I have to admit—and I’m only going to do it here because it’s unlikely that April will ever know about this—that I still had a few doubts about her. Yes, I was that insecure. It seemed to simple, too easy—and I know that I certainly wanted to believe that it was all like she said.
However, we’ve discussed that I’m my own worst enemy. My mind wouldn’t let go of my doubts.
I did my best to pretend that I didn’t have them, though. I just went through the motions like I was completely convinced that all of this was going to work.
“I still don’t like this. I wish we could do something besides offer you up as bait,” April said, adjusting Clayton’s collar. She kept messing with his clothes or his hair, though it had nothing to do with his appearance, really. She just wanted to touch him, and he figured she was also checking all the spots that Larabee had supposedly added tracking devices. Clay should have enough of them in his clothes—and possibly other places that he did not want to think about—that there was no way they’d all fail or get deactivated.
Somehow, though, it still wasn’t much of a comfort.
“I know, April, and I do, too, but I just don’t see any other way of doing this,” Clay began, and she nodded grimly. They were almost back where they’d been before he almost died, and none of them liked it. They were even going after the same people—sort of. This time Clay knew who he was facing and why, but it wasn’t much.
“It needs to end,” she agreed. “No more conspiracy, no more living in fear of Kilbourne and what he might have done to you or wants to do to you.”
“I should make a costume based on the statue of liberty,” Larabee said, and they both looked over at him. He shrugged. “What? I haven’t done that yet.”
“If you do, never, ever wear it,” Clayton almost begged. He didn’t need to see that. He didn’t want to see that. He didn’t think he could survive seeing that. “April, when all this is done, we should get you another class to make costumes for so that Larabee can put his… er, talent to a good use.”
She smiled at him. “I wish it was as simple as going in and demanding a class to teach.”
“Well, the suit does kind of owe us. As long as he’s not stealing someone else’s job, he should find one for you, at least,” Clayton said, looking over the other car. It was trying to hide in the back of the lot, but it didn’t matter. They all knew it was there, watching them. Well, okay, not the car itself, but the men in it. And there were others around, too. “Are we ready, April?”
She reached for his hand, squeezing it before she got out of the van. “We haven’t had a gummy bear sundae in a very long time. This is overdue.”
“Well, you couldn’t eat them for a while,” Clay reminded her as he shut the van door behind him.
“I know,” she said, almost shuddering. She wrapped her arm in his, leaning her head against him as they walked into the diner. They hadn’t been here in what seemed like forever, but this was a place that even the members of the conspiracy had to know belonged to them. Their special place. “Maybe we should move after this.”
“You can’t move!” Larabee objected in Clay’s ear, and he winced.
“Larabee, a little quieter, please,” Clay hissed as April opened the door for them. She had a radio, too, and they’d even put trackers on her just in case. They should only be at the diner to let Kilbourne and his people know that Clayton was alive, but anything could happen, and they were trying to prepare for that as well. “It was just a thought.”
“It might be nice, though we have a lot here, too.”
The kid behind the counter recognized them. “One chili burger with fries, a milkshake, and a sundae with gummy bears, right?”
“That’s us,” April agreed, nudging Clay. He took out his wallet and paid the kid. He’d know where to find them, too, when the food was ready. She reached for Clay’s hand again, leading him back to their booth. “How long do you think we’ll have to wait?”
“Well, I’d like to eat my sundae…”