Chapter 4.4C

“And then,” continued Coach Dan, “it was Rex’s turn to surprise me.”

Rex smiled, looked down at the lights reflecting off the brown tiled floor a moment, then looked up and addressed the party. “I told Coach I wasn’t the right person for the job. Then I told him that I had been talking to Double-J about who should be captain.”

Annie turned to Double-J, still standing by himself off to the side, away from the lights in the darkest spot in the room. The joy that had been on her face disappeared, replaced with a look that conveyed concern, amazement, and anger, feelings that only increased when she saw that the snake of his smile appeared to have grown.

“Care to tell everyone what you said?” asked Rex in Double-J’s direction.

Double-J shrugged. “Not particularly,” he said, drawing a ripple of nervous laughter in the room. “Think everyone’s figured out what’s going down, anyway.”

Annie felt eyes turning directly at her — first Double-J’s, then Coach Dan’s and Rex’s, and then if by silent cue everyone else in the room turned in her direction, as her mouth fell open.

“Right. Double-J and I agreed that there was only one person who had everyone’s respect on this team, one person everyone could look to, only one person with both the fencing skills and leadership ability to be this team’s captain. And that person,” Rex said, extending his right arm in her direction, “is Annie.”

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