(Hey People! Happy Easter everyone. Since I didn’t post last week, I have a bit longer of a chapter. Also, I just noticed we haven’t seen Raptor in flight yet. It will happen soon.)

 

    He reached over and grabbed the pen.  He scribbled down his answer and handed both the pen and the note back to her.

Fine. But I don’t like it.

She smirked at him. Elijah got out and walked to the other side. He snuck another look at the highway. No sign of the van. The sun was a little dimmer too.
He got in the passenger seat. Adrian just crawled over and turned on the ignition. She rolled down the window and looked out to make sure the ramp was clear. As soon as Elijah was ready she started the car and drove up the exit. She didn’t drive slow, she had never had. But Elijah had thought she would race madly down the roads, like a high-speed car chase. She didn’t.
   She must just be taking a different route, Elijah thought. Though they’ll know where we are soon enough.

The sun had nearly set when they reached the city, and it was dark when Adrian pulled over and parked the car on a side street. She got out, and signaled Elijah to do the same.

He stepped into the street and glanced around as he walked to the hood, facing inwards to the alley. The roads were wet from rain, and the puddles were yellow in the lamplight. There were still cars and people traversing the streets. The restaurants were still open. The grime on the sidewalks was ugly in the damp, crushed under all the footsteps.

Elijah and Adrian went around and stood by the hood.

“What’s the plan?” Elijah whispered.

“He lives a little ways from here,” she answered. “I’m going to go over and see if he’s home.”

“I stay here?”

“You can take care of yourself, right?”

Elijah nodded. “Be careful. There’s some loose characters around.”

“Don’t forget: I’m a spy.” she put on a light jacket and zipped it up. “I’ll be right back, bird boy.”

She went away and walked up to the main street. Then she turned onto the sidewalk and disappeared from his sight.

He stood for a while, leaning against the car, and just watched the spot where she had gone. People went by. Cars splashed in the puddles. The air was humid.
Maybe I should get back in the car. Elijah put his hands in his pockets. Or maybe not.

He looked behind him. It was just a dark alley backing an unlit, parking garage. He looked back at the street. Then he turned around and sat up on the hood, out of sight from the roads.

He watched the alley. Drip, drip, a water leaked from a drainpipe. The stars slowly came out over head. The rush of cars became a background. But he heard every noise in the alley. Are you expecting something? Yep. Something.

He flexed and un-flexed his claws. He did it repeatedly, clocking away the minutes. I should have asked her how long it would be.  He sighed. Too late now. He lifted up his head. He thought he heard a car park across the street.
It could be anyone. Don’t panic.

He flipped himself around on the hood, so he could look through the windshield and out the back of the car. Rain smeared the glass, but he could see well enough.

In the alley across the street was the grey van. That sure didn’t take long. Drat. He sat back up. There was no way for him to warn Adrian. But he also wondered if he needed too. It seemed they were only being followed out of precaution and as a reminder for himself. He flexed his talons again. Hurry up Adrian.

~

She walked fast, but slowed down once she made it to a neighborhood area. Old brownstones lined either side of the street. The potted trees looked up at the lamplight and dropped bits of rain on her as she went by. She could remember what Billy’s house looked like, very distinctly. But not his address. She walked up a whole side of the street. She stopped at the end, and crossed to the other side. She started walking down and continued to scan the brownstones.
He hadn’t moved, she was sure of that at least.

But she stopped finally, halfway down the sidewalk. The curtains were closed, but there were lights behind them. The front of the house was blue, and there were flowers in the boxes. She nodded. It was the one.

She ran up the steps and rang the doorbell and waited a few moments. She could hear the children playing in the front room. She checked to make sure her handgun was secure inside her jacket.
Someone walked up to the door. It opened.

“Hi, Billy,” she said.

“Adrian!” Billy exclaimed.  “What are you doing here? This is unexpected.” Billy’s brow was very furrowed. And he looked busy, as if stretched in too many places at once. He had five kids after all.

“I have to ask a favor.”

His face changed. It didn’t drop, it focused. “What kind of favor?”

Adrian peered past Billy into the house. She caught a glimpse of her sister at the table. She hesitated a moment before answering.

“Can you take a walk?” she asked, quietly. Billy’s brow furrowed again.

“Give me a minute,” he said. She nodded and he closed the door. She walked down the steps back onto the sidewalk.

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