Edward juggled making pancakes and setting the table while thinking of what was in store for the day. A few other Earned were up and ate and read the paper, but most slept in after the festivities while others were already off to work.
Phil joined him in the dining hall as Edward was distributing plates. “You spoil us, Dad.”
“I’m entitled. And I’m bribing you.”
“Me?” Phil eyed him skeptically, making Edward laugh.
“Yes, you, because I know how you hate having your picture taken—” Phil rolled his eyes and groaned. “Don’t roll your eyes at me.” Edward pointed at him with a bundle of napkins. “I need pictures of all of you together.”
Phil put an arm around Edward’s shoulder. “Dad, I’ll do it, I’ll smile and everything, but you’re right, I hate it.”
“I remember the first time we tried to get a picture of you.”
“So do I, and just think how traumatic that was if that horrible experience can follow me through cycles! Cycles, Dad!”
Edward looked at his son and chuckled. “You were cute.”
“I was six years old and asked to sit still in forever.”
“You’re right, I remember now.” Edward thought back on the exceptionally miffed kid, sporting a pout of the century. “You haven’t changed a day.”
Phil stared at him in disbelief before he grabbed Edward around the middle and lifted him. Edward yelped as his son flung him over his shoulder and walked off with him.
“Of course I have! Now I’m big enough to do this!”
“Phil, put me down, Phil…Phil? What are you doing?”
Phil stopped short, and Edward twisted to see what was going on.
“Good morning. What are you doing to Dad?”
“Ryan, do you remember the first time you had to pose for a picture?” Phil asked.
“Did you hate it as much as I did?”
“Of course I did, it was a nightmare.”
“Guess what he’s making us do today.”
“Come on, shutters are invented,” Edward groused, puffing at trying to breath with Phil’s shoulder in his stomach. “It doesn’t take nearly as long as it did back then!”
“Really?” Ryan asked in a sing song voice.
Silence followed, and if there was one thing Edward had learned from being a father for six hundred years, it was that silence meant trouble.
Phil moved fast, maneuvering Edward around but still holding him tight. Someone grabbed the back of his pants and everything became cold.
“Holy shit, that’s cold!” Edward flailed his arms and legs to get away. Phil finally let go and stood back to laugh along with Ryan holding the ice shovel. Edward gaped at his brats while jumping to get the ice to fall through his pant legs. Something burnt reached his nose. “Oh shit, the pancakes! Save the pancakes!”
Ryan stormed off while Phil roared with laughter.
“These are ruined, Dad,” Ryan shouted.
“There’s more batter, so make more while I shake these ice cubes out my ass!”
Phil started a new fit of laughter, slapping his thighs.