Kai lay as flat as she could, holding her breath as her father dimmed the dining room lights. The record dropped onto the turner, a pause, then the first scratches sounded before the singing began.
Her father hummed the introduction, doing a silly little dance while still wearing his clean clothes. Her mother spun about, still wearing her apron, and using a wooden spoon as a microphone. Her mother always sang first, voice so pretty it reminded Kai of Snow White. Her father’s singing still made her shiver and smile at the same time. It was her secret – hers and her mother’s alone and Kai loved it.
She had no idea what the words meant, but who needed them anyway when her parents danced the way the figurine in her music box did? These times, like the box, were treasures not to be missed. The singing, the soft shuffling on the linoleum floor was much better than…
“We have an audience,” Hiro whispered in his wife’s ear before he kissed the nape of her neck.
“Are you saying we should move into the kitchen,” Emily asked.
He shook his head, the heat of his breath as he sighed warmed her. “She should be in bed.” He pulled away from her only for her to pull him back.
Emily tightened her embrace. “She’ll fall asleep soon.”
“Then wake us up with nightmares of dragons.” His shoulders lowered as his wife smiled at him.
“Let her learn to fight them on her own. We can’t be there to protect her from everything forever.”