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      Saturday morning found Sandy and Bryan entangled in each other’s arms. Eight in the morning as a time of awakening was rather novel for Bryan and far from typical for Sandy; he was usually still awake at that time where as she was almost always already out of bed by then. She had her left arm thrown over her head and now that he knew where to look her snake tattoo and its shorthand, defiant logo of ‘A Serpent’s Tooth’ were easily seen, at least from this angle! “Not the only thing with teeth,” he mumbled to himself, internally reminiscing about their night of giving and receiving pleasure. “Claws, too,” he added as he climbed out of bed and arched his back.

     He slipped out of the master bedroom, gently closed the door and stopped at the bathroom in the hallway. One of Sandy’s stated ‘best ways’ to be awakened was to be served freshly brewed coffee and he figured she deserved a reward for last night’s generosity. Even though they had shared themselves with each other previously he had failed to realize that two people could be so intimate; it was a fantastic lesson to learn and he looked forward to learning more. “’May the circle go unbroken,’ huh?”

     With the beans ground and the coffee brewing Bryan luxuriated in front of the sliding door that looked out on the woods that separated Sandy’s lot from Ellis Golf Course. The sun had risen nearly two hours earlier and its light played beautifully on the millions of tiny fists of buds that would soon explode into small, verdant leaves. It was easy to see why she enjoyed breakfasting on her deck whenever the weather was amenable.

     A red fox rambled across her lawn, skirting the tree line and Bryan remembered Ninja. He walked down the stairs and once he rounded the entry door landing heard her mewing. Opening the door he said, “Oh, who’s the poor starving baby? Is Ninja hungry? So sorry, my angel. Bryan will feed you, won’t he?” The cat’s food was in the laundry room along with her litter box and Bryan filled the serving scoop he found with the food to level and put the allotted portion in her bowl. After she was fed he took her water dish into the bathroom, emptied it down the toilet and replaced it with fresh. “There you go, sweet heart,” he said, scratching behind her ears, “all better. I’ll leave the door open so you can come see us when you’re ready, okay?”

     At the kitchen sink he washed his hands and then filled two mugs with coffee, adding cream to his. Returning to Sandy’s bedroom he was puzzled to find her bed empty until he heard the toilet flush. He set the coffee cup on the bathroom vanity next to the sink and sat down in bed, resting his back against the large headboard.

     Sandy emerged from the alcove that held the shower and toilet saw the coffee, inhaled deeply and smiled. “Bless you,” she said, picking up the cup, fully savoring its enticing aroma, taking a sip and putting it back down so that she could wash her hands and then brush her teeth. “Absolutely one of the best ways to wake me. Thanks, bonnie lad.”

     “You’re welcome, cougar cutie. You look lovely. I fed Ninja by the way.”

    “Glad to know the hormone glasses prescription is still working. You too. Good enough to eat,” she answered with a wink, picking up her cup and walking over to her side of the bed. “Thanks for taking care of my kitty. Sleep well?”

     “Perfectly. Your insomnia cure is spot on. How about you?”

     “Same. I like having you around. Plans for the day?”

    “None, except ‘Gatsby’ tonight and whatever you want until then. Something I should know about?”

     “I have an open house from one until four. Pretty much a waste of time, the neighbors like to stop by more than potential buyers, but it’s expected. I’m yours until noon and then after four thirty or so.”

     “I like the sound of that,” he answered, putting his cup down on the table that sat next to his side of the bed, reaching over to her, pulling her to him and kissing her. “Thanks for last night.”

     “And vice versa. A very pleasant evening and a lovely way to end our day. ‘Gatsby’ should be great too. Hey! Do you like to garden?”

      “Uhm, I don’t have much experience. Why?”

     “Because I think your big muscles can help me around the yard for a few hours. What do you say?”

     “I am your knight errant and you a maiden in need of chivalrous doings.”

     “Small error, errant. A mother cannot be a maiden, she’s been popped. Except Mary. Always with the exceptions!”

     “I stand corrected. Eat first and then work or vice versa?”

     “Let’s just do our pre-workout meal and then hit it,” Sandy answered. “We’re a little late on time.”

     Sandy’s April gardening was mostly clean up. She had a designated area that served as a compost pile but most of the twigs they raked up went into her Rapida Cedro’s yard waste container. They worked steadily, side by side for three hours stopping occasionally to share something interesting they found or to wave to a passing neighbor. At a little after eleven she said, “I think we’d better call it. Thanks. It looks much better!”

     “You’re welcome. Me hungry,” he said in a caveman voice. “We eat?”

     “Yes, dear. Inside. What would you like?”

     “What’s easy?”

     “Other than you?” she said with a wink. “How about scrambled eggs, wheat toast and fruit? Sound good?”

     “Wonderful. I am ravenous.”

     “Let’s eat, shower and then I’ve got to get. Are you staying here or going home?”

     “I think I’ll go for a ride and then head home. I haven’t been there in what? Almost 48 hours.”

     “Yeah, you’re right! No wonder I’m in such a good mood! Do you think you’ll want to go for a run later? After the open house?”

     “Sure. Meet at my place at what did you say? Four thirty?”

     “Yeah, about then. I’ll bring running gear and call before I come over, but figure 4:40. Great! Okay, ‘hey, ho! Let’s go!’” she sang and they headed up to the kitchen for elevensies.