“I’ll see you later, my hot smack delicious snack whoo-hoo lover boy.”
John laughed. “I’ll see you later.” He ended the call.
Sarah straggled into the kitchen. She yawned and rubbed her eyes.
She made a so-so hand gesture before dropping into one of the kitchen chairs.
John considered all of the pros and cons of Clarice’s temptation. “Sarah. How would you like to go somewhere with me?”
She spread her elbows on the table and laid her head on her hands.
“See, there’s this lady. She’s very nice.” Happiness lightened his heart as John thought about her. “She’s wonderful.”
Sarah raised her head.
“Her daughter just got married today and they’re going to have their reception now. I would really like to go, but I don’t want to leave you alone.”
She pointed at him and at the door. She then pointed at herself and jabbed a point to the floor.
John frowned and puzzled it out. “Are you saying you want me to go?”
Sarah nodded. She repeated the last two gestures.
“But you…you want to…stay here?”
An emphatic nod.
“I couldn’t do that. I can’t leave you alone. Barbara and Ambrose are depending on me to protect you.”
She eye-rolled at that and promptly turned into her XQ self. She opened her mouth wide in a voiceless roar.
“Are you sure?”
Sarah turned back into her human self and nodded emphatically. She made a shooing gesture.
“Well, let me make you breakfast first. Do you want cereal?”
She wrinkled her nose and stuck out the tip of her tongue.
“Scrambled eggs, then?”
She nodded emphatically.
He laughed. “All right. I’ll make it for you. You can help if you want.”
She hopped out of her seat and came over to him. She gave him an expectant look.
“Come on. Let’s make you some eggs.”
Jeff followed the crowd to the banquet room.
Hildreth and Elsie were somewhere up ahead. Jeff could hear Hildreth’s distinctive laugh every now and then.
Edmund entertained Darius and Arabella with a story about a training mishap. Rudy sat on Edmund’s shoulders and happily bopped the hunter on the head.
Kaneshiro joined up with Master Shinowa and disappeared into the crowd.
Jeff had no idea where Jim-Marie had gone off to. He watched Darius and Arabella try to keep their three other children reined in. It made him think of Missy. It made him think of Laura.
Laura girl. I wish we could have had more kids. It would have been a lot of work and I don’t know how well I would have managed them without you around.
Oh, my girl! Could you imagine what it would have been like if we had more than Tessa? The craziness. All of the noise. The chaos.
Such wonderful, glorious chaos.
I wouldn’t have been so alone.
Arabella and Darius laughed at the conclusion of Edmund’s story.
Jeff escaped his doldrums. He looked at his comrades, his good friends.
But the truth is I never was alone, except for in our bed and inside my mind.
Hildreth let out a loud whoop and Jeff couldn’t help but smile. “Such a dweeb.”
But I don’t know what my life would have been like without him in it.
I can’t even imagine it.