Frowning, I returned from my upstairs scouting mission to where I’d left Maryanne in the dim, chilly vestibule of the frat house.
“Well?” she asked impatiently, raising her voice to be heard over the rock ‘n roll music. “Can we go in to the party now?”
I pulled her back outside into a quieter space. “It’s worse than I feared,” I said in a gloomy voice.
She sighed. “Angel, it’s a Halloween party.”
“It’s a security nightmare.”
She crossed her arms under her black cape, showing a flash of red lining. “What, specifically, is the problem?”
“It’s loud, crowded, and full of masked people I can't identify.” I ticked off the points. “If you screamed, no one would be able to hear you over the music. The crowd will make it very easy for us to become separated and will impede me if I need to move fast. But the masks are the worst: a dozen criminals could be lurking among the partygoers, their faces and age disguised.”
“It’s a Halloween party!” She gritted her teeth, which looked weird with fangs.
I waited hopefully to see if she’d stomp her feet. Better yet, I wanted to see if I could get her to take a stand and overrule me. Maryanne sometimes seemed to forget I was her employee as well as her friend.
“I have an idea,” I said brightly. “Let’s go back to our dorm room instead and watch TV, eat some popcorn, maybe paint our toenails.”
There was the foot stomp, a little weak because of the high heels she was wearing, but not bad.
“Maybe Ed Sullivan is on,” I continued. “He’s so dreamy.”
Her blood-red mouth fell open as she realized I was messing with her. “I’m going to get you later.” She marched past me.
I intercepted her and slipped inside first. Bodyguarding 101: always go through doors before the client. I took my job seriously and, all kidding aside, the party was not ideal from a security standpoint.
I jogged up the stairs and stood just inside the second floor party area, doing another scan.
Paper skeletons dangled in corners, and orange and black crepe paper streamers swooped across the walls. Jack o' lanterns flickered on the refreshment table. Great for couples wanting to make out, not so good for bodyguards.
My nerves tightened to alertness. If I were a kidnapper, looking to make a cool twenty million by ransoming media mogul Kenneth Jones's daughter, I’d do the grab tonight.
Maryanne poked me in the back. “Move,” she whispered. “No one knows who I am, remember?”
I could’ve told her that both I and the Historical Immersion security knew her true identity, and that there were always leaks, but I took a deep breath and swallowed the words. Nothing bad was going to happen—because I wouldn’t let it.
Maryanne mistook the determination on my face for something else. “You’re not mad, are you?” she asked, tentatively touching my shoulder. “About the costume I mean?”
“Nah. I’ve always wanted to be green.”
Finding a Halloween outfit that met both my criteria and Maryanne's had been a major pain. As her undercover bodyguard, I required clothing I could run in. No tight skirts or swirly capes or high heels. No bulky padding, no plastic masks with tiny holes that would restrict my vision or ability to breathe.
I’d wanted to go as a volleyball player, but Maryanne had shot down my suggestion—and numerous others.
Maryanne's requirement was that the Halloween costume had to make me look ugly--the same as my day-to-day clothes did. She'd been quite upfront about it when she hired me. "No offense, Angel, but I spent enough time standing in your shadow in high school. Besides, you already have Mike, don't you?"
Since she was the client—my first real client--I'd dressed to please her. So while Maryanne had been running around the Historical Immersion as a cute 1960s-era co-ed complete with mini-skirts and peasant blouses, I’d been stuck wearing hideous ruffled pink gingham things and a vintage beehive hairdo as “Frumpy Angela”.
Maryanne fussed with her own hair. "Do I look okay?”
"Better than okay,” I told her. She was dressed as a vampire, complete with slinky black evening dress and fangs she’d commissioned from the town dentist—fake ones being not yet available on the 1963 market.
She nervously tucked a curl behind her ear. “Do you think Jordan will like it?”
“A sexy vampire in a killer dress? All the guys will be drooling, not just Jordan,” I said. I wasn’t lying. She looked fine, she just needed confidence. I'd decided that boosting it was part of my job description.
When I'd known Maryanne back in the 1980s, she’d been slightly nervous. Not a risk taker, but she'd been reasonably confident of her attractiveness. From her dad’s hints, I surmised she'd been burned a couple times since then, pursued by guys who were only interested in her father’s money or influence. At any rate, she seemed determined to 'find somebody' who liked her without knowing who her father was during her Historical Immersion tour.
I found it a little sad that the closest she could come to a normal life was hiding out in Historical Immersions, which, despite their educational slogan: ‘don’t just study the past, live it’, were more rich people vacation spots than anything else. And that her closest friend doubled as her bodyguard.
She deserved to have a great time on Halloween, so when she found Jordan and began flirting with him, I hung back against the wall.
Scanning the room, I saw four other vampires swishing around. Great. I would have to keep a tight lock on Maryanne or risk mistaking her for another black-wigged black-caped bloodsucker.
I was already jumpy when a boy came up behind Maryanne and reached into his pocket. I almost clocked him before I recognized Brad, one of Jordan’s friends, and saw that his ‘weapon’ was a putty and pipe-cleaner spider.
He dropped it Maryanne's bare shoulder. She shrieked, which was, of course, what Brad wanted. Brad had come in his football uniform. How lame.
"Let me." Jordan ‘helpfully’ brushed the spider off her shoulder and onto the front of her dress, almost in her cleavage.
"Yum.” I plucked the spider off Maryanne.
"Thanks, Angela.” Maryanne shuddered.
Brad recoiled. “Angela?” He smiled uneasily while edging away. Last week, for fun, Maryanne had told him Frumpy Angela had a crush on him. He’d been avoiding me ever since. “Uh, great costume.”
I’d taken Maryanne’s ugly requirement to extremes and come dressed up as Frankenstein's monster. I'd foregone a mask and painted my face green with theater makeup, dyed my hair temporarily black and slicked it back. A few artistic scars crawled across my forehead and cheeks.
The choice of costume was a joke, one Mike would have shared if he'd been there.
"Tasty spider," I said, and popped it in my mouth.
Brad brayed a surprised laugh.
Ow. The pipe cleaners were jabbing my gums. "Find more bugs. Pretty lady want blood?" I asked Maryanne through clenched teeth.
"Yes, thanks," Maryanne said absentmindedly to me while she leaned towards Jordan. "So now I know why you've been growing a mustache." He wore a black vest over a white silk shirt and a red bandanna over his sun-streaked brown hair--a pirate with a plastic sword and a too-pretty face.
I stuck my arms out in front of me and lurched off toward the refreshment table. After spitting the spider into a trash can, I poured Maryanne a glass of tomato juice and grabbed myself a handful of "eyes" to munch. The peeled grapes were by far the healthiest food there.
Around me people discussed Martin Luther King Jr. and the September bombing of a Baptist church in Birmingham. To keep things interesting, the Historical Immersion project overseers had randomly assigned people different sides of issues of the day. I had gotten both pro-civil rights and pro-Viet Nam.
As always, I kept a weather eye on Maryanne. I needed to stay reasonably close to her, in the guise of a nerdy friend, without alerting possible kidnappers that I was her bodyguard. If they knew about me, their plan would include me.
As one of the violet-eyed—a genetically engineered subspecies--I was smarter and more fit than most people, but a Knockout patch could take me down just as quick.
Before I could deliver the tomato juice, Jordan led Maryanne onto the dance floor. Another Beatles tune, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” spun on the record player.
I winced to see Maryanne’s hopeful smile. She was halfway in love with Jordan already.
I wasn't as keen on him. Kenneth Jones had mailed me background checks on everyone in Maryanne’s classes and dorm—Jordan was in Poli. Sci. and Brad was technically in English Lit. although he seldom attended.
I’d looked hard, but hadn’t discovered any red flags in Jordan’s file. His parents owned a chain of popular restaurants and were wealthy enough to indulge their only son with the gift of a few months in a Historical Immersion. He had no criminal record or known drug habits. I didn’t really think he was a kidnapper, but I suspected he knew exactly who Maryanne’s true father was.
With Maryanne, he was all flirtatious smiles, but I’d caught an avaricious sneer on his face when she wasn’t looking. Plus, he was unkind to Frumpy Angela, supposedly Maryanne's best friend. A smart man didn't diss a girl's best friend. Mike would have--
Maybe my true problem with Jordan was that I was missing Mike. I tried to remember where on the road Mike would be this week. Denver, maybe?
I wondered if he was missing me, too.
Worse than playing a nerd was being away from Mike for so long. Not only did I have to stay near Maryanne 24/7 but Immersion meant immersion. We weren't even allowed phone calls to people in the real world, though Maryanne’s dad, Kenneth Jones, regularly sent packages by mail.
I'd tried to persuade Mike to come with me, even offered to put him on the payroll of my fledgling security company as a second bodyguard, but he'd said no.
His current get-rich scheme was to play pro sports. Mike was super-athletic, but since he was competing against Augmented players, he wasn't quite the shoo-in he would be otherwise. He was playing first base for the Trentham Tigers. With both spring and fall seasons under the new college baseball rules, it amounted to quite a few away games, which I found the pits. When Maryanne's dad had contacted me about the Immersion job, I'd accepted in part because I was tired of Mike being the one gone. But this was definitely worse. No more Immersion jobs, I swore.
Maryanne planned to stay in the Immersion another twenty-two days--until John F. Kennedy’s assassination. By then her father would have unveiled his latest ‘mega-project’ and the media frenzy surrounding him would have died down enough that Maryanne could have a life again. I could last that long. But I missed Mike.
What I wouldn’t give just to hear his voice, the way he made my name ‘Angel’ an endearment.
After clearing the lump in my throat and automatically looked for Maryanne again. Still starry-eyed. Jordan, I noted, was of the walking-to-music school of dancing.
Tuning out an argument about whether U.S. troops had any business in Viet Nam, I scanned the other dancers and looked directly into a pair of violet eyes.
The eyes belonged to a plump-cheeked Cleopatra in a black wig with a wide gold collar and a purple dress. She stared boldly at me for a moment, then turned casually away, laughing at a she-devil’s joke.
Alarms clanged in my brain. What was another violet-eyed person doing here? Calm down. It doesn't mean anything that Cleopatra has violet eyes. In the year 2099 everyone colour matches their eyes to what they’re wearing.
I, for instance, was wearing brown contact lenses, as I had for all three weeks I'd been Maryanne's bodyguard--
Because we were in a Historical Immersion, at a time when regular contacts were just coming into common use and coloured contacts were unheard of. I’d had to smuggle in the brown ones along with my Knockout patches.
I stared hard at Cleopatra. Probably she'd just cheated, figuring no one would notice on Halloween. Still, she made me uneasy. I decided to have a chat with her. Find out if the violet eyes were real or fake.
I set down the tomato juice, then automatically checked again for Maryanne.
The bottom dropped out of my stomach on an elevator ride to China.
Maryanne was gone.
I squashed down my first rush of panic and widened my search area to include the whole room, not just the dance floor. Witch, she-devil, princess, harem girl--
Where was she? I'd cautioned Maryanne not to go anywhere alone, but she hated being tailed to the bathroom. If that’s where she'd gone, I was going to kill her.
Roman, another witch, too-short vampire—Cleopatra. I took a step in her direction, until I saw the lion she was flirting with had fake golden eyes. Cleopatra’s violet eyes were just a coincidence. Move on. Ghost, elf, pirate.
Jordan was talking to Brad again underneath one of the skeletons.
I lurched through the dance floor toward them, staying in character just in case this proved to be a false alarm. “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to,” the singer, Lesley Gore, wailed over the speakers.
Jordan, the weasel, turned his back on me when he saw me coming, but I used my stiff arms to thrust my way between him and Brad.
"Can you believe somebody made a life-size mockup of a UFO?" Brad asked Jordan, laughing.
"Where pretty lady go?"
Jordan sneered. "I don't know. Buzz off."
I scowled at him. "Tell me where pretty lady went or I hit silly man with scarf on his head."
Jordan flushed. "Maybe she's trying to ditch you, Frankenstein."
I was Frankenstein's monster, not Dr. Frankenstein himself. A common mistake, but then Jordan was that--common. “Where pretty lady go?”
“You’re so smart. You figure it out.” He turned his back on me again.
If Maryanne had been snatched, then I was running out of time. I twisted Jordan’s arm up behind his back.
He tried to break free and was astonished when he couldn't.
I spoke into Jordan's ear. "Last chance, weasel, where did Maryanne go? Why did you stop dancing with her?" I twisted harder. I’d break his arm if I had to. Two minutes now since I'd last seen Maryanne. By now she could have been hustled out of the building.
I had a sudden visceral longing for Mike. Someone who always had my back.
Brad stared from me to Jordan, perplexed, not certain whether he should be helping his friend or laughing at the sight of Jordan being beaten up by Frumpy Angela.
"Someone spilled a drink on her," Jordan gasped. "She went to the washroom to clean up. That's all, I swear! Let go!" His voice was a strained whisper--his pride didn't want anyone else to know he was getting his butt kicked by a girl.
So maybe I'd panicked over nothing. But until I saw Maryanne again, safe and sound, I was going to proceed as if there was a kidnapping attempt in progress. Paranoid? You bet. It was part of the job description.
"Who spilled a drink on her?" I demanded in my hardest voice. If this was a kidnapping attempt, the spiller could be in on it.
"I don't know!"
"Was it a man or a woman? What costume were they wearing?" I asked impatiently.
"A man! An alien!"
“Silver spacesuit and boots, blue makeup, bald.”
I released Jordan and quickly scanned the room. No sign of either an alien or Maryanne.
"Crazy witch," Jordan muttered, nursing his wrist. He was definitely going to complain to Maryanne about me. If this was a false alarm, Maryanne would be ticked. Too bad. I'd warned her and warned her not to leave the room without me.
I took a step toward the washroom, but Jordan moved in front of me. Resentment burned in his brown eyes. “You think you’re so smart, attaching yourself to the rich girl. Just you wait. You’ll get what’s coming to you.”
The ugly look on his face promised revenge, and he’d all but admitted knowing who Maryanne was. Any other time I would have followed up, pressed harder to see if he’d blabbed Maryanne’s real identity to anyone else, but I didn’t have time now.
I ducked past him and made a bee-line for the washroom. Four minutes now since I'd last seen Maryanne.
To my surprise, Brad jogged along at my elbow. "Is everything okay, Angela? Maryanne's dress got a little wet, but she seemed fine. She went with the box."
I stopped dead. "What box?"
"Hey, don't hurt me!" Brad held up his hands, grinning. "I'll tell you. Big box with a red bow. The box bumped into the alien, that’s why he spilled his drink. Anyhow, Maryanne seemed to know the box. They headed for the washroom together."
"Thanks." I meant it. My nerves stopped jangling for the first time since Maryanne had gone missing.
Back in the 1980s, when we were all in high school, Mike had come to Maryanne's seventeenth birthday party in a box with a big red bow.
My steps quickened. Mike might be here! But--how had he snuck into the Historical Immersion Project? It was a lot of trouble to go to for just for one party. Or, my heart beat faster, had he finally given up his get-rich scheme and decided to do something worthwhile with his life? To join me and be a team again?
If he was here, it explained why Maryanne had left the room without checking in with me. They were probably hiding in one of the rooms giggling over the joke--
Except Mike had seemed pretty set on his plan. Our last argument had been a doozy, neither of us budging an inch. I couldn't imagine him abandoning the fall baseball season when his hopes of being scouted were so high.
My blood chilled. What if it hadn’t been Mike inside the box? Maryannne hadn't heard his voice in two years, she could have been fooled. And the box had caused the spill on her dress that necessitated leaving the room.
I didn't like this.
Once in the hall, I broke into a run, dodging around a wrestler and a pixie making out. The bathroom was down the hall at the bottom of a flight of stairs.
Five girls lined the hall outside the bathroom--there were at least eighty people crammed into the frat house and only one dinky bathroom.
"Emergency! I'm going to throw up!" I yelled. They all cringed back out of the way as I made convincing about-to-ralph noises.
"Just a minute!" the voice inside yelled. It didn't think it sounded like Maryanne, but I couldn't be sure. I pounded on the door until it opened, revealing another witch with a green wig.
"Well, aren't you going to throw up?" The witch rolled her heavily glittered eyes.
I moved away, not bothering to explain. And then I saw it. The box with the bow lay abandoned at the bottom of the second flight of stairs in front of the entranceway.
Mike wouldn't have taken Maryanne out of the building. He would want to tease me, not scare me to death.
The kidnapping was real; it was really happening.
I tried to tell myself there was still a chance that Maryanne had just wandered off on her own, gone back to our dorm room to change, but I didn't believe it. Maryanne had lived most of her life with bodyguards. She wouldn’t have left the building without me.
Had they drugged her with Knockout? Threatened her with a gun? Hurt her? Rage built inside me. I was supposed to have stopped this from happening.
Six minutes since I'd last seen Maryanne. Time to alert Kenneth Jones that I’d lost his daughter. It grated my pride—I hated looking incompetent—but I couldn’t risk Maryanne’s safety. I pulled out the locket I wore around my neck, opened it up and hit the recessed button.
Most of Kenneth Jones’s millions had come from master-minding the Historical Immersions. Everyone who worked here got their pay cheque from him. I believed him when he told me if I hit the button the whole Immersion would go into lockdown.
All highways were now closed. All vehicles would be thoroughly searched.
Part of me wanted to head down to the gate and help with the search, be the one to find Maryanne, but they were experts, used to finding small smuggled antiques. I’d just get in their way.
I frowned, something in what I’d just thought bothering me. In a moment I had it. Even without the lockdown, car trunks were regularly searched for antiques. What if the kidnappers had planned a different way out?
My heart thrashed in my chest. Aircars were illegal in the Historical Immersion, but it wouldn’t be impossible to sneak one in.
I called up the map of "Kennedyville" that I'd pored over before arrival. I couldn’t remember any wide fields, but an aircar with Vertical Takeoff and Landing didn't need much space. It could land on a sidestreet in the dark and probably not be noticed.
Except tonight was Halloween. The trick-or-treaters would be in bed by now, but the older boys would still be out in search of pumpkins to smash and houses to toilet paper. Houseowners would be alert for the sounds of vandalism and would notice an aircar.
Unless you made it part of Halloween...
I charged back up the stairs. "Brad!"
I spotted him by the punch, demonstrating to a wide-eyed Raggedy Ann doll how to flip quarters off his elbow and catch them. He stopped showing off his biceps and looked slightly alarmed when he saw me. "Hey, Angela. Did you find Maryanne?"
I cut him off. "The UFO, where is it?"
Anyone else would have asked why, but Brad, bless him, had a straightforward mind. "In the quad beside the Engineering Building." He looked pleased at being able to provide the answer.
An alien had spilled the drink on Maryanne, the box's accomplice.
"Is the rest of your football team here?" I asked. "I need to talk to them." I focussed on Brad's square face, meeting his gaze. Frumpy Angela never looked boys in the eye. She giggled and whispered things to Maryanne and blushed.
Once again, Brad didn't ask questions. He gave a loud, piercing whistle and held up his hands. "Yo, Wildcats! Huddle!"
Within moments six husky football players had gathered around Brad. "The lady has something to ask us," Brad told them.
“Lady?” Jordan said from the sidelines—he hadn’t made the cut to be on the team. "I can’t believe you’re listening to Angela."
Brad punched his shoulder. "You're just mad because she whupped you. Okay, everyone listen up!"
The Wildcats obediently fell silent. My respect for Brad rose a notch.
I smiled at them, an electric Angel smile, not Angela's simper. "How would you like to get one back on the Engineers?" There was a long-standing tradition of pranks between the jocks and the fiendishly-clever-but-nerdy engineers at the college.
"How?" one of them asked.
"Have you seen the UFO on the quad? Rumour is it actually flies and you know what that means.”
They nodded eagerly. If the engineers were caught with an illegal aircar, they would be in trouble.
“They’re trying to make you look bad. They’ve captured an earth girl and they’re going to take her back to their home planet, Zelbar,” I invented. “Are we going to let them get away with this?”
“Who’s up for a rescue mission?”
A roar of approval. As easy as working a pep rally.
Brad yelled, "Charge!" and the Wildcats rushed for the stairs. I barely stayed in the lead. I had my mob, now I just had to figure out what to do with them.
People scattered out of the way as we poured out of the frat house. I veered off the sidewalk, running full speed down the narrow shortcut between the frat house and the brick Biological Sciences building. The football team milled around for a moment, then Brad whooped, and they all took off in pursuit.
Can't let a girl outrun a Wildcat. Wouldn't be manly.
"This way!" I sprinted down a gravel alley parallel to the cafeteria building.
I glanced back and saw that only Brad and one other Wildcat were keeping up. The other ones were too full of beer. It hurt me like a physical pain, but I made myself slow down. I couldn't lose them yet. I would need them when we reached the UFO/aircar.
I used the breather to reach into my pocket and pull out an illegal Knockout patch. I slipped the thread loop over the index finger of my right hand, but left the protective covering in place.
A quick zag to the right, and I reached the quad, recognizable in the dark by the spongy grass underfoot and the crackling leaves. I ran toward the ominous, looming shadow of an oak tree. The Engineering building should be to the left; where was the UFO?
Ten minutes since I’d last seen Maryanne. Was I too late?
There. Metallic silver paint gleamed through the tree branches.
I sped up--then skidded to a halt in a soggy film of leaves at the edge of the small grove. I peered around the oak’s thick trunk. In addition to the paint job, the UFO had three spooky blue lights and a cardboard or plywood skirt that obscured the aircar’s wings and made it look like a flying saucer from old movies. The mockup must be designed to fall away once they were airborne.
The engines suddenly roared to life. Crap. Maryanne must be already on board, in the kidnapper's hands...
"Tackle it!" I yelled and sprinted toward it.
Brad gave a Wildcat yell, and they all charged after him. Wonderful maniacs.
The aircar lifted slightly off the ground just as six football players tackled it. One fell back in the grass, but the others clung, and the aircar whoomped back onto the ground.
Before the pilot could try again, I pulled off the silver spray-painted cardboard covering and wrenched open the aircar door beneath it. On instinct I ducked low and someone fired two shots over my head. I reached in at ankle level and grabbed a foot.
I'd been hoping for Maryanne's high heeled sandals, but found a man's duct-taped running shoe instead. I yanked him off the passenger seat.
"Hey!" His bald wig went askew as he instinctively clung to the doorframe with both hands. Which meant he couldn't use his gun.
"Maryanne!" I screamed, still pulling with all my strength.
If she answered, I couldn’t hear it over the roar of the motor. The pilot tried to lift off again even with the passenger door hanging open.
Please don't let Maryanne be unconscious. That would ratchet up the rescue from difficult to near impossible.
"You're not supposed to be here," the kidnapper panted. "Go away." He kicked out with the foot I was holding, but I'd been waiting for just this opportunity. I threw my full body weight sideways, out of the aircar. The move pulled him after me. His head cracked against the door before we both hit the ground.
Whining, the aircar rose three feet off the ground. Four Wildcats jumped off, but I sprang forward, caught the bottom door frame and chinned my head and one elbow inside. The pilot spun the aircar in a tight circle. I heard yells as the rest of the Wildcats either fell or jumped. The door swung in with wicked speed and clipped me between the shoulder blades. Ouch. That was going to bruise.
I clung grimly to the aircar as the ground dropped away, then laboriously pulled first my torso, then my dangling legs, inside the aircar. I crouched on the floor in front of the seat.
"Don't try anything," the pilot warned. In the green glow of the dashboard lights, I saw that he, too, had blue makeup and a bald wig. "I've locked out both the autopilot and the copilot controls, and I'm flying without lights, skimming the treetops. One wrong move, and we all crash."
"Fair enough. Mind if I close the door?" I asked politely.
The door flopped wildly. I leaned way out into space to catch the handle.
The pilot seized the opportunity and yawed the aircar into a vicious tilt that would have spilled me outside if I hadn't braced myself in expectation of just such a move.
"Nice try," I said cheerfully.
He scowled and straightened the aircar’s flight. I slammed the door and sat on the seat, but didn't buckle myself in. "Where's Maryanne?"
"I'm here," Maryanne said breathlessly from behind me.
I turned and saw her lying on the floor of the cargo area, her hands bound in front of her. A huge tide of relief swept over me. "Are you okay?"
"I'm sorry, Angel," Maryanne said miserably. "I shouldn’t have left the room without you. But I thought the box was Mike!"
"Yeah, I figured that out.” How had the kidnappers known to try that approach? A thought for later. “Never mind whose fault it is. Are you hurt?"
"She's fine," the pilot grumbled.
"I bit him," Maryanne whispered. She seemed both aghast and a little proud of herself.
"Really?" I laughed in delight. "With your vampire teeth?"
"No, they fell out. And I broke one of my high heels," Maryanne said.
I'd only been waiting to find out if Maryanne was injured. While she talked, I’d peeled the protective covering off my Knockout patch. “See this?” I held it closer to the dashboard light. “Land the aircar right now or I’ll knock you out.”
"You’re bluffing. Touch me and we’ll crash,” he said confidently. “I’ve locked out the AutoPilot; it’s on manual controls.”
“Angel never bluffs,” Maryanne said glumly, a here-we-go-again expression on her face.
“I don’t believe you.”
I shrugged. “Have it your way." Lightning fast, I slapped the Knockout patch on the bare skin of his neck.