Chapter 23.2Mature

“Wine is a very interesting breakfast accompaniment," Beth contemplated.

“This is hardly breakfast, Beth; it’s midday.”

She shrugged and took a sip of her wine as she watched Robert grease a frying pan and set it on the hob.

He poured flour into a mixing bowl without measuring it and added a teaspoon of salt and one of bicarbonate of soda. He cracked an egg and tipped its contents into the bowl. He also added some buttermilk to the mixture.

What is he making? Beth thought to herself. She shook her head. Robert was doing everything absent-mindedly, not concentrating yet doing everything perfectly and precisely. Beth wondered what he was thinking about. A small smile appeared on his lips and he glanced up at her quickly. Was he listening to her thoughts?

He gave nothing away as he poured some of the mixture he’d made into the frying pan. He set the bowl in the sink and kept an eye on the pan.

After a little while, Robert fished out the things he was cooking for her and dropped them onto a plate. He placed it in front of her and sat in the opposite chair.

“Buttermilk pancakes?” she asked excitedly.

Robert grinned crookedly. “You like?”

“I love.” Beth grinned back before digging in to the stack.

Robert watched her eating, a small smile on his lips the whole time. Beth raised an eyebrow at him and his head tipped to the side.

“What are you thinking?” he asked her.

“Just wondering what you’re thinking,” she mumbled.

“I’m just debating whether I should lock you up and never let you leave the house,” he whispered.

Beth’s mouth went dry. There was so much promise in those words that Beth shivered just thinking about it. The dark, longing look in his eyes fuelled something deep inside Beth that she’d never felt before.

“Please do,” she said shakily.

“Please let you leave the house?”

“No, please lock me up.”

Robert smirked. “Maybe on Friday.”

“Why, what’s happening on Friday?” she asked, swallowing and licking her lips.

He raised an eyebrow. “It’s your birthday.”

“Oh. I forgot.” Beth blushed. She frowned. “Why didn’t you tell me it was your birthday yesterday?”

He shrugged. “I don’t like to celebrate it. Isabella usually finds sneaky ways to celebrate without it being something for my birthday.”

“What was in the envelope she gave you?”

“Do you really want to know?”

“Was it a list of numbers for all the prostitutes she knows?”

Robert’s eyebrows drew together in confusion. “No, of course not.”

“Then yes, I want to know.”

The corners of his mouth twitched upwards in a suppressed smile.

“Documents,” he said.

“What kind of documents?”

“Forged ones.”

“Why?” Beth asked, slightly alarmed.

He tipped his head to the side. “I can hardly go around with my original birth certificate, can I?”

Beth blushed in embarrassment. Of course, you idiot, she thought to herself.

“Do you do many illegal things?” she asked, instantly regretting the question the moment it had spilled from her mouth.

Robert simply smirked and said, “Eat your pancakes.”

That gave her an answer. Of course he has, murder being one of them, a little voice hissed at her.

The End

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