Bread and Promises: A Thornton Vermont Christmas Story

Previous: Part 3: Hamish

Part 4

Photo by Jill Heyer on Unsplash

 Juliet looked up from the yellow-ware bowl where she was cutting cold butter into flour, lemon zest, and Earl Grey tea leaves, as Kate swirled through her own front door some twenty minutes later, flushed and glittering from the freshly falling snow.

“Juliet, I’m sorry I didn’t text you…” Kate draped her coat over a chair, slung her bag on an end table, and breezed up to the kitchen island with a wry smile. “And you haven’t missed me at all.”

Hamish perched at Juliet’s elbow coaching her through his gran’s scones. “You can’t overwork this stage. It’s not until you add the cream that it’s something to watch for. Go ahead and get that butter worked in until it’s like crumbly sand and pea sized butter-flour bits.”

“Scram, Munroe,” Kate said genially. “I’ve only got an hour before I need to leave again. Ewan and I have a thing in Burlington.”

“Milady.” Hamish bowed, then pinched some of Juliet’s floury mixture between his fingers. He gave Juliet and approving glance. “Perfect. Come back another time, and I’ll show you the rest.”

Juliet watched him jog upstairs. He had a restless kind of energy, like a puppy or a summer rainstorm, but he seemed gentle in the same way. He’d sensed both her discomfort and her fascination with his baking and given her something to do with her hands while they waited for their hostess. 

“He let me in,” she said.

“I’m sure he did,” Kate replied tartly. Her expression softened. “He’s dear to me. Did he explain who he is?”

“He only mentioned that you both studied pastry in Paris. And that he’s traveling.” She felt oddly protective of his admission that he’d had a personal crisis, though in all likelihood, Kate knew more about it than Juliet did.

Juliet washed her hands, offering the bowl to Kate. “I’m sure you know better than I do what to do with this.”

“Into the fridge,” Kate said, taking it to put away. “He’ll finish them, and I’ll make sure you get some of the end product.”

“How did your meeting go?” Juliet knew her time with Kate was limited; she switched tacks, making a mental note to ask Kate later about working in Paris. With Hamish.

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