*No spoilers in this one! Just some cozy Thanksgiving stuff with Fin and Rena.
"Rena, if you keep stealing food every time you walk through the kitchen, we're not going to have anything to eat for dinner," Professor Edwards sighed.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Rena replied, shifting her hand so the roll she had stolen was hidden behind a fold in her skirt.
"I think you're seeing things, darling," Clara murmured. She winked at Rena as her husband rolled his eyes.
Rena grinned as she sauntered out of the kitchen and into the sitting room. Fin looked up as she plopped down next to him on the sofa and broke the roll in half. "You're not even trying to be inconspicuous anymore," Fin chuckled, taking his half from her.
Rena's nose crinkled as her smile grew even bigger. "No, not even a little bit. As it turns out, this is actually way more fun when he sees me doing it. And besides, he wouldn't even have all this food available if it wasn't for me insisting he try celebrating Thanksgiving this year." A knock sounded at the door, interrupting her before she could seek out any more food or trouble. Fin smiled at the way Rena's face lit up as she bounded to answer the door.
Her family stepped inside, shedding their coats and, of course, all talking at once. Her father immediately struck up a conversation with Professor Edwards, while her mother went straight to the kitchen to help Clara. Her younger brother and sister crowded around Fin to harass him about taking them on another one of his famous adventures (apparently even a walk through the city was something he made quite exciting for them). Unfortunately for Rena, all the action distracted her from her roll, which was quickly snatched by her older brother. "Thanks," he mumbled cheekily, his mouth already stuffed with a bite far larger than what could ever be considered proper. Rena rolled her eyes, but couldn't help smiling. This was the kind of chaos she loved.
"Dinner's ready!" Clara called from the kitchen as she brought the first dish out to the table. With everyone's help, all the food was quickly laid out on the table and they each found their seats.
As they all sat down, Professor Edwards raised an eyebrow at Rena. "So? What now?" Since she was the one who thought to introduce his family to the American holiday, he thought it would only be fair that she decided how they would proceed.
"Well..." Rena hesitated for only a moment. "We'll say what we're thankful for, since that's what this holiday is meant to be about. And then we'll pray. And then... we'll eat!"
Professor Edwards chuckled at her enthusiasm. "Alright then," he said, glancing down at his son next to him. "How would you like to start?" And so they went around the table, naming the things they were thankful for, from good food to good friends to good reading material (although nearly everyone rolled their eyes when Professor Edwards mentioned that one).
Eventually, it was Fin's turn. He paused for a moment, and Rena recognized the thoughtful, vulnerable look on his face. She squeezed his hand to encourage him. "I'm thankful for... family," he finally said, and the soft look in his eyes said everything his words didn't. Then he cleared his throat and gave Rena a wry smile. "And for all the food that's been stolen for me over the course of this afternoon."
Rena giggled and ducked her head to avoid Professor Edwards' accusing stare. "I guess it's my turn then..." Her gaze drifted up towards the ceiling as she thought for a moment. "I'm thankful for love... for how it's embodied in every one of you and how it brings us together and how it remains undoubtedly, unfailingly good."
"Well, cheers to that," Fin said, smiling fondly at her. "But next time, you have to talk first so I can sound like the impressive one."
Between the Lines
A collection of short stories related to my books (mostly Christmas stories because why not?). Just make sure to check the note at the beginning in case there are any spoilers!