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|“Covering this breaking story…..once again, Superbear has come through for the city and prevented a potential disaster from occurring. More details coming up on KRON 4 News at 6.”
I smiled as I turned from the TV back to the table, laying down the last of the silverware, looking over at the rice cooking on the stove, and then out at the veggies and meat cooking on the closed grill out on the back porch. One of the small advantages of X-ray vision, I thought to myself.
The intercom crackled. “Sweetie, I’m home.”
“Supper’s ready, Jimmy,” I said to the air, heading out to the back porch, the savory odor of grilled chicken and roasted corn wafting out as I flipped them onto the waiting platter. I heard the faint clank as Jim worked the concealed door, then his boots on the stairs as he came up from the cellar; I grinned as he shot up behind me in the blink of an eye, kissing the back of my neck, his hands on my shoulders.
Jim licked his lips, looking hungrily at the plate. “Man, I could smell that clear on the other side of the Golden Gate.” He looked up and down at my apron, a wide smirk across his handsome face. “So how are you this evening, Mrs. Crocker?”
“Very funny, sweetheart,” I chuckled, laying the plate down on the table. “I got home later than I planned and didn’t have time to change out of corporate drag – so it was this or another trip to the cleaner’s after one of my famous spills.”
“On you, for some reason, it looks sexy – but so would a flour sack,” Jim chortled, sitting down and shoveling rice and chicken onto his plate. “So how was your day?”
“The usual busyness,” I replied, pouring my milk and his ice tea. “At work, three client meetings, one conference call, and a business lunch in which nothing said bears repeating. On the way to and from, one purse-snatching, two muggers, and one disabled vehicle blocking the ramp to the Bay Bridge. I daresay yours was more exciting.”
He rolled his eyes. “Another freighter of dubious origin – of course, overloaded and not wanting to attract attention to their expired licenses, so they don’t call for help until the last minute when they’re just about to hit rocks and spill fuel all over the coast.” He speared a piece of bird and chewed thoughtfully. “I need to talk to the Coast Guard about this before I put my back out pushing those things into port.”
“Yeah, I don’t think the state of California can afford another worker’s comp claim,” I laughed, attacking my own plate. “At least you got to exercise a bit – the only heavy lifting I got to do was getting that lady’s purse back to her. Ever been tipped a Tic-Tac for your trouble?”
“No, but I usually brush and use mouthwash after drinking my morning coffee and eating your extra-spicy breakfast burritos, cub,” Jim chided gently, taking another piece of corn. “No wonder you’re so feisty tonight. Planning to go out on patrol?”
“Yes I am,” I said, stretching out with a growl. “Right now, I feel like I’ve been caged all day and am going to explode if I don’t do SOMETHING useful for the city. Are you sure you don’t mind?”
“While I do miss you when you’re gone, sweetie,” Jim crunched through a mouthful of kernels, “I also want you to be happy and get your exercise. That, and if I don’t let you go, from the looks of you, I’ll be walking bowlegged for a week.”
“You don’t seem to mind ME not being able to put my knees together for days,” I grinned wickedly, getting up from the table and dropping my plate in the sink. “Isn’t what’s good for the cub good for the bear?”
He growled, then flexed. “You’ve won a few matches, as I and my glutes seem to recall. But I think you like it better down below as compared to up top.”
“Guilty as charged,” I chuckled, heading over to the table and nuzzling him on top of the head, then heading for the basement. “I know, ‘Be careful’, ‘Watch your back’, ‘Wear a sweater’, the usual.”
“Just looking out for you, Dan,” Jimmy said, shaking his head. “You’re still a cub, and you’re still getting used to your powers. Be careful – OK, I said it, I said it.” His eyes went soft. “I love you, Dan.”
“I love you too, Jimmy,” I said, smiling back at him, then eagerly pulling at the secret opening in the basement wall.
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