The Bet ... Breakfast in Bed

Allan was up early to see to his end of the bargain. Even if Meleri would let him off the hook, he had his own code, he played the card game with the chance of losing as well the chance of winning and the others making him breakfast in bed. He decided on an omelet, some hash browns and a few slices of canned peaches. Orange juice and a daisy. He wasn't sure where he got that from but the idea a flower should be included. The scents of cooking would gradually fill the house as a tray laid waiting for the plated and fare then to head up to her room she was staying in. So, within the hour there as a knock upon her door.

Meleri was an early riser, regardless of the time she went to sleep. Up with the dawn and already nose-deep into a book, she'd dressed but did not hear anyone in the home stirring. Rather than disturb her hosts, she sat by the window, with the book in her lap, using the rosy light to read by when the knock came. Startled out of what she'd been doing, she blinked and called, "Come in, please."

He was up early but had not really changed out of what was comfortable. Pants of a soft cotton in an off white were baggy and hung just below his waist, tied off to fit. He threw a black shirt on but had not bothered to button it nor tuck the tails in. Tray was balanced to his shoulder and hand while he turned the latch and used his opposite shoulder to press the door open. A peek in showed she was up and descent before emerging fully. "Breakfast is served." A folded towel over his forearm as he brought the tray over to her and set on a small table.

Brows rose in surprise, though pleasantly so. A smile formed in thanks for him as she carefully marked her place and set the book aside, sitting up properly as she moved her chair in closer to the table. "Thank you. This looks amazing... I didn't know you could cook!" But it was the daisy that made the grey-green eyes go dewy as she picked it up and brought to her nose, dark lashes lowering to study the plate. There was plenty, and she lifted her gaze back to him. "Will you stay and share it with me?"

The omelet was cheese and strips of ham, thinly sliced and strawberry sauce drizzled on top. "Don't tell Becca or she will have me cooking them all breakfast too. She sent those ones to cook for me as an excuse to set me up but I can cook. I just have so many other chores such as ploughing the fields that she can at least make breakfast." Smile was starting to show as he pulled over another chair to join her. "Becca cooks better anyway." Then again someone else cooking always tasted better. "I usually cook my own breakfast being she is probably still getting her beauty rest. I wash all up and out to the fields before she rises."

Picking up her napkin, Meleri draped it across her lap and took up her fork to take a testing bite. He was far too modest, prompting a quiet laugh. "I will not tell a soul that you are an excellent cook, you have my word." Grey-green eyes danced impishly at him as she offered him the fork handle-first. "I'll have to return the favor some time, though, and cook for you. Gabriel says I am very good, but it takes another cook to judge, I think. And since you do work so hard, it seems only fair that the chores are shared."

"You want me to feed you or prove I'm not poisoning you?" Wink came for the tease as he took the fork and broke off a piece of the omelet. Blue eyes stayed with hers as it was brought to his lips and gone. He then broke off another piece as it was lifted to pause at her lips. The trace of focus dipping there as he waited.

She hadn't meant that, hadn't meant that at all, and surprise showed in her eyes for the fractional hesitation before she opened her mouth to accept the bite, not quite able to take her eyes from his. Taking care to chew and swallow rather than choke, she smiled a little. "I know you wouldn't poison me. Spank me, maybe... but poison is not your style."

Eyes had lifted to meet hers once the morsel was safely within to be consumed. He turned the fork so she could take it. "No, I wouldn't poison you because then I might not get the opportunity to spank you." Which had him chuckling as he sat back and studied her a moment but not overly to come off rude. Instead he turned enough to move the curtain further aside letting the scene from this window more exposed. He pointed to the area where the fields were. "Just over the top of that knoll where it levels over is the first field. Down from there is the one I will be ploughing now that the new plough came in."

She leaned over a little to better see where he pointed, and nodded, committing the scene to memory so she could find it again. "What will you be planting there?" Realizing her hair had fallen over her face, she reached up to tuck the heavy locks behind her ear, dropping her gaze to the plate to resume eating, sampling the hash browns and turning the fork for him again.

He held the curtain so she could see and even reached to help tuck the hair back but she had. Fingertips barely grazing before falling away. It was a natural response but she was quick! "I think corn for the most part and the smaller area for a vegetable garden extension. We grow wheat for flour, lots of varying vegetables for canning and there are fruit trees. We're not as big as the farmlands of Ravanna but pretty descent."

"Sometimes bigger isn't better." She felt the brush of his fingertips and glanced up with a slight smile of thanks for his effort. "I think the lands here are lovely... they remind me of Caledonriane, rolling hills and orderly fields." It was a compliment, in Meleri's own way. "Do you enjoy tending the land?" Farming, she knew, wasn't for everyone, but she wanted to hear his opinion on it.

"I do. I like the way the earth feels in my hands like I'm a part of it all and that feeling of accomplishment when what I have planted grows. I like to whittle and do some carving too when I get time. You should come out when I finish tilling the field."

"I'd like that." And for once, she did not make a diffident comment about it, her smile warming to reflect in her eyes. "There is much I've yet to see and learn about this area . I sometimes think I'll never see it all."

"We've been here a short time and I have yet to see enough. Then again I only started getting out socially too recently." Due to Becca's encouragement or she would keep sending these women she met nearby farm areas on him. He was up from the seat at that point, leaving the curtain pushed to the side. Too nice a view to be covered up even slightly. "I need to go take care of some chores. You can leave the tray here once you are done and the chambermaid will take it out when she makes up the room." So they had some staff help for the manor was big enough.

"Thank you, I will." The smile deepened briefly. "And I will see you later at the fields."

"Bring a parasol unless you want to get sunburned." It was hotter out in the fields for some reason so the suggestion given. Smile tipped more to one side in a boyish touch before he was heading out. The day had begun.

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