Eduard chokes on his sandwich.
Quill has a son?
“You all right there, Eddie?” Harlem asks as he slaps Eduard on the back to dislodge the piece of bread stuck between the walls of his throat.
Eddie? Eduard thinks to himself as he nods. What kind of name is Eddie? He doesn’t like that nickname or whatever Harlem just gave him. He finds it annoying, actually.
Julie and Harlem laugh as they rip another bite off of their food. Eduard sneaks a glance at Harlem’s ID to see if he’s wearing it already, and sure enough, he is. Harlem Henson.
Eduard feels a prick of fear in the back of his mind. This boy is powerful… powerful enough to get him killed.
“It’s time for me to go,” Eduard mumbles and begins to stand up.
“What? You haven’t even finished eating,” Harlem says with a chuckle.
Eduard shrugs. “I’m full.”
Harlem sighs heavily and looks at Julie. “Is it because I’m Quill’s son?”
Eduard hesitates, not knowing whether to tell the truth or to lie to him. He chooses the truth.
“Yeah,” Eduard says, picking up his sandwich. “I’d rather not die today…”
He begins turns around and throws the sandwich away in the trashcan. As he turns around, he bumps into Julie and Harlem again. They seem to fidget nervously as they look around. Eduard feels confusion tugging at his brain.
“Can we talk to you outside? Where there aren’t any people?” Julie asks quietly. Eduard almost has to ask her to repeat herself, but he understood her.
He nods slowly and walks out the door, the bells announcing their leaving. The boy behind the counter calls out a goodbye as the door swings shut behind them.
“You said you started the Maskless?” Harlem whispers.
“I don’t think I should tell you any more,” Eduard says, stuffing his hands in his pockets.
“No, you don’t understand,” Julie says a little louder than Harlem. “Harlem…”
“I’m not here to get you in trouble or anything, Eddie,” he says, and Eduard starts getting annoyed by the shortened version of his name. “I’m here to join.”
“What?” Eduard asks, taken aback, and his heart racing. “What do you mean, ‘join’? They want to kill all of the Maskless, you know. Your father does.”
“Yeah, I know.” Harlem says, clenching his fists. He bounces three times on the balls of his feet before speaking again. “Listen. If you knew my story… if you knew what I’ve been through… You’d understand. You would join too.”
“Why?” Eduard asks, feeling as if there’s more to what Harlem is just saying. Whatever drove him to rebel against his father must have been something big.
And as if to confirm Eduard’s thoughts, Harlem speaks again.
“Trust me, you want me on your team. No one wants to bring my father down than me.”