Darrell flopped into his recliner. “Hoo, boy! What a day. Am I glad to be home.”
“Rough day?” Bonnie asked. She came from behind the overstocked in-home bar and handed him a double martini. The bar took up the space where the previous homeowner had had both an organ and a grand piano.
“It’s always the same old stuff. No one has any vision, no new ideas. They stick with the tried and true and safe, and then they wonder why sales are slumping. I don’t wanna talk about it. I’m just happy to be in the bosom of my sweet, normal family. So what happened around here today?” He took a sip of his drink.
Bonnie was quiet for a moment. “The children set up a lemonade stand.”
Darrell laughed appreciatively. “See? That’s normal. It’s summer and kids have lemonade stands. How did they do?” He closed his eyes and sank a little deeper into the chair.
“Quite well, actually.” She shifted her weight to her other foot. “After expenses, they made a little over $200.”
Darrell’s eyes snapped open. “How the hell did they do that?”
Bonnie was looking anywhere but at her husband. “Um … their lemonade went over very well. They had a lot of repeat business. Especially from the crew working at the Huntleys’. The ones adding the extra rooms in back and redoing the roof.”
Darrell was on guard. “A bunch of tough, blue-collar guys spent that kind of money at a lemonade stand run by two kids?”
“They seemed quite taken with the children and spent their breaks here. And the contractor and his people delivered some materials, and they came down, too.”
She stopped in her story, as if needing a prompt. Darrell supplied it: “And?”
She drew a shaky breath. “And … everything was going well until the policeman knocked on the door.”
“Policeman! Why did a policeman…?” He broke off and shot a look at the bar. “My lemon schnapps?”
Bonnie nodded slightly.
“All five bottles?”
“And you were?”
“Apparently not watching the children closely enough.”
“And the court date is?”
“A week from Thursday.”
“And the kids are?”
“At my mother’s.”
“Good thinking.” He tossed back the martini and held out the glass for a refill, which Bonnie rushed to produce. He slammed this one down quickly, too, and after a few minutes it made him introspective. “Still … that’s more innovation than I ever see at the office. If I’m still a free man after we go to court, maybe I’ll put some lemon schnapps in the water coolers.”