The newcomer narrowed his eyes at that.
“I doubt it, Matthias,” he said. “But it’s worth a try. What the hell are you up to? Don’t think I don’t know you’re responsible for all this and it’s some sort of power play.”
Wait, Lydia said telepathically. He thinks you planned this mess?
Apparently so, Matthias replied before speaking aloud. “I’m flattered, Garrett. But you’re clearly overestimating me. Planning something on this scale is beyond me. And even if it weren’t, do you really think I’d kill millions of people around the world for a mere power play?”
Garrett’s face tightened and he was silent for a long moment before spitting out. “Yes, I do.”
Matthias looked taken aback at that. I knew he didn’t much like me but not that he hated me. “Why?” he said aloud.
Garrett scowled at him but didn’t answer. Instead he leaned forward and slammed his hand on the table hard enough to upset Matthias’s drink. “I know you are behind this and I’m going to prove it. You’re not going to get away with exposing us to this danger!” He spun around and stalked away, leaving them sitting there stunned.
“That was… odd.â€ Sonia watched him walk away. “He was wide open so I got a good look. He really believes it and while I’ve no idea where he got it from, it’s all him. Nothing from the outside I could sense.”
“Well, Cantrell’s always been a bit paranoid,” Adrian said. “No one would have to influence him to get him to take up the idea of a conspiracy by someone he hated – just suggest it to him and his own mind would do the rest. I don’t think he can do much damage to you though. Most people are more level headed than he is.â€
â€œI don’t know,â€ Karen said. â€œEveryone’s terrified â€“ they might listen at the moment.â€
â€œWe’ll see,â€ Matthias said calmly. â€œBut for now, are your people really happy with the truce?â€
Adrian gave a wry smile. â€œMostly. A couple of them are real zealots â€“ I left them behind. But most of them just like me and will follow my lead.â€
â€œWould they still if they knew you were one of us?â€
Adrian tilted it his head. â€œI’ve confided in a couple of them and they’re okay with it but I guess that would faze most of the others.â€
â€œHave you told Kayleigh?â€ Sonia asked.
Adrian shook his head. â€œNot until I know what’s going on with her.â€ He looked over at the dancefloor where she was still dancing. Almost instantly she started noticibly and turned towards him before dropping her dance partner’s hand and heading towards them. â€œAnd here she comes.â€ He stood and held his hands out to her. â€œKay!â€
â€œAdrian!â€ She ran up to him and hugged him before looking at Matthias and Sonia and pouting. â€œYou’re talking business at a party?â€
â€œIt’s a business kind of party, Kay.â€ A speculative look crossed his face. â€œYou’re friends with Robert Cantrell, aren’t you?â€
Kayleigh pulled a face. â€œDefine friends,â€ she said. â€œHe’s an obnoxious snot but good at languages â€“ which I’m not. We used to study together but we don’t especially like each other. Why?â€
â€œGarrett Cantrell is up to something,â€ he said.
â€œAnd you want me to try and find out what from Robert.â€ She cringed visibly. â€œI don’t think it’ll work but I’ll try if you want.â€
â€œI do want, Kay.â€ He kissed her cheek. â€œPlease.â€
â€œBleh,â€ she said. â€œOkay.â€ She squared her shoulders and headed into the crowd.