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Critical Error 39

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Eilea complimented both as they left, “Paul’s gave you top billing.  I can attest he was correct, probably the most delicious cheesecake I’ve ever tasted.”

“Thank you.  We worked on the recipe until we perfected one that we figured was a winner,” he humbly acknowledged with a nod of appreciation.

After coffee, they returned to the house.  They were unlocking the front door when the kids pulled into the driveway.  It seemed they weren’t going to be alone tonight, either.

Paul asked if they enjoyed pool.  They excitedly informed him they would love to play a game.  Paul decided to sit out and watched while the others paired off into teams; Eilea and Andrew made up one team, while the girls and their boyfriends making up the other two.  “Good shot, Theresa.”

“Thanks.”

The game ended, a tie between the teen teams who righteously whooped it up before heading off to watch tv while Andrew was bent on playing Nintendo.  Paul immediately challenged Eilea to a game. They laughed and joked and from time to time, Paul would wrap his arms around her to show her a trick shot.  Of course, none of this was lost on the kids, especially Andrew who didn’t appear particularly pleased.

Later, Paul made a pot of coffee and he and Eilea retired to the living room.

Christina popped her head around the corner to tell them they were going for a walk on the beach and promised they wouldn’t be late.  Noticing how dejected Andrew looked, Paul suggested a game of chess.

“I love Chess.”  Lifting the top of the coffee table, Paul then flipped it over.  On the opposite side of the hinged table top was an inlaid chessboard.  He opened a concealed drawer and lifted out the playing pieces.  One set was black onyx, the other  clear crystal.  It was magnificent.

“Come on over and watch, mom,” Andrew invited.

“Thanks, but I’ve never learned how to play chess and I’m not particularly interested.  You guys go right ahead.  I’ll go curl up in front of the TV with a movie or something.”

“Sure.  We’ll check on you in a while.”

“No need, you enjoy your game.  I understand Andrew is a challenging adversary.”

“I wished you’d told me that sooner.”  Andrew laughed and Eilea disappeared into the media room.

Eilea examined Paul’s collection of movies but didn’t unearth anything particularly interesting.  Turning on the TV instead, she curled up in an oversized chair and became immersed in a Discovery Channel program about volcanoes. Some of the information surprised her and the film footage was magnificent as hot red lava bursts looked spectacular against the ink black sky.

Flicking from channel to channel in search of something more upbeat to watch, she settled on a love story she hadn’t seen in a while with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman called “While You Were Sleeping.”

Her laughter drew the guys in to see what was so funny.  “Hi, how’d the game go?”

“Good.”

“I laugh every time I see the part where the newspaper boy throws the paper and the bike whips out from under him.  The first time we saw it, we laughed so hard, we must have played it back at least six time at least and still we laughed.”

“It’s still hilarious,” Andrew agreed.

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