I looked over at Haley. We were going to have to talk about this among ourselves and not just the two of us either—the whole team.
Of course, we had almost the entire team here already with the exception of Daniel, Jaclyn, Izzy, and Marcus. They were still out handling the police at Daniel’s house, or in Marcus’ case, traveling back from the fight at the factory.
It wouldn’t be that long and we’d have everybody whether we wanted them or not.
Amy and Cassie arrived just as Adam stopped talking. Grunion didn’t come too close. The cat stopped next to a trophy case and jumped up on top of it, sitting there and beginning to lick his nether regions.
Amy glanced back at the cat and shook her head.
Cassie’s costume changed into jeans and a hoodie as she stopped next to Haley, “Adam, it’s been a while. The last time we talked you’d made an alliance with a dragon that was supposed to help you somehow, but in the end all it managed to do was create a big mess that we had to clean up. I spent some of it fighting my own team, but I think you’d left by then. Courtney was supposed to take the fall for you, right? The dragon made her take your form.”
Adam’s face tightened and then relaxed. He took a breath, “Look, I know that was a mistake and I’m sure I’ll be paying for it for a long time. I know that now, but even then I was sure of what you yourself know. The Nine have infiltrated superhero teams all over the world along with the world’s governments. I didn’t go about what I was doing in a way that made it obvious that the Nine and I are different, but we are. If we let the Nine win, we’re setting up the world for a kind of quiet corruption that will destroy the world’s institutions from within.”
“We’re aware,” Cassie said. “We’ve been fighting them for a while now. I’m not saying that you’re wrong. I’m saying that we already trusted you once and it sucked. I’m also saying that you haven’t shown a lot of good judgement in the kind of people, fairies, or whatever you make deals with.
“The way I heard it, you started out being champions of some good fairies. Then after you murdered those mobsters, you signed up with fairies that aren’t as good. And that’s when you brought in the dragon and his army to the school. Then in DC you showed up with fairy stuff that looked a lot meaner than I’ve seen you with before. They way I see it, you had to sign away something for that kind of upgrade. Who is it now? Someone even nastier than the dragon and what do they want out of you?”
As she talked, Amy watched, sometimes nodding. As Cassie stopped, Amy added, “You know, I thought I might have to correct you about fairies somewhere in there, but that was exactly right.”
Cassie glanced over at her, “I’m glad our magical princess approves.”
Then she shrugged, adding, “I took Supernatural Threats 101 after the fairy invasion.”
Amy smirked, asking, “With Reliquary?”
Cassie nodded and Amy continued, “He knows a lot. Anyway, Fairies make deals, and Adam, you’re not as good at it as they are. What did you promise this time and who did you promise it to?”
Adam took a long breath before he spoke, “I’m not saying I haven’t made mistakes, but I’ve got more experience with fairies than you.”
“Doubt it,” Amy said, using her original accent. I’d never been able to place it. It held hints of British, Irish, and more.
He gave her a look, but continued, “I’m not going to argue, but you don’t have that exactly right. The first fairy council I worked with asked for nothing more than that I be their champion. I failed them and they cut me off, but I don’t owe them anything. I did become the champion of a second fairy council, and yes I made promises, but they aren’t controlling me. I’m my own person. The dragon wasn’t part of that and what I did in DC wasn’t because I made more promises. That was the fey fulfilling promises that they’d made to me.”
Amy crossed her arms over her chest, “I’d like details. I doubt that you have a contract, but if you can remember the exact words of their promises, I’ll know if I can trust you.”
Much as he had since Cassie and Amy showed up, Adam didn’t seem to know what to say. He opened his mouth, stopped, and opened it again, failing to make any noise.
He did manage to say, “Give me a second, I’ll try to remember the exact words. It’s not how I normally talk.”
Taking a breath, he looked at us and then past us. His eyes widened and I heard footsteps coming from behind me. I turned to look, remembering something I hadn’t thought about in a while.
My Dad had been his therapist and now Dad was walking toward us.