"Joss! There are no marbles in marble cake!" a very pregnant Lili scolded, scooping them out of the cake batter as her two-year-old son dashed around the galley. "Maybe your sister will listen." Kick. "Er, sometimes."

Chef entered. "Got everything ready for tonight's birthday dinner?"

"Just about. My, uh, helper is making things a little slow."

"I don't think the Major will appreciate any added crunchy bits." He, too, scooped marbles out of the batter. "Can't you get someone to watch him?"

The preverbal toddler squealed a little as he ran. "Come back, young Master Hayes!" she called to him.