Parker sat casually on the corner of the rounded aluminum-and-wicker ottoman
with a drink in his hand. He was watching his brother trounce their grandmother in a lively game of croquet out on the lawn. "I would have let her win," he remarked to his cousin. "But then, Rupert always was the competitive type." The synthetic wicker
slats of his perch now cast a shadow that reminded him of the blinds in the attic window beneath which the once-inseparable boys used to play.