Friday, November 8, 2013

Neddy & Old Sod

Kevin Larkin is another one of my favorite characters within the Collective Obsessions Saga. He first shows up as an adult in The Twain Shall Meet.  Kevin is gruff, no-nonsense and completely unabashed about his rather lecherous romantic past. It also helps that he is tall, dark and handsome as well as humorous in stitches.

Kevin and his younger brother Liam share pointed barbs throughout the saga, although it is equally apparent that they feel great familial love for one another. Kevin always refers to Liam as "Neddy" (an Irish term for a fool), while Liam gleefully calls Kevin "you old sod."

When Kevin finally marries his longtime love Mariko Woods in The Twilight, the "dressing" ritual before the ceremony beings out the best in the two brothers:

EARLIER IN THE DAY, Liam snuck Kevin into the mansion, coordinating their entry with Shannon while Mariko was safely ensconced in her own room. The two brothers made a beeline for Kevin's bedroom on the fourth floor to prepare for the wedding. Shannon left them a tray with a decanter of cognac and two snifters in a thoughtful gesture, hoping it would help keep Kevin calm on his special day.

But Kevin declined a drink. "I had enough hooch last night, thanks. I want to be clear-headed when I lumber across the foyer in my twinky get-up."

"It wasn't much of a bachelor party," Liam complained. "Twenty men crammed into the keeper's cottage, taking shots of whiskey and playing poker. The Coven would have been better…"

"Yeah, but it would have been much harder to pry me out of the Coven," Kevin grinned. "This way we're close at hand and semi-sober." He pointed to the garment bag draped over his bed. "Grab my clothes, will you? Let's get this over with. I'm warning you, though, if you laugh at me in my get-up, I'll hurt you really bad. I'd like to see your bony little ass in one of these outfits."

Liam tried to keep a straight face as he helped his brother slip into the black montsuki haori full-length kimono, split between the legs, and baggy pants known as hakama. Kevin tucked a white sash into the pants, and then admired the Larkin family crest embroidered on the breast pocket of the kimono.

"Look at me, will you?" Kevin snorted. "I waited fifty-eight years to get married, and it's come to this. I'm going to face Father Hunter and all our guests looking like an Irish samurai. All I need is a sword swinging at my side to appear the part."

Liam couldn't hold back his laughter. After he regained a semblance of control, in part spurred on by Kevin's fierce glare, he offered a positive note: "At least Mariko made the outfit large enough to cover your frame comfortably."

"She is something, isn't she?"

Liam sobered, catching the solemn tone of his brother's voice. Clearing his throat, Liam stood behind Kevin at the bedroom mirror and looked at his reflection. "I know I've said this before, but I'm glad you found Mariko. She's the best. She's understated and serene, yet so funny and wise. I love her to bits, and she'll make a wonderful addition to our family. However, if you asked me ten years ago…I never thought you'd give up tall blondes and bleary bar flies for a tiny Japanese lady who brooks very little nonsense. It took you long enough, but you deserve all the happiness in the world. You've earned it, and then some."

"For once I agree with you, neddy."

"Just be happy," Liam insisted.

"I'm very happy, and thank you."

The brothers were uncomfortable with frilly sentiment, unused to sibling displays of deep affection, so they let their personal comments rest there.

Click here to read more excerpts from The Twilight.

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