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Zach was the only Brown who was not awash in melted ice-cream. “See?” he asked Mary, “If you’d been smart like me you would have gotten a cup rather than a cone.”

“‘Smart,’ eh? Pretty sure the word you’re looking for is glutenous. Three scoops! Three!?”

“I blame you, my love. You put the idea of rum raisin in my head and then you ordered key lime and when Bryan got chocolate fudge I just had to follow suit.”

“I’m pretty sure we would have let you have some of ours if you’d asked.”

“What!? And be one of those fathers who takes food out of the mouths of his wife and child? Blasphemous. No, no, it’s fine. You eat your drippy dribbles and lick your sticky wrists and I’ll sip my sloppy soup. Fortunately I planned ahead and ate quickly.”

“Which is why you got an ice-cream headache.”

“The wages of sin. It’s a sad story but somehow I’ll carry on. What you say, Bry? Good ice-cream or what?”

“Uh-huh,” Bryan answered, licking his fingers.

“I think all you’re left with is the cone, my love,” Mary said, shaking her head at the amount of chocolate drizzle that covered her son. “We really need to clean you up,” she added.

“Why don’t you just hop in the ocean? Easy-peasy.”

“We should have taken his shirt off before he ate the ice-cream,” she declared with a sigh. “It’s just covered.”

“Take him in with it on. Either way it’ll have to be washed but at least for now we can get the gloppy off.”

“The voice of reason. Bryan? When did Papa become the voice of reason?”

“I sticky,” Bryan said, looking at his hands.

“We know love,” Mary replied. “We’ll go get cleaned up.”

“Me the voice of reason? God forbid!” Zach said with a laugh. “If I’m the voice of reason then that handbasket to hell is an express flight. You want me to help you slip out of your wrap?”

Mary turned her head to the side and looked at her husband from the corners of her eyes.

“Ha!” Zach barked. “That too, but I meant for you to get in the ocean. You’re a big kotiro and you managed not to get any Key Lime on your red wrap.”

“Aren’t you coming with?”

“No. Think I’ll sit tight. Wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you took the long way home. Let me catch a couple winks?”

“We can probably do that. Okay, you may undress me with more than just your eyes but the bikini stays on.”

“Spoil sport,” Zach said with a grin as he lifted Mary’s wrap from the bottom up and then licked her cheek. “There was a spot of Key Lime there,” he said with a wink.