Maggie and Adrian find themselves on the hunt for the orbs, but their foes are fast at their heels. Confrontation leads to conference, and it’s decided that the only way to defeat their enemies is to become their enemies. Temporarily, of course.
Their plan is put into action and all goes well until they notice something is amiss with their foes. Now they’re behind in a race to discover the hiding places of the orbs of life and death before the Brotherhood takes more than just the orbs. They’ll take their lives.
Maggie groaned and rolled over. Her body ached, but it wasn't a pleasant sensation. She felt like she'd been banged around in a car accident.
That's when she remembered she had been banged up in a car accident.
Maggie's eyes flew open. She sat up and looked around. Her surroundings were Adrian's chamber, and she lay in his bed with one of his shirts over her body.
A few streams of the setting sun shone through the thick curtains that hid the balcony, and a warm fire crackled in the hearth. She ran a hand through her hair and shuddered. What a wild dream that had been.
"It was no dream," a voice spoke up.
Maggie whipped her head to the hearth. Adrian stood in his usual spot beside the mantel. He smiled and bowed his head to her. "Good morning, or should I say good evening?"
She blinked at him. "Evening?"
He nodded. "Yes. You and I slept through the day."
Her shoulders slumped and she groaned. "Damn. I missed work."
There is a more pressing matter." He held up her phone. "Your father has been calling all day. Albert has been unable to convince him of your safety."
Maggie's eyes widened and her heart skipped a beat. She'd left her father to wait for her return last night. "Oh shit!"
She flung aside the covers and hurried over to Adrian where she snatched the phone from him and looked at the number of calls. Her father had called her a dozen times, and Cacus half a dozen.
She called her dad. He picked up at the first ring. "Maggie! Is that you?"
She cringed at the strained tone of his voice. "Hi, Dad. I'm really sorry about not calling you sooner."
"You nearly gave me another heart attack! What have you been doing?"
Her eyes flickered to Adrian. "I was-um, I was-"
Adrian held out his hand. "May I?"
She furrowed her brow and covered the receiver with her hand. "What for?" she whispered.
He chuckled. "Trust me."
"Maggie? Maggie, are you there?" her dad yelled.
"I'm here, Dad, but A-Mr. Forrest wants to talk to you," she answered.
There was a moment of silence on the line. When her father spoke his voice was a decimal higher than normal. "M-Mr. Forrest?"
"Yeah, is that okay?"
"O-of course, but what would he want to speak to me about?"
Her eyes flickered to her werewolf lover. "He can tell you that better than I can. Here he is." She handed the phone off to Adrian.
"Good evening, Mr. O'Hara," Adrian greeted her father.
Maggie could hear her dad's nervous voice on the other line. "G-good evening, sir. I'm sorry for calling so often while you two were out, but I-"
"That's quite all right, Mr. O'Hara, but I can assure you your daughter was well-taken care of." His mischievous eyes glanced at her. "She's actually a very integral part of my plan." She mouth dropped open.
Her father's voice took on a firmer, more confident tone. "Plan? Mr. Forrest, if you have any ill-intentions toward my daughter-"
"On the contrary, Mr. O'Hara, my-and our-intentions are very philanthropic. We were away all day working on some very important charity work."
"What sort of charity work?" O'Hara questioned him.
Adrian chuckled. "The best kind, but I won't bore you with the details. Know that your daughter is well-taken care of."
There was a noticeable clearing of the throat from the other end of the conversation. "Mr. Forrest, I trust you to manage business affairs, but I must insist on having more input regarding my daughter's whereabouts. If she is to remain with you so often she must at least call in more often."
"That is a promise easily kept, Mr. O'Hara. I will inform her of your rule and I am sure she will obligingly follow it."
"Good! Now I'd like to speak with her again, if you don't mind."
"Of course, Mr. O'Hara." Adrian held the phone out to Maggie.
She took it in hand and turned away from Adrian's mischievous eyes. "Hi, Dad."
"Maggie, I know you're an adult, but as long as you're living under my roof I would like you to call in more often," he insisted.
She smiled. "Of course, Dad, and I'm really sorry I didn't call last night. Our-um, philanthropic work didn't finish until late."
"That's quite all right, but don't let it happen again."
"Good. Oh, and does your ‘philanthropic' work give you enough time to pick up some clothes?"
Maggie looked down at her scanty attire and blushed. "That's a great idea, Dad. I'll be there later to pick some up."
"Then I'll talk to you later. I have to get to work before your Mr. Forrest remembers what time the office opens."
"Good luck, Dad."
"You, too, sweety."
Maggie hung up the phone and turned to Adrian. She crossed her arms over her chest and frowned at him. "‘Philanthropy?'"
His mischievous grin widened. "I must agree we won't receive any reward for our efforts, but the world will be unknowingly obliged to us for keeping the orbs from the Brotherhood. Besides, as a great philosopher one said, one's greatest charity is to one's self."
"I don't think anyone ever said that except you," she argued.
He chuckled. "Then I shall have to be considered a great philosopher-" he wrapped his arms around her and drew her against his chest. The warmth from his firm body excited hers. He leaned down and pecked a kiss on her lips, "-and a superb lover."
She blushed and pushed her hands against his chest. "We're in mortal danger, remember? I don't think the Brotherhood is going to stop trying to capture us again because we escaped once."
He sighed and released her. "Unfortunately, you are not only beautiful but very correct. I suspect our foes have a great many ill-intentions planned for us. Fortunately, we need only defeat their purpose by finding the Orb of Life."
"And the Orb of Death," she reminded him.
He smiled down at her and nodded. "Of course. Both orbs must be found, and we shall inquire as to their whereabouts at the business of our old friend, Cotio. However, there is one matter we must discuss."
Maggie arched an eyebrow. "What?"
He took a bundle of clothes from the chair in front of him and held them out to Maggie. They were those she wore yesterday, cleaned and repaired. "Your clothes. Fortunately for us, Albert is quite adept with the needle, and your clothes were salvaged." She took the bundle and looked over the stitching. There was hardly any evidence of the rough wreck from the night before. "I believe Albert is growing fond of you."
She looked up at Adrian's smiling face and blinked at him. "How can you tell?"
He nodded at the clothes. "He is a master craftsman in most everything he tries, but he feels it beneath him to waste his abilities on one who isn't worthy of them. Now hurry and dress. We have an interesting night ahead of us."