Time: 09:57 PM
I remember vividly the week we spent studying spiders in biology class. It was amazing to me that one spindly creature could weave such a giant net and then be content to stay in the centre, motionless. It seemed like magic that, just by sitting there so quietly, the spider could know everything that brushed against its web, and know precisely when to take action to get what it wanted.
I think that's me right now.
I've spun a web; Caine and Anna are the wind blowing unsuspecting prey in - and soon Kurt will be, too - while I sit here in the centre digesting all of the information and doing not much else but avoiding notice.
I'm working, of course, and going out in the evenings to play for my rent, but everything has taken on a surreal normality. At the library, we don't talk about Cymbalisty or Miranda anymore; we just get on with our work. And dad has evidently stopped his madcap game of I-Have-Spies-Everywhere-Don't-Forget, and returned to his lovely old routine of needling me to take admission to the Academy and "live up to my fullest potential," coupled with the occasional oddly thoughtful suggestion for a book I might find interesting or a lecture I might like to attend.
Yesterday for the holiday he even had an afternoon barbecue, with the CRT and a bunch of senior fellows in attendance, though Scarlett was in a sulky mood over something or other and curled up indoors with her key most of the day. Still, it was all so pleasant, it felt like it could have been three years ago, before any of this happened, before I knew anything about this world of secret conspiracies and hidden motivations about to pull the ground from under my feet.
During a lull in the chatter, I heard my dad's voice carry across the garden as he spoke to Uncle Sanjean: "Oh, I complain, but of course I'm very proud of both of my girls," he said. And he caught my gaze from clear across the party, and gave me just a tiny smile and a nod, like he meant me to hear it.
I still can't shake the feeling, though, that he's doing the same thing as I am.
Sitting in his web. Waiting to see what he catches.