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a satisfied nod.

"Does that mean we can go to morning meal now?" Jacen said. "You've been at this half the night."

"I want Dad to be impressed." Jaina shrugged.

Jacen laughed. "He never stacks his tools this neatly!"

"Guess I did get a little carried away," Jaina replied, matching his grin. "We've still got a few hours before they get here."

Jacen snorted and stood up from the floor, where he'd been sitting next to his sister while they worked. He brushed the dust off his jumpsuit and ran long fingers through his dark brown curls. "Well, how do I look?"

Jaina raised a critical eyebrow at him. "Like someone who's been up all night."

He hurried over to peer anxiously into the small mirror that Jaina had hung above her cistern. She realized that her brother was just as nervous and excited about seeing their father again as she was.

"It's actually not too bad," she assured him. "I think raking the twigs and leaves from your hair really helped. Here, put this on." She pulled a fresh jumpsuit from a chest by her bed. "You'll look more presentable."

When Jacen went into the next room to change, Jaina took his place at the mirror. She wasn't vain, but, as with her room, she preferred to keep her personal appearance neat and clean.

She ran a comb through her straight brown hair and stared at her reflection. Then, with a quick peek over her shoulder to be sure her brother wasn't looking, she pulled back a handful of strands and worked them into a braid. Jaina would never have gone to this much trouble for an ambassador or some silly dignitary-but her father was worth the effort. She hoped Jacen wouldn't notice or comment on it. Finished, she stepped through her doorway and poked her head into Jacen's room. "All the animals fed?" she asked.

"I took
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