He Cooks
by Terrie

A large, familiar shadow fell over Elizabeth and the stack of papers she was grading. The coolness provided her a momentary respite from the hot Texas sun beating through the window at her back.  Smiling, she turned to
greet the man who was fast becoming her friend.   "Josiah," she said quietly.  "I never even heard you enter."

 "That doesn't surprise me.  You were so engrossed in your work."  He shook his head as he spoke, but she got the impression that he was fighting the urge to wag an admonishing finger at her.  "Dedication to one's
profession is an admirable thing, Miss Herrington, but I suspect your students would be better served if they didn't arrive in the morning to find their teacher passed out at her desk from exhaustion and hunger."

She rose to face him, hands on her hips. "Are you lecturing me, Josiah?"

Josiah consider this a moment, gauging her mood.  "Yes.  I am," he said, looking her straight in the eye.

Elizabeth crossed her arms over her chest, trying her best to look stern.  This was interesting.  It seemed Josiah Sanchez was a force to be reckoned with.

"Andwhat do you plan on doing about it?" she asked him.

Josiah took a deep breath that expanded his already impressive chest and  seemed to grow in stature before her eyes.  Elizabeth stepped back, a bit apprehensive.

"I plan . . . "  Josiah broke into a huge grin and raised his arms straight out from his sides, ". . . on feeding you."

For the first time, Elizabeth noticed that he held in one hand a cooking pot covered with a piece of toweling, and in the other a small wooded bucket. "You . . . you brought me food?"

"I made you dinner," he corrected.  "I get tired of eating at the restaurant, so I have a wood stove in my room out back."  He shrugged his shoulders, almost embarrassed at admitting to his unmanly talent.

"You cook," Elizabeth said delightedly, clearing away papers and making room on her desktop. "You will join me?" she asked, fully prepared to insist on it should he decline.

Josiah smiled and placed two bowls on the cloth he had just pulled out of his back pocket.  "I was hoping to, Miss Herrington."

She returned his smile and said softly,  "Elizabeth, my name is Elizabeth."