She popped him on the head with the pot holders. “Oh, you wicked man! I should just beat you with the ladle!” She wielded the metal soup ladle over her head, brandishing it with devilish glee. Deacon grinned at her.
“You promise?” He got a soft rap on the head for that remark.
They ate breakfast in happy anticipation. He promised to show her the rendering of the scenery, when they had eaten. He helped her clean up and load the dishwasher then walked, almost normally, to the office to get the painting. Even he had to admit it was pretty damn good, and he was rather proud of it. Kacy’s eyes widened and she said nothing at first, barely touching it, she ran her fingers lightly over the paper.
“Oh, Deacon, it’s perfect! It’s just right! And you’ve eliminated all those tricky angles for me. You are too much!”
She kissed him, nearly crumpling the painting between them. Taking it gingerly from her, he placed it on the counter and continued to kiss her. They lost track of time, just holding one another and exploring with their lips, when Deacon’s phone rang.
“Damn! Yes?” He sounded pretty annoyed, but it was hard to keep the tone from his voice. “Oh, hi, Mac. Oh, shit! I’m sorry! We overslept—or something. Yeah, we’ll be there right away, give us about ten, okay?”
She was already on her way to her room to get dressed. He walked into his room, found a clean shirt and some socks and noticed absently that someone had done his laundry and put it away. He wondered who the unseen hands were, but ventured to guess it had been Kacy.
“Find everything?” she asked, confirming his suspicions.
“Yes, thank you. You really didn’t have to do that, Kacy.”
She shrugged. “I had to do my own, I didn’t have quite a full load, so I grabbed the stuff out of your hamper. Hope you don’t mind.”
He leaned down, kissing her gently on the lips. “I don’t mind anything you do.”
She raised tearful eyes to his face, a plaintive expression played across her features.
“Oh, Deacon, how can you be so kind, when I’ve been so bloody wretched?”
He held her to him, gently stilling her protestations that they must hurry to let the men in to work, until she stopped, leaning her forehead against his chest.
“I’ll make a deal with you,” he said softly. “I’ll forget everything bad that happened between us in the first twenty-four hours we knew one another, if you will. Deal?”
She giggled, wiping a tear from her chin. “Okay, deal. Shake.” She held out her hand to him.
“No, a contract of this importance requires a kiss.”
“Deacon, we’ll be late!”
“We’re already late.”
Her words were muffled by his mouth on hers, kissing with all the gentle ferocity he held carefully in check. He had never kissed any woman like that before, and he was sure she had never had a kiss like that from anyone, not even Pete.
“Now, we do have to go. I’m driving.” He grabbed the keys from the hook and tossed them in the air, catching them as she grabbed her purse and walked with him to the door, hand in hand.
She locked the door behind them and he opened the car door for her on the passenger’s side. He scooted the driver’s seat back as far as it would go and slid behind the wheel. It was good to be driving again, he had missed it. He hated being toted around like a little old lady, but Kacy felt guilty enough about his injury, he wasn’t going to rub it in.
They pulled up to the theater to find quite a crowd assembled, including the two security men, Dino and the police. Deacon hopped out of the car, forgetting his bum leg for a moment. Stumbling, he lost his balance, but Bellows, or maybe it was Salvatore, caught him before he hit the ground. The entire building was covered in graffiti.
“How? How did it happen? Where were you two?”
“We heard something suspicious inside, saw lights moving around, so we went to investigate. We found a back window open and thought we heard someone outside. But they locked us in! We couldn’t get a single door open and the windows were all too small.”
Deacon looked at the massive bodies of both men and knew he spoke the truth.
“We couldn’t call from the offices, they were locked.”
“You didn’t have a cell phone?” Dino was incredulous.
Bellows, or maybe it was Salvatore looked embarrassed. “I left it in the car, it was on the charger. It was a stupid, careless thing to do. If Mac hadn’t gotten here when he did, and called Mr. Sawyer, we’d still be stuck in there.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Sawyer, I guess we’d better just pack up and go.” Ashamed, they turned away from the site, heading to their van, which had also been decorated by the vandals.
“Wait!” Dino called after them. “Look fellas, it could have happened to anyone. The important thing is no one was hurt. So we slap another coat of paint on it, no big deal. I expect to see you same time tonight, got that?”
Looking relieved, the two men climbed into their van and departed.
“We’re sure nothing else happened?” Deacon asked.
“Cops are going over it all now. No real evidence. But no real harm done. So we repaint.” He shrugged.
©2021 Dellani Oakes