Brody and Emma sat in the kitchen, listening to his mom talk about the classes she was teaching at Concord University. Brody rolled his eyes toward Emma and stuck his tongue half way through his lips.
“Stop,” Emma whispered, slapping his arm quietly. She liked Brody’s house. It was always warm and smelled of something baking.
Catherine Bascom turned from the oven with one plate full of sticky buns and a second plate piled with scrambled eggs and bacon. Her long blonde hair swung around her shoulders as she placed the food on the breakfast counter. Emma could hear Brody’s stomach growling as the aroma of sugar and cinnamon blended in harmony with the delicious smell of perfectly cooked breakfast meat.
“You two eat up before you go back to Mr. M’s house.” Her green eyes sparkled as Mrs. Bascom watched Emma and Brody carefully choose their sticky buns from the platter. She poured each of them a glass of orange juice. “You’ve been spending a lot of time over there.”
Brody looked like a shorter version of his mother. The family resemblance was strong between the two, right down to the dimpled chin, blonde hair and thin, but muscular body type.
Emma never thought that she looked too much like her own mother except for their clear, blue eyes and long eyelashes. Emma’s brown hair was long like Mrs. Bascom’s but she had never tried to curl her own in the same way. She found herself wondering how Brody’s Mom curled her hair so perfectly as a glass of juice slid in front of the breakfast plate, breaking her concentration.
“Thank you, Mrs. Bascom. Mr. M really needs the help to get his rock collection back in order before he can exhibit.” Emma slathered a thick slab of butter on the top of her sticky bun.
“That thief really messed everything up.” Brody stuffed the middle section of his sticky bun into his mouth. His cheeks puffed out like a chipmunk as he slowly chewed the soft, sweet bread. Mrs. Bascom rolled her eyes at him, making Emma giggle.
“Did the police ever find any leads about who broke into their house and destroyed his collection?” Brody’s Dad asked as he walked into the room and sniffed the platters of food. Andrew Bascom was taller than his wife and ruggedly handsome with tanned skin and a square jaw. His salt and pepper-colored hair made him seem sophisticated in a friendly way.
“Not really, just a picture of someone’s back. You can’t tell who it is,” Emma said. “Whoever did it only came after the collection. They didn’t touch anything else in the house.”
“The person came in and just trashed the workroom and all of his samples and maps and computer files then left,” Brody said.
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