Knight took another five steps and turned around. He’d been pacing back and forth for most of the day, waiting for his chance to end Plask once and for all.
“Why are we still here?” He almost immediately regretted saying it out loud. She talked less when he didn’t.
“They have to find him first; you know that. He doesn’t spend every night at that club anymore.”
He could hear her giggling. She always tried to get him to loosen up before missions. She hated the way he always moved around. On the last mission she’d threatened to strap him to a chair if he didn’t sit down on his own. She would have too, if she’d ever had the chance.
“The man has more money than anyone else in the city. It shouldn’t be this had to figure out where he’s spending it.”
“Ah yes, I can see tomorrow’s paper already. ‘Local Businessman Assaulted in Dressing Room.’ Plus you get your face on every camera in the place. It’s a nice start, but I think you may want to find a different route to fame.”
He could almost see her sitting on the table in front of him, her legs crossed and hanging just above the floor. She’d be smirking, and her eyebrow would be raised just enough to tell him she was being sarcastic. Of course, her tone could tell him just as much a lot more easily.
“Give me some credit, Page. I would follow him somewhere a bit more secluded than that. At least I’d be doing something then. I’m going nuts sitting here.”
“Well, you are talking to a dead person. If you can get used to that, I’m sure insanity won’t be a problem. What’s a couple more voices in your head? You could handle that no problem.”
“Thanks for the reminder, Page. But I’m still not convinced you’re not a ghost. I’ve seen enough weird shit to believe it, and you’re the type of person to keep bugging me after death.”
She didn’t say anything, and he could tell she was sticking her tongue out at him.
“Like you were any better. You followed me around like a sad puppy those first few months. You could lift a motorcycle with one hand and you were homesick. I swear you would’ve asked for a nightlight if you thought you’d get one.”
Knight rolled his eyes. “6 years and you still bring that up. It’s not the magic bullet you think it is, you know.”
“Maybe. But it always cheers me up. And that’s all I’m really after anyway. Now, do we need to go over it again? I’m not going to be able to throw up a shield if you mess it up this time.”
“I can stop bullets fine on my own. And Plask isn’t so paranoid he’d drop anything big enough to hurt me for real. If I can get to him before he walks out the door, then he’s a dead man. Nothing he has will get in my way.”
“Because that plan worked so well last time.”
Knight turned away from the empty spot on the table.
“Shoot. I’m sorry, Mason. I didn’t mean it like that. None of us were ready for what happened that day. If Helen didn’t see it coming, then nobody could.”
“Information wasn’t my job. Protecting you was. You shouldn’t have had to wear out your shield. King shouldn’t have had to take that bullet. Queen should never have been alone when she was attacked. It was my job to take the hits, because we knew I could take it.”
A gust of air blew by his face. “You know I never liked it when you talked like that. That isn’t why we needed you.”
“But it’s why I was there, no matter what you three thought. I was there to be a shield, and I had accepted that. I didn’t fail that night, I failed three years ago, when I got that sword and decided I’d rather swing it around than take hits for you all.”
“So that’s why you gave it up. I always thought you should have just had a new one made. I’m sure Mach would have helped if you’d asked.”
“I’ve talked more with the kid than I have Mach. I don’t think he’d be too keen on doing me favors.”
“I think you might be surprised. He didn’t say anything when he recognized you after all. Even if he forgot about it a few minutes later.”
“I suppose I have you to thank for that. I never could stand the masks.”
“Plus you look awful with helmet hair.”
“Plus I look awful with helmet hair,” he agreed without thinking.
“Be glad they got rid of the early costume designs then. They were actually going to give Thomas a crown, remember?”
“Because his ego needed the boost obviously. He could almost sit through a meal without talking about how good the food he used to eat was.”
“It was really bad.”
“But the rest of us missed burgers, not lobster.”
There was a knock at the door. Agent Craig’s voice filtered in from the other side.
“Get suited up, Knight. Plask is going to be at his club in 3 hours. We want you to be there first this time. We don’t want him to have the place set up for you this time.”
“Time for you to go. But at least I managed to win for once.”
“You stopped pacing didn’t you?”
Knight looked down. He’d been standing in the same place for the last few minutes.
“I guess I did.” He smiled. “You win, Page. Just keep it to yourself okay? Thomas would never let me live it down if he heard.”
“Don’t worry. Not much need for gossip when you’re dead. Plus I haven’t actually seen him in months. Queen either. Most people don’t really feel the need to hang around.”
“I guess bugging me was just too much fun to pass up then.”
Another gust of air blew by his face. “You’re really hopeless you know that?”
She didn’t answer.