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Cupcake Kissin’ 3 – Alex Ankarr
He knows, in any case, that old Gertie will almost certainly have left him something, probably something ‘nice’. (Probably something of ‘sentimental value’, gosh darn it. A mass-produced vase she liked especially, or one of her wacky garden ornaments. Not that he doesn’t value those kinds of things. It’s just that a little cold hard cash, in the place of sentiment, would come in handy about now. His family has always valued work, and meritorious achievement, and honest puritanical effort, as well as money. A sight too much, if you ask Caspar. Never mind, though. His extended family admires him. Caspar, working his way through college, all through his first degree and his doctorate! Caspar, such grit, such dedication! Wonderful boy! Too busy admiring him to bung a little cash his way to ease his journey, most of the time. He sighs.)
Will readings are not scintillating, especially when you’re not expecting to be a significant beneficiary. It goes on for a long long time, and in fact he does begin, eventually, to be rather on the verge of dozing off. He’s had a very long journey, a lot of little jobs and responsibilities and almost continuous upheavals to deal with, in the past few days. When Cousin Peter jabs him, sharp and vehement, in the ribs, he’s not altogether certain he was fully conscious at the time.
He gives a great emphatic jerk, in any case, and stretches as unobtrusively as he can possibly manage it. Then, he’s aware that people are turning around to take a look at him. Aunt Margaret is grinning at him, her gums showing around her expensive but badly fitted teeth. Miss Emily of the Canadian branch, and her teenage delinquent adopted daughter, are edging out of their chairs in the second row, to get a gawp. He feels more than a bit self-conscious. ‘Was I snoring?’ he hisses at Cousin Peter. ‘Or anything worse?’
But Peter, fifty-something, shiny-skinned, thin dark hair and a solicitor’s practice of his own that flourishes back home in London, just gives a pointed jerk of his head towards the two lawyers seated and droning at the front of the room. Both of whom appear to be completely focused, themselves, on Caspar, right at this minute. Oh hell, has he been twitching and jerking, like a dog after a rabbit in his sleep? A couple of boyfriends have told him he sometimes does that, when he’s having nightmares…
© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014
No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.
Photo credit: Lyn Whitfield on Flickr, public domain.