"Ooooo... a chest!" she muttered, dropping to her knees and opening the lid, her eyes lighting up with delight.
But, suddenly she felt uncomfortable. She shivered and looked around. Her eyes fell on the witch-gnome. It almost felt like the gnome was watching her...
"Grow up..." she muttered, but, feeling unsettled, she hurriedly pulled the play clothes off and stuffed back in the chest and scurried downstairs.
Eva glanced up, "What?"
"Haley wants to go over to play with Rachel."
"Oh, yeah. Go ahead, sweetie." Eva smiled ruefully at her daughter. "I'm sorry. I'm distracted. I'm trying to figure out how to save the Crystal Springs."
Haley grinned and whooped, sprinting from the room.
"Be home before dark, though!" Eva called out after her daughter.
Pulling up onto her friend's driveway, she was glad to see Rachel outside. "Hey Rachel! I came over to play!" she announced.
"Say you're sorry, Johnny!" Haley said, sticking up for her friend.
"I am not!" Rachel said stomping her foot.
"Yes you are!" he retorted smoothly.
"Am not! Am not! Am not!" Rachel fumed, stomping her foot. "I'm telling Daddy!"
"Aw, come on, you wouldn't have gotten so scared! You're not all girly-girly!" Johnny argued, frustrated that Rachel had run off to tattle.
Haley thought back to this morning when she'd found the princess dress-up clothes and gotten scared by the witch-gnome.
Johnny mulishly crossed his arms and waited for his Dad to come talk to him...
Tomas sighed. "You embarrassed her in front of her friend. Girls don't like that."
Johnny scowled. "It's just Haley!"
"Promise no more teasing," Tomas said sternly, ruffling his son's hair.
"Yeah, yeah. I promise..."
"Johnny, I mean it!"
"I know, I know!" Johnny groused, following his dad out of the room.
Tomas wiggled his eyebrows wickedly. "It's better than announcing I want to make love to my wife, isn't it?"
"TOMAS!" Sonja said, slapping his shoulder and glancing around to make sure the kids weren't listening. "Behave!"
"Race you to the room," he whispered in her ear.
"What's it?" Haley asked.
Rachel paused. "I don't know," she finally admitted, which was really hard because she always liked to be right.
"Come on, Haley, let's go get ready for bed!" Rachel said with a little sniff, completely ignoring her brother.
Haley sighed and followed after her friend, looking back to see Johnny following after them.
Johnny shrugged, "That's what my mom told me."
Rachel gritted her teeth, "Haley! You're not supposed to talk to him!"
Johnny rolled his eyes. "I'm sorry I scared you, Rachel, okay?" he apologized, but ruined any hope of it sounding sincere by adding, "Geez!"
Johnny shrugged again, looking sheepish. "I guess cause I'd asked her why she didn't get pregnant like Sonja is..."
Rachel glanced down at her hands, feeling embarrassed for giving her brother a hard time. She knew that her dad had gotten both of their mom's pregnant at the same time and then had chosen her mom. She wondered if Johnny hated her because of that.
"Night mom, Night Keely!" Rachel said, hurrying over to give her mom and little sister hugs and kisses goodnight.
Eva sighed as she closed her laptop lid, a sense of peace stealing over her. She might not be able to sway Amelia from destroying Crystal Springs, but she knew how she could stop the negotiations in it's tracks!
She had the perfect idea and she just had to be successful!