Two weeks later, a small group met for dinner at a Keystone City restaurant. Unknown to all but a few, the group also included several undercover security guards stationed around the dining room.
“I’m so glad to finally meet you, Irina. Ted has been telling us so much about you; it’s amazing we get any business done at the meetings.” Jay Garrick grinned as he took the hand of Ted Grant’s recent bride. “Allow me to introduce my wife, Joan.”
“A pleasure, Jay.” She turned to his wife. “Joan, Ted holds you up as the perfect society wife. I hope I can live up to the standard you’ve set.” Irina and Joan hugged each other as their husbands moved to get their seats.
“Ted, didn’t you say Yolanda was — oh, there she is!” Jay waved to the tall, thin Latino woman who had just entered. She glided through the crowded dining room like a shadow, deftly avoiding a waiter rushing across the room with a pair of flaming kabobs.
“Ted, Jay! How are you? And you are Joan; I saw you on the press conference.” Yolanda Montez turned to Irina Grant. “And you must be Aunt Irina!” She embraced the dark-haired woman warmly. “Uncle Ted, you should be ashamed of yourself. Marrying this woman and not bringing her home to meet the Montez family!”
“Aww, Yolanda, we were planning to swing down through Southern California and Mexico this winter.” Ted Grant turned to his wife. “You remember my telling you about my goddaughter, hon?”
“Of course, Ted. I’m so glad to meet you, dear. We have a lot of catching up to do, so I hope we’ll be seeing a good deal of you.”
As the Garricks, the Grants, and Yolanda Montez enjoyed their evening, they were watched by a young lady seated near one of the kitchen doors. Along with her companion, she enjoyed a fine meal at government expense, sipped non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice, and kept an eye open for any possible disturbance. And whenever she heard the laughter from the Garrick/Grant party, Cameron Chase smiled.
Back at Belle Reve Penitentiary, a portion of the infirmary had been sealed off from the rest. Intravenous tubes provided sustenance to that section’s lone occupant. While his body was a prisoner of the high-tech medical bed, his mind was not. And as he contemplated the stainless-steel jaw, the carbide and plastic heart, and the elastic and teflon mechanism that now held his right arm in place, he tried to smile. With every injury he suffered, with every portion of his body that they replaced, he only grew stronger and more determined. It might take years, thought Emil Trapp, but someday Wildcat and this new Catwoman would pay.
Right alongside Cameron Chase, they would pay.