Last time I left you with Icarus heading into a meeting. But, just what was exposed during that meeting? What decisions might have been made? Well, this scene picks up just after that meeting.
Icarus’ hands were shaking even as he pushed his chair back from the table. He’d barely been able to get through closing the meeting. Not after Arrow had given his report. Thank goodness that had waited until nearly the end. He may have left in the middle of everything to find Cassie and wrap her up somewhere safe.
He looked over and saw Trace approaching him. His face was about as bone white as Icarus’ felt. It had been a long time since he’d felt this much fear. “Trace, I know you’re worried-”
“Don’t try to put me at ease, Dad. I can see it in your eyes, too. He’s going to come after us, isn’t he?”
“We can’t know that.” His son looked him straight in the eye, though, as if he didn’t believe him. Damn, he’d certainly changed in less than a year. Back then, he probably wouldn’t have made that eye contact, and if he had he would have dropped it instantly, afraid of retaliation. Not so anymore. Icarus wasn’t sure anything could make him prouder. And it made him admit, “But, yeah, he probably will.”
Icarus hadn’t thought Trace’s face could go any paler, but he proved him wrong once again. “Don’t let him get Mom. Whatever you do, don’t-”
“Stop, Trace,” Icarus said, even the thought sending a sharp blade right through his chest. “You have to know the last thing I’d do was let any harm ever come to your mother again.”
Trace didn’t say a word, though, as he headed out into the hallway. Icarus understood. Sometimes there were some promises it was completely impossible to keep.
Out in the hallway, he saw Birdie waiting. Trace went right to her, laying his forehead against hers. Icarus wasn’t worried about what Trace would tell her, he knew the rules of the club. None of their business got spread outside the four walls of the meeting room. And non-members weren’t allowed inside those walls. Except in certain circumstances. And even though Birdie would always be part of the club as his legal daughter, she wasn’t in the club.
Still, this was something she should know if she was going to remain safe. Cassie and Trace weren’t the only ones that man had hurt.
“Birdie,” Icarus said, trying to keep his voice level and calm. “How about you two come inside. We should discuss something.”
Birdie looked concerned, and he wondered how much she knew already. None of the men would discuss this outside the meeting room, but depending on how long she’d been standing there, she might have picked up on some of it. The door to the room was nearly soundproof, so it was unlikely she’d overheard anything without her ear pressed to the door, and she knew better. But the men might have murmured as they left, if they hadn’t realized she was there yet.
And she had always been good at picking up undercurrents. She had to know something was going on, even if she didn’t know exactly what it was. And he didn’t want her worrying needlessly.
Not that this would be needless worry.
This wasn’t the first time Birdie had been in the meeting room, though it was a rare occurrence. The last time had been because her personal business became club business. This time her safety was club business, and that was something Icarus would never take lightly.
“What’s going on?” she asked as soon as Trace closed the door behind them. “It’s not Brad again, is it? Did the Crows go after him again? I know you said we have a truce with them now, but that doesn’t include Brad, does it?”
Knowing the way Brad had used Birdie for his own agenda, a part of Icarus wouldn’t mind sending him to the Crows as a sacrifice. But, he knew it wouldn’t be right.
“This doesn’t have anything to do with the Ivory Crows or Brad,” Icarus told her.
“It’s my stepdad,” Trace said, moving closer to Birdie. “He may be stirring up trouble again.”
That took most of the color out of her face. “What do you mean, may be?”
Icarus quickly told her what Arrow had overheard. That Henry Kearns was back on the force after more than six months of medical leave. That there were rumors he was opening an investigation on the Riders of Justice. “I don’t want you to be scared,” Icarus said. “This might not turn into anything. Just please be careful if you two go out there. I don’t want to know what he might do if he finds the two of you alone.”
“I won’t let him hurt her,” Trace insisted. “That’s the last thing I’d ever let happen.”
“I know,” Icarus said. And he did. But, there were certain things you couldn’t plan for. “Go on now. When we find out more, we’ll know just how to handle this. For now, all we can do is wait and see.”
But, he’d known there was a possibility this could happen. And he’d be prepared when the worst came down.
What is Henry up to? Is he going to come after them? Will they be able to prepare for whatever he has in mind?