I watched Holly walk out the door, then turned back to my desk to continue working. I thought about her parting words: “But just remember your promise, Mud Boy, because I’m going to hold you to it.”
There was no doubt in my mind that she would indeed hold me to it.
I worked for a little while longer on the cube, until I finally couldn’t stand it anymore. I had been sitting still too long. I was restless. My feet were numb and my eyes were watering from staring.
I went downstairs. Until seeing the clock, I didn’t realize how late it was. It was after 4:30. Neither of the kids were home yet, and Holly wasn’t either, so I figured it was up to me to find something for dinner. Well, there was no since in me cooking, because no one would eat it, so I decided to order something. There was a Subway not too far away, and I knew they delivered.
After a brief phone call, I had dinner taken care of. Now all there was left to do was wait.
About twenty minutes later, a knock at the door told me the food was here. I collected it and went to put it in the fridge, but before I could get there I heard the door open, so I just stopped and set the table.
I was just finishing when Holly walked in, the kids close behind her. She sniffed the air cautiously.
“It smells good,” she commented. “I’m guessing you didn’t cook?”
“Nope,” I said, grabbing her when she got close and pulling her into my arms. I kissed her lightly on the head once before releasing her and pulling the chair out for her.
I opened the bag and passed out the subs. Veggie stuff for Holly and Sam, as they were both vegetarians. For Artemis and I, I ordered meatball subs. Hey, we couldn’t all be vegetarians around here. The world would survive with a few less cows.
After dinner, I noticed Artemis pulling Holly out of the room. I had no idea what he would want to talk to her about, but I didn’t intervene. I figured I could question Holly about it later.
Which is exactly what I did.
Afterwards, while Sam and Artemis were getting ready for bed, I pulled Holly aside.
“What was that about?” I asked her.
“What was what about?” she asked. She sounded distracted. Then, completely off topic, she asked, “Hey, are you on the school’s PTO?”
The question startled me. “No.”
“Oh,” she murmured, staring off distractedly again.
“Why? And what did Artemis pull you aside for earlier?”
“Just curious as to if you knew or not.”
“Knew what?” I was a little irritated now.
She looked at me. “Artemis’ school is holding a dance. That’s what he pulled me aside about earlier. He wanted my permission to ask Sam to it, though I’m not sure why he asked me and not Sam herself first.”
“Probably because he knows Sam is not the one he has to worry about,” I said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she demanded, looking up at me.
I sighed. “Sam is practically guaranteed to say yes to him, if just for the simple reason of it saving her from having to answer to anyone else. And besides,” I said, grinning, “No one can resist a Fowl, not even the most stubborn fairy under the world.”
“And what makes you think that?” Holly asked, leaning a bit closer in anticipation of hearing the answer.
“Because,” I said, drawing her into my arms and leaning down to whisper in her ear, “You couldn’t.”
“Touché,” she murmured, pressing herself in closer. Then she stretched up and pressed her lips against mine.