When he couldn't lie, Phineas didn't know what to say.
"Ninny, pick up your boots," Linda demanded in exasperation.
He'd figured out soon after he moved back in that, as long as he did little things wrong, there'd be plenty of conversation fodder he could handle and wangle around for diversion.
"Sorry, babe. I was in a hurry. You okay?"
He reached out a still-gloved hand for her shoulder to steady her.
"Gee, thanks." Lindy squinched her nose at the crusting of damp garden dirt he'd left.
"Want to make it even?" Phineas laughed, holding out the other gloved hand.
Backing up against the countertop and shirking in mock disgust, Linda giggled. "You're crazy."
He held out both arms. "Come on, Suzie Cue, let's dance," Phineas grinned, beckoningly.
"Slip outta that dress. Then we can take a shower," Phineas suggested eagerly.
Lindy hesitated while he slid the straps toward her wrists and the loose smock fell to the floor in a flowery crumpled ring around her bare feet.
Phineas locked his hands behind her waist, smearing in garden grit from navel to spine.
"Go, m'lady," he entreated. "The floor, and audience, are all yours."
Linda tittered in restrained embarassment while Phineas bowed.
"Finny!" she pleaded, crouching slightly toward the wall and crossing her slim bare arms helplessly.
Phineas pulled the gloves off with his teeth and grabbed the castinettes to shake out a beaded beat over his head for their hips to catch on to.
"Party time, my sweet. Daddy's home."
Lindy helped his sweatpants to the floor.
"Shake a leg," she urged as he stepped free.
Castinettes snapping, they maracha'd through the hall toward their bath for a huddled heap of laughter in the clawfoot tub.
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