Matt took a sip of bourbon as he watched the rain beat rowdily against the window of the restaurant. The inclement weather made the party surprisingly more intimate and the guests behind him more animated. He rubbed a hand over his matted curls and turned to scan the room for his sister, deciding then that he was glad he had conceded to her pleas to join. To the left, there was a part in the crowd and Matt noticed a familiar mound of chestnut waves secured expertly with a gold, leaf-shaped hairpin. She was smiling that sweet, crooked smile, fondling a tumbler with a navy cocktail napkin wrapped around. He watched her place a calculating hand on the cheek of her beguiled listener and his heart pulsed vehemently. “Of course,” he groaned to himself. “Damnit.” Matt took another sip of his drink, swished the liquid over his tongue and let it burn the inside of his cheek.

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