Cents and Nickel
She began to set the kitchen table and I helped with the silverware. I had noticed where she had reached earlier. We set three places. Dollars said, "I have canned lemonade or water."
I reached into the fridge. "What for you, Dollars?"
"Lemonade, please." I set two cans on the table. "Thanks, Abraham." She bent over to check the cornbread and I appreciated the view from where I was standing. I decided to pull the butter out, too.
I was doing that when she straightened and turned around. "You were staring at my rear, weren't you?"
"Of course, it was the best-looking thing I could see at that moment."
"Only on you."
A few minutes later, she pulled the cornbread out and turned off the oven. 'How many to start?"
"Two. Thanks." She put two on her plate, too. She served the stew in bowls. We sat down.
I was waiting for her. She said, "Do you mind if I ask a blessing on the meal?"
"Not at all. It seems appropriate." I joined her in the amen. The stew was excellent and I said so. She smiled. "Abraham, what would you like to do tomorrow?"
"Do you have comfortable hiking boots?" She nodded. "Why don't we walk around the farm then?" She smiled. "Bring some nice clothes and I'll take you to dinner later."
"With nightcaps like Saturday?"
We were sitting around the table having a light bit of seconds when Teresa walked in. "Smells good. I'll change and then eat." She returned and joined us. Dollars said, "He went to Bible study with me. I think he even listened." She smirked.
I said, "It was on the second chapter of Hebrews. Written supposedly by Paul to native Jews, it contains some useful lessons for everyone. One is to pay attention to what we've heard and not forget it."
"Okay, you did listen." Dollars laughed.
Teresa said, "He looks like a nice guy, Cents. What are your plans for him?"
"I'm going out to his farm tomorrow to walk the fields. He has promised to take me to dinner tomorrow evening followed by nightcaps in his living room. I'm looking forward to it. I'll be back here late tomorrow night."
I added, "Unless she stays in one of my empty bedrooms. I've made the offer and will again."
"Why not your bed?"
"She made me promise to honor her morals which prohibit that and I agreed even if she changes her mind."
"She can't change her mind?"
"No. That was my promise. Cents, you're stuck in the change purse." I timed that statement when both were sipping their lemonade. The results were predictable. There were a lot of choking and spluttering sounds.
Dollars said, "That wasn't fair!"
"All's fair in love and war."
Teresa asked, "Which is this for you two?"
"It's undecided right now. I have hopes for the former though."
"That will be interesting."
"That term has been used around us a lot lately."
Dollars chuckled. "True, with varying results."
We enjoyed the remainder of the evening and I eventually left for my farm quite late. Upon arriving home, Ben wanted some extra food to make up for leaving him by himself for the evening. I went to bed and slept soundly.
I woke up early and put on shorts and sneakers and ran a couple of miles. I came home and made coffee. My cell phone rang. It was Dollars.
"Good morning. If you're up, I'll bring breakfast."
"Sounds good. I've already run a couple of miles to work up an appetite. I will have coffee."
"Okay, Dear. Give me about thirty minutes."
"I'll be here." I showered and shaved. I put on some traipsing clothes including buckling on a holster for my Glock. I had seen coyotes and one snake. I found the likelihood of seeing something unfriendly increased dramatically when I was unarmed.
Thirty-two minutes after her call, Dollars drove up and parked behind my truck. I met her at the door. I took the sack and kissed her as she came inside. Ben was waiting in the kitchen. I set the sack on the kitchen table and seated her. Then, I poured coffee. I had creamer and sugar and fake sugar packets on the table. I brought the coffee mugs over and sat down with her. She looked good and smelled better. I was glad that I showered and shaved. She had noticed my pistol but made no comment.
She added half a packet of sugar to her coffee and started pulling food from the sack. She had brought plenty. She noticed me sipping my coffee. "You don't put anything in your coffee?"
"I'm sweet enough." She managed to choke her sip down.
"I'm learning not to ask questions and take a sip of anything. You are 'not' sweet enough. You need lots of sweetening." She grabbed a chicken biscuit and some tater tots. I got a sausage biscuit and another sausage biscuit with other stuff on it with more tater tots.
It looked good and I told her, "Thank you for feeding a poor old cook." I grinned and continued, "Otherwise, I might starve and shrivel up to nothing."
I thought and then took her hand catching her eye. "Lord, thank you for the food and the person who brought it. Amen." We ate and talked of nothing consequential.
I was thinking that I enjoyed her presence. I have had friends and comrades, even some who were female. I had had female companionship. However, there was something about Dollars that captivated my attention like no one else ever had. I thought I wouldn't mind having breakfast with her for many, many mornings.
She caught me musing and staring at her. She asked, "What? Do I have food on a tooth or a spot on my cheek? You're staring, Abraham."
I had to give my mind a mental shake. "No. There's nothing wrong with you. I don't have breakfast with a beautiful woman often and I'm enjoying the situation and the view."
She blushed just a bit. "There's nothing special about my looks. I'm just a big, strong country girl." It was quiet while I continued to stare though I shook my head disagreeing with the statement. "Abraham, you are making me uncomfortable."
"Millicent, I apologize if looking at you makes you uncomfortable. You are so worth looking at. Even in your uniform, you are attractive. There is a lot special about your looks. I like the way you fill out a blouse. Even with your police belt, it's obvious you are trim. Don't forget, I've seen you in a dress and embraced you. I know how you're built.
"You are tall. You're not a little girl instead you're a beautifully grown woman. I don't know about the country part but you talk intelligently and frequently use two and three syllable words quite well. Don't put yourself down to me. I know better." I gave her my best smile. "You are a lovely person with a gorgeous exterior."
"Abraham, you, I, uh, thank you." She picked at her tater tots or whatever Hardee's called those things and sipped her coffee. "Abraham, could we talk seriously for a minute?"
"Of course. First, may I refill your coffee?" She nodded absently and I brought the pot over and filled both our cups. I put the pot back and sat back down. I gently reached over and took her left hand and, turning it palm up, kissed it in the center of the palm. "Go ahead. I'm ready to listen and respond."
"You are a wonderful man."
"Your butt is wonderful, too."
"I thought we were being serious, Millicent."
"I am." She paused. "You are a wonderful man 'and' I enjoy your presence. I would feel safe with you even if I didn't know your abilities with weapons. There is something about you that inspires me to feel safe. You are a good kisser and I feel warm in your arms, too.
"I can't read you. I may be able to do that in the future but you are so used to keeping your own counsel that it's difficult to get inside your head. Every once in a while, I get a glimpse of your heart. I want to know you better. I want you to know me better. I want to know your heart."
"Millicent, my heart has been in the same place almost since we met. Just look in the palm of your hand."