He was not an innocent man. Tristan watched his soon to be brother-in-law shrug himself into the Canali tuxedo jacket with a growing unease. Even clothed in respectable lines and conservative black, careless malfeasance hung about Lark’s sharp shoulders like a cologne.
Tristan waved away his own attendant. His sister had final say on whatever the groom’s party wore. Tristan’s opinion on the trappings, and the wedding as a whole, was tertiary at best. However, Lark was enjoying himself amidst the scrambling staff and sleek designer wear, and it spared Tristan the fraught experience of conversing over much with him.
At least until Lark caught him staring into space in his general direction and interrupted Tristan with a salacious side eye. “Should your sister be worried? I didn’t think the Canali looked that good.”
As usual, Tristan didn’t know how to respond to Lark’s vain jibes, so he didn’t. Instead he indulged a brief fantasy where his sister came to her senses and called off her engagement to the churlish prick.
Lark shook off the hands of a tailor and stepped off the small dressing platform. The staff scattered in his pointed wake. “You’re not enjoying yourself. We’re supposed to get along,” Lark said.
“Is that part of the arrangement?” It was a poor idea to humor Lark’s banter, but Tristan was trapped and didn’t want to supply his future brother-in-law the satisfaction of seeing him storm out. Losing one’s composure was a sign of weak character, and even Lark prided himself on being thoroughly unaffected by the opinions of others. They’d both grown up amidst the propriety and control-obsessed class. Tristan wasn’t immune to his own breeding either.
“Implicitly.” Lark answered, smiling as he sensed the fissure in Tristan’s calm. “At least for image’s sake. I’ve agreed to restrain myself from embarrassing your sister, but she plucked your strings too. Forcing you to be part of all this.” He gestured around the room with its plush carpets, mahogany liquor cabinets, and dapper mannequins.
Tristan’s mouth twitched and he reached up to adjust Lark’s slightly askew tuxedo collar before the man could react. He dropped his fingers, using Lark’s surprise to get the last word in with a genuine smile. “Then, as long as you continue to be embarrassing, we wont be getting along.”
He left the fitting lounge confident that Lark wouldn’t mention this to his sister.
A thief always, a victim on occasion. Time will tell on that last count. This weeks Legal Theft first line was supplied by me, set out as bait for potential thieves.