So...I chose this particular scene from Reunions (which at this rate won't be finished until 2018!) because it's the 7th and there are seven ‘children’ in the Davenport family.
In context, Eleanor is one of ‘The Circle’—the nine friends at the centre of the Hiding Behind The Couch series. Now aged 40, she’s the eldest of the Davenport ‘children’. Charlotte—aged 35—is third eldest and still lives with their parents, as does Pete—the youngest at 23.
This scene takes place on the last Sunday before Christmas; the Davenports are getting ready to go to church before heading down to Ben’s (second eldest) for the Davenport family Christmas. Toby (in the snippet) is Eleanor’s son.
As it was every Sunday, the most difficult part was getting Toby washed and dressed in time for Mass, but for once, it wasn’t Eleanor tearing her hair out whilst her terrible toddler screamed blue murder. She hid behind her mug of tea and tried to keep her face straight, but it wasn’t easy with her younger sister’s silent giggling fit going on across the table. It was horrendous when Charlotte got the giggles. They could last for hours, and at some point—probably around halfway through the Eucharist—they’d infect Eleanor, too. Then she’d be for the high jump.
“Make sure the boys are ready, please Ellie,” her mum said, as if ‘please’ made it less of a direct order.
“Boys,” Charlotte wheezed out and covered her face with her hands. Her shoulders jigged violently with her out-of-control mirth.
“Oh, be quiet, child!” their mother snapped, which, of course, had no effect whatsoever. “Well, what’re you waiting for?” The death glare homed in on Eleanor.
Fighting the urge to answer back, she set down her cup and calmly left the room, making sure she was well on her way up the stairs before she let go of the breath she’d been holding. She took out her phone and sent a text message to Charlotte:
Make me laugh in church and I’ll tell Mum about the spare room.
With a smug grin, she put her phone back in her pocket and knocked on Pete’s door. A grunt came from inside the room. Pressing her face close to where the door met the frame, she called through the gap, “You up, Pete?” Another grunt. Her phone vibrated.
WTH?! Who told you?
That was exactly the response she’d expected. Charlotte could’ve feigned ignorance—The spare room? What about it?—but it had only ever taken ‘if you don’t do X, then I’ll tell Mum Y’ for her to cough to everything.
Eleanor hit reply and typed NOYB. In fact, no-one told her, or not the whole story. Her mum had phoned one night to complain about finding a condom in the spare room—Teddy’s old room—which Charlotte had just decorated. Charlotte said she’d found it under the bed and blamed Teddy, even though he’d left home five years ago. Eleanor thought nothing of it at the time; contrary to the way their mum spoke to them—and the way they were behaving—they were all adults, and anyway, their mum had always said she didn’t care what they got up to as long as they did so safely.
A couple of weeks later, Eleanor and Shaunna were chatting online and Shaunna mentioned... [spoiler removed!] He was a good-looking guy, maybe not husband material. There again, Eleanor didn’t imagine Charlotte was on the market for a spouse of any kind. She had her coaching and her career. It didn’t leave much time for relationships.
Eleanor knocked on Pete’s door again.
“All right, already,” he shouted, followed by a mumbled, “For Christ’s sake. I didn’t even say I was going.”
“Like you have a choice,” Eleanor said as the door was flung open and her youngest brother stomped past in a sleep-crumpled heap. Eleanor glanced into his dark room and spotted the lumpy form in the bed. “Err, Pete?”
“What?” He stopped, one hand on the bathroom door.
“Who’s…” Eleanor thumbed in the direction of the bed.
Pete smirked, said, “Why don’t you go and say hello?” and disappeared into the bathroom.
If you'd like to know what happened in the spare room, you can find out in Those Jeffries Boys, which is free until 12th December from Beaten Track, All Romance eBooks or Smashwords (use coupon code FE49B for Beaten Track/Smashwords).
What is WIPpet Wednesday?
WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where authors share from their current works in progress - expertly organised/hosted by Emily Witt - and the excerpt has to relate to the date in some way. For links to other fabulous authors' WIPpets, visit: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=355404
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