"What's that, Daddy?" Leona asked as she climbed into her father's lap, "Can I have some?" When Napoleon looked at her and raised his eyebrows, she amended, "May I have some?"
He hugged her with one arm and kissed her temple, causing the three and a half year old to smile and giggle. "I'm beginning to think you do that on purpose so I'll give you a kiss!" he said as he rubbed his face against hers contentedly. He and Illya had picked her up from the Greers' on their way home from Kennedy airport last night. They actually had the next few days off barring unforeseen circumstances.
"This," he said as he held up a toast point, "is pate'. I don't know if you would like it."
"Do you like it, Daddy?" she asked as she looked up at him.
"I do, indeed."
"Me, too," she declared emphatically.
He smiled and said, "Okay," before offering her a bite. The look on her face when she tasted it made him laugh out loud. "You don't like it."
"That's liver! That was mean, Daddy!" she cried as she wiggled out of his lap. Just then, they heard Illya's key go into the lock and Leona Nicole ran from the kitchen to meet him.
"Papa!" she said as she ran to him and grabbed his leg, "Daddy was bad!"
"He was? What did he do that was bad?" Illya asked as he removed and hung up his coat while the little girl followed holding his pant leg. They joined Napoleon in the kitchen where he sat munching innocently on the snack that had started the dustup.
"Partner Mine, I am innocent. I was enjoying this wonderful pate' that Marian gave me for a favor I did for her and Leona asked to try it. I told her she might not like it."
"Papa, that's liver! Daddy fooled me! Tell him that's not nice."
The Russian reached down to pick his child up before taking a seat. "I think maybe Daddy should have told you that pate' is an acquired taste."
Leona's face scrunched up as she thought about what Papa said. Finally she asked, "What's a choired taste?"
"Acquired taste, Little One. It means that you have to learn to like it. That takes time. Daddy was not trying to fool you. Pate' is something a lot of adults like." Illya reached over and took a toast point laden with pate' and popped it into his mouth. "Mmmm, yum. See? I like it, too."
Leona watched as both men ate another toast point with the livery – tasting spread on it. "Daddy?"
"Yes, Daughter Mine?'
"I'm sorry I said you were mean to me."
Napoleon held out his arms and Illya passed her to him. "I know you didn't mean it, honey. Apology accepted." He hugged her and then put her down. "How about I make a snack we all like? Peanut butter and crackers?"
"Yes, please! Thank you, Daddy!"
Illya brought the pate' and toast points closer to him. "You two go ahead. I will eat this." He picked up Napoleon's knife to spread more pate'. I do enjoy Snack Time."