by Peter Davidson
I slipped the ring from my finger before we met. Another hotel, more business, a little pleasure and my invitation accepted with a knowing smile. After dinner our glasses touched and the crystal sang, her laughter fading along with the sound, distilling the moment into a silence filled with ...
"It's been a great evening, Chris, but I can't do this."
... false expectation.
"Not even a coffee?"
"Not a chance, honey," she laughed, and started to rise.
I took her hand, pulling her gently back. She sighed and sat down.
"A coffee, nothing more, I promise." My eyes were open and as honest as a puppy's.
I watched her play with her wine glass, trailing her fingers along its stem.
"Chris, I'm too tempted."
"And you'd hate yourself in the morning, is that it?"
She smiled that knowing smile again, but her eyes were hard when they met mine.
"Yes, but more importantly, I'd hate you."
"For being who you are. For seducing me into wanting this."
She was no longer looking at me and her fingers had stopped teasing the glass stem. I followed her stare. A shimmering ruby image projected through the wine by the evening sunlight danced over my fingers. It highlighted my left hand where a pale band of skin, worn into my third finger, glowed red.
"And for being married to my sister."