Chef Machiavelli poured another cup of espresso for me. I passed the dish of delightfully decadent Laduree double-decker macarons to him. We were sitting on the veranda, enjoying the intoxicating afternoon sunshine and the temperate breeze. Birds chirped nearby, brightening our otherwise quiet and serene moments. Then Zombos showed up.
"What is all this? You have not blogged for over a week now," he said to me. Chef Machiavelli held up the plate of macarons, invitingly, to him.
"No thank you. I have much to do, and little time or inclination for lounging around munching macarons." Zombos folded his arms with disdain.
"I stand accused and guilty," I said, sipping my espresso. "Blame it on Spring. A perfect time for recharging one's batteries and tasting all those do-nothing moments so often in short supply. Here, join us, have a macaron. It's from Laduree. They're irresistable."
Chef Machiavelli poured a cup of espresso and motioned for Zombos to join us. Zombos's folded arms folded tighter.
"Are those macarons?" said Pretorius, coming around the tall shrubbery, seeing us on the veranda. "I thought I smelled espresso!" He left his cutting shears at the bottom step and came up, and took the cup of espresso just poured. "Oh, my, these are incredible!" he said, taking a macaron and biting into it. "Heaven. Simply Heaven." He sat down next to Chef Machiavelli and the plate of macarons.
"Oh for Heaven's sake, these are just macarons!" said Zombos. He looked at me. "There are movies, and books, and a dozen things you should be attending to and reviewing."
"They will keep for a little while longer," I said appeasingly. "For the love of God, man, it's Spring! And the birds are singing, and the espresso is hot, and the macarons divine. The horror can wait. Come, try at least one delicious mouthful before you condemn our brief respite as dodgery."
"Fine, then," said Zombos, "but then I am off, taking care of business, which all of you should be doing instead of lolling around." He chose an orange blossom macaron and bit into it like a mouse nibbling cheese. His face lightened. The mouse stopped nibbling and devoured the macaron.
"This ganache is delightful. The silky texture melts in my mouth." Zombos reached for another macaron. Chef Machiavelli poured another cup of espresso. I pushed a chair toward Zombos. He sat down, sipped his espresso, and put his feet up, stretching out his long legs with a sigh.
We spent the rest of the afternoon listening to the birds chirp, the quiet in-between their chirping, and eating macarons and sipping espresso, until Chef Machiavelli switched us over to tea.