After releasing her, she directed the residents to the dining hall. There, she told them, they’d hold their last meeting at the compound while enjoying one of Adele’s famous meals.
They made their way to the hall. Inside, it smelled of herbs and spices, fresh bread, and chicken grilled on an open fire.
Reigna and Eden sat at a table with Mara and Dixon, along with Jerrett and Velia, Jules and Nina, and Lucy. Before long, they’d all nearly eaten their fill. Even so, they expected Adele would arrive shortly with assorted sweets to finish off the refection.
Mara took another bite of her food. “You know,” she said, “one of the best things that happened to us all those years ago when we sought a place of safety for you girls,” she nodded at the twins, “was when Adele got caught up in my magic and accidentally ended up traveling with me and joining our little company.” She chuckled.
Jerrett grinned at her. “What brought that up?”
“Well, honestly, I mean— Where does she come up with these ideas?” She gestured with her fork at her plate.
“What have you got there?” Dixon asked her.
“Some kind of . . . I don’t know. Adele topped this crunchy bread with a mixture of a soft, creamy, almost fruity cheese, chopped basil and scallions, sun-dried tomatoes, salty olives, and garlic. Then she grilled it.” She took another bite. “And if I had to guess,” she added, her mouth still full, “I’d say there’s a bit of lemon zest in it.” She moaned. “Gracious Ehyeh, I think I’ve died myself and moved on.”
Eden laughed. “I love her cooking. Trust me, Mara, when I say that Reigna and I greatly appreciated that venison you brought to us when we were in The Tearless, but honestly, I’ll take Adele’s home cooking any day!”
Her sister nudged her. “You’ll get no argument here.”
Lucy pushed her chair back. “Well, we’d best get things started,” she said. Then she made her way to the front of the room as she called out, “May I have your attention everyone?”
Slowly, the din died down.
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