A Mystery Cove Story: Death Takes a Holiday
Chapter 1: A Lazy Sunday and A Little Surprise
Outside it was a cool rainy late October morning. The rain tapped loudly on the window and the roof. You could hear the swirling of the wind in accompaniment, making a rhythmic little song. Now and then you could see an autumn-colored leaf hit the window before continuing its journey onward. Inside the air smelled of warm Earl Grey tea and hot buttered toast with jam.
“That was a delicious breakfast, my dear, thank you,” Ellie said as she set her breakfast tray down on the dressing table by the bed. Carrying her teacup back with her to the nightstand and setting it down gently before falling back into bed. She rested her head on Ben’s chest and kicked her feet off the edge.
“Thank you, tea and toast are one of my specialties,” he said with a grin. Looking up from his tablet, he had to grin seeing how she had stretched herself out in the bed. No matter what Ellie did, she always looked relaxed and comfortable.
The bedroom door cracked open a little more and in ran Mia, toy in teeth. She jumped up on the sofa in front of the window. Perching beside Leo, the cat who remarkably had his mistress’ talent for always being comfortable. Mia was trying her best to entice him into playing. His giant yawn let her know he was not amused.
“I don’t think squeaky toys are in his wheelhouse, Mia,” Ellie said with a laugh. “Besides, this is perfect napping weather.”
As if on cue Leo stretched out in agreement, melting his very large fluffy, white body into the sofa cushion as only a cat can do.
“I swear you and that cat share a mind link.” Ben laughed.
“It’s a rainy Sunday, everyone knows that nature’s way of saying relaxxxx.” Exaggerating the last syllable as she set up, stretched, and collapsed back into the pillows. He caught the mischievous gleam in her eye just before she snatched his tablet.
“Come on, give it back.” He reached for his device as she pushed him back and held it over her head with a laugh.
“You want it? Nope, nope, that’s enough work for you today. You have put in way too many hours this week already. A man needs his rest.” She said as she pushed him back with one hand and stretched the other arm as high and as far behind her as she could.
“This man needs his tablet.” He protested, reaching for it with all his might.
“Nuhn-uh. Not until tomorrow.” she scolded.
“Well, you are forcing me to fight dirty then.” He replied with a laugh. He stopped reaching and started tickling, Ellie fell over trying not to laugh.
“No fair, I call dirty pool.” She laughed as rolled over onto her stomach, tucking the tablet to her chest.
He came down with her, continuing to tickle her sides.
“Stop, Stop.” She laughed, “No more.”
“Are you sure? You sound like you are enjoying it.” Ben laughed as she kicked her feet. She was trying to get away, but not trying too hard.
“Yes, I’m sure. No more tickling I can’t breathe.” She laughed loudly.
He stopped and whispered in her ear, “And I get my tablet back?” He asked playfully.
She rolled over to face him. “I shall consider your proposal, Mr. Archer.” Ellie smiled coyly.
Ben laughed as he set up, pulling her up with him. “Well, Mrs. Archer, if I don’t get my tablet back I can’t finish what I was working on…” He paused. “And give you the surprise I’ve been planning.” He stood up and purposefully turned his back to her, as he picked up his teacup and walked to the serving tray to refill it. Waiting for her to take the bait.
Ellie perked up instantly and sat up on her knees, still holding his tablet to her chest. “What surprise, I like surprises.”
He grinned and shrugged. “Oh, just a little something.” He smirked as he poured his tea. Still not looking at her.
She got up and followed him around the end of the bed. Never letting go of the tablet.
He set down the teacup and looked for his robe. She handed it to him.
“Ah, there it is, thank you.” Taking the robe and putting it on. Ben could feel her excitement buzzing in the air around them. He said nothing else, just put on the robe and got his tea, and set back up in bed. Fluffing the pillows behind him nonchalantly.
Ellie couldn’t stand it a second longer. She sat down beside him and grabbed one of his arms. “Well, tell me already!” She sighed exasperatedly and dramatically dropped her head onto his shoulder.
Knowing he had won, he smiled like the cat that ate the canary and told her, “As you wish, my dear.” He looked down into those big grey eyes he could never say no to. “Hand me back my tablet and I will show you.”
Ellie smiled brightly and quickly handed over the tablet without hesitation. “Show me!”