Aurora knew that Jay must have been thinking about his father and the funeral but she knew better than to bring it up. He wanted to continue with business as usual and she would more than happy to help him continue with things that way.
When she got inside she made her way over to the stove and stirred the pot for a minute as she tried to get the heat through the soup and once that was doing its thing she cut a slice of bread of a fresh loaf and slathered it in butter so that it would melt the moment it was dipped into the soup. She grabbed a bowl and filled it to the top with soup and placed it in front of Jay with the slice of bread.
Aurora smiled proudly. "Now I will apologise in advance because there is no meat in there but it's got a nice kick and its lovely and warming."
Jay loved nothing more than to be Aurora's guinea pig for new menu items. It meant he got to spend time with her while she was at work [i and] taste her cooking. He followed her back inside With a small smile on his face. He was also grateful for the further distraction.
His father's death weighed heavy on him. Not for any pity on the man's part. But for his sister and what she might be going through. He knew he needed to be there for her to help set up the funeral. And he knew that they were doing the right thing by making the trip to see her that weekend. But he also knew that she would attempt to persuade him to come to the funeral. That was the last thing he wanted to do. Surrounding himself with people who thought his father was a good man was not something he would find enjoyment out of.
He turned his attention back to Aurora, waiting for her to offer up something delicious.
Aurora didn't care that she didn't understand everything he was talking about, just seeing the way his face lit up and hearing the way the engine burst to life was enough to keep her smiling. If he was happy so was she and it appeared that he was very happy in this moment and she wanted him to relish in that for a little while longer.
"I can't wait. Come on inside then. I'll fix you something to eat, although you are going to be my guinea pig today because I've been trying out some soups since the weather is turning colder, something I can serve with my bread." He said as she took hold of his hand and pulled him back inside.
Jay couldn't believe how his heart sped up around Aurora, even after all their time together. She seemed excited for him that he got the motorcycle to run, knowing how long he had been working on it. His lunch was momentarily forgotten as he led her outside with a wide smile.
She kissed his cheek and asked him to show her. So he did. He climbed on and revved the engine so she could hear it purr. He started talking about everything he had to do to it before he realized she probably had no idea what he was talking about, similar to how she sounded when she talked about baking. He turned to look at her smiling face again and he leaned back in the seat.
"I'll take you for a spin later," he promised, stopping with the jargon. He climbed off once more and took her hands. "But for now, I'm starving."
Aurora's morning was a busy one. It always was lately. She would get a rush of customers in the morning to get their bread and come in for a breakfast and then it would die down a little until lunch time where she would get a second wave of people coming in for coffee and cake. Jay would be around shortly so she worked on getting his sandwich and coffee ready and looked up when she heard the sound of a bike pulling up..
Then she saw Jay walking in and she smiled. "You got it to run." She said simply knowing how much of an achievement this was for him and she couldn't help but come around the counter and wrap her arms around him, kissing his cheek. "Show me." She said and took hold of his hand so that he could lead her outside to see the project he had been working on.
It was around mid morning when Jay realized he might have done the impossible. He originally thought he had much farther to go on his project, but with a little tweaking he managed to bypass a years worth of work.
He held his breath for a long moment before finally turning the key. The bike sprung to life, sounding better than it had since he got the motor to run in the first place. He let out the air from his lungs and a smile found his face.
He took it for a test drive up and down the long driveway. And then through town and onto the long stretch of road between them and the next town over. It had been so long since he had felt the joys of riding. He only turned around when he noticed the time and headed back to the bakery. Aurora always had something waiting for him for lunch and it warmed his heart.
He slowed to a stop just outside.
"You finally got that old thing working?" asked a passerby and Jay smirked.
"Just now," he said before stepping inside.
Aurora knew that things were strained with him father and he had promised to try more with Scarlett but that never transferred to his father. He didn't care about him and really she couldn't blame him since he had messed up so many times in his childhood. She wouldn't force him to feel anything because she imagined that he wouldn't and that he probably couldn't.
Instead she simply lay with him and stayed close, knowing that all they needed was each other and that would never change.
They both woke up early the next morning and Aurora busied herself in the bathroom while she let Jay have some privacy to call him sister. Once the conversation was over she glanced up and smiled at Jay's reflection in the mirror and chuckled a little when he kissed under her ear. "Have a good day honey. I'll have a sandwich ready for you around lunch time." It was part of their routine now and she loved it.
A little while after that she woke Harrison and helped him get ready and walked him to the stop and waited with him until the school bus arrived and waved him off.
"Oh wait! Mom. Can you pick me up from school today? I have to bring my project home to work on and it's too big for the bus."
"Sure. I'll ask Jay to come get you. Have a good day now." With an exchange of 'I love yous' she went off to work with a smile on her face.
"Yeah," he said softly, taking in Aurora's idea. "I should at least help her get the funeral set up, too." [i Even if I'm not going to it,] he thought. He laid back down and looked up at the ceiling. "I'll call her again tomorrow."
He rolled back onto his side and pulled Aurora close. He kissed the top of her head. He was so glad she knew him so well. Someone else might have tried to get him to feel something for his father that just wasn't there.
The next morning as Aurora was getting herself ready for work he called Scarlett again. She sounded like she had been up crying all night. He wished he could do something for her, but he knew there was nothing. "I'm gonna come out there, alright? Help you with everything. Aurora too." He could practically hear the protest coming. "Just for the weekend."
"Funeral is on Sunday... you'll be here for it then." She didn't have to voice her question to know what she was getting at. He didn't give her an answer.
"I'll see you Friday," he said and hung up. He heaved a sigh before pulling himself out of bed. He had no work to accomplish, but his mind was racing. He might as well work on something of his own. Aurora was doing her hair in the bathroom mirror after he got dressed and he kissed under her ear before heading to the garage to start working on his bike. The bus for Harrison wasn't due for another two hours, so he let him sleep.
They didn't worry too much about the adoption for the rest of the evening. Soon they would really look into hiring someone to help them because she wanted this to be official as much as Jay did. More than anything she wanted to be able to see the look on Harrison's face when they asked him.
They shared their meal together and spent some time as a family listening to Harrison talking about his science club and a competition that was coming up but he wasn't sure in the details yet as his teacher hadn't told his everything about it yet.
Soon enough they put him to bed and the two of them went to bed together, tangled in each other like usual but they were disturbed by his phone ringing which wasn't common for him. She looked towards him to try and read his expression as he spoke and when she heard it was Scarlett she could imagine what this was about.
When the phone call was over she looked up at him. "Oh Jay, we should go to see her. I can get someone to cover the bakery for me over the weekend."
The smells started to take over the kitchen and as usual it smelled delicious. When she paused and leaned over to take his hand, he nodded, dropping his gaze. "I hope you're right," he said, then decided he wouldn't ruin the evening with his negativity. He smiled and kissed her cheek in a quick motion that she didn't see coming. Then he clapped his hands and rubbed them together. "Alright, what's next?"
The meal wound up being amazing as usual. And he couldn't stop thinking about how lucky he was to have someone to make sure he wasn't eating garbage every day.
That night while they were laying in bed, Jay got a call. It was from his sister. He was doing his best to answer these days but she was also calling later than usual which worried him. He picked up the phone. "Yup?" He asked. He listened. "Oh..." he said softly. "Sorry, Scar... Yeah. Bye." He sat there a long moment after they hung up. He wasn't sure how he was supposed to feel.
"My dad just died," he finally said, as if talking about the weather.
Aurora set Jay on some small tasks to help with the preparation of their meal while they talked about the adoption. It had been some months since the suggestion but she was really keen to get this sorted and Jay seemed to be too.
"That's okay honey. It isn't necessarily a bad thing to ask for help you know." She smiled and started to cook off the beef when Jay lowered his voice and she sighed and shook her head before leaning over the counter to take his hand. "You can't think like that. I really don't think it will be a problem!"
Jay's stomach growled at the thought of the meal. He didn't realize how long he had been stuck at that computer and it had been some time since he had eaten anything.
He sighed and shrugged, then leaned into her kiss. "It just keeps leadin' me around in circles," he said, frustrated. "I think we're just gonna have to actually hire someone or somethin'." He hated giving in. Hated feeling like he couldn't get the job done. But these legal terms were throwing him for a loop.
He helped Aurora out wherever she asked. He liked cooking with her. He didn't understand men like his father who just expected the food to be made for them at a moments notice. Who didn't feel the need to pitch in. Jay barely felt like he deserved Aurora. The least he could do is help her out and make her feel the love he felt for her. Besides, he liked spending the extra time with her.
He lowered his voice so Harrison couldn't hear them. "I'm still worried they won't let me... given my past."
Aurora smiled as she walked into the kitchen with Jay behind her. "Nothing too exciting tonight. I'm just going to make a bolognese." She said as she pulled a loaf of bread out of the bad she had been holding in her hand.
"Homemade garlic bread to boot." She said with a smile and she went over to the refrigerator and pulled out what they would need so that they could get started.
"Any progress with your research?" She asked, knowing that it was likely he had spent most of her afternoon doing that. He wanted to get this right and he so wanted Harrison to be his son legally. She placed a hand on top of his for a moment and kissed his cheek.
Only shortly after Harrison got home did Aurora step through the door as well. This was their usual schedule now unless Jay was stuck at the garage late. He watched her say hello to Harrison before leaning in to catch her kiss with his own. He nodded in that way of his before pushing back in his chair and standing up.
"What are we making, oh master chef?" he asked as he followed her into the kitchen. She had been expanding his culinary tastes lately. He had grown up on bar-b-q and hamburgers and deer meat. Hardly exotic. He liked when she had something new for them to try.
Aurora managed to avoid more awkward conversations about her relationship with Jay throughout the rest of the day. After she closed down she made her way home where she knew she would find Harrison and Jay. She couldn't even explain how much she loved this feeling. Her son and her...Jay. They were all she would ever need although, there had been times lately she was imagining another child in their family. It was one of those things that she thought of like their marriage. Perhaps another child might be in their future. For now she was happy with what she got.
When she walked through the door she found Harrison at the table working on his homework and she smiled widely as she placed in keys in the hallway and she made her way over to him and kissed his head. "You almost done bud?"
"Yep! Just another ten minutes!" He said barely even looking up from the paper. Aurora chuckled and then leaned over to kiss Jay. "Hi honey. You want to help me make some dinner?"
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