Meet Kait, my heroine's younger sister. Oddly enough, when I decided I wanted to do the Alphabet Game, I wrote this one very early...around the time I did B, Avery's short. It is rather bittersweet, getting to know a character who means something to your heroine but doesn't make it into your book.
Anyway, this is sweet and lighthearted, so I hope you enjoy!
Kait giggled and twirled in front of the mirror for the second time. The bright green gown—her favorite color—billowed, the puff of air under it tickling her ankles before the shimmery fabric settled.“Kait? Are you ready?”She glanced over her shoulder to smile at her older sister. Cera was already fidgeting in the gorgeous gray gown she was wearing. “Just about. I need to put my shoes on.”Cera gave her a once over and returned her smile. “You look beautiful, little sister. Happy birthday.”Kait beamed and twirled once more. “Thank you.”“So grown up.”Well, she was twelve today. That was practically grown. She was a lady after all. So was Cera, though she rarely looked it.“You look uncomfortable, sister,” Kait said. Cera flashed a weak smile and shrugged. It was unladylike, but Kait wasn’t about to point it out. Not that her sister would care, anyway.“Well, in honor of your birthday feast, Mother thought I should be properly attired.” Cera’s tone went up. It was a fair impression of their mother. Kait giggled and Cera’s smile slid into a grin, this time genuine.She was glad to see Cera, who’d come home from Terraquist, the capital, where she lived most of the time as a member of the King’s Riders, King Nathal’s messenger service.Trikser, her sister’s wolf, snuck into the room and jumped onto Kait’s bed. She squealed and waved her arms.“Get him down! Get him down!”“Relax, Kait. He’s not hurting anything,” Cera answered, though the wolf hopped down and seated himself near the fireplace. Her sister must have thought-sent to the beast, because Kait hadn’t heard Cera address him aloud.“I’ll tell Mother!” Kait regretted the threat even before Cera scowled. She hadn’t seen her older sister in months. She didn’t want Cera upset with her, especially on her birthday of all days.“If you must.”That was odd. She hadn’t yelled at her. “I’m sorry, Cera.” Kait bit her bottom lip and stared into her sister’s gray eyes.Her own eyes were hazel, like their father. She did have red hair, but much lighter than Cera’s, which was a dark auburn hue like their mother’s. Kait had always wished for their mother’s coloring. Her older sister was so pretty.“It’s fine, Kait. It’s your bed, and your birthday. And you’re right. Mother would be upset if she saw Trik on my bed, let alone yours.”Kait threw her arms around her sister. Without hesitation, Cera squeezed her in a tight hug. They beamed at each other as they parted.“I missed you. Though I can’t really call you ‘little one’ anymore,” Cera said, looking her up and down again. “You’re getting tall.”Kait smiled at the reminder of her childhood nickname. “Mother says I’ll surpass her any time now.”Her sister chuckled. “Not hard to do.” Their mother was about five and a half feet tall, and Cera several inches taller than that. Kait giggled.Cera tucked an errant curl behind Kait’s ear. “Anya do your hair?” She nodded. “It looks really pretty.”“Yours does, too,” Kait answered, gesturing to her sister’s pile of curls with flowers woven in. They were pale blue and looked nice with the soft gray hue of her gown.“Thanks.” Her sister was different somehow, maybe more grown up.Cera had recently turned nineteen, but their age gap had never bothered Kait. She still followed her sister around constantly, but to Cera’s credit, her sister was never mean to her, or told her to go away. But Kait liked being a lady, where her sister did not.When it was obvious to her that her sister would rather shoot arrows than gush over a new gown, Kait had stopped trailing her for the most part. Their mother had been pleased.“Mother and Father are waiting on us?” Kait asked.“Yes, but we can’t start the feast without the guest of honor.”Kait pushed her feet into the green slippers that matched her birthday dress and flashed another grin at Cera. “I’m ready.”“Wait a moment,” her sister said. Cera disappeared into the corridor only to return a few minutes later. From behind her back, she pulled out a small package. It was wrapped in shiny green paper of Kait’s favorite shade. “This is for you.”Kait grabbed the present, a giggle bubbling up. She loved gifts. Her birthday was her favorite time of year for precisely that reason.“Can I open it now?”“Sure.”She ripped the paper off, not caring where it landed as it floated to the floor. Kait gasped when she opened the small box. An intricately etched gold brooch lay on a pad of white fluff. At the center of the pin was a deep green stone, oval in shape. She loved it.“Cera…it’s beautiful,” she breathed.“Do you like it? Father thought you’re still a bit young for such a thing—”“I love it! I promise I’ll take care of it!”Cera beamed and Kait hugged the brooch to her chest. “I’m glad you like it, little sister.”“I love it, big sister. Will you help me put it on?” Cera nodded and pinned the brooch to Kait’s bodice with nimble fingers.Kait stared at herself in the mirror for a moment. The trinket matched her gown perfectly. She squealed and her sister laughed. “Thank you so much!”“You’re welcome. We should go.”Cera threw an arm around her shoulders. Kait leaned into her tall sister, grinning. It was going to be a fantastic birthday feast. She didn’t even get irritated at her sister’s wolf when Trikser brushed her gown as he scrambled out of the room in front of them.
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