"Ready to go?" Cass asked, when Kip let her into the apartment the next morning.
"We are, or more, we will be once someone"—Kip looked at Jamie who was not quite dressed—"decides which shirt to wear."
"It's Mack's fault," Jamie protested. "He said the blue one went better with my eyes but I want to wear the red one."
Cass chuckled. "Now you're a fashion consultant, Mack?"
"Sue me. I make one off-hand suggestion and now he's on the horns of a dilemma."
"Jamie," Kip said firmly, "put on the red one and let's get moving."
Jamie grinned at Mack. "See," he said before dashing into his bedroom. He came out a minute later, in the blue shirt. When Kip cocked an eyebrow, Jamie told him, "I'll wear the red one tomorrow."
"You're an evil influence," Kip muttered to Mack, getting a laugh in return.
Mack went around the apartment to make certain all the windows were closed and locked then waited once everyone was in the hallway while Kip pulled the door closed and engaged the deadbolt. When they were outside, he headed to his car, promising he'd be back again that evening.
"We'll take your car today," Cass said to Kip.
"You're just trying to save on gas money," Kip teased, as they walked around to corner to the lot.
"That too," she agreed with a laugh, "but it's also easier."
"To keep him safe?" Jamie asked seriously, while he waited for Kip to unlock the car.
"Like my…" Jamie quickly closed his mouth, climbing into the back seat and buckling up.
Cass got into the passenger seat then turned to look at him. "Like your what?"
"I'm not supposed to talk about him," Jamie murmured.
Cass frowned, glancing at Kip as he started the car and pulled out of the lot. "Who's he talking about? Was there some stranger around?"
Kip shook his head. "Only the pizza delivery guy and trust me, Mack made certain it was him before I could let him into the building, to say the least of the apartment. Jamie thinks he saw an angel in his room last night."
"Mack searched the place, I hope," Cass said tightly.
"Of course. I'll… tell you about it later."
Cass nodded, turning back to Jamie. "So what are your plans for the day?"
"Oh, that must be nice." She grinned at him. "Wish I could do that all day."
"Do you know how to?" he asked seriously. "I thought grownups just worked all day."
"We do, or go to school, like your dad."
"You go to school too?"
"Nope. I'm done with that, so now I just work."
Jamie frowned. "I don't think I want to be a grownup then."
She chuckled. "I don't blame you. There are times when I'd love to be a kid again."
"Me too," Kip agreed, turning the corner onto Emily's street.
A few minutes later, he and Cass were back in the car after saying goodbye to Jamie, who was at that point more interested in what his cousins were doing than in the adults.
"So, what happened last night?" Cass asked.
"Jamie said he saw an angel, his guardian angel. Mack thinks, and I agree, that its just Jamie's way of making himself feel safe. I'm going to talk to him tonight about that."
"You know," Cass replied, "there are stories about how some kids really can see their guardian angel."
"Don't tell me you believe in those fairytales."
"No," she replied, laughing. "Still… a lot of people do."
"The same ones who think aliens have invaded or vampires are their next door neighbors," Kip said scathingly.
"You mean vampires don't walk among us?" Cass looked at him in mock dismay.
Kip laughed. "If they do, I've never met one and I think I'd rather not."
"I vant to suck your blood."
"That was awful."
"I beg your pardon. I thought it was a good Bela Lugosi imitation."
Kip glanced over at her. "Bad imitation, and you look nothing like Lugosi. You're too…" He quickly returned his concentration to his driving.
"I'm too what?"
"Cute," Kip muttered.
"Oh. Well." Cass seemed flustered and quickly changed the subject, asking what she'd be learning today about fire investigation.
Kip told her, and then she found out firsthand while she accompanied him to his classes. Afterwards, she sat at the back of a high school classroom while Kip tutored two students in science.