Elijah didn’t let go. His heart fell when he recognized her, but his bewilderment didn’t last long. Adrian didn’t move, though her shoulders were hunched up with the threat of his talons digging into them.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, quieter this time.
“I’m searching your apartment,” she answered.
“What for? How did you get in?” he got closer to her. “Did the Correlation tell you to come here?”
Her face changed.
“What? No! Wouldn’t you be the one working for the Correlation?”
“Are you kidding me?”
“You’re the scientist after all. That’s what they do.”
“So what does that make you? Why would you drive me to that house? You knew someone was waiting in there. And now you show up here rummaging through my stuff. Why? Who told you to do it?”
“Then you don’t work for the Correlation?”
She was too calm for Elijah. He jammed her closer against the wall.
“They are the ones who are after me! Who do you think shot the plane down?”
“I was sent after you because I was told you worked for them.”
“Sent by whom?”
She didn’t answer.
Again she didn’t answer. She remained silent, just looking up at him in the eyes.
“Ok, so you’re a spy.”
He took her silence as an answer. He let go and stepped back.
“Ok, alright, you work for the CIA or something,” he nodded, cynically, still mad. He looked back at her, but didn’t say anything more.
Adrian straightened from against the wall.
“So,” she started, slowly. “If you don’t work for them, why is the Correlation after you?”
“I thought the CIA knew everything,” he scoffed. He wandered back over across the room. It was crowded and messy. He hadn’t cleaned the place up before he left.
“Of course it doesn’t, or have you been reading too many spy novels recently?”
She walked out from against the wall. He had walked over to the table and leant against it.
“Look over at the shelf. Do those look like spy novels to you?”
She continued walking over to him.
“I know,” she said. “I’ve looked at them. Raptors, hawks, genetic mutation, Frankenstein.”
She walked over and stood next to him. He didn’t look up.
“What are you looking for?”
“Are you trying to manipulate me, master spy?” he still didn’t look up at her. She walked over to the other side of the table, and leaned forward, so she could look into his face.
“I need to know what’s going on, Elijah,” she said. She paused to see if he would say anything. He didn’t. “If what you’re telling me is true, then I’ve been acting under false pretenses. I was sent after you because you work for the Correlation. My superiors don’t like the Correlation, and if the Correlation is after you, I need to know why. And I think you need to tell me.”
He pushed out a chair and sat down. He folded his arms and looked up her. He could see her face in the dark, and a beam of moonlight shot through the porch onto the table.
He noticed she had her hair up. She usually didn’t.
“Is that why you were mad at me earlier?” he asked. “Because you thought I worked for them?”
“Sure,” she shrugged. “I wasn’t happy to hear you were working for some dirty corporation, which I hope you’re telling me the truth about.”
He clasped his hands and rested his chin up on them. But he didn’t say anything,
“So, you’re going to have to explain what’s going on here. It’s dark, so no one knows we’re here. No one’s coming. You can start spilling. What were those claws?”
“Do you want to see them again?”
“We’re they some toy, or did they come from you?”
“They came from me.”
Elijah hesitated for a moment. Adrian had already kept a secret of hers long and well. He couldn’t know if she was keeping any more from him; of course he had kept a secret from her on his part.
“They call me the Raptor,” he said. “That’s what I am, that’s what they’re after. I’m not quite – normal.”
“How long have you been like this?” Adrian shifted.
He shook his head.
“I was born like this I suppose. I didn’t find out really till high-school.”
“Did – did your parents know?”
Elijah put his hands back on the table.
“I don’t think so.”
“How – “ Adrian paused. He could tell she trying to hide her uneasiness. “That’s a really odd mutation, Elijah. People aren’t just born with the ability to fly. Or retractable claws.”
He flexed his talons at their mention and shrugged.
“What do you think I’ve been doing since college? Do you remember when I would pulled all-nighters all the time? That wasn’t for homework. I’d work in the lab all night, and all I could find was that my DNA is part peregrine falcon.”
“Yeah. So,” he stood up, turning towards the porch. “I have to get going.”
He looked back over at her.
“I’m on the run. I only came here to grab a few things.”
She didn’t say anything. He walked over to a cabinet, the one with the book shelves and opened the drawer. He pulled out a small box. She couldn’t see what it was, but she guessed. He reached further in the drawer, peered for a minute, and looked up at her.
“Did you take my gun?”
She pulled it out of her jacket and put it on the table. He slammed the drawer shut. He walked back over to pick it up.
“Where are you planning on going?”