The Dryad Ch. 03

bymadam_noe©

"He is alive, and whatever that was he's after it. I know where to go."

"Master Bloodless was after a crystal. He was going to sell it to Nighthawk in Europe, a supervillain who actually wanted to rule the world. He had some crazy ray but he's dead too, Metro Man saw to that."

"Okay so what's to stop Master Bloodless from getting a hold of that ray and using it himself?"

"If he were alive he was a jewel thief. If he was burglarizing the homes along the Gold Coast I'd know by now. Just because you've decided to bring back an oldie doesn't mean Bloodless is out there."

She'd hurt him somehow, and she wasn't sure how to fix it. "What can I do to convince you?"

"Tell me why you showed up. Tell me why you revived Dryad. Why?"

"I have the same powers. It only made sense."

"No." he stepped closer to her. "No, that's the same damn suit, I can smell it. You fly like her, do everything she could do. Why now?"

Then it sank in. "Super senses. Super smell."

His eyes narrowed. "Yes?"

She touched her mask and the saplings let go. "So you know." The mask came off and she found herself exposed, watching him.

"Yes, Raven, I've known from the first night when Gryphon chased you off."

Her heart was beating faster and faster and finally the temper went. "You knew? You knew and you let me think you were two people and I was some sort of super slut?"

She hauled off to punch him again but he caught her. "Hell, Raven, wait until you get used to it. If I were normal you would have fractured my damn skull. When you get it under control we'll have to duke it out."

"I'm not a damn supervillain you idiot. I didn't want to do this. I got blackmailed into it, either I robbed your damn safe and that box, or my identity was sent to every TV station in town."

Something dark flitted into his eyes, those strange green eyes, and he held her tighter. "Who? Who would do that?"

"My damned father!"

"I'll kill him," he said without thinking, and now it was she who gripped him. "There's something else you have to know. It's Master Bloodless, he-"

"He's dead, Raven! Master Bloodless is dead!"

"I heard his damn voice, the same voice I heard when I fought him as a kid, and it was the same voice my father used to blackmail me."

***

He'd known, he'd always known. A part of her was thrilled that boring old Raven had meant something to him, but another part was just as angry that he'd kept it all to himself.

It was strange but when he'd slipped the mask back on, and she had done the same, it made it easier to talk. He could be Gryphon and she could be Dryad, and there was nothing too complicated in that.

It had taken her all night to convince him that Master Bloodless was her father, and she knew that was because she hadn't trusted him.

She ached to reassure him but the damage was done.

"He won't move in the day," James said. "Bloodless needs the cover of night so we have time. Tell me how you know where he will be."

She sat on the bed and smoothed her hair back. "The blank piece of paper you took off my aunt? It wasn't blank."

He rubbed his temples still in Gryphon form and it was disconcerting to think of him as James. "Then what was it?"

"It was a map, written in tree sap. The only two people who could read it are my aunt or I."

"Your father can't?"

She shook her head. "Not if his life depended on it."

"Did you see where it lead?"

"No, I didn't get the chance. But that's how I know where he'll be."

He visibly paled and his fist clenched. "He'll come for you."

"And when he does you're going to follow us to where we land."

"And why would I do that?"

It was her turn to rub her temples. "Because he's a supervillain. Whatever that map leads to he killed his own sister to get, tried to kill you, faked his own death for ten years, and blackmailed his daughter to find. It's important, but more than that you have to follow us."

"Why?"

"You have to kill him, you're the only one who can."

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