"Hey guys," I said to Iggy and Gazzy as I walked into the kitchen, "what's up?"
"We're making brownies!" Gazzy said enthusiastically. Since when did Gazzy cook? I wondered.
"I'm making brownies," Iggy corrected, his hands moving deftly over the various tools and ingredients on the counter in front of him, "Gazzy here is just waiting to lick the spoon when I'm done."
"Max doesn't know yet, does she?" Gazzy asked, licking his lips and eyeing the bowl of brownie batter like a starving vulture on a diet.
Though to be honest, so was I. (What can I say, brownies are to me what chocolate-chip cookies are to Max.)
"Nudge and Angel are with her at the mall dragging her around different clothing, make up, and jewelery stores, she doesn't have a clue." And with any luck she wouldn't know until later, when we were having her birthday celebration. It had been really hard to keep it a secret, especially with The Nudge Channel. I knew she would be the most likely to spill the beans about the party, so I'd given Angel full discretionary powers to keep Nudge quiet. So far it was still working. "I just hope she appreciates all the work we went through to keep it a secret."
"She'd better," Iggy said, now holding the bowl while stirring it on his way to the oven, "because I've been working my butt off in here. Why doesn't Gazzy do anything?" He poured the batter into the pan and put it in the oven.
"I was just about to do something about that." I tossed a walkie-talkie to Gazzy, who caught it with both hands, "I need you to tell me when Max and the girls are coming back."
"Why me!" he whined. "Why can't Total do it? It's not like he can actually put up decorations or anything."
"He told me he was working on something for Max on his own," I said, "and that he wasn't to be disturbed unless it was an absolute emergency." I paused. "His words, not mine. Besides," I looked over at Gazzy, "I really don't think anyone would appreciate it if the food tasted like one of your 'nuclear dissasters'." I raised an eyebrow.
Reluctantly, Gazzy marched to the mearest window and jumped out. A second later I saw him fly up to the roof.
"So how's your present for Max coming along?" Iggy asked after Gazzy left.
"It's coming along great," I told him with mock exitement, "wanna see it?"
"Har, har," he said unemotionally as he began cleaning up the kitchen. "Seriously, what is it?"
"Not telling," I said coyly, "You'll just have to wait for the party like everyone else."