Anne sat on the couch, looking up at David. He stood there, angry, looking down at her. Mud watched, body tense.
“The church,” he said, tilting his head towards the church next door.
Does he know about Ricky? she asked herself. He didn’t have anything to do with the church, did he?
She tried keeping her voice calm. “What about it?”
“You’ve got a friend there,” he said.
“I doubt that,” she said. “Me having a friend? A friend in a church, no less?” The humor helped calm her nerves a little, but the look in his eyes was still frightening. One minute, she’d been an ex-friend who could potentially regain his trust. Now?
She was the enemy.
Mud almost smiled at the joke, but didn’t.
“Before I invited you over, I did some digging,” David explained. “To make sure you’d stayed on the quirky side of ‘mad science’, as opposed to the ‘blows everything up’ side.”
Is that why Ricky came after me? Was it because David wanted information before he invited me over here?
“I don’t know what you found out,” she said, “but whatever it was, it couldn’t have involved a church.”
“No, but it involved your friend,” David said. “Danielle Stein, AKA Shade.”
“Danielle goes to temple,” Anne said.
“My thoughts exactly,” David said. “My concerns exactly. You see, Danielle goes to temple — my temple, in fact. I know what her car looks like. I remember the license plate. And one of my sources of intel on you indicates that you and her spend a lot of time together. Though I could’ve gathered that much, based on the times I’ve seen you two together, in passing.”
“What are you saying?” Anne said, cutting him off. “That Danielle’s car is out there right now?”
“Yes,” David said, “which seems odd, given that she’s Jewish. Doesn’t it? Or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe you positioned her so that when you set off some trap in here, she could come in and help you take advantage of the chaos. Maybe you even thought–”
Mud sighed, drawing David and Anne’s attention.
“Hey, dumbass,” she said. “You see how many cars are out there, don’t you?”
“Yeah,” David said. “What does that–”
“There’s a wedding going on,” she said. “The girl probably got invited to a wedding.”
David took in a deep breath of air, finger still raised as if he had a suitable response.
He lowered the finger a little bit, let out most of the air.
“Point,” he said, pointing meekly at Mud. “You have a point.”