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A Shadowy Tryst

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posted by alias Abbot Creative Photography Studio on Tuesday 11th of May 2021 05:10:14 PM

A Rather Devious tale of comeuppance to a Snotty Brat Cadence Abbot, Craig Abbot Chronicles of Lifting Light The Plucking of Rose Chapter 1 The Set up She had pleaded with me to lend her £80! Her beguiling eyes were opened wide as she begged; “It’s perfect” she had said, “so please, I will do anyt…,” She cut it off, remembering whom she was bargaining with for a favour… As her twin brother, we have done some pretty over the top bits of role-playing over the years, and she was suddenly wary of signing her life away …….( smart girl) ^^^^^^ A bit of background: We had all had been invited to my sister’s boyfriend “ Brian’s” parents renewal of their wedding vows the following month and, I knew she wanted to make an impression at the fancy dress. Sis and my better half, “Ginny” had gone dress shopping, and apparently, my twin sister had found a gown that they both liked quite a bit, but it cost a bit more than she could afford the moment and Ginny, having just bought a new dress herself that day, was temporarily out of lending cash! So Sis had had them hold it, then tracked me down to ask a favour ( nothing new there), and was now begging me to lend her £80, to help pay it off. ^^^^^^ She knew I was a sucker for a good plead, especially when I received the puppy eye look that my sister had down pat! The same look she had taught Ginny how to use, and not unlike our Golden Retriever “Sam” was wont to use when she felt a walk was in order! As it happened, I owed her a small favour, so I gave her the needed notes without making her bargain her life away, and she skipped off happily. I figured that would be the last of it until her payday. But of course, being a mere man in my ladies' world, I was yet once more wrong on that account! Later that week sis rang me up. She had a formal reunion she just received the invitation to. It was at a large, multipurpose hall about an hour away, and was going on the weekend before Brian’s parents do. It was being put on for her old co-workers at the Barristers office she had interned at while at Oxford. Brian was busy that weekend getting ready for his parent's party, and would not be able to be her escort. So she called to see if I would be his backup. As an incentive, she said she would wear the gown I had lent her the money for if I agreed to be her chaperone. Seeing how smashing my sister looks when she dresses up (like my Ginny also), It was impossible to say no to her pleads. Unfortunately, Ginny had switched weekends with a co-worker so she could make Brian’s do the next weekend, so she was out of the picture also. This was a shame, for escorting a pair of well-dressed young ladies is always something I always looked forward to doing. But escorting one is also quite nice, even if it twas only one’s twin sister! Chapter 2 The Pickup I arrived at my twin’s apartment that appointed evening and waited while she put on the finishing touches. “Ready?” she had called out sweetly, yes I said, and out she came strolling, a wide big smile on her dolled up face. I figured my eyes did a bugger, for she started to giggle in the way she does when overly pleased with herself (which actually happens quite a bit frequently, all too frequently one may add!). She was truly stunning, a living “Galatea”, and I told her as much. Her long silvery gown was hanging from her figure like someone had poured it down over her, modeling it over along her figure. And that is just what it looked like someone had done! I have heard the term liquid satin, but this was just incredible the way it delightfully flowed and swished as she moved about. Brian was going to go nuts when he saw her, and she definitely would be turning some heads as she strolled in with him. She twirled around in a circle for full effect, and I just stood there mesmerized by the women before me that was my kid sister( by all of 4 minutes), the same sister that had only days before been wearing stained shirt and jean jumper, tramping through the barn in the horses stalls, while hauling shovelfuls of …… well I’m sure you get the gist of it! As I said it was a long thin gown, of a colour that seemed to change between silver and cream as it moved to slink along with her youthful figure, with wide straps that went over her shoulders ending in four thin spaghetti straps along her backside. The bodice was all decorated with swirls of rhinestones, going down and around her gown’s waistline. She was also wearing her sliver open-toed heels, the ones with the rhinestone straps (with pointed toes that rightfully hurt when kicked….. another day, another story). She had also put on her rhinestone jewellery, a set consisting of earrings, necklaces, and wide dangling bracelets. The total package presented was quite a dazzling vision to behold, and I told her as much. “That, my girl,” I said with enthusiasm,” is one rightful picture of eye-catching loveliness you have gone and managed to make of yourself! “ She gushed, “your sweet”, and gave me an all-enveloping hug. As she broke away, sis looked up at me smiling and curtsied, why thank you kind sir, and once you have picked your jaw off the floor, can we please be going? “Certainly miss,” I said, and opened the door for her. As she rustled past, sis asked if I thought Brian would like it? “Lass, I said with all due modesty, He would be a daft bugger if he didn’t!” I added,” It was certainly money well lent”, and she looked at me teasingly, “okay mood breaker, for that you won’t get the first dance!” “ Likely I will be the only one wishing to dance with you anyway!” I retorted, “what will you be doing then? “ She just squished her eyes at me, winked, and then turned, closing and locked her apartment door. Suddenly I stopped, “Oui! , wait a minute, I felt my suit coat pocket, okay luv, give it back!” I said as she grinned back at me, producing my thin, special occasion only, wallet. “Getting better, aren’t I lad!” She chirps happily, it wasn’t a question. “A bit I admitted, you’ve been practicing then?” “Only on you and Ginny !” she stated, “but the pair of you are getting too easy!” she smirked. I playfully tapped her on the back. “What’s all this about easy?”v I asked, producing her bracelet from me pocket, dangling it, watching it shimmer front of her now wide open mascara lined eyes! “You may want to put this back on!” I said. “Devilish Turd!”, she exclaimed taking it back. “No more hugs for you mister!”, she stated, taking my arm and pulling me out to my car. “All tricks out of the way now? Good, we can enjoy the evening with no more worries.” She lectured as we walked I just nodded as I led her to my car, a bullet grey 1954 Circa Mercedes that Brien’s Uncle had helped me restore. As I opened the door, my sister slipped herself in onto the grey leather seat, while under her breath she said playfully ( and not for the first time) “how I ever survived those first nine months I spent with you in such close proximity without going bonkers, I will never know!” Chapter 3 The Devil’s Dance It took us almost 90 minutes to find the joint, arriving with the do in full swing. I was amazed at the number of vehicles in the overfilled lot. When we got inside the poshly decorated “palace” We discovered that there was a total of 3 formal functions going on, ours, a wedding reception we were sharing on the second floor, and a formal dance for some snotty private girls-only academy occupying the entire first floor. We went upstairs and found the chamber where the Barrister’s office reunion was being held. Now I will admit that I had harboured some thoughts that Sis may have been quite a bit overdressed for the event, but my fears were unfounded. What greeted my eyes was quite a “snob fest” of overdressed and fairly pompous looking guests. I had only ever met a couple of my sister’s former co-workers, and they had been interns her own age. But the majority here were the snooty, older husband and wives, of, course, a group of stuck up Barristers. We were unable to spy any of Sis’s old friends, but while looking we were immediately scooped up by one of her old bosses biddy of a co-worker ( whom sis had found insufferable) and led around like some prize colts, being introduced to a bunch of older coots who forgot our names as fast as they were given( we being nobodies) I satisfactorily noticed more than a few leering and jealous eyes looking over my sister. But, alas, nothing from the female end found me even remotely interesting (ouch in the ego department there)! We finally found an empty table, and I went off for drinks. As I watched over my sister while waiting for the barkeep to mix the drinks, I saw a rather posh looking boy wearing a tux zero in on our table and swoop in for the kill. He was a rather tall chap with devilish good looks, thin mustache, small ponytail, fitted monkey suit, the works! Looking like he was a model Fortunes mag rag, he loomed over me sister, and I knew what the cheeky devil was asking. Sure enough, sis cutely offered him her hand and he helped her up and led her to the dance floor. The barkeep handed me our drinks, and as I turned, Sis shot a look back at me as they were passing, a rather chiding look that I took meant “ told you, no first dance, mate” my suspicions were confirmed, when adding insult to injury, she stuck her tongue out at me over his shoulder… I raised my glass in cheers as she was swished away, and headed back to our table. I watched the two swirling around, feeling a bit jealous, but then this was my sister, not Ginny! I knew Brian would be seething, so I felt jealous for him I told myself. Then my mind went on to fantasize “what if he was after something, like say her jewels, and my mind went into a jewel thief mode, with him as the main character. ” I almost wish he had been, then he would be just no realizing that this little charmer’s jewels were not real, had nothing of value to offer, and would soon be leaving her for greener pastures ( of which there were acres of at that place) and so then be dumping his pretty partner after the one dance. I tried to lose my envious nature, but at one point he held her close, too close I reckoned. I felt like shouting out to them “Aye mate, make room for Jesus”! This bit came from a couple of elderly nuns who had been chaperoning one of my old seminarian academy dances… They would walk up to couples dancing a wee bit too close in their eyes, and place their hands between them, separating them a bit, while spouting off, “make room for Jesus children”- Ginny and I had been amongst the chastised ourselves that evening! When sis got back, I rose and greeted the pair, shaking his hand as sis introduced us. She did not say I was her brother, so I knew that she wasn’t eager for any repeat performances. The Git had hands that didn’t know where to stop, in my opinion anyhow. But all that didn’t change the fact that my sister was still a bit smitten with the gigolo looking, bloke. All in all, though, he was quite the polite bugger, shooting me a self-confident look like, ‘no worries old chap’, as I shook a firm hand, I nodded, and off he went to those greener pastures as I was hoping. I turned to my now still fawning sister. “Remember a bloke named Brian?” I chided and she just gave me a simpering smile. I held out my hand… “Care to, Mademoiselle?” “Sorry luv, She apologized, I need to freshen up a bit first.” I Watched as she darted off like a swallow taking wing. Chapter 4 A most annoying interaction She started to head off to the exit stairs, “whoa lass” I called out after her, Pointing and mouthing that powder room is the opposite way, luv! “No doing,” she said as she coyly looked back at me over her shoulder, whispering her words, “not sharing with any of those old crows, I will be using the one downstairs in the main lobby!” And she scurried away on her mission, long gown fluttering quite merrily down about her shimmery high heels. I waited, bored, not one pretty female came up to my side and asked me to have a go on the dance floor, like “fingers” Romeo had done with my sister. I looked around carefully, but I just did not see any female of the same ilk sitting alone and bored as I was at her own table, waiting for someone to rescue her pretty self! So I waited, and waited as the minutes went by, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 26,27,28,29.. and no sign of my twin returning! I had just decided to take a meander down to make sure there was nothing serious going on the first floor that might have been keeping her, like say, a sudden breakout of kittens, when I finally saw her smirking face popping up from the stairwell. As she sat down, I tried to playfully admonish her behavior, failing miserably. About time I said, since when does it take 30 minutes to have a P.. she cut me off by placing a finger to my lips. “Sorry luv, You wouldn’t believe the twit I just ran into!” she said and leaned closer to me, for my ears only it seemed. She started talking in a low voice, though no one else was in earshot. That private girl's Academy dance that is going on downstairs,.. well I... I just ran into one of em, a snobbish princess, a real talker, and spinner of tales her about her pretty own self, a young girl named Rose. Sounds like our Micke, I said, and sis suddenly exploded into giggles. She finally controlled herself, placing her hand on my shoulder, yes, exactly like our cousin Michele, they almost even look alike, though Micke’s hair is longer and blonder! Our cousin Micke was one who could never tell the truth about anything, even when she was tattling on some poor soul. Apparently, the lass was born with an overactive imagination ( Kinda runs in the family I suppose) her stories were always overly embellished with tall tales, stretched out wild examples, and added characterizations, all centered around herself being the Heroine. Someone like that would have made a great children’s storybook writer or gossip columnist, but not our Micke, she turned around and became, of all things, involved in town politics….God save the Queen! The upshot is that we all started to treat anything coming out of Micke’s mouth (a horrid pun that, I do apologize) as mostly fabrication, which would rile her to no end, especially if she was tellin the God’s truth! So I knew exactly what this cheeky creature named Rose was all about, as I looked at my giggling sister. Once she caught her breath and controlled her giggling, Sis started in on Rose. Just as she was starting in, the band started a slow song. Rising, I took her hand, lifted her up from her seat, her gown falling swishing down to her feet. But through all that, she never stopped talking about the annoyance she had encountered downstairs! One who had obviously stricken a nerve! I led my twin onto the dance floor, taking the talkative imp into my arms as she continued to fill me in on the quite over-imaginative young lady named Rose. “My Lord” my sister exclaimed, as we danced, “within the first ten minutes I learned more about this girl than even her own parents probably know. Talk about stuck upon herself. And did you know there is a rose garden by the entrance, just like her name!” My sister imitated Rose, with a twittering nasally voice at the end of her statement, rolling her eyes in disbelief of it all. Of course, we had noticed the rose garden, bit difficult not too since it was lining both sides of the concourse into the main way into the building. It had short paths branching off along the way with benches and fountains. But This Rose apparently had acted like she was the only one who had noticed, the rest of us apparently being blind as a colony of bats, Sis spat out the words. Sis went on, building up steam, her figure becoming rigid… “She first noticed me dress and come up to compliment me on it, but before I could thank her, she went off on a tirade about her own gown.” “Bloody ‘ell! I hate people who ask you a question only because they want to tell cut in about their lives rather than give a listen to anything you may actually have to say… !“ “She thought I was one of the chaperones at her party, apparently because I looked too old to be one of the guests! That struck a nerve I tell you. I wasn’t able to get a word in too let the little tripe know I didn’t belong with her elitist crew atoll!” She took a breath, and now it was my turn to shush her with a finger placed to her lips. She actually bit it( well more of a playful nip, actually)! Better now I asked. She sighed, and I felt her figure go from tense to a bit lither. She leaned against me, yes she said. But then pulled away and went off again! “One more thing, she asked if my jewels were real than before I could set the girl straight, Rose cut me off and spouted off about how she had won the pearls she was wearing at the Arthurian Carnival and had decided to wear them rather than her own better diamonds. I mean, come’ on, talk about rude, her pearls weren’t any more real than this!” and she flipped her necklace in my face… Then sis caught the look in my eyes, and went quiet, concentrating on her dancing, with a wicked little grin creeping across her face. Chapter 5 A bit of pickpocketing wets an inevitable appetite Finally, we were able to enjoy the music as we danced to the rest of the song. Now after the song ended, sis spied her old chief! She dragged me over to introduce her. She is a rather pretty lady named Sarah. A lady who was not much older than ourselves! She had her long hair down and was winningly wearing a sequined red gown with long red satin gloves. Her green emeralds were real, a dainty set that set off her figure rather nicely! She was a rather pleasant lady, with a mischievous gleam to her green eyes. It had been a pleasant conversation, which ended abruptly as her husband called her away. As Sarah moved off, Sis explained that Sarah had been a bit of the “class clown” always telling jokes and playing tricks. But being the boss, no one who fell victim to her pranks ever dared to try and repay her back in kind! The rest of the evening (shortened because the band was stopped at 9:30 – Barristers are such Scrooges!) followed pretty much to same formula; light mingling with people who only seemed able to talk a few minutes before being called away, snacking on a rather fancy display of hors d'oeuvres, and drinking mixed drinks( the bar was the best attraction in my humble opinion). I spotted Romeo a few times, but he never did a second approach on Sis, and I couldn’t really tell if she was relieved, or not. As for myself, I was starting to feel fairly pleased that I had resisted the temptation to play any of my tricks on slyly lifting off any of my Twin’s jewellery, so I had been a man of my word, so far… So, it was with mixed feelings from both of us, when the last dance was announced. The whole “congregation” seemed to flock swishing out on the floor, crowding it. It was a slow dance ( Mr. Rod Stewart, as I recall) and quite a pleasant way to end the evening. Well, it was after the last dance, as we had collected our things to leave, when Sarah caught sight of us and called us over to the bar ( located off the main Chambre, it was a small 3 sided room open to the dance floor with no seating), where she was now holding a solitary court, apparently all alone! Sara also was, by now, also pretty well toshed….. We ordered a round of drinks (the bar was open till eleven, but the music had ended, a total ballyhoo on someone’s part in the planning) Taking mine, I left the chatting ladies and wondered over ( not for the first time) to a rather fine set of J.M Cameron prints on display. I once taught a course on famous photographers and their various techniques…. Soon I was re-joined by the 2 ladies, and I started to explain to Sarah about the photographer’s history. As we talked, my sister maneuverer herself around behind Sarah. By the look on my sister’s face, I knew she was up to something! She got close behind, and Sarah backed into her, Sarah turned, “there you are luv!” she said, and smiled, then looked back at me. Mistake! She appeared to be deeply interested in what I was telling her about the life and times of Julia Margaret, a shirttail cousin of ours as it so happened! As I continued, I saw that sis had her fingers on the red silk clutch purse that Sarah was holding to her side in her left hand. Sis said, “oh Sara, show my brother your ring”! Sarah held it up and I looked at it, Sis reached to put her free hand on Sarah’s left arm, jostling it a bit, as she made like she wanted to look also! But I could see the red clutch out of the corner of my eye, and as sis was doing her little performance, she was gently pulling the small purse form Sarah’s gloved fingers. Slippery Satin gloves holding an even slipperier silk clutch purse made the maneuver much easier than it probably should have. I started feeling a bit “uncomfortable shall I call it!” as I watched my amused sister manage to slip away with it! Then, holding the purse behind her back, she comes to my side, her back to a wall as she threaded her loosed arm through my own. Shooting Sara a quite affectionate look as she did so! We chatted for about another couple of long minutes before Sarah was called away, and she left us, never realizing her clutch purse was gone. We walked steadfastly away, I imitated Bogart, and how much do you think the dame has in her purse. “Oh, my twin answered, a few pence, and a soiled lace handkerchief !” she joked, without opening the purse. “Fine, I said, you get the handkerchief!” “Rather not!” she said, giggling, pulling at me. She led me over to the now deserted table Sarah had been sitting at, and Sis unflappably placed the purse on Sarah’s’ chair, alongside her satin wrap. “So have I created a monster no?” I asked her as I led her away… She looked up at me with those big eyes of hers wide open with satisfaction! “No worries luv, Sarah was always playing tricks on someone another, I just never dared to pay her back when we worked together!” “Tell me now, just how much work did you, girls, actually accomplish? “ I chided My twin just squeezed my arm, and hurried me our way, as we tried not to look too obviously like we were bolting for the exit stairway. We gained the stairs without any further ado and made it through the lobby. It was as we exited into the outside concourse, that I saw something up ahead, and taking my sister’s arm, I held her up from going any further. Chapter 6 A Rose all but Forgotten Ahead of us was a petite lady in a shimmering blue satin dress, chatting away to a bored-looking young man in an ill-fitting tux. If the lass’s hair had been a bit more blonde, and her hair longer she would have passed as Micke’s double. “Is that your Rose then I asked, nodding in the couple’s direction. Sis looked over and then answered me by pulling me forcibly the rest of the way off the path and out of sight of the main concourse, into a small alcove surrounded by some hedges. “What do we do?!” she said, “That is her! That’s that Rose creature twit I was tellin you about!” “I don’t want Sara to see us. What do we do?” The pair were some distance off in the rose garden. But there was no way out other than walking past them! I thought about it for a minute. Looking down at my sister. As she was there, hunched down in her quite fetching gown, with its sparkling bodice, as well as the sparkling rhinestone she was wearing, it made me starkly recall the fantasizing I had been doing as she had danced with that posh bloke. Thinking of him being a Jewel thief, and watching the other female guests in their finery, had been putting beguiling visions in my head all this long evening. I licked my lips before speaking… Let’s play a game I said, one that will give yonder Rose a story no one will believe ever happened... My sister looked at me wryly,( I could see it in her eyes,’ no time for games now lad, this is serious!) but despite herself, she had to know! So she just stated inquisitively, “What sort of game sir?” “One where we get yonder Rose girl to believe she has met a jewel thief!” I said… Having said it out loud, I could feel myself warming up to the idea. “ If we pull it off, that will be a story she will try telling that everyone!” “But it will sound like such a load of tosh, that everyone she tells it to will believe she totally made up in her head!” “Brilliant, no?” My sister slightly balked! “No, she said emphatically shaking her head, causing her rhinestone earrings to put on an amazing display of explosive glitter! As she tried to reason. “One bit of fun this evening has been enough for this Lass!” “Okay then,” I said as I placed my fingers under her chin. “But how would this particular lass lfeel about having a bit of fun if she wasn’t owing her brother £80!?” I happily saw her mascaraed eyes light up, and she again gave me that wicked grin. Chapter 7 The family plot “Let’s have it then you scoundrel, I will certainly give into your chicanery for the debt you hold over my head, sir!” she said giggling, stealing a line from a play she had been involved with. Knowing I had her hooked, I could tell she was warming up to the idea rather nicely, and not just because she owed me a healthy bit of the Queen's currency! “First off, I said, you don’t know me from Adam!” “But your name’s not Adam!” she said in all seriousness. “Attend please!” I told her smiling as I looked with dead seriousness into her impish eyes!. “You go up and fall into Roses clutches, I follow once the lad leaves after being freed from his bondage!” “Hey, how did bondage get into this she said, giggling, I don’t owe you that much mister!” I just looked at her, “We have to do this seriously to pull it off!” “Okay,” she said, placing a hand across her mouth, her smile disappearing like she was zipping it shut. I went on with my instructions… “I follow after the lad leaves ( and he soon will ). I come upon the two of you and make your acquaintances. Your act will be to find me charming…” “That’s not going to be easy!” sis teased, then quickly went back to being a listener! “Then ”, I said ignoring her, and continuing on with my instructions ….. “Then once Rose has me in her hooks, you Meander off, bend down to look at some flowers, remove your earrings, and place them into your purse. I will listen on for a bit, take my leave, let Rose come find you. Let her discover your earrings are gone.” “I get it, Then let her think they were stolen by you? !” My sister chimed in. “Right!” I answered, “and Rose should, as bobs your uncle, fall right into your story! Just play along like they were real diamonds and act astonished that I somehow had managed to get them. Let Rose come up with an idea of how I did it, which she will anyways I’m sure if she is anything like our Cousin Micke! Send Rose off back inside to go upstairs find your mother Sarah,( sis like that bit of it), and say in the meanwhile you are going off to see if you can get me license number. I will be waiting by the car to make our getaway…. !” I finished mapping it out, and she told me she had the gist of it. I had her hand pull her sunglasses from her purse and I put them on. Then she added exuberantly before walking off to go up to our victim… “ Not bad for on the fly luv, or had you already been putting thought into this play earlier?” I just patted her on her sleek derriere, “Better get going lass, times a wastin!” Turning away, she headed out… From a hole in the hedgerow, I watched as she moved in for the kill! Her gown definitely swished in the most pleasing fashion I admitted to myself again. I’ll have to have Ginny buy one like it, I thought to meself, wincing over how pretty I imagined she would look wearing it, with her long red hair flowing free, and dangling diamonds flashing. I would willingly give Ginny the money also, I promised to meself, no lending, and hang the cost! Sis rustled her way up to the couple, Rose spotted her immediately and pulled her over as she tried to pass! The 3 of them started to chit chat together. I now thought of myself as the smarmy bloke who had cheated me out of a dance earlier, making him a thief in my mind. And like a thief, I looked over the situation before me. I remembered an old show where this bloke in a white suit was pointing out his female guests’ jewels to a male who fancied himself a pickpocket and had just minutes earlier relieved the te same white-suited host of his gold watch. As the camera (representing the blokes eyes) moved around the room, focusing on various well-dressed ladies and their jewels( hanging around necks, dangling from ears, attached to well-shaped bosoms, bracelets wrapped around gloved wrists and, rings glittering on fingers) the viewer was led to imagine the wheels turning in his head as to how he was to acquire them, ala Arsène Lupin. I had to leave, so I never finished watching it, nor could I ever find it listed again. But it was this type of character that I now fancied meself portraying. (In-Character) I had ducked into the hedge, the pair near the bend had not seen me, so it gave me time to plan how best to approach them. One was wearing a pretty dress of blue, long black hair up in a bun. She was the younger, definitely not a relation, I could tell by the way her companion was listening. The girl was wearing a cheap set of pearls, paste, not worth more in a few farthings. It was her companion that had caught me eye, demanded my attention! Also, it was not just the pretty gown she had quite nicely wrapped herself in that I was savoring! But it was her diamonds, a pretty glittering set, that with a minimal bit of effort, would be coming home with me. I had actually danced with her earlier, so I had been able to appraise ‘em, and now providence had put her in my way. I remembered how that shimmery little necklace had been taunting me while we had danced, my fingers had ached for a go at them. Now, all I needed was for a brief diversion, to get both the girl’s attention focused elsewhere, by, say smelling a rose, and with a nimble flick of my fingers, the necklace would be off from around her sweet throat and in my pocket. Possibly those dangling earrings of hers instead, if it was a long time she was paying attention to her roses. My brief fantasy ended abruptly; it was time to put the game into play…. Chapter 8 The Games Afoot Sis had said something to the lad, who had been growing more and more uncomfortable, looking for a polite way out as evidenced by his body motions. He answered and I could tell he was quite happy with the question that had been poised. Then, managing to interject into Roses story long enough to pay his leave, He walked off. He was now coming up the path towards me, but not seeing me as I had moved further into the hedgerow. He walked on past, staring straight ahead… Mentally prepared, I waited till he was well past my hiding hole. I adjusted the sunglasses and left my shadowy corner. Between the electric lamps that ran along the gardens path and the waning moon, I was able to see quite clearly with them on. I also saw happily that the sparkles from my sister’s dress and jewellery were not at all too muted and so also provided me with an additional avenue of light, much like the beacon of a lighthouse! I silently approached, came up upon the two without notice. Causing them both to jump In a quite charming manner, as I tapped Rose on the shoulder and started to speak. “Excuse me, this is that way out ?” I asked, sounding confused. “Certainly is!” both girls chirped, as Rose pointed to the way out so I would not mistake the answer. Sis asked me if I had been at the dance? “What dance?” I answered, “ Is that why the two of you are so beautifully dressed!?” Rose ate it up. And showing off her gown to me( and unknowingly,her pearls) happily took the lead, telling me of the academies dance. As Rose started to tell me about all her academy, I bent over a bush of white roses just off one of the branching paths, at the end of this particular path was as a fountain from which merrily gurgling falling water could be faintly heard. Plucking of a brace, I offered it up to my sister and Rose, who both took one, Rose breaking off her story for a second, squealed her gratitude! My Smiling twin smelled hers, then bent over to sniff over the whole bus, as Rose continued to prattle on, and on… I appeared to be looking at Rose, but my eyes, hidden behind d the sunglasses, were watching my sister’s necklace and earrings as they swayed to and fro in a quite nice exhibition of colourfully brite sparkles. My sister straightened up, and I saw her give me a sly wink. I knew that look, and it usually meant she had decided to misbehave a bit! Sis turned to Rose and suggested she take a smell also. As Rose ( still chattering )bends to smell, my twin laid her hand on the girl's shoulder. I watched in a mixture of hot pleasure and nervous excitement as I saw my sister’s fingers nip over to the simple eye and hook clasp of Roes’ pearl necklace, pulled it up and with a flick of her fingers undid the clasp, and let it fall to the path just as Rose was straightening up! I think my twin was as astonished as I was that she had managed to pull it off, slipping off the obviously cheap pearl necklace that Rose had had dangling from her the front of her blue gown. I asked Rose a question pertaining to her story, and as I held her full attention, Sis, who had been standing out of Rose’s sight behind her, wandered off down along the path, disappearing around behind the fountain with a whisk of her gown. Rose never appeared to have noticed my sister waltzing off as she straightening her pretty gown after rising up from her smelling of the rose, never missing a word in her story, nor her missing pearl necklace either! After about 3 minutes I saw my sister come around the opposite side of the fountain and begin to slowly walk back, watching the two of us. I listened to Rose just prattle seemingly forever,(it is amazing how long 3 minutes can last!) Finally, my leave-taking came in the form of a couple of girls in fluttering gowns walking up and past us, escapees from our little reunion upstairs I recognized. I smiled at them, and they smiled back( why hadn’t they been doing that back at the dance, when I had been left alone to my own devices!) One of the girls was flaunting some rather nice pieces of gemmed gold jewelry, and I made my decision to follow them, like any jewel thief worth his salt would do! “There goes some friends of mine, they apparently didn’t recognize me, but I need to ask one of them a question. I am sorry, but it has been a pleasure, but I must shove off.” I said politely as I interrupted the Chattering Rose. I took her hand and kissed a ringed finger as she blushed rather prettily. Then if she didn’t try and start another story! I headed it off by asking, “Where did your pretty friend go, “as I looked around. Rose looked around also, There she is over there Rose pointed out after spotting my sister still some distance down the path. She had quickly put her back to us, playing with another bush of roses. “Right then, tell her I said cheerio!”, and left, giving Rose a nod as I started sauntering off after the disappearing pair of ladies. I chanced a look back, and saw Rose was darting off to where my sister was standing! Chapter 9 Exit Strategy and a Plucked Petal I quickly exited stage right, keeping on the sunglasses, until I reached the entrance to the parking lot. The pair of girls were turning a corner. I turned it behind them, gesturing like I was hailing out to them in case Rose was watching, although I had said nothing, and the pair in front of me was totally oblivious to their part in our little play! I crossed into the lot and made for the other side, skirting around towards my vehicle while making sure the coast was clear. I regained my Mercedes. After tossing the glasses and my suit coat and tie into the back seat, I climbed in fired up the engine, and left the parking lot, circling a couple of blocks, before re-entering and pulling alongside the sidewalk, stopping just before the entrance to the concourse. Five long minutes later my sister finally swished out through the exit, alone. She saw me, and scurried over, her gown doing its nice bit of fluttering along with her figure as she moved. Not only had she taken off her necklace, but also the earrings and bracelet, I had gotten out, and was holding the door for her. She slipped swishing into her seat. I closed the door regained my seat as she was settling in I said, “whew, you were right on about that one, did she buy it?” “It was priceless sis said, she noticed my diamonds were missing, and I managed to innocently act astonished1” Then Rose came to the conclusion herself, that they had been stolen, with her overactive imagination it was not a stretch for her. Then she looked herself over and discovered her pearls were missing. “Oh no I asked how valuable were they?” Pretty valuable she said, I only spent 6 shillings at the carnival, but he said they were worth a lot more! What about yours, were they rhinestones ?” “No!” I said indignantly. “The bloody things were real!” “But, of course, she really didn’t hear me! “Instead she shad started repeating the same nonsense about how she had a diamond necklace at home that was worth quite a bit, and she was glad her Mater had not wanted her to wear the thing on this evening! A load of tosh if you ask my opinion!” While sitting there listening, I casually put the sports car in gear and was pulling slowly away… For couple had walked out and were heading to their car, paying us no never mind other than a nosy glance by the gentleman who eyeballed my car. But I figured it was time to make ourselves scarce. I continued on with my questions: “But your earrings and bracelet as well, she must have thought I was in possession of outstandingly light fingers! “ My Twin smiled…”She didn’t question it, just gawked as I checked mesefl over. I must have dropped em I said, but she wasn’t buyin it, no she exclaimed, he must have nicked them also as he has done with my pearls!” I turned out of the parking lot and made my way along by taking backroads as my Sister continued on… “I then suggested that her pearls had simply fallen away, and we got back to where we had met you, and I spied the pearls on the ground and pointed them out, but Rose was determined not to be outdone!” “The thief had a hole in his pocket apparently!” she figured. “Brilliant mind that one!” I said, “She should be a detective. Did she bite on the Sarah angle?” “Did not her that!” Sis muttered, looking quite smug, “I improvised with a story of my own!” she admitted all happy with her darling self. And I teasingly told her as much! Sis just smirked at me, and continued rambling on… “I had to remind her that me jewels were still missing to get her to stop her storytelling!” We looked a bit for mine, then I came up with a thought, tellin Rose that I had read about a jewel thief who had targeted a dance in oxford, stealing a few thousand pounds from the female guests there. “I told her she should go back in and find out how many others lost jewels, Suggesting she would be a hero. You should have seen Rose’s smug face light up at the thought, and without another word, off like a pistol shot she went!” “Brilliant!” I praised her. “A much better way to end it. But I still cannot believe you went for her pearls like that, rather a cocky move luv!” “Twasthat!” she conceded. “B can you imagine her telling everyone about it…” She broke into that nasely twang she had used earlier in imitation of Rose telling everyone her story... Rose-“A thief took my pearl necklace!” Party Guest – “you mean the one you are wearing?” Rose- “Well yes, see he had this hole in his pocket, din’t he now! “ Party Guest- “ I see( in a disbelieving tone) “ Rose- “What about my friend, had her diamonds nicked, dint she!” Party Guest-“ what Friend would that be now Rose?” Rose- “ The chaperone, you know, the one with the silvery gown and long black hair!” Party Guest –“ There wasn’t no chaperone wearing a silver dress you balmy twi…..” My Sister could not finish her routine, starting to chortle so hard at the picture of it in her mind, she nearly busted a gut. I also was smirking, the whole affair, in my opinion, had all played out brilliantly! All in all, twas a merry drive back to town for us, with me twin sister talking miles a minute over her successes that evening, including the relieving fact that her debt to me had been paid off so easily. “With interest paid!” I thought to myself, as I stole a glance at my beautifully decked out passenger, “With interest paid luv!” The end of our tale



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