“I can’t believe you made it!” Cynthia gasped when Rachel walked into the small bar. “I thought that you’d be pulled back into work issues.”
Rachel laughed softly, not bothering to argue the possibility since it had happened too often in the past. “We don’t have an event to cater tonight, so my mother and sister didn’t bother to come in to work today.” She sighed, smiling at this small bit of freedom from the normal drudgery that had become her life lately.
Cynthia snorted as she nudged the glass of white wine closer to Rachel. “It figures. You do all the work and they reap all the benefits.”
Another point Rachel wasn’t going to argue. Her resentment over her role in the family event planning business was increasing to the point that she knew she needed to do something. And by “do something”, Rachel knew that she needed to get away from her family. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done.
“Here,” Cynthia whispered, slapping a piece of paper down on the table.
“What’s this?” Rachel asked, lifting it up and letting her eyes skim over the words. “A job?” she asked.
“Yes. A job in…”
“Izara?” Rachel interrupted, intrigued. “I’ve never been to Izara!”
Cynthia smiled. “Neither have I. And I know that it’s a long shot, but I thought you should apply so…” her smile widened, “I already submitted an application for you.”
Rachel’s eyes lifted from the paper. “You…what?”
Cynthia shrugged. “I stopped by your office last Tuesday to see if you wanted to come out for lunch with me. But your mother snapped at me, telling me that you were too busy. Your sister chuckled, but while they wouldn’t let me talk to you, they sat in the kitchen sipping coffee and eating bagels. That was the day I know that you went in early so that you could go over the accounting again.”
“You…?” Rachel was having a hard time keeping up with the conversation. “Hold on, I need to think for just a minute.” Rachel paused and took another sip of her wine. She read through the job description, her heart pounding because she knew that she was perfect for the job! But…her friend was right. Getting the job would be a long shot. Still…Rachel knew that it was time to get away from her family, to spread her wings and really discover who she was. Rachel also knew that she was very frustrated with her mother and sister who didn’t take any of her advice and…well, they were lazy. Technically, it was her mother’s job to go out and get new clients and her sister’s job to supervise all of the events that their company organized. But lately, they’d been pushing all of the responsibilities onto Rachel and she was sick of it. They didn’t even pay her a salary! Her mother just kept saying that it was a family business and all of the proceeds needed to go back into the business.
So Cynthia was right, it was time to get out and find her own job, do her own thing. As she read through the job description again, Rachel felt her heart flutter with excitement. “Well, even if I don’t get this job, I know that there are others out there.” She lifted her eyes, her smile widening. The job would be working for someone important within the Izara government, which sounded very intriguing! “Who in the world is a ‘top government official’?” she laughed.
Sixteen year old Prince Tarin squinted at his younger sister for a long moment.
“What?” Talia demanded, wiggling in her chair.
Tarin shook his head and pulled his eyes away, focusing on his breakfast. “Nothing,” he replied. They both started eating again, but a moment later, he looked over at Talia again, tilting his head slightly.
Talia felt his gaze and looked up at him. “What?!”
Tarin continued to stare, squinting his eyes and tilting his head to the right, then to the left. “What’s wrong with your nose?” he asked, his face completely serious.
Instantly, his sister’s hand flew up to her face, her fingers covering her nose. “Nothing!” she asserted firmly. “Nothing is wrong with my nose!”
Tarin stared for a few more moments. “Are you sure?” he asked gently. “It looks…” Tarin paused, his eyes focused only on his younger sister’s nose as if it were growing warts. “I don’t know. It looks…left.”
Talia’s eyes widened. “Left? What does that mean?”
Tarin shrugged, adding in a heavy sigh for drama. “I can’t really explain it. Your nose was fine yesterday but…did you sleep on it wrong?”
Talia’s eyes widened. “No! I slept fine! Just like normal!”
“Huh!” Then he went back to his breakfast. A few minutes later, he stood up, tossing his linen napkin down onto the chair. “You really should get that looked at Talia. No one wants to go around with a nose that looks like it’s growing to the left. It’s almost hook-like.” And then he walked out, smothering his smile.
An hour later, his mother walked into his room. “Tarin, what did you say to Talia this morning?” she demanded with a roll of her eyes.
Tarin looked up from the book he’d been reading, trying not to grin, but he was pretty proud of this morning’s effort. “I don’t know what you mean, Mother. What’s wrong with Talia?”
His mother moved closer, her hands fisting on her hips. “Tarin! Why does Talia think that her nose is growing to the left? She keeps telling me that it looks like a hook now!” She huffed a bit. “She’s demanding that I take her to the hospital so that they can xray her nose!”
Tarin couldn’t help it. His prank had worked out even better than he anticipated and he threw back his head, laughing. Even his mother chuckled, shaking her head at the absurdity of the situation. “Seriously, Tarin. One of these days, your sister is going to pay you back for all of these pranks.”
He continued to laugh, not even the slightest bit remorseful.