Indisposed

Mom Knows Best

“I’ll set the table,” said Deeks. “I know where Kensi’s meager housewares are.”

Julia laughed. “Yes, you probably do. I don’t think Kensi does much cooking.”

“How about no cooking. Her idea of dinner is stuffing her face with Pop-Tarts and calling it a night.”

“Oh, surely not,” said Julia. She realized the detective knew her daughter far better than she did.

“I heard that, Deeks.”

They looked up as Kensi made her way into the kitchen. She was wearing some sweat pants and Deeks’ Sea World tee shirt. He gave her a pointed look and she raised her eyebrows as if to say So?

Thank goodness she’s dressed now. That towel was awfully distracting, especially with mom here, thought Deeks

“You gonna deny it?” asked Deeks.

Kensi hesitated. “Well . . . sometimes I eat Cheerios. Those are supposed to be good for you.”

“Uh huh. Come on, your mom’s made a terrific meal.”

“Kensi, you really should make an effort to eat better,” said Julia as they sat down at the small kitchen table.

“It’s hard for us,” said Deeks. “We work crazy hours and it’s easier to grab something on the go.”

“Oh, now you’re on my side?” asked Kensi. She pointed her fork at him.

Deeks gave her an indulgent look. “Kens, I’m always on your side. But admit it, boiling an egg is an accomplishment for you.”

“Woof!”

Monty was lying on the rug in front of the back door. Deeks hooked a thumb in his direction. “Even Monty knows your culinary limitations.”

“I never claimed to be Martha Stewart,” she answered with a pout.

“Maybe Santa should bring you a cookbook for Christmas,” said Deeks with his trademark goofy grin.

The meal was delicious and despite Kensi’s earlier reservations, conversation flowed easily and everyone was relaxed. Deeks was being his usual outgoing, exuberant self and charming her mother. He was good at talking to people and could sell ice to the Eskimos.

Julia was enjoying herself, too. She caught the looks that passed between Kensi and Deeks when they thought she wasn’t paying attention. Like they were communicating without words.

Uh huh, definitely more than a work relationship going on here, she thought.

After dinner, Deeks insisted on cleaning up the kitchen while Kensi walked her mother out.

“It’s the least I can do, Julia,” he said. He tossed a dishtowel over his shoulder and set about loading the dishwasher and putting away leftovers.

“I like your detective,” said Julia with a smile. They were standing outside the front door.

As usual, Kensi tried to deflect their relationship. “He’s not my detective. Well, in a way he is since we’re work partners. I mean . . .”

Julie touched her arm. “Honey, I saw his things in the bedroom . . . and you’re wearing his shirt.”

Kensi opened her mouth to protest, but Julia held up a hand to stop her. “I wasn’t trying to snoop; I was only straightening up. Your housekeeping skills are, shall we say, somewhat lax.”

Kensi made a face. “Yeah, Deeks reminds me of that all the time. You should see his place. He’s obsessive-compulsive and nothing is out of place. I think he’s even trained Monty to pick up after himself.” She rushed over the words in an attempt to cover her embarrassment.

“Maybe some of that neatness will rub off on you.” Julia paused. “All I’m saying is, Marty seems like a good man and he obviously cares about you. Don’t push him away.”

Kensi sighed and tears pricked her eyes. “He is a good man. I don’t know why he puts up with me sometimes.”

“Your father would have liked him.”

The mention of her late father struck a nerve with Kensi. “You really think so?”

“Of course. He would be happy you found someone so loving and honorable.”

Kensi felt overwhelmed. She didn’t handle raw emotions very well. “Monty likes me, too,” she said to lighten the mood.

Julia gave a little laugh. “Yes, Monty and Marty. They’re quite the pair.”

The front door opened and Deeks came out with Monty on his leash. He shrugged. “Monty has to go.”

Julia leaned down to rub behind Monty’s ears. “Monty’s a good man, too.”

Deeks didn’t miss the implication and caught Kensi’s eye. He could tell she was struggling not to lose control.

Julia straightened and gave Deeks a hug. “Marty, it was wonderful meeting you. I hope to see you again.”

He smiled. “You can count on it.”

Next she hugged Kensi. “Don’t forget what I said, sweetie,” she whispered.

“I won’t,” promised Kensi.

Then Julia got in her car and headed home.

“You okay?” asked Deeks. “Foot bothering you?”

Kensi looked down at her boot. “Yeah, a little.”

“Why don’t you go sit down? Monty and I’ll be back in 10. Then we’ll watch this evening’s cinematic classic.”

“And what would that be?”

“My lips are sealed. You’ll have to wait until after Monty does his business.”

Kensi looked down at the dog. “Well, make it snappy.”

Twenty minutes later, the pair returned. “That was more than 10 minutes,” said Kensi.

“Yeah, Monty had to chase a few squirrels.”

“Okay, I suppose that’s allowed.” Monty looked up at her and whined. Then he laid down by the coffee table to watch the movie with them.

Deeks popped the DVD in and settled on the couch with Kensi. The opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark rolled across the screen.

“Question: Did you enjoy Sea World?” asked Deeks.

“What?” She’d temporarily forgotten about the tee shirt. “Haven’t been in years. But a friend went and enjoyed it. I don’t know why he didn’t bring me a souvenir.”

“Looks like he did,” chuckled Deeks.


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