Coffee Break Read – The Cookery Lesson…

A Dai and Julia flash fiction.

Dai Llewellyn was all but home when a gigantic figure loomed out of the darkness.
“Edbert, you spado, are you trying to give me a heart attack?”
“No. I’m trying to save your life.”
“Come again?”
Edbert’s laughter rumbled deep in his massive barrel of a chest.
“Julia has been in the kitchen. All day.”
“Julia? In the kitchen?”
“Yes. She has decided she should learn to cook.”
Dai digested that one, and braced himself just in time not to buckle at the knees when Edbert clapped him on the shoulder.

Julia met him at the door with Canis and Lupo at her heels. He bent to kiss her and she dimpled demurely.
“Good day, love?” he asked with careful mildness.
She lifted a shoulder. “Same old. Same old.”
He grinned down into her face, noticing signs of frustration at the back of her bitter chocolate eyes but deeming it safest to say nothing.
“Go and wash your hands, supper is ready.”
Dai ambled off, and he could swear he felt his wife’s eyes boring into his back. This, he thought, could be about to get sticky.
He returned to the winter sitting room, to find the table set and have his nostrils assailed by a savoury aroma.
“Something smells good.”
She showed him her small, white teeth and he gave her his best grin in return.
“Sit,” she said firmly, before serving him with a bowl of thick soup and a hunk of buttered bread.
She brought her own smaller portion and sat opposite him watching as he dipped his spoon into the bowl. He tasted with some trepidation but the soup was fine. It wasn’t as delicately flavoured by any means as Cookie’s handiwork but it was hot and meaty and filling and he had no complaints. He ate his bowlful and cleaned out the bowl with the end of his bread. Julia eyed him narrowly, and he smiled into her eyes.
“What’s up love?”
“Nothing. Why do you think there is something the matter?”
She got up with what was perilously close to a flounce and whisked away his bowl and side plate.
“Cheesecake?” she asked.
“Yes please.”
Julia brought a glass stand to the table, on which rested a cake decorated with raspberry sauce.
“That looks nice.”
She frowned at him and put a knife into the confection, which promptly collapsed with its undercooked centre dripping over the edges of the serving dish. 
Dai knew he had to act quickly to avert a potential meltdown, so he stuck his finger in the gooey mess and licked it.
“Yum, yum,” he said before taking another dollop of goo and spreading it on his wife’s face. 
She opened her mouth to protest and he forestalled her by pulling her across the table and licking her face, to which treatment she responded with some enthusiasm. 
A considerable time later she lay in his arms and he grinned down at her. 
“You can cook any time you like….”

The Dai and Julia Mysteries by Jane Jago and E.M. Swift-Hook are a series of alternate history books set in a modern day Britain where the Roman Empire never left...

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