The Comfort of Touch
by Taselby

 

This story is rated NC-17 for adult content, including the graphic description of homoerotic sex and the gratuitous use of food as a plot device, particularly berries. If you are under the age of 18 (and do not have your parent's consent... yeah, right) or if the loving depiction of consensual M/M sex and the shameless abuse of fruit does not appeal to you, PLEASE turn back now. You have been warned. If you persist in reading this despite my warning, don't come crying to me if you get offended. You know if you should be here or not.

Methos, Duncan, and the concept of Immortality are the property of someone else with more lawyers than me. I claim no ownership, no money... Just for fun, eh? I promise to return the guys relatively unharmed when I am done with them (which is turning out to be longer than I thought, but who's complaining?...). ;)

Special thanks to my beloved Beta-readers Juanita and Kimberly, who have been amazingly tolerant of my eccentricities, and without whom this story would not be half so coherent. I have nothing but my endless thanks to offer, and the threat of more stories to come! Any correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, or continuity you find here is entirely their fault. All mistakes are, of course, my own. Mea culpa.

Please direct all questions, comments, and silly remarks to me, <taselby@tenebris.org>


"I thought I told you to stay out of my refrigerator?" MacLeod didn't even look up from where he stood at the counter, dicing vegetables with a crisp, rocking motion of the long chef's knife.

Methos cast a quick, amused glance back at the Highlander before resuming his contemplation of the icebox's contents. "You're almost out of beer, Mac. When's the last time you were shopping?"

"Out of beer," came the irritated reply. The knife moved a bit more briskly. "Now let me stop and think. Why could I possibly be out of beer? Who could conceivably have been in my house, in my refrigerator drinking up my beer?" He turned, knife in hand, to catch Methos standing in the soft glow of the open door. A freshly uncapped bottle of lager was halfway to his mouth.

"I'm sorry, Mac. You said something?"

Duncan made a strangled noise, gesturing frustratedly with the tip of the knife before turning back to his preparations.

Methos sauntered over and leaned against the counter indolently, and took a long, deliberate swallow from the purloined bottle. "So, what are we having for dinner?" he inquired in his brightest, most irritating tone.

MacLeod glared at him and violently jerked another carrot from the bag. The chopping rhythm of the knife had become rough, almost homicidal. The sharp crack of the blade's motion through the firm carrot punctuated his words. "Why, pardon my manners, Methos! Would you care to stay for dinner? The menu tonight is Mulligatawny and brown rice." The Highlander paused, than asked in mock-concern, "That is all right with you?"

Methos took another swallow from his beer and set the bottle down on the counter top with a muted thump. "Yeah, I suppose that'll do."

The knife was set down more forcefully than really necessary, and MacLeod dried his hands on a nearby towel. "Good."

Hazel eyes peered over the long nose, twinkling smugly. "Fine."

"Right." Mac bit the word off and tossed the towel in Methos' face. "If you're staying for dinner, then dessert is up to you."

Methos removed the towel, and smiled mysteriously. "All right, dessert it is."


Methos returned from the store an hour later, laden with a single bag and a case of beer. No sense in antagonizing MacLeod any more than absolutely necessary. The loft was filled with the warm scent of tomatoes and curry, and Duncan was once again at his established post at the counter, slicing still more carrots.

"Worried about your eyesight all of a sudden?" Methos quipped, setting his groceries near the sink. He sidled over to lift the lid on the pot and give an experimental stir to the spicy chicken and vegetable stew.

"Very funny," Mac deadpanned, smacking Methos' knuckles with the flat of the ever-present chef's knife. "And stay out of the soup. It's not done yet."

Methos gave him a pained look and set down the lid. "It's soup, Mac, not a souffle. I'm not going to hurt it, just smell it."

Duncan raked the carrot slices into the bowl of salad greens he had prepared. "So what did you get?" He looked curiously at the unopened grocery sack.

"Never you mind what's in the bag." Methos made shoo-ing motions with his hands, chasing Mac from the kitchen. "The soup can mind itself for a while, and I work better without an audience. Why don't you go take a shower before dinner?"

Methos dismissively turned his back on the Highlander, whistling softly to himself and rummaging through the cabinets, selecting ingredients seemingly at random. Duncan caught a glimpse of black pepper, flour, Balsamic vinegar, sugar and other unmatched items before he wisely retreated from the culinary crime scene.


Duncan returned to the kitchen showered and changed to find Methos wiping a large mixing bowl dry. There were no clues remaining as to what the old Immortal might have prepared. Duncan looked over to the refrigerator.

"Take one step toward that icebox and you will be all night recovering from what I will do to you." The tone was deceptively mild, but Methos' eyes were as hard as agates.

Duncan tried his best pleading expression. "I just wanted to see what you made..."

"Later, it's a surprise." Methos was firm. "Come on, the rice is done and I am starving. Let's eat."


Duncan's optimism about dessert wasn't bolstered by what Methos had done to the salad. The simple bowl of greens had been transformed into a bizarre combination of foods that reminded MacLeod, strangely enough, of trail mix. Two kinds of raisins, slivered almonds, tangerine slices, red onions, and an unwholesome amount of celery now lurked among the more mundane salad mix he had prepared. Topped off with a tangy ginger and honey dressing, the entire effect was... disturbing. Try as he might, MacLeod could not think of this odd dish as a salad. He picked through the leaves, trying not to let his reluctance show.

"Eat it, it's not going to kill you. It's just a salad."

"Not anymore it's not." Mac eyed the mixture suspiciously.

"Quit being such a baby and eat it. I ate it all the time when I was in India. It's delicious." Methos took a demonstration bite, chewing theatrically. Duncan continued to stare at the plate. "Oh, come on! You've eaten haggis, for gods' sake! You Scots make meals out of animal parts best left unconsidered, and you're going to balk at a salad?"

It did seem silly when put that way. Duncan steeled himself and took a forkful. The flavors and textures combined as he chewed, spicy dressing, sweet raisins, and crisp greens all came together into ...well, Methos was right. It was delicious. "It's not bad," he finally admitted.

"Yeah, not bad," the older man grumbled.

The rest of the meal went smoothly after that.


After the soup and salad was done, the remainder wrapped and put away, MacLeod's thoughts turned again to the promised dessert. He burned with curiosity to see what strange and unusual treat the refrigerator might divulge. Methos at last went to the icebox and produced the confection with all due ceremony.

It took Duncan a moment to recognize the fresh berry pie for what it was. He had expected something more ...exotic from a 5000-year-old cook. He wrinkled his nose at the lumpy, gelatinous red and purple mass that hunched in the center of the table like a refugee from a B-movie. "It looks like road kill."

Duncan glanced up in time to see Methos' eyes narrow dangerously. "But I'm sure it's delicious road kill," he hastily amended.

Methos' expression softened slightly, just enough to raise the hackles on the back of MacLeod's neck, and he reached out a slender hand to negligently turn the aluminum pie-plate. The older man stared a long, silent moment at the glistening mass of glazed fruit, finally lifting the pie to study the uneven surface more closely. Duncan fought down a sudden, irrational urge to run.

Methos' expression never wavered from its look of pleasant admiration of the dessert. "Hm. Road kill," he said thoughtfully. In a dizzying rush of adrenalin, Duncan realized the precariousness of his position. An icy finger of panic trailed quickly up his spine. The need to be somewhere else, anywhere else, burned through his limbs like cold fire, making his knees twitch once in a short spasm. The thought barely had time to register in his conscious mind before the pie smacked solidly into his face.

The force of the impact rocked the Highlander's chair backward, and he felt himself teeter weightlessly for an instant before gravity reasserted its hold and he fell.


Methos stared down as MacLeod lay on the floor, watching the hideous mess of his carefully prepared berries and glaze slide slowly down Duncan's face and neck. It felt good, darkly satisfying in a way even better than stealing Mac's beer, better than needling him about his overinflated sense of honor. True, a pie in the face was as juvenile a response as any Methos had ever indulged in, but it had just felt so right. All the tension of the day had evaporated in that one gratifying splat of pastry. Laughter bubbled up from somewhere deep, shaking his shoulders silently before erupting from his lips explosively in snorting giggles.

Methos laughed, and continued laughing as Duncan scraped the gooey red glaze from his eyes to look dazedly at the old Immortal. Mac sat slowly up, the sweet mixture of berries falling from his cheeks in cold clumps, rolling down his pristine Oxford shirt. Methos howled with mirth until tears ran down his cheeks and he wheezed for breath.

Methos' levity was infectious, and Duncan began to chuckle behind his mask of fruit. He was still snickering as he sat fully upright and pelted the old Immortal in the face with a large handful of the gloppy dessert.

The laughter died as Methos looked at the Scot with murder in his eyes, the effect spoiled somewhat by the clump of goo slipping down the long nose. "Very funny." He reached for the remains of the pie left in the pan, stalking Duncan around the table.

Duncan retreated across the room, beaming smugly at the older man. "Oh, I don't know..." he laughed, "looks pretty funny from here."

Methos bared his teeth in a feral grin and tackled Duncan from over the sofa.

The outcome of the wrestling match was a foregone conclusion. In any contest of speed and agility, Methos was more than capable against the Scot, but once Duncan had him pinned to the floor, it was over. The slender man's wiry strength was no match for the Highlander's bulk. He probably could have still escaped, but not without taking this playful contest to a more violent level, and certainly not without hurting his friend.

Methos lay panting on the carpet, his wrists held securely by the equally gasping man straddling his narrow waist. Gods, but Duncan was beautiful, even smeared with berry pie. It felt good to touch his friend this closely, even in play, and Methos savored the easy contact with MacLeod's warm weight as it pressed him firmly into the floor.


The tension of the moment had changed. The easy playfulness of their roughhousing had evaporated as the breathless silence stretched out between them, and the air crowded close about MacLeod's ears, filling them with a dim ringing. The room seemed to dilate, every sensation taking on a heightened significance. He felt the movement of Methos' abdomen as he breathed, the breath itself a dull, rushing counterpoint to the sound of his own heart. The carpet bit roughly into his knuckles as he gripped the fragile-looking wrists and held them down. Yellow lamplight played softly across the prominent features of his friend, combining with the shadows to transform the red glaze into a pagan mask of strength and desire. The strength seeped away from his hands, leaving them weak and cold, his arms trembling with a sudden rush of fear and anticipation. The scent of strawberries and curry filled the room.

Methos swallowed once, and licked ineffectually at the smear of glaze across his lips. The primitive mask slipped, and Methos was once again human, solid, uncertain. Duncan saw the longing, the quickly masked desire, flicker across the hazel eyes even before he felt the stirrings of the other man's erection begin beneath him. And he felt himself responding to the yearning he saw in the narrow features. He sat back across Methos' thighs, releasing the slender wrists, retreating from the intense rush of his own reaction. Duncan's heart began to pound. He wasn't aware of holding his breath until his lungs filled in an explosive, dizzying flood of air.

Methos reached a long hand up to tenderly wipe away some of the remaining glaze from Duncan's cheek. That simple touch was almost more than Mac could bear. He released his breath as those burning fingers left his cheek, a tremor racing through his body. His pulse hammered in his temples, and he didn't think he could stand upright at that moment if his life literally depended upon it.

Methos broke the unbearable silence first, the soft baritone intruding gently on the moment. "Duncan..?" The steadiness of the voice belied the slight trembling of the ancient hands, the clear eyes gone black with desire.

"Duncan, what do you want?" The Scot's name was thick on Methos' tongue.

MacLeod looked down again, not really trusting his voice, but not seeing any alternative. Methos needed the words, and in a way, so did Duncan. He swallowed once, heavily, gathering his courage, giving shape to his desire even as the words escaped him.

"You..." Duncan's hands shook with all the nervousness he had banished from his voice as he reached out to the man beneath him. "I want you." Strong, warm hands caught his cold, quaking ones in a firm grip, lending strength without hesitation, without the need for asking.

Methos went very still, his gaze burning. "Are you sure about this?" The golden light reflected briefly, gleaming, before the purple shadows moved posessively over him again. At this instant he both was and was not the old familiar Methos, coming to share dinner and steal beer. The body was the same, but infused now with keen awareness of his vast age, his terrible loneliness. It was easy to want him this way.

In response, Duncan shifted his hold on Methos' hands, returning some of the borrowed strength. He pushed the image of pagan gods from his mind and pulled the warm palms against his chest tightly, just over his hammering heart. "Yes..." The word itself was a promise.

Methos sat up, gently guiding Duncan back, freeing his trapped legs from beneath the Highlander. A single finger stroked across Mac's lips to silence the protest forming there as Methos stood. "Shh. Wait here; I'll be right back."

Methos returned from the bathroom with most of the glaze scrubbed from his sharp features and a warm, damp towel. The aspect of divinity was removed from him; there would be no disguises tonght. He knelt and began to clean the sticky residue of the pie-fight from Duncan in sensual motions that were more than half caress.


The broad, blunt hands were first, the rough terrycloth firmly scouring the callused palms and thick fingers. Methos felt Duncan's eyes on him as he worked, but no sound of protest was made as Methos followed the towel with his fingers, and finally his lips, slowly stepping up the intensity of the touch. Methos turned Duncan's hand in his, trailing easy kisses over the rich skin, relishing the warm scent of his friend.

The steaming cloth was raised to Duncan's face, and the pattern was repeated. Wash, touch, kiss... MacLeod sighed as Methos stroked the towel across his features, leaning into the firm, sensual touch. Forehead, cheeks, jaw, nose, the moist heat cleaned away the thick residual glaze. Softly, softly over the dark eyes and then down the sturdy column of MacLeod's neck.

Methos clenched the towel, staring resolutely at the subtle nubs of the weave, and focusing intensely on washing one patch of dusky, olive-tone skin at a time. He had wanted this for so long, sometimes it was easy to imagine that he had sprung into existence, fully formed like Athena, in the instant that this man had first spoken his name. He felt like crystal, strong and fragile all at once. He continued to rivet his gaze on the swirling, hypnotic rhythm of the towel. The whole image of the Highlander responsive beneath his touch was too much, an incautious look would have shattered the Old Man to pieces.

MacLeod's eyes were still closed as Methos worked open the buttons of the ruined shirt. One, two, three buttons and the towel moved across Mac's chest and around beneath his long hair. Methos could feel Duncan's breath, warm and steady against his cheek as he leaned close to access the vulnerable throat. He smelled of strawberries and aftershave. A contented rumble sounded deep in the broad chest.

This portion of the ritual was completed, and Methos moved very slowly so as not to shatter the moment, and set the cooling towel aside. He took a breath to steady himself, noting Duncan's tense posture, the rapid rise and fall of the golden chest, the eyes still closed... waiting. Methos reached out with both hands to stroke the beautiful, trusting face, trailing feathery kisses behind the exploring fingers.

Duncan sighed and relaxed again under the exquisitely gentle touch, tipping his head slightly this way and that, freely exposing his only vulnerable place. Mac's pulse throbbed firm and steady under the strong, pale hands, as Methos nuzzled every surface inquisitively. Kissing, tasting, stroking his face and lips against the solid flesh, the firm skin. He wanted to know every millimeter of Duncan, every scented hollow, every muscular rise. He needed to know.

Methos cupped the squared jaw lightly, tipping Mac's face up into the softest brushing of lips. The brown eyes opened then, like in a storybook, moist with emotion, dark with desire. Methos searched Duncan's face, wanting to remember this instant forever, to hold the memory of this heartbeat as a shield against all the sorrows the future might bring.

And then he leaned down to kiss MacLeod in earnest.

The sweet and spicy tastes of strawberries and curry swam over Methos as he leisurely explored Duncan's mouth, stroking the full lips with his teeth and tongue, savoring this wonderful, dizzy moment. Methos tugged at the lower lip with his thumb, encouraging it to open further, to deepen the kiss.

Duncan's hands could remain passive no longer, and began slowly wandering over Methos' shoulders, squeezing, pulling the smaller man to him as the intensity of the kiss hastened the exploration. Methos fought the urge to break the kiss. He wanted to strip his sweater off and give in to the profound skin-hunger he felt, but instead inserted a hand between their bodies to resume his work on the small buttons of Duncan's berry-stained Oxford.

The crisp fabric came away from the broad shoulders with a muted exhalation and a slight twist of Mac's torso. Methos slid his hands over the sculpted muscles, mapping, testing the firm flesh until Duncan pulled away from the press of mouths, gasping.

The Highlander plucked at Methos' sweater inquiringly, as if reading the other's mind. "Please?" he whispered hoarsely. "Please, I need to touch you."

Methos could only nod mutely, skinning off the bulky garment in one smooth movement to expose his lean, sleekly muscled chest to Duncan's burning stare.

Duncan's hands were cool as they wandered over the spare framework of Methos' shoulders, testing the sturdy interlocking of bones beneath the translucent skin, lingering at the surprisingly hard length of muscle that joined them to the slim neck. Methos sighed and leaned forward into the touch. Down the flexible back the touch roamed, shyly skirting the band of Methos' jeans and circling around to hold the narrow waist. Methos caught his breath as the touch moved down to grip his hips and sat up a little taller as blunt fingers kneaded the heavy fabric.

The slow, easy pace of their exploration was making Methos crazy with desire. He wanted to crawl inside the Highlander's presence like a shelter, pulling it around him like a warm blanket. Not to hide, no. Methos was done with hiding. He wanted only to immerse himself, to drown in those dark eyes. It required every ounce of his control to keep from indelicately flinging Duncan to the carpet and rubbing himself on the beautiful Scot. He grabbed for Duncan's belt and jerked with surprising strength, pulling them roughly together. He pressed a long thigh between the younger man's legs, his own need clearly indicated in the short, involuntary thrust of his hips.

Duncan's hand tightened against Methos' buttocks, clutching the smaller man to him as their mouths met again. This kiss was no hesitant caress, but an urgent communication of hunger. The rising need to touch, to be part of the give and take of pleasure quickly eclipsed all else.

Mac groaned as Methos found his erection, giving a firm squeeze to the aching flesh before moving to unclasp the belt and trousers. The long fingers fumbled, and Methos moved back to look at the stubborn, unfamiliar fastenings with a muffled curse.

"Dammit. Duncan..." he plead, frustrated.

Mac pushed the uncertain fingers away. "Here..." he breathed, shedding the offending pants in hasty motions. He stood to step out of his shoes, and extended a hand to help Methos rise as well. "I think we'll be more comfortable over here," he said as he led the old Immortal over to the bed.

Duncan sat carefully on the bed as Methos fairly tore the remaining clothes from his body. The older man paused to sweep an admiring gaze over his lover before easing Duncan back onto the soft mattress.

Now Methos surrendered to his yearning and laid himself full-length against Duncan, touching freely, every subtle movement bringing the heady, silken glide of skin on skin and muted rustle of expensive sheets. He kissed MacLeod again, briefly, unable to sate his hunger for the Highlander's exquisite mouth, but neither content to remain there. Other, deeper desires clamored for attention.

Methos moved down Mac's body, mapping with his sensitive lips. Throat, chest, abdomen, hips... Scent and taste and touch made him dizzy, intoxicated with the rich bounty of sensation. Two voices moaned in chorus as Methos' searching mouth found its destination.


Duncan's breath shuddered out of him in a low groan of pleasure as Methos' inhumanly talented mouth caressed him. Each nip, each kiss, every stroke of teeth or tongue seemed designed to bring him to the edge of release without ever permitting him to fall into that heavenly abyss. With great effort he leaned up, lifting that sweetly tortuous mouth from him. It was not in him lie back and be pleasured, he had always recieved the greatest satisfaction from ensuring his lover's enjoyment.

"Wait," Duncan panted. "Wait, not yet."

Methos gave slightly disappointed smile, but nodded as Duncan turned him over onto his back. "All right."

Duncan had never before truly appreciated the spare utility of Methos' body. The long lines and smooth muscles had been pared down, distilled to the barest essence of wiry strength. In a flash of insight, MacLeod realized how the man had managed to survive his 5000 years. Methos was like the broadsword he carried: there was no excess, no frivolous decoration, just the slim, deadly silhouette and singularity of purpose. Any beauty in the functional design was purely incidental.

And Methos was beautiful. And Duncan wanted him.

Mac surrendered any lingering hesitancy and abandoned himself to the fine texture and spicy scent of Methos' fair skin. He set his own pleasure aside momentarily and lipped downward to the weeping erection. Mac curled a hand around the hot shaft, pulling back the foreskin gently, delighting in the shivering response this coaxed from the long bones of his lover. He stroked once, twice, gaining a familiarity with his partner before lowering his parted lips.


Methos held his body tightly, every muscle clenched as he strained for control. Duncan swirled a cautious tongue across the seeping organ, oblivious or reckless regarding the torment he caused. He wanted this too badly to surrender to his orgasm now; he had waited too long to abbreviate the encounter prematurely. He needed to ensure this was as good for Mac as it promised to be for him. But oh, that mouth... That sweet heat, the feathery pressure of Mac's tongue... Methos felt his control slipping, sliding between those sensuous lips toward his climax. He wanted to let it go...

"No," he panted from between his grinding teeth. "No, wait..."


Duncan paused but didn't move, breathing warmly into the nest of curls. For a brief, panicked moment he thought he had done something wrong, hurt or offended the man beneath him, but the rigid posture, the heaving chest, told him all he needed to know about Methos' distress. "Shh. It's okay, it's okay," he reassured his friend, resuming his task.


Methos breathed deep and willed himself to relax, to relinquish the iron grip of control he had struggled for... to come.

Every particle of his being seemed to filter down, inhabiting the taut inches of incandescent flesh held lightly in that heavenly mouth... In Duncan's mouth. Methos touched the back of the Highlander's head, not to disturb or control the steady rhythm, but only to confirm, and yielded himself to the insistent pleasure.

It was a long moment before Methos could do anything but breathe as he waited for the twitching in his limbs to subside. He took the time to gather the scattered pieces of himself, and urged Duncan up beside him, reaching to ease his partner's neglected arousal. He could taste the subtle flavor of himself on the Highlander's tongue, and groaned into the kiss, still wanting more.

"Duncan?" Methos asked, his hands possessively petting, squeezing, fondling, "Duncan... make love to me?" He felt absurdly vulnerable exposing this desire, his heart hammering in rushing fear that he had gone too far. Duncan's sudden stillness was like a sword at the older man's throat.


MacLeod pulled back, silent, the dark eyes molten as he searched Methos' face, reading the uncertainty there, the fear, the need. It amazed him that Methos could crave the comfort of touch so strongly, as it amazed him that he had so much more to give. Duncan knew in that shimmering moment that he loved this man. He loved Methos, and that there was nothing the other could ask of him that he was not willing to volunteer. The pleasures of the body were small in relation to the whole of it.

"Yes," he whispered, turning away momentarily, reaching for a lubricant as Methos waited.

MacLeod willed himself to further patience as he worked the hastily-warmed gel into his partner, pleasuring and preparing. Methos encouraged him with soft whimpers and whispered instructions, thrusting back against the rhythmic fingers. Duncan let the older man set the pace, and soon Methos gently removed the pleasuring hand, arching back with his hips. And Duncan knew it was time.

They merged slowly, easily. Methos held Duncan's hand in a secure grip, not quite painful, communicating wordlessly the depth and intensity of his reaction. Mac lay there for a moment as the connection was completed, savoring the contact. He laced his fingers into Methos', returning the grip, lending strength without the need for asking. He felt an overwhelming wave of tenderness for the slender man in his arms, and wrapped himself closer against the pale form, embracing with the whole of his body.

Duncan was never quite sure who began to move first. All he could later recall was becoming aware of the easy rocking motion of their linked bodies, and the steady murmur of Methos' voice whispering his name like a mantra. The movement accelerated, and Methos pulled their joined hands down to his renewed erection, he and Duncan stroking it in time to the ebb and flow of the tidal rhythm.

Duncan felt the smaller man tense in his embrace, curling forward slightly around their twinned caress and simultaneously grinding his hips back, driving MacLeod deep. Mac held tight against the shudder of Methos' release, pulling the trembling form to him, protective and tender and passionate all at once. Methos cried out, a single exclamation in a language MacLeod didn't understand, and spilled himself into their cupped hands.

Duncan pressed his face into the vulnerable nape of Methos' neck and followed him over the edge.


"Duncan, are you all right?" The soft baritone insinuated itself into his semiconscious mind. "Duncan?"

MacLeod roused himself to alertness, recognizing the veiled fear in the hazel eyes. Questions behind questions. "I'm fine," he soothed, the passion was temporarily sated, but the protectiveness remained. "Are you?"

Duncan thought he saw the clear eyes film with tears before they closed, but he couldn't be sure. "Yes..." the thin lips scarcely moved, "better than ever."

Mac took a deep breath and released it, banishing his lingering concern. As necessary as the words of desire had been earlier, now the words of love were not. Methos knew, they both did. Mac smiled. "You know, I only have one regret."

Methos looked at him with sharp apprehension. "Oh? What might that be?"

"We never got to eat that pie."

Methos' laughter was effervescent. "That's all right. After all, you made me promise dessert, not pie. I'd say I lived up to my part."

"So what are we having tomorrow?"


Finis