Just a week after Jarod’s birthday, his parents’ house was fully renovated, so their move was planned for the following week. Knowing in advance, Aaliyah had scheduled an opt-in work day for those willing to help. Mr. and Mrs. Davis were a bit bewildered when most of my crew arrived, despite Jarod’s warning.
“Have you toured the new house yet?” inquired Mai.
“A little. We kept meaning to look around more, but things just haven’t worked out.” replied Mrs. Davis.
“Becky, you simply must see it before we haul everything inside.” insisted Ai. “James, you’ll supervise the rest, won’t you?”
I nodded and said, “Sure thing. Let Jarod explain all of the new bells and whistles while we tidy things up here.”
“I feel like we’re imposing on all of you enough already.” stated Mr. Davis as he worriedly brushed his hand through his hair and looked around.
“No imposition at all.” I assured him. “Everyone here volunteered, so just be grateful that your son has so many friends.”
“One of us really should stay to get all of the boxes labeled.” suggested Becky.
“I’ll label them!” exclaimed Aaliyah with a grin. “I’m an expert labeler, I promise!”
“You’re so sweet.” replied Becky as she bent down to pat Aaliyah’s head.
“She actually is. You’d be amazed how much I’ve learned from her in the past year. Her gaming company alone is worth a fortune, and she constantly puts out patents for crazy inventions.” explained Jarod.
“Plus, she makes money from the Intergalactic House of Awesome Sauce due to some design work she did for them. Really, there’s no need to worry about us. I do know this house fairly well, after all.” I told them.
“Well, your group does seem really organized. I supposed we can be the first off. Here’s a key to lock up.” replied Mr. Davis as he handed me the key.
“Awesome. You’re going to love this!” exclaimed Jarod with a big grin.
Ai and Mai followed him to the Mustang, and he waited for his parents to get on the road before heading off. I smiled and waved, waiting until they rounded the corner to unleash the spell I prepared, shrouding the house and yard in an illusion. Then I signaled my friends to pick up the pace. I couldn’t let Aaliyah spend the whole morning of her birthday working, even though she was probably goofing off on a billion other worlds at the same time.
True to her word, Aaliyah handled the sorting and labeling, telling me what to pack as she labeled where each box should end up. In under ten minutes, everything was packed, and we were on our way.
“You forgot to lock the door.” stated Aaliyah as she shook the key at me.
I rolled my eyes, dispelled the illusion, and used another spell to twist the locks from the inside. “Better?”
She nodded and said, “Yep! Onward!”
When we arrived, Mr. and Mrs. Davis weren’t even done with Jarod’s tour yet, so they were more than a little surprised to see us hauling things into the various rooms.
“How…” started Mr. Davis.
“To make money in my business, we have to be quick and efficient with the simple jobs.” I replied with a wink.
“James has become a bit of a show off.” teased Jarod.
“A bit?” questioned Ai.
“Understatement of the year!” exclaimed Mai, after shaking her head.
“Well, don’t I feel loved. Offer a little help and get picked on.” I complained.
“Oh, we appreciate you.” insisted Mr. Davis as he gawked at Raine and Emma moving their sofa.
“They work out!” exclaimed Aaliyah, who was standing by the door to give each person directions.
“How do you know the floorplan so well?” he questioned.
“I owe her the biggest birthday cake this year.” I stated with a smile.
“Oh! Is it your birthday?” asked Mrs. Davis. When Aaliyah nodded, she then inquired “How old are you?”
“Thirteen!” exclaimed Aaliyah.
“Uh…” started Mr. Davis.
“No, really. She’s a teenager.” I assured him as he continued to stare at the under-three-foot-tall girl.
“Let’s get back on track with the tour! I still haven’t shown you the security system.” stated Jarod as he motioned everyone to follow.
Explaining the benefits of Mila’s integration with their home was a big selling point to Jarod’s speech as he told them about the security. He then told them about Mila’s abilities as an assistant allowing her to operate anything connected to the network for them. Ai and Mai were surprisingly helpful, stopping him whenever he went too far on the technical side in his explanations.
“All finished, boss!” exclaimed Brandon with a grin after he found us in the home theater.
“Excellent. Mila should be bringing my car around, so you all can get on with your day.” I told him.
“That was really quick.” stated Mrs. Davis.
“They set some stuff up for you too!” exclaimed Aaliyah.
“I swear they work twice as fast when I’m not looking, which is a bit vexing. Shouldn’t I get to yell at them for slacking?” I mock complained.
Laughing, Mr. Davis said, “You have a great crew, James. Jarod’s told me before that I could call when I’m shorthanded, but…” He shrugged. “I might just do that sometime.”
“I can assure you that Jarod hasn’t lost his touch as a mechanic.” I replied with a grin.
He laughed again. “Yeah, that’s for sure. He tells me a little here and there.”
I shook his hand as well as Mrs. Davis’ as I told them “I best be off as well to get this little one her cake. Her father will be expecting us soon.”
“Thanks again for all of the help, James! We miss having you stop by the house.” stated Mrs. Davis.
“You’re always free to visit us as well, you know. My parents come over fairly regularly, so you could always ride together now that you’re neighbors. They won’t mind.” I replied.
Mr. Davis nodded and said, “I’m sure we’ll be spending more time with your parents. They’re supposed to stop by tomorrow. Said they wanted to give us a little something as a welcome to the neighborhood.”
I smiled and nodded before saying farewell and leaving with Aaliyah. After a stop at the Intergalactic House of Awesome Sauce to view the birthday cake, I went and helped set up for the party. Aaliyah decorated the artificial womb, claiming her daughter needed to look festive too.
The party went roughly the same as the previous year with the Intergalactic House of Awesome Sauce catering and more guests of high society than friends invited. Most of my household made an appearance throughout it, and some stayed till the end. By the end, I felt the day had gone well.