Treacle by Alan Delaney

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Her unexpected arrival had caught him off his guard, which was something he was not accustomed to, and he was still trying to figure out what exactly he was dealing with. There was definitely something about this woman: confident - yes, alluring - most definitely, but there was more than this, something strangely familiar. As he struggled to put words the concept that was forming in his head, his train of thought was interrupted.

"I told you not to come here," said the one man did not seem pleased with the young woman's arrival. He looked like he was trying not to shout. Already his face was starting to turn red with anger.

"Not here Kevin, people are watching."

"Don't give me that crap. We discussed this already. You not supposed to be here."

"Aren't you going to introduce us, Ex?" said the not-quite-rabbit with his eyes firmly fixed on their visitor. A dim thread of realisation was slowly weaving its way into something coherent somewhere in a dark recess of his awareness. She's playing us, he realised, she's got the jump on us and she's playing us.

"No," replied the one the girl had been addressing. "She's just leaving," he asserted.

Much to his annoyance, he saw that words had reached neither of his intended targets. Long before he had finished the sentence the girl had extended a slender and immaculately-manicured hand across the table.

"You guys like using aliases, so you can call me Treacle," she said.

"Treacle, nice name. Is there a story behind that?"

"Because I'm so sweet," she replied cheerfully. "You must be Loki. My brother has told me so much about you."

"Your brother?" he exclaimed, with rather more force than he had intended - he needed something to take his attention of the soft, warm hand that was lingering in his limp grip just a little too long for comfort. His shifted his gaze rapidly from Treacle's ever-so-innocent smile to Ex's glowering scowl and back again. Damn it she's good, he told himself. "You never told me you had a sister."

Ex opened his mouth to reply but he had expended so much effort in performing a grimace that his jaws were just a little too slow to act.

"Kevin thinks I embarrass him," said Treacle, flashing Ex the most angelic of smiles.

"Indeed," replied Loki. "Well, it's very nice to meet you. Ex should proud to have such a beautiful young lady like you as a sister."

"Yes, he warned me you were a charmer. And your friends?"

"It doesn't matter," interrupted Ex. "You were told not to be here."

"Stop it now brother, you're creating a scene," she said curtly, condescendingly.

"She stays," said Loki firmly and resolutely. He locked eyes with Ex, daring him to disagree. He duly obliged.

"Come on Lok, you don't know her..."

"She stays, then I'll get to know her. If that's a problem, you don't need to be here." They locked gazes again, Loki with steady authority, Ex with seething anger. Ex was the first to back down. He broke off, shot a look of hatred at his sister and slumped back into his seat.

"Now, where was I?" asked Loki.

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