Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Tuesday night, instead of their regular Bible study, their group met for a picnic down at Williams Lake in the Metroparks. Rene teased Vic for bringing three quarts of seafood salad from Heinke's instead of actually making something. He just laughed. After all this time, probably everyone who mattered in town, and especially in their circle of friends, believed Vic didn't cook unless he was out of frozen dinners and all the restaurants in town were closed. What they didn't know was that he liked to cook and experiment. His kitchen was custom-made with gourmet gizmos and he recorded the latest cooking shows and enjoyed cooking competitions more than other people enjoyed "Dancing with the Stars" and "Survivor." However, sharing those experiments with anyone besides Baxter and Rene was a step he wasn't willing to take. Mostly because he got his cooking talent from his great-grandmother, and a cousin of his who looked enough like him to be a twin ran a five-star restaurant in Manhattan. The fewer people there were in the world who could connect him with gourmet cooking, the safer he would be. By extension, that meant Rene and Baxter's safety.

Still, it was nice to be teased and know that Rene protected his secret, even if she didn't know why he preferred to keep his cooking skills hidden. She had more than enough talent for both of them, and always seemed glad to whip up treats whenever they were needed. For example, Rene and Bekka had signed up for desserts for tonight's picnic, and the back of his car was loaded with Tupperware containers full of cookies, cupcakes, and pudding-type concoctions that would probably melt before anyone got to them.

"That's why I say, eat dessert first," Shane said, as he helped Bekka unload the car.

He had volunteered to take care of the beverages, and had loaded their portion of the picnic in Vic's trunk at the gym. Shane rode a motorcycle, which was not conducive to carrying much of anything besides him and Bekka. Shane without his motorcycle would seem as strange as Shane without his signature gray Stetson, and the build of a steel worker.

"My philosopher," Bekka said with a sigh. It turned into a laugh a moment later when her fiancé pinned her against the car, a tray of cupcakes between them, and stole a kiss.

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