It was a regular Sunday at the Maldini household.
Esmerelda baked blackberry pie, like any regular grandmother who wasn’t a master thief would.
“You set the chair on fire you fool!” he shouted as more family members rushed out to see what the commotion was.
This ordinary Sunday was the lead up to an exciting Monday for Caleb, Jet and Isla. Caleb had a job to do for the family business overseas, and he was taking the two teenagers with him. Seeing as they had taken such an interest in martial arts it seemed fitting that they should get to visit the country where the practice had originated.
They arrived in Shang Simla around noon.
Their first stop was the martial arts training center. Set up in the hills, it was place of tranquility and meditation where all the best martial artists visited to train.
After dinner, Jet and Isla went outside and sat on the balcony.
“I can’t believe we’re really here!” Isla said as she stared out at amazing view.
“I know,” Jet replied, “It’s pretty amazing. I mean we’ve never even been out of Twinbrook before and now we’re all the way in China!”
“What are you doing?” he asked, surprised.
“Looking at the sky,” she replied, “There’s so many stars here.”
Jet looked down at Isla, taking in the minute details of her face, with her creamy smooth skin and long black eyelashes. His eyes traced the soft curve of her full lips and he found himself wondering just what it would be like to… NO! You can’t think about that, he told himself sternly, she’s your cousin!
She’s only your mother’s cousin, she’s not even that closely related… a second voice in his head whispered.
We grew up together, he argued with himself, she’s practically my sister!
“Are you alright?” Isla asked, staring up at him, a quizzical expression on her pretty face.
Jet smiled at her and forced himself to relax, “Yes, I’m fine.”
She smiled back and he felt his heart skip a beat.
You’re being ridiculous, he told himself, as he lay back and stared up at the sky, with the warmth of Isla’s head resting against his stomach, before this trip you practically never even noticed she was a girl and now you’re feeling all strange just because she smiled at you, and thinking about… well… stuff you shouldn’t be thinking about. I really hope this goes away! Maybe it’s just being in a different place that’s making me look at her differently.
Their first day in Shang Simla was already over, and as Jet stared up at the sky he could only wonder at what the next day would bring.