Helen gasped, wiping her face. “How can I trust you? After this unspeakable behaviour?” She dried her hand on her waist.
Nikola only shrugged, grinning at his drenched Helen, the water balloon having done exactly what it was designed to do. Arms outstretched, an empty water balloon in hand, he said, “In my defence, I was aiming at Baby Bites next to you.”
Alice dodged out from behind Helen’s legs, tongue out as she chucked a balloon in his direction, hitting Helen by mistake. In turn, she looked back at her granddaughter, eyebrows raised comically. “Et tu, Miss Myers? This means war on both of you.”
Nikola laughed, then gasped. In his momentary lapse of concentration, with his defences down, both Helen and Alice had landed a balloon each on him. His light blue shirt went dark, his hair spiky as he pushed the wet locks off his face. “No fair!” he called, pouting. Across from him, Helen threw a balloon from hand to hand, one eyebrow raised, daring him. When he grabbed the hose, her eyes widened with realisation. Undeterred, she threw with unerring accuracy, laughing as she ran away from the water’s reach.
Giggling, Alice danced around grandmère and uncle Nikola, pelting both with water balloons as Nikola tried in vain to catch Helen.
The tables turned.
“Pax, pax!” he yelled, laughing, as Helen and Alice ganged up on him, pinning him with a flurry of water balloons.
All three trooped up to the staff wing drenched and in high spirits, creating tiny pools around them when they were stopped in the corridor by Henry. He gave both adults the stink eye as Alice chattered brightly about her and grandmère’s victory, muttering, “I am never asking either of you to babysit ever again.”
Grinning toothily, Alice dashed back to them, hugging their legs as Nikola held Helen’s waist. “See you tomorrow, Grandmère!”