Thirty minutes later, during their joint shower, Baron decided to ask Aurelia about something that she continued to keep secret from him. Something that he’d known about for quite awhile now, but had waited on her to bring up first.
Since she hadn’t said a thing yet, he decided to broach the subject. Especially after Aurelia had gone missing for two and a half hours earlier today when she was supposed to be at the grocery store. No way did it take that long to pick up a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.
“Liam told me about your volunteerism at the soup kitchen, so no need to go MIA on me next Saturday, okay? What I want to know is, when were you going to tell me about this recurring act of kindness?” Baron asked, using a red loofa to lather up her back as she stood in front of him in the large shower stall.
Aurelia looked back over her left shoulder. “Probably never.”
“Never? Why not? Don’t you think this is something I’d want to know about my wife?”
“I guess so now that you mention it.” Aurelia turned fully around now, allowing the shower spray to rinse her back free of scented soap suds from her favorite bath gel. “But you see, my parents taught me never to call attention to my good deeds. For one thing, doing so forfeits a greater reward from our Maker and only brings the briefest of recognition from people, which sucks all the way around. On the other hand, keeping quiet about my alms not only reveals where my heart truly is, but it makes me eligible for the Master’s reward, which I’d much rather have over mankind’s puny reward any day.”
Baron looked at her in awe. Within seconds he had kissed her breathless.
“Wow! What was that for?” Aurelia panted out two minutes later.
“For being you.” He smiled, reaching up to tenderly stroke her left cheek. “Now while you wash my back, why don’t you tell me how you came to volunteer at the soup kitchen,” he said, turning around so that she could return his earlier favor.
After Aurelia got Baron’s favorite soap on a rope and his sky-blue loofa, she proceeded to lather up his back and honor his information request. She talked about how when she first left Cain she had very little start-over money. How there was barely enough to keep a roof over her head, much less buy food. Thus she had to go to the soup kitchen for meals just to get by.
During one of her visits there, Aurelia decided to make herself useful. “Too often people come to places like that with their hands out, not bothering to give back even when they can. I didn’t want to be like them, so I went to the director of the soup kitchen and signed up to volunteer. I emptied trash, cleaned tables, washed dishes, and mopped floors. I still do those things now since I’m not the world’s best cook.”
“Yet,” Baron inserted. “You’re a lot better already. Today’s pancake breakfast was delicious.”
“Thanks, baby.” She smiled and tapped him on his sudsy bottom. “Now turn around, so I can do your chest.”
Baron readily obliged her. “Furthermore, Liam tells me you do a little bit more than that for the soup kitchen. Said you got his department to sponsor new chafers and appliances for the church that oversees the soup kitchen ministry.”
Aurelia blushed. “Okay, what hasn’t your little workplace spy told you about me?” Wanting to feel his hairy chest skin to skin, she started lathering it up with her hands and not the loofa like she’d done on his back. “More importantly, did you tell him about us?”
Baron chuckled. “I plead the fifth on the first question.”
“Anyway.” She rolled her eyes.
“The answer to your second question is yes,” he continued. “Liam knows we’re married and how important it is to keep things a secret for now. He can also be trusted with that information.”
“Good,” Aurelia replied, pleased to know that her boss really was as trustworthy as he seemed. “As for the crime lab’s sponsorship, I only petitioned for that out of necessity. I got tired of seeing the homeless and downtrodden eat grit and egg cookies for breakfast, and then glacier mashed potatoes for lunch due to faulty heating units that couldn’t keep the food hot enough for satisfactory consumption.”
“Did you just say grits and egg cookies?” Baron threw his head back and roared with laughter at her vivid word pictures.
Aurelia couldn’t help but laugh, too. By the end of their shower, she had another sponsor for the new dishwasher the church needed for its soup kitchen ministry.
© 2009 by Mi’Chelle Dodson/Suprina Frazier
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Story is scheduled to go to the VOD blog at Chapter 46