Breakfast and a Bath

 “Something smells mighty good.” Griffon came down the stairs into the kitchen.

Sarah smiled to herself as she pulled the egg pan off the coals. Placing it onto the counter next to the potatoes, she turned and pulled some plates form the cabinet. Leave it to men to know when to show up for food, she thought.

“Hash browns and a cheese omelet.” Sarah served them up.

On cue Mathew and Jason appeared form opposite doors. Sarah assembled two more plates. If you cook they will come, she thought with a smile, too bad no one here would get the reference.

“Well, grab a plate and have a seat.” Sarah put her words to action.

“Is there enough for me?” Ryan suddenly appeared at the door.

Sarah wasn’t the only one who jumped, but she was the first one to laugh. “I think,” Sarah stood and looked in her two pans, “There’s enough for you to taste, but,” she looked back at Ryan, “you’re not avoiding your chores are you?”

“No, Moyther Mary told me I ought to check up on you...” his little voice trailed off.

“Did she now?”

Ryan nodded, having ensconced himself between Jason and Griffon. Sarah fixed him a plate, adding some of her own food to it. Jason and Griffon did the same. Mathew just glowered at the boy when he looked pleadingly in his direction. Nonplussed, Ryan commenced eating, as did the rest of them.

“After breakfast,” Mathew muttered between bites, “I’d like you,” he nodded to Jason, “and Griffon to speak with the Scout Commander for me.”

“After breakfast,” Sarah inserted quickly before Ryan could speak. “I would love to take a bath.”

“Why?” Ryan’s voice fell on silence. “It’s not bath night.”

Griffon and Mathew joined Ryan in giving Sarah odd looks. Jason smiled and chuckled.

“Not a bad idea,” he said, “my mother would like to meet you today at the mid-day meal.”

“Here?” Sarah asked, suddenly worried about her cooking skills.

“No, at the Inn,” he smiled at Sarah before turning to Mathew. “My mother wouldn’t expect a Lady to cook on such short notice.”

“She’s hardly a Lady,” Mathew snorted, with a sideways glance at Sarah.

Sarah looked at Mathew and Jason puzzled. Remembering that Jason was a Lord, then it only seemed logical that his mother was a Lady. Judging by how the two emphasized lady, she guessed Mathew didn’t think she was up to acting the part. So putting on her best manners, Sarah sat up straight. Taking the utmost care to use her utensils in the most civilized manner possible, she ate dainty bites.

A glance through her eyelashes gave Sarah a snapshot of reactions. Mathew looked utterly shocked, Jason was smiling triumphantly and laughter played in Griffon’s face. It was Ryan who broke the silence with a clap of hands before he burst into laughter. Griffon began roaring with mirth not too long after.

“Now I see why ye want ta marry ‘er Phoenix,” everyone turned to Griffon. “She can be ever bit o’proper Lady for those Lordly functions ye attend. And yet,” his own laughter interrupted him, “yet she can hold ‘er own with us scouts.” He stabbed a large piece of egg. “And feed us right proper too!” He held up the egg as a toast to Sarah before devouring it.

“Huzzah!” Ryan imitated Griffon’s gesture which made Sarah crack smile.

“Why thank you kind sirs?” Sarah said demurely, which elicited more laughter. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of Griffon’s comment, but Jason seemed amused by the assessment. Dropping all pretence Sarah returned to a faster eating pace; she was ravenous.

As Sarah cleaned up after breakfast, the men began to set up the parlor for her bath. Griffon got the fire going before they set the big cauldron on it while Ryan pulled the curtains closed. Puling a basin from some hidden location Griffon set it up with Ryan’s help before they joined Mathew and Jason to haul in water. Mathew poured the two he brought in directly in the tub before he disappeared. Ryan also poured two into the tub, only because that’s all he was able to bring in and he couldn’t reach the caldron.

“We’ll not come in until we see the curtains open.” Jason told her quietly. Griffon and Mathew were already outside the front door. Jay took her hand in his, so their rings touched. “I do not know how long we’ll be.”

“I’ll be fine,” she told him as he gazed at her. They leaned towards each other. Sarah’s eyes closed as her heart began to beat faster.

“Phoenix?” Griffon called.

Jason’s lips met Sarah’s cheek. She opened her eyes and sighed. Sure he’d kissed her lips that once, but she didn’t really know what was considered appropriate here. Perhaps it was better that way, the cheek kissing. At least until they’d secured Jason’s continued status as a Scout Sergeant.

Sighing again as she realized that cauldron was going to take a while to heat, Sarah headed upstairs. She might as well spend the time figuring out what to wear this afternoon for her meeting with Jay’s mother. An hour later Sarah realized she ought to have asked Martha for help.

The everyday clothing, Sarah could easily spot in the mess on the bed. After all, she thought, she had spent the last, what, three weeks in it? The rest of it, she couldn’t quite make heads or tails of. The biggest question was, how fancy should she go. There was one outfit that had been hand embroidered. The second, and only other nice dress, had very beautiful lace along the edges. Her hand hovered over the two as she debated with on to take.

“ ’ello?” A strange voice called as the front door opened.

The End

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