Beneath Her Heart – Ch 13
Brody managed to complete her lesson plans earlier than expected. With the extra time, she stopped by a local bodega and picked up some wine. Although caffeine and alcohol were long removed from her menu, she still thought Collin would appreciate it. From his voice this afternoon, it sounded like this was going to be a heavy conversation.
Following the GPS directions, she ended up in front of a small ranch in North Richmond, at the end of a cul de sac up against the hills. After alighting from her car, she looked around to see undeveloped mountainside. You could barely see the waters from here.
Brody remembered a conversation she had once with Sophia.
“I love the bay” she had laughed. “But he loves the land.”
She walked up the short sidewalk to the small porch and rang the doorbell. Almost instantly, it opened to reveal Collin. In an apron.
He flashed that crooked smile. “I’m a bit behind with the cooking, but come on in.”
She smiled. “Is there anything I can do to help?”
Collin shook his head. “Everything is under control, but you can keep me company if you’d like.”
The kitchen was small but neat, with an oval island containing a sink and open-air grill. She placed the wine bottle on the island and sat down on on one of the chairs to watch.
Brody had to admit that the man knew his way around the kitchen. The brown plaid apron did nothing to detract from his sexiness as he stirred a stove pot before checking something in the oven. His collared shirt had open buttons, leading to an intriguing glimpse of chest that ended sharply by the apron.
“Can I set the table?” She asked, to distract her from staring.
In response, he pulled several different sized plates from a cabinet, added flatware from a drawer, and slid them in front of her.
“Placemats are already on the table. Thanks. It should be another ten minutes.”
Brody nodded and headed over to a small alcove where a round farmhouse table sat. She arranged everything to her liking.
A quiet “ding” sounded from the oven. Collin pulled out a Dutch oven and set it on the island. When he opened the lid, a puff of spicy-scented steam rolled out. “Tamales, made with oil, not lard. I also have fresh guacamole in the fridge. And,” he pulled a tray out of the oven, “baked tortilla chips. I thought they would be healthier for, you know, the baby.”
His cheeks flashed crimson before he turned to the stove and turned it off. Placing the pot on a handy trivet, he grabbed a spoon. “Refried beans, also freshly made.”
Brody scanned his face. Was it the heat from the appliances or embarrassment that made his face so red?