Looking for Some Comfort

It’s winter, so definitely comfort food and comfort read time, I think.

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That doesn’t quite look like the soup in the tall pot on my stove right now, but it has many of the same ingredients, though I tossed in a few other things and skipped the garbanzos this time. And the house smells amazing, between that, the bread toasting under the broiler and the apple pie cooling in the kitchen.

I’m finishing a long weekend spent doing more clean-up. I’ve been clearing out old files and reorganizing others on my computer, plus I set up a new (bigger!) monitor and speakers on my desk (which necessitated cleaning the desk). I haven’t gotten everything done in the office that I have on my list, but enough for now, in addition to some clean-up of other things in the house and the usual weekly chores. Which is why my pie and soup making included some shortcuts, and I’m okay with that.

The other ‘comfort’ I’ve indulged this week is continuing to re-read the ‘In Death series. I’m on Ceremony in Death right now, and I’ll get back to that when I have my dessert in a little while.

Before I get to the soup, though, I have a little snippet for you from Light the Way Home.

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“I’ll see you in the mornin’, Lucie!” Hayden shouted, hopping on one foot.

She smiled as she put her sweater on. “Yes, you will.” They’d already decided Hayden would join her after breakfast so Nate could cram in a few hours of work before he headed to the hospital to see his dad–and try to get his mother to come home rather than sleep on the less-than-ideal pull-out-chair-bed in his dad’s hospital room again.

She wasn’t sure that was a battle he would win, but she understood his concern.

Hayden gave her a quick hug and then ran back to his book in the living room.

“I really do appreciate this, Lucie,” Nate said from where he stood at the sink.

“It’s nothing, Nate,” she said lightly. “Keeps me from having to spend endless hours on job search sites and getting more depressed than I already am.” She kept her head down as she buttoned her sweater up to her chin.

“It isn’t nothing to me.”

His firm, quiet tone snared her attention, and her mouth went dry. The shadows in his brown eyes made her curl her fingers around the edges of her sweater to keep from reaching out.

“I’m not accustomed to asking for help.” He cleared his throat. “I appreciate it.”

She swallowed. “It’s no problem,” she whispered. Dammit–hot, attracted to her, and vulnerable. Shit, that was trouble. She took a slow breath. “I’ll see you in the morning then.” She inched toward the door.

A hint of awareness darkened his eyes, but he stayed where he was. “Good night, Lucie.”

She took two more steps, clearing the doorway to the mudroom, and a little relief sank into her belly. Until she heard footsteps behind her.

Within reach of the back door, she whirled. He stood at the open doorway of the kitchen, undisguised desire in his eyes this time. Her heart skipped a beat, and she felt a quick rush of excitement that she tried to squash as he stepped into the mud room. She held her breath as he took another step. One more. Until he stood a foot away, and her breath rushed out.

He studied her face for a long moment, and she wondered what he saw, what he was looking for. Impulsively, she moved closer to him, noting the way his eyes rounded, and she stretched up to brush a kiss on his mouth, lingered for a second, then stepped back.

“Good night, Nate,” she whispered, reaching behind her for the doorknob.

His dark gaze followed her out the door, and she turned away, a smile curving her lips.

Well. That was nice.

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Is anyone else making comfort food and pulling out comfort reads this week?

Now that I have my desk cleaned up and the new monitor in place, I need to get back to some writing. And some prep for the Valentine’s Day booksigning next month. Are you close enough to join us for that? It would be great to see you there.

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