"Good morning, sleepy head!"
"Morning to you, m'Lady."
"You rested well. I can tell by the sound of your voice."
"You're right. The dream apparently purged my anxiety."
"Did you dream about me?"
"What we were doing?"
(Frank blushes a bit as he remembers. He brings his left arm up over his head and stretches his legs. He doesn't remember going from the chaise to the bed but he must have, for he has woken up under the silk sheets on the king size bed.) "Mmmmm."
"You're blushing. I can hear it in your voice."
(Frank chuckles) "Let's say it was a bit racy."
"More than a bit racy, I'm betting."
"You're right again. You could come work in the SOU. I could always use another psychologist on staff."
(Lady D chuckles) "You know I'm not a psychologist. I'd never survive in that kind of work. I'm scared that you took on that job."
"It's what I need right now."
"It's sometimes scary. They keep your background secret don't they?"
"Those guys won't be able to get to me and the kids?"
"Not a chance."
"Not when Frank Donovan is on the job?"
"Not when I'm on the job."
"I'm glad to know that. Do you know what I did?" (she giggles)
(Frank smiles). "What?"
"I stepped off the train for a moment when it was staying in the station for a few minutes. I went into a kiosk and..."
"And? Your voice trailed off. What did m'Lady do?" (Frank is interested and he sits up in bed, the silk sheets falling to his waist.)
(She giggles again). "hehehehehe. It's..." (she breaks into gales of laughter)
(Frank is smiling, on the verge of laughing himself) "M'lady? What did you do?"
"Ahem. I erhmm took a picture of myself."
"What's so wrong...ahhh. You were being a bit naughty." (Frank chides his Lady, for he knows she is a bit shy; she had trouble taking off her shirt in Frank's presence that first time...not to mention having trouble in the hospital with medical personnel looking at her while she was giving birth to their kids.)
"Really darling! I kissed your photo while one of those three dollar instant photo booths took my picture. Someone pulled back the curtain while I was in the booth and saw me kissing your rather large photo."
"Really? How large was I?"
(It's Frank's turn to chuckle) "My photo, dear."
"8 by 10."
"The one in the silver frame from the fireplace mantle."
"You notice everything, don't you?"
"That I do."
"That's not all. So these two kids, lovers, I think, were giggling and looking in at me. The boy, he was about 15, asked me, 'what are you doing?' The girl, she was 13 or 14, just popped her bubble gum and she was reaching behind her in that time honored women's way of unsnapping her bra."
"You stopped the kids from doing that?"
"That I did. I told her she could save herself the trouble of unsnapping her bra."
"How did she take that?"
"She looked guilty. But she pleaded innocent."
"Most people do plead innocent."
"The boy wasn't too pleased I'd stopped them. He began to sputter at me."
"It was his idea."
"I gathered that from his reaction. The girl just twitched her mouth then turned and left, followed by the boy as the train conductor called a two minute warning. So I finished up with a few more sets of pictures."
"Will you show them to me?"
"Of course." ("Breakfast!" Frank hears faintly) "Oh my! Nice breakfast here on the train. French toast, thick with syrup and butter, coffee, grits, and scrambled eggs."
"I've yet to decide on my breakfast." (Frank swings his legs over the edge of the bed and stands up. He walks over to the window and stands, looking out at the unscathed tree.)
(Frank smiles. His Lady has stuffed a mouthful of food past her newly bonded teeth and tried to talk around it. He decides to play with her a bit.) "Bainne, aran, then some crowdie."
"Huh? I had a mouthful."
"That I am, m'Lady."
"Really now, what are you going to have for breakfast?"
"I told you."
"You did not. What language were you speaking?"
"Scots Gaelic. Alex is learning the language and she's teaching the rest of SOU basic phrases."
"So what did you say?"
"Milk, bread and crowdie."
"Curded cheese made from freshly sour milk."
"It's rather good. Jake made some a few days ago and served it with breakfast. He's becoming quite the gourmet now."
"Cooking is good for the soul."
"As long as it's good cooking."
"Hear, hear. You've gotten some crowdie from Jake?"
"No. I made some myself. Yesterday, after getting home from the office."
"You didn't say that last night."
"I wanted to surprise you."
"What else have you cooked up for me, my gourmet chef?"
"Clootie dumplings and cranachan."
'Huh? I'm afraid I'm not up to date on those dishes."
"They're Scottish dishes. A clootie dumpling is a spiced fruit pudding."
"What kind of fruit?"
"I used mixed, with cherries predominating."
"I knew you would. Now what's the other one?"
"Cranachan is a raspberry fruit cup with whipped cream and whisky. I'm making it later today."
"Fruit with whisky. The Scots love their whisky."
"Jake misunderstood the whisky part as the measurements were in metric. He added too much whisky."
"He was a happy man for a while."
(Frank smiles) "Yes, he was a happy man. Cranachan, made Jake's way, is whisky with raspberries."
"Why did anyone invent the metric system?"
"Works for Jake."
"I'd say. What else have you made?"
"What kind of surprise?"
"You'll see when you get home." (Frank has walked to the bathroom now and turns on the shower, making sure the water is hot. He takes a seat on the small chair next to the shower.)
"Tell me now, darling."
"You'll have to wait. Brings more anticipation to the surprise."
(Lady D's voice has gone sultry and she's pitched it low) "You won't tell me now, sweets?"
"Not a chance. I know your tricks. Remember, I'm a psychologist."
"Ohhhh." (Lady D is pouting)
"You'll find out in a few hours."
"By this afternoon?"
"By this afternoon."
"A small hint? Please?"
(Frank capitulates, just a little and uses a French accent.) "Petit fours, madam."
"Ooo, you've made a French meal!"
(Frank raises his eyebrows; his Lady should join the SOU.) "Oui, madam."
"What else? You've been quite the busy cooking man lately. Scottish, French."
"Not so fast. You'll be here inside of twelve hours. You'll find out then."
"A cocktail hour first?"
"Alex has been doing her homework. I used to drink blended."
"Monica's not been helping with Alex's research?"
"She merely consumes Jake's cooking. Those two are beginning to hit it off."
"Think they're, you know, doing it?"
(Frank raises his eyebrows again. It's a consideration but he doesn't think so.) "Not really."
"He's young, barely 30. He needs someone after being an orphan."
"Very true. He needs a frameset within which to work, to develop himself."
"Didn't he get that at the Academy?"
"Yes and no."
"Yes, he received structure at the Academy but he didn't know how to apply it."
"And you can provide that framework."
"He has the ability to become a great agent."
"You think so?"
"I know so."
"You still didn't answer my question."
"What was your question?"
"Do you think Jake and Monica will hook up?"
"No. I think they're just going to remain friends."
"We'll see. How long has Jake been cooking gourmet?"
"A few months now. He's been helping teach Spanish at the homeless shelter and cooks up batches of cookies."
"That's sweet. Pardon the pun."
"Pardoned. I caught him at baking one time. He looked rather guilty."
"Why would he look guilty?"
"Living on the streets, baking cookies is not considered a man's job."
"People still have to eat."
"But not bake cookies. That's for the women to do."
"Ah. A division of gender labor. Women cook, men do the 'dirty' work."
"Basically. Still, Jake's developed quite the menu lately. He served us lunch earlier this week."
"What was the menu?"
"Beef in red wine and truffle sauce, green beans with julienne carrots, roasted red potatoes with rosemary and garlic, fresh hot sour dough bread, and both apple strudle and apple dumplings for dessert."
"So that's why you had a bowl of soup for dinner on Tuesday!"
"Guilty as charged."
"He's getting that good? Maybe we should have him and Monica over for supper one night. You two could cook us ladies quite the meal."
(Frank raises his eyebrows for the third time. He likes to keep his private life separate from his professional life and it took a lot for him to accept the Team's offer of having a drink with them. His silence stretches for more than a few moments and his Lady notices.)
she asks, "Not such a good idea?"
"Not at this time."
"They're still mourning for Keller?"
(Frank notices his Lady has switched subjects rather quickly and he smirks) "They worked with him for a long time. Keller worked differently. He was more like family to them instead of a professional agent."
"And you want to keep some distance from them?"
"Right. Arm's length."
"It was just a thought."
"I know, sweetheart."
"You're not mad at me?"
"Why would I be angry?"
"I'm not sure."
"What would you say if I said I'd give you a hot tub treatment when you get home?"
"I'd say, Frank Donovan, you're on!"
"I thought you would."
"Would I still get my French meal?"
"When would the Scottish dishes come into play?"
"Later on. The spiced pudding holds for a few days."
"Ah. So cocktail hour is Glenfiddich and, and, carniehatch? Is that it?"
"Cranachan. The dish is traditionally served at harvest time."
"Raspberries with whisky and more whisky to drink."
"Actually the Glenfiddich is going into the whipped cream that's served with the raspberries."
"You're the cocktail."
"Mmmmmm. And you?"
"I'll leave that to your imagination."
"I'll like that. Know what else I'd like?"
"I can guess."
"That's part of it. I'd like to be there, with you, right now. Damn that airplane crash."
"Thank you. I wish I could fly without being sedated."
"We'll take the QE2 over next time we go to Europe."
"That reminds me."
"I've found a way to get from Canada to Iceland and then onto Scotland by ferry."
"Wouldn't that be rather long?"
"Yes...longer than the QE2."
"But you can handle short plane trips without too much discomfort. Iceland's ten hours away by plane."
"Six, if we drive to Toronto or train it overnight to Toronto."
"Sweetie, it's about the same flight time from Toronto."
"Oh. But getting there is half the fun. And snuggling with you while being rocked to sleep by the train is an enjoyable way of traveling."
"I do like traveling with you, m'Lady."
"And I with you. Now, I hear that you're to shower and the room, by now, should be nicely steamed. The better to keep your skin soft, my dear."
"The mirror is fogging up rather nicely. We need to get a new hot water heater."
"Taking too long for the water to warm up?"
"I'll call Sears today."
"I'd like that."
"Busy day today?"
"I hope not."
"I hope not either."
"I'll be waiting for you at the train station."
"More than anticipation."
"I can't wait until this afternoon."
"Me either. I'll have some free time at lunch. Why don't you call then?"
"That I will."
"What will you do until then?"
"Take a shower, same as you."
"Wish you were here."
"As do I. Then, I'll curl up and read a book."
"Auel's latest read. Called Shelters of Stone."
"Ah, lust and living amongst the Cro-Magnons."
"I heard it's as good as her other four books."
"You have them all."
"They're good reads. Nice and thick. Cozy, even. On a cold winter's day when my husband's away."
"I shall let you go as I know you've to get to the office."
"That I do need to do, m'Lady."
"I love you."
"Love you back."
"Be there at the station?"
"Wouldn't miss it."
"Love you, sweetheart."
(Lady D has clicked off. Frank puts down
the cell phone and steps into the steamy shower.)