“Yeah,” Gene said. “I really thought this was going to work.”
“He wasn’t gone long, though,” Tegan said. “If he did need to talk to Mr. Lorentz about the gym, you’d think it would have taken longer.”
“Huh,” Nick said. “Then he probably didn’t talk to Mr. Lorentz. I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t think anyone can stop Deacon. We sure can’t.” Nick walked away, scoffing under his breath.
“Sure we can,” Tegan said, but Jeanne knew she was lying; she was pretty sure Gene knew it, too. “It’s just… we need to try again, when we get a chance next time.” She, too, walked away.
Gene turned to his sister, who was facing him. “Something went way wrong in there, and Deacon knows it,” he said, flatly.
“Who said we weren’t supposed to peek?” Jeanne said, scowling.
“You know we can if it’s really important,” Gene said. “I think our note did work. Just not exactly how we hoped…”
The kids were cooperative the next morning; Phillip hadn’t filled them in on everything that was going on, but he had relayed Daniel’s message. It met with great excitement at the time, though he would have thought himself a fool if he believed they weren’t aware of something else going on under the surface. The night had passed without incident, and when they left for school, Phillip was out of the house shortly thereafter, hoping to catch an early bus to get to the Old Fortress.