Frederica glanced back over her shoulder.
“I told her that no matter how powerful I get, I’ll never stop needing her,” she said.
Angela chuckled and said, “I’m surprised a line that sappy worked on her.”
“Josephine actually loves that kind of thing,” Frederica replied. “She only really pretends to be mean. But don’t tell her I said that.”
“My lips are sealed,” Angela said.
She switched to Leigh’s power and discreetly sent out a text message. A few minutes later, he heard footsteps crunching on dirt.
She turned. Henry and Tommy stood on the trail at the edge of the clearing. Frederica stiffened beside her. Tommy, too, looked like a deer in headlights.
“Hey guys!” Angela said. “What brings you out here?”
“Oh, we’re just out for a walk,” Henry said. “You?”
“Teaching Fred some new tricks,” Angela said, and glanced back. “Want to show them?”
Frederica didn’t move for a moment, then she raised her right arm. The branch of a nearby oak tree bent down and touched Frederica’s hand.
“Cool,” Tommy said, gazing up at the tree.
“Man, my legs are killing me,” Angela said, and turned to Henry. “Want to grab a seat?”
“Sure,” Henry replied.
The two of them headed for a bench a little further down the trail, leaving the kids staring awkwardly at each other in silence. Angela took a seat and watched them out of the corner of her eye.
“Do you think they bought it?” Henry asked.
“Probably not,” Angela replied. “But I’m sure they’ll forgive the deception.”
Angela continued to watch the kids. The initial unease seemed to have passed, and they were now talking more or less normally. She couldn’t quite make out the conversation, though.