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Rangers Lodge Saga - A Love of Tea

The kitchen wasn’t much bigger than one in a large house. A U of wide blue-grey granite counters curved around gleaming black appliances. Commercial coffee urns hummed against the far wall and an island in the centre of the U was stacked with trays of food. At the other end of the room, a round oak table, covered with paperwork, sat between two windows overlooking the breakfast crowd on one side and a swimming pool on the other.

“Good morning. Can I get you something?”

Kristen turned to see Adam emerge from a door beside the kitchen, his arms loaded with rolls of paper towel. Like his father, he was dressed in black jeans and a white Rangers Lodge golf shirt. His green eyes were cool and courteous this morning. She matched his slight smile.

She glanced around the kitchen again. “How on earth do you cook for a hundred in this space?” she mused aloud. She spied a canister of assorted teabags near the coffee and moved towards them.

“We don’t.” Adam squatted to stow the supplies beneath the sink. “Brekfast usually attracts a smaller crowd so we, that is my father and I, prepare it in here.” He stood and looked at the spread of food. ”There’s a much larger kitchen near the dining rooms.” He indicated toward the back of the house. “I have some loose leaf chai if you’re interested,” he offered as she selected a chai teabag.

“Don’t go through all that for me,” Kristen shrugged dismissively, shaking the tea bag between slender manicured fingers. She looked just as good in black denim shorts and a simple pink tank as she had in gold sparkles the night before, Adam noted. Her luxurious hair was twisted into a braid.

“Gives me an excuse to have another cup. Chai happens to be my favourite.” From a cupboard above the coffeemaker, he set out a teapot and two cups. “Sugar or honey?” When her eyes lit up at the latter, he nodded in approval and spooned some in both cups. He poured boiling water over the leaves and Kristen inhaled the aroma of marsala, black pepper and cinnamon.

“Wow, that’s good,” she breathed, swirling the flavours in her mouth when he passed her a cup. “Rangers special blend?”

“Not that ambitious.” Adam sipped from his own cup as he leaned against the counter. “A nearby farm, the same farm where we get the honey, creates tea blends. Always happy to run into someone who appreciates real tea,” he added, raising his cup to hers in a toast.

“There’s Aunty Kristen and she’s having a tea party,” Logan’s voice had Kristen looking towards the door. He grinned at her. “All the kids trooped off with the babysitter but Bel wanted you.” He sauntered towards the coffee urns as Bella pattered towards Kristen. “Brooke and Ollie’s little one,” he told Adam as Bella tugged on Kristen’s free hand.

“Want tea cup!” Bella demanded, pointing.

Scooping the child up, Kristen’s voice took on a sing-song tone. “It’s hot…ouch, ouch, ouch.” Bella giggled and Kristen nuzzled their noses together. “Say don’t touch Uncle Logan.”

“Only me touch, Unka Loggie!” Bella sang out.

Logan sent Adam a sour look. “That nickname stays here unless you want to be Uncle Addie. And trust me, dude, Kristen can get this tyke to say anything. Adam’s one of my college buddies when he’s not playing boss around here,” he told Kristen.

“Really?” Kristen asked, interested. “What are you studying?”

“Finishing up a diploma in landscape design. A hobby.”

“More like his obsession,” Logan snorted. “Kristen’s a college instructor,” he told Adam. “She could give you study tips.”

“Assuming you guys actually study in college?” Kristen joked. She finished her tea and set the cup carefully in the sink. “Thanks for the tea. I’d better go get Bel’s tea set before she sends yours tumbling.” Bouncing the child, she prompted, “Tell Uncle Addie thank you for breakfast.”

“Ta you Unka Addie.” Bella waved her chubby fingers at Adam. Kristen heard Logan choke on his coffee as she strolled from the kitchen and had the satisfaction of seeing a reluctant grin crack Adam’s professional mask.

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