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Chapter 17

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Lake Ontario

After dinner, Nicole helped Marie clear the table then went up to the bedroom.  Cameron put more wood in the hearth and then joined Marie in the kitchen.

“I have this Mister Kincaid.  You already prepared such a fine meal.”

“It’s part of the process,” said Cameron.  He scraped what small amount of stew remained out of the tagine and into a smaller bowl.  As the two cleaned the kitchen, they said nothing to each other.  The music had stopped after they had sat down for dinner, not until now did the cabin seem quiet.  Cameron flipped the cassette tape and pressed play.  “He has such a beautiful voice,” said Marie.

“It’s not electric guitar, that’s for sure.”

Marie nodded her head in agreement, “It certainly is not.”

When the counters were clean and all of the dishes were in the soapy water of the sink, the two stood side by side, Cameron washing and Marie drying.  Both stood relaxed, their hands busy, the music, softer now, accompanying their task.  Marie held a plate with part of a towel and dried the edge with the rest, rotating the dish in her hand with each stroke.  She turned away from the plate and gazed at Cameron standing next to her.  Humming along with Pavarotti, Cameron was so at peace in the kitchen.

“Mister Kincaid.”

“Cameron, Marie.”  He turned his head to her and arched an eye, “You can call me Cameron.”

“Mister Kincaid,” said Marie again.  He sighed and looked back down at a plate next to the sink.  He put the dish into the hot water.  “Yes,” said Cameron.

“I only wanted to tell you…”

“Yes?”

“Well, you look so natural in the kitchen.”

“Thank you, I think.”

“I mean, you are — were — a soldier.  Now you are a chef.  How does that happen?”

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