Early on the morning of January 2, 1970, David leans against the counter in the Maxwell kitchen, munching on a piece of toast. A duffel bag and a small suitcase sit at his feet.

Emily wanders in wearing a robe, combing her wet long hair. She sees David, gasps, and runs out, nearly colliding with Kyle, who is on his way in. He drops his two dufflebags on the floor beside the door. He goes over to the steaming coffee percolator and pours himself a cup.

"Annoyed, Kyle makes an exasperated comment.

"Whatever happened to you two before Christmas, I wish you'd get over it. I'm sick of Emily's moods and your silence on the subject."

David sighs heavily, deciding to share his pain.

"She asked me why I never asked her out and I told her it would be like dating my sister."

Kyle laughs, notices David's sour expression and stops abruptly.

"We'll be gone for a week of orientation, then we'll be on the job training. You won't see much of her for awhile. Maybe it'll just blow over."

"I doubt that. She may never forgive me."

"She doesn't usually carry a grudge, although what you just told me explains a lot about her mood lately. I know that's how you feel about Joanie, but I always thought Emily was different for you. I guess I've always had it in the back of my mind that the two of you would end up together someday."

"I guess I did too, somewhere deep in my subconscious. Anyway, we had just kissed under the mistletoe, and..."

Kyle sits his coffee cup on the table and looks over his shoulder at David. He raises one eyebrow with deep interest."


David waves away the inevitable question, unwilling to go into detail. He continues with the explanation.

"I was off balance.Joanie walked in on us, and I was embarrassed. I was blindsided by that question about asking her out. I just said the first thing that entered into my head without thinking it through. I didn't mean it the way it came out. Emily was less than impressed. She didn't give me a chance to explain. she has barely spoken to me since then."

Emily has been standing just behind the door frame of the dining room, listening intently to every word. She walks purposefully into the kitchen and takes Kyle by the arm. She pulls him to the dining room door and pushes him through it.

"Get lost big brother, David and I have to talk."

Laughing good naturedly, he closes the door behind him.

"Eavesdropping is not an attractive personality trait, Emily."

David said disapprovingly.

"I don't care. You said I never gave you the chance to explain. Now you have the chance. Explain."

David goes to her and takes her hand. He leads her to the table and pulls out a chair for her. As she sits, he seats himself beside her and takes both of her hands in his. He looks earnestly into her beautiful, too young face.

"I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, Em. I really am. The thing is, up until that kiss, I tried very hard not to think of you in any other way than as my sister. You had been dating Jeff Pike for six months, and you seemed happy enough. I didn't want to get in the way of that."

Emily snorts disgustedly and pulls her hands from his.

"Sometimes you can be really slow on the uptake David Larson! Didn't you ever notice that I never went to any event with Jeff unless I knew you were going to be there?"

" I noticed you were there of course, but you were there with Jeff. I could only assume that you wanted to be there with Jeff. What else was I supposed to think?

Emily half rises from her chair, takes his head in her hands and gives it a quick shake. She sits back down.

"Give your head a shake, you thick headed dolt! I was trying to make you jealous, take a stand, take me away from Jeff. Instead, you avoided us altogether."

"Be reasonable Emily, I'm not a mind reader. Besides, you're only sixteen years old."

"So what?"

"So.. any relationship between us is likely to get hot and heavy fast. That kiss under the mistletoe proved it. You're too young, jail bait in fact."

David gets up and paces the room agitatedly as he speaks.

"Your father is a cop. If he ever found out that we'd had sex, he'd charge me with statutory rape, and put me behind bars till you were legally an adult. That is, after he maimed me first."

Emily opens her mouth to make an angry retort, but he stops her with a raised hand, mimicking a stop sign.

"This whole conversation is pointless Emily. You've already got a boyfriend your own age. He doesn't look like much. If he ever tries to do anything you don't like, I know you can handle him."

"I can, and I have, actually. I broke up with him the day after the mistletoe incident. It took me awhile to get rid of him. five months, in fact. I finally had to threaten him with a restraining order."

Kyle and Barry enter the kitchen. Kyle retrieves his dufflebags from the floor beside the dining room door. Barry barks commands as he picks up David's suitcase.

"Come on you two, we've got to go!" Joanie and Colleen are already in the car. Let's get this luggage into the trunk. It's a bit of a drive from here to there."

The End

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