Dayton laughed, “Yeah, but he’s good at fighting, better than anyone else we’ve trained with. I do feel like he’d kill just about anybody if he felt like it—including us, but, he hasn’t. That’s a point in his favor.”
Thinking back to his father’s death, Sean forced a chuckle, “Yeah, you remember that we’re officially signing the contract tomorrow, right? Make sure that Jody remembers. He’s got to be there or he’ll have to sign later. They’re in and out in a day and if we’re not all there, it’s going to look bad. Maybe they’ll cancel everything. I don’t know.”
Not laughing, Dayton spoke in a calm, deep voice, “I get it. This is a big deal to you. It’s a big deal to all of us. Me too, believe me. We’ll be getting professional football player salaries. I know Jody’s interested in that.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Sean saw Camille lean toward Sydney, grinning, “There you go. It’s Dayton.”
Sydney shook her head, “That’s good except that it means they’re both going show up. We should leave.”
Dayton must have caught some of that because he said, “And say hi to Sydney, okay?”
Giving her a scowl, Sean said, “I’ll tell her, but remind Jody it’s happening.”
“You know,” Dayton didn’t lose any of his calmness as he talked, “you’ve got Jody’s number too.”
“Yeah,” Sean said, “but he listens to you. When I tell him to do something, it’s like he decides to be a dick about half the time.”
“Mmmn-hmmn,” Dayton gave a short laugh. “I don’t tell him to do something. I try to give him a nudge in the right direction—remind him how much money the contract’s worth. Maybe I’d call him, offer him a ride over and happen to mention the time when I’m asking when to pick him up—that kind of thing.”
Camille and Sydney had walked around the couch as Dayton’s voice came over the phone’s speaker. Now they stood to the left of the tv. Camille pointed at the screen, asking Sydney, “Aren’t the hamsters cute?”
Sean took a breath, “That never works for me. Just let him know it’s happening and when. I’ll call him later. Maybe I can end the call with ‘see you tomorrow at 2 pm?’ That seems like enough.”
“It might work,” Dayton said. “I think it’s when you nag that he gets pissed off.”
“I don’t nag,” Sean said. “I do tell him more than once when it seems like he’s not listening.”
“I don’t think it’s a question of what you’re trying to do. It’s more what he hears. I think if you mention it once, everything will be okay,” Dayton paused, finishing with, “I’m glad you’re back. It’s been a long summer.”
They said their goodbyes and hung up. Sean put his phone in his pocket, seeing that Sydney and Camille had started walking down the hall, turning and disappearing into a room—probably Sydney’s, Sean guessed.
On the television, SuperTV showed footage of what it described as, “a team-up between Vincent Hamster and members of the Motor City Heroes—Blue Mask and V4, the mysterious new member of the team.”
The grainy video looked down toward Blue Mask, Vincent, and V4 fighting vampires in what appeared to be the stairway of an old hotel. A flying woman in black armor crossed through the frame. Sean recognized her as Bloodmaiden—which meant that Nick had called her in to help.
He didn’t know where her internship was, but he knew it wasn’t Detroit.
A few years ago, he knew he would have found a way to get angry over it, but his therapist had helped him see that he was angry over other things, most of them surrounding his dad. There may have been some jealousy too—not just over losing Haley, but also how easy Nick had it.
As a descendent of the Heroes’ League, he’d been trained from birth and had their good name to call on when he needed it.
Sean had to live with knowing the Cabal wanted them, a father he couldn’t please, and then knowing that his mistake with Ray cost his father his life. He’d been angry after that and while he knew Nick had nothing to do with it, trying to outdo Nick had kept him going.
By the time Sydney had nearly died in an alien attack and Nick arranged for Preserver to save her life, Sean had come to accept that their lives were on different tracks. Neither of them deserved it. All either of them could do was do the best they could with what they got.
He turned off the tv. He didn’t need to think about what other people were doing. He needed to think about tomorrow. He hadn’t inherited a base. If he was going to achieve anything in life, he needed more money.
Future-men Capital had a good track record of guiding teams to greatness. From what he’d been able to find online, they didn’t have a record of screwing people over. He’d have to be careful, but from what he’d seen of them, he could trust them.