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Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 22

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Mari Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

ひとり寿司第20章パート1




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ひとり寿司



寿司シリーズの第一作

キャミー・タング

西島美幸 訳

スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。

ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。

そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。

エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。

レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり ——

過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。

***


20



トリッシュが久しぶりに教会に来た。ワーシップ・リーダーが閉会の祈りを言い終わる前にトリッシュが抜け出さないよう首を伸ばしながら、レックスは、長椅子でそわそわしていた。

「アーメン」

レックスは椅子から飛び上がり、教会の裏へと急いだ。後ろの方に座っていたトリッシュは、すでにドアの外に滑り出ていた。

トリッシュがマリコのブライダル・シャワーに来ていれば、家の前であっさりレックスを降ろして走り去るという行動をエイデンに取らせるようなことを、レックスは言わなかっただろう。ドラマミンのせいで眠すぎて、思い出せなかった。少なくとも、車を取りに、父と一緒にマリコの家まで行くべきことは覚えていた。

「レックス」

立ち止まって振り向いた。「ビーナス。今日は教会、行かなかったの?」ビーナスは、レックスの教会の独身男性が執拗に言い寄ってくるので、別の教会に行っていたのだった。

「今日はこっちに来たの。あなたに会いたかったから」

「どうして?」レックスは、トリッシュがトイレに隠れるのを見た。よかった。ビーナスと話す時間ができた。

「ブライダル・シャワーのこと、聞いたわよ」

低いうめきが喉の中でゴロゴロした。「その話はやめよう」

「デトックスの泥ラップはどう?」

「へ?」レックスは顔をしかめた。「ちょっとまだ胃の調子が良くないの、ビーナス」

「違うって。ベルビュー・スパのデトックス・トリートメントよ」

「私の肌はそんなに大事じゃないから」

「リラックスするためよ、バカね」

「あーあ、すごい、それいいわ、ビーナス」トリッシュがトイレから出てくるのが見えた。「ちょっと待って、トリッシュと話さなきゃ。トリッシュ!」

トリッシュは振り向かなかった。いつも日曜学校の先生をスカウトしようとしているミセス・キャスカートに追いかけられているかのように、建物から走り去っていった。おしゃべりをしている人のグループを迂回しながら、レックスはトリッシュを追ってドアの外に出た。

よろめきながら駐車場に出ると、賢そうなアジア系の男性が運転する赤いマツダのオープンカーに、ちょうどトリッシュが乗り込むのが見えた。彼らは車を急発進させて、教会の駐車場を出ていった。

取り残された。虚しさのためにお腹が痛い。トリッシュがレックスから逃げることなど、これまで一度もなかった。何故、一緒にいたくないのだろうか?

「あれ、彼氏なの?」ビーナスのハイヒールがアスファルトの上で音をたてた。

「多分ね」レックスは、鼻声を隠すことができなかった。「私と話したくないみたい」

「気にしちゃダメよ、分かった?」ビーナスは自分の車、シルバーのオープンカーの方へ歩いた。「私が運転するわ」

***

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