Part 2221 – A Memory And Small Scenes Involving Cake At A Reception Party.

Hildreth and Jeff goofed around as Master Shinowa took shot after shot of them and Elsie. But eventually they settled down enough for him to get a couple of nice pictures. Edmund photo-bombed the last one, which prompted Master Shinowa to call it quits. He returned the phone to Hildreth and returned to his seat.

***

Jim-Marie was vaguely aware of Hildreth and Jeff’s antics, but just vaguely. He couldn’t stop staring at the cake.

The big five-tiered cake.

The big five-tiered cake with enough berries to feed everyone in the whole room, maybe even the whole restaurant.

“I can’t remember seeing a cake so big before.” he said in soft-voiced wonder. “It’s so beautiful. I almost feel bad about them chopping it up.”

Edmund nodded. “I get what you’re saying, but I’m also looking forward to trying some.” He cupped his hands around his mouth. “Yo! Hildreth! Get away from the cake so they can serve it already!”

Hildreth laughed and led Elsie back to their seats.

The servers swooped in before anyone else could photo-op the cake. They carefully removed the tiers.

When was the last time I had cake?

Jim-Marie searched his memories.

It must have been for my last birthday.

My last birthday…

Candles.

Flickering flames.

Flames engulfing everything in sight.

Flames flickering on familiar faces, happy faces, laughing faces.

Faces contorted in wicked laughter, wicked hunger, wicked fangs.

Jim-Marie could feel his color drain away.

And the streets bled.

Screams ripped through the air.

Laughter.

Cruel and harsh laughter rose above the screams, overcame the screams, killed the screams.

Tears blazed down Jim-Marie’s face as the servers cut up the cake.

***

Master Shinowa quietly observed the young boy’s distress. “Parker.”

Jim-Marie rubbed away his tears. “Yes, Master?”

He quietly considered him for a few moments. “We will have talk at little later time.”

Jim-Marie sniffled. “Am I in trouble, Master?” He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands.

“No.” Master Shinowa smiled kindly. “But we will have talk.”

One more sniffle. “Yes, Master.”

***

Jeff settled down with his slice of cake and was about to dig into it. Then, he remembered his promise to Missy. He waved down a passing waiter.

“How can I help you, sir?”

“Could you box up one of the pieces for me?” He thought about it. “Make it at least two pieces.” He smiled. “Two big pieces.”

“Yes, sir.”

Jeff happily dug into his cake as the waiter hurried off to obey.

I hope she likes it.

His smile grew.

I know Hildreth will.

***

“I’m honestly not sure what to expect.” Hildreth said as he scrutinized his piece. “But I don’t see any bacon strips hanging out everywhere. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”

“I would definitely count it as a good thing.” Elsie edged off a small corner of her cake. “No one wants to see strips of bacon inside their cake.” She offered him her forkful. “That would be disgusting and inedible.”

“I don’t know. Sounds like it would be all sorts of awesome to me.” He ate her offering. “Mm. Mmm! Mmm!”

Elsie grinned. “I take it you like it?”

He nodded energetically and edged off another bit off her cake.

“Hey! That’s mine! You have your own piece!”

“Mmm-hmm!” He swallowed his mouthful.

“Okay. Fair’s fair, Mr. Hildreth Mayhew.” She poked her fork into his cake and snagged a piece.

“Oh, so it’s a battle you want, Mrs. Elsie Mayhew?”

Her eyes sparkled at the challenge. “Always.”

“In that case, ready? Set….”

She poked her fork into his cake again. “Go.”

He laughed. “Oh, that’s just dirty cheating, Els. Oh, wow! What’s that over there?”

She turned her head.

He quickly edged another corner off her cake. “Mmmm!” He popped it into his mouth. “So much mmmmmmmm. Can’t believe you fell for—”

“Your shoelace is untied.”

He looked down.

She claimed a larger than average part.

He looked up at her and grinned as the piece disappeared into her mouth. “You know, of course, this means war.”

“Mm-hmm. Bring it on.” she said around her mouthful.

“Oh, absolutely, baby.”

They quickly devoured each other’s cake, one small piece at a time.

***

Darius smiled as he watched Elsie and Hildreth’s cake battle.

Arabella…

He glanced over at his wife and kids.

She held Fernando and carefully fed him cake. Emeren ate his cake while struggling to keep his more unruly siblings in line.

Darius couldn’t help himself. He picked up his cake plate and walked over to her. “Hey there, beautiful lady.”

She looked up at him and smiled.

“You look like you need some help over here. May I?”

“Always, mi corazon.”

He set his plate on the table and sat beside her. They exchanged a soft look and no words.

“Mooooom! Ed’s crumbling cake down his shirt AGAIN!”

Darius kissed her. “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of cleaning him up.”

“Thank you.” she said.

“Never a problem.”

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