I thought I’d deflected Kanesha. I’d forgotten she could be as tenacious as a pit bull at times, but at that point I thought I’d convinced her to go home, forget it was going on, and worry about her studies. Unlike me, she had a good chance of graduating, although not much of one of going to college. If she’d had rich parents, she could have done it.
Thea and I practiced swordplay, then I told her I was going out for a walk. I couldn’t spend the entire summer indoors, even if it was insanely hot. I simply couldn’t. And she trusted me to look after myself. I now understood that the reason we were living in a hideout was in case anyone followed me home. It was to protect Kanesha and Pauline and the others.
Protect them from my enemies. When footsteps approached behind me I tensed. It didn’t help that I could still feel that avian presence.
It wasn’t Mr. Otter, who I had been half expecting. It was a suave man with an English accent and a cane. “Go away.”
“Not just yet. I came to apologize.”
“For a small part I played in…setting off the people who want you dead.”
I scowled. “Can you convince them I’m not what they think?”
“I’m trying, but I can’t promise.” He tapped his cane on the ground. “They genuinely think you’re going to do something to trigger the end of the world.”
“And you know better?”
“I don’t know.” He turned to face me. “I’ve studied the situation and I don’t know whether you’re going to destroy the world, save it, or neither. To me, that’s not enough to warrant going after a kid.”
I scowled even more, but he had a point. “Well, can you try and get a leash on your people.”
“I told you. I’m trying. They’re not my people, though. They’re going off of my work…but I don’t own them, employ them, or particularly know them as people.”
In, out. Part of me wanted to plug him, but if he was telling the truth he was trying to help. If he wasn’t, then I’d never get information out of him if he was dead.
That scared me, too. Why was I even considering it as a tactical option? I knew the answer. Because I was pissed.