Welcome! This week, I'm continuing with Maggie & John's story. The word prompt is "toes". Scroll down for the link back to Tuesday Tales. Thank you for coming.
When Maggie tucked a small, stuffed hedgehog under Penn’s arm, the little boy stopped sniffling. He turned the tiny beast over and over.
“What is he?”
“ A hedgehog.”
“Hedgehog,” Penn repeated. “Can I have him?”
“Yes. He’s a present. Take him on your trip. Be good to him.”
The tyke nodded. Maggie leaned down and wiped his tears away with her thumb. She kissed his cheek. He hugged her neck, dropping the new toy, then promptly let go to pick up the creature. With the gift, Maggie’d diverted him from the pain of leaving. Anne Roberts shot her a grateful smile as she headed for the door, Penn in hand.
The Roberts’ were jetting off for ten days to the Virgin Islands. Maggie breathed a sigh of relief. After having cooked for huge crowds for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve parties, she was exhausted.
She and John, the butler and chauffeur, had the luxurious apartment to themselves. Anne told them to charge their groceries to the Roberts account and have fun. Maggie noticed a twinkle in John’s eye when he got the news. She had twisted a tissue in her hand. Ten days alone in the house with handsome John scared the crap out of her.
After the family left, Maggie faced him. “Are you going home for the holiday?”
“No. Thought I’d rather enjoy New Year’s in New York instead of London. You?”
Maggie shook her head. “No money. Besides, doubt they miss me.”
“I can’t believe that!”
She fidgeted for a moment before heading to the kitchen.
“Tea time,” she muttered.
“Let me help,” John said, tagging along.
She stopped dead. “Look. Don’t be thinkin’ I’m gonna be your cook and slave, waitin’ on ya hand and foot while the Mister and Missus are away. You go your way and I’ll go mine.”
“Of course. I’d never ask you to do that.”
“Good.” She made her way to the stove.
“But you’ve got to eat. And I’ve got to eat.”
Swinging around with hands on hips, she glared at him. “John Eldridge! After what I just said…”
“But I’ll help. I can cook, too. Not like you, but I make a mean scrambled egg or French toast.” His hazel eyes danced.
Maggie cooled down. Cooking for one bored her. Besides, she hated to eat alone.
“I’m a great dishwasher, too. I promise to clean up, if you cook. You’re a way better cook than I.”
“That I am.”
The kettle whistled. She turned off the flame and took down one of the Roberts’ elegant porcelain teapots.
“Which do you fancy?” She asked over her shoulder.
“Whatever you wish, milady.”
“Early Grey, then, and I’m not your lady.”
Maggie measured the loose tea into the pot, then poured the hot water. When she turned around, her eyes widened and her mouth fell open.
The tiny nook where she and John ate was set with the best plates, cups, and silver. In the middle was a small platter filled with scones, petit Madeleines and cookies. John pulled out a chair and stood waiting.
“Where in the blazes did this come from?” She placed the teapot on a hotplate.
“I bought it.”
“On their account?”
“Nope. With me own cash.”
His tone softened. “For you.”
She eased onto the chair and he pushed it close to the table before he joined her. She took his cup and poured. John held the plate while she took one of each of the delectable treats.
She fixed her tea the way she liked it with some sugar and milk.
“Spending ten days alone here with you, Maggie, is a dream come true.”
She looked up, her brown eyes meeting his. John took her hand and placed it to his lips, sending a tingle all the way to her toes.