“It never does, not with the recipes I have.” He flicked his wrist a couple more times, and she chuckled, feeling happier than she had in a while.
Even though she and Bishop weren’t back to normal, they were close, and it was better than nothing.
The awkwardness between her and Preacher had also dissipated. They weren’t close, but neither of them was filling up the silence. They were getting along as well as two people could.
Preacher joined her at the table carrying two plates. He left, only to return with a bowl. “The leftovers. If we don’t eat them, I can heat them up for us tomorrow, or something.”
She took a bite of the meatballs with pasta. They were so good, and she closed her eyes, basking in the taste. They were amazing. She moaned. “They’re so good. How did you even learn to cook? Didn’t you always have women and men willing to do whatever you wanted them to?”
He laughed. “I had people helping me out when I needed it, but there’s a lot I can do for myself. I don’t always need the added help. I like to cook. It’s easy. Nothing goes wrong.”
She wrinkled her nose. “I don’t believe you. I’ve tried to cook. I can do a couple of things, but I tend to burn things. Like baked beans, did you know they can stick to the bottom of the pan and turn black? Disgusting.”
“You have to have patience. All good things in life take patience.”
“Now I find it hard to believe you have the patience to deal with all of that?” she asked. “You’re not a very patient person.”
“You’re right. I’m not, but cooking gives me something at the end, so it’s worth the time and effort. If I wasn’t going to get anything out of it, I wouldn’t bother. With food, if you don’t take the time, you could poison yourself, make yourself ill, or have a really disappointing meal. If I take my time, nurture it, help it develop, then I’m rewarded at the end. A good meal and time well spent.”
“Are you talking about the food or your club?”
He chuckled. “I’m glad you enjoy it.”
She finished her food in quick time. Preacher wouldn’t let her wash the dishes though. He took care of the dishes, and she went into the sitting room, flicking through the television channels.
Preacher joined her after having a shower. He wore a pair of sweats and no shirt. All of his ink was on display. He sat at the other end of the sofa.
“You can put one of your lame-ass romantic comedies on if you want. I don’t mind.”
“Don’t you have to be at the club?”
“They can party without me. Besides, I’m not going to leave you alone. Put what you want to on, just don’t tell anyone I watched it.”
She got to her feet, picking out one of the DVDs.
“If I am going to be watching something like this, are you going to tell me why you love them so much?”
As the DVD loaded, she glanced over at him. With him without a shirt it was hard to concentrate. She hadn’t seen him naked since that morning, and now she was a little unsure of herself.
“I don’t know. I guess I like the romance. I’m not a hopeless romantic, but I like the idea of a happy ending. I can’t be done with movies where it’s a sad ending or someone dies. I don’t like that, but in most cases, it’s love. I don’t think I’ve ever been in love before.”
“You’re not in love with Bishop?”
“I love him, but I don’t know. The power of being in love, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that. Maybe at one time I’d have felt that way with Bishop, but I guess all the other women and just us in general, it’s not really worked out, you know.”
“Do you want to fall in love?”
“I don’t know. I don’t even know if there’s such a thing as being in love, or love at first sight. Look at my parents. They hate each other. I’ve seen what being in love does and it’s not pretty, and one thing I can safely say, it doesn’t last.”
“You’re too young to be this cynical.”
“It’s not cynical. I’m surprised you don’t agree with me. Did you love the woman who gave birth to Bishop?”
“You know the answer to that.”
“Maybe love is only supposed to be enjoyed by a few. You hinted at O’Klaren beating his wife. Do you know for certain?”
“I don’t know anything for certain, just guesses.”
“If he beats his wife, why does she stay with him? Is it fear? Love? That kind of love I want nothing to be with.” She stared down at her lap, seeing the gold band and twirling it around her finger. “Sometimes when I’m with Bishop, I can’t help but feel guilty.”