The following morning, breakfast was oddly natural. Svetlana entered the kitchen as Kenny was putting the kettle on and instantly went to the fridge.
“D’you fancy a cooked breakfast?”
“If you can make a cooked breakfast out of what’s in my fridge, they were lying when they said you couldn’t channel magic,” Kenny said dryly.
“What am I supposed to eat? Semi-skimmed milk tastes like vaguely milky water.”
“Sandwich?” Kenny suggested. “I normally just have toast.”
“D’you have a toastie-maker?” Svetlana asked, looking hopeful.
“I actually might,” Kenny replied. He opened a cupboard and saw the box he was looking for. “Aha. Here we go.” He pulled it out and put it on the worktop.
“Yayy, there’s hope for you yet, Kenner C,” Svetlana exclaimed. She took the cheese and the bread out of the fridge and set about making her toastie.
“D’you want a drink?” Kenny asked. “The kettle’s boiling.”
“Mm-hm, I’ll have what you did for me yesterday. It was perfect.”
“One milky sweet coffee coming up.”
When they were sitting around the small kitchen table, Svetlana said “So today I’m going to go to the animal shelter. You can... I don’t know. You can have a day off. Oh, d’you have a spare notepad, by the way?”
“Um, no, sorry. I gave the one I was using before back to your uncle.”
“Guess it’s not that important. Anything I can use to make Susanna like me?”
“Your feminine charm?” Kenny suggested jokingly.
“Don’t you tease me, Kenner,” Svetlana warned. “I’ll have you know that when I want him to, I can make a guy feel like I’m his raison d’être.”
“I’ll bear that in mind. Um... I’m not sure I have anything that can help you make friends, Svetlana. But I’m sure if you’re yourself, Susanna will love you. But ... maybe try to get in Joel’s good books first. He’ll be suspicious if a Guardian suddenly walks up to his girlfriend and says ‘Hey, let’s be friends’.”
“Like I’ll say that,” said Svetlana, rolling her eyes.
“Well, whatever. You know what I mean. Talk to him first, if possible. Be nice, but not over-friendly.”
“I’ve an idea: I’ll go up to him and say ‘Hey, you’re making one human very happy there, aren’t you?’.”
“No, gosh, don’t do that,” Kenny spluttered, feeling his cheeks heat up.
“Oh, Kenner, your face.”
Kenny, mortified, deliberately avoided her gaze.
“You don’t say that to people,” he mumbled.
“Especially not to Kenner Charleston! Worry not, Kenner: I’ll be on my best behaviour. Promise.”
“Good,” Kenny muttered.