She meandered back to the main area, and she found Tucker in the kitchen. He was not afraid to cook, and she admired that about him.
“Hey” she said, as lightly as she could manage. “Can I help?”
“Sure” he motioned her over to the cupboard. “Could you grab the recipe book off the bottom shelf?”
She obeyed, and she found a recipe book that must have been fifty years old. “Anything in particular I should be looking for?”
“Grandma’s fish fry recipe. It should be about ¾ of the way in.”
She paged through the book, impressed that each recipe was hand written, and notes had been written over the years. “Grandma loved the butter – cut by half only if you want to keep your waistline” was one of the comments, and this light comment made her smile. More comments were written on the next few pages, and she finally came upon the recipe for the fish fry. “Got it.”
“Think you could shuffle through the cupboards and find the ingredients?”
Yes, yes she could definitely do that. She found one cupboard with flour, corn starch, and things of that nature. On the shelf below it was a box of Lucky Charms. Again, she tried to imagine her well defined boyfriend eating such highly processed food.
She turned to tease him about that, and then realized she had mentally referred to him as her boyfriend. They definitely couldn’t be that. Who knew what he would think of her when this was all said and done. Maybe he will be tired of the drama. Maybe he will lose interest when she’s not a damsel in distress. Maybe he will get tired of her restless nights.
But what if it did work out? It was the first time in a long time that she allowed herself to follow that line of thinking. What if things could all work out? What if they did catch the Monster? What if he really did think he could get along with her for a while?
The truth was, her heart was already melting around his. She admired him, respected him, was attracted to him, and thought about him constantly. She would love if it worked out, but she didn’t want to get her hopes up. She didn’t know what tomorrow would bring, and she didn’t even know what this evening would bring. She definitely should not be thinking or planning ahead.
“You ok? He asked, breaking her reverie. She started back to reality. “Yeah, I’m fine.” She looked around, trying to remember what she was doing, and she remembered the box of Lucky Charms. “I didn’t take your for a Lucky Charms kind of guy?”
“No?” he asked. And she really didn’t. He didn’t need luck. He worked hard for everything he had earned, and he had every right to it. “Well, every healthy human divulges every now and then. Especially when hidden away in a cabin, where no one is usually here to judge.” He said with that easy smile.
She smiled, picking up on his playful banter. “No judgment here. Maybe next time I’ll bring my own box of Lucky Charms, and we could sneak it together.” Shit. There she went again, playing around in the future. That had to stop.
“I’ll look forward to it.”
She liked that answer. Maybe he wasn’t going to tire of her as quickly as she thought.
They worked together and put on a fish fry for the guys. Working in the kitchen had definitely boosted her appetite, so when a plate was set in front of her in an ‘I dare you not to’ manner, she decided to give it a go. Her future planning would include ways to repay everyone back for all their kindness.
She made it nearly a third of the way through her plate and hit a brick wall. Her body was not used to digesting this level of calories or cholesterol, and she decided to quit while she was ahead. When everyone else was done, she gathered up their plates and started cleaning up the kitchen. She plastic wrapped her plate with her leftovers and tucked it away in the fridge for later. Who knew when she would get to a store again to even buy her own groceries? Her car was still parked in the lot at her apartment building an hour away.