Connie awoke the next morning to the smell of breakfast. She got up and looked out her bedroom window. There were several inches of snow on the ground. She grabbed a robe and headed downstairs in search for food. And coffee.
She stood in the doorway of the kitchen and saw Drew at the stove, spatula in hand, flipping pancakes. He didn’t seem to be aware of her presence, so she stood there watching him. The undershirt he was wearing stretched across his strong back. It looked like if he flexed just a little too hard, the shirt would tear right off of his body. His pajamas rode low on his hips. She wondered just how easy it would be to tug…
She immediately chastised herself for having thoughts like that.
“Coffee’s over there.”
Connie jumped at the sound of his voice. He hadn’t even turned around.
“How did you know–”
“I wouldn’t be very good at my job if I didn’t know you’d been standing behind me for the last five minutes. You checking me out Barb?” She could hear the teasing in his voice.
“Of course not,” she said a little too defensively.
He finally turned and looked over his shoulder at her with a small grin. “Coffee’s over there,” he repeated, pointing at the coffee maker with the spatula.
“Thanks,” she murmured, shuffling over to grab a coffee mug and pour herself a cup of coffee. She took her first sip and felt herself finally begin to wake up.
“This is delicious,” she said.
He made an inaudible grunt and continued placing pancakes on a platter.
“Looks like someone hasn’t had their coffee this morning,” she said under her breath.
“I’m on my second cup, actually.”
She looked over her shoulder in time to see him bringing the platter over to the breakfast table.
The table was already set, so all they had to do was dig in.
“You mean Miss Mable doesn’t make you breakfast too?”
 He looked up at her. “She does occasionally. But she wouldn’t be able to today even if I wanted her to. Have you looked outside?”
“I saw there were a few inches on the ground.”
He nodded. “And it’s sticking. Even if it wasn’t, the roads are covered in ice. Looks like you’re not going anywhere today. We’ll see about tomorrow.”
“Here’s hoping,” she replied. There was no point in trying to make any remarks under her breath; the man had razor sharp hearing.
“You can say that again,” she heard him say.
They sat quietly eating breakfast, which Connie had to admit, Drew had done a fantastic job cooking.
“This is very good Andrew,” she admitted to him.
“Not bad for someone as undomesticated as myself huh?”
“There you go again!” Connie said, her silverware making a loud clanking sound as she all but threw them on the table and pointed at him. “I was actually giving you a real compliment. And you just can’t help but throw a dig in.”
They sat there in silence staring at each other.
“Thank you,” he finally said grudgingly.
“You’re welcome. I’ll do the dishes when we’re done.”
He nodded and continued eating.
After he finished, he got up took his plate and put it in the sink, and then left the kitchen. When she was done eating, she started on washing the dishes. Several minutes later Drew entered the kitchen again, this time dressed.
He walked to the backdoor and grabbed his jacket off the coat rack.
“Where are you going?” she asked before she could stop herself.
“The horses aren’t gonna feed themselves,” he said with his back to her as he slipped his arms through the coat. “I’ll be back in a little while.”
Before she could say anything else, he was out the door and trudging through the snow toward the stable.
She watched him from the windows in the kitchen. He opened the stable, went in then shut it closed.
She figured with the snow, George wouldn’t be coming to help Andrew with the horses. She had no idea how many horses he had in the stable. According to Miss Mabel, he had quite a few. It could take him forever to feed those horses by himself. And he had to be freezing out there. After she finished drying the dishes, she hurried up the stairs, changed clothes and raced out the back door toward the stable before she changed her mind.