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   Chapter 27 No.27

My Sister's Keeper By Bill Benners Characters: 8526

Updated: 2018-05-29 11:04


SYDNEY SAT ACROSS THE TABLE from Scott and stared down at her plate. She hated it when he mimicked her eating. If she lifted her fork, he lifted his. When she took a bite, he took a bite. She dropped her fork onto her plate and lifted her champagne glass. "What pleasure could you possibly get from doing that?"

He lifted his own glass. "Doing what?" His dark hair was overdue for a trim, hanging over deep-set gray eyes.

The eyes of a fox, she thought. Or a weasel.

Sunday brunch used to be their favorite meal together. They'd lay around in their bedclothes all morning, sip champagne, make love, eat a large breakfast around noon, and then spend the afternoon sailing.

But Scott had changed. He found more pleasure in tormenting her now and playing games with her head, making her feel stupid and clumsy, and Sydney's love had faded.

She sipped her champagne and looked away at her cat, Tux, stationed on a nearby chair—tense, ready to spring, watching. Tux knew her better than anyone. He'd been with her through the good times and the bad. "Do it!" he seemed to be saying, his eyes fixed on hers. She exhaled and set her glass down. Scott set his down in unison. There were moments when Scott McGillikin could be the most annoying ass on the planet. This was one of those moments.

"Why do you do that?" she asked. "Do you have any idea how irritating that is?"

Scott made a chuckling sound deep in his throat. "I think I do."

She lifted her napkin and wiped her chin. "And to think there was a time when I would have married you."

"Yeah, thank God I didn't ask, huh?" He wiped his chin.

Sydney's lip quivered. She flicked a tear out of her eye and picked up her fork. Yes, thank God you didn't ask.

At twenty-nine years old, Sydney was trapped in a relationship with a man she could no longer stand to be around while her youth was quietly slipping away. Outside of her dance school, her life had become empty and meaningless. Why am I so weak? she thought. Why can't I tell him?

With tears blurring her vision, she broke a piece of toast in half, held it on her plate, and scooped a bit of grits and scrambled egg on it, then ate it. As Scott did the same, she caught the arrogance in his eyes and knew the time was near. She lifted a glass of orange juice and took a long drink. As she waited for the cold liquid to calm her nervous stomach, she slid the moist glass across her cheeks, eyes, and forehead. "Scott, what happened to that interesting, sexy, intelligent guy you used to be?"

The smile in the corner

e counter to steady herself, Sydney looked away and sighed. "It's too late, Scott." Her voice was quiet. "It's too late."

He rose to his feet. "No, damn it. It's not! Let's do it. Let's get married, Sydney. I know a judge that'll do it tomorrow."

"I don't want to marry you. I don't love you anymore, Scott."

"Oh, come on, Sydney. The new boat's going to be ready soon. You said you were going to spend the whole summer on it."

"Please, don't make this any harder than it is already."

"Damn, Sydney! I ordered that boat for you!"

"The hell you did! Don't go throwing that in my face."

He moved closer. His voice softened. "What happened? Am I working too much? I thought everything was going along just great."

"Things have not been going along just great." As he tried to corner her again, she spun away and moved back into the dining room picking at the hardened wax as she went. "We haven't even made love in months."

"Because you're always too tired and stressed out."

She lifted her champagne glass and turned to face him. "Because I don't love you anymore, Scott." She downed the rest of the drink and a sliver of glass tumbled into her mouth. Working it around on the tip of her tongue, she spit it back into her glass. "I haven't for a long time. I'm sorry. I tried. Really, I did."

With a spasm making Scott's cheek flutter, he drew a deep slow breath. Sometimes in real life—as in court—you win by appearing to concede. He flinched as he said the words. "All right, Sydney. If that's what you want." He turned and walked out.

She'd heard the words, but didn't believe them and watched him as he climbed the stairs. That was too easy. He's up to something.

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