Immediately afterwards, she stood up and approached the desk.
“Yes?” asked Gentry, looking up from the clipboard he pretended to read. His eyes tried to steal a look at Zach, but since Zach still wouldn’t look at him, he contented himself by staring at his mother like any other stranger.
“I noticed the nametag by your desk says Ms.Dakota, but I’m guessing that isn’t your name. I like to memorize peoples’ names, could you tell me yours?”
Gentry hesitated. Was she trying to know his name so she could file a complaint? Why did she want to know? He eyed her warily and said,
“Gentry Lee Johnson.”
“What a beautiful name… Unique, too, you’re very fortunate to have parents who put so much thought into a name. Are your parents from
, by chance?
Since I notice you also have a very slight accent.” Alabama
Was she trying to curb a favor out of him or something? Get information for a lawsuit?
“Yeah. I’m from
He said, dryly, “Can I help you?” Alabama
“Yes… I want to know where to put this. It’s for the entire office… because I know you work long and stressful hours.”
… What the hell.
“What is it?” Gentry asked warily, watching her hoist up a small gift-wrapped package. Was this a bribe? Not likely. Bribes usually went to just one person.
“It’s not a bomb.” She joked, awkwardly, and in the background Zach rolled his eyes.
“It’s a cake.” He spat.
“A pie.” Delilah corrected.
“A pie.” Gentry repeated slowly, “What kind of pie?”
“Pecan pie. It’s already pre-sliced into twenty servings, so there should be enough for everyone.”
“Yes, Gentry, it’s Pecan Pie.” Zach snapped again, then quickly resumed his silence.
So did Delilah, who stared at Zach for a good, long moment, then at Gentry, then at Zach— until her husband father interrupted:
“The only thing that will kill anyone in that package the corn starch.”
He cast a nudge of a look at Zach, who Zach slouched into his seat the way Gentry had seen him do the last time he was in the office. That all-too-funny look of “get me out of here.”
“It won’t kill them to eat just one slice. Besides, it’s organic. And pre-cut.” Delilah interjected, slowly easing the wrapped cake toward him. With one slow, nudging finger.
Gentry cracked a smile.
“I’ll put it out.”
“I’ll get plates.”