He hoped he could trust them.
Walking over to the window, he looked out on Grand Lake. It wasn’t a bad view, The top floor of the building hadn’t ever been part of the factory. It was a collection of metal and mirrored glass built on top of what had been the roof. This section was close to the edge.
Over the fence around the edge, he could see all of Grand Lake’s downtown, Grand Lake itself, Lake Michigan, and where the city turned into suburbs.
From one spot, he could see boats on both lakes, cars, and trucks on the highway that ran through downtown, and people, some adults in suits, others in shorts and t-shirts, and children.
If he made an effort, he could see places where he’d fought people—the junkyard where he’d fought Nick and Daniel, the county jail where he’d fought Izzy back when she’d been mentally influenced by the Evil Beatnik.
He tried to look for places he’d fought supervillains instead of heroes.
His mother walked up and joined him, her hair still drying from the shower, but wearing a blue, flowered blouse, and white slacks, “It is a beautiful view,” she said. “I like it that it’s mostly sky. Do you want to see the rest? We’ve got the largest penthouse suite. It better be, given what we were planning to sell it for.”
Before he could think about it, he blurted out, “Why did you sell our house?”
She sighed, “Sean, the only reason I stayed there after your father died was that Sydney was still in high school, and you were about to start college. I didn’t want to throw a move on top of being kidnapped and nearly murdered by the Cabal in addition to your father’s funeral.”
Her face reddened as she spoke. Sean took a step back from her, remembering her temper and his parents’ fights, “Okay. I get it, Mom, but no one told me until maybe a week ago. I didn’t even know our house was for sale.”
She took a deep breath, “You weren’t here and neither was Sydney. I needed a smaller place than that house. This condo is big enough to entertain, big enough for the two of you to visit and bring friends, but it’s small enough that I can be here alone and not feel…”
She shook her head, “It’s memory-free. That’s enough for now. I can even be sure that your father never brought anyone here because the renovations only finished last year.”
Sean might have argued that his father was better than that, but his father’s will made the answer to that question clear enough. Camille’s mother got an apartment building. Two women he’d never met inherited jewelry.
“I’m sorry,” he wondered what else could he say.
“It’s not your fault. He was a complicated man. Now,” she said, “let me show you around our new home.”
He followed her out of the combined living room, kitchen, and dining room area and down the hall.
* * *
The next morning he woke up in a room he didn’t recognize—his room. His dresser and his bed were there. His clothes were still in the dresser, but mostly clothes from high school. Boxes lined one wall, joined by his suitcases. He still hadn’t unpacked from his trip. He wasn’t even sure if it would be worth it.
His room looked out onto an open area on the roof with benches, chairs, tables, and a counter that could be used as a bar.
His phone beeped. He picked it up from the table next to his bed to find a message from Jody, “Yr mom’s nu place. 2 pm?”
Jody was taking it seriously. Sean let out a breath and typed back, “2 pm. See you.”
Now all he had to do was entertain himself until 2 pm. Getting bored of checking his phone, he threw a sandwich together for breakfast and found himself without anything else to do. He didn’t want to sit and watch tv until 2 pm. He didn’t want to stay in the house. Too many more conversations with his family and he didn’t know what he’d say.
He walked back into his bedroom, pulled his suitcase onto his bed and took out his costume, a green, multi-layer unitard made out of materials that turned it into armor. His included a thin iron frame, allowing him to get a solid hold and fly himself.
It was one way to get out of the house. If his mother’s new condo had any good points, at least it allowed him to get into the air without getting too much attention.
Once it was on, he stepped out of his room, walking back into the hall, and passed the kitchen, going out the door into the courtyard outside his room.
No one was there, so he flew straight up into the air, feeling his uniform pull him upward. His suit’s comm turned on, allowing him to be available for emergencies, but he didn’t expect any, and he was right.
The flight turned into a nostalgia trip. He flew past the blocky set of rectangles of his old high school, the house he’d grown up in, the many spread-out buildings of Grand Lake University, and on his way there, he passed the stadium where Ray shot his father.
He barely looked at it, deciding to make a few circles around the city.
An hour into his flight, his comm beeped and vibrated. He tapped it and Sydney’s face appeared on the screen. She stood in the hallway outside his room, “Where are you?”
“Flying. What’s going on?”
Her voice a harsh whisper, she said, “Those guys you’re supposed to sign with at 2 pm? They’re here already. They said they’ll wait, but they’re sitting in the living room. Get back here.”