L * A * N * C * E * R
The Lancer cook/housekeeper stood in the kitchen, arms crossed over her ample bosom, right foot tapping on the tile floor, and an angry scowl on her face. Maria finally had had it chasing the cookie thief from her kitchen. Facing the irate woman the guilty party with his hands raised cautiously backed away from the impending danger.
“Stop right where you are, niño.” Maria lowered her hands and pulled the wooden spoon from her apron pocket as she advanced on her prey.
Johnny jumped at the raised voice directed at him. “Look… I just…” He stopped when she smacked her hand with the spoon. “Lo siento Mamacita.” His poor, little boy expression had always worked in the past.
However, this time Mamacita wasn’t buying it and smacked her hand with each step she took toward the guilty party. She snickered when he gave up the ruse and started backing away in a further attempt to protect his backside.
Murdoch and Scott had been relaxing with drinks in the Great Room when they heard Maria’s raised voice. They faced each other, shrugged, and rushed toward the kitchen to rescue Johnny. Skidding to a stop, they saw him pinned against the kitchen table with Maria waving her wooden spoon under his nose and scolding in rapid Spanish.
Shooting a pleading look toward his father, Johnny was hoping for rescue. But seeing the expression on Murdoch’s face he knew he was in trouble, just not sure where it would come from this time.
Trying to keep the situation from escalating, Murdoch cautiously stepped to Maria’s side and gently took the dreaded weapon from her hand. “Maria, I think we should leave his punishment to Santa Claus.”
Maria relaxed her stance and relinquished her weapon. “Sí Patrón.” She backed away from her prisoner, wiped her hands on her apron, and returned to the oven to retrieve another batch of cookies. After setting the tray on the counter she called out one last warning, “Papá Noel will know to deal with your stealing.”
Murdoch and Scott didn’t even try to hide their humor at Johnny’s shocked expression. It didn’t help that he was still against the table and his mouth was hanging open.
After calm was once again reigned in the kitchen, both men decided it was safe to finish their drinks, so they headed for the Great Room. Unable to resist getting one last gotcha, Scott stopped at the kitchen door, “Johnny,” He waited for his brother to look at him. Little brother was still leaning against the table and was aiming a world-class pout toward his smiling Mamacita.
“Yeah?” Johnny was going into Madrid mode when he looked over his shoulder at big brother. Obviously still smarting from being ganged up on.
Scott just laughed, “That look doesn’t work on me.” He sobered and in his best Lt. Lancer voice, “You better hope Santa doesn’t send Krampus after you.” Then he ducked though the door before his little brother could get to him, but he did hear…
“Hey Scott, wait, who’s this Krampus fella?”
Murdoch shook his head and smiled at their antics. Reaching for his abandoned drink and returning to his leather chair, he sighed… so much for a peaceful first Christmas together. However, he could put up with the chaos because…
He loved having his sons home.
Merry Christmas Y’all.