"Sorry for making you wait." Ciel said, coming into the garden where Alois, Lau and Ran-Mao were sitting drinking tea.
"Oh, if it isn't the Earl. How nice to see you!" exclaimed Lau, as if he was surprised to see Ciel in his own home. Ciel glared at him.
"What are you doing here?" he asked rather coldly.
Lau pretended to look hurt. "My my, so unfriendly! And here I came to pay you a visit, too." he said plaintively. Ran-Mao, who was perched on his knee, nodded silently and sipped her tea.
Ciel sighed, and went to sit down. Alois giggled.
"Come on, Mr Grumpy!" he said cheerfully, grabbing Ciel round the waist and pulling him into his lap. "Cheer up or I'll have to tickle you!"
"Hey!" Ciel protested, caught off guard. He turned to scowl at Alois, but to his irritation found a silly smile spreading across his face instead.
"Ah," said Lau, nodding sagely. "So the Earl and Lord Trancy are..."
Oh no, thought Ciel, panicking. This is it. They've found out. My life is over!
"...Good friends after all!" finished Lau, beaming. "Isn't that lovely, Ran-Mao?"
"Good friends," echoed Ran-Mao solemnly.
Ciel looked daggers at the trading company manager. "You're at it again!" he exploded. Lau had an infuriating habit of talking through his hat.
Alois, completely unpreturbed by this close call, just laughed and squeezed Ciel tighter.
"Hey," he said, swinging his legs and resting his chin on Ciel's shoulder, "You still won't leave me alone, will you? Even though we're not on holiday any more?" He sounded genuinely worried.
Ciel sighed, and gave him a resigned smile. "How many times do I have to tell you? You know I couldn't leave you alone if I tried!" he replied. "And besides," he continued, "A promise IS a promise."