Obi took a moment to compare the sisters. Frankie had dark brown hair, and blue eyes. Though their coloring was different, they clearly were sisters.
"I didn't know you were coming!" Wynter said. "Are you hungry? We made a huge meal."
"I'm starving. Oh, hello!" she beamed at Clive. "Hi there," she smiled at Eagle.
"Hi, I'm Clive." He shook her hand. "Where do you want these?" he asked Wynter.
"Leave them there, for the moment. We'll get Frankie some dinner, then we'll have dessert and coffee."
"Might as well do that now," Frankie said, smiling at Clive. "I'll show you. I need a bathroom break, and a chance to wash my face." Tipping her head, she led them toward the stairs.
The men followed, bags and suitcases clutched in their hands. Once they'd deposited them in a guest bedroom, at the top of the stairs, they went back to the table. Frankie came down a few minutes later. Her food was warming in the microwave, so she sat down to wait. Clive poured her some wine, which she accepted with a smile.
"And who's this?" she asked when she saw Obi.
"My brother, Father Obadiah," Clive said. "This is Eric—Eagle," he hurried to correct himself when his brother frowned. "This is Sarah, his girlfriend."
"So nice to meet you all. I had no idea you'd have company. You don't know anyone here, but Mom."
"Obi has been kind enough to help me out. His brothers, too. And Sarah has been a godsend. Why didn't you tell me you were coming?"
"I didn't know how you'd react," Frankie said quietly. "It's not like we parted on the best of terms, last time we met."
"Don't be silly, you're my sister, and we make each other crazy. That doesn't mean I don't love you! You goof!" Wynter hugged her sister. "Eat. Drink. We'll talk."
And they did. More wine was poured. Obi had a little, though he was careful, because he'd had a pain pill. Since it had been several hours ago, and he'd just had a huge meal, Sarah allowed it.
"You act like you've known one another forever," Frankie said, smiling at the group. "And I feel the same way. How's that possible?"
"I think we were all friends, or family, in another life," Wynter said. "I can't explain it any other way."
"It does feel that way," Frankie admitted. "I feel like I know you," she said to Clive. "But I can't think of a way we could have met."
"Neither can I. Did you grow up here?"
"Nope. We're all from New York."
"I've never been there. Have you visited here?"
"A few times, yes. Came out to see Mom a couple years ago." She tilted her head. "Did you always have a beard?"
"No, it's fairly new. Why?" His turn to tilt his head, squinting a little. "Oh! I know! You all came to the yacht club for dinner. Has to be about two years ago, close to three."
"The hot waiter! Wynter, it's the hot waiter!" Frankie clapped her hands, bouncing in her chair.
"The hot waiter?" Eagle said. "I hear a story."
"I worked there part time," Clive said. "I was lucky enough to serve these lovely ladies lunch."
"He was so hot, we went back for dinner," Frankie said. "And breakfast. And lunch again."
"The food isn't that good," Eagle said, looking puzzled.
"Hot man," Frankie said, pointing to his middle brother. "Duh!"
They burst out laughing. Even the men could agree that they would have done the same, under the circumstances.
"I never got a chance to ask for your number," Clive said quietly. "The boss frowned on us using the dining room as a dating service."
"You work there anymore?"
"Nine-one-seven," she began, waiting for him to get his phone out of his pocket. "Five-five-five, seven-eight-two-three."
Laughing loudly, he added her number and sent her a text. Beaming, she added him to her contact list.
"Easiest number I ever got," he said with a grin.
"Serendipity," Sarah said with a happy sigh. "It was meant to be. All of us."
That started an interesting conversation, which continued through dessert and after dinner coffee. Soon, they moved to the living room. Obi took the recliner once more. The others scattered about on the furniture, which was cozily grouped around the coffee table.
"We need to get Big Brother home," Eagle said after about fifteen minutes. "He's gonna crash."
"I wanted to get over to see Mom," Frankie said. "Can you drive us up?" she asked Wynter.
"She doesn't like the traffic," Clive said. "I imagine you don't, either. And you don't know your way. I'd be happy to run you up there."
"We'll take Obi home," Eagle said. "I need to get a couple of Grandpa's tools anyway."
"I think I'll stay home," Wynter said. "Mom would love to see you alone, I'm sure. I need a night in my own bed."
"I can stay with her," Frankie said.
"If she wants company."
"Obviously. Not gonna force myself on her," Frankie laughed. "How about this. I'll go up for an hour or so, and come back. We'll get caught up. Sound good?"
"Let's get going," Sarah said, leaning into Eagle's embrace. "We need to get Obi home, he's about gone."
"I need a pit stop before we leave," Frankie told Clive.
©Dellani Oakes 2023