Jim was up bright and early. The house was quiet and no one else was moving about. He started a pot of coffee in preparation for the day, showered changed and the coffee was finished so he drew a cup in his thermos and headed out for morning rounds.
Although he had a crack team working under him, he still made his own inspection in the off chance something may have been missed. Everything was as it should be and he returned to the Banks residence and quietly let himself in.
Mr. Banks was rounding the corner in search of coffee. “Ah, another early riser I see. I take it you’re responsible for that delicious aroma emanating from the kitchen?” He smiled gratefully.
“Call me crazy, but morning doesn’t start without a good strong cup of java.”
Jake laughed appreciatively. “A man after my own heart.” He poured himself a cup and lifted the pot in Jim’s direction.
“No, thanks, I’ve got a half a cup.”
“That’s as good as none in my books, come grab more before the hoard of coffee drinkers descends and there’s none left. Believe me, it’s why I’m usually the first one up. I enjoy that first cup it’s better than all that come after.”
“So how’s it looking? I take it you’re the man in charge?”
“Yes, I am. So far, so good. Nathan believe’s in preparation. Staves off a great deal of inconvenience when and if trouble should come calling.”
“What exactly do you do, Jim. May I call you Jim?”
“Certainly. I am responsible for the protection team. I run interference for Nathan on every level. I’m good at what I do.”
“Is part of your responsibility taking care of my daughter then?”
“Yes, a delightful part I may add. I’d protect her as I would Nathan, with my life,” he assured Emma’s father knowing that she was above all else, his main concern.
“I understand you were a military man,” Jake commented.
“Indeed I was and I can handle myself still. I made sure of it.”
“Good to know. That give me confidence that when push comes to shove, someone on the inside knows how to handle themselves. Any of the others been military?”
“My son did a stint in Afghanistan but those days are over. He can hold his own too. He’s a marksman. Unfortunately, he had a minor accident that damaged his eyes, not badly, but enough that he couldn’t do what the army required of him.”
“So we have three on the inside, four including Emma. Nathan gave her a crash course in hand to hand and self-defense tactics. She’s been working diligently.”
“How bad is the situation? Did Nathan give it to us straight, my daughter too, or did they gloss a bunch of crap over?”
“No, Mr. Banks. They gave it to you straight.”
“I know Emma. She’d downplay if she thought it calmed everyone down. She’s straight as an arrow, but she wouldn’t want to worry her mother or her sisters.”
“She’s one in a million, Mr. Banks, you must be very proud.”
“It’s Jake, and yes, I am. My kids have made me extremely proud. I might have set the example, but they walked the path, so that’s on them.”
“Your humble, Jake. You’re’ a good man, an honest man, and your footsteps are worthy of following, else they would have gone down another path.”
“Thanks. Appreciate that.”
“What’s say we take care of breakfast. I don’t usually go for premade pancakes, but we have a mix and I throw a hefty amount of bacon in the oven on cookie sheets. With this lot, we’ll probably need three. Sooner we get started, the sooner we can eat.” He winked at Jim. First come first serve, and we’re first in line. He slapped Jim on the back and they got started.
It wasn’t long before the others began showing up. The smell of breakfast called and they answered one by one. Before long, a second pot of coffee was brewing. When he spotted his wife, he handed her a coffee and suggested she go sit by the fire and enjoy a book and or the view or the tree. She had the morning off.
Jim watched with a wide ass grin. He reminded Jim of Nathan and Nathan’s way. Mrs. Banks responded much the same as Emma. She reached up touched his cheek and kissed him on the lips after pulling him to her. He turned so they wouldn’t notice him watching. he doubted they’d be uncomfortable, but he didn’t want them thinking he was a voyeur either.