Sean parked in an empty parking spot and joined Jade and Charlie in the back of the Sentinel’s black panel van. They had a good view of Catlyn’s apartment. The door slid shut and Sean blinked. All the gear and gadgets inside would make a police surveillance van weep with envy. Then the passenger captain’s seat swiveled around, and he swore.
“Granny Eileen, what are you doing here? This isn’t safe for you.”
His grandmother wore the same tight-fitting black cargo pants and long-sleeved shirt as the other Sentinels. She’d strapped a crystal dagger to one leg and a sword to the other. The numerous pockets of her pants bulged.
“Ach, Sean, my boy,” she said, “I’ve been fighting these nasties since before you were born. I can handle myself better than you can. You’re the untrained one here. If I had my way, you’d be the one not included in our little party. But Catlyn insists on having you here, so behave.”
Sean ducked his head. “Yes, Granny.”
The Sentinels had set up surveillance cameras inside Catlyn’s apartment. A split screen showed the living room and kitchen area on one side and her bedroom on the other.
His heart went out when Catlyn curled up on the couch, looking helpless and scared. He wished he could be with her. Eileen passed around mugs of coffee from a thermos carafe and the team settled in to wait. No one knew when Michael would show up.
Catlyn spent the first hours laying forlornly on her couch. He imagined her mentally shaking herself as she stood, then paced. Then she cleaned her home. She sorted her laundry, stuffed a large load of towels into a basket, and headed for the front door.
“No, no, no!” Jade slammed a fist on her thigh. “She’s supposed to stay inside. We don’t have any cameras outside of her apartment.”
“I’ll go watch her.” Charlie levered off his chair.
Sean put up a hand to stop him. “Michael has seen you with me. You’ll tip him off.” He glanced at the others sitting tensely in the van before his eyes fell on his Granny Eileen, then frowned. In her current getup, she looked like a commando, not a harmless grandmother.
“I’ll go.” Eileen twirled her seat around and rummaged on the floor. Then she stepped out of the van and slipped on a long, animal print raincoat. It covered her commando outfit, making her appear like an eccentric old lady. It worked until you noticed her hard eyes that were all business.
She hurried toward the laundry room. As she neared it, her strong steps slowed to a shuffle, and she leaned forward, immediately looking like a frail, harmless old woman. Her pace slow enough that before she reached the laundry room, Catlyn had come out and retreated up the stairs. As soon as she shut her door again, Eileen straightened up and strode back to the van.
“I didn’t see or sense anything.” Eileen slid the door shut. “It’s quiet out there, almost too quiet.”
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