Chapter 28, Part 1
Cassie led Mariah up to the roof. Since the ice cream had been finished earlier that day, s’mores were on the menu for dessert. So far Mariah hadn’t said anything about the meeting with Kyle and Cassie wasn’t about to bring it up. She knew Mariah would when she was good and ready with an argument. Until then, there was no reason they shouldn’t enjoy some roof s’mores as Caleb called them.
Everyone else was already up, sprawling in their favorite chairs. Declan was perched on the edge of the roof, cigarette in hand. Abby held the roasting sticks in her hands, bouncing up and down in excitement. Mariah squeezed into the chair with her and stole a stick.
“Let’s get this party started!” she said. Caleb opened the bag of marshmallows and handed it around as Abby distributed the sticks.
“Declan, come on!” Abby said, already threading marshmallows onto a stick for him.
“In a minute, kid.” He winked, exhaling another puff of smoke.
“Those are really bad for you,” she informed him. Cassie grinned. Declan was about to get Abby-ied.
“Yeah, I know,” he said.
“Do you want to know all the numbers?”
“Not really. I can find them online or just call my Ma.”
Abby didn’t say anything, just fixed him with eyes as wide as she could make them. Declan was a bit taken aback. He stared back and then down at the cigarette in his hand.
“Can’t argue with that, I guess.” He snuffed it out and hopped back onto the roof, apparently not minding the chuckles in the slightest. “I don’t think that brain of yours is your superpower, kid.” He tweaked her nose. She beamed up at him and handed him the roasting stick.
“So, are you guys like superheroes now since you have suits?” Caleb asked. “Did they have one for me?”
“No, we’re not,” Cassie said, before one of the guys could say anything to encourage him.
“We kinda are, if you think about it.” Luke did the opposite of what she wanted. “We’re like this genetically. We’re kinda like the X-Men or something.”
“As long as we don’t find a bald guy that can get inside our heads,” Declan said.
“I second that,” Josh said.
“Okay, fine, in theory, yes we are like something from a comic book, but the world doesn’t need us to suit up and try and save it. That’s what we have cops and soldiers for,” Cassie said.
“It would still be fun to have code names,” Luke insisted.
“I think all the good ones have already been taken,” Sam said. “How many different superhero characters are there?”
“A lot, but you underestimate my nerdiness,” Luke said.
Declan laughed. “Just give me a cool one then.”
Cassie rolled her eyes. So much for nipping that idea in the bud. She caught Mariah’s grin across the fire pit.
“Boys.” Cassie mouthed and Mariah laughed.
After the s’mores had been consumed down to the last particle of chocolate, the boys decided to go back inside and watch a movie. Although with Abby in their midst, they’d be lucky to get away with anything other than the most recent Disney Princess movie. Mariah and Cassie lingered on the roof to watch the last bit of light fade from the western sky.
Mariah dragged her chair around the fire pit next to Cassie. Sam had left a decent flame still going even though the evening was still warm from the day.
“You okay?” Cassie asked after a few minutes of silence.
“Yeah.” Mariah stirred, pulling her feet up onto the chair. “I’m still a bit overwhelmed by everything here.”
“I know how that is,” Cassie said. She’d known somewhere in her mind that there had to be others like them out in the world, but meeting Josh and Luke, and then Declan, still blew her mind.
“You think we’re safe here?” Mariah’s next question didn’t really surprise Cassie.
“So far. I talk to Abby every now and then to make sure she hasn’t picked up any new readings on anyone. And so far I haven’t gotten any weird vibes, as stupid as that sounds.”
“It doesn’t,” Mariah reassured her. “I’m glad you think it’s safe. I’m just…really tired of being scared.”
“Hey, what happened?” Cassie reached over to rub her shoulder comfortingly. Mariah gave her more details of her time at Amelli’s research center. When she was done, Cassie was about ready to punch someone. I’m such a mom, she thought. There was one other constant in the tale and that was Kyle. From what Mariah said, he wasn’t exactly the type of person Cassie had pegged him for. She didn’t know if that made her angry or relieved. But he’d saved Mariah a few times, so that meant that as much as she didn’t want to, she probably needed to give him a second chance.
What code names would you give everyone? 🙂