Title Pic

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Chapter 24

“Your mom pretty much gets her way about things doesn’t she?” I asked watching Roman take several boxes of supplies that his brothers had brought with them down to what he called the cellar. 

“Yeah, pretty much is right,” he said coming up for the last time before going over to the stove and stirring a pot of what he said was stew.  “I’m pretty sure Lizzie made this.  She’s the only one I know that puts them little things – capers – in her stews.  As for Mom, she’s convinced herself this is what’s going to make things right.” 

“Well, right for Bean … and us … but how does it make the rest of it right?  I’m just not seeing it.” 

“It doesn’t but there’s no telling her that until she comes to the conclusion herself.  And Alex is going to go bonkers when he finds out that you aren’t going to the mines and that you’ve been accepted as family.” 

“I wouldn’t go that far.” 

“You don’t think Alex is going to go bonkers?” 

“Alex already is bonkers.  No one sane messes up this bad when they have a family like yours.” 

“Uh …” 

“That’s a good thing, your family I mean.  I was talking about me being accepted.  Look at Peter.” 

“Look at Andrew … and Mom.  When the two of them get determined to pull something off smart people just get out of the way.” 

I shrugged.  “Just don’t get your feelings hurt.” 

“I don’t want your feelings hurt.” 

“I don’t have those kinds of feelings.” 

“I don’t want to sleep on the floor.” 

I took me a moment to figure out he really had said what I thought he’d said.  “Huh?” I asked confused. 

“There’s only the one bed.  And the floor is cold and hard.  I’d rather not sleep in the front room on the sofa because that will mean heating both fireplaces and with snow coming I’d rather conserve wood.  Not to mention the sofa is musty and hard.  Nearly as bad as the floor.” 


“Uh, that means sharing the bed.” 


“You sure you’re listening?” 

“Yeah.  Did you want to kiss again?  I’m not sure.  You sounded like I was squashing the air out of you.  If you want to try something else we …” 

“Ow!  God bless it!  That’s hot!” 

He’d grabbed the pot with his bare hand.  I got up and he finally let me look at it.  “I don’t think it’s gonna blister.  You might want to be more careful though.” 

“Yeah.  Well … uh … you wanna eat?” 


We were eating with I realized something.  “Uh oh.” 

“Uh oh what?  Is it the baby?!!  I’ll go get …” 

“Roman your hair’s on fire again.  I just meant I don’t know how to cook.  I remember some things but Mother Mary kept me in the office mostly.  Is there a book that teaches that stuff?” 

He got a closed off look.  “I wouldn’t know.” 

“Ok, geez.  I hate to ask … is there anybody that could teach me?” 

Peevishly he asked, “Did you ever thing of asking me?” 

“You?  Oh thank goodness.  I’d rather it be you than someone else.  I think I’d be sick if it was your mom.  Now what can I trade … let me think … no, that’s not good enough … we’ll you’ll get that anyway … duh!  I know!  Wait, no, you’ll get that too.” 

Roman’s face had progressively gotten more stupefied and his ears had gotten redder.  Then I asked, “What would you take for teaching me to cook?” 

His voice cracked, “Uh, it’s no big deal …” 

“Oh no, we’re partners.  Even stevens remember?  So what’ll you take?” 

“Thorn you really shouldn’t … uh … ask a man …” 

“I’m not asking just any man.  I’m not interested in just any man teaching me to … cook.  I’m asking you.  You can have anything I have to give.” 

Roman’s breathing started to sound funny again and he jumped up, almost knocked over his chair, then bolted for the door saying, “I need to get wood in.” 

“Roman, you need to think about it ‘cause I really need to learn to cook.” 

“Aw gawd, I’ll think about it all right.  Just … gotta … go …” 

Bean, I know it was kinda wrong to tease him.  I do. He’s just so … so teasable.  But I almost laughed when I heard him nearly fall off the porch.  I’d never done it before, never wanted to before, but there was just something about watching Roman’s ears turn red and his eyes glaze over that made my insides squirm worse than you do.