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A Bad Idea 129

It was the strangest thing.

Louis had just been thinking of Galactic Man. Something stupid had prompted the memories: The Vanisher, shilling some gold on TV.

The Vanisher had been one of Galactic Man’s old enemies, one of the pranksters, a one-off villain with a bad name. She’d tried stealing gold from some bank. It’d only taken Galactic Man minutes to find her and take her down.

So The Vanisher wound up serving time. Got out for good behavior, and found a new job. She sold a ton of stuff on TV these days, but gold was what she was known for. “Now I don’t have to steal it!” was the slogan used in the commercials.

Funny, strange stuff.

While Galactic Man had been off doing that, Louis had been waiting for him. Some drug-addled psycho-villain shot at him. Actually got on bullet off.

Louis still had the scar. Some days, he wondered what would’ve happened had The Vanisher robbed the bank later. Would Louis even remember that day?

And what if The Vanisher had been a bigger threat? What if Galactic Man had never shown up to save the day?

He’d been wondering about all of that, when the bureau had whisked him away.

Matt was probably so upset, sitting in the waiting room, waiting for Louis to come out.

But there was nothing to be done about that. He sat in Jennifer’s office, hands in lap.

“It’s for his good as well as everyone else’s,” Jennifer said.

“You want me to lie to him?” Louis asked.

“Distract him until we can get his son under control,” Jennifer said. “We have to make sure the situation is stable. You know how people can get when their loved ones are in danger.”

Louis thought of Matthew, sitting in the waiting room, so nervous for his lover to come out. Louis clasped his hands together, trying not to show how afraid he was.

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