Chapter Twenty-Five: Charisa
I watch Tim- George- disappear into the hallway. Then I whisper, “Not again. First Faith; now Tim. And my dad is already who-knows-where...”
Kyle shuts our bedroom door and then joins me on the floor. “You’ve got me.”
Not looking away from the door despite not having x-ray vision, I sigh deeply. “Small comfort.”
“Ouch.” He puts a hand over his heart to pretend to be wounded. Then his face softens. “You should go back to sleep. We have a long day ahead of us, and we need an alibi in case someone notices we don’t have a chaperon anymore for when we do find your dad.”
Sighing, I turn away from both the door and Kyle. “I don’t think I can go to sleep. Everything’s just so wrong right now.”
“True. That seems to happen a lot to me. Like last year, right before the Greene Takeover.”
Frowning, I turn back to him. “What about it? There was a lot wrong then.”
“Yeah; but things were especially wrong the night we found out the twins had superpowers. Your dad had to go shopping that night- which is wrong in and of itself- and I went into the bank to meet the twins.”
I nod, remembering. “And I followed.”
Kyle nods again, stifling a yawn. “And then you got yourself so worked up that you fainted-”
“Fine, you swooned. Anyway, I had to carry you back to your house and I got there just as your dad was returning….” He shudders. “Never again.”
“But, hey, I’m still alive!” Kyle throws his arms dramatically into the air. “And it’s up to you to keep it that way.”
I raise an eyebrow. “And how would I go about doing that?”
“Get some sleep or else you’ll end up swooning from exhaustion. And with my luck, you’re dad will show up just then….”
“Hmm, maybe I should stay up.”
“Oh, have a heart!”
“Fine.” Pulling myself together, I climb back into my bed. “Night.”
“Night,” he answers, moving from his old spot on the chair to Tim’s old bed.
“You wanted him to leave, didn’t you?”
“You got me.”
Surprisingly, I find myself smiling. Even more surprisingly, I find myself falling asleep.
I look around my nation’s capital and shake my head. “Why didn’t we just run here last time we had to get here? It’s so much faster by legs than by car.”
“Not to mention harder,” Kyle gasps, smoothing down dark hair drenched in sweat. “You have no idea how difficult it is when going at that speed for that distance.”
“Sure I do- I just did it. Stop being a baby.”
He wags his finger at me. “No, you didn’t. You had the easy job of holding onto my me and thinking how good I look when I’m being awesome.”
I roll my eyes. “That’s a harder job than you’d think.”
Kyle shakes his head at me like there’s something wrong with me. “Come on; the place we need to get to is this way.”
I follow him to the edge of the city where we find a massive electric fence surrounding a massive house with a yard that, among other amenities, contains an airstrip.
Kyle whistles. “Nice pad.” Then he jumps over the electric fence. Thankfully, he lands on the other side un-krisped.
Which means it’s my turn.
My throat goes dry. I’ve never been particularly fond of heights, but I’ve recently found a great distaste for electrocution. And this lovely fence boasts both features.
“Don’t worry!” Kyle calls. “I’ll catch you.”
“Is that supposed to be reassuring?” I call back, trying to hide my nervousness behind bravado.
“You bet it is!”
I lick my lips and back up. Then I run, jump, and soar over the fence. And land in Kyle’s arms.
He grins. “Told you I would catch you.”
“Oh, put me down, you buffoon.”
Kyle obeys. “The endearments you come up with.”
“Just be glad you were unconscious the last time I called you any ‘endearments.’”I smooth down my outfit.
He sighs. “Sadly, unconsciousness does not impair my super hearing.”
I stop adjusting my clothes and whirl around to face him. “Wait; you heard me and still didn’t help?!”
“I was unconscious.”
I scowl. “Oh, yeah- you swooned.”
Kyle opens his mouth for a moment, and then closes it again before opening it once more. “Our ride would be this way.”
I roll my eyes and follow him to a small hangar (if a hangar could be called small) next to the airfield. Kyle uses his trusty lock-picking kit to unlock the door. Then he gallantly opens the door form me. What we find on the other side is exactly one small jet, but no people. Kyle and I quickly slip into the jet.
“And now we wait,” Kyle announces, dropping into a seat.
And so, of course, I pace.
I stop pacing just as Kyle, who had been napping, jerks awake.
“Someone’s coming,” I whisper.
“And in the middle of a very good dream too,” Kyle says. “You were in it.” He looks past me to a couple of empty seats. “And you. And you.”
I roll my eyes. “What do we do, Dorothy?”
He points to the restroom.
I narrow my eyes at him.
“Hey, do you want to go to England to help your friend and bring down Jin Yin or not?”
Five seconds later, Kyle and I are locked into a very small airplane lavatory.
Nothing happens for a long while, and thanks to my now smaller and more crowded surroundings, it’s a lot harder to pace.
“This taking forever,” I moan.
Suddenly, the ground jerks, and I fall backwards, into Kyle, who falls backwards, into the wall.
“I take it back!” I cry, but it’s too late.
I grab onto the sink and hold tight. Kyle grabs me and the sink.
I never thought I’d be glad to be in the air before, but I can’t help the relief that I breathe out to be over the take-off.
Kyle straightens up and runs a hand through his already tousled hair. “So that’s off without wearing a seat belt.”
I shudder. “Never again.”
Suddenly, someone knocks on the bathroom door.
Kyle and I both pale, but neither of us move to inform the intruder that the bathroom is occupied.
The person knocks again. “I know someone’s in there,” a man says. “Nothing happens in my plane without my knowing it.”
Kyle and I share a Look.
“It’s a long trip and you’ll be more comfortable out here,” the stranger adds. “Especially during the landing.”
I suck in my breath and unlock the door. Then I raise my fist and open the door. I’m not going to ride unrestrained during the landing, no matter how many gentlemen I’ll have to knock out to do it.
Before I can deliver the punch, however, my eyes lock on a pair of sharp gray eyes in the handsome face of a tall, buff teenage boy with brown hair.
“Uh… hi.” Oh, heavens, I better not be blushing.
“Welcome aboard,” the boy greets, raising his eyebrows as he looks between Kyle and me. “Both of you.”
Kyle casually walks past him. “Do you by any chance have any peanuts?” He plops back down on his napping chair. “Because I get cravings when I fly.”
“Sure,” the boy answers. “I get cravings too. Have a seat.” He walks away.
I step out of the bathroom cautiously and glance around. However, the boy is the only other person around as far as I can see. I force my gaze back away from him.
“By the way, Chrissie,” Kyle mutters under his breath. “He’s not the hottest guy on the plane. You seem to have forgotten that.”
I glare at him and move to a different aisle than Kyle’s.
Kyle seems flabbergasted by that, and his eyes widen. “You just sat on You!”
The boy gives Kyle a weird look as he grabs several bags of peanuts from a box and then doubles back to us.
“Here you go.” He hands us each a bag, smiling at both of us. “So, who are you anyway?”
“It depends.” Kyle opens his bag of peanuts. “Who are you?”
“You don’t know?” the boy asks, looking surprised. Then he smiles. “Then let’s keep it that way.”
“My friend and I don’t like having unnamed people in our friend rosters.” Kyle looks up from his peanuts with a serious expression that I know means he’s about to be even more ridiculous. “So you won’t mind if we call you Rylie, will you?”
I choke down a giggle.
The boy- now Rylie- raises his eyebrows again. “Okay then. What do I call you guys?”
Kyle shrugs. “You can name us too.”
Rylie shrugs. “How about Thing One and Thing Two?”
I grimace- bad memories. “Anything else, please.”
“Okay- Jack and Jill.”
Kyle nods and tosses a peanut up and down before catching it. “Only if I’m Jill.”
Rylie raises his eyebrows once more. “Okay then, Jill; why were you and Jack here hiding in my bathroom?”
“I’m afraid that’s classified.”
Unfazed, Rylie continues. “And where would you be trying to go?”
“You know, I could help you.”
“We’re good.” Kyle puts his bag down before leaning back in his chair and closes his eyes.
I frown. “We’ve only been there once, Jill.”
Kyle peeks one eye open at me. “How many times do you think I’ve been to those cities we were dashing through?”
“This is a whole different continent.” I turn to Rylie. “Could you maybe get us to Oxford?”
“I could. Though…”
Both Kyle’s eyes are open now, and focused the boy. “Though what?”
“Nothing. I better go pilot the plane.”
“Wait.” My whole body tenses up. “You’re the pilot?”
Rylie nods. “I’m just trying to visit my grandma.”
Kyle whistles. “If the ocean is the river, than I hate to see what the woods you have to go through are.”
Rylie shrugs. “Well, make yourselves comfortable.” He disappears into the cockpit.
I turn to Kyle. “What now?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” He leans back in his chair and reaches his hand back into his bag of peanuts. “We make ourselves comfortable. Then we save the world one damsel in distress at a time.”
I toss my bag of peanuts at him and get him on the head.