Justice Page 54

’’Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Would you like to stay for dinner? I have plenty and it\s a human custom to feed people as a way of showing appreciation.’’

The men glanced at each other, their apprehension near comical.

’’I have tri-tip. It\s steak that\s thinly sliced and it\s got some pinkness to it. It\s not as rare as most of you enjoy but I think you\ll like it. I\d appreciate the opportunity to make new friends. I just moved here and don\ know that many people.’’

Sword answered for the both of them. ’’We accept. You should feel welcome by us and friends are important.’’

’’They are.’’ She smiled. ’’Why don\ you have a seat on the couch? You can kick off your shoes, turn on the television and relax while I go slice it up and pop the potatoes in the microwave. It shouldn\ be more than fifteen minutes.’’

They closed the front door and ambled toward the couch. Jessie turned, entered the kitchen and took out the tri-tip fifteen minutes early. It appeared really cooked on the outside but would be rarer than she normally ate it, in other words perfect for her guests. It was quick work to wash three potatoes, jab them with a fork and bake them in the microwave. She cooked up some veggies, chopped some chives for the potatoes and set the table for three.

Excitement gripped her at the prospect of talking to the two males. She was familiar with the females but their counterparts were completely different. She hoped that getting to know them would help her the next time she dealt with Justice. They might be friendly enough to answer any questions she directed their way.

Jessie walked into the living room. ’’Dinner is ready. Do you want to follow me or I could bring your plates out here if you prefer the coffee table.’’

Both men stood instantly and cautiously approached as though they feared she might bolt from terror. Sword seemed to be the more talkative of the two as he spoke.

’’We\d be honored to eat at your table in the kitchen. Thank you, Ms. Dupree.’’

’’Please just call me Jessie and I\m the one who is honored to have you as guests.’’

She led them into the kitchen and headed for the fridge. After asking what they wanted to drink, she got them sodas and sat down at the table to smile at both males. ’’Dig in.

I\m not formal and don\ worry about table manners. Just make yourself at home, okay?

There\s plenty of food and I hope you can eat it all or I\ll have to use the leftovers to make a ton of sandwiches. You\d be saving me the trouble.’’

Night stabbed a slice of meat, stared at it as if he were afraid to take a bite but then stuffed the entire thing into his mouth. Jessie paused to watch his reaction, hoped he liked it. He grinned as he chewed. His surprise evident as he stared at her until he swallowed.

’’This is really good! Thank you, Jessie.’’

’’Yes,’’ Sword agreed, swallowing his first bite. ’’It\s delicious. I didn\ know it could taste this way. We just chop them up into big flat slabs and sear them. You should tell us how to cook it this way.’’

’’I\d be happy to write it down for you. It\s easy.’’ She pointed to the rotisserie machine. ’’That does the work. I just season the meat, put it in and wait for it to be done.

Anyone can do it.’’

They ate in silence, the men consuming vast amounts of meat. Jessie resisted the urge to grill them with questions. At least wait until they are done and full , she reasoned.

Night finally stopped eating, put down his fork and stared at her. She met his gaze.

’’Weren\ you afraid to invite us to dinner? We are two fierce males in your home that you don\ know. We believed you would be terrified.’’

Sword cleared his throat. ’’We didn\ want to bring your boxes because we thought you might see us and cry.’’ He made a horrible face and shivered. ’’I can\ stand crying.’’

Jessie fought a laugh but couldn\ stop the grin that spread across her face. ’’I\m used to being around larger men so I\m not easily frightened. Do you know what my last job was?’’

Both men shook their heads. Jessie started telling them about her job with the task force, the men she worked with and all the Species she\d met and saved. Both men listened intently with interest. She finished with how she had gotten grazed by a bullet and had ended up at Homeland.

’’You know we won\ attack you and force shared se* on you?’’ Sword looked sincere. ’’One guy said you would probably see us both and think we had come to rape you.’’

Night laughed. ’’He said you would hurt our ears with your shrieking as soon as you opened the door.’’

’’And the crying.’’ Sword laughed. ’’I was hoping you would think I was a ra**st and just scream instead of bursting into hysterical sobs. That would hurt my ears less.’’

Jessie laughed. ’’Tell your friend I\m sorry to disappoint him.’’

’’He will be disappointed when we tell him about the dinner you fed us.’’ Night grinned. ’’He was asked to go but I owed him a favor. He told me I had to come in his place to make us even.’’

Sword laughed again. ’’You should take him a piece of the steak. I would laugh to see his face when he tastes the meat she fed us.’’

Jessie stood. ’’Let me get you a baggie and you can take him a few pieces.’’

’’You are a good human, Jessie.’’ Night beamed. ’’I\m glad that I don\ make you scream or cry.’’

’’Me too,’’ Jessie chuckled, placing a few slices of tri tip into a baggie before returning to the table.


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