We got into the car, me in the backseat and Faith in the front beside Topher, and drove to Eli’s. I went to the door and rang the bell. For a few minutes, no one answered. It didn’t surprise me. From what Eli had said and what I’d noticed the time or two I’d been there, Eli’s mom didn’t pay attention to anything except TV, and his father wasn’t home much.
I rang the bell again. Finally, Eli opened the door. “Sorry to keep you waiting,” he said. “I was on the phone.”
“With who?” I asked. He was frowning, so I figured it hadn’t been a good phone call.
“I’ll tell you in the car.”
He got into the back seat with me, and Topher drove away. “Who were you on the phone with, Eli?” I asked again.
“Ivan Kosoff,” he said. “Topher, can we pick him up? He wants to talk to us about his brother.”
“You didn’t tell him about our abilities, did you?” Topher asked. “Or the darkness?”
“Not all of it.” Eli leaned back and tried to cross one leg over the other, kicking me in the shin. He gave me an apologetic look. “Car’s too small. He called me because I went on the trip yesterday and he knew Dimitri and I were friends. He told me about the voices and stuff he heard when he went to the museum last year, and he thinks they had something to do with Dimitri vanishing. So I told him that we know a little about the voices, and that we agree that they might have something to do with it. He asked if he could talk to us.”
Topher stared straight ahead. I sensed his anger. He wanted people to help against the darkness and had even mentioned Ivan the day before, so I didn’t get what his problem was. Unless it was just that Eli hadn’t consulted him first.
“Topher, as strong as the darkness has become, we can use another person fighting against it,” Faith said. “If Ivan has abilities, it won’t hurt to tell him what we know.”
“You’ll be able to tell if he has them, right?” Eli asked.
“From what Dimitri said at the museum, I’m already pretty sure he does,” Topher said. “All right. Where does he live?”
Eli directed him to the Kosoffs’ house. Ivan was waiting out front. He had grown since he’d beaten me up. Now he was taller than Topher, and I vaguely remembered that he played on the varsity football team.
Topher pulled up in front of him, facing the wrong way down the street, and opened his window. “This isn’t a good place to talk. If you want to talk to us, get in.”
“No problem,” Ivan said. “I need to get out of here for a while anyway.”
Faith moved to the back seat with Eli and me, since there definitely wasn’t enough room in the back for Ivan. He got into the front seat and turned to look at me. “How’s it going, Blake?”
“Okay.” Even after two years, I was a little suspicious of him. It’s hard to get past having your head held in a toilet. If we hadn’t needed help against the darkness, I wouldn’t have wanted anything to do with the creep.
He seemed to know what I was thinking. “Sorry about all that crap in middle school. I was pretty stupid then.”
I studied him and decided it was a genuine apology. I still didn’t plan on trusting him, but I wouldn’t hold a grudge if he was really sorry. “Thanks.”