Nate looked out of his bedroom window again. He felt a little nauseous, mainly because he knew Pop was going to be so mad he would probably be grounded for the rest of his life. He grabbed his cell phone off the table and scrolled through his contacts for Marcus, not that it took very long since he only had three other numbers stored in the little phone book: Pop, Uncle Clay, and Grandma.
"Hey, what's up?" Marcus' voice sounded tinny as it bounced off towers and networks before it reached Nate's ear. "Has he killed you yet?"
"No," Nate hissed back. "I'm scared. Jake's gonna be here any minute, and Pop's gonna figure it out!"
"Nathaniel," Marcus drawled with all the confidence of a nearly-ten-year-old. "Your Pop is just going to think he put the letters in the wrong envelopes. He'll think he's the one who made the mistake. He's never gonna guess it was you."
"Us!" Nate insisted.
"Hey, I didn't do nothing," Marcus said, his tone filled with innocence. "All I did was tell you how to steam open the envelope. You're the one who swapped Jake and Melanie's letters."
"What if he tries to make Jake leave as soon as he gets here?" Nate questioned, peeking through his curtains again.
"Jeez, don't you know anything?" Marcus said derisively.
"If he tries to send Jake away, cry like a baby," Marcus retorted. "Works every time."