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Story a Day September: Day 12 – “His Own Fault”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write about a flawed character. This should be pretty easy, since all my characters are flawed in one way or another. So, I decided to go with the one project I didn’t get to at all last week(though for n the Moonlight, I didn’t really write anything that will fit into the WiP, but still). So, here’s a bit from Xavier that will go into the first scene of Defending the Heart.

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Xavier startled when a hand touched the small of his back. Damn. It had been a good long time since that had happened. Usually no one was able to sneak up on him. Not anymore.

“A little jumpy there, brother, aren’t you? Come on. This is a wedding, not a trip down range.”

Xavier shook his head and blew out a rough breath. She knew but apparently wasn’t going to bring it up. Instead she slipped her arm through his and stepped forward. Xavier’s feet still dragged, but that only had Magdalene tugging on his arm harder. Instead of fighting her, he blew out another breath and picked up his feet.

“It’s not going to be so bad,” she assured him. “You’ll go over there and flirt with the bride, make her laugh, just as you always do.”

Except it wasn’t even Emelyn he wanted to be flirting with. Or Casey, not anymore at least. He’d gotten over any feelings there and was glad they were so happy together. When they weren’t fighting. Which, he thought they got some satisfaction out of as well. Or maybe it was the making up.

Nope. He was not going to let his thoughts go there.

Then, Mags was pulling him into the tent that had been set up for the reception. He heard the murmurings of all the people then the loud laugh he’d recognize anywhere. A shiver went over him at the sound. Piers used to grace him with it, and all those wide smiles. It had been over three years since he’d had either of those from the other man.

And that was his own fault, damn it. Xavier only had himself to blame for losing that. He hadn’t been strong enough to do what Piers needed for them to be together. And now the man he’d always loved stood with one of their friends and his wife and daughter. Giving them the laugh he’d always loved. He couldn’t feel this sense of jealousy. He didn’t have any right to it.

And still, when he made himself look over and caught Piers’ gaze on him, he couldn’t stop the churning in his stomach. “I need to get some air, Mags,” he said. “I’ll find you and Hector in a while.”

He figured she’d call him on that, they had just come in here after all. But, she only squeezed his hand then let him go. “I’ll find my husband and let you know where we’re sitting.”

Not that it would be hard to find them. It wasn’t that big of a crowd. Neither Casey or Emelyn had that large of a family that they spoke to. But, he just nodded and headed out of the tent. He’d take a minute then come back to face up to what he’d done.

 

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