Levy and I were ready before the boys. It wasn't that uncommon. We knew that to keep up with them we had to move fast. Levy rapped her knuckles on the door once before throwing it open. Michael tried to protest but Levy walked right past him. Once she had Davy standing on the bed to help him put on his nice pants, did she level off with Michael, "I play football with Winston. Winston plays shirtless. Calm down, Michael."

Michael rolled his eyes and finished buttoning his shirt. He mumbled and grumbled the whole time we stood there helping Davy. I laughed as Davy fell back on the bed putting on his socks. His small body sent a wave through the sheets, making them move like water.

"I bet Levy's the first to jump off The Cliff tomorrow," I spoke my taunting thought. I tossed Levy Davy's shoes one at a time. She caught them and then flipped them to Davy. He giggled his perfect five year old giggle. I hoped that he would remember more from this summer than anything thing else of his childhood.

"Shut up, Syd, she will not. Not if Aunt Charlotte kept you and her busy with Olivia all day tomorrow." Michael sneered in our direction.

I mocked his sneer to his face. He one upped me by sticking his tongue out. Many battles in our house were won with the cunning use of teasing and taunting. Levy picked up Davy and spun him around when he declared himself done.

"You know, Winston actually has a crush on you, Syd," Levy winked at me.

Davy made his kissy-face. Michael almost turned purple. "Save your girl talk for later tonight when I don't have to hear it."

I laughed and pushed him out the door. Levy had Davy's hand and we walked down the stairs. We were the McKee kids. Everyone was made aware of that, apparently. People I didn't recognize greeted me by name as I bobbed through the masses, one arm through Levy's elbow. If they didn't automatically know I was Sydney, they asked. Mom sometimes did that so Levy and I just snickered and politely answered, the first hour.

The next hour was spent playing covert games with Davy and Michael. Hide and Seek is the easiest game to play in a large room full of poufy skirts and coattails. After each of us was IT once, we needed a new game. The extra challenge was making sure none of the adults figured it out, and that Olivia, especially, didn't figure it out.

The Steinholm home was positively gorgeous, or so I heard all night. Aunt Charlotte caught me mid-hide to introduce me to a Mrs. Westsmith.

"You must be so excited to have the run of this place," Mrs. Westsmith suggested as she took my hand, daintily. She wore lace gloves that gracefully stopped at her wrists with scalloped edges.

"I only run what Aunt Charlotte says I can." I smiled, pleased by my own response. Aunt Charlotte chuckled.

"This is such a gorgeous home to stay in, you must enjoy everything here." Mrs. Westsmith pushed on.

Her dress was almost the same color as Levy's, except Levy's dress had one layer. But the shade of blue could only be compared to the sky. It might have been family bias but I much preferred the color on Levy. Her blonde hair went well with everything, including Michael's plaid shirts and blue jeans that she stole to play football in the winter.

"I do, it's very kind of Aunt Charlotte to let us stay. My brothers and sister and I anticipated the trip for weeks when our mother announced the invitation."

Aunt Charlotte beamed at me, "Oh, there's Sydney's mother and my sister, Cathy. You will simply adore her, Renee." Aunt Charlotte patted my shoulder as she politely tugged Mrs. Westsmith towards my mom.

I went back to the business of hiding. That is how the night proceeded. We played our games, avoiding the dullness of a grown up party. Until it was time for dinner and then the McKee kids were glad to sit with each other and relax. Levy, especially, was glad to be out of the pressing eye of inspection known as our father. Olivia would rather pull her own teeth than dine with us. She told her mother so, right in front of us.

"The cook has prepared food that you don't enjoy Olivia," Aunt Charlotte was eye-level with her daughter. Olivia was fifteen and just shy of five feet, her mother merely lean over to stare her down. "Your cousins are your age and the cook has done something special for you. Just enjoy this time, relax," Aunt Charlotte squeezed Olivia's shoulder before kissing her forehead and walking away.

Olivia stamped her foot before turning toward Levy and I. Levy had a hold of Davy's hand. Michael was facing away from us, looking at the door for the room where we were supposed to be eating.

"This is so old English," Levy sighed.

"Come on, I'm starved. Davy chased me up and down the stairs," Michael sounded breathless as he informed us of the fact.

Davy just giggled. Levy turned and tugged Davy with her. I followed her and Olivia pulled up the rear dragging her overly shiny shoes. I turned when I heard her steps stop.

"What?" I asked, tucking my head to one side.

"Why was Davy chasing Michael?" Olivia's tone could not be determined. I couldn't decide if she could be trusted. After tonight it wouldn't matter if she told her parents that their nieces and nephews were playing games while they had a house full of guests. She could tell our parents a month from now and Dad would still nail us to the wall for it. Almost literally.

Michael spoke up, "I stole his shoe." Michael said it simply enough that I think Olivia believed him. She shrugged and passed the four of us by. I bumped my shoulder against my sixteen year old brother's shoulder. Michael just rolled his eyes and pushed me towards the door.

"For fifteen you're extremely attached to me," Michael laughed.

"You know you're my hero." I seated myself at the table.