Sarah examined her reflection in the mirrored glass as she battled the first date jitters that danced around in her head and body in the form of anxious feelings and sweaty palms. She hoped she wasn’t overdressed as she smoothed down the sapphire sequined dress, and sprayed her golden locks into the submission. She vaguely remembered the days of Aquanet freezing she did in high school and worried her lower lip, fearful she’d primped too much at this point. Her golden-brown hair cascaded in curls past her shoulders instead of the usual French twist she wore. She even darkened her makeup and tried a new smoky look around her big blue eyes which only made them pop out like those cartoon characters on Saturday morning. By the time she was done foolishly agonizing over her looks she was pretty satisfied with the finished product. She knew he’d be happy if she showed up in ripped jeans and a t-shirt, but she wanted to make a dazzling impression and the almost unrecognizable person staring back at her in the reflective glass did just that.
“Wow!” Frankie grinned as she walked into the room they shared. “You look fantastic! Got plans for tonight?” Frankie knew full well her sister was going on a date with Devon, and believed it was about time. Those two had been dancing around a relationship for months now. If she hadn’t interrupted their one-night stand in Devon’s office at the nightclub things might’ve been different.
“Shut up!” Sarah laughed and expelled a breath she was holding. “So I look okay?” She really hated how James’ infidelity had clobbered her self-esteem.
“Yes, but, sis, he’s infatuated with you. You do realize you could be covered in mud and he’d still be all over you.”
“That’s so not true.” Sarah misted a little perfume on her neck and sat down on her bed across from Frankie’s. “What’s happening between you and Fang?”
Frankie knew this conversation was coming. She’d been doing her best to ignore it since she told Sarah that in order to survive the mutated Ebola virus attack, Fang had to bond with her. Yep, as in binding life forces which led to – ew - mating. “Tonight isn’t about my mess, it’s about your date.”
“Come on, talking about it actually takes my mind off tonight and the nerves that I’m feeling over this whole thing.” Sarah wiped her hands with a Kleenex. Why she was perspiring was beyond her. They’d kissed! Heck, they’d done more than kiss, but this date was a first step to something more serious, and she wasn’t sure if she was ready. “I still feel it’s a mistake. My friendship with Devon means the world to me, and I’m really afraid that this is going to ruin it.”
Frankie snorted, “or make it better. Sis, we both know what you and he have is more than friendship. Those sneaked kisses and the smoldering looks coming from both of you, jeez a person could get scorched coming between you two.”
Sarah rolled her eyes. “Nice, real nice.” But she couldn’t wipe the goofy grin off her face if she tried.
“I’m just trying to get you to loosen up and enjoy your good fortune. Not everyone has a drop dead – literally dead - man fawning over them.”
“Not everyone, but you do. What is going on between you and the Viking god that is Fang?” She made another attempt at getting information.
Frankie laughed and wagged her finger in front of her face. “This isn’t about me, sis.” Frankie jumped in front of the mirror and started brushing her chocolate-brown curls. “What I don’t get is why you’re not jumping at the opportunity to be with him. I mean, that first night you met you were all over him.”
“Yes, I was also drunk.” Sarah fluffed Frankie’s hair to bring life to it after the brushing had tamed it more. “Wasted is the better word.”
“Okay, but the attraction is obviously there. You’re single, free to mingle, and don’t give me none of this friend crap. I know better.” Frankie frowned at her unruly hair, and started braiding it to the side.
Sarah plopped down on the bed. “Am I single?”
Frankie’s hands stilled, and she turned her attention to her sister. “What do you mean?”
“What about what Felix said before he disappeared?”
Frankie banded her hair and joined her sister on her bed. “He said he loved you, but that could mean a thousand different things.”
“Yes, but if Devon and I are destined to fail, why try?” Sarah’s eyes pleaded with her sister to have an answer.
Frankie hugged her. “You will fail with that outlook. Maybe that future was never meant to be. It’s obvious you don’t have the same feelings for that cyborg as he had for you. We don’t know what happened to bring that future together, but you could change all of that now.”
“Or continue on the same path to get the same result. That’s the definition of insanity.”
There was hopelessness written all over Sarah’s face. Frankie forced her sister to look at her. “I want you to promise me something.”
“Give this a chance with Devon.”
“You think we’re good for each other?”
“On one condition.”
“Give Fang a chance.”
Frankie shook her head. “Our situation is different.”
“Yes, it is. He gave you a part of him that he can never give to another. He sacrificed his own happiness to make sure you lived. It is different. It’s like a modern day fairy tale.” Sarah’s eyes sparkled.
“Or a nightmare, depending how you look at it.” Frankie muttered. “I get what he did, but it wasn’t consensual. He’s a brutish caveman with terrible social skills. He’s the exact opposite of what I envisioned as my perfect man.”
“Sometimes what we wish for isn’t what is right for us. He’d lay his life down for you. He did it once and will do it again. Who doesn’t want a man like that?”
“Me, Sarah, I don’t want a man who insists on protecting me. I want a man who sees me as an equal. Do you see him ever doing that?”
“Well, he’s an alpha shifter. That may be more difficult than you think.”
“Exactly! Aside from all the other things, including my general dislike for the bear man, he can’t give me what I need in a partner.”
“Have you told him that?”
“I don’t know, but you need to find a way to communicate with him. Your lives are forever bound regardless of your choice.” Sarah walked over to the door answering the knock. She expected to see her dark haired devilish man. Instead, she saw Frankie’s blond Adonis. Sarah laughed. “Speak of the devil. It’s for you, Frankie.”
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