A Very Good Day

West Dallas

West Dallas is a largely blighted area of poverty. Several geared-to-income housing projects are in the beginning stages of springing up along the streets in these neighborhoods. For the most part, the area is classified as 'industrial' and plays home to quite a few warehouses, bars and salvage yards.
Oddly enough, it is also home to the historic Belmont Hotel which rests on a beautifully landscaped bluff overlooking Oak Cliff.


It's gonna be a full day, to be sure. At the project worksite Corey's been working on, they've made a goodly amount of progress in converting and reconditioning at least a couple of units… not that there aren't a whole lot more to go.

At the moment, the younger of the Coleman brothers stands near the service office, looking at a set of plans spread out on a piece of ply balanced on twin work horses. His tool belt is about his waist and he grabs for a nearby thermos only to discover it's empty.

Well, that sucks.

Setting the vessel back down, he straightens. "Okay," he says to one of the crew chiefs beside him. "Let's lay out what we need for unit 6 and start transitioning a couple of carpentry teams there. The utilities are ready for 4 & 5, so we might as well get a jump on starting 6 before the light fades."


Never fear. An off-duty police officer is here to rescue the day!

At least in so far as coffee is concerned.

Leigh, who honestly has no idea that Corey has returned to the city, is dropping by with a coffee delivery for the crew. The least she can do on her day off is give back to the community, and possibly get some information on the 'wolf' shooting in this area of the city at the same time. Arriving at the site with a Starbucks 'Coffee on the Go' box, and two dozen paper coffee cups, and a bag full of creamer and sugar, she's pointed toward the service office.

It takes her a moment to find a safe place to set everything up, but once she does, she nods. Good deed done, she turns to go, only to spot Coleman.

"Hey, Coleman," she says, with a grin. "I was going to leave a message for you tonight about the B-Ball. Got it all approved, you just need to swing the dates my way so I can schedule it."


Corey looks up at the sound of the familiar voice… and the scent of fresh coffee. A broad grin lights his features. "Officer Rossum," he says, straightening now. "Good to see you again. That's good news. I will definitely do that."

He moves away from the makeshift table, now, towards her, intending to help her with her load. "Here, is that for us? You are a marvelous person. Why don't we set it down over here." He gestures to the makeshift table.

"How've you been?"


"It is indeed for the hard working crew. I figure since you're giving back to the city, the city can afford to spring for a little coffee to keep everyone awake and at their best." When he helps her with the box, and the cups, Leigh breathes a sigh of relief. "We've been sending someone out here every day with a box. It may not be much but…" The crew has been appreciating it.

"Busy. Two double shifts in a row, and it's my first day off in ages. Maybe you can give me a tour of the site, and point me to an area where I can help?"


Busy, Corey understands. He flashes a grin. "Love to," he says. "But first." Coffee. He pours a cup and offers it to her, since she did lug it all the way here. He'll get one for himself once he knows she's been served.

"How are you with power tools?" he asks, then. "Or do you prefer hand tools?" Or there's always painting… though they're not quite ready for that just yet.


Gratefully taking the cup of coffee, she doesn't bother adding anything to it. Simple is better. "Thanks," she says, before tipping the cup against her lips and taking a sip. Closing her eyes, she nods. The coffee is good.

Leigh peeks her right eye open, trying to decide how best to answer. "Depends on the power tool. Probably best to keep me away from saws of any kind. I had an incident once in shop class that I'd rather not repeat." Another sip of coffee is had before she continues, "Other than that, I think I can hold my own. Might need a quick rundown of the proper way to use something new, but I'd like to help." Even if he just points her at a garden area that needs weeding.


Corey chuckles, now. He looks down at her hands and grins. "Hey, you've got all your fingers. That's what counts."

He now pours himself a cup, adds a single sweetener and a couple of milk and then gestures towards the site, indicating that she should walk with him. "You're always welcome, that's for sure." He sips his coffee now and makes an appreciative noise. "Here. Let me show you what we've been doing."


"What? These?" Leigh wiggles the fingers grins. "Robotics," she says with a teasing grin. "Actually it was my favorite sweater, and a really angry Susie Jordan," she offers of the incident. "I was wearing the sweater at the time. Still have the scar, but it's faint now." Pointing to her elbow as she takes another sip of coffee, there can be seen a thin white line where she got nicked.

"Are you sure? I'd really hate to distract you from work." Following along, she smiles. "Great. Show me everything."


Corey flashes his most charming smile, now. "Oh, you can distract me, anytime," he says with a soft chuckle.

He leads her past the office, pausing only long enough to pick up an extra hard hat — kept around for visitors — and hand it to her. "Here. Safety first. Wouldn't want you to end up with any more scars." He gives a friendly wink, blue eyes sparkling.

That done, he leads her towards the current building they're renovating. "This whole area's gonna be landscaped," he says, giving a light gesture to the frontage. A wide fence surrounds it, keeping people from walking over the uneven, debris littered ground. "Add a couple of benches and a tree or two; new sod, just to pretty it up."

Now, it's up the front stairs. They're fashioned of smooth concrete made to resemble stone. A sturdy scaffolding stands over them, protecting those that enter from errant debris that might fall from the facade while they're working on it.

Corey reaches the door and courteously holds it open for the lady.


Flashed smiles, and little flirtations, and Leigh is actually blushing. A rare occurrence, but it happens from time to time. "Don't go giving me the green light on something like that, or you'll never get work done, Mr. Coleman."

Settling the hard hat on her head, and adjusting it until it's comfortable, she smiles at him. "Next time, I'm coming in pigtails." Just to give the crew a cute overdose and make them chuckle. "Thank you," she says, a charmingly brilliant smile offered at him in return.

Reaching the renovation area, Rossum nods. She can almost picture it once it's cleaned up, then she points to the front of the building beside the stairs. "You may want a flowerbed there. Just to add that splash of color." Color in a sea of green will pop.

"The work is impeccable. I doubt I can manage anything half as good as this." She'll definitely try though. Stepping through the door as it's held open, she murmurs a quiet, "Thanks."


Corey can't help but grin a little wider at the suggestion she might distract him too much. She does, this is true. But, he likes it. 'Course the rest of the boys on site might get distracted, too. And that would be a problem. In more ways than one. But, Corey's willing to risk it. "I'd never wanna get in the way of one of Dallas' finest," he says. "The green light stands."

Oh, he definitely likes it when Leigh smiles. It lights up her whole face. And the blush is cute, too.

"But, yeah." he says as she indicates where to put the flower bed. "I think there's one or two in the plans. We're actually going to put a communal garden in the quad between the buildings."

He nods lightly to her thanks and steps into the building behind her, letting the door swing closed.

The wallpaper has been stripped from the walls and the cracked tiles removed. They haven't quite laid the new ones yet, but the new subflooring is in, anyway. He moves to unit 1 and pushes the door open. "Here. This one's almost done. You can see what the idea is."

Inside, the apartment is largely open space, with a bit of a wall between the kitchen and the main living area. A short corridor leads to the two bedrooms and the bathroom. Sturdy parkay is on the floors. The walls are painted white, just a primer over plaster. They decided to keep the plaster walls, since concrete is underneath in order to provide greater noise reduction.


"You're going to regret that," Leigh points out. "Especially when we kick your butt out on the court because you're too distracted to play." The color in her cheeks deepens ever-so-slightly, but she winks at him.

"Vegetable or flower," she asks of the communal garden. Both would be nice, but one is more practical, the other that splash of color that every area should have.

Careful steps are taken to enter the unit. She's doing her utmost not to disturb anything, or dirty the rooms. "It's a really great job. I remember what these buildings used to look like, and this is a thousand percent better," she says quite sincerely.


"Oh, don't you worry," Corey says with typical male bravado. "On the courts I'm all business." The boys'd never forgive him if he loused up like that. And they'd never let him live it down. He also suspects that she'd not be overly impressed if he didn't at least try to hold his own.

"Vegetable, mainly," he admits. "Though, if the tenants want to plant their own flowers there, no one will stop them." Unless, of course, they're stupid enough to try to raise those illicit sorts of plants that will only cause Dallas' finest to come in and make life very, very difficult for such gardeners. Fortunately, that happenstance is highly unlikely.

"I'm glad you like it," he says, however, as she enters the apartment and looks around. The far wall has a big bank of windows that looks out onto the quad where the garden will be. There's a door to a stone balcony of sorts, for all that it's more just a fenced in area about the size of a balcony, and laid with square interlocking stones.

"We'll be putting in new appliances, too. Energy star."


"I'm not worried, especially if it means a sure win for us." Leigh would probably never let him live it down either, but that's just how she can be at times. Playfully competitive.

"One of the p" Catching herself before she utters the word 'pack', she continues, " people near to us back home planted flowers in between her rows of vegetables. Said it kept the weeds out." Mainly, this means she approves of flowers between the carrots.

"Do you know who will be moving in here yet? The families, I mean?"


Corey shakes his head. "No idea. It's all to be geared-to-income. And, actually, at least half the units on this floor will be designated handicap accessible for wheel chairs and such. I know there's a waiting list. We expect to be done on this building come the middle of June. Thirty-six units; six on a floor. There'll be a new elevator to install, too."

His ears rise and fall a little as he hears the pause in her voice, but he doesn't remark on it. Given his suspicions about her true nature, he can understand the slightly redirection.


Nice catch, Officer Rossum! No one suspects a thing… she hopes. Though it does remind her of something. "I have to give your brother a call." It comes out randomly, but she needs to not forget to do that. It takes quite a bit to set up a meeting between the Alpha of another pack, and a Shifter.

Realizing a little late how it sounds, she laughs it off. "He came to see me at the station the other day, asking for help with something. I just have the information for him." A few little 'ahem ahems' are made as she clears her throat and goes over to the window to look out at the area that will become garden.

"Thirty-six units? How many do you have complete already?" June isn't that far off.


Corey has to arch a brow slightly at the mention of his brother. Brett damn well better not be trying to move in on him, here. After all, 'yoteboy's got his eye on Summer, and Corey's stayed outta that. Even so… he's not actually really inclined to much in terms of jealousy or the like. Especially not over a girl he still hasn't gotten out on a date.

"Yeah? What was he looking for?" Corey asks, following her over to the window. "And did he give you the message I was in New York, last week? I was invited to look over some of their projects, there, similar to this one."

He glances about the unit as she asks about what's been done. "Well, we've been working on the first three floors pretty steadily. Got almost everything done on them. Probably have it all squared away by the end of this week — and we've been working on it since the beginning of April. Long as we get enough hands and don't see any more delays, we'll get it done by mid-June. If not… well, as soon thereafter as we can."


So far as Leigh is aware, the meeting was all business. Corey's suspicions will likely be confirmed the next time he talks to his brother anyhow, thanks to the subject matter of the discussion.

"He did. That's part of why he dropped by the station. I didn't know you'd be back yet though." Really she was out and about doing a good deed, not trying to spy on him. "He was looking into an incident with a friend and a friend's girlfriend. I promised to get him in touch with someone that can help." Since for her to do so would be going against her orders at the station.

"Well I can stay for the day and help out. If you deem my work to be alright, I can pop by when I'm off-duty to lend a hand. I did offer to at least help with the landscaping."


Corey grins at that. "You did," he recalls. "They're laying sod next week. So, in about two weeks, we'll be ready for planting." That'll be fun, no doubt.

He turns around and looks at the unit. "C'mon upstairs. We'll see what needs to be done."

There's tiling a backsplash in a unit on floor 3, he recalls. That's not too hard to teach or do. Perhaps that'll work.


Provided that it doesn't involve a saw, Leigh will be a quick learner. It's part of her charm. "Then I'll definitely make sure I'm back in two weeks to help with the planting."

Heading out of the unit, she glances back at the man and smiles. "Have you talked to any of the local garden centers around here? They may be willing to donate a few flats. If not, I know the guy that own's Drysden's Nursery. He owes me a few favors." For taking care of vandals on the property when she was off-duty. "I can probably get you some."


"Hey, that'd be cool," Corey says. Not one to turn down free materials or help, he. "I'm sure we can use them. We've got deals with a few nurseries about, but free is good." And there are enough projects around that no one needs to feel slighted.

"Ever tiled a backsplash before?" he asks, leading her out into the hallway towards a stairwell. There's work being done on the elevator today, so supplies were moved up the day before, enough to last at least a couple of days. Just in case.


"I'll call him tonight then," Leigh says, smiling at the fact that she may get a little more help for his projects. "I'm sure he'll be willing to help for a charitable cause. He's one of those overly friendly little old men that just like to do anything to help a neighbor." That he's a werewolf probably helps a little bit too, to get her the favor done.

"I can honestly say I've not, though I did grout work on a bathtub once." At her own apartment, because the landlord is lazy. "Maybe not the exact same premise, but I think I can smooth things on and place tiles neatly." She hopes, or the poor people that move in will be subjected to her shoddy craftsmanship.


"Aw, it's easy," Corey grins, leading her into a unit halfway down the third floor. There's tile in the kitchen — mainly white, with a small stack of blue. Beside them are spacers and the stuff needed to create the mud to keep them on the wall.

"Here. Lemme show you how we do this." He picks up a sack of the mud mix and pours it into a bucket, then slips a hose over the faucet to allow him to pipe some water into the bucket. Mixing it up takes a few moments, but not too long.

Once the mixture is ready, he pulls out a trowl. "So, I'm told it's just like icing a cake. Personally, I suck at making cakes. But, this, I can do." He starts to spread it on the wall. "Just like this. Not to thick, not too thin. Cover as much as you can."


Even the most minute of details is watched with great interest. The mixture, the length he takes to mix it, the amount he puts on the trowel. Everything until he mentions a cake.

"I can't bake," she says in agreement to his sucking at cake baking. "The last time I attempted anything the cake decided to take over the kitchen." A very lovely mess for Leigh to clean up.

"May I try?" Reaching for the trowel, she goes to scoop up some of the mud, and tries to get just the right amount on the wall. It's a little splotchy, and she looks to him for guidance.


Corey steps back to let her try. "Little more over here. Try a figure eight," he suggests. "Nice broad stroke." He resists the urge to do the cliched thing and take her hand under his to guide it over the wall. He doesn't want to seem that forward.

"Guess neither of us will be entering a bake off any time soon, huh?"


Southern charmer, just like she figured at the aquarium. She lets her teeth catch her lower lip, and she laughs. Leigh does do what he suggests and tries the figure eight which gives her just enough mud to work with. "Is there a pattern to putting the tiles on?" That's important since there probably shouldn't be ten white tiles, then one blue.

"Probably for the best. I find the cakes from Cheeky Treats work just as well, and you can pass them off for your own." A bit of the mud gets splattered onto her overalls, but she doesn't seem to mind at all. That's why she wore them.


Cheeky Treats, huh? Corey makes a mental note of that… in case he's ever in a position to need to buy her a cake. "Yeah, well, I think if I tried to pass it off as my own, my mother would laugh her tail off at me — and then tan my hide for lying." Fierce woman, Molly Coleman. She'd think nothing of tanning the hides of the grown men that are her sons. Take 'em out at the knees and then whup 'em good.

"That's good," he says approvingly as she corrects the mud spread. Then, he nods. "Every fifth tile should be blue," he tells her, "but the columns should be staggered by a couple of tiles in each row." Just so there aren't pillars of blue on the wall. "Lemme show you how we apply them."

It's not hard, certainly. He picks up some spacers. "These'll make you look like a pro when you're done," he grins. "Watch."

He then goes about pressing the tile into the mud, placing the spacers around it in preparation for the next tiles. "Don't smear it too much, or there won't be enough mud under it to stick. But, don't be afraid to push it in a little." He adds a second tile for good measure, just so she can see how the spacers work.


"You could always get her to show you how to bake a cake. Though I warn you. I tried that once with my mother, and she's an even larger failure at it than I am. There was a mixing bowl fiasco, and the batter wound up on the ceiling." Granted, from what Leigh can see in the two Coleman's, their mother must be one of those super-mom's and could likely whip up a cake in her sleep.

"Every fifth, alright." While he's preparing to show her how to apply them, she starts counting out the tiles to ensure there is enough, and she can space them out. Since the walls aren't exactly five, ten or fifteen tiles across, she's already devising a method for spreading out the blue tiles.

Leaning in, she watches and then nods. "I think I can handle this." Before he decides to leave though, she asks, "Want to go grab a coffee sometime?" It comes out a little awkward and fast, but at least she's asking as opposed to just finding new excuses for bothering him on the jobsite.


Corey grins broadly at the invite to coffee. Well, that saves him the trouble of suggesting the same. "Love to," he says affably. "It'd be my pleasure." Hardly misses a beat, that one.

'Course, Corey was raised up just as proper as Brett, though he's learned to relax a little faster than his brother around women. Makes it easier to be smoother. "Heck, I'd be happy to grab one after work, if you want," he says. "It being your day off, and all. Back to work tomorrow, is it?"


At the agreement, Leigh seems to relax a little. Not even aware that she was holding herself tense. Trying her hand at pressing one of the tiles into the mud, she glances back at him, smiling.

"Sounds like a plan." Something nice and casual once he's done, no stress. "Monday. I got lucky with the weekend, it's a rare occurrence, but it happens at least once every month or two." Weekends off would be much more enjoyable were they consistent, but at least she generally gets two consecutive days off, even if they are mid-week.


Two days constitutes a weekend, regardless if it's mid-week or an actual weekend. It's all good as far as Corey's concerned, anyway. "Cool," he smiles. "That's good. So, how does it work? 72 hours on, 48 hours off?" It's a typical enough schedule for emergency service workers. Perhaps cops do it, too.


"Generally. Depends what's happening around the station. Sometimes it's ninety-six on, forty-eight off." Those are bad, bad weeks. Ones where she spends her days off sleeping. As a regular officer, this is her schedule. If she were promoted to Sargent or Detective, she'd be better off. Leigh smiles then thinks to ask, "So when's shift end around here? Seven?" She's guessing when there's no longer light to work with.


"About then, yeah," Corey nods in response. "About when the light fades. Though, as the days get longer, that may change some." Yeah. They'll knock off before the light fades. Even construction guys gotta have some time to enjoy a summer evening.

"You think you're set here?" he asks then, chin gesturing to the tile. He's perfectly happy to find an excuse to stay and help her and, in fact, he will be sure to find some jobs to do up on this floor. Don't really want to leave the volunteer alone on the jobsite. Not a smart move. He's gonna need to get her a waiver, in any case. Insurance, doncha know.


Leigh will be fine, and she's not at all the type to sue. Unless the floor falls out from under her, in which case she'll get upset. Everything seems sound though, so she nods. "I think I'm set. Unless you know any other tricks, or want to help to make sure I don't disappoint." She's not doing too shabbily. It's far from professional, but probably a little better than Habitat for Humanity can expect of its volunteers.

Flashing a smile at him, she adds, "You don't have to babysit me if you don't want to. I know you're running a crew out there too. If you're worried though, come show me again."


Corey's grin turns a little lopsided. "Yeah, I'm running a crew but that doesn't mean I'm working on little projects here and there, too. I've got some tiling to do in the bathroom." He figured he'd spare her the whole cutting tile around the wash basin and commode thing. "So, you know, I'll be around."

"And, it's not babysitting," he adds, eyes sparkling again. "It's ensuring volunteer labor has all the resources needed to be comfortable working." Again, he winks.

And, yes, it's an excuse to hang out. He probably is that transparent. And he's okay with that.


The wink that makes her weak in the knees happens again. Leigh just focuses on her tiling rather than letting any outward sign that this is happening though.

"I'm sure with you having been gone for a week, you have a foreman that can handle the crew anyhow…" Setting the trowel down briefly, she turns to look at him fully. "This is comfortable. Having you close enough nearby that if I run into a problem, I've got some help."

Gently worrying her teeth over her lower lip, she exhales a sigh. Since she's fairly certain that they're alone in the unit, she nods. "I know what you are. To be fair, I should give you warning. I'm not a Shifter." Two-natured, but not quite the same.


Corey's head cants some. This doesn't come completely as a surprise. "Wolf?" he guesses. He smiles then, a little lopsided. "I figured you had something going on. Just because of that crazy psychic." He gives a mild shrug, and gestures to her hand, again avoiding the cliche of taking it in his just for the pleasure of holding it.

"Your hands are a lot warmer than most people's. Even shifters." That's his explanation.

His head cants to the other side. "Do you think it'll be a problem? I mean… for you — or the pack?" He's never met the pack here, but he knows there's one out there. There always is. "It won't be a problem for me, long as you can handle a feline."


"Wolf," she agrees, happy to have that potential awkwardness out of the way. "Ugh. Telepaths. Nothing good ever came from them, I swear. All a bunch of mouthy, nosy people, happy to butt in where they're not welcomed." Leigh is not generally down on the supernatural world, but thanks to Cooper, she hasn't the stomach for telepaths.

"Won't be a problem for my pack back home." She's not part of Donato's pack. "Though I should probably also warn you, I'm the Alpha's heir." Means if she disappears for a while, there's a good reason for it. Shrugging, she slops some more mud on the trowel, and continues to work. Another tile is pressed in before she issues a smile. "Always did like cats."


Corey would purr, but, really, that's overkill. It's also very, very cheesy. Cheesy has its place. This isn't it. "Good," he grins, perfectly happy, now. "Maybe we can go hunting sometime." Be interesting to see if a lynx and a wolf can actually cooperate. And share. Maybe they can try a real life version of whack-a-mole. That could be fun.

He picks up another bag of mud mix and starts prepping it for his work in the bathroom. "Alpha's heir, huh? That must make your life interesting. So, your pack's not the Dallas local, huh?"

He's heard rumors of them, but that's about it. He knows they exist. He's heard the pack name once or twice. But, he's never met him. And, as a shifter rather than a were, he's not really in that great a hurry to meet them as a whole. Individuals, one on one, like Leigh, here, he's happy to meet. A full horde all together?

For now, he'll pass.


"Illinois," Leigh offers, by way of explaining where her Pack originates. There is a much longer story as to why she's actually here in Dallas, but that's not one for while she's tiling.

"Hunting? Guess that all depends on what type of feline you actually are. If you're able to keep up, sure." There are many Shifters that she's aware of, ranging from house cats to Lions and everything in between. No saying what he can Shift into.

Another tile is picked up, and pressed onto the wall. Counting them, she makes sure she picks up a blue tile next. "The Muea Tseena's are nice enough folk though. Gotta be careful not to step on any jurisdictional toes." Which is why she spoke to Donato on his brother's behalf.


"S'like that with most packs, I understand," Corey says, stirring up his mud mix, now. "No offense. Packs don't always go over well with regular shifters. Hard to know where you stand, sometimes…" Aside from outside the dominance structure, that is. That, they all know.

He smiles, however. "On the full moon, I usually shift into a lynx. It's easiest. But, I am pureblood. So, you know… Long as I've got a reference, I can change into pretty much anything." Including a wolf. If he needs to.


"Donato is good. He let's Shifters in." Another tile pressed to the wall, the blue one this time. Then she's in need for a little more mud. While she could likely spread the entire area with it, she's finding it easier to work with smaller spaces.

"Lynx? Never ran with one of those," she says, somewhat distracted by the mud that's on her fingers. Wiping them off on her overalls, Leigh twists to lean against the counter and looks at him. "I don't generally take offense to what someone thinks of the pack. Dallas isn't mine." Friend of, not part of. She's happy with that arrangement.


Corey nods to that, standing up to put the hose back in the sink. He smiles. "Good to know. Even so," he chuckles, "Mama raised me right. I try not to make a habit of insulting people." Especially people that just might be able to kick his ass. Wolves are, after all, somewhat heavier and stronger than lynxes — though anyone that's seen a small cat take on a large dog knows that isn't always the deciding factor.

But, in human form, wolves have the advantage of animalistic enhancements normal shifters can't boast. That means he's got no doubt she could probably take him if she really wanted to. Especially given her cop training. Fortunately, he's a) not inclined to such behavior and b) secure enough in himself not to be threatened by it.


Leigh really has no reason to want to try to 'take him'. At least not in the fighting sense. As for the other sense? Probably best left to explore a little later on.

"There was no insult, Mr. Coleman, at least not to me." If there's a Muea Tseena within the area, they might be offended, but chances are Corey would already be aware if he had a werewolf on his crew.

"I think I have this down if you want to get some work done," she says with a cheerful smile. "Since if you stand there much longer, I'm going to want to cut out early and have coffee with the boss…"


Corey grins appreciatively at that. He'd love to cut out early. "Well, there's always lunch," he says, hefting the mud bucket, now. "I know a great little take out greasy spoon not so far from here. Best hamburgers in the city, you ask me."

His head tilts briefly towards the bathroom. "I'll be over there, if you need me." With his free hand, he snags his now cold coffee to bring with him.

Waste not, want not.


"Let me finish up this backsplash, and you're on," Leigh says. Cutting out a bit early to grab a burger is okay by her. But she wants to actually put some effort in before she does. "I'll find you when I'm done." As he heads toward the bathroom, she calls out, "Lunch is my treat though!" Just so he doesn't think she's taking advantage of his generosity.

Stealing a bit more mud before he steals the bucket, she slathers it evenly over the rest of the backsplash area, and prepares to press her tiles into it. "You can grab the coffee later," she adds, grinning as she presses another blue tile into the mud, creating her slightly off-kilter pattern.


Sounds good to him. "Deal," Corey grins.

He watches her smear the rest of the mud on the wall and then hefts the bucket off to the bathroom, step light despite the weight. Today is turning out to be a very good day.

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