I crawled out of bed and took the cold cup of coffee with me when Ryan was done. “I’m hungry.”
Alex gave me a weak smile and handed me a cup of coffee, “Black right?”
I smiled back, “You are Coffee two sugars and cream.” I took the coffee, “Thanks. You are all welcome to stay.”
I didn’t wait for their ascent as I went upstairs to my living space. Such a strange layout, but it worked for me. I was a neat freak anyway, so my room was never a mess.
Abby followed after me, “Whatever he makes is going to be great. And Rider promised you’d stick around after I go to work.”
“I don’t need a babysitter.” I said at the top of the stairs.
Ryan chuckled, “Don’t think of it as a babysitter, more like an on call nurse.”
“My bosses boss doesn’t need to keep an eye on a lackey.” I grinned.
My kitchen was fully stocked. And they didn’t look like fritata type guys so I pulled out the flour and eggs and bacon of course and set out to make pancakes. I don’t know when I learned to make them, I don’t eat them. I’d have eggs too. Eggs and bacon always made for a good breakfast. Even though I wasn’t sure it was actually breakfast time, it was habit more than anything.
Ryan was looking at the walls, “You don’t plan on staying long?”
I shrugged, “As long as Armande will let me stay. Why?”
“There is nothing on the walls. I know Armande doesn’t have a no hole policy.”
“What should I hang? I have no family, what few people I know aren’t that close. I haven’t had time to go out and buy decor.”
Abby laughed, “That’s a lie. You’ve had eleven weeks to buy things. Rider pays you enough, and Armande won’t care.”
I shrugged, “I don’t need it.”
Alex chuckled, “Who needs a painting of a tree on fire? It’s cool looking.”
“I’m sure it is.”
Abby smiled at me, “Maybe you could hang some of your drawings? I know this really good framer.”
“You draw?” Alex asked interested in that question more than he had been flipping through the magazines on the coffee table.
His eyes reminded me of the guy in my dream and I looked away with the pretense of mixing the pancake batter. “I sketch things.”
Abby laughed. “He has pictures of you.” She said to Alex. “You too.” I was glaring at her and she gave me a satisfied smile, “But to be fair, he has pictures of me and Will too.” Abby didn’t hesitate at all as she went for the draw with all the torn out sketches in it. “He keeps them locked up, like I don’t know where they are.”
She grabbed the stack and put them on the dinner table. “He’s really good. I don’t think there is anything he does that he’s not great at.”
“I’m not great at talking.” I stuck my tongue out.
Alex laughed but he didn’t look up from the drawings, “If that were true Rider wouldn’t be making more money in the past three months than he did without you. The line out the door is twice as long too. And you know everyone’s order.”
I shrugged. I wasn’t doing anything other than my job. “How many wrong orders have you gotten?”
I grinned, “Had one last week because the guy changed up his order on me.” I looked at Alex and he was looking back at me. “I think he wanted to see what would happen if he threw me a curve ball.”
“And?” He asked.
“It came out of my pay that day and I made him another one.”
“So one mistake in eleven weeks and your boss took it out of your pay check?” He was smirking. Rider had told him.
“I insisted.” I looked away again to check on the pancakes I was working on the griddle. “It was a lesson in thinking I know someone and realizing I don’t.”
“You know I was messing with you right?” Alex asked.
I nodded, “I know. But it was a lesson none-the-less.”
“We could use more guys like you. The regulars love you. The strays love you. What these guys harassing Abby got against you I don’t know.”
I laughed, “Kicking their asses when they were harassing Will probably has something to do with it.” I sighed, “The guy who pushed me was a lot stronger than I anticipated, he shoved me and I flew backwards hitting my head. There wasn’t much I could do about it.”
“I was so scared. They ran off right after you crumbled to the ground. I’ll tell Adrian, and he’ll get with Dom but I don’t know if they’ll stop.” She looked to Ryan and Alex helplessly.
“I can handle it myself. But introductions could be nice.”
Alex shook his head, “I don’t think that’s a good idea. You don’t know what you are getting in the middle of.”
I smiled at him, “I’m not afraid of much, and I’d prefer to handle my own problems.”
I set a plate of pancakes in front of Alex and Ryan and the bottle of syrup from the cupboard. I kept it around as a sweetener, not for pancakes really. Though I figured that would work. I had honey too, but I kept it in the cupboard. Just a feeling.
I plated myself some bacon and eggs, Abby was already helping herself and carrying the rest over to the tale for the boys to eat. We all ate – mostly in silence. Alex and Ryan were practically drooling over the pancakes. “Rider hasn’t made pancakes in forever.”
Abby giggled, “Nox never made me pancakes. You guys must be special.”