Riptide

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Chapter 27

I took a deep breath and asked Peter how the interview went. He shrugged and told me he got some of the information I needed, he didn’t look up from his school-issued laptop. I dug a little deeper, asking him what Riptide was like, how she talked, what he thought of her, and if she was everything he hoped she would be. “She was cool,” he said more quietly than usual as we were sitting in the library during the time we were given to study, read, research, and borrow books. “She spoke with a voice modulator so I couldn’t tell what she sounded like, she seemed kind’a nervous about something and she was a little rude,” he finished and glanced up from his work for the first time since we had arrived.

“How was she rude?”

“Well first, she jumped into the air and flew into the sky mid-conversation,” he said. “And second…” he couldn’t think of another reason. “Fine,” he said. “I may have been biased about my judgment simply because she doesn’t like you,” he laughed.

I smiled and could feel myself blushing uncontrollably. I looked down and focused on the research I was doing for debate, which seemed to be my most pressing class as everything else had suddenly become so simple. Chloe cleared her throat as I realized she was right behind me.

“How long have you been standing there?” I demanded.

“Not long,” she said. “Now scoot.” I glanced over at Peter, who sat a single chair apart from me. I sighed and grabbed my things to sit down beside him. I knew what she was doing but couldn’t give her the joy of knowing she was making me nervous. I ignored the jolt excitement I felt every time his knee bumped into mine.

I continued the conversation as it had gone before Chloe had arrived. “Did you take any notes?” I asked him, pretending not to know the answer. He nodded and dug around in his backpack quickly before removing the pieces of paper he had written on.

I took them from his hand, a sudden feeling of unexplained guilt as I read them. It was every question he asked me and my response, along with each subconscious body movement I made. He had made inferences on what I was thinking, the people I knew, even who I was. He asked himself simple questions about my appearance, asking himself if he knew anyone who may fit the appearance of Riptide. He wondered on paper if the blue hair was real or fake, he had theories on how my powers were given. I began to feel like I was using him and Chloe for my own personal gain, like I was some kind of double agent, using their trust in me to learn what they knew. The image of sabotaging their operations popped into my mind and I knew that if the time came, if I had to ruin their hard work protecting the secret of Riptide, I would.

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