Human/Super #13: Above the Law

 

HUMAN/SUPER #13

ABOVE THE LAW

 

 

 

 

 

Terry O’Neill froze. A drop of soapy water rolled down the blade of his squeegee and plummeted to the street below. In the office on the other side of the window, a blonde woman in a grey business suit stood in front of a wall safe with a series of wires attached to the keypad.

The safe popped open and the woman reached inside. She withdrew a small metal box and placed it inside a leather briefcase. Removing the wires, she closed the safe gently and hung a rural landscape in front of it. She picked up the briefcase and glanced around the room.

Terry ducked out of sight, clinging to the wall by his fingertips just below the window. He pulled his wings tight against his back and crawled slowly away from the window.

“The hell are you doing?” Kelly Ramsay shouted from two floors down.

Terry crept along the wall and dropped down into the scaffold beside his coworker.

“I’m not feeling so good,” Terry said. “I think I might take off early. You mind covering for me?”

“I suppose I could manage that,” she replied, smiling.

“I owe you one,” Terry said. “See you tomorrow.”

Kelly nodded and turned back to the building. She raised her arms and twin streams of water materialized from the air, spraying against the window in front of her.

Terry stepped off the scaffold and flapped his wings. As he ascended over the city, he glanced back at the building and wondered if he should bother contacting the police.

The damage was already done, after all. And he hadn’t really gotten a good look at the woman’s face, so no testimony he provided would hold up in court.

There was really no point getting involved, Terry decided.

///

Three sharp knocks awakened Terry late in the night. He glanced at his nightstand and a red “1:30” glowed in the darkness. He climbed out of bed and headed for the door. A tall man with a square jaw and a receding hairline stood in the hallway.

“Evening,” he said. “Hope I didn’t wake you, Mr. O’Neill.”

“Who are you?” Terry asked, rubbing his eyes.

“The name’s Beck,” the man replied. “I’m looking into a burglary that occurred in the Leblanc Building sometime this afternoon. I understand you were cleaning the north face during that time.”

Terry hesitated a moment, and said, “That’s right.”

“Did you see anything unusual during your shift?” Beck asked.

“You might want to narrow that down a little,” Terry replied, stretching his wings.

“Fifteenth floor,” Beck said. “Someone broke into a law office and cracked a safe. Made off with an item of considerable value. Any of this ring a bell?”

“Not particularly,” Terry said.

Beck reached into his jacket, flashing the butt of a pistol holstered under his arm, and handed Terry a stack of papers. A series of grainy black-and-white photos were printed on the sheets, displaying silhouettes and half-glimpsed faces.

“We’ve reviewed the day’s security footage,” Beck said, “and these are the only people in the building we’ve been unable to identify. Do you remember seeing any of them?”

Terry flipped through the sheets, pausing for a moment on a blurry image of the thief in an elevator with her briefcase, before continuing to the end of the stack. He shook his head.

“Sorry,” he said. “I don’t really look inside when I clean. I mostly just see my own reflection.”

Beck took the papers back and stuffed them into his jacket.

“Well, I won’t keep you up any longer, then,” he said, and handed Terry a business card. “If anything does come to mind, you know what to do.”

“Yeah,” Terry said.

“See you around, Mr. O’Neill,” Beck said.

He flashed a snakelike grin as the door closed in his face. Terry tossed the card on the kitchen counter and went back to bed.

///

Terry spent the next day flying up and down the outside of a small apartment building. A strong breeze blew through town in the afternoon, and by the end of his shift, his wings were killing him.

“Listen,” Kelly said as he descended to street level, “you aren’t involved in anything… criminal, are you?”

“Of course not,” he said. “Why would you think that?”

“Well, this guy stopped by my place last night,” she said. “He was asking questions about some robbery that happened yesterday. I told him I didn’t know anything, but it got me thinking about how you took off so suddenly, and…. I mean, obviously I trust you, I just… don’t really know what to think.”

“There’s really nothing to think,” Terry said. “It’s just a coincidence.”

“It better be,” she said. “I don’t want to find out I unknowingly aided and abetted a supervillain.”

“What about knowingly?” he asked.

“Now that’s another matter entirely,” she said with a wink.

He chuckled.

“So,” she said, glancing back at the rest of the crew, “a bunch of us are going out for drinks tonight. You in?”

“I think I’ll pass,” he said. “I’m pretty tired.”

She shrugged and said, “Suit yourself.”

He took a train home and flew up the side of the building, landing on his balcony. He stepped inside and immediately froze. His front door was ajar and his living room had been completely ransacked.

The couch was upside down, the cushions tossed on the floor and sliced open. His books were scattered everywhere, his DVD collection was upended, and his laptop was missing. Even the kitchen had been torn apart.

“Hey there, flyboy,” a woman’s voice said.

The thief stood in the doorway to the bedroom. She was wearing a blue dress and her hair was now red, falling loosely about her shoulders. She stepped forward, her bare feet sinking into the carpet, and Terry backed away.

“Okay, I know how this looks,” she said, “but I swear, your place was like this when I got here.”

Right,” he muttered, digging his phone out of his pocket. “I’m calling the cops.”

“You didn’t yesterday,” she said.

“Better late than never,” he said.

He punched 9-1-1 into his phone, but hesitated at the “CALL” button. She smirked. He sighed.

“Why are you here?” he asked.

“Curiosity, mainly,” she replied. “You witnessed a crime in progress and you just walked away—so to speak. Anyone else would’ve reported it. Why didn’t you?”

He put his phone away and shrugged.

“I just didn’t want to get involved,” he said.

She glanced around the room and said, “How’s that working out for you?”

“It was going fine until you showed up,” he said.

He crossed the room and pulled the door shut. The lock did not appeared to be damaged, fortunately. He turned back to the woman and crossed his arms.

“If you didn’t do this,” he said, “who did?”

“Our mutual friend,” she said: “Mr. Beck.”

Beck?” Terry said. “Why would he trash my apartment?”

“Probably looking for this,” she said, and held up the metal box he watched her take from the safe yesterday.

“I don’t even know what it is,” he said, reaching out.

She pulled her hand away and wagged her finger at him.

“No peeking,” she said.

He rolled his eyes and said, “Fine, I don’t want to know.”

She chuckled and handed him the box. He took it hesitantly and opened the lid. Inside, a white USB drive sat in a cut-out foam insert.

“What’s on it?” he asked.

“Dirt,” she replied with a smile.

She strolled over to the door and slipped into a pair of knee-high leather boots.

“I need you to hold onto it for a little while,” she said. “Things are going to get a bit hot soon, and Beck won’t think to search the same place twice.”

“No way,” he said, holding the box out toward her. “I don’t want anything to do with this. I’m done, understand?”

“I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that,” she said, opening the door. “You’re a part of this now, whether you like it or not.”

She reached into a pocket and handed him a wad of cash.

“For your trouble,” she said. “I’ll be back in a couple days to take it off your hands. Until then, keep it hidden.”

She stepped out into the hall and glanced back over her shoulder.

“I’m Moira, by the way,” she said, and walked off.

He shut the door and turned the deadbolt. He glanced down at the box in his hand and sighed, wondering what he’d gotten himself into. He set it down on the kitchen counter beside a plain, white business card.

The card simply said “Beck” followed by a phone number. No email address, job title, or anything else. Terry realized he could end this right now by calling the number, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

He turned back to the living room and started putting everything back together.

///

The first thing Terry did after work the next day was buy a new computer with the money Moira gave him. The second thing he did was turn on the computer and plug in the USB drive from the box.

“Please enter password,” a dialogue box said.

“Of course,” he muttered, and removed the drive.

He put it back in the box and stashed it inside his mattress, which had also been slashed open in yesterday’s break-in. He went back to his computer and signed into Facebook, skimming over posts of Internet memes and relationship drama and photos of food.

Bored, he shut down the computer and turned on the television. He flipped through countless crime shows, a heist movie, and an old black-and-white film noir, before finally sinking into the mire of reality TV. None of it helped.

He fell asleep on the couch a few hours later, still thinking about Moira.

///

Terry flew up to the roof of the Champion Hotel to take his lunch break, and Kelly came upstairs to join him. She sat beside him on the ledge and removed a burger from a foil wrapper. He dug into his BLT in silence.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

He stared at the Victory City skyline for a long moment.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said. “I’ve been so far outside my comfort zone these past few days that I can barely think straight.”

“Comfort’s overrated, if you ask me,” she said. “Sometimes it’s good to be in over your head. It can give you a new perspective.”

“I’m content with the view from my couch,” he replied.

“Are you really?” she asked. “Because it doesn’t sound like it to me.”

As he opened his mouth to reply, his phone rang. He dug it out of his pocket and glanced down at the call display: he didn’t recognize the number. He hesitantly pressed “Accept”.

“Hello?” he said.

“Hey, flyboy,” Moira said. “Mind doing me a solid?”

“I can’t,” he said. “I’m at work.”

“It won’t take long,” she said. “I just need you to take the drive somewhere for me, give it to someone for a few minutes, and then take it back.”

“Why can’t you do this yourself?” he asked.

“It’s not safe,” she replied. “Our mutual friend is breathing down my neck and I can’t shake him long enough to get this done. You’re my only hope.”

Terry sighed.

“Where do I have to go?” he asked.

“I’ll text you the location,” she said. “Call me when you’re done.”

She hung up, and the message came a moment later, the address of the Victory City Public Library.

“That sounded serious,” Kelly said.

“Yeah,” he replied.

“You have to take off again, don’t you?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said again.

“Is there anything I can do to help?” she asked. “If you’re in some kind of trouble….”

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I’ll be fine.”

“If you say so,” she replied. “See you tomorrow… I hope.”

Smiling faintly, he stepped off the ledge and flew home.

///

Terry landed in the park next to the library and walked to the building. He didn’t know who he was supposed to be meeting, so he wandered the aisles, looking for some sort of sign. After almost half an hour, he received a text message from his own number.

“You M’s friend?” it said.

“The hell…?” he muttered.

He heard a chuckle from somewhere nearby, and another text said, “Look up.”

A hand reached out from a balcony overlooking the stacks and waved. Terry glanced around for witnesses, then flew up to the balcony, landing next to a row of tables set up for reading.

A young woman with bubblegum-pink hair sat with her back to the railing, her red sneakers propped up on a table and a tablet computer on her lap. She held out her hand, palm up, toward Terry.

“How did you do that?” he asked as he handed over the USB drive.

“How’d you get up here without the stairs?” she replied.

She plugged the drive into the tablet and the password prompt popped up. One by one, a series of bullets appeared in the text field, and the prompt vanished. A folder full of files opened in its place.

“Piece of cake,” she said, yanking the drive out of the computer.

Terry’s phone buzzed again as he received another text from himself. The message contained a string of ten random characters; letters, numbers, and symbols.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“Uh, the password, obviously,” she said.

She handed him the drive and stood from her seat, shoving the tablet into the pocket of her black hoodie.

“I’d recommend writing it down,” she said. “Your phone’s not very secure.”

She winked and walked away with a spring in her step. When the last strand of pink hair disappeared down the stairs, Terry dialled Moira’s number.

It rang and rang, but there was no answer. The call didn’t even go to voicemail. He waited several minutes before finally hanging up.

///

Terry flew home and immediately plugged the USB drive into his computer. He typed out the password from his phone and opened a folder containing dozens of files in multiple formats, all labelled with names and dates.

He clicked on a random file, a dashboard camera video of a police officer roughing up a teenager during an arrest. Another file was an audio recording of an interrogation in which a detective ignored a suspect’s repeated pleas for a lawyer. On and on it went, sixteen gigabytes of police misconduct.

He was about to eject the drive when he noticed a familiar name on several files near the top of the list: Beck, Harold. He clicked on one of them and found a photo of a uniformed Beck receiving a thick stack of cash from a second man, who a caption identified as a member of a local organized crime syndicate.

“Shit,” Terry muttered.

He nearly jumped out of his skin when his phone rang. He glanced at Moira’s number on the screen and answered the call.

“Well, this is embarrassing,” she said, sounding slightly out of breath. “I don’t normally do the whole ‘damsel in distress’ thing, but I’m in a bit of a bind at the moment.”

“What happened?” he asked, standing from the couch. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine for now,” she replied, “but Beck has me cornered. He chased me into a parking garage and I can’t get out. I’m well-hidden, but it’s only a matter of time before he finds me. And I can’t just call 9-1-1 because he’s—”

“A cop,” Terry said.

She chuckled.

“I knew you’d peek,” she said. “Well, at least you know what’s at stake now.”

“Yeah,” he said. “So what do you need me to do?”

“I just need a diversion,” she said. “Something to draw his attention long enough for me to give him the slip.”

“Okay,” he said, pacing around the living room. “Let me just….”

He paused by the kitchen counter and stared down at Beck’s business card.

“I’ll call you back,” he said, and hung up.

He grabbed the card and dialled the number.

“Mr. O’Neill,” Beck said, his voice as slimy as ever. “I was starting to think you don’t like me.”

“I don’t,” Terry said, “but I have something you want.”

“Oh really?” Beck said. “And what might that be?”

“A USB drive filled with incriminating evidence on you and your fellow officers,” Terry replied.

“You’re bluffing,” Beck said. “If you had it, I would’ve—”

“She gave it to me for safekeeping after you tossed my apartment,” Terry said.

“Clever girl,” Beck said. “Though perhaps not clever enough.”

“Apparently not,” Terry said. “So, let’s make a deal.”

“What kind of deal?” Beck asked.

“Fifty grand for the drive,” Terry replied.

“That’s a bit steep,” Beck said. “How about twenty-five?”

“Forty’s as low as I’ll go,” Terry said. “I’ll even throw in the password.”

“Deal,” Beck said. “Where do you want to meet?”

“My place,” Terry said. “I’m sick of this cloak-and-dagger bullshit.”

“I’ll be there shortly,” Beck said. “I just have some business to conclude first.”

“That can wait,” Terry said. “My offer expires in half an hour, and then I start shopping around.”

“Okay, okay,” Beck said. “I’m on my way.”

Terry hung up and hurried over to the computer. He pocketed the drive and headed for the balcony. At the door, he paused and glanced back.

He shoved his laptop into its bag, slung it over his shoulder, and flew out of the building. He called Moira from the air and she answered right away.

“I don’t know what you did,” she said, “but he just took off in a hurry.”

“We’ve got about half an hour until he figures out what’s going on,” Terry said. “Where are you now?”

“On the waterfront,” she said. “I could really use a pick-up.”

“I’ll be right there,” he replied.

///

Terry landed on a boardwalk overlooking the Strait of Georgia. He almost didn’t recognize Moira when she came running up to him wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and glasses, her hair now black and curly. She glanced down at his laptop bag.

“You brought your computer?” she asked.

“Well, I’m not letting him steal another one,” Terry replied.

“Fair enough,” she said, and stepped closer. “So, how does this work?”

He slipped his hands around her waist and pulled her close. Following his lead, she wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her chin on his shoulder.

You hold on tight,” he said, “and I try not to drop you.”

He beat his wings as hard as he could, straining against the extra weight. His feet lifted off the boardwalk, shakily at first but quickly stabilizing. She tightened her grip as the waterfront fell away beneath them.

“You know,” she said into his ear, “this would be a lot more fun without any clothes on.”

“Do you want me to let go?” he asked.

She laughed and twined her legs around his.

He cleared his throat and said, “Where are we heading, anyway?”

“I have an old safehouse across town,” she said. “Beck doesn’t know about it. We can lay low there for a while until we make our next move.”

“Which is?” he asked.

“I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out,” she replied.

///

A cloud of dust exploded into the hallway as soon as the door opened. Terry coughed and covered his face. Moira pulled him inside by the collar.

The “safehouse” was a bachelor apartment in a rundown building in one of the city’s poorer neighborhoods. The room looked like it hadn’t been occupied in years.

“You sure we’ll be safe here?” Terry asked.

“Reasonably,” Moira replied. “I always keep my tracks covered.”

“Then how’d Beck find you?” Terry asked.

“I was trying to make contact with my buyer,” she replied, “but Beck got to her first and she sold me out.”

“Who is she?” Terry asked.

“Reporter for the local news,” Moira said. “She wanted to blow the whistle on the VCPD, and hired me to steal the evidence. Serves me right for trying to do a good deed for a change, eh?”

“I know the feeling,” Terry said.

She stepped over to the window and pried it open. A cold breeze blew in, freshening the stale air. She took a deep breath.

“Man, I haven’t eaten since breakfast,” she said. “Are you hungry?”

Terry’s stomach answered for him. Moira threw open a closet and slipped into a thick, grey overcoat. She rubbed her face on the sleeves, smearing her skin with dust, and tucked her hair up inside a tattered red toque.

“How do I look?” she asked.

“Like a homeless person,” he replied.

“Perfect,” she said, and headed out the door.

Terry sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed his wings. He was exhausted, and he ached all over. He opened his laptop bag and pulled out his computer.

If he were at home right now, he could distract himself by checking his email, reading some movie reviews, listening to some podcasts, the usual. But now all he could do was wait. He sighed and put the computer away.

Moira returned half an hour later with food from an Indian restaurant down the street and handed a foam container to Terry. He dug into his tandoori chicken greedily. She sat beside him on the edge of the bed with some kind of lentil soup.

“So, what’s your story, anyway?” he asked when he finally came up for air. “Why do you do what you do?”

“You mean, like, am I damaged in some way?” she asked. “Child abuse, prostitution, that kind of thing?”

“No, it’s just… there’s got to be a reason, right?” he replied. “You don’t just wake up one morning and decide to become a burglar.”

“Why not?” she asked. “Maybe I just do it because I’m good at it. Would that be so strange?”

“Yes,” he replied.

She laughed.

“Why do you wash windows, then?” she asked.

“Because I’m….” he said, trailing off. “Okay, that’s different. What I do is legal.”

“Now you’re just splitting hairs,” she said. “You found a niche and you filled it. No psychoanalysis necessary.”

“You’re avoiding the question,” he said.

“Maybe,” she said. “Or maybe you’re avoiding the answer.”

He sighed.

“This is going to be a long… whatever amount of time we’re stuck here,” he said. “Speaking of which, how long do you think that’s going to be?”

“I honestly don’t know,” she said. “We won’t be safe until we get Beck off our backs, and the only way we’ll do that, short of killing him, is to expose him. But I don’t have any other contacts in the media to get the story out.”

Terry stared at the ceiling and leaned back. His hand brushed rough fabric of his laptop bag. He sat up straight and turned to Moira.

“Does this place have Internet access?” he asked.

“We’re in hiding, Terry,” she said. “It’s not a good time to update your Facebook status.”

“That isn’t exactly what I had in mind,” he said, standing from the bed.

He set up his laptop on a table by the kitchen and pulled up a chair. He checked for local wireless networks and found one that was unsecured; the connection was a little on the slow side, but it would do. He opened a web browser.

“What are you doing?” Moira asked, laying a hand on the nape of his neck.

“You’ll see,” he replied.

He created a new email address under a fake name and used it to sign up to various websites; image hosting, video sharing, audio streaming, etc. He inserted the USB drive into the computer and started uploading.

“We need this to go viral,” he said. “Do you still have the contact info for your hacker friend?”

“Of course,” Moira said, and wrote an email address on a scrap of paper. “You really think this is going to work?”

“Trust me,” he said: “if there’s one thing I have a lot of experience with, it’s the Internet.”

When he had a decent number of files uploaded, he started sending links to the hacker. Within minutes, the story was trending on Twitter, filling up the front page of Reddit, and circulating on Facebook and dozens of other sites.

“How’re we doing?” Moira asked when he finally stood up.

“Pretty good, actually,” he said. “We’ve reached a massive audience already. The mainstream media won’t be able to ignore it now. All that’s left for us to do is wait.”

Moira sat on the edge of the bed and crossed her legs.

“You’re amazing,” she said.

Terry shrugged.

“Your friend did most of the work,” he said.

“But it was your idea,” she said. “I never would’ve thought of that. In my line of work, we generally go out of our way to avoid social media.”

“Yeah, I suppose it would be pretty counterintuitive to live-tweet a heist or something,” he replied.

She smiled and said, “I don’t even know what that means.”

“That’s probably for the best,” he said, and yawned. “So, what are we going to do for sleeping arrangements, anyway?”

She swept her arm across the bed as if revealing prizes on a game show. He stared for a long moment, and she grinned.

“You’re going to make this awkward, aren’t you?” he asked.

“I’m offended you would even suggest that,” she replied.

He rolled his eyes and climbed into bed, shifting position until his wings were comfortable. Moira crawled under the covers on the other side of the mattress.

“You know,” she said, sliding closer, “this would be a lot more fun without—”

“Shut up and sleep,” he replied.

She laughed and rolled over.

///

Terry awoke to the sound of the television. He opened his eyes and found Moira standing at the end of the bed, watching the news. A photo of a police officer planting evidence at the scene of a crime appeared on the screen next to a talking head.

“…have already been suspended, with many more expected in the coming days,” the anchor said. “Mayor Ivan Ling has called for a full investigation into the police department’s conduct and has promised harsh punishments for any officer who—”

Moira turned off the television and glanced back at Terry.

“So,” she said. “Breakfast?”

“God yes,” he replied. “I’m suffering from severe bacon withdrawal.”

She smiled and stepped into the bathroom. He heard the shower running a moment later. He turned the television back on; the anchor was speaking to the leader of a civil liberties group about the possibility of filing a class action lawsuit against the VCPD.

Three sharp knocks struck the apartment door. Terry muted the television and approached the door hesitantly. Distorted in the peephole’s fisheye lens, Harold Beck stood in the hallway with his arms crossed.

“I know you’re in there,” he said. “Open the door or I’ll kick it down.”

Terry did as he was told and backed away slowly. The officer was a mess; his eyes red, his chin dotted with five o’clock shadow, his clothes ruffled.

“You’re a tough man to find, Mr. O’Neill,” Beck said, stepping into the apartment. “Lucky for me, people tend to remember when a guy with wings flies by carrying a woman in his arms. Where is your little girlfriend, anyway?”

He turned his ear toward the bathroom and flashed that awful smile. Terry placed himself between Beck and the door.

“What do you want?” Terry asked.

“Don’t play dumb,” Beck replied. “I want the drive. And no tricks this time.”

Terry glanced over at the table. Beck smiled again and yanked the USB drive out of the computer. He dropped it on the floor and crushed it under the heel of his boot.

“See, that wasn’t so hard,” he said, and tipped an invisible. “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”

“Likewise,” Terry replied flatly.

His eyes drifted past Beck, to the television. Images from the USB drive cycled on the screen one after another, interspersed with the occasional video. Beck noticed Terry’s gaze and turned around.

“What the hell did you do?” he muttered.

“I shopped around,” Terry said. “I guess you’ve been too busy to watch the news.”

Beck seemed to deflate, his body going limp as he stood watching the television.

“You son of a bitch,” he said.

He snapped back around and shoved his gun in Terry’s face. Terry glared down the barrel, clenching his fists to stop himself shaking.

“You know what’s funny?” Beck said. “In all my years on the Force, I’ve never actually had to use this. All I ever did was look the other way from time to time. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, I just wanted to stay out of the crossfire. Can you really claim you’re any better?”

“Not really,” Terry replied.

Beck sighed and put his gun away.

“I’ve wasted too much time here already,” he said, heading for the door. “I need to get out of town.”

He hurried out of the apartment and Terry locked the door behind him.

“The coast is clear, Moira,” Terry said.

There was no reply. He could still hear the sound of the shower running. He knocked on the bathroom door.

“Is everything okay in there?” he asked.

Still no reply. He knocked again.

“Okay,” he said, swallowing hard. “I’m coming in.”

He opened the door and a chill breeze rolled in from the bathroom window. He pulled back the shower curtain; empty. He leaned out the window and saw no sign of Moira on the street below.

Sighing, Terry shut the window and turned off the shower. He waited around the apartment for half an hour before finally giving up and packing his things. His phone rang as he zipped up his jacket, and he answered instinctively.

“Moira?” he said. “Where did you—”

“I knew it!” Kelly said. “You did skip work for a woman! You sly dog!”

“It’s not like that,” Terry said.

“Sure, sure,” Kelly said. “So what is it like?”

“A nightmare,” Terry said. “It’s a miracle I lived through the night.”

Molly laughed.

“I’ve had nights like that,” she said. “This one time—”

“That’s not what I meant,” he said. “We were… Oh, never mind. Is there something you need, or did you just call to make fun of me?”

“Well, I just thought I’d check in,” she said. “Are you planning to show up for work today?”

Terry glanced around the empty room and sighed.

“Yeah,” he said. “I guess I am.”

“Good,” she said. “You wouldn’t believe what I’ve gone through trying to cover your ass.”

“Tell you what,” he said, stepping into the hallway. “To show my appreciation, drinks are on me tonight.”

“You are so on,” she said.

She hung up as he shut the door behind him. He glanced down at his phone and found a text message waiting for him from Moira.

“Be seeing you.”

 

 

 

END