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James came downstairs on Saturday morning extra early, he wanted to get some XBox time in before Lola appeared and his parents forced him to do his homework.
The first thing he thought when he wandered into the front room, was that they had been burgled. The coffee table was on its side, cushions were strewn everywhere, the fruit bowl was nowhere to be seen, and apples and oranges littered the floor like balls from a play pit. Then he noticed the elf, positively smirking in a little nest of pens and pencils from the overturned pen-pot.
The Donald Duck pen pot that was his father’s pride and joy.
The pen pot that was now in three pieces on the floor.
“What the hell?” he muttered.
There was no way Dad had done that, and he couldn’t imagine Mum would have either. Unless one of them dropped it and decided to make the most of it? Or maybe it was Lola. Sometimes she was surprisingly clever. Perhaps she dropped it and decided to use the elf to cover it up, like she’d been accused of doing with the chocolates the other day. She’d been fed the idea now after all.
She was going to be in so much trouble. Stupid brat.
James threw the cushions back on the sofa and righted the coffee table. He was going to leave the fruit and broken pen pot where they were and let Lola take the hit, it was her own stupid fault after-all. But then he remembered her face when she’d read yesterday’s note and, with a sigh, retrieved the fruit bowl from behind the door and started rescuing the fruit.
There was Super Glue in the back of the fridge, he’d seen it in there the other day when he’d been looking for more cheese. Lord knew why his mother insisted on keeping it in there like orange juice, but for once it would be useful. If he was lucky he could make a decent enough job of sticking Donald back together that nobody would notice for a while. So long as everyone slept in long enough for it to set a bit.
He got lucky.
By the time everyone else came down,the pen pot was back in place and Damien the elf was sat holding a half-eaten apple in the fruit bowl looking slightly less smug than he had before.
It was amazing the difference a change in light could make to his expression, thought James as his Dad ruffled his hair and said well done for joining in with the elf fun for Lola.
Lola owed him big time.