Excerpt: Untitled Unfinished Novel

This is from my abandoned NaNo novel. Once I figure out how to sustain the conflict I’ll finish it off, but since it’s not going anywhere I figured I’d share. It’s not a romantic scene, and it doesn’t even involve the hero and the heroine. Instead, the hero is talking with his sister. I love family dynamics, especially sibling dynamics, and I come from a family that does a lot of teasing, poking fun (all in the name of love, of course!), so I really enjoy writing scenes like this one that involve that kind of humor.
***
Lilly squealed happily and bounced off while Lynn looked down at T.C.  “Can’t blame her, you choose horses over people too.”
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“Much better company.”
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Fiona whirled through the front door onto the porch, a flurry of activity.  “Oh, good, you’re here.”  Fiona flung her purse over her shoulder, jangled the keys in her hands.  “I’m off to the office.  I should be home by six.”
“Don’t worry, doc, I’ll keep him in line,” Lynn replied, settling onto the chair next to T.C.  “But don’t blame me if I’m forced to break his other arm.”
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Fiona looked at T.C, then back at Lynn, but she didn’t manage more than a tiny smile.  “All right.  See you then.”

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Once she was safely in the car, Lynn poked him in the ribs.

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“Hey!”  He rubbed the spot where she had poked.  “I’m injured, remember?”
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“What’s up with you two?” she demanded, jutting her chin towards where Fiona’s car kicked up dust as she drove away.
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T.C hunched his shoulders together, kept his gaze on the mountains in the distance.  “What do you mean?”
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“That was… weird.  No banter, no smiles.  Really weird.  Things getting a little close for comfort in the cabin there?” Lynn asked with a grin.
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T.C didn’t say anything.  Honestly didn’t know what to say.  His sister would see through a lie, so it was best to just keep his mouth firmly shut.
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“Oh, the silent Miller Man treatment, my favorite.”  She rested crossed ankles on the railing of the porch, leaned her head back on her hands.
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“It’s not a treat-”
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“I lived with you and Dad long enough to recognize it, whatever it is you want to call it.  Can’t talk it out until you figure it out yourself.  Don’t like a subject, let’s just not respond all together.”
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“Yeah, that’s just a me and Dad thing.”
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He watched as she fought a smile, and he fought one of his own.
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“She’s had the hots for you since we were kids.  I figured she’d grow out of it, or at least realize what a moron you are, but she never has.  Fiona’s… determined.”
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“To say the least.”
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“So are you, when you get an idea in your head.  But you’ve also got that unbendable moral code so this gives you fits.  Don’t know why.  You’re not blood related.  Fighting it seems like a waste of energy.”
“I’m not going to talk about this.”
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“About how you’ve got the mutual hots for each other?  Okay, let’s see, then I’ll talk about it.  I guess living in close quarters when you’ve got the mutual hots is pretty… uncomfortable.”  She grinned over at him, earning a scowl.
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“Shut up.”
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“Okay, wow, really uncomfortable and it’s barely been a week.  Sucks to be you, some broken limbs, someone gaga over you even though she knows what a moron you are, a family that’d do anything for you.  Life is tough for Thackery Charmicheal Miller.”
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“Have I told you lately to go to hell?”
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“Have I told you lately that you’re a stupid fraidy cat.”
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“Fraidy cat?  Why don’t you just go ahead and call me a doodoo head if we’re trading elementary school insults.”
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Lynn laughed, leaning back in the chair.  “I’m really glad that horse didn’t kick your head in, big brother.  Messing with you is the highlight of my day off.”
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“Glad I could be of service.”
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Her face softened, something rare for her.  “Be real for a second?  What’s up?”
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“Nothing is up.  I’m fine, me and Fiona are fine, you’re crazy.”  When she merely looked at him with an arch brow he let out a breath.  “So, maybe we’ve kissed once… or twice.”
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“Ooh, kissing.  Hot and heavy stuff right there.”  Lynn paused to consider.  “Who initiated?”
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“I am not going over the details of kissing my cousin with my sister, which if you really listen to that sentence is just part of why this whole thing is so ridiculous.”
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“Let’s not forget the all important ‘step’ in this situation.  Besides, why not tell me?  You don’t I just go and get it out of Fiona.”
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Uncomfortable with the thought of Lynn and Fiona rehashing anything that had gone on between him and Fiona, T.C hunched further into his chair.  “Look, she kissed me as a joke.  We… mutually kissed as a mistake.  End of story.”  Lynn didn’t need to know about the part where he’d then kissed Fiona of his own stupid free will.
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“If you honestly think Fiona was joking when she kissed you, you’re an even bigger moron than I gave you credit for.”
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“I blame all of you for letting her move in at all.  She’s just trying to-”
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“She’s just trying to do what’s best for you and the family, and trying to turn this into some part of her master plan is lowering on both your parts.  Not to say she doesn’t have a master plan, but I doubt she planned for you to fall off that stupid horse.”
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“I didn’t fall,” he retorted, feeling sufficiently lowered and shamed.  “I need a nap.”  He used the crutch to lever himself into a standing position.
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“I wish you thought more of us, and more of yourself.  This family won’t fall apart just because you and Fiona hook up any more than it’ll fall apart if you don’t.  Something to think about.  I’m going to go check on Lilly, but I’ll be right back.”
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And before he could make his own exit, she did.
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