Cole hadn't felt well the last week, so I stayed home to make sure he was taken care of. His sponsor even brought something over for him a few days ago. I wasn't entirely sure what it was, though.
He looked better today but not quite one hundred percent. Still, he managed to convince me to open the stand today. He wanted to get out of the house.
I made him bring a light jacket even though it was August. I made him where a hat, too. I didn't want the sun to make him feel worse when he hadn't been feeling well.
Once we got there, he decided to lay his head on a table. He had brought his sketchpad with him, but I didn't expect him to draw anything. He hadn't been managing to stay awake longer than to talk to his sponsor or do the bare minimum. The boys helped here and there, but I took care of our chores, so he didn't have to.
Even though she had just been to the house, I still hadn't met his sponsor. I hid in the bathroom when I heard her come in. I was scared to meet her. I didn't know what she thought of me. Cole really only mentioned her when she got him into an art show.
The townsfolk were happy to see me. I hadn't opened my stand in the last couple weeks. The week before Cole got sick, I hadn't slept that well, so I only managed to open the stand three days. It wasn't what I wanted, but I couldn't change it.
I pretty much got slammed the first couple hours we were there. I was grateful for the work and money, but I felt bad, too. It made it harder to keep an eye on Cole. I almost wished I could've dognapped Honey, so she could watch over him. She'd done that a lot in the last week.
After that, I got a break of an hour or so with few or no customers to wait on. It felt good since I felt out of practice when we got there. Still, I did enjoy cooking for those customers.
Towards the end of that downtime, Jamie came to my stand. She didn't have Graham with her today.
"Hiya, Cyan," Jamie said. "I'd like a fatty steak and apple pie."
"Coming right up." I turned on my ovens. "Are you by yourself today?"
Jamie smiled. "Yep! My boys are spending time together! I haven't had a week to myself in years!"
It must have been great for her then. Everybody needed a break sometimes.
She noticed when I handed her the food. "Is that Cole over there?"
I nodded. "Mind making sure he's just sleeping? I haven't been able to keep an eye on him the way I'd like to."
"Of course not."
Cole picked his head up when Jamie went over. He was smiling but he looked dazed. Maybe it was too soon for him to be out of the house. I was not going to work a long day today when I knew he was like that.
That was when a man in a suit approached my stand. "I'd like a coffee, pasta, and bread pudding."
"Of course, sir." I turned on the appropriate appliances. "Right away."
As soon as I was done with this customer, I was getting Cole home. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
I had to spend five minutes sitting behind the stand because I was on edge. Between that and it taking me a minute to put everything away, the man finished eating before we could get out of there.
"My friend was right about you," he said.
I tensed up. "I'm sorry...?"
"Oh, I'm sorry." He offered his hand. "You and your sleeping prince have worked about half a dozen of my friend's parties. He told me your food was to die for and he was definitely right."
"Oh... Thank you..."
"Another friend of mine is about to open a new restaurant. He's still looking for a head chef. I think it'd be great if you applied."
I took a deep breath. "Well, thank you for saying so. I'm happy with my work situation for the moment."
"What a shame."
After he left, I went over to Cole and rubbed his back. "Cole, sweetie, it's time to wake up."
"Huh...?" Cole perked up. "Oh, hey, Cy..."
I kissed his cheek. "If you didn't feel well, I wish you'd told Jamie if you didn't wanna tell me."
"I'm okay, Cy. You don't have to worry about me."
I put the back of my hand to his forehead and smiled. "Sweetie, you're burning up."
"No, I can't be. Cy, it's cold."
"Those are called chills, dear." I put my arm around him. "Now, let's get you home."
"But I'm okay, Cy..."
I smiled. "You have nothing to prove to me. Let's go home, dear."
"What did that guy ask you about?" Cole asked.
Gracious Manicha. How did Cole even hear about that? He seemed to be asleep when it happened.
"A job offer. I didn't take it."
I used my terminal to get us home. I wasn't sure Cole was in a condition to walk home. I didn't want to give him room to change my mind, either.
Alastair got off the couch. "Oh, hey. Did something happen?"
"No." Cole swayed beside me.
"To bed with you. I'll be right there."
Cole grumbled but did as he was told.
Alastair raised an eyebrow.
"Don't worry about it." I smiled. "Being sick isn't all that fun for us. I can look after Cole."
Alastair scrunched his face. "Oh, yuck..."
I looked at him sideways. "I thought you didn't know what that was like."
"I was without my key for several months... I got to find out what it was like."
"Oh, right... Anyway, I need to make sure Cole gets settled in."
Alastair put a hand on my shoulder. "Is something else on your mind? We can help with Cole if you need a break."
"It's not important. I'm more worried about Cole right now."
"Let us know if you need anything," he said.
Why was that man's offer getting under my skin? I didn't want to work in a restaurant. It was why I worked my stand and parties. I was doing exactly what I set out to do so why did his offer bother me?
Thoughts on this episode? Cy and her "sleeping prince"? The man Cy met? Theories? Predictions?
YOU ARE READING
Key of Liberation (A Key Keepers novel)Fantasy
Alastair Kurenai left his home on Earth to fulfill his destiny in a world called Nachima. Nothing out of the ordinary for a guy born into a family of Key Keepers, the ones who act as the worlds' balancing force. However, unbeknownst to him, he was i...