Undue Reason

“I don’t believe it, Brian. Aren’t you ready yet?”

Rheta Lyon smiled to see the back of her husband’s head sink slightly into his shoulders. That twitch almost made her feel better. Petulance definitely had its rewards. She’d learned how to smooth any rough mood with just the right amount of abrasion.

But Brian showed no further irritation, only a subtle display of indifference. That had always been the best way to respond.

“For what, dear?” he replied slowly. He conducted a short pause with the back of one raised forefinger before turning in his chair to see her at the study door. For an instant then, he did feel his poise waver. His wife certainly looked a mess, ridiculous enough to test anyone’s composure. Even his own . . .