Damian's Oracle (Chapter Two, page 2 of 17)

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"Who the hell put a pool here?" he demanded, pulling his right foot out of the shallow end of an in-ground pool. The two Guardians looked at each other, neither certain how to respond.

"It was a brutal summer," an amused voice said. Han's brother Laney, one of Damian's oldest Guardians and the station chief for NOVA sector, leaned in the doorway to the main house with a smile.

Damian walked over to him. "Laney, good to see you," he said warmly, clapping him on the arm. "One of your boys called me."

"Yeah, he's been pacing like a madman for a couple of hours. He's a newbie. Be gentle."

"It's fucking cold here," he complained as he walked into the two-story house in suburban Washington, DC.

He saw the man who had called him pacing as Laney had indicated. Jake turned and stared at him, dropped an awkward bow, and straightened, his mouth lax. Damian sat down on the arm of a leather couch, accustomed to the reaction, and pulled off his boot to drain the water.

"You gonna talk or stare?" he challenged. Jake looked at Laney, then at him.

"I found someone," Jake said.

"A Natural?" Laney prodded.

"I don't know what she is. I was embedded at this company we know is operating as a cover for Czerno's operations. I ran into someone I knew from college," Jake said and began to pace again, half-lost in his thoughts as he spoke. "She's something. I don't know what."

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