Peter rolled over, pulling the covers with him, and yawned.
“Hey,” Amy said, kissing his neck and taking some of the blankets back.
“Sorry,” Peter said, rolling onto his back and staring at the ceiling.
Amy shifted, moving placing her head upon his bare chest. “Thanks.”
“Getting us this far.”
“We’ve all contributed to that.”
“I know, but you’ve really helped keep us moving. Do you really think we’ll get to Boulder City?”
“After we’ve come this far? Yeah.”
The bedroom door opened and Zach poked his head in. “Hey sleepyheads. I thought I heard you. Coffee’s almost done.” And he was gone again.
“Are there any more beautiful words in the English language?” Peter asked, smiling.
“I love you,” Amy said.
Peter kissed the top of her head. “Yeah, you’re right. Those words are better. Love you too.” Peter said and he realized he did. After all that he had been through, being shot at, chased by a madman across the state of Texas, only to have that same man seemingly put him under his protection. After surviving a winter with the parents of a man he had only known a few months. “Love you too,” he said again, and smiled.
“You’re right though. Coffee sounds damned good, and I can’t tell what else it is I smell, but it smells good.” They both got dressed and made a grand entrance into the kitchen together, the last of the group to join.
“First off,” Zack said, “There’s a wood burning stove.”
“Nice,” Said Amy, “Did you say something about coffee?”
“Yes I did. Here,” He handed her and Peter each a mug of steaming liquid. “I don’t know who went through the pantry, but they left us all kinds of goodies. Pancake?” He asked, lifting a plate piled high with fluffy pancakes from behind the bar.
“Oh, is there syrup?”
“Now someone’s getting greedy,” Zach laughed, and produced a bottle of artificial maple syrup. “They didn’t have the real stuff, but I’m sure this will do.” He threw the bottle and Peter caught it.
“Just don’t use it all.”
“There’s more,” Julie said, a smile upon her face as well.
“Lets all sit down and eat. Sarah and I slaved, ok Sarah slaved on those pancakes, and it would be a shame for them to go to waste.” Zach said, setting the plate of pancakes down in the center of the large dining room table.
Peter chewed silently as he watched his friends, eat, laugh, and talk excitedly for the first time since they had departed Jud and Aubrey. “I know this is supposed to be done with alcohol, but this is too good of an opportunity for me to let it pass.”
“You’re not going to get all sappy on us now, are you?” Brian laughed from the other end of the table.
Amy squeezed his leg underneath the table as he continued. “Yeah, I think I am. I just wanted to propose a toast to all of you. To family.” He raised his cup, and the words were echoed around the table followed by the clink of coffee mugs.
His moment over, he watched as they returned to their excited chatter. Finally, as Kyle finished the last pancake, Zach pushed himself away from the table. “Peter, I think since she found it, Julie should be the one to show you.”
“You’ll see,” Julie said, rising from the table.
As they walked out of the dining room, Kyle ran passed. “Look what I found, he called out over his shoulder, returning a second later with an airplane made out of Lego.
“Cool, I bet they’ll have lots of toys in Boulder City,” Peter said, winking at Julie. “So, what is it you found?”
“Patience, come on.” She led him out to the garage they had shoved their stuff in. “I don’t know how we missed it last night, but when I came out here this morning to look for some cereal, this was before we found the pancake mix mind you, I saw these.” She pulled up the garage door, letting the early morning sunlight in.
“This day is getting better and better, but there are only three.” Peter said, looking at the three bikes leaning against the wall.
“And a hand pump, and an infant carrier.” Julie smiled.
“Do you know something I don’t know?”
“No! Oh, no. I thought we can use the carrier to replace one of the shopping carts.”
“Perfect.” He walked over and began to look over the bikes. “This one should fit Kyle perfectly,” He said, pulling out a small grey and black bike.
“Yeah, about that, he’s never rode a bike before.”
“Hell, I am not sure I can tell you when the last time I rode one was. I think we can alternate whoever is on the bigger bikes, at least until we find some more.”
“I was thinking that too.”
All smiles, the two regained the rest of the group, who were still sitting around the table sipping hot coffee, with the exception of Kyle, who was still playing with the toy plane he had built.
“Kyle, come here.” Peter shouted across the house, and once the boy had joined them he continued, “Ok, for those of you that don’t know, our luck has improved greatly. There are three bikes out there, including one for Kyle,” Kyle clapped at this “But…” Peter said, “Kyle does not know how to ride it.” When he saw the boy’s expression, Peter hastily added, “And I’m a bit rusty myself.”
“So let’s stay an extra day here where it’s comfortable,” Zach said.
“I was getting there. That seems like the ideal thing to do, take a day, all of us try the bikes, we can teach Kyle how to ride, and start out fresh again tomorrow morning. Does anyone object?”
“Sounds good,” Brian said. “Though, I’ve never rode a bike either.”
“Well, we don’t have any training wheels…” Peter laughed and took a sip of his coffee.