“Careful,” he said. “You’ve got power over her now, but sooner or later she’ll learn to take it away. And then: payback.”
“Yeah,” Josephine said, pointing her finger across the table. “Just you wait.”
“Why do I get the feeling we’ve created monsters?” Angela asked Kay.
“Nah, we didn’t create them,” he said. “We’re just enabling them.”
The twins stuck their tongues out at Angela and Kay. Behind them, the kitchen door opened and Cole Hayes stepped out. He made a beeline for their table.
“Good afternoon, folks,” he said. “Nice to see you again, Angela. How’s your mother?”
“Oh, you know her,” Angela said. “Nothing gets her down.”
“Very true,” Cole said, and looked around the table. “So these must be….”
“Dad’s side of the family,” Angela said. “Kay, Fred, and Jo, this is Cole. Second best chef in town, right? Or have you taken the lead already?”
“Still working on it,” he said. “Now, I hope everyone likes steak, because I’ve got just the thing for you.”
“Frederica’s a vegetarian,” Josephine said.
“Is that so?” Cole asked.
Frederica nodded, staring at the table.
“Well then you’re in luck,” he said. “I happen to make a terrific stir fry.”
He leaned over the table and reached for the candles at the centre.
“You might want to watch this part, Fred,” Angela said.
Cole pointed his index fingers and the candles ignited. Frederica stared into the flames for a moment, then looked up at Cole. He winked and headed back to the kitchen.
Frederica held out her hand. A little ball of fire appeared on her palm, rolling up over her fingers and down to her wrist. Her eyes lit up, watching the flames move of their own volition.