips, she smirked at me, daring me to say, "No."
Water bottle clutched firmly in my hands, I glared at her from my seat at my kitchen table. "No." I couldn't help myself. Any scheme concocted by Cassandra always spelled trouble for me. The answer was reflexive and utter self-preservation.
Irritation, and peevishness, crackled around her. Most people succumbed to her charms, but not me. I'd lived with them for too many years, and experienced too many negative repercussions, to be phased by a pretty smile or a cute pout on her too perfect lips. Let her pout...and find another victim.
"Oh, come on. This time will be different. Besides, what native could resist a tall, lithe, red-headed woman?"
"Plenty. If I remember correctly, that's what you said the time we went to Hawaii." I lost my favorite pair of shoes and all of the brand new beach clothes I'd bought to go on that trip. On top of that, the lovely beachfront community she'd promised we were staying in was actually a nudist colony. My eyes were scarred for life after some of the things I'd seen there. Trust me when I say that ugly comes in many shapes and ages. Just the thought of it made me shudder. "And what about the time you claimed the trip to Idaho was a relaxing ski vacation. What happened?"
"We spent the time roping cattle, but the men were hot." She smiled at me, her blue eyes twinkled. With a flick of her head, her dark brown hair cascaded over her shoulders in glorious, envy-inducing waves. What I wouldn't give for her sable hair and honey complexion. The only thing we shared, besides parents, were the color of our eyes: cornflower blue.
"Which you enjoyed, but I ended up with a broken leg stuck in the bunks with no company for two weeks and then I had to fly home in a cast. Do you have any idea how uncomfortable coach is in a cast? Not to mention, the six weeks of an itchy leg."
"I tell you what. If you don't have fun, or shag at least one gorgeous man, I will personally refund your entire trip."
"Oh, come on, Tammy, don' t be a spoilsport," she whined.
"I prefer to think of it as intelligence. I am perfectly capable of arranging my own vacations," I said.