"So, what did Stacy give you?" Drake asked, when he came downstairs, his head slightly aching from the dregs of his nap and from reading until the light dimmed in his office.
"Stacy?" Dinah paused in chopping celery for the salad.
"Yeah, she dropped off a present this morning. I found it on the back step when I came in." He glanced over at their mother, who had come up from the downstairs pantry with a jar of artichoke hearts and one of olives. "Didn't you tell her?"
"The girls just left, and you can't get in a word edgewise when they're around." Mrs. Ashcroft held out both jars to him.
Drake grinned and stepped over to open the jars.
"Now why would I open a present before the party?" Dinah said. Something in her light tone made him pause in wrestling with the tight lid and really look at her.
"Are you two fighting about something?"
"We'd have to be talking to fight." Dinah lifted the cutting board and scraped the celery off it into the bowl. "She hasn't come by, hasn't called, since I got home."
"Maybe she didn't know when you got home, and she's been waiting for you to call?"
"She has a point, dear," Mrs. Ashcroft said.
"Gretchen left messages for her." Dinah shrugged and reached for the tomato and concentrated on coring it before slicing. Drake knew it didn't take that much effort to take out the area where the stem attached. Something bothered his sister.Still, he couldn't help snapping at her. "You left it up to Gretchen to tell Stacy you were home? Mom, what's wrong with this picture?"