Amy and Joseph look at Sparky with wide, frightened eyes. Janice just glares, a slight hint of fear in her eyes. Ryan has one arm around my waist and the other stroking Sparky's feathers.
Finally, Janice gets ticked and mutters under her breath, "What a stupid beast! Vile, hostile, stupid beast! How do they know it's friendly?"
Sparky's eyes get wide and her crest rises. She looks down on Janice and emits a deep, low, growl. Her feathers vibrate against each other, making a buzzing sound. Janice steps back, grabs the two children, and herds them back inside.
Ryan chuckles, and so does Sparky. I laugh out loud, believing fully that she might actually understand English.
"Good girl, Sparky. Very good," Ryan tells her.
He looks back down at me, and I feel myself blush. It was like Sparky had known exactly what he had wanted to happen.
He pulls me closer to him to share a long sweet kiss. I barely hear Sparky's soft purr.