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Lark was from Adelaide, South Australia. As a result, she occasionally lapsed into a slight Scottish accent. She could trace her family’s heritage all the way back to the original settlement which was in the same time frame as the emergence of Texas. Maybe that was part of the reason that she felt so much at home in the Lone Star State. Like many Australian women, she could be tough and resourceful, yet beautiful and feminine at the same time. She knew that this occasionally confused Cory who, like most American men, believed that women were impressed with flashy cars and tough talk.

But Lark really liked Cory’s gentle side, an aspect of himself of which he tended to be largely unaware. Lark was on a year-long exchange with the famous Ransom Museum in Austin. In Adelaide, she was an archivist specializing in the preservation of rare documents and wanted to learn the techniques that the Austin Museum had developed to reduce the oxidation of old paper. Australia was becoming more sensitive to its history and wanted to make sure that future generations did not get a one-sided picture of their cultural development.

When Cory had called, telling her about the engine fire in his beloved Ferrari, she had decided to prepare a special dinner that she hoped would help him cast aside his anger and frustration. She was putting the finishing touches on the honey-tarragon glaze on the asparagus when she heard him come in the front door.

“Wine,” Cory deposited the bottles on one end of the counter and reached around Lark with an arm, drawing her into him. She felt him brush the back of her neck with his lips.

“Look out,” Lark was holding the spoon she was using to spread the honey. Sweet glaze drizzled across a simmering pot of beans. “I hope you won’t mind honey in the lentils,” she indicated the rich stew of lentils cooked with chicken stock and hot peppers.

She bumped him backwards playfully, and opened the oven door.

“The lamb pie is perfect,” she pulled out the shelf with its dish of golden brown meat pastry.

“Looks wonderful,” Cory said, trying to reengage with Lark. “Can’t it wait just a minute?”

“Not if you want the cobbler for dessert.” A dish of apples wrapped in pie pastry waited by the stove. “I’ll exchange this for the meat pie and we can wait for everything to cool while the cobbler finishes.”

Cory decided he could wait. At least for a few minutes. “I’ll open the wine. The Shiraz will need to breath.”

Please Note: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental__L.C. Frenzel

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