“So I sense there’s a story behind these pancakes.” Raine stated as they continued to gather up ingredients.
“There is.” Brandon confirmed. “A couple years ago, Macy and I went out to get some groceries for our mom and the song Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson came on the radio. And Macy said …”
“I wonder if banana pancakes are good,” she added in and Brandon smiled at her before going on with the story.
“I told her we should just go to IHOP and ask if they had banana pancakes there but no, she wanted to go about things the hard way.” He pushed her shoulder playfully and continued, “She forced me to drive her back to the grocery store where we asked a worker there how to make those pancakes. Luckily, she knew the answer,” he laughed out loud, “And since then we’ve been making banana pancakes together every Sunday morning. It’s our specialty.”
“Well not technically …” Macy chimed in, “I do all the work.”
“And I do most of the eating.”
Raine laughed at them, the brother sister power team and settled back at the counter. “Well I’m no cook either. I think I’ll just join in on the eating part.”
Macy smiled at him sweetly, walking around the island counter to stand in front of him. “If you’re only eating then I’ll need some source of payment for all the work.”
“Making pancakes isn’t that hard,” Brandon grumbled but they ignored him, staring deeply into each other’s eyes.
“Well what do you want?” Raine whispered slowly, his voice causing goose bumps to sprout on Macy’s arms while his hands wrapped around her shoulders.
“Just a kiss will do,” she paused and lowered her voice with a joking chuckle, “For now of course.”
“Of course,” he agreed, shaking his head back and forth before dipping it down to kiss her. If it were possible to smile throughout a kiss, that would be the way to describe Macy’s facial expression. But as she pulled away, Raine’s eyes seemed to darken. “But … I do need to make a call.”
She sighed. Just a gut feeling told her exactly who he was about to ring up on the telephone. “Sure,” she breathed sadly, pulling out of his arms to stroll back to the stove.
“Can I …” his voice was low at first but he raised it, “Use your phone?” He could see her back stiffen, but she agreed. She handed over her cell and Raine excused himself from the kitchen.
Raine settled on the couch in the TV room but then decided he didn’t want to give Macy or Brandon the ability to listen in on his conversation. He headed up the stairs and snuck into Macy’s room, closing the door lightly behind him.
Flipping open her phone, he knew exactly what he was going to say. He dialed Dalton’s number and waited for an answer. “Macy,” was the answer in a growl, “I swear if you play some sh*t on me like that again, I’ll—”
“You’ll what?” Raine snarled, cutting him off. “What will you do?” Dalton was silent. “Oh, you don’t know. I’ll tell you. I swear … if you ever put a hand on her again, if you so much as talk to her, I’ll come find you.”
"And what if I'm not hiding? What if I'm waiting for you to walk right into my house?"
"Then I will." Raine was fuming; he knew he had to stay calm. He wasn’t expecting a lengthy conversation but he didn’t want to blow up within the first few minutes.
"Don't expect an equal fight."
"That was the farthest thing from my mind."
"So its settled then?"
“It's settled. But just remember not to try me, Dalton. 'Cause you won’t get away with it. You'll never get your hands on her.”
“I'll never get my hands on her again? Okay, sure." Doubt was clear in his voice, "Does that mean Brandon knows what I did?” he almost sounded proud now.
“No. But I’ll tell him when I have to.”
"And do you really know what I did? I might just enjoy explaining the details to you."
Raine's hand squeezed down hard against the phone angrily. "I know enough, not to trust you ever again."
“Fair. But Raine ... why haven’t you told Brandon yet?” He could already guess what direction Dalton was going. He knew what was coming. “You think he’d think it was you don't ya?”
“He’ll know,” Raine spit out, “He’ll know it was you. We all know what game you play, Dalton.”
“Ah, but the question is will you win?”
“We’ll win,” Raine said confidently. “Don’t doubt me. Don’t test me. Don’t try me. Because I’ll be sure to kick you’re a*s. And … I’ll enjoy it.” After those words, he hung up the phone and sat down exhausted on Macy’s unmade bed.
He had been pacing the room and now he really needed to calm himself down before going back to Macy. He didn’t want her to see him so emotionally unstable. Just thinking, he remembered how PO'ed he’d been when she had told him the truth about Dalton. He could tell she’d been a little frightened, whether she wanted to admit it or not.
Raine took a couple deep breaths, running his hands through his hair. Had she already guessed he had some trouble with his anger at times? Or was she just so blinded that she never noticed? He hoped his second reasoning was the truth, though he knew it wasn’t.
Taking some time to calm down by looking at the photos that lined her walls, Raine smiled to himself. He’d found the right one. He clicked off her light and headed back to the kitchen. Already, he could smell the banana pancakes and hear the soft hum of the song playing from a stereo.