Quinton breathed a sigh of relief as the door closed, cutting off the shrieking and giggling of his nieces. He loved visiting his sister and her family, and did so whenever his trading ventures gave him opportunity, but the noise! The tension in his shoulders unwound as he headed to the kitchen to wash the dishes. He’d promised to straighten up the house and, after that, he needed to finish preparing for his trip tomorrow.
As he set the last mug on the sideboard to drain, knocking interrupted the pleasant stillness. The two men on the stoop were the last thing he expected to see.
“May we come in?”
“Ah. Certainly. The sitting room is through the door on the left,” he stepped aside, gesturing. After they passed, he shut the door and stood a moment, staring unseeing at the grain of the wood. Had they come for him? Impossible.
He followed them into the sitting room, where his youngest niece stood, still laughing and shrieking. The two men began to fit a white jacket around her writhing form, started fastening the straps.
Thank God, breathed Quinton. It was not I for whom they came.
His sister roared into the room then. “No! No, not her. She’s acting that way because she’s six. He’s the one!” Quinton tensed when he saw her finger point at him. “He’s the nut with OCD. He’s washed the dishes four times since dinner. And I swear to God! If he straightens up the house one more time—I’ll kill him!”
Quinton didn’t care for the men’s approach, though he did appreciate the pleasant silence of their steps on the soft carpet.
Opening: Ryoryo.....Continuation: Dixon