Blacksmith’s Heart ~ A Love Under the Sun Romance by Dellani Oakes ~ Part 14

His green eyes glittered happily as she complimented his work. “I’m so glad you like them. My own recipe.”

“Mine never taste this good! Will you tell me your secret?”

“I’ll tell you on one condition.”

“What’s that?”

“You take a drive with me later. After breakfast cleanup, I’ll show you the sights.”

“I’d like that. Now what’s your secret?”

He kissed her, smiling saucily. “I lied, I don’t do a damn thing special to them. It’s a mix and I just add milk and eggs, then cook them.”

She swatted him with her napkin. “I want you to know that’s sneaky, Jasper.”

“Yeah, but it got you to go out with me.”

“I’d have gone anyway, goof.”

“Shh,” Enid laughed at them. “Don’t tell him that. Make the man work for something!”

Hana batted her eyelashes, pretending to be aloof. “Why, Jasper, I do declare, you’re such a tease!”

“Hey, Jas!” Jimmy called. He stood in the doorway leading to the kitchen. “Quit flirting and get your ass back in here!”

“He’s just pissed,” Jasper confided. “He didn’t get laid last night and his baby brother scored.”

“And how do you know that?” Marnie asked, bumping him with her hip as she refilled the coffee cups.

“Hmm,” Jasper rubbed his chin as if thinking. “Let’s see. He looks the most relaxed I’ve seen him in months, you’re grinning like crazy, walking with that extra swish in your step and you’ve got teeth marks on your neck. Doesn’t take a genius.”

“Shut up and go cook.”

“Yes, ma’am. I live but to serve—or service, as the case may be.” Pretending to tip his hat, he scooted back to the kitchen.

“Those kids are crazy,” Enid remarked, shaking her head. “It’s not so many years ago they were playing tag. Now they’re fooling around. Life passes too fast. I can’t keep up anymore.”

“Auntie, you’re still young.”

“I feel a million years old. Too many years of abuse on this body, it’s aged me. People twenty years older are in better shape than I am.”

“You’ll be running circles around them in no time.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“Of course I am. If you don’t quit your belly achin’ I’m gonna have to smack you a change of expression.”

Enid started to giggle. “Only you can say that to me and get away with it.”

“That’s cause I love you so much.”

Aunt Enid’s eyes glittered with tears. “And that’s why I love you so much. You have a way of reminding me what’s important.”

“I know this has been hard on you, Auntie, but once you’ve rested and start your therapy, you’ll soar. You’re too damn stubborn to let this get you. And you’ll have me here to kick your bony ass when you start bitching again.”

“Dear God, child, this is a side of you I haven’t seen. You become more like me daily. How refreshing!”

“Some would call it terrifying,” Hana said with a glitter in her eye. “Mom, for instance, would find this side of me perplexing in the extreme.”

“Your mother—!” Enid rolled her eyes in expiration. “You’re completely different now that you aren’t having to live to fit her image.”

“When I’m around her, I turn into this zomboid. I hear myself saying things I’d never in a million years say.”

“Interesting new word. Zomboid?”

Hana giggled, covering her mouth so she wouldn’t spew on the table. “The beauty of the English language is that you can make up words and it’s okay. You understand me, right?”

“I do, indeed. I couldn’t have put it better myself. Your mother is the robot Nazi. And I say that with all the love possible.”

Hana gave up trying to eat. It was impossible to keep the food in her mouth. Swallowing with difficulty, she laughed again. “I love my mom, but she’s such a stiff. I’m sick to death of being proper.”

“I’ve made you a rebel,” Enid said. “It’s my subversive influence.”

“Who’s a subversive?” Jasper flopped into the chair, leaning back with one arm draped over the top, long legs casually under the table.

“Auntie. We were just blaming her for my bad behavior.”

“Hana’s behaving badly? Impossible.”

“Give her a few days away from her mother, she turns into a veritable beast,” Enid remarked, waving her fork. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with her. You’ll have to see if you can train her, Jasper.”

“I’ll do my best, Enid. Does that mean I get to spank her?”

“Only if I’m bad,” Hana said, sounding like Mae West. “And I can be very, very bad.”

© Dellani Oakes 2022

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