Charlene enters the kitchen and Vincent rushes to grab the bags in her arms.
James: I could have made the cake, Charlene. You didn’t need to buy one. Especially with it being so big.
Charlene: Oh, I wanted to. *sets cake on table* This is her first birthday since her death.
Elaina: *sniggers* Do you know how silly that sounds? *looks in a bag* Don’t tell me you’re counting all the years she’s been dead too.
Charlene: Do you think I should only put 23 candles on since that’s the age Arylin transferred her soul back to? I wasn’t really sure.
Vincent: How do you expect to fit 432 candles on a cake? *sets bags on the baker’s island*
Charlene: *looks at all the boxes of candles as Elaina dumps them from the bag* Well, I guess you’re right.
James: *pulls out a few decorations and chuckles* Charlene, you really want to go all out, don’t you.
Charlene: *beams* I think it will mean a lot to Cole.
James: I’ll tell you what. Since you went through all the trouble of… *eyes the piles* selecting the… *glances at Charlene’s wide smile* perfectly matched decor, why don’t you let me help set it all up.
Charlene: *nods with excitement* Okay. And wait till you see what I got her. *rushes from room*
Elaina: There’s more?
Vincent: Mianna’s going to faint.
James: But I think Charlene’s right about Cole. He’ll soak in every moment.
Cole: *shuffles in and looks at the supplies* What’s all this?
Elaina: It’s for Mianna’s birthday.
Cole: *smiles* Really? That’s great. But it’s not until the 28th.
James: Charlene wanted to celebrate it with the blog readers and our next post isn’t until Feb. 2nd. *waves a hand at the decorations*
Bags dump items out. Wrappers tear open. Balloons…balloon. Streamers snake throughout the room, adhesive attaching them to the walls and ceiling.
Cole: *ducks as a hat tries to land on his head* I’m not wearing that thing.
Vincent: *tilts his to the side* Oh, come on, big brother. Charlene went through a lot of trouble to put this together.
Elaina: *hands Cole his hat* You could at least play along.
Charlene enters with more bags.
Cole: * quickly puts hat on his head* Hi, Charlene. Wow. You really went through a lot of trouble to put this together.
Vincent: *scowls at Cole and takes a couple bags from Charlene, settling them on a counter* Are there any more to bring in?
Charlene: No, that’s it. Elaina, would you be a dear and put the candles on the cake?
Elaina: Um… Did you want 23 or 432? *sniggers*
Cole: You wanted to celebrate all of her soul’s years?
Elaina: So Mianna’s lifetime was her soul’s first.
Vincent: If we start lighting candles for every year of our soul’s lives, we’d have to set fire to Shilo City for Cole.
Cole: *growls* Runt.
Charlene: Okay. We’re not starting that, you two. We’ll just put on 23.
Mianna: *enters* Hi. Oh, did I miss something? I didn’t know we were having a party.
James: *lifts a finger and the candles whip from Elaina’s hands, stand up on the cake and light*
Charlene: *jumps up and down* Happy Birthday, Mianna!
Mianna: *throws hands to her mouth* What? Oh, this is so sweet! *rushes to Cole and hugs him* This was all your idea wasn’t it?
Elaina: Here, Mianna. Have a party hat.
Charlene: Come see the cake! *tugs her over to the table*
Vincent: *leans to James* What do you bet he lets her keep thinking all this was his doing?
James: Charlene won’t mind. She wanted to do it for Cole as much a Mianna.
Vincent: Well, he’ll definitely enjoy all the thanks he’ll get later for all of his work on the occasion.