HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 136

“For now,” Cole replied. “My dad hasn’t taught me quite everything he knows yet.”

“Every parent needs a trade secret or two,” Vivian said. “Keeps us from becoming obsolete.”

“Some might call that ‘delaying the inevitable’,” Cole said.

You wouldn’t call it that, though,” Vivian said. “Right?”

“Of course not,” Cole said. “I have the utmost respect for my elders.”

They stared at each other for a moment, then they both broke out laughing.

“Sorry, inside joke,” Vivian said to the girls.

“Anyway,” Cole said, “have you ladies decided on your orders yet?”

“We’re still perusing the menu,” Vivian said.

“Oh, you don’t need that,” Cole said, grabbing the menus from the table. “I’ll fix you up something special. On the house, of course. How does that sound?”

“That would be lovely, dear,” Vivian said.

Cole leaned over the table and extended his hand toward a pair of candles in the centerpiece. With a snap of his fingers, the wicks ignited. Angela glanced up. Cole winked and walked away.

Angela only caught a few details from Cole’s mind. He was dating one of the waiters. He had short temper hiding behind the friendly facade. And he’d had a strained relationship with his father for years, but they got along well enough now.

“So how do you know that guy?” Genesis asked.

“His father and I have been working together for years,” Vivian replied. “He was my go-to caterer when I was first getting started.”

“And what is it you do again?” Genesis asked.

“I’m an event planner,” Vivian replied. “Conferences, weddings, that sort of thing. If you two get married someday, I can totally—”

Mom!” Angela snapped.

The flames on the candles blossomed into little fireballs that quickly dissipated. Sparks fluttered in the air over the table. Vivian cleared her throat.