“Great, so take a look: the spots he was seen don't seem to have any connection between them, and the people he helped don't know each others. My guess is that he has a fast vehicle, some witnesses mentioned a motorcycle, so that must be that, and he uses it to drive around town at random, preventing whatever crime he stumbles upon.”
“It's that simple?”
“When Debbie was kidnapped, he was spotted in a cybercafe before heading to Leonard Keats' house, so I guess he watches the news as well and he does some detective work, but most of the time that seems to be how he works, just patrolling. Now, if you look carefully, you will notice the two hottest spots on the map are Blythe District, and the Projects, particularly around Darrell Avenue...”
“That's not surprising, Blythe District is where all the hottest bars and clubs are, so that's where there's the most drunken fights. And the Projects, well, it's the Projects, it's always been a seedy place. He goes where he's needed the most.”
“That doesn't explain the figures: ten sightings out of nineteen total were in the Projects, it's huge! Compare with Anselmo District which is even more dangerous and has only two sightings. And it's mostly around Darrell Avenue.”
“So what do you suggest?”
“I suggest we take a walk around Darrell Avenue at night and see if we meet him.”
“What? Sal, are you crazy? You want us to get mugged so he can rescue us?”
“That's not what I said...”
“But that's how it's gonna happen, Sal, this place is dangerous! What if we get attacked and he doesn't show up? And what are we gonna tell our parents, you think they'll let us?”
“They don't need to know.”
Billy remained still for a moment, in shock. “I didn't know you could be... like that.”
“Billy, please, don't get the wrong idea about me,” she said softly. “I know what I want to do is wrong in so many ways, but... I'm just dying to meet this guy, I even dream about it! Don't you want to know who he is?”
“Maybe not as much as you do.” She sighed, and turned her eyes away from him. “I'm sorry,” he continued, “I want to help you with this, we're friends, Sal. Or at least I hope so. But this is reckless, I don't want you to go there, if anything happened to you, I... I...”
“You really care about me this much?” she asked, surprised, as she turned her eyes back to him.
“Yes,” he confessed.
“Then come with me! This way you'll be able to look after me!”
He suddenly blushed, and looked down in shame. “I can't even stand up to Danielle Cassidy,” he mumbled. “You think I'll be any good at protecting you?”
And as if the mention of her name had summoned her, she suddenly opened the door and appeared at the threshold, to their startling surprise.
“Brewster!” she called out. “I've been looking for you for ages! Still with your Yuppie girlfriend, I see. Anyway, you got my maths?”
“Cass!” Sally roared as she stood up, furious at having their conversation interrupted so brutally. “Don't you see we're talking here?”
“Brewster, I think you should train your Yuppie girlfriend a bit better, she's barking too much.”
Billy felt too embarrassed to say anything, but Sally, in a fit of anger too intense for her own safety, went to stand very close to her face in defiance. “We've had enough of your psycho behavior, Cass! You've been terrorizing this school for a while, I hope you've had your fun, because now it's officially over!”
The punch took off at the speed of light to end its course in Sally's stomach, and the girl was on her knees in an instant, bending over in a pain so dreadful she thought she was going to cough her lungs off. Billy shouted at the bully and tried to interfere, only to meet the same punishment.
“Get lost!” Cass said spitefully as she shoved him away, and the boy was too groggy from the punch to resist. “Now, Miss Class President, I think we should have a discussion!”
Sally let out a sharp scream as Cass pulled her hair and pushed her harshly to the floor. She lay on her back, and the bully knelt down at her level and wrapped a hand around her throat, not squeezing hard enough to choke her, but just enough to make her understand she could choke her if she wanted to. Sally began to sob, not only did she feel hurt, she was terrified as well. She had never, ever met someone so violent as her, and the thought of what she could do next...
“Let me get this clear,” Cass said. “Maybe the others like you and respect you and all, but to me, you're not worth the gum stuck under my shoe. Don't disrespect me again, or else... wait, don't you have a game coming very soon? That would be a real shame if you sprained a knee and couldn't play, wouldn't it? Am I making myself clear?”
Terrified by the murderous glimmer she saw in her cruel blue eyes, the poor girl nodded without resistance. “Good girl,” she said as she released her, giving her a few soft, humiliating slaps before standing up. “You know what? I think I might do something during the game anyway. Just because I don't like you, and because it could be fun. I'm not telling what I'll do or how I'll do it, but I'll do something. I'm outta here, now. Brewster, I want my maths before three.”