HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 27

“Uh oh,” Nila said. “Douche alert.”

She nodded over Magh’s shoulder as a thirtysomething man with a goatee and a smug grin sauntered toward their table. He hooked his thumbs in his belt loops and glanced over the girls, ignoring Tommy entirely.

“Can I buy you ladies a drink?”

“We’re good, thanks,” Nila said.

“Oh come on,” he said. “You can’t say no to free booze.”

“Pretty sure we just did,” Nila said.

“And you speak for the whole group?” he asked. “Your friends can’t make their own decisions?”

“Dude, just walk away,” Nila said. “You’re embarrassing yourself.”

They stared each other down for a long moment, then he shrugged.

“Whatever,” he said. “You’re not that hot, anyway.”

He strolled off into the crowd. Nila flipped him off behind his back.

“You know what I love?” she said. “The look on their faces when they realize they’re not getting what they feel so entitled to. It’s priceless.”

“You’re braver than I am,” Frederica said. “Half the reason I like to fly everywhere is to avoid creeps on the street.”

“I’m only brave when I’ve brought backup,” Nila said, gesturing around the table. “And a getaway driver.”

Frederica chuckled.

“That works too.”

The music stopped and another band took the stage, playing symphonic goth metal covers of classic pop songs. Nila nodded her head to the beat. Frederica glanced across the table at Magh, who had turned a paler shade of grey. The others noticed, too.

“You okay?” Nila asked.

Magh shook her head.

“I feel sick,” she said, covering her mouth.

“The alcohol must be having an adverse effect on your biochemistry.” Nila stood and extended her hand to Magh. “Come on, let’s get you to the bathroom.”