One by one, she brewed and assembled everyone’s coffees, popping a K cup out and another one in, until there were four piping hot coffees exactly as they each liked them. It only occurred to Carrie as she retrieved an insulated tumbler for Nathan’s coffee, that he and David took their coffees exactly the same way; black, no sugar, no cream. She had teased David about how without the sugar and cream, that it was basically just hot bean water. She put a steaming cup in front of him, laughing at the memory.
“Something funny?” He mumbled, irritated.
“What’s up your ass?,” She yawned, finally noticing his sulkiness.
“You didn’t answer my question.” He quipped.
“I’m sorry,” she replied, as she precisely dropped exactly 9 drops of Stevia into her coffee. “I didn’t hear your question.”
From inside Carrie’s room, the water stopped and the shower door banged shut, momentarily drawing David’s attention.
“I asked you where you were last night.” David grit his teeth.
Nate was drying off when he heard the commotion from the kitchen.
“First of all, check your tone,” she wasn’t quite yelling but Carrie’s voice was loud enough that he could hear every word.
“You abandoned her for hours, she was by herself and scared, and I had to turn around and drive back in the middle of the night because you…”
“Oh, so this is about how you were affected? I see…”
“No, it’s…” David began.
“Okay, stop,” Legacy tried to cut in but to no avail.
“You know what I think?,” Carrie continued, “I think you love having to rush back here. The gallant hero.”
“What’s that supposed to mean? ”
“It means that you’d take any excuse not to have to go back home and face your demons but instead of owning to it you’re pissed at me.”
David opened his mouth as if to say something and then snapped it back shut.
Nate combed through his wet hair quietly listening to the heated exchange. He never heard Carrie yell before. It was quiet for now but he knew that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. He had to slip out of some point; he had to be at work.
“Struck a nerve?” Carrie asked, still angry. She knew she had. For all his talk about his time at WVU and his precious Mountaineers, David was afraid to go back. Only a few people actually understood why and she was one of them. She’d gut punched him and she knew it.
David said nothing but glared back at her.
For a quick second, she felt bad. “David, I…” She started to apologize.
“Shut up, Carrie, just shut up.”
The last thing Nathan wanted was to storm into the kitchen on that note but he had reached a point where he had no choice. His morning schedule was packed and he was cutting it close.
“Mr. and Mrs. Bickerson, both Y’all shut it.” Legacy intervened and turned to Carrie, “That was mean.” Then to David, she said, “she’s right. You’re a chickenshit but I do appreciate you coming for me all the same.”
“You’re welcome,” David said quietly.
“Now about that bug up your butt…”
Nate took that moment to open the bedroom door which unfortunately led right into the kitchen.
” Hey,” Legacy continued, “maybe Nate knows a good proctologist who can it extracted for you.” David glared in Nate’s direction.
“Whoa,” Nate threw his hands up and surrender. “I come in peace.”
He took the three steps to get to Carrie feeling David’s eyes on him. Carrie turned her face up to him( he loved it when she did that) in anticipation of his sweet, good morning kiss.
Nathan brushed her lips softly with his as she shoved a to-go cup in his hand.
“This mine?” He asked, leaning his tall frame over her and kissing the top of her head.
David rolled his eyes and looked to Legacy expecting a similar reaction but from her expression, she appeared to be eating up Carrie and Nate’s ridiculous antics.
“Yep, tall, hot, and dark.” Carrie smiled sweetly, her demeanor suddenly changed. “Just my type.”
Nate laughed, despite the tension in the room. “I’m partial to short, sweet, and blonde, but whatever.” He kissed her mouth once more. “I gotta go.”
“Oh please .” David blurted, “Can someone bludgeon me with something?”
“If that’ll make you happy,” Carrie quickly offered.
“You walked into that.” Legacy chastised. “and also, too soon.”
“Wait a sec and a leave with you,” Carrie chirped after Nathan. She quickly put her shoes on and grabbed her gym bag from the chair.
“Get some rest,” she ordered Legacy and turned to David. “Bye.”
David kept his eyes on his coffee. ” Yeah okay. Bye.”
They left together with her hand in his.