Monday morning arrived, and with it Trent’s first day back to work after his vacation. He arrived empty-handed, much to Jennie’s feigned disgust until he pointed out that his things hadn’t arrived from France yet. He spent most of the day playing catch-up on everything that had happened since he left. That included checking out the new addition to the hotel being built on the property next door. Property which had belonged to a now defunct fast-food restaurant. He was pleasantly surprised to discover everything had run smoothly during his absence. Thanks to my good planning, and delegating who was to do what. He mentally patted himself on the back.
He arrived home soon after dark to find Rory bustling around in the kitchen. Wonderful aromas from something spicy set him salivating. Once they’d kissed, Trent went to the stove, lifting the lid on the pot sitting there.
“Jambalaya! One of my favorites.”
“I know,” Rory said with a wide grin. “I might not be able to eat it, but I sure had fun making it. And it’s hot, as in spicy, just the way I remembered you liked it.”
“You are too much. Thank you.” Trent got a bowl, setting it on a plate, and filled it from the pot. Then he frowned. “I thought you said you could eat too, if you wanted to.”
“I can, but…” Rory shrugged.
“It just makes me remember when I was human so I’m better off passing on it. Does that make sense?”
“Yes it does.” Trent hugged him tightly. “And in case you have any doubts, other than your off-beat dietary needs, and the strength and speed things, and being able to see in the dark, and what have you, I think of you as totally human.”
Rory chuckled. “That’s quite a list. Still, thank you for saying so.”
“Where’s Beau,” Trent asked, suddenly realizing the dog hadn’t greeted him at the door.
“We went for a long walk just after sundown. I think I wore him out. Last seen he was sound asleep on our bed.”
“You were well covered I hope.” He knew, thanks to Emily’s blood and age, Rory could tolerate minimal sunlight if he dressed carefully.
“Of course.” Rory chuckled. “Drew a few looks given the temperature but we had fun so it was worth it.
As if talking about him brought him to them, Beau came bounding into the kitchen, skidding to a stop in front of Trent. Trent laughed, bending to pet him. “How on earth did you wear out this bundle of energy?” he asked Rory.
“We ran home down the alleys where no one could see us.”
“Oh boy. Poor Beau,” Trent said, petting him again. The dog didn’t seem to agree. He looked up at Rory with adoration. Shaking his head, Trent sat down to eat.
When Rory joined him, watching as he took the first bite, and then a second one, Trent dipped the spoon into what was some of the best Jambalaya he’d ever tasted, then held it out to Rory. “You did wonders with this. See for yourself.”
Hesitantly Rory leaned forward, sucking the spoon empty. “It is good,” he agreed.
“Better than good. It’s great. Get some for yourself. And before you protest I meant what I said, you are human in all the ways that really count. If eating reminds you of that, is it such a bad thing?”
“I—suppose not.” Standing, Rory went to the cupboard to get a small bowl, filled it halfway from the pot on the stove and came back.
“A spoon might be a good idea,” Trent pointed out, chuckling.
Rory grinned. “I can’t lap it up the way Beau does?” he asked, going back to get a spoon.
“You could, but…” Trent watched as he ate, noting the look of contentment on his face. “From now on, you’re on a solid as well as a liquid diet. Okay.”
“Yeah, okay.” Rory smiled happily. “I can deal with that—now.”