Chapter 8

o the coffee filter wetting the paper and hearting the glass, carefully he swirled it.

”Ok put the grounds in now fill it just to this line ” Kram indicated with his finger the point he should fill to and waited patiently while he meticulously scooped and tapped the grounds in.

”Perfect! ” Kram beamed as he picked up the kettle once more and poured slowly in a circular motion pausing periodically to let the coffee drip into the pot at an even rate. Kram inhaled the steam deeply while they waited.

”Now if you will point me in the direction of the cups, Ill pour, ” Kram said.

”Third cabinet on the right. ” Phets voice came out stronger than expected.

Kram retrieved three mugs, and poured, passing out each cup with a spoon and saucer. The room was silent except for the soft clink of the spoons on the porcelain cups as they took turns adding cream and sugar. Kram took a sip of his coffee first melting against the edge of the counter in happiness.

”Aahh ”

Love shook his head, ”I should send you to therapy, caffeine addiction is still an addiction you know. ”

Kram stroked the side of his cup looking lovingly at the coffee. ”Don listen to him. ” Love rolled his eyes. Kram would swear he saw the ghost of a smile cross the lips of the mystery man they had been asked to protect.

Phet picked up the cup in front of him, honestly, he had never been much of a coffee drinker but it did smell really good. Cautiously he took a sip, it was amazing! No bitterness or acidic taste, it seemed to glide over his tongue like silk and soothe every inch of him. Without even realizing it he relaxed, his body sinking back against the back of the hightop stool. He could feel Krams eyes on him even though he was trying hard to give Phet his space. Kram meant well but only made Phet feel like more of a freak. He wanted to talk to them, to explain that he wasn crazy but he couldn not yet.

”Would it be ok if I went to get my sketch pad? ” he asked.

Loves eyebrows shot up as he looked at Kram.

”Of course, its your house after all but one of us should go with you. We did promise Hart to keep you safe. ” Said Kram.

Phet nodded.

”Then if youll go first, Ill follow you to the studio. he said carefully.

Kram smiled and put down his cup. No problem, Im sure I remember the way. ” He turned and walked out of the kitchen. The slope of his shoulders told Phet that he was relaxed, as though this was an evening like any other. Phet followed just out of arms reach, cautious but not scared like he was before. They crossed the glassed-in hall that connected the studio and the main house. The lights were still on inside Kram checked the room and waited by the door that led to the driveway.

Phet gathered his sketchbook, charcoals, and pencils, when he was ready to go back he looked at Kram.

”Do you need help carrying anything? ” Kram asked. Phet extended the case of pencils and pastels to him. Kram took it carefully and lead them back through the studio. Just as he was about to cross the threshold a voice came from behind him.

”Wait! ”

Kram froze.

”I– ” Phet started.

Kram turned slowly around. Phet didn know where to look, he wasn comfortable enough to look away but he was afraid to look in Krams eyes too.

”I know you must think Im crazy, I won tell you my name and I pulled painters knife on you but I promise I ”m not. ” Phet trailed off, now he really sounded crazy, why had he said anything at all.

”I don think you
e crazy, Ive seen fear, before and PTSD, you don owe me or anyone else an explanation, ” Kram said gently.

”Well, that is, unless you have been sneaking off to Bangkok to murder three people, then you will probably owe someone an explanation. ” Kram smiled.

Phets eyes went wide.

I haven ” he said.

”I know, ” Kram said.

”Really? ” He asked.

”Really. ” Kram laughed. ” I knew as soon as I met you, it wasn you. I couldn know before then. You hid up in that loft last time we were here and Hart never lets anything slip. No one else except me believed anyone else was here that day. Well, Love probably believed me but hell never admit it. ” Kram let out another laugh.

”I promise we will keep you safe, come on Ill make you some more coffee. ” Kram turned and went through the door. Phet followed close behind.

Love was waiting when they reached the kitchen.

”Everything ok? ” he asked.

”No problem at all, Im going to make us more coffee do you want some? ”

”Sure, you make coffee and Ill raid the fridge and see what I can find to make us for breakfast is there anything you don eat? ” Love asked the mystery man.

”I don really like tomatoes. ” He replied.

”Alright, ” said Love

Phet settled back on the stool and spread out the case of supplies tucking his feet up on the edge of the seat he used his knees to prop up the sketchpad, the feel of the paper and smell of the charcoal helped clear his mind.

30 minutes later the sound of dishes being set on the counter in front of him interrupted his focus.

”I hope omelets are ok, ” said, Love

”Love makes the best omelets I used to beg him to make them for me when we were roommates in university, ” Kram said, sliding a fresh cup of coffee to Phet.

”You were roommates in university? ” asked Phet.

”Hard to imagine right? But I swear he doesn look it but not only did he go to university he graduated at the top of his class said, Love. ”I told you he was house trained. ”

”Hey what can I say I am a pedigreed pup! ” Kram said wiggling his eyebrows.

Love smacked him, in the back of the head.

”Sit. ”

”Woof! ”

Phet let out a small laugh. They sat in comfortable silence munching, omelets, and toast and drinking coffee. When Phets phone rang, they all three jumped.

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