At first, Penni thought the music she heard as she opened the door had been left playing from the night before. It wasn’t until she was a couple of steps into the room that she discovered the source was coming from the basement. Someone must have left the music on in the gym. That was also where the laundry, hot tub, and a bedroom were located. Willa and Lucky were living there as they built their house.
The kitchen’s aroma of brewing coffee and the smell of cinnamon rolls baking didn’t distract Penni from going down the basement stairs. Someone had to be awake, or the backdoor wouldn’t have been open, and someone had started breakfast.
She had had gone down three steps, bending over to see who was there and alert them to her presence, when it dawned on her that the singing wasn’t from the radio. Stunned at the beautiful sound coming from the woman putting clothes in the washing machine, she saw it was Genny.
Penni had met her briefly when she had arrived. Willa had hired the young nineteen-year-old to help cook and clean.
Penni soundlessly sat down on the steps, listening to her sing as she took clothes out of the dryer. It was a common song, but she had given it a sultry, melancholy quality that tugged at her heartstrings.
As she carried the laundry to the bottom steps, Genny gave a small scream, dropping the laundry basket.
“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to startle you.”
Penni felt terrible. Hopping up, she went down the steps to help her pick up the clothes.
“It’s okay. Did you need something?”
“No, I was just enjoying listening to you sing.”
“Genny? Penni? What’s wrong?” Lucky rushed from the hallway, wearing a pair of jeans he hadn’t taken the time to button. “I heard you—”
“Nothing’s wrong. I was just doing the laundry and didn’t know I wasn’t alone,” Genny explained.
Genny nodded. “I’m fine. I’m sorry I disturbed you.”
“I was getting ready to take a shower. You didn’t wake me up or anything. I’ll see you two at breakfast.” Lucky went back through the door that led to his bedroom.
“I’m really sorry. You had folded the clothes in such neat piles. I’ll straighten them out as soon as I drink my coffee.”
“You don’t have to—”
“Please, it’ll make me feel better.” Penni carried the basket upstairs.
Left with no choice, Genny followed her up.
Penni set the laundry on one of the chairs at the kitchen table before she poured herself a cup of coffee, sniffing appreciatively at the rolls Genny pulled out of the oven.
“Would you like one?”
“Yes, thank you.” Penni accepted the plate she was handed and took a seat at the table. “You have a beautiful voice.”
Penni glanced at her surreptitiously as she finished breakfast. Her light brown hair was tied back into a ponytail, she didn’t wear any makeup, and her clothes weren’t very expensive.
“How long have you lived in Treepoint?”
Genny turned from the stove, her complexion going pale. “A few years.”
“So you’re not from Treepoint? Where are you originally from?”
“Ouch…” Genny exclaimed, dropping the skillet back onto the burner.
Penni rushed to her side, turning the stove off.
“Put it under the faucet,” Penni directed her, turning the water on so the girl could ease her pain.
“I’m fine. It’s what I get for not paying attention.”
“I shouldn’t have distracted you. I knew you were busy. I’m sorry.”
Genny removed her wrist from the water, drying it. “It’s fine. See? It’s barely red.”
Penni moved back to the table, sensing the woman wanted to be left alone.
She had finished the last bite when Rider came in from the living room. Genny was standing at the stove as Rider made himself a cup of coffee then took a paper towel to take two of the cinnamon rolls.
Lucky came in as Rider was about to take a seat at the table.
“You ready?” Lucky asked Rider.
Nodding, Rider went to wait at the back door as Lucky readied his own breakfast.
“You’re not going to sit?” Penni asked as she started to fold the laundry.
“Can’t. My battery is giving me trouble. Rider offered to switch it out with one from one of his bikes.”
“I’ll see you in church, then.”
Lucky was probably the only pastor in Kentucky who rode a motorcycle to church.
Penni finished folding the clothes as they left, deciding to pour herself another cup of coffee.
Penni watched Genny make a large plate of bacon, eggs, and three cinnamon rolls.
“Whoever you’re making the tray for will have to hit the gym in the basement after eating all that.”
Genny blushed. “Too much?”
“Depends on which of the men you’re making it for.”
“I don’t know. He’s staying in the room beside Viper’s. I haven’t met him yet. From the way he sounds, he’s pretty big.”
Penni’s lips twitched. “He sounds big?”
“His room is over the kitchen. I hear him walking on the floor.”