“Well, nice to see that you decided to spend the night,” Kate said as she stood over Eric with a cup of tea and a plate. She had started talking to him from the end of the couch. David and her father had both been the type of men who startled easily from their sleep. Eric was a light sleeper and had nearly sat straight up when Kate spoke.
“Kate! You startled me!” Eric tried to compose himself. She was smiling and held out the cup and plate.
“It isn’t chocolate cake, but will scrambled eggs and toast do?”
Eric took the food, smelled it and looked up. “Oh yes. It smells wonderful. Thank you Kate.”
“Don’t thank me till you’ve eaten. Who knows, I may have screwed up for once.”She turned and left the room. It made Eric think of the comments her sons had made about her cooking last night. Her cooking must be good so much of the time that when she does mess up, it was memorable. Enough so that they teased her. Hmmmm…
Eric took a bite of the eggs. Bacon, onions, bell pepper, cheese and spices. He ate two more bites before he had a chance to think about anything else. Swallowing, he stood and grabbing his cup, headed for the kitchen. “Kate, this is wonderful.”
She smiled. “You’ve just been without good cooking for too long. These are okay, but they were meant to be an omelet.”
“Oh Mom, shush and take a compliment!” Andy said from behind his own plate. He was eating quickly.
Kate glanced back at him and stuck her tongue out. Andy returned the gesture. They both laughed. Eric was amused by the whole thing and didn’t notice the whoosh of air that alerted Kate to the fact that the kids were barreling into the kitchen.
“What’s for breakfast?” Jamie asked. “Are we having rabbit?”
Kate looked at Jamie with a puzzled expression on her face. “Now what on earth would make you think we were having rabbit for breakfast?”
“Well, Daddy went out last night, and he always brings us rabbits.”
Kate was even more puzzled now and Andy was laughing while Eric tried to decide where to step into this conversation. Jamie in the mean time was looking into the skillet and when she saw nothing but scrambled eggs with lots of bits in them and cheese, she turned around to her dad.
“Daddy, where’s the rabbit?” she asked in almost an accusatory tone.
“Sweetie, I didn’t go hunting last night. I went for a run. No rabbits. So, you’re just going to have scrambled eggs.”
“Oh poo!” Then went over to where Bess and Mark were waiting at the kitchen table.
Kate decided to wait and ask Eric what that was all about until after the children had their breakfast. She plated out their food, handed them juice and grabbing her teacup, motioned for Eric to follow her. They stopped in the dining room and Kate turned to face Eric. “What on earth was that all about? I heard something about hunting last night too.”
Eric took a deep breath and decided to continue with what he had said last night. “When we lived on the ranch, I’d go hunting at night after the kids went to bed. So, often there would be rabbits in the morning to have for breakfast.”
Kate looked at him. He didn’t seem to be lying, but he was just a bit nervous. She didn’t understand why, but left it at that. “So, oh great rabbit hunter, do you plan to continue hunting rabbits around town?”
“Not if I can help it. I’d rather buy bacon from the store. Less mess, more meat.”
Kate laughed and Eric joined her. He was relieved that this was over so easily.
“Oh…. meant to ask you later, but I’ll do so now. Luna got into the trash last night and had some rib bones in my room. I put them on my dresser and figured that I’d throw them out this morning. However, Gretchen must have come in my room in the middle of the night and taken them. Have you seen any bone fragments anywhere?”
Eric stuck his hand in his pocket. “No, I haven’t seen any bits laying about,” he said as he fingered a piece at the bottom of his pocket. “I’ll keep my eyes open for any though.”
“Thank you Eric. Puppies are so stupid sometimes.” She walked back into the kitchen. Eric followed her and sat his cup in the sink.
“I’d better be off. I have a job interview this morning out at the hospital.”
“I’ll give you a ride out there if you want,” Andy said. “I’m headed that way myself.”
“That would be fine,” Eric answered. “Oh….. I forgot. Kate, can you watch the kids while I go for the interview? I forgot that I’d need a sitter.”
“Go ahead. Only stop by the shelter and get a clean shirt. There’s grease and barbecue sauce on that teeshirt of yours.”
Eric looked down and saw that she was right. Damn. “Yes, I guess I’d better. Can we head out now Andy? I’m due there in about 45 minutes.”
Andy downed his tea and grabbed his keys. “Let’s go.”
Eric turned to his children. “Behave for Kate. I’ll be back in a bit. Love you both!” Eric turned as he finished and headed out the door.