In which our hero begins to suspect that his sister and brother in law are conspiring against him… *winks*
…The painters broke for lunch just after one and Ian jogged up to the office. Helping himself to an icy bottle of spring water out of the refrigerator, he plopped down on the couch opposite the desk where Dan sat going through invoices. He took a long drink and glanced around. “Where’s Megs?”
“She’s out,” Dan said, not looking up.
“Lunch.” He grabbed another stack of bills and began going through them intently.
Eyes narrowed in suspicion Ian leaned forward. “Off by herself, is she?”
No,” Dan growled, refusing to look up, “and stop with the questions. What is this, the bloody inquisition?”
Ian set his mouth in a firm line. “Who’s she with?”
His brother in law exhaled heavily and leaned back in his chair. “You know, making love to my wife is one of my favorite things…”
Ian made a choking noise and stared up at the ceiling. “Ah, shit…I cannot hear this, Dan.”
“…and if I tell you where she is and what she’s doing, I might not get to do it again for a long time. I think a lot of you, but that’s just not a chance I’m willing to take.”
“How long’s she been gone, then?”
“Couple hours,” Dan replied.
With a snort of disapproval at the marked absence of masculine solidarity, Ian reclined on the couch and closed his eyes. He opened them again only seconds later. “Feckin’ hell. She’s out with Lily,” he said in complete incredulity. “Damn it, what is she playing at? Meddling female, stirring up…”
The front door opened, and the meddling female in question breezed into the office laden with shopping bags and a carry-out container. She paused only a moment to survey both faces before breaking into a big grin. “Afternoon, boys,” she sang, setting the Styrofoam box in front of Dan. “Brought you lunch, dear.” She placed a kiss on top of Dan’s head and turned to face Ian, her chin lifting defiantly. “What’s got your knickers all in a twist today, boyo?”
“You.” Ian narrowed his eyes. “What the hell are you up to?”
Meg directed an accusing glare at Dan, who raised both hands in defense. “I didn’t tell him anything. I told you he’d know.”
She gave her bright red hair a toss. “Lily and I had a nice lunch. She told me about the schedule change at her office. We talked about her family, we talked about the Castle and we talked about shoes. We discussed you for a grand total of five minutes, you conceited git, and that was long enough for me to see she’s completely besotted with you, the poor girl.”
Ian’s face softened. “She said that?”
Meg rolled her eyes heavenward then looked at her husband. “You see? They’re hopeless, the both of them.” She planted her hands on her hips and regarded her brother relaxing on the couch. “We’ve a business to run here, dosser. You planning on pulling your socks up and getting to work sometime today?”
Outraged, Ian leapt to his feet when Dan just ducked his head and chuckled instead of coming to his defense. “She’s your wife, can you not do anything with her?” Ian demanded.
Dan grinned. “Wouldn’t change her for the world,” he said…