"I guess that answers that question," Hal said wryly, glancing at Dave, who stood beside him. "Jamie can only see me though, because I'm his guardian angel."
"Without you showing yourself, the way you did with me."
"Exactly. I should have told him not to tell his dad, but it's too late now."
"Timing is everything, and this time Kip came in before you had the chance."
"No kidding," Hal muttered.
* * * *
Mack kneeled down in front of Jamie. "What does this angel look like?"
"He's got long blond hair. Real long. And his eyes are"—Jamie looked at Kip—"What's the color like green and blue mixed?"
"Uh-huh. His eyes are aqua."
Glancing at Kip, Mack said, "That doesn't even come close to the bit of a description we have of the guy."
Kip heaved a sigh of relief. "It has to have been his imagination, or he fell asleep and dreamed it."
"I did not!" Jamie protested. "He's here. Right over there." He pointed.
Mack stood, going to where Jamie said he saw the angel, then beckoned for Kip to join him. "Obviously," Mack said, his voice barely above a whisper, "there's no one here. Maybe, because he's frightened about what's going on, he's invented an imaginary friend to protect him?"
"Possible, I suppose," Kip replied equally as softly. "If it makes him feel safer, I guess there's no harm in it. But why an angel?"
"The classic guardian angel story. Could he have heard about them in Sunday school?"
Kip shook his head. "We're not church goers, but maybe Emily's kids said something. Who knows?"
"Dad, you're not supposed to whisper when other people are in the room," Jamie called out.
"You're right. I'm sorry." Kip went back to sit beside him on the bed. "Does your angel make you feel safer? Oh, and how do you know he is an angel if he doesn't have wings?"
"I just know is all." Jamie nodded hard. "He's supposed to watch over me, like in that Christmas movie."
Kip glanced at Mack knowingly. To Jamie, he said, "That's what angels do. Now, how about you finish getting ready for bed and then we'll read a story."
"Deal." Kip hugged him and got up. "Holler when you're ready," he said, as he and Mack left the room.
Kip went to the kitchen, poured a cup of coffee then joined Mack in the living room. "I suppose, as we said, if he believes he's got an angel watching over him, he won't be afraid. Although so far, he seems to think this is all a big adventure."
Mack nodded. "I've got two kids of my own. Charlie, the older one, was great at bluffing through it when something frightened him, like it was no big deal. Danny was more ready to admit his fears and talk about them. I guess there's something to be said for both reactions. Right now, in my opinion, this angel is a good thing. With all the stress you're under, you won't have to add to it by lying to Jamie that there's really nothing to worry about. Kids are too good at picking up on that, and he'd be even more afraid. He's created his imaginary angel to make him feel safe, so leave it be."
"I intend to." Kip took a sip of coffee. "Two kids?"
Mack smiled proudly. "Yep. Eleven and twelve. They drive us up the walls sometimes but they're great boys. Full of energy and bright as can be. Like your Jamie."
"He is that. He's also…" Kip added when Jamie hollered "I'm ready, Dad", "very demanding at times."
Chuckling, Mack said, "Go. Read. Do you mind if I watch TV?"
"Not at all." Kip handed him the remote and went to join his son.