Kaci obediently sat and let Claire feed her, pushing her hand away when she was full. Kaci's appointment wasn't until one o'clock and it was only ten am. Claire decided to read with Kaci and see if there where any new words that grabbed her attention besides "yes" and "mama". Every so often Kaci would repeat a word and Claire would act surprised and tickle her until she couldn't laugh any more.
Honey, fed up of not being the center of attention pounced on Kaci and began to purr really loudly. Kaci lost interest in the book straight away and began to pet the cat. Admitting defeat, Claire got up and left them to it. She double checked the calendar to make sure she was still working that night and double checked her phone for the text from Candy Ashdale confirming she could still babysit Kaci. She'd hired her until summer was over but Claire knew she was a teenager with friends and life outside her job. She didn't want to take that away from her so liked to check every so often that Candy wasn't ditching all of her plans to babysit. You're only young once, Claire had said to herself. Before she knew it, it was twelve o'clock. She bundled Kaci into the car and drove to Pixel Pixies photo studio. She was early when she arrived, so Kaci played with the stuffed animals while they waited. Eventually it was her turn. Claire held her up and grinned at her, "Make mommy proud". "Yeth mama", Kaci said very seriously and nodding very fast as if she had in fact understood. Claire bit her lip to keep from laughing out loud.
"And last airplane!" *CLICK* "Yayyyyyy!!!" the photographer shouted, swooping Kaci up into the air and flying her back into Claire's arms. "All done!" he said to Claire, "You can pay Holly at the desk on your way out, the photos will be ready for collection in three days or I could mail them to you?". "Um, the mail is fine, and thanks again, the pictures looked amazing". "You're welcome! , he replied, "Just give Holly your contact details on the way out, and thank you for choosing Pixel Pixies. We really appreciate your custom".
Driving home, Kaci was a bundle of energy and excitement, Claire on the other hand, had other things on her mind. Driving past her work place on the way home, she'd seen Jared. Outside on the back car park, probably on his break, leaning on the hood of his car smoking a cigarette. He hadn't seen her but it had unearthed feelings she didn't like. Claire wasn't a naturally angry person but something about seeing him so carefree and relaxed made her seethe. That anger eventually gave way to intense sadness, for Jared and for what he was missing out on. When she eventually got inside her house and got Kaci settled, playing with Honey, she glanced through the window at the bottom of stairs and saw Connors car in his driveway. She pulled out her cell and dialed his number. He answered sounding cheerful, "Hi Claire!" , "Hey Connor" she replied, "Um, do you know if Jared's coming home after work today?" She knew what time he finished work from the rota in the office. He'd managed to work it so that they never worked together. Ever. They didn't even have the same days off together, it was like he was afraid they might bump into each other. Connor didn't answer for a few seconds, and when he did he was very slow and suspicious, ".... No....but I didn't see him this morning, he left before I woke up... why? Whats up? Is something wrong? Is Kaci ok?!" He asked all of a sudden panicking, "No, no, Kaci's fine, everything's fine.", Claire had been thinking about what she was about to say for a long time and she felt now was the time, this wasn't fair on Kaci, not even knowing what her father looked like. Claire took a deep breath and continued, "I think its time he met his daughter".