twenty three || leslie's catch

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“Wait, you did what?” Cloe forced her older sister to sit down at the kitchen table while upstairs, their mother perfected her look for the wedding they were heading off to. Leslie rolled her eyes.

“Do I really have to say it again?”

Cloe nodded firmly and plumped herself down opposite Leslie. “You really do, because if it’s what it sounds like, I need to be buying a new dress.”

Leslie scowled. “It wasn’t a proposal.”

“But it was kind of a proposal to propose, right?” Cloe sat with her elbows on the table, staring dead on. Leslie held her gaze.

“No, it wasn’t.”

“Let me get this straight,” Cloe said. “He said he could cook for you ‘every fucking day’ and you basically said go ahead?”

Leslie shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.”

Cloe laughed. “Then that sounds kind of like you just offered to be with him every fucking day.”

Leslie frowned. “I don’t think he saw it like that.”

Cloe just stood up and patted her sister’s shoulder. “Sure he didn’t. I’m sure he isn’t panicking right now about how to afford a ring.”

Leslie paled. Cloe jumped to her feet.

“You are so gonna get married,” she said, dancing round her sister with a wicked grin. “I’d better be a bridesmaid, and if I see that fucking Molly there, there’ll be hell to pay.”

“Molly’s not invited,” Leslie said with a laugh. Cloe smacked both hands down on the table.

“Les, come on, it’s time to admit it. You just talked about the guest list for your wedding. If that isn’t a hint then I don’t know what is.”

Leslie buried her face in her hands. “Shut up, Clo.”

For a moment, Cloe did. She went quiet and slipped onto the chair beside her sister. “I mean it nicely,” she said quietly. “I like Greg.”

“So do I,” Leslie said after a heavy pause. Upstairs, she could hear her mother in the bathroom and her father crashing around in his room.

“It’d be cool to have a brother. I’d like that.”

“Me too.”

Cloe quirked an eyebrow. Leslie rolled her eyes and clasped her hands on the table.

“You know what I mean.”

“You’re going to have to spell it out for me.”

Narrowing her eyes, Leslie stood. “You can spell.”

Cloe leant back in her chair. “You know, you’re right. I’m a pretty good speller. I know that m-a-r-r-i-a-g-e is marriage. L-o-v-e is love. I can do whole sentences.”

“Oh yeah?” Leslie poured herself a glass of water to cool her warm cheeks.

“You’d be amazed at what I can spell.” Cloe crossed her legs, her arms spread over the backs of the chairs either side of her. “How about this: L-e-s-l-i-e w-a-n-t-s t-o m-a-r-r-y G-r-e-g a-n-d h-a-v-e h-i-s b-a-b-i-e-s.”

It took Leslie a  few seconds to put together what her sister had spelt out, but when she did, she blushed and downed her glass.

“It’s ok,” Cloe said nonchalantly. “I won’t judge. I’ve always wanted to be a cool aunt.”

At that point, Leslie decided that the best course of action would be to say nothing, rather than to implicate herself any further. “I am exercising my right to silence,” she said. Cloe laughed and shook her head.

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