"She's a lady," Jamie whispered when Kip and Cass arrived to pick him up from Emily's.
Kip laughed. "That she is, but she's also a cop. She's my protector during the day, while you're staying here with Emily."
"Oh. Okay." Jamie looked at Cass wide-eyed then whispered again, "Do you like her?"
"Sure. She seems nice enough, from what little I've seen of her."
Jamie grabbed Kip's hand, tugging him toward the car. "Are you going to see her again?"
"Every day until this is over, I guess."
"Good." Jamie beamed at Cass. "Can we go on a picnic on Saturday?"
"I…umm…I'm not sure that's a good idea. Maybe"—Cass looked at Kip—"does he like movies?"
Kip snorted. "He's eight. What eight-year-old doesn't?"
"Maybe a movie instead," she said, returning her attention to Jamie.
"Yes." Jamie pumped his fist in the air before jumping into the car when Kip opened the back door.
Kip noticed—as he had earlier when they were not inside classrooms—that all the time Cass was talking, she was also scanning the area. This gave him a strong sense of both confidence that she could protect them if necessary and an occasional shiver of fear that it was even necessary.
When they arrived back at Kip's apartment Kip parked in the lot then waited for Cass to join them before heading to the building's entrance. Officer Caldwell—"Call me Mack"—was waiting there for them.
"You're big," Jamie said in awe. Which he was, at about six-two and probably two-twenty-five, Kip guessed.
Mack laughed. "So I've been told a time or three, but it's all muscle."
"Braggart," Cass muttered dismissively. "You don't have to be big to be good."
He grinned. "Nope, but it helps. Still"—now he smiled at her—"when it comes down to it, I wouldn't want to tangle with you during target practice. You're one of the best shots on the force."
"You are?" Jamie looked even more awestruck, if that was possible.
Cass nodded. "I came in second overall."
"Wow. I'm glad you're guarding my Dad."
"Me too," Kip agreed. "What time tomorrow?"
"When do you leave the apartment?" Cass asked.
"My first class is at nine."
"Then I'll be here at eight-thirty," she replied, before returning to her car.
Kip watched until she was out of sight before unlocking the front door of the building.
"You like her," Jamie said, as they went inside and crossed the lobby to the elevator.
"I told you I did."
"I mean you like her."
Kip shook his head. "I've only known her for a few hours. For all I know, she's married with…three kids."
"She's not," Mack told him, looking amused at the conversation.
"Enough," Kip muttered, which effectively ended Jamie's probing—for the time being, at least.