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|�Mmmph,� I said, stuffing the last of my leftover-chicken-breast sandwich in my mouth as my mobile played �The Teddy Bears� Picnic� off in the distance. In a flash, I was upstairs, wrestling with my discarded pants, fumbling and flipping the phone open. �Mmmhi�ssmmweetie�
�What in the world are you doing?� Jim�s mellow baritone laughed through the tiny speaker. �Don�t tell me you�re sucking your thumb � or anything else, for that matter.�
�Home for lunch,� I swallowed, the last bite dropping down my throat, a contented belch following up in exchange.
�Dan, it�s 11 AM.�
�OK, so I took brunch instead,� I chuckled, floating back down the stairs to the kitchen. �It was a boring morning, to say the least, and all of what I need to get done I can do at home, so I came back. Where are you?�
I could hear Jim grimace over the phone. �On my way to a site visit with you-know-who.�
�I never thought Lord Voldemort would be interested in your services, dear,� I smiled, taking a generous swig of milk.
�I am going to regret getting you �Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince�, aren�t I? You�re probably publishing the spoilers on the Internet right now, Mister-I-can-read-an-almost-six hundred-page-book-in-two-seconds.�
�They were there LONG before I ever did anything about it.�
�Pleading innocence doesn�t work for you, cub,� Jimmy laughed. �The important thing is, though, do you mind handling things while I�m gone?�
�The city�s in good hands, sweetheart, and your timing couldn�t be better � I�ve already got my clothes off and am raring to go.� �Damn you, Dan,� Jim snarled under his breath, his grin clearly audible, �you KNOW what that does to me. Why do I even bother calling you when I�m wearing tent-able pants?�
�Janet Reno, naked, in a shower, sweetie,� I giggled. �Don�t worry, You-Know-Who won�t notice, she�ll be so glad to see you � and talk your ear off. Everything�s under control. Take care and�.I love you, Jimmy.�
�Love you too, Dan,� Jim said. �OK, I�m here � time to get it over with. Bye now.�
�Bye beautiful,� I said, flicking the phone shut with a casual flip. Almost got that to be second nature, I thought, remembering the first two phones I had destroyed with a careless flick, the one�s earpiece embedding itself in the wall. Super-strength was fun, but learning to control it had been an adventure in itself � not to mention hard on keyboards, glasses, and at least two car door handles.
Suddenly a strident brrrrriiinnng � inaudible to any ordinary human � came from the concealed passage below the basement.. I froze � the Bear Phone! My war whoop shook the vases on the mantelpiece as I (literally) flew down the stairs, my costume magically appearing as I pushed my way through the hidden door and into the Den, then picking up the phone. �This is Supercub.�
�Um�.hello�.I�.� the voice sounded tired�despondent��this is Mira Rodriguez.�
�Yes ma�am�..how can I help you?�
�I�I�m�Eddie�s mother.� The sound of muffled sniffles came over the phone. �He�.he�didn�t come home last night�..the school just called, he didn�t come today.�
Oh no! �Ms. Rodriguez�..can you think of anywhere he might be?�
�No�.no�.I�ve looked everywhere. He�.he came home two nights ago, all beat up��said those boys at school got him again�.but he was going to take care of it.� More sobs. �I didn�t know what to do�.I looked in his room, found this card�.he had mentioned you helped him before ��
�I�m on it, Ms. Rodriguez. Don�t worry, I�ll find him�..let me know if you hear anything else�..thank you.� I hung up the phone, turning to fly off, heart pounding�..freezing halfway up the passage when it rang again. When it rains, it pours, I thought, dashing back down. �This is Supercub.�
�Supercub�.we have a hostage situation.�
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