It was the shocking news that presented itself to Abigails attention that left her speechless and stunned. Speechless, because her brother was to be wedded to the most impressive woman he had fought laboriously to court. Stunned, because she agreed. They had only met two years ago when he attended an art convention because his beloved sister wanted to show him the woman who painted her flower garden.

Claire, was her name. At first, he showed no interest in meeting her when she first came to the property to inspect the landscape. Words were that the Penrose Manor was the largest private land in the nation bestowed to the Barrington Family from the Majesties hundreds of years ago. That drew the attention of aspiring painter Claire, who worked diligently with Abigail, to gain access to the property.

The artist had put together a marvelous painting collection as well as an album of flowery bushes, floral trees, shrubberies, and crystal streams after two weeks of studious effort.

”Youve never met the lady. She did a great job reflecting the complexities of landscaping, irrigation, and growth of the plants. ” Abigail remembered telling her brother, John, at the time.

He finally gave in and cleared his schedule. The art convention was lovely and interactive with other kinds of innovative artists. John met Claire and it was an immediate one-sided spark of passion. Claire was escorted by her best friend that day. Susan, a tall woman with sunkissed skin and long seductively dark hair, had unfortunately cut most of their conversations short that evening. Maybe she felt the need to protect her companion from the unfamiliar pursuit, but she was definitely rude to John in the least subtle way. He had treated them all to a nice dinner and failed to get Claires number that night.

The following year was a continuous courting effort that was ultimately turned down graciously, but like the courageous man he was raised to be, John never gave up until Claire finally said yes to a date. They went out for another short year before he proposed to her the night she landed her first big project.

Abigail set her book down on the table and looked up to meet her brothers hazel eyes. When she had let the shock of the news settle, John was immediately bombarded with his sisters excitement as she reached over and squeezed his hand, shaking it with thrill.

”I can believe you tied the knot. She must have been surprised, was she not? ”

”I supposed she was, but I was too occupied by the fact that tears were streaming down her face. I was worried I was scaring her. ”

”Brother, how could you not read that womans face after spending every waking moment of the last two years fantasizing about this day? ” Abigail practically had to throw his hand back at him in disappointment.

John chuckled. She didn get the joke.

”I would be the dumbest person in the world if I ever believed for a minute she was crying because she was afraid to marry you. ”

Oh, so she did get it.

”Im truly happy for the both of you. You deserve each other. But just to be sure, she did say yes? ”

”With the proudest smile. ” John shrugged his shoulders as if it was obvious. ”She said the first person I should tell must be you. Because… well, you know– ”

”No, no. I humbly deny any credits. For the last time, I was not trying to match– ”

”And I humbly accept your apologies, but you had and you did and this is happening. Credits should be paid where they
e due, dear sister. So with all respects, ” John got off his seat and waved a hand playf

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