David knew Sophie was mad, but there had been no way he could have trusted himself to get out of his car when he dropped her off at her home. Entering his condo, he knew he was facing another sleepless night of cold showers and torrid fantasies. The lights on inside surprised him.
He never bothered with the lights; the glimmer from the water was usually enough to help him find his bed at night and the door in the morning. The warm glow and buzzing television could mean only one thing. Kelly was here.
Tossing his wallet and keys on the entry table, he went straight to the kitchen. Kelly always brought food. Really tasty, party-in-your-mouth food. Maybe she’d brought something sugary. She said sugar was good for sexual frustration.
His baby sister didn’t disappoint. Reading “Moonstruck Chocolate Company” on the lid of the crescent-shaped box, David dove in. As one truffle melted in his mouth, he rolled another between his fingers and wondered which would be Sophie’s favorite.
He liked the Italia Espresso but guessed she would be more the Mayan, with its milk chocolate, almonds, and cinnamon, or the Ocumarian. Yes, he nodded to himself, the Ocumarian’s dark chocolate and chili pepper suited her perfectly. She looked innocent, but she played with fire.
“There you are,” Kelly said from the doorway to the laundry room he never entered. “I called your office. They said you have a standing appointment for seven every Thursday.” His sister stepped closer, standing toe-to-toe with him. At six feet tall, she could almost look him in the eye. “David, are you seeing a therapist?”
“What? No. Why would you ask me that?” He eyed the remaining chocolates, choosing Cinnamon Roll Latte and grimacing at the cutesy candies that remained. Ivory Cat and Chocolate Lab. He wasn’t desperate enough to go there, yet.
“There’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help.”
He rolled his eyes and leaned his hip against the counter. “And why, exactly, do you think I need a shrink?”
She waved her hand in dismissal and walked back to the laundry room. “Everyone could benefit from a little analysis. I’m just surprised you had a standing appointment on the books. What is it, a poker game?”
“No,” he said quickly, running through possible excuses in his mind. What had Sophie said the other day? Lying is too much work. He tapped his foot on the tile. Enough thoughts about Sophie.
“Then what is it?” Kelly asked, carrying a basket of sheets with her. Pulling one out, she handed two corners to David. “You might as well tell me, because you know I’m not going to stop asking.”
“None of your business,” he said as she approached him with her corners, folding the sheet in half.
“Oh, now I really want to know. Golf lessons?”
“I don’t need golf lessons.”
Kelly took the sheet and finished folding it.
“You should leave your stuff and let the housekeepers take care of it.”
She ignored him, plucking another sheet from the basket. “I know it’s not a date, so let me see… Are you meeting with a trainer?”
He cocked his head. “How do you know it’s not a date? I date.”
“What you do isn’t dating. Your attention span is too short, and your list of rules too long for dating.” Kelly set the sheets on the counter and dug in the basket for the pillowcases, then slowly looked up at him with wide eyes. “Oh my God, it is a date, isn’t it? You’re finally seeing someone.” She dropped the pillowcase on the tile, ran at him, and wrapped her arms around his neck. “David, I’m so happy for you. I was so worried you would never let yourself fall in love with anyone because of Dad.”
“I didn’t say it was a date, just that it could be. And I’m not in love with anyone.” Infatuated and preoccupied, but definitely not in love.
“Who is she?” Kelly asked, beaming up at him. “How long have you known her? What’s she like?”
“Slow down, there’s no date.”
Watching Kelly’s face fall, he felt a little sad. Had the morning at the bakery been a date? Maybe they were dating. “I’m helping a friend teach a class.”
“A woman friend?” She didn’t bother to mask the hopefulness in her voice.
“Craig’s sister-in-law. Sophie.” He watched Kelly’s face as he said the name. Could she tell?
“Sophie.” Her eyebrow arched. “What kind of class?”
He was not going there. “It’s a yoga class for couples.” Omit, don’t lie. That was Sophie’s philosophy. Damn if it didn’t seem to be working. “Craig and Daphne usually teach it, but she’s on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy. Sophie fills in for her, and I do Craig’s part.”
“Daphne’s okay, right?” Kelly asked, putting her folded linens back in the basket.
“Seems to be. Craig’s freaking out, though.”
“That’s what he does.” Kelly smiled. “Is it at one of Strong Gyms?”
“No, Working It Out. It’s a women-only center Daphne and Sophie own.”
Kelly picked up her basket and headed back for the laundry room. “In the Pearl District. I’ve heard of it. You know they teach a class…” The basket hit the floor with a slap, and she spun around. “Get out!”
David’s stomach twisted. His baby sister had figured out exactly what kind of class he was helping teach. “It’s not what you think.”
“That class is for committed couples only! How long have you been keeping this from me?”
His mind whirled. Just how popular was this class? “How did you know that?”
Kelly looked him in the eye. “Kevin and I are on the waiting list.” Kelly and Kevin had been together since high school and engaged for three years. If Kevin weren’t attending medical school in Washington and Kelly at OHSU, they’d be married by now. He figured they were having sex, but he didn’t want to think about it. He shook the thought from his head and marched into the living room.
“You didn’t answer my question.” She chased after him. “How long has this been going on?” He ignored her, still trying to block the mental image of his sister showing up for that class.
“No wonder,” Kelly said, sinking into the leather sofa.
His muscles tensed at her know-it-all tone. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You haven’t been going out lately. You know, on your little trolling expeditions.”
He didn’t want to think about how long it had been since he’d had sex. Sophie kept showing him that it had been far too long.
“You’re reading this all wrong, Kelly. It’s not what you think. I’m just helping her, nothing more. She’s really not my type.”
“That could be a good thing.”
He was starting to think so, too.
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