No Tomorrow, Part 27

8:00 a.m. – continued

“How’d it go?” Valentine asked as she and Cooper walked off to a table on the other side of the shop from his sister.

Cooper shrugged. “Okay, I guess. I’ll be seeing her later. So, what did you get to eat?”

She pushed the brown bag over to him. “Take a look. It’s all they have.”

He peered in and saw two large blueberry muffins sitting at the bottom of the bag. They had sugary pieces gracing the tops of both and the muffin tops looked like they were half the size of the muffins themselves.

“I hope blueberry is okay,” Valentine said as she took both from the bag and handed one to him.

“Are you kidding?” he asked, reaching over to grab his muffin. “It’s great. I love blueberry muffins.”

“Valentine and Cooper,” the guy behind the counter called out.

“I’ll get ‘em,” Cooper said, quickly standing up. “You ordered, I’ll fetch.”

She laughed as he quickly went to get their drinks. He grabbed hold of the two cups and, after a quick thanks, hurried back to Valentine, avoiding his sister’s gaze.

“Here you go,” he announced, sliding her drink over to her. “What’d you get?”

“Just a plain coffee with some cream and sugar.” She gave him a sheepish look. “Well, actually a lot of cream and sugar. I like sweet drinks. I have a huge sugar tooth. And they were out of everything else.”

“You should meet my sister Jenna, then. She loves to bake.”

“Is that her?” Valentine asked, nodding at the woman sitting on the other side of the coffee shop.

“No. That’s Abigail. She’s my older sister. Jenna’s the youngest.”

Cooper turned then and saw his sister and the guy get up. Abigail waved to him as she and Grant walked out of the shop. He just nodded to her and then immediately turned back to Valentine.

“Brother-sister rivalry?” she ventured, wanting to know more, but, at the same time, not wanting to be too nosey.

He shrugged. “I guess. She just always got on my nerves and I probably always got on hers.” He laughed bitterly. “I guess it’s a good thing today’s the last day. There isn’t too much time left for us to get on each other’s nerves. I guess we can at least try to get along today.”

“I guess that’s the least any of us can do,” Valentine agreed. She took a long drink of her coffee. “Well, we should probably get going as soon as we finish our muffins. Time’s a-wasting and we have people expecting us.”

“Well, my feet are well-rested. I’m okay with eating while we walk.”

“But how will you hold everything? You’re still lugging around one of my suitcases, so you’ll only have one hand.”

He shrugged. “Okay. We can eat first and then be on our way. I’m a fast eater, so that shouldn’t be too long from now.”

She nodded and broke into her muffin. “That sounds like a much better idea to me.”

He smiled at her and took a big bite of his muffin. It’d been a while since he’d last eaten and he was actually quite hungry. He hardly ever missed breakfast, but sometimes there just hadn’t been any money for it. He wasn’t going to waste a free meal.

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