July 18, 2014
I can’t help it, I have to share one more teaser from The Scale.
Minka was surprised to see tears trickling down her sister’s face. Keely, the funny, loving, beautiful twin was so moved and in love that she was crying.
The whole situation made her uncomfortable.
What was she supposed to do now?
Hug her sister?
Remind her how beautiful and lucky she was, had always been?
Before Minka could process any of her options, Claire reached for her purse and pulled out a white silk handkerchief. Minka stepped back and watched in silence as one beautiful woman gently brushed away the tears of another.
“Minka,” Claire said, glancing at her direction. “Would you like to try on your dress?”
“Yes. That would be great,” she answered in a shaken voice. She knew she was coming across a bit distant. Shit! That wasn’t very MOH-like. She needed to snap out of it.
“I’ll be right back.” Claire picked up the third bag from the door and disappeared.
As Claire walked past her, Minka noticed her shoulders were a bit straighter; her eyes didn’t smile at her as they did when they first walked into the inn. Shame overtook her. Somehow, she needed to masquerade her pain.
“Can you unzip me, Minka?”
“Yes, of course.” Quickly she moved to where Keely was still standing. With care, she unzipped the dress, not wanting to cause any damage to the delicate ruffles. “The dress is you, Keely. Claire was right. It’s everything you are.”
Keely smiled with appreciation.
Minka was glad to escape to the adjacent bathroom when Claire returned with a misty rose-colored, one-shoulder, silk chiffon dress. She tried her best not to examine the personal belongings of her sister and Blake.
The dress was stunning and incredibly sophisticated with careful pleating along the loose bodice and a single shoulder strap that swooped up dramatically. It didn’t make her look fat. Not skinny, but not fat either. For that she was grateful.
“I love it!” Keely screeched as soon as she entered the bedroom.
What could she say?
There was no arguing when the bride instantly fell in love with the dresses her best friend had designed. A knock came on the door and their mother entered the room. Nervousness quickly settled inside her as her mother’s eyes took in her appearance.
“What a pretty dress,” she exclaimed. “You look lovely, Minka.”
A flower was lovely; someone could have a lovely character—which was always when the guy lost interest, by the way. Yet, that was the adjective for her. “Thank you,” she responded with what she hoped was a genuine smile.
“Jason had the innkeeper set up some trays for us on the patio,” Bea continued.
“Go ahead. I’ll put everything back together,” she volunteered when she noticed Claire hesitate. The other woman smiled appreciatively at her; the smile this time was at least lukewarm.
Once alone in the room, she collapsed on the bed, dejected, swollen with emotions and realization of the days that were quickly approaching. Paralyzed by the tragic feeling of crushed hopelessness, she closed her eyes and gazed into fields of nothingness. The tears crept out nonetheless, a sea of dark emotions churned inside her with no outlet but the sobs.
Minka wasn’t sure how long she sat on the bed crying; at some point she felt drained and dehydrated. Sniffling as she choked back the last of her tears, she slowly came to her feet and attempted to put the gowns back in their respective bags and came face to face with Jason standing in the doorway. She froze. How long had he stood there?
She turned her back to him and brushed her cheeks as hard as she could “I’ll be right down.”
But he was already standing behind her. His arms encircled her body, bringing her against his chest. Minka closed her eyes. It felt good to be held.
“I didn’t mean to intrude, but I wanted to see you. Keely told me you were cleaning up,” he said, his voice dangerously low.
“Why?” she asked, her breath still short and shallow.
“I’m not sure why she told me.”
She shook her head. “No. Why did you want to see me?” She spun around, no longer caring if her eyes were bloodshot red and leaked with sadness.
His hands cupped her face. “One night wasn’t enough.”
The world was truly playing a cruel joke on her. “Jason,” her hands came to rest on his wrists. “I can’t.”
“I want to see you. I want to be with you again, ma chèrie.” He paused to smile at her then added, “Last night was fun.”
“We shouldn’t.” She had to talk some sense into him. Clearly the man was running on one loose screw if he wanted to sleep with her again.
“Give me one good reason why we shouldn’t, besides the fact you’re fighting the obvious attraction.”
He was challenging her, tempting her, making her crave.
“I’m not that person from last night,” she said under her breath because she was afraid to speak her true fear.
“Do you want to sleep with me again?” he asked again as if her words were never uttered.
Deny. Deny. Deny.
That was the wise thing to do. Tell a lie in order to keep her sanity. Only he stood too close. She inhaled his scent; fresh and citrusy as it did last night. All Minka could think of was his naked body on top of her. She couldn’t lie and once again unable to speak, she nodded.