"Stewart's been sighted," were the first words out of Mack's mouth when Kip came into the living room the next morning.
"Thank God. Are they going to arrest him now?"
"Small problem with that. It was a rookie who saw him. He pulled him over and the minute the cop stepped out of his squad car, Stewart drove off."
"Damn it! Where did this happen?"
"You're not going to like this—about twenty miles outside of the city. By now, if Stewart's smart, he's ditched his car and either stolen another one or is hoofing it." Mack paused when his phone rang. A moment later he said, "I'll buzz you in."
"Cass?" Kip asked.
Mack nodded, going to press the button. She was in the apartment two minutes later. They talked quietly for a few moments, with occasional glances Kip's way, then she informed him, "You're not going to school today," just as Jamie wandered into the room. "You'll be staying at Emily's."
"Why isn't he going to school?" Jamie asked, sounding scared. It was readily apparent he'd picked up on the tension in the room.
Kip wondered how much he should tell Jamie, then decided the truth was the best way to go. "They think Mr Stewart is somewhere around here, so they want me to be as safe as you are. That means I get to spend my day playing games with you and your cousins."
"Well, I think indoor games would be better, don't you?"
Jamie frowned. "I suppose. I'm hungry."
"You suppose you're hungry? You don't know?" Kip asked teasingly.
"Okay, okay. Pancakes and juice?"
"And sausage." Kip looked at the others. "That okay with you all?"
"I ate already, but if you have coffee…" Cass looked hopeful.
"And I'm going to leave, or make it seem as if I have," Mack said. "Then I'll circle back." He glanced at Cass and she nodded, giving him a thumbs-up.
"To catch the bad guy, so me and Dad can go back to school," Jamie said.
"You got it. Okay, I'll see you all later."
As soon as Mack left, Jamie tugged Kip's hand. "Breakfast?"
The three of them went into the kitchen. While Kip cooked, Jamie set the table and Cass took charge of making the coffee. For a moment, Kip thought wistfully that they seemed almost like a regular family. He pushed that aside, remembering that women couldn't be trusted in the long run, especially ones who thought a career was the most important thing in their lives.
Still, it would be nice—for Jamie.