Author's Note: Okay, I'm serious hooked on writing and sharing serialized short story. This one will be done by Saturday, so I hope you'll stick with me and give me feedback as I go along.
The minute I looked across the crowd and noticed my sister, Jodi, staring at me, I realized she'd make trouble for me. Not then. Not in front of all those people who'd gathered to help landscape Martin Gardens. Not while her fiance Cooper Rivers was looking on. But eventually. She'd find a way to punish me for being involved in a project that brought me in contact with Cooper. She'd make me suffer. That's how she rolls.
My heart hurts a little each time I see her. Only recently have I learned that my parents gave their first child up for adoption. All my life I've wanted a sister. While I was wishing for one, Jodi was planning her revenge on me.
I can understand her anger. Her adoptive parents told her early on that she was adopted. They explained that her biological parents loved her very much, but they were young and not married, so they did what they thought was best for her. Jodi might have accepted that explanation, but she decided to search for her biological parents, and when she did, she discovered that they were happily married, successful, and the parents of a second child, me. Next she tracked down my grandfather, Dick Potter.
Poppy has been coy about the details of his relationship with Jodi. He's provided for her in his will. They've met. But she isn't a part of his life.
I wouldn't have been a part of HER life either, except that I took a road trip and landed on Poppy's doorstep in Stuart, Florida, when my car broke down. And that's how I reconnected with Cooper Rivers, my first boyfriend and Jodi's soon-to-be-husband, only to find that he was engaged to marry--and his intended was my long lost sister.
Sure enough, five days after the big community event at Martin Gardens, I heard a car crunch gravel in my drive. Jack, my rescue Chihuahua, thinks he's a pit bull. Ever since I moved into this tiny cottage on Jupiter Island, Jack's taken on a new personality. He's my protector. When someone arrives, he barks his tiny head off, and he doesn't stop until I go and see what's up. Usually, the sound of tires on the drive signals the arrival of the public works guys, picking up my recycling or my garbage. Since I was folding clothes, I planned to ignore Jack's antics.
But he didn't quit. The vehicle didn't drive off, and soon I heard a tap-tap-tap on my door. I was watching Jack as I opened it, because he's small and has a tendency to get underfoot. Coming face-to-face with Jodi was a surprise, to put it mildly.
"First you steal my parents. Now you steal my property," she said. Her dark eyes flashed with anger. As usual, she was dressed to the nines. On her feet were gold kitten-heel sandals that picked up the highlights in her auburn hair. The dress she'd chosen was A-line embellished with stones and shells around the neck. She looked gorgeous.
By contrast, I wore a pair of my son's cut off jeans and an old tee shirt of his. I love wearing Tommy's cast-off clothes. They make me feel close to him while he's off at college in Miami.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," I said. I didn't unlatch the screen door. I don't trust Jodi. She's unpredictable at the best and malicious at the worst.
"Our grandfather gave you a piece of beachfront property on Jupiter Island, and you have the nerve to act like you didn't notice that I should get half of it? How dumb are you, Cara?" She crossed her arms over her chest and drummed her perfectly painted coral nails on a tanned arm.
I sighed. "He didn't give me this house. I'm renting it from him."
"Right," she said. "You're a liar. Just like our parents were."
"Anything else?" Her accusations made me weary. "Look, Jodi, why don't stop this? We're sisters. I'm not responsible for what our parents did. We live in the same town. Can't we play nicely with each other?"
Her smirk was nasty. "Play nicely? Oh, Cara, darling, I've only begun to play with you. Wait and see. Wait and see."
~ To Be Continued ~