“Huh,” I struggled to come up with some way to deny it. What exactly had we said? Haley had mentioned Storm King. That linked us directly to the Heroes League without question. Plus everyone knew Travis was Haley’s older brother, and she had to have heard him if she heard Haley.
Well, maybe I’d gotten lucky and she’d missed that part?
“You’re with the Heroes League?” She said slowly. She stopped walking, and so did I.
I checked around us—again, seeing only the porch lights of the houses around us, the streetlights, and campus directly ahead. If someone were around, I couldn’t see them.
Given the powers of people I knew, that meant nothing.
I needed to create see-in-the-dark glasses with 360 degree vision for when I wasn’t in costume one of these days. One more thing for my constantly growing list of “to-do’s.”
“Can’t talk about it,” I said.
If I told her anything, and there was a telepath around, I might as well be shouting our real names in the street.
I really wished Daniel were here, or at least that he could fly across Lake Michigan as easily as his father did.
“Let’s keep on walking,” I said, and tried to figure out what to do next.
What would Lee do? I thought about that for a second.
Kill her, probably.
OK, what would Grandpa do? Judging from what happened with Grandma, marry her.
That wasn’t an option, and anyway, unless you were a polygamist, that would only work once.
“We need to talk about this somewhere no one will hear us.”
Keeping her voice low, Courtney said, “Where?”
“I’m thinking about it.”
What would Lee do if someone he’d actually listen to (like Grandpa) told him not to kill her? I didn’t know, but I felt sure he wouldn’t leave her alone.
We walked two blocks without talking.
Turning my head as little as possible, I used my peripheral vision to keep as much of my surroundings in my view as I could. It was a technique Lee had taught me.
We still weren’t being followed. I probably walked a little more quickly than usual, but Courtney kept up without a problem.
She glanced at me when we neared the parking garage.
“The van,” I said.
A few minutes later we opened the van’s doors. The moment they shut, she said, “Are you the Rocket?”
“Yes,” I said. “Could you give me a second?”
I stepped into the back, and pulled the curtain across, and changed into the rest of the stealth suit. When I opened the curtain, I stepped out in the black jacket, and pants of the stealth suit, and carrying my helmet and guitar.
“This is so weird, I had no idea.” She stared at the uniform. “Well,” she said, “not until a few minutes ago.”
I sat down, and turned the key.
The van turned on, and I clicked on the buttons that logged us into the League’s communications system.
A screen on the dashboard showed everyone’s positions. Haley, Travis, and Vaughn were stopped somewhere on Jefferson Street. Cassie and Marcus were moving separately in that direction.
I was going be last. I knew I had to tell people, but I didn’t look forward to explaining why.
I backed out of the space, and started driving.
I was about to say something to Courtney when Haley’s voice came over the communicator. “Rocket, are you driving here?”
“Yes. Things got complicated. I’ll explain when I arrive.”
She didn’t say anything for a second, making me wonder if she’d hung up. Then, “Davis went into the back of a store. It’s right next to that night club in the strip mall… Lakeside Lounge? We’re trying not to get too close.”
“Got it,” I said, and then she did hang up.
Lakeside Lounge wasn’t more than twenty minutes away. I drove south, passing through downtown, blocks of old factories turning to blocks of old houses as I drove.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Courtney looking at the van’s dashboard, and glancing downward at my guitar.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” I told her. “Our original plan called for following him, but it looks like he’s gone somewhere interesting. Anything could happen now.”
“This still doesn’t seem real to me,” she said.
“Yeah. Well, ‘anything’ includes a big fight. I’m not going to park nearby. You shouldn’t even be close enough to see it, but I need you to stay in here if there is one. I’m hoping there won’t be.”
She took a breath. “You don’t have anything to worry about. I don’t know anything about fighting.”
The car ahead of us slowed for a red light. I pushed down the brakes, and they responded a little more slowly than I expected. Still, I didn’t hit the car.
I felt a little like screaming. Between the Nine, trying to figure out how to bring up the block with Courtney, and how I’d explain her presence to everyone else, I had too much going on in my head.