Genre: Romantic Comedy
eBook price: $3.99
Justin was to Bianca’s left, a fact neither of them was happy about. Apparently her family thought the more they clumped them together, the more likely they were to get along. Did they know nothing?
“Beans,” she said, staring across the table at her sister.
Gwen rolled her eyes and buttered a roll.
Bianca’s lips pressed together. “Beans.”
“Say the magic word,” Justin said in a low voice.
Bianca’s face twisted into what she was sure was something ugly. She didn’t have a mirror handy, but she could only imagine what it looked like.
“I’m sorry, Gwen, did you say you’d like some beans?” Justin held out the bowl of green beans to her sister.
Gwen accepted the bowl with a shrug directed at Bianca.
Bianca smiled tightly and elbowed Justin under his outstretched arm. Satisfaction washed over her at his grunt.
“I think I’m drunk,” Uncle Bill said, staring at the ceiling light. He was to Bianca’s right and she was ecstatic that she got to view his magnificent male specimen up close.
“You’re drinking non-alcoholic beers, Bill,” Dennis said, plopping a generous amount of mashed potatoes on his plate.
Uncle Bill glanced at his brother-in-law. “Drunk on life,” he specified, shoving ham into his mouth and moaning in pleasure. “Delicious, Natasha.”
Sabrina and Emily giggled behind their hands.
Nadine’s eyes caught Bianca’s. “Don’t they remind you of us?”
Bianca scooped up mashed potatoes and made a circle in the middle of her plate. “Sure. Before weenie Justin came along.” She spooned a bite into her mouth, the butter and garlic-y goodness melting on her tongue.
Justin choked on his drink. Bianca gave him a hard whack on the back. He turned his head and promised her death with his eyes.
“What’s...weenie?” Emily asked, her little face set in concentration.
Sabrina, being older and wiser, told her sister, “It’s what Bianca calls Daddy because she loves him. It‘s a…deer…mint. Right, Mommy?”
Bianca snorted and pulled the green beans from Justin’s limp hands.
“Uh…” was as far as Nadine got.
“Girls, eat your food,” Natasha told them.
“So, Mom, Dad, what’s new?” Bianca asked, dividing her gaze between the two, which took some time, seeing as how they were on opposite ends of the table.
“I’ve been thinking of buying a fishing boat.” This from her dad.
The gravy bowl thumped to the table. Bianca looked at her mother, who was looking a shade to the left of her husband. Not at him, never directly at him, like he was Medusa. Which was completely unrealistic since Medusa had been a chick and her father obviously was not, but Bianca wasn’t going to tell her mom that.
“I started a yoga class last Thursday and I love it. I never thought I could be so limber. I can‘t understand why anyone would buy a fishing boat when they never fish. Pass the rolls, Gwen.” Bianca’s mother was a master at inserting verbal lashes at her father mid-conversation. Bianca hoped to someday be like her.
“If I had a boat…I’d fish,” Dennis said, looking at Uncle Bill. Uncle Bill had the plate raised to his mouth and was licking it.
“Because docks don’t exist, Bianca.” Her mother. Also, Natasha Fisher liked to address other people while insulting her husband. She was a P-R-O.
“Need a roll?” Justin asked, and threw one at Bianca’s head. It bounced off her ear and landed, amazingly, on her plate in a puddle of butter.
She gave him a thumps up. “Thanks. Less work for me.”
“How about some ham?”
“Justin,” Nadine said warningly when he reached for the dish full of delicious, steaming meat baked in brown sugar and pineapple.
“Hit me,” Bianca said, holding her plate under Justin’s nose.
He looked at it, clearly thinking of spitting on it or something equally vile and Justin-like, and instead slapped one tinny tiny piece of ham on it. Bianca shook the plate until he added another slightly larger piece.
“You’re the best,” she said, batting her eyelashes.
“Don’t choke,” he said, smiling evilly.
“I wouldn’t give you the pleasure.”
“You never did.”
“Listen, you little toad—”
“All right.” Natasha shot to her feet, startling the table into quiet. “Can’t we act like a normal family and have a normal meal with normal conversation?”
“Define normal,” Bianca said.
“Real mature, Bianca,” Gwen said.
“Bianca started it,” Justin said.
“Real mature, Justin,” Bianca scoffed, rolling her eyes.