“Master Initsky stared. I tell you, Elsie, he stared.” Hildreth leaned into her face and widened his eyes. “Stared just like this.”
Elsie burst out laughing, which made him laugh, which only encouraged her laughter. “Stop! You’re going to make me sick.”
“I’ve never seen anyone stare like that before. A long, wordless stare. It was a magical moment. Eyes boggling. Mouth gaping. Just—” He burst out laughing again. “—the most beautiful thing ever.”
“Oh, you’re incorrigible.” Elsie wiped away her tears.
“I know. It’s all a part of my charm.”
“Ha! That’s what you think.”
“No.” Hildreth edged off the arm of his Crazy Bacon Man pancake and stabbed it with his fork. “That’s what I know.” He put the piece in his mouth. “mmm. Bacon.”
She shook her head. “It’s so wrong.”
“Meat should not be put into pancakes. That’s so sick and wrong. Pancakes should be filled with sweet things like cream cheese or raspberries or strawberries or—”
He swallowed his mouthful. “It’s maple bacon. So, it’s sweet. So, it works.”
She laughed again. “You are such an idiot.”
“You know, you have a way of making that insult sound like love.”
“It’s your imagination, of course.”
“Oh, of course it is. Elsie. My Elsie.”
His eyes sparkled. “You should try a piece.”
He edged off the Bacon Man’s other arm, stabbed it, and offered it to her. “Try it.”
“Oh.” She took his fork and studied the meat-ridden piece.
“Don’t scrutinize it, Elsie. Just pop it right in and enjoy that amazing bacon love flavor.”
“This is just so wrong.”
“I know. That’s what makes it so wonderful.”
She sighed and put it in her mouth.
“Chew! Chew! Chew! And don’t forget to swallow!’
She ate it.
“Well? How was that? Awesome, right?”
She didn’t reply.
She did take another piece.
Hildreth grinned. “And we have a winner! Woot!”
“Idiot.” She ate that piece too.
Hildreth’s expression softened as he remembered his dream. “Elsie.”
“I’m going to love being married to you.”