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Giving me a sideways glance, Isaiah scoffed. “Who has you on that optimistic bullshit?”

“It’s not bullshit,” I laughed. “It’s just… there are decent people in the world. And they can make a difference. They’retryingto make a difference.”

“So that’s who you’ve been hanging out with? SomeJustice Leaguemotherfuckers?”

“Not… exactly. They’re… us. Or used to be, rather.”

“Thorns and Roses?”

I nodded. “Yeah. And they’re trying to help people.”

“That’s what you’re on now then?” he asked, meeting my eyes. “It would be a good look for you, I think. You always were soft.”

“Oh fuck you,” I laughed, then shook my head. “And… I don’t know yet. Maybe?”

“I think youdoknow,” he said, nudging my shoulder again. “I saw you laughing with ol’ boy, coming out of the hotel – dancing with him at the gala, too.”

My eyes went wide. “So youdidsee me there. And said nothing.”

“I was on a job,” he shrugged. “And… my mind was blown, also,” he said. “I hadn’t seen your ass in years, didn’t know what had happened to you, and then… there you were. Would’ve thought I was seeing things if ol’ boy wasn’t grinning in your face so damn hard.”

I laughed. “I take it you wanna talk about Wilder?”

“Starting with what kinda name is that?”

“Stop it,” I giggled. “He’s… cool.”

“Got it. So y’all are fucking then.”

“Wow, that is quite a leap!”

He scoffed. “So y’all aren’t?”

“We… are,” I admitted, shaking my head as that know-it-all smirk came back to his face.

“I know what I’m talking about, you can’t get it past me. He’s a thorn. And the light-skinned baddie – her too, right?”

I nodded. “Alicia. She left a long time ago, though. Became a bodyguard, turned that into a whole business…and took down the damnGarden. We almost died because of her.”

Isaiah shrugged. “Yeah. But we’re also free because of her.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Oh. I’m glad you can see it like that… since she wants to talk to you.”

“I’m not looking for a job.”

“Neither was I. And yet…”

“You’re on yourcaptain-save-a-hoeshit. I noticed,” he laughed.

And I… laughed too, because that framing was actually pretty accurate, for what my relationship with May had ended up becoming.

“So what should I tell her then?” I asked him. “That you’ll come in when you’re ready?”

“That I’mnotcoming in. I’m not interested.”

“So you’re just gonna sell your services to whoever can pay for the rest of your life?”

He turned his empty glass on the glossy bar top. “Maybe not therestof my life. Just until I get tired of it.”