Bruce was making a cake for his wife's birthday. He'd secretly taken the day off, gotten up early, made a big pot of coffee, and was pulling the bag of flour out of the cupboard. The cookbook was propped open on the counter, and he carefully scooped a cup of flour into a measuring cup, dropped it into the bowl, and was digging out a second cup when the scoop bumped something hard. He stuck his fingers into the white powder and pulled out a big, fat diamond. Its facets shone in the low morning light streaming through the window over the sink.
Where the hell did this come from? Bruce furrowed his brow. He certainly wasn't a rich man. A mid-level debt collections manager certainly lived comfortably, but not comfortably enough to buy a jewel of that size! She must be having an affair.
Slipping the diamond back into the flour while he thought, he continued making the cake. When his wife came into the kitchen with a big, shiny knife because she thought that the thumps in the kitchen were a clumsy burglar, her salty tears melted the icy glare that she'd worn. After hugging Bruce, she sat down at the table, the knife gone into her dressing gown.
The couple each enjoyed a few quiet moments while the cake baked. A delicious aroma filled the room, of hot brown sugar and vanilla. Bruce watched his wife's contented face freeze into a rictus of surprise as she looked over his shoulder at the open flour. Quickly recovering her composure, she continued to sip her coffee.
Who is he?
Bruce's wife covered his face and pajamas in a fine mist of coffee as she sprayed it out.
It isn't what you think.
What do I think it is, then?
I'm not cheating on your with anyone. You're my only love. I'm just hanging onto that for somebody.
Who? Pablo fucking Escobar?
Bruce, you never swear!
I'm pissed off! Bruce reveled, briefly, in the shock on his wife's face. A insistent knocking on the front door snapped his revelry.
Shit! Bruce's wife muttered. Get under the table and don't make a motherfucking peep, you understand? I was supposed to get that to them last week but I couldn't steal it until yesterday.
Bruce shook his head in the face of his wife's sudden change in demeanor. Why should I hide in my own home?
Because these are not nice men, Bruce's wife said, slipping her hand into her night gown.
I'm the man of this house and I can be quite damn unpleasant, when necessary. He stood up and went towards the front door.
His wife tried to hold him back. No, please, you don't know how to deal with them.
I've been in my share of scraps, Bruce lied. He swung the door open.
A pair of scruffy men stood on the porch. One of them immediately pulled a gun and attempted to rush into the house, but bounced off of Bruce.
What's all this, you bastards.
The man swung the weapon towards Bruce's face, but with lightning reflexes he caught the man's wrist and in a smooth, practiced motion broke it with a wet snap.
Stab the other one, Bruce said.
Bruce's wife was already upon him, giving him several good slashes until the two managed to beat a hasty retreat across the lawn.
What cartel? Bruce asked.
The Troika, Bruce's wife replied, shocked at her husband's reaction. You told me you were a debt collection manager.
Yes, that's the polite way of putting it. I didn't want to offend your ladylike sensibilities.
I'm not that ladylike, but I really appreciate that you don't bring your work home with you.
It's your birthday, so I'll overlook that you did the same.
The oven timer dinged.
Let's go have some cake, Bruce said.
The Moral: When hiding jewels in cooking supplies, bury them in salt because cakes don't require two cups of it.