Let Him Eat Cake

Here is a little scene that I wrote in response to a prompt (word: Cake) from the WriYe DreamWidth – it precedes “A Snap Decision” in my November NaNovel.

**

Mikas trailed along behind Andrien as they moved through the room.  It was like a repeat of their practice case.  Was it really only a week ago that they’d failed so miserably to work as a cohesive unit?  He heaved a sigh and shook his head.  In spite of their performance in Frankonia, they had to do another practice mission.  He didn’t know who’d made the decision, but when he found out, there would be words.

“This is so foolish,” he murmured, as he scanned the room for their target.  “Haven’t we already proved ourselves?  We caught a killer, for Heaven’s sake.”

“Chief Rail didn’t feel that was sufficient,” Andrien said.  Then, he nodded towards Angie Hogancamp.  The woman still had her bag tucked under one arm.  Ilya had an identical bag, just as he had on that night one week before.

“Cake?” a familiar voice said.

Mikas looked up and hid a smile as he saw Jefferson stooping to offer a slice of cake to Andrien.  As the nobleman took the cake, with words of delight, Mikas snatched it away from him.  “You’re on a diet,” he said, his tone firm.

Andrien, very much on cue, tried to snatch it back.  In the process, he knocked into Jefferson, who fell back and dumped the entire tray of cake slices onto Miss Angie Hogancamp.  “Oh, my,” Andrien said.  He swept in, ever the gentleman and began trying to help the woman clean herself up.  The first thing he did was take her bag, of course.

While he handed her napkins and kept her thoroughly distracted, he slipped the bag to Mikas, who slipped it to Ilya.  Taking the other bag, he waited patiently while Andrien drove Hogancamp into a tizzy with his insistence on “helping” her.

“That will do,” she said, finally.  She glared at Mikas, as if to say that the entire thing was his fault, before she snatched the bag from his hands.  “You’ll hear from my drycleaner, Lord Andrien,” she added.  Then, she turned and swept out of the room.

Mikas hid a smile and then looked at Andrien.  “Cake,” he said.  “It’s so much more… distracting than champagne.”

“Indeed,” Andrien said, as he munch happily on the only slice that had survived the incident.

They didn’t get to hear how things had turned out until they could leave without raising any kind of alarm.  However, their first stop was the office.  Mikas only had to see the pleased smile on Cedar’s face and hear Ilya’s laughter to know that everything had turned out as planned.

“That was a good lark,” Jefferson said, shaking his head.  “I didn’t even mind having to play a waiter.”

“You should have seen the look on her face,” Cedar said, as he turned to Andrien.  He chuckled and shook his head.  “She was like, ‘Your team still has so much to learn’ and showed Engus the bag.”

“Open it,” Ilya said, smirking.  He nodded and added, “That’s what Cedar said and… when she opened it and here’s this note from Lark, ‘Thank you for the bag’.”  He broke off with a chuckle and shook his head.

“Then, Ilya held up her bag and smiled at Rail,” Torin said, nodding.  He looked at Cedar and said, “I thought that the chief might kiss you then.”

“He leaves that for his niece to do,” Cedar said.  He chuckled and waved them off.  “Go home.  I’ll see you all tomorrow.  Great work, people.”  It was, over all, a great way to end a case.

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