Lizard Skin

fast lane

Dan sat on his couch, holding a snifter of whiskey, wearing a cobalt dress shirt. Cai came out of the bedroom – now, really, their bedroom – holding his phone, “There are some people I want you to meet.”

He looked up at the sound of Cai’s voice. Rain ran down the windows. The 6 o’clock news played quietly on the TV.

Cai plopped down next to him, revealing a couple on the mobile screen. The one on the right was clean-shaven, pale and dark-haired, with intense amber eyes, under a heavy brow – A Cancer by the looks of it, Dan thought – and the other, on the left, had a beard, and a swarthy, Mediterranean complexion. Both were smiling – the smooth one had on a smug, triumphant look, the other, pleasantly bemused.

“Who are they?” Dan asked.

“The one with the piercing glare and the tie is Hod, Undersecretary to the Lightning Avatar. The other one, with the open collar, is his husband, Sebastian. They’re both FBI agents, on this side.”

“Oh,” Dan said. He hadn’t really talked to Cai about the whole Lightning Avatar thing. He hadn’t known there was more.

“And this,” Cai continued, “is Alli and Page.” Cai swiped left, and a second photo appeared, one of two women, one with long black hair, wearing a gray pantsuit, and another bronze-skinned, shorter female, in jeans and a dark green college sweatshirt.

“This is the Thunder Avatar, and the soon-to-be, new Sky Avatar,” Cai explained.

Dan blinked, “Who are these people?”

Cai returned his gaze, and without missing a beat, said, “This is the team.”

“The team?” Dan asked again, growing more bewildered.

“Yes, the new team,” Cai responded, “Our new team.”

“For what?” Dan wondered, “What do we do?”

“Well, we’ve got a heavy caseload,” Cai quipped.

Cases?” Dan exclaimed, alarmed.

“Yes,” Cai soothed, “Are you in, or are you out?”

“Well, I’m in, but –” Dan began.

“Good, because we’re meeting Hod and Seb tomorrow, for dinner,” Cai slapped Dan’s thigh and got up from the couch.

Dan looked around, flabbergasted, but he didn’t follow Cai back into the bedroom. He sank back, into the cushions. He had no idea what he was going to wear tomorrow evening. The rain clattered down, either unaware or unopposed to the idea.

cream soda