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Flour streaked the walls, the cabinets, the counters, and even the light fixtures. Milk had dribbled off the edge of the counter and formed a puddle between the counter and the fridge. Three broken eggs lay helplessly in the bottom of a glass bowl that was overturned by the back door. Two large carving knives were imbedded in that same door. A third was in the sink dripping blood onto the ceramic. A streak of blood ran from the front of the kitchen to the basement door.

“What the Hell? Rebecca?” her husband called out. Neil stood just outside the kitchen. His suit was rumpled from a day of meetings. His good shoes were in the closet and he was only wearing sock-slippers. There was no way he was wading into that mess if she didn’t need him to.

“Call for pizza!” she yelled up the basement stairs. “And get a two liter of Coke too.”

“Right.” He retreated to the den to call their favorite shop. Chore done, money set by the door, he slipped on his cleaning clothes. He got the cobweb broom from the closet and started on the fixtures first. He’d start at the top and hope that. The whir of the grinder downstairs made him wince. He needed to replace that with something quieter. The flour ended up in his hair and all over his clothes.

The pizza delivery man looked at him with a studiously blank face. “Kitchen emergency?” He held up the box. “One large pepperoni and black olive and two two-liters of Coke.”

Neil cracked up. “You could say that. Here.”

“Thanks. Have a good night.” The delivery man threw a wave behind himself as he went back to his car. Neil set the pizza in the small dining room. It was the only safe place for it until the vacuum came out to tame the flour.

“Was that the food?” Rebecca’s voice floated up from downstairs.

“Yes,” he called back.

“Can you tape over the broken back window?”

“Sure.” He hadn’t even noticed the broken pane in the back door. Well, hopefully, no one had heard that. He continued to clean up until he heard the thump of his wife’s feet on the stairs. She was obviously tired. Her apron was a mess of blood and flour. “Go wash up.”

She grimaced. “I’ll just take a couple slices down with me. This one’s taking longer than usual. I think we burned out the motor.”

“I’ll get a replacement this weekend.” He kissed her cheek in greeting. “Long day?”

“The longest. Son-of-a-biscuit broke in through the back door. He thought he’d get me.” She lifted her chin. “There’s a reason I’m the best at this game. We’ll have sausage for the rest of the year at this rate.”

“And a few pot-pies, and a roast or two?”

She smiled back. “Yes, indeed. I was trying to make the batter when he broke in. Thanks for cleaning up.”

“I’ll go get your pizza.” Life married to the best killer in the world was full of culinary adventures. “Oh, did I send you that sage meatloaf recipe?”

“Got it in my inbox this morning. Someone was supposed to be working, not trolling the Food Network for ideas.”

“I had a boring, boring day. But I convinced my boss that I could take vacation next month to join you in Russia. Just let me know what day to buy the tickets for.”

She threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly. “And you’ll finally get to kiss me in front of the Kremlin.”

“James Bond dreams die hard,” he told her seriously. He dipped her into a kiss. “Go on. I’ll bring it down.”

“Love you.”

“Love you too.” They brushed noses and then Rebecca was off to the basement kitchen.

FIN

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