I don’t usually let him into my office or my work room. I was that way when I still was working the law, I just didn’t want to chance him touching anything that could have been more than a little important. He understood that well and never really asked to see what it was like and how it was like when I worked.

I guess today is a little different and I don’t really mind. I have no commission piece waiting for me, I just sent out the last one in its refrigerated box. Most clients don’t require the box but this one has a fair distance to cross so the box was a bit more of a necessity. I don’t mind. It’s hardly more work to set that up, in the end.

He’s been looking around but I give him that, he hasn’t really touched anything. He’s looked at my pantry, at my melting equipment, at my fridge, he’s looked at my equipment (there is a lot of that) and he hasn’t really asked any question. Now he’s standing next to a slight box and I know he’s about to ask a question, it’s written all over his face.

I turn to face him, away from the small bit of cleaning I still had to do. He turns to me and I can only grin. He blinks but smiles sheepishly, as if caught in the act. “What’s this do?”

Easing to my feet, I walk over to him and I look over his shoulder to make sure I’m looking at the right box. Wouldn’t do to give him a wrong answer on this, after all. “That’s the box I use to sterilize all my equipment.”

He cants his head as if that answer makes no sense to him at all and I chuckle gently. I move to sit back on my working bench with a shrug. “Some clients want peanuts or this or that in their requested piece. Some other clients have allergies to these things so before I start working on the piece, I sterilize my tools to make sure that I can work with them without making anyone sick.”

“You can’t sterilize your tables though, can you?”

“Nope, that’s why I have particular tops for particular orders. If I’m just working on chocolate I have this one table top I work on, it’s marked. If I’m working with peanuts I have another and so on. I do wash all my equipment thoroughly between each piece though, just to make sure and not a single client has ever called me to tell me something they had ordered had contained stuff it shouldn’t have so I think I’m good and safe to this day.”

Finally he nods, looking over everything again before he steps to me and just half-sits on my lap. I laugh and curl my arms about his waist. “What was your most complicated request to this day?”

I cant my head, thoughtful, I suppose that is a good question. I’ve done full-scale replicas of people, sculpted out of chocolate. It’s not that hard but it takes a lot of time. There is one thing though. “Not that long back, just a couple of months I think, this one father requested a full aquarium for his daughter’s sweet sixteen. That in itself, not much an issue. The aquarium’s glass panes I ordered from a friend who does sugar work. But the father wanted each and every fish to have a different kind of filling, he wanted some with liquid fillings, which are always a little more difficult, some with hazelnuts, others with caramel. I guess it wasn’t complicated in a way that I knew how to do it all but it took a long time and a lot of hard work.”

Again he tips his head, thinking back and I know the light clicks on and he remembers which one I’m talking about. He helped me deliver it, it was so big and fragile. We made it to the place with the piece intact and the father was more than happy with the work.

“Your simplest commission?”

I laugh softly at his question and I shrug. That could be just about anything. “Yael’s piece for Quentin’s birthday cake. Anything that only requires me to melt chocolate and mould it. Usual commissions take several hours, that’s the norm. Those that only take me a few minutes up to an hour are easy. Anything that takes me several days I consider a bit more complex.”

When we’re done with the slight tour and question, he steps out of the working room, though I suppose it’s should be more ‘rooms’ as there’s three in all, and heads off towards the living room. I know he has a few things he’s been needing to take care of though he’s delayed seeing to them as long as he can. Some things should not be ignored, I know.

While he’s off to the living room, I head to the back to check in on Adela. She’s been a little slow lately and I worry about her. I know she’s doing well as a whole, that’s not the issue. I’m just wondering if she’s not coming down with something. I’d rather hope not, I don’t even know if there is a vet around these parts who could look her over. I might have to get in touch with an acquaintance still living in the states. I don’t know that I want her over here at this point, Eoghan might not much care for her presence around. I’ll have to think on it.

Some people might be afraid to spend time in this kind of room with a snake this size but Adela is different. She knows I’m different and she knows, or so I’d want to believe, that she wouldn’t really manage to get much of anywhere with me if she tried to think of me as a snack.

Just outside the room, I take off my shirt and hang it up on the peg I have sitting there for that reason. It’s hot and humid in her room and I’m more than a little glad I’ve managed to keep that heat and humidity inside. It’s bad enough outside in this season that I don’t know how we’d handle a heatwave inside.

The moment I close the door behind me, she pops out of her curled up spot. I don’t know if it’s the click of the door or that she just senses me presence, it doesn’t matter much. She always comes to greet me and I’m more than happy to let her half-curl over my shoulder. She looks livelier today. She’s moving more easily and that comforts me to no end. I know she’s been eating, she hasn’t left any sign of the food I’ve left out for her anywhere, except for when she’s done digesting them, at least.

I chuckle and brush my fingers over her head gently. “You’re doing better, beautiful. I’m glad. I worry about you, you know.”

I’m aware that she’ll never answer me, that’s not the point of talking to her. People talk to their dogs and they don’t talk back. They’ll bark but that’s not talking as far as I care to even think about it. I know Quentin and Yael talk to their cats, they meow back but that’s hardly talking back at this point. I shake my head and chuckle again lightly.

Carefully, I set her back down and I go around her room, checking the seams, checking the set up, making sure she has all the water she needs. I know a lot of people would say she’d be happier out in the wild from where she came from but she came from here. She was born in the States from a breeder so she doesn’t exactly know what out there is about.

When I’m done with the check up, I step back out of her room, I close and lock the door as usual and I wipe my feet clean before putting my shirt back on. I meet back up with Eoghan who is still avoiding doing whatever it is he’s supposed to do and I have to roll my eyes before chuckling.

“Can’t avoid it forever, love.”

“I know, just delaying the inevitable.”

“Want me to do it?”

“No, I’ll do it, just- not now.”

That sounds like a plan to me. I know he only delays on particular things and they’re not things we have to worry too much about so really, all is fine in our lives currently.


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