Tag Archive | I Love Dialogue

I Love Dialogue from Call Me

doodle banner I love dialogueMoira Crane is an English teacher at the high school. Shortly after her phone is stolen, she finds herself embroiled in a nightmarish reality. She’s been accused of murdering her five close friends, other teachers with whom she worked. Unfortunately, the detective in charge of the case has been dating Moira.

His boss, Lieutenant Ritchie joined Rhys in the hallway. “My office.”

Rhys followed his lieutenant to the large, glassed in room. Ritchie closed the vertical blinds before rounding on his detective.

“You’ll recuse yourself immediately, Detective Fletcher.”

“I can do this, sir. This is my case.”

“Now it’s someone else’s. If you’re in charge, the DA can kiss it goodbye. Chain of evidence is tainted. You don’t want me to remove you. That would get ugly.”

“I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“You’re shtupping the prime suspect in this case.”

“We’re not having sex, sir. And when I asked her out, she was a victim, not a suspect. Her only crime was getting involved with Nestor Montoya. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s behind all this.”

“Why?”

“To get back at Moira for leaving him.”

“You really think he’s that petty?”

“Have you read the jacket on Montoya? He’s fucking crazy. I don’t mean amusingly eccentric like my Great Uncle Boyd who thinks he’s Santa Claus. I’m talking bat-shit crazy—violently so. I have to stay on this, Lieutenant.”

“Make me a good case, Rhys.”

“To protect Moira from Nestor Montoya.”

“Other people work in this department, son,” Ritchie said gently.

“They don’t have my unique background, sir.”

There was a long pause. Rhys stood quietly, waiting. He watched the lieutenant’s face go through emotional jumping jacks.

“A defense lawyer could rip you to shreds based on the kiss and the dancing alone. Any evidence would have to be irrefutable so a judge can’t throw it out.”

“Then we’d better get irrefutable evidence, sir.”

“I’ll let the interview continue. But I withhold the right to jerk a knot in your ass at any time.”

“Yes, sir. I respectfully request that additional security be added to the station.”

“Why?” Ritchie’s eyes narrowed.

“Because I think Montoya is crazy, arrogant and stupid enough to come at us. At least here we can see him coming.”

The lieutenant leaned over the over the desk as he eyed his detective. “Are you telling me what I think you are?”

Fletcher’s chin came up his face guarded. “Depends on what you think—sir.”

“You arrested that girl to protect her. You don’t think she’s guilty, you think Montoya’s after her. Why didn’t you just put her under our protection?”

“I think further interrogation will reveal that, sir.”

“Son, you’re crazier than Mazie. Fine, you talk to her. But if you haven’t noticed, boy, that girl hates your guts.”

“Better that than dead,” Rhys mumbled.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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Sexy Without the Sex from Driving Blind

sexy without the sex bannerZenobia Vlachos works as a computer tech at a big electronics store in Daytona. She meets Ax Kazan, a police officer, when he pulls her over in traffic. There is an immediate connection between them, but Zenobia isn’t about to rush to bed with him. Ax makes the excuse that he needs computer work done, to see her at work, and takes her to lunch.

After eating, Zenobia still had some time before going back to work. They took a short walk around the plaza before dropping by his car. It wasn’t so much that Ax wanted to put his computer away, though that was his excuse. He really wanted to get her somewhere more private so he could kiss her.

Keeping his distance with most of his body, he brushed her ear and neck with his nose and lips. His lips tingled, wanting to kiss her, but this was an exercise in control for him—and a way to make himself irresistible.

Ax’s hot breath on her skin made Zenobia shiver with desire. Her nipples stiffened and she felt uncomfortably warm in places she shouldn’t be thinking about in public. Ax continued his seductive journey and she continued to shiver delightfully.

I—uuuhh….. I put—um—oh, fuck,” she whispered.

Ax laughed. “Now, now, such language from a lady,” he whispered.

You bastard, you’re doing that on purpose.”

Uh huh.” He tilted his head, concentrating on the nape of her neck. He breathed on her again, his mouth less than an inch from her skin.

Oh, God,” she squeaked softly. She felt a gush of moisture in her panties.

Eyes closed, she waited for him to continue. His prominent nose tickled the hairs on the back of her neck. His hot breath puffed across her skin like a warm, sultry breeze.

How could he be making her so hot without even touching her? Zenobia didn’t understand it. Usually, men couldn’t keep their hands off her and tried every way they could to excite her. Ax had her ready to cum and he’d done it with his breath. She pressed her lips together to rid them of the tingling his erotic ministrations had prompted. She had to distract him, or she’d embarrass herself by dragging him into the comfortable back seat of his Impala.

Over seven hundred items showed up on your computer,” she whispered at him.

It took Ax a moment to put the words together. He heard her, but he certainly wasn’t listening. “What does that mean?”

It means quit cruising porn sites.”

Ax chuckled, his breath caressing her throat in little puffs. “Well, now that I’ve got you, I will.”

Eyes narrowed as she turned to face him. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

That means,” he murmured seductively, his voice dropping an octave, “that I don’t need porn when I can think about you.”

The blood rushed to her face and her jaw dropped. “Oh, my God!” she said in a shocked whisper.

Is it so hard to conceive?” he murmured against her neck, fingertips lightly touching her.

No man ever said he was going to—do that—by thinking of me.”

Why are you any less exciting than a porn star? You’re beautiful, Zenobia. You have great curves in all the right places. You should be flattered.”

Zenobia pressed her lips together, considering what he said. “Strangely, I am,” she admitted with a grin. “You would really—thinking about me?”

Ax leaned closer, his mouth right by her ear. “What makes you think I haven’t already?”

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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I Love Dialogue from Call Me

doodle banner I love dialogueDistraught over its loss of her cellphone, (the case held sentimental value) Moira Crane goes to the police station to report the theft. Detective Rhys Fletcher ushers her into his office and it becomes more of a flirtatious conversation than a police interview.

“Sorry for the mess. They’re repairing my usual office. Had a waterpipe burst. So I’m stuck in the file room. They’re in the process of converting to paperless.” He held up a file, pulling a silly, sad-clown face.

Moira smiled. “I thought maybe you were just incredibly busy and awfully disorganized.”

“Me?” Fletcher tossed his hat on a rack near the desk. “Neat as a pin. Ask Sue.” He nodded to the woman outside.

“Don’t listen to him, he’s a slob. They’re all slobs,” the older woman laughed.

“Thanks. Make me look bad in front of the lady.” He invited Moira to take the only chair in the office. He perched on the edge of his desk, one well sculpted thigh slung over the corner.

In the small, windowless room, Moira could smell his cologne. It was dusky, spicy and tingled her nostrils. An uncomfortable warmth filled her. She shifted in the chair.

“I know it’s a little cozy in here. I’m sorry.” He shifted too.

Moira got the strong impression she had the same effect on him that he had on her.

“So, tell me what’s wrong, Miss Crane.”

Moira told him about what had happened in class and her actions afterward. Fletcher nodded, pressing his lips together.

“So, you don’t think any of your students could have done this?”

“Maybe, as a joke. None would do it seriously—at least I hope not.”

“Could it have been taken by mistake?”

Moira shook her head. “I doubt it. My phone case is very distinctive and childish. My ex-boyfriend’s daughter gave it to me for my birthday. She’s five.”

Moira gulped, her eyes watering again. She pulled out a crumpled tissue from the stack Sue had given her, smiling when Fletcher’s handkerchief appeared in front of her. Laughing, she took the handkerchief.

“I’m sorry, I got mascara on it.” She handed it back to him.

Fletcher tossed it aside. “That’s what I pay the maid for.” He smiled down at her. “I can’t guarantee we’ll get the phone back. If it was stolen, it’s probably been sold off by now. But you did the right thing by contacting the phone company.”

“It’s the pictures,” she wailed. “I don’t have copies of them. I know I should have saved them—”

“But you don’t think about that,” he said quietly. “Not with something as precious and spontaneous.”

He sounded so subdued, Moira stared at him. She never tried to read people she’d just met. Sometimes, their emotions were so obvious, she couldn’t help it. The pain radiating off him was intense. He’d lost someone he loved dearly—and the pain was recent. Moira’s fingers brushed his hand before she could stop it. She got a flash of a grave—no, two. One adult sized and one very small one.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered. “It must be quite awful to lose your family.”

Rhys Fletcher recoiled from her touch, jumping off the edge of the desk. He knocked his lamp to the floor in his attempt to get away. The bulb shattered on the tile floor.

“Who are you? Did he send you?”

“What are you doing in there, Rhys Fletcher?” Sue called from her desk. “If you break another lamp. . . .”

“Sorry. My fault,” Moira called.

Moira stooped to pick up the lamp. Her long, sable hair cascaded over her shoulder. Their eyes met when she stood up. Fletcher’s were dark, penetrating, glaring at her.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I didn’t mean to pry. It’s just—I sense things. I know it sounds all freakish, but when I touched you, I saw graves. Your wife and child?”

“Who are you, Miss Crane?”

“I’m an English teacher at the high school.”

Fletcher sighed, running his hands over his close cropped hair. “I’m sorry, Miss Crane.” He adjusted his shirt sleeves, tugging at the cuffs. “It wasn’t my wife and child. It was my sister and her daughter.” He set the lamp well out of his way and sat on the desk once more. “I apologize. I’m naturally suspicious.”

“You asked if he sent me. No one sent me, Detective Fletcher. I’m here about my phone.”

“Of course. If I haven’t completely blown any chance in hell I had of getting to know you better, would you like to go to dinner?”

Moira’s eyes widened. “What?”

“Dinner.” He eyed her calmly, smiling.

“Like a date?”

“Yes.” He folded his hands in his lap, waiting.

Moira crossed her legs, twitching hair behind her ear. She couldn’t read any deception in his face. He really wanted to ask her out. If the feelings she got from him early on were any indication, he was genuinely interested in her. In fact, she suspected this conversation was brought on less by him being a police officer and more about being a man.

“Are you married?” Her eyes narrowed.

“Sue, am I married?”

The older woman didn’t even look up from what she was typing. “Nope, more’s the pity.”

“Am I dating anyone?” He winked at Moira, knowing that would be her next question.

“There’s not a woman alive who would put up with you long enough.” She smiled up at him. “Is that young whelp asking you out?” she directed at Moira.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Well, he’s not completely untrainable, but you’ll have your hands full. He’s better than most and not as bad as some others. Go for it.” She waved at them. “With my blessing. Now, leave me be. I have work.”

“You have the Sue Seal of Approval,” Fletcher said. “What more can you ask for?”

Moira laughed. “I guess I can’t ask for anything more. Okay, I’d love to have dinner. I need to go home and fix my face.”

“I’ll pick you up at seven.”

“Don’t you need my address for that?”

He picked up her paperwork, grinning as he waved it at her. “I’ve got it right here. All your most intimate details.”

“If you weren’t a cop, that would be a really pervy thing to admit,” Moira said, her lips twitching as she tried to hide a smile.

“Moi?” He pointed to himself with both index fingers. “Not a perverted bone in my body,” he said as he walked her out.

“You’re a man, aren’t you?” Sue said, without looking up. “You’re all perverts.”

“Well. Put that way. . . . At seven?”

“Yes. And thank you, Detective Fletcher.”

He kissed her hand. “Rhys, please. I promise that dinner isn’t part of our usual customer service.”

Giggling, Moira walked out to her car. Fletcher accompanied her,closing her door when she was settled. She turned the key and opened the window.

“I’ll run over your foot if you keep standing there.”

Taking a couple steps back, he put his hands in his pockets, squinting against the sunshine. “See you at seven, Moira.”

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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First Meeting from Brick

doodle banner I love dialogueI’m all for change and trying new things. That in mind, I decided to share some of my former posts from my other blog, here. I started using I Love Dialogue, Sexy Without the Sex and First Meetings a couple years ago and it’s a lot of fun for me. I choose scenes that I enjoy and share them with my readers. Not all the stories are published, or even finished, but I hope that it will whet your reading appetites. Hungry for more? Check out the buy link below.

Every Thursday, I will share something here, or on one of my other sites (linked back and shared here) for your enjoyment. Today’s scene is from a romantic suspense still in progress. It hasn’t got a title yet, but I’m toying with Spy in the House of Love.

Brick McMillan is back home in Florida for a funeral—his younger brother’s. There have been a lot of deaths in his family lately, his father, his wife and now his brother Stony. However, the night he got home, he was using Stony’s computer and got a mysterious Instant Message from a woman calling herself XYZ. She arranges a meeting with him at the Panera in Daytona.

The morning rush at Panera was tapering off when he ordered his coffee and pastry. Finding a table wasn’t hard. He sat in the main room, over to one side, near the partition. From here, he could see the back door, but not the front. He suspected that XYZ was a backdoor user. As it happened, he was right.

Brick spotted the tall, trim figured woman as soon as she walked in. Her honey colored hair was pulled back in a loose chignon. She scanned the restaurant, dark glasses raised to her forehead with one hand. She wore a slate gray suit and low heeled black shoes. Her jacket was buttoned, but there was a slight bulge under her left arm. She spotted him on her second pass. Brick held up his coffee, saluting her. Frowning, she strutted across the room, taking a seat across from him at the table.

You need to work on your entrance,” he said after taking a sip. “I knew it was you the second you walked in.”

Do you know who I am?”

By name? No. But my guess is you’re a fed, not a cop.” He leaned forward, forearms on the table, the cup between his hands.

Her frown deepened. Her silence demanded an explanation.

You don’t move like a cop. You move like a soldier. In plain clothes, those glasses, shoes you can run in—Fed.”

She flashed a wary smile. Her eyes were a vivid aquamarine. There was a scattering of freckles across her pert nose.

So, this begs the questions—Why is a federal agent so anxious to talk to my bother? And why does she sound so unconvinced that he’s dead?”

Mr. McMillan….”

He held up a finger, waving it at her as if chastising a spoiled child for bad manners. “The way this works, you introduce yourself. Then we chat.”

Call me Agent X.” She grinned and a hint of a twinkle lit up her eyes.

I’d rather not. I quit reading comic books thirty years ago.”

Colleen,” she told him.

No last name. So, like Pink or Seal….”

Something like that.” The smile faded. “Look, Brick, we can tease and flirt all day—”

Is that what this is?” He leaned forward aggressively. “I thought this was you telling me about your relationship with Stony.”

It’s not an affair.”

That much I know. My brother’s not a cheater. I figure it’s business related, but that’s a puzzler. My brother was an engineer.”

She sighed, leaning back. “May we start over?”

Sure.” He wiped his hand on his napkin before holding it out. “Brick McMillan.”

She shook it. Her grip was firm, her palm calloused. She spent a lot of time with that handgun. “Colleen Underwood.”

Federal agent.”

Yes.”

FBI? NSA?”

RNS.”

I don’t know that one—Oh! Rather Not Say,” he chuckled as he translated her acronym. “Gotcha.”

Her lips twitched into a half smile. “Yes, I know your brother. Yes, it’s business related. No, I don’t think he’s dead. If I’m right, he’s gone to ground and will contact me soon. He’s in danger.”

How do you know?”

Because, your brother works for us. He’s a spy.”

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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For More About Dellani http://www.dellanioakes.wordpress.com

 

I Love Dialogue! from The Ninja Tattoo

I love dialogue doodle bannerTeague and Vivica meet under odd circumstances—he runs into her with the door at Dunkin’ Donuts. Needless to say, she’s not very happy until he buys her coffee and flirts unashamedly with her. Soon, they start dating and Teague finds out that her life is full of danger, mostly because her older brother is the head of a dangerous biker gang.

Teague was worried. The man sounded mean, hard. The tone of Vivica’s voice still bothered him. Lying in bed, he got a sudden case of the creeps. He made another circuit of the house, peeping out the edge of the drapes in the living room. With the room dark behind him, the moon reflecting off the water, he thought he saw a person lurking in the shadow of the dock. As he watched, a lighter flared, barely illuminating the figure. It was a man with a shaved head. Teague couldn’t see details from his room. He had the impression that the man was solidly built.

The idea of calling the police flickered through his mind, but he dismissed it. Instead, he got dressed in dark jeans and a black T-shirt. He got his survival knife, attaching it to his gun belt. Next, he got his Glock 22 out of the locked cabinet. He had a license to carry a concealed weapon. That went in a holster opposite the knife. As prepared as he could be, he put on his military boots and left the house by the side door that opened off the utility room. It was concealed by an arched trellis covered in bougainvillea and nearly invisible from the street. Chances were, if someone was watching the front, they were also at the back and the door facing the side street. He doubted they knew that this other side door existed. He’d lived in the house nearly a week before noticing it himself. Leaving it unlocked, he eased through the trellis, the thorns on the bougainvillea grabbing at his clothing and uncovered skin.

Ignoring the stinging wounds, he moved like a shadow through the overgrown side yard down to the street. He knew he’d be exposed crossing the street, but the nearest light was almost a block away. There were deep shadows from the thick water oaks that surrounded his house and the one next door.

Becoming part of the night, he took a circuitous route to the dock next to his, coming at the man from the right rear. His knife was out and across the unprotected throat before the other man knew he was there. Left hand held the knife, right clasped his neck in an unyielding hold.

“Who the fuck are you and why are you watching my house?” His voice a menacing whisper.

The man didn’t move, but Teague felt him tense. He was going to try to get away. The knife blade turned slightly, catching the glimmer of moonlight along the razor sharp edge. It was the only part of the knife that shone. The rest of the blade was a dark, matte finish. An assassin’s knife and Teague knew how to use it.

“Give me a reason,” Teague growled.cropped-the-ninja-tattoo-by-dellani-oakes-200.jpg

The man relaxed. “I’ve got friends,” he murmured.

“I’m sure you do. But you’ll be dead before they can take me out. Keep that firmly in mind. Now talk.”

“Doing what I’m told,” he grunted as Teague’s grip on his neck tightened. “I don’t know.”

He hyperventilated as Teague’s forearm put pressure on his windpipe.

“Swear ta God—I don’t—know!” He gasped as he collapsed on the ground. He wasn’t dead, just unconscious.

Teague went through his pockets looking for identification. He had a driver’s license on him. Teague couldn’t see it clearly in the half light, but caught part of the address. He wasn’t a local. Memorizing the face and as much of the name and address as he could, he put it back. He wondered where the other men were. Had they seen him? Doubtful, or he’d be surrounded.

He took his concealed route back across the street, making his way to his neighbor’s yard. He was up and over the high wooden fence in one smooth movement. Landing lightly on the soft turf behind his garage, he took another watcher by surprise. This one had the time to make a faint noise of alarm before Teague knocked him out.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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I Love Dialogue! Checkmate excerpt 2

I love dialogue doodle bannerDane Berry has had a few rough days. He’s been chased by rabid body builders, accosted by a screaming fan, robbed and shot at. The one bright spot in all this is Milla, but he won’t consummate his relationship with her while all this hangs over his head. He’s already put her in danger once, he doesn’t want to be responsible for her getting badly hurt. Now, he’s having a conversation with the managers of the hotel/ casino where he’s staying. They are worried about Dane, but more concerned about the impact these incidents might have on their reputation. Dane’s bodyguards are with him.

“I have a question for you,” Cam said from the table. He’d been listening to all the discussion. “Who was the shooter?”

“The shooter?” Mr. Phillips looked confused.

“Yeah, the guy that took a shot at Dane. And why did your guys fail to stop him?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Mr. Andretti looked offended. “We hire good people. They know their shit. None of them have less than three years of military or police training.”

“Maybe so, but I saw what I saw,” Cam replied, standing up. “You got a guy roughly my height, he’s not as fat as he tried to look, we figure that was padding.” The other bodyguards nodded. “There were half a dozen guards there and he barreled through like they were nothing. The smallest guard there was Steve’s size.”

Steve stood next to Cam. He was easily four inches taller and considerably heavier.

“Now, I didn’t go to college, and I’m not up on my physics, so bear with me. If I’ve got six guys his size and one guy my size, and we don’t like each other, who do you think is gonna fall down?” He pointed from himself to Steve, spreading his hands toward Andretti and Phillips.

The owner and manager looked at one another uncomfortably.

“I dunno about you, but I’m thinkin’—me.”

“Did they know the shooter?” Steve asked, folding his arms across his chest. “And more to the point, Bill, can you trust your people?”

“Not to mention,” Jed added, coming up on Cam’s other side. “Can we trust them—or you?”

“Are you threatening me?” Mr. Andretti looked highly offended.

“Should we be? It’s a few simple questions,” Jed continued. “Seems to me, we could find the answers if we asked nicely.”

“I don’t have to stay here and be insulted,” Mr. Andretti said, turning pale. “If you’re quite done?”

“Ain’t a matter of if I’m done,” Jed said quietly. “It’s a matter of if Mr. Berry is done.”

“I’m done,” Dane was furious. “Gentlemen, I keep my end of a bargain. I won’t bad mouth you, but don’t expect my endorsement either. Good day.” He shut the door behind them with a distinct bang.

“They didn’t hire the shooter, right?” Cam asked.

“No, that came from Allie, if that’s truly who is behind this,” Dane replied.

“Oh, I think so. That part makes sense. Then why cover up who the shooter was?” Steve added.

“Talk about embarrassing. That had to have been their guy. Not only that, their men know who he is and they didn’t stop him, which makes you wonder how many of Andretti’s people are really on his ex-wife’s payroll,” Jed mused.

© Dellani Oakes 2015

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I Love Dialogue! from The Best Medicine

I love dialogue doodle bannerIt’s no secret that I Love Dialogue. In fact, for the last year or so, I’ve been sharing excerpts from quite a few of my books on my other blog Writer Sanctuary

Since not all of you follow me over there, I thought I’d start sharing over here as well. These will be repeats for those of you who follow my other blog, but they are (in my opinion) worth sharing again. I hope you continue to enjoy them and look for new ones every Tuesday on Writer Sanctuary

Dr. Tanya O’Toole has just started working at a new hospital. Having changed her emphasis from Family Medicine, to Radiology, she’s working hard to make up for lost time. She meets Dr. Morgan Fellowes when she faints in the doctor’s lounge. She finds herself fascinated with the energetic man and they start dating. When she meets his family, she realizes that he’s not the only one that’s kinda wild and crazy—in a totally fun way. She’s having breakfast with his older sister, Molly, her husband, Kenny and their son, Duke.

“They’re crazy, you know this right?” Kenny looked at Tanya, his tone and expression flat. “Completely bonkers, the entire family.”

Tanya looked at Morgan and Molly, their eyes watering as they giggled. “I’m beginning to figure that out. But it works for me.” She winked at Kenny who grinned back at her. “I just wish I understood, I’d like a good laugh too.”

Kenny shook his head, leaning back in his chair. “Trust me, no you wouldn’t. I’ve heard this story. It’s one of those where you had to have been there for it to be funny at all. I didn’t even crack a glimmer of a grin when they told me.”

Morgan and Molly finally stopped laughing long enough to gather up the plates and put them in the dishwasher. As they cleaned up, Kenny and Tanya sat at the table sipping coffee and chatting.

“So, what are the plans for the day?” Kenny asked her.

“I’m working this afternoon,” Tanya said. “But before I do that, I’d better go to the grocery store. In fact, we both should. Morgan hasn’t a thing in his house to eat and I’m out of just about everything.”

“Oh, what excitement,” Molly said dryly. “And here I thought you had something fun planned, like rock climbing or hang gliding.”

“No, that’s next week,” Morgan said, keeping his face completely straight. “I thought we’d try joining the Mile High Club tomorrow, that is if I can borrow the family jet.”

Tanya glanced around the room trying to figure out if Morgan was teasing. No one smiled. They all looked as if his remark was completely normal. Just as she was about to ask, Duke’s ears went red and he burst out laughing. It was an explosive sound and made her jump. He giggled until tears came to his eyes.

“I’m sorry,” he told Morgan. “I just couldn’t hold it any more. Tanya, the look on your face was priceless! Good one, Uncle Morph.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Duke. I’m completely serious.” He took a sip of his coffee and tipped casually back in his chair.

“But—I—Whatever!” Making rude finger gestures at his uncle, he walked from the room muttering to himself.

Morgan’s lip twitched and then a smile spread across his face. “No, I’m kidding about the mile high thing, Tanya. But the family does have a plane. It belongs to Uncle Scott.”

“No, Uncle Stan,” Molly corrected.

“I’m always mixing them up,” Morgan told her. “I hope I know them by sight and haven’t had them mixed up in my head for the last thirty years. I think they played a prank on me as a child and pretended to be one another to confuse me.”

“It wouldn’t surprise me,” Molly told him. “They are a little eccentric and have a very bizarre sense of humor.”

“Which is the one with gold teeth? Stan?”

“No.”

“Oh. Well then I don’t know which is which. My entire life has been an illusion. I’m going to require years of therapy to make me myself again.”

“I can help with that,” Tanya told him with a perfectly straight face. “I am a professional. I even did a short stint on a psychiatry ward. Would you say you suffer from delusions?”

“Constantly,” Morgan said with a huge, dramatic sigh. “Or are they illusions? What’s the one when you see things?”

“Hallucinations. . . or is it halitosis? I get those two mixed up.”

Kenny was looking from Morgan to Tanya and back again. “She’s as loony as he is. No wonder they get along so well. What a relief! I thought we had a normal one in the family and I was going to worry about her continued mental health!”

Molly grinned, watching Morgan and Tanya be silly. “I think it’s wonderful! I’m so glad you fainted into my brother’s arms, Tanya!”

“Well, specifically she fainted and I caught her in my arms, but it’s just semantics. I’m glad too.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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