Pancakes in hand, Eva knocked on the door to her Florida room and paused to listen.
A startled jumping sound was followed quickly by some hasty blanket-noises, and then, cautiously, “yeah?”
“It’s Eva,” she called, amused. “I brought breakfast. I can bring it in, or you can come eat in the kitchen with me.”
“I… uh. Could you bring it in?”
“Coming in,” she agreed, trying not to laugh. She swung the door open, and set the tray down on the low coffee table, before plopping herself into the old wicker chair. “Did you sleep well?”
“I… yeah.” He sounded a bit startled by that. “Did you… hex me or something?”
“I thought we talked about the witch thing.”
“You said you didn’t look like a witch. And you really don’t. But this house… everyone says it’s the witch’s house. Always has been.”
“And they say you shouldn’t go inside?”
“They say kids who do, never come out.”
Eva pursed her lips. “There is the off chance,” she allowed, “that one of my ancestors liked to scare small children. But, if it’s who I’m thinking of, those small children are grandparents or great-grandparents now, and that Aunt is long gone.” Although it might do to check the parts of the basement that had dirt floors.
“You still haven’t said you’re not a witch.”
“I haven’t,” she agreed. “But I’m not the sort that eats little children, either.”
The glance he gave her was half wounded dignity and half what she was pretty sure Beryl had meant by “Interesting :x,” though she would have just called it “steamy.” “I’m not a little kid, either,” he pointed out.
“No,” she agreed, and sipped her orange juice. “You’re clearly not.”
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