Tea for Two

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The next morning, Calvin woke up a little later than usual to someone pulling his big toe. "I've got a letter for you," a familiar young boy's voice filtered through his foggy morning haze, whispering apparently not an option.

Calvin stayed up most of the night thinking about Teddi. He couldn't stop the nagging worry from creeping into his mind, telling him viciously that things were not going to last between them. He turned his mind to the way she'd kissed him or the look on her face when she saw him yesterday, then every inkling of worry disappeared—for that moment, anyway.

Prying first his left eye open then his right, Calvin attempted to focus on the ten-year-old freckly-face looming over his bed. "Tom, you are the most irritating kid in this place," he groaned with sleep thick in his voice.

"That's what they tell me." Tom chuckled then grinned wryly. "It's not from Paris this time. It's from California again." He tossed the long, off-white envelope at Calvin as he sat up.

The room was empty and Calvin figured he probably missed breakfast again. He looked down at the envelope. "It's from my brother," he muttered as he tore it open.

Tom sat down roughly on Calvin's bed. "You know, Calvin, that girl you like so much? Why won't you tell us who it is?"

"Mind your business, Tom."

Tom ignored him and continued with a tone that was half-teasing and half-admiring. "She's got to be a real knock-out for you to get all mushy like this."

Calvin shook his head. "I haven't been all mushy, kid."

"Sure you have. Nestor said so, too, all the guys."

"Well, that's because you have nothing better to do."

Tom grinned. "So have you kissed her yet?"

"That is not your business," Calvin snapped.

"Ha!" the boy hooted triumphantly. "You have kissed her. How many girls does that make now, Calvin?"

Calvin shook his head, unable to keep the smirk off of his face before finally pulling his legs from beneath the covers and pushing Tom off of his bed. "Now, get outta here, and let me read my letter."

"Fine, but you gotta give me the details sooner or later." Tom scurried toward the door.

"I choose later."

"Better than nuttin'!" he called from the hall before whistling his way down the stairs with thumping feet.

Calvin turned his attention back to his letter, but before he could make out a word, he heard Doc Jessup and Miss Pinchley conversing in the hallway. The good doctor was back to his rounds with the orphans after the storm. Calvin snorted a derisive laugh, then blocked out the intrusion and read.

Calvin,

I guess you could say your old decrepit brother has, well, halfway made it. I'm still working with that writer I told you about before, but he's hired me as his personal writing assistant permanently. He's one of those novelists who turned to screenplays to make a buck. Last week, he officially moved us from Monterey out to Los Angeles, and I got a little place of my own. It's not Buckingham Palace, but it'll do for our purposes. Yes, ours, meaning you and me, Calvin.

I want you to come and stay with me. There's plenty of space for you. And there's actually work here. You might be able to begin earning your own living, start out right. I know you're still in school. I figure we can have Miss Pinchley send your records here and you can finish up your last year here in LA. I know we haven't seen each other in a long time, but I miss you, and I know Dad would want me to take care of you. Well, I hate to get too mushy for ya. So, I'm going to let you go here.

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