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January 13th, 2020
The Adventures of Aislyn O’Sullivan – Chapter 11

The Adventures of Aislyn O'Sullivan

Missed a previous chapter?
Read Chapter 1 here.
Read Chapter 2 here.
Read Chapter 3 here.
Read Chapter 4 here.
Read Chapter 5 here.
Read Chapter 6 here.
Read Chapter 7 here.
Read Chapter 8 here.
Read Chapter 9 here.
Read Chapter 10 here.

Chapter 11

A pile of papers plopped onto the top of Aislyn’s overflowing in-basket. She grimaced. “More?”

Gary’s grin held sympathy. “Afraid so.”

A heartfelt sigh escaped. The flood of papers pumped out by the police department seemed never-ending. And for some insane reason, Aislyn needed to study each one and attach a rubber stamp before burying the pages inside filing cabinets. She jerked her gaze from the offending papers. “Please remind me why I wanted to join the fairy force.”

“You wanted adventure.”

“Exactly.” Frowning at her right hand, she leaned back in her chair until it squeaked a protest. “Not a mass of paper cuts.”

A distinct rustle had a frown sprinting across Gary’s face. “Ah, girlfriend, whatever do you have in that bag?”

“My lunch. Why?” Aislyn bolted upright.

Gary shook his head, and the beads he’d had woven into the long extensions the day before clacked together in a musical tinkle. “Because whatever you brought for lunch today is still on the hoof. Probably objects to being the dish-of-the-day.”

Aislyn followed Gary’s gaze and gasped when her bag inched across the linoleum floor.

“What do you need such a big bag for, anyway? Do you have money to burn?”

“I wish. Things are expensive human side.”

“I hear you,” Gary said. “But that doesn’t answer my question.” He stepped behind Aislyn when her bag shot another three inches across the floor. “Why is your lunch moving?”

“Coward. You’re bigger than me, and you’re frightened of a bag.”

“Ain’t my bag moving,” Gary pointed out.

“True.” Aislyn stood and stole stealthily toward her bag. Just as she reached for it and her hand touched the bright red elephant appliqué on the side, the bag wriggled. The contents rattled.

Gary jumped back a foot. “Shoot it,” he ordered. “Where’s your gun? Shoot it.”

Aislyn rolled her eyes. “Good idea, Gary. My gun is inside the bag.”

His beads clacked in agitation. “Your gun? With your lunch?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, man. I think we’re in trouble.”

Aislyn snorted at his theatrics. “Come here and help me.”

Ah-ha. Not me.” Gary folded his arms across his skinny chest. “I’m staying right here behind the desk.”

“Coward.”

“Better a live coward than a dead hero.”

Amid their argument, the bag emitted a soft sigh.

“Whoa! Did you hear that?” Gary’s eyes bulged. “Your bag is haunted.”

“More likely, a recruit has somehow put a spell on it.” Aislyn seized her bag and shook it. The closing flap flew open, and a small furry beast leaped out.

“A cat,” Gary said with a squeak.

The half-grown creature sprang on top of Aislyn’s in-basket and balanced precariously on the pile of papers. The black cat glared at them with huge orange eyes.

“I thought I heard a noise before,” Aislyn said.

Gary approached the desk, eyeing the cat with misgiving. “I thought you were meant to test the anti-cat remedies, not attract the wee beasties.”

As they glared at each other, the cat slid off the mountain of papers. Clawed feet scrambled for traction, and papers flew into the air, scattering in all directions.

“This is the cat I saw in the alley last week. I’ve no idea how it got inside my bag.”

“You’d better get rid of the beast before the boss arrives.” When Aislyn bent to pick up the cat, Gary seized her forearm. “Wait! I have a better idea. Why don’t you try out one of the anti-cat remedies on it? You said you couldn’t find any cats for your experiments. The fluffy black thing there is your opportunity.”

“The remedies are back at the hostel.”

“Take the beast home with you.”

“Seamus won’t like it.”

Gary’s brows shot upward. “Since when do Seamus’s finer feelings worry you? I thought you lived to rile him.”

Aislyn studied the cat. It was calmly grooming itself. Gary might have a point. The supply of cats in the middle of a city was something the board hadn’t taken into account. “Good idea, but where do I stash him? I can’t keep a cat here because Seamus will notice. I can’t take him back to the hostel because those stupid recruits will tell tales.”

“Easy. Smuggle the cat in and out of the hostel in your bag, and at the weekends, when you need to test your potions, you can bunk at my flat. Or…” He scratched his chin. “Why don’t you get your own flat? That way you won’t have to put up with the bozos at the hostel, you can keep the cat and test your potions with no one else being the wiser.”

“I don’t have enough money—”

“Gary! Where the devil are you?”

“Oops, the boss hails. I’d better find out what he wants.” Beads clacked as Gary sauntered toward Seamus’s roar.

“You’d better do something with the cat before Seamus freaks.”

“Gary!”

“In here, boss.”

Aislyn scooped up the cat and thrust him back into her bag. She shoved the bag under her desk out of sight.

“Why didn’t you answer me? Aislyn, haven’t you finished the paperwork yet? We don’t pay you to sit around. Gary, I want a fairy force meeting scheduled for this evening. Do you have questions before Gill arrives? Good, I need the Scavenger Hunt file. I want to study the info again.” He dragged a hand through his dark unruly hair, and Aislyn noticed his exhaustion with a trace of concern. If this was a sample of his workload, no wonder he didn’t spend much time at the colony.

Seamus stared at the desk. “I’ve a niggling feeling I’ve missed something. I want to go through the file again. Now.”

The last thundered word made Aislyn jump.

“Hell’s teeth, what are you waiting for?” He stormed into his adjoining office, the slam of the door summing up his mood.

Gary exhaled loudly. “Whew. I thought he’d sensed the cat for a moment there.”

“I do not have a crush on that man,” Aislyn said, her tone crisp and concise.

“Neither do I,” Gary added with feeling.

A slow clap of applause sounded, and they both whirled to face the newcomer. Gill grinned, his brown eyes alight with silent laughter. “I’m pleased to hear it. I’m sure the news will please Seamus too.”

“You did not hear our conversation,” Aislyn said.

Gary’s hair beads clacked in agitation. “We were having a private discussion.”

Gill chuckled, and the sound wasn’t reassuring. “Of course, it’s my business. Seamus is my best friend.” He laughed and entered Seamus’s office. The thud of the door closing again chopped off the mocking sound.

Aislyn glared at the door. “Are you sure we can’t use magic on the human side? The pair of them are crying out for a sneaky spell to teach them a lesson.”

Gary sniffed. “I hear you. Your bag is on the move again.”

Aislyn shunted her bag under her desk with a gentle sweep of her foot. “I’ll take the cat back to my room during my lunch break. I’ll buy a paper too and start searching for a flat. Even sharing a flat would be better than the hostel.”

Gary left, and Aislyn started on the paperwork again, after sorting the papers the cat had dislodged. A loud huff of exasperation emerged when she picked up a form in triplicate.

Boring. Boring. Boring.

This wasn’t what she envisaged before she left the colony.

And the way Seamus hovered like a clucky hen was driving her insane. Nuts. Batty. All the above. She couldn’t move without tripping over the bad-tempered male. His mood had jammed in grumpy, and his mouth set in a permanent frown. One black scowl and everyone fled.

Aislyn frowned. Tomorrow her first report on the anti-cat measures was due, and she hadn’t tested a thing. She smoothed her shoe over the red elephant on her bag. “You, my little furry friend, are a savior. Gary’s right. I’ll take you home and start tests straight away.”

* * * * *

The alarm chirped. Aislyn groaned and slapped at the clock. The noise continued—loud, piercing, and annoying. Aislyn lifted her head from the pillow and remembered she’d stashed the clock across the other side of the room.

With a loud groan, she crawled from the warmth of her bed, knocking a book of spells to the floor. During the night, the cat had curled up against her back, and he grumbled at the rude awakening.

“Do you think I’m happy about getting out of bed?” Goosebumps sprang to life on her bare arms and legs as she hurried across the dark green carpet to shut off the pesky alarm. “Next, you’ll want breakfast.”

The cat stirred at the mention of food. It bounded off the blue fleece blankets and jumped to the floor to stretch lazily. Exercise completed, he padded over to Aislyn and rubbed against her legs.

“Shower first,” Aislyn said. “Then I’ll find something for breakfast. Tomorrow, we can move into our new flat, and we can keep our food handy instead of trekking to the ground floor for sustenance.”

Aislyn yanked a faded floral dressing gown from the back of the wooden door, grabbed her towel and toilet bag, and headed for the female shower block. Two women leaned against the wall, waiting for their turn. Aislyn attached to the end of the line, and stared straight ahead, pleased no one expected scintillating conversation. She stared out the dusty third-floor window and noticed the streetlights still glowed. The gloom of the early morning, combined with the wisps of fog made the narrow street outside the hostel forbidding and unwelcoming. Aislyn stirred herself when the line moved.

“O’Sullivan,” a masculine voice roared along the passage.

Aislyn straightened from her slouch, her heart upping its tempo. Maybe it was work—a case. “Yeah?”

“Phone.”

Rats, the call was probably a furtive message from her mother or Seamus with another lecture. Sighing, Aislyn yielded her place in the line and went to answer the summons.

“Aislyn.”

“Hell’s teeth. Does it take that long to answer the phone? Why don’t you get a mobile?”

Irritation sliced through her along with something else more complicated and confusing—an emotion that cropped up a lot where Seamus was concerned. If he hated her presence in Auckland, why did he keep bothering her? If he’d leave her alone, she’d get over the unhealthy crush she harbored for him. She could consign the trembling hands, uneasy belly, and the heat that made her heart pound, to the past.

She rubbed her arm and pressed harder when the itching continued.

“Have you taken your pill?”

His voice, although harsh, sent yearning throbbing through her body. She swallowed and hoped she didn’t give herself away. “I’ve just climbed out of bed. Give me a chance.”

“I’ll be there in five minutes.”

“But—” A loud click signified the five-minute countdown had commenced. Bother the man. If he thought she intended to miss her shower because of his visit, he could think again. Aislyn stomped back up the stairs and joined the line of five women waiting for their turn in the showers.

Half an hour later, showered and dressed in black jeans and a pale green T-shirt, Aislyn hurried back to her room, her damp curls swinging around her face. Seamus pushed away from the wall outside her door, his scowl making her mutter under her breath.

“I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes.”

“I’m here now.” Aislyn silently counted to ten. It was the kid-sister syndrome over again. The kiss in the elevator was a figment of her fertile imagination. “What’s so important it couldn’t wait until I arrived at work on Monday?”

“I have to leave for a while.”

Aislyn lowered her voice. “The colony?”

“For part of the time, but the rest of the week, Gill and I are visiting Little Barrier Island to help with security. Aren’t you going to ask me in? I’ve brought breakfast.” He held up a bag from Peter’s Bakery.

Why wouldn’t he look at her? She opened her door and halted. The cat—he’d see the cat.

“Aislyn, we can’t talk out here. I need to tell you something.” Once again, his gaze wandered across the top of her head before skittering away to study the pale yellow walls.

His mind was set—the stubborn set of his jaw told her that. Silently, she opened the door and stood aside to let him enter.

Seamus prowled straight across to the single window in the room and pushed back the torn net to peer at the street below. Aislyn shut the door, dumped her dressing gown and toilet bag on the bed, and waited for an explosion.

The cat padded from under the bed, swishing its black tail. It stilled on seeing Seamus and sat back on its haunches. “Meow.”

Seamus whirled. He took one look and speared her with a scowl so black she thought he’d blow a blood vessel. “Have you taken leave of your senses?” His quiet voice sliced through the air with the preciseness of a surgeon’s knife.

“Have you taken your pill?” Aislyn retreated two steps before she realized she’d moved. Halting abruptly, she reclaimed the space she’d yielded. “If it’s the weekend, Gary rings me at eight in the morning. During the week, I take my pill when I arrive at work. I’m following procedure. It’s not eight o’clock yet.”

“A cat is sitting by your bed. If I look under the bed, will there be one there too? Or behind the door?”

Aislyn sniffed and settled her butt on the only chair in her room. “Did you come to harangue me or to bring
breakfast?”

“There’s a cat in your room.”

“I heard you the first time. Do I get breakfast or not?”

Seamus eyed the cat with distaste and crossed the room to sit at the end of the bed. “The cat is dangerous.”

Aislyn gaped at Seamus. If she stood and walked to the bed, she could join him. They could sprawl together, remove their clothes. Wrap their arms around each other. Naked skin. Kissing. Hot, fiery sex. She swallowed, the sharp meow from her cat interrupting her steamy yearnings. The feline arched his back and glared at Seamus with his orangey eyes.

She bit back the urge to chuckle. “Seamus, you’re overreacting.” She glanced at him and rose to her feet. “Joe is scarcely bigger than one of your hands.”

 

“That’s not the point.” Seamus tucked his trembling hands out of sight and scowled at the cat. It was safer if he concentrated on the animal because Aislyn presented a hell of a temptation in her tight T-shirt and form-fitting jeans. The itch to run his hands through her copper curls and kiss the pale skin at her nape was driving him crazy.

Seamus shuffled uncomfortably, willing the blood from his cock. A week away from Aislyn would do him good. He forced his lungs to expand with fresh air and only succeeded in drawing the essence of apricots and Aislyn into his befuddled brain.

“Is there a reason you have a cat?” There, that was better. He’d sounded reasonable instead of deranged and cranky.

“The cat followed me,” Aislyn said. “Then I realized he was the answer to my problem.”

“What problem?” Damn, she shouldn’t look at him like that. One glance from her innocent blue eyes, and he wanted to lay another kiss on her and damn the consequences. Instead, he grabbed the bag of donuts and shoved them at her.

“Joe is the first cat I’ve seen since I arrived. I need cats to test the anti-cat remedies.”

Good point. He wanted to laugh, but his mouth was full of donut. After chewing, he swallowed. “I don’t think anyone contemplated the problem of finding cats in a city.” Even though the first sighting of Joe scared him to death, he was proud of her ingenuity. “How are the anti-cat remedies working out?”

“The one I tested yesterday made both of us sneeze.”

Seamus leaned forward, interested despite his concerns for her safety. “Did you follow the instructions?”

“See the fat book over there, the one keeping my dresser level? That’s the list of instructions and the tests the inventor wants me to run on this one anti-cat remedy. I followed the instructions in the first two chapters, and, apart from violent sneezing, not a thing happened.”

“Have a donut,” Seamus said. “I thought you’d have coffee up here. Pretty small room.”

“Yes.”

When she reached for the bag, her shirt rode higher. His pulse ratcheted upward on seeing the two inches of pale flesh. Man, he was one sad puppy.

“I spilled some of the potion when I sneezed. The liquid splashed my arm, and now I have a rash.”

Glad to focus elsewhere, he studied the angry red marks on her forearm. “Send the potion back to the inventor.”

“I haven’t finished the tests. Murphy said—”

“The potion is useless if it causes sneezes and brings you out in a rash. Fill out the report, and I’ll take the lot back with me this afternoon. I’ll speak to Murphy. Did you want to go anywhere? I’ll drive you.” While Seamus waited for her to answer, he tried not to think about his real reason for visiting the colony. Today he’d make his final decision on a wife and send off the contracts. The board expected him to make the official announcement this week.

“Thanks, but I want to walk to the Domain today. Joe and I will conduct a test in the park.

Seamus nodded and stood, her refusal feeling like a rejection. He knew he was lying to himself. He had it bad for Aislyn O’Sullivan, and the knowledge his betrothal to another woman was mere hours away was slashing his heart in two.

* * * * *

A man and woman filed into John Watson’s penthouse suite on the top floor of the Metropolis Hotel in High Street, Auckland.

John remained by the picture window, staring at the view of Rangitoto Island until the shuffling of chair indicated they were seated. Not a trace of impatience showed on his face. He’d learned long ago as a child, emotions made a man weak. These days he wielded the knowledge as a weapon to aid his cause.

He turned to face his visitors. “Tell Major he can come out now.”

His beefy assistant inclined his head and withdrew. Another man joined the group. He was the spitting image of the man already seated.

Watson allowed a pleased smile to flit across his face. His assistant had done well—very well.

“Good. Everyone is here.” Watson limped behind a solid kauri desk and sat on the large leather chair. “I want a progress report,” he said.

The woman cleared her throat. “We have collected several items on the list. I’ve arranged shipment to the central judging point on the island.”

“Security?” Watson scrutinized the woman. Early thirties. Dressed in a classic style—smart but not flashy. Efficient, according to the references his assistant had provided. Good at her job but not flexible enough to bend the rules. She was balking at the native animals.

The woman consulted a clipboard and named a reputable company with branches worldwide. John gestured for her to continue with her report.

“We’ve collected the bottle of wine, the Penny Black stamp, and the sapphire.”

Watson leaned back in the swivel chair. That was all? Three lousy items? What the fuck was he paying these people for?

The woman faltered under his disapproval. “The competition has strict rules. It’s difficult to collect fifteen rare items with only three people allowed on each team.”

“Why do you think I specified twins? Your job is to coordinate. The scavenger hunt started last week, and we have three items. Pathetic. I intend to win this competition. Do you understand?”

The men stared straight ahead with impassive expressions. A flash of unease flickered across the woman’s features. She caught her bottom lip between white teeth. A replacement. No time for deadwood on his team—not if he intended to win. Employing the woman had been a mistake.

He would rectify the error.

“Right,” he said to the woman. “Go to the central judging point and organize suitable storage for each item. Stay there to liaise with security. I want you to check in each item when it arrives.”

“Who will organize the collecting?”

“I’ll assemble the necessary items,” John said. “Thank you. That will be all.”

“But—”

John eyed the woman, letting his distaste show. “Go.”

She clambered to her feet, glancing over her shoulder once as she left the room.

John steepled his hands in front of him and surveyed the two men. In their mid-twenties, they appeared capable of carrying out the duties he required of them. Both trained in the forces, they now sold their skills to the highest bidder. They were his backup plan. His primary strategy should come to fruition soon.

“I want you to fly to London to liaise with my people. Collect the items required and bring them back personally. I don’t care how you obtain them. Don’t return without the goods. Understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Understood, sir.”

John nodded in approval. “Check with my assistant on the way out. He’ll give you your flight documentation. You’re on separate flights, so you don’t attract attention.”

The two men stood and left the room. John heard the soft murmur of voices as Morgan gave them relevant instructions. While he waited for his assistant’s return, he planned the rest of the week.

Revenge would need to wait a little longer.

John drummed his fingers on the glossy top of the wooden desk and picked up the phone to make a call.

“Rick? John Watson here. I need you to do a job for me.” He listened to the man for an instant. “Cash. Half now and the rest once I’m satisfied the job is completed. It should take three days. A week at the most. My assistant will meet you at DeBretts with instructions. You remember Morgan? Is that acceptable? Excellent. Good doing business with you.” John replaced the phone before standing and crossing to the bank of windows.

That was one loose end snipped. Now it was time for a reunion with his stepbrother. After all, he’d been in New Zealand for a week now. It’d be rude not to look up his only surviving family member.

Without volition, John’s hand lifted to his face. He stroked the scar that slashed the length of his cheek. His smile held little amusement.

I wonder if Maximillan knows I’m here.

He limped back to the desk to reach for the phone. About time he made his presence known. Tomorrow, he’d move over to the island, and with a bit of luck, brother Maximillan would invite him to stay at the estate, which would bring him right into the thick of the action.

The island was the perfect place to launch his assault.

* * * * *

“Aislyn.” Gary’s whisper held a sibilant, secretive undertone.

After dropping her purple pen on the desktop and flexing her fingers, she glanced at the doorway where Gary hovered. “Don’t tell me you have more paperwork? It’s late—way past time to go home.”

“Nope, something better. I wanted to check you were alone.” He scurried through the doorway and shut the door behind him. “I have a young lady in my office. She asked to speak to Seamus or Gill. It’s something to do with their current case. I thought you could talk to her.”

“Me?” Aislyn’s eyes widened.

“I’m administration,” Gary said. “I don’t think I should talk to her, but you’re classified as fairy force.”

A vision of Seamus roared through her mind with all the finesse of a freight truck. He’d be furious, yet temptation stayed her protest. It couldn’t hurt to talk to the woman.

She tossed the pros and cons briefly. Sanity prevailed. “She should come back next week.”

“Talk to the woman. This paperwork won’t disappear.”

Aislyn stared at Gary, about to tell him he was crazy. Then the siren lure of the forbidden whispered in her ear. Gary was right. If she didn’t grasp the opportunities presented to her, she’d end up old and gray and still pushing paper around a desk.

“Show her in here.” As she issued instructions, Aislyn shoved her papers in her desk drawer.

Gary hurried out to show the woman in. Aislyn dug through the mess left on her desktop for a jotter pad. Nerves quaked inside her stomach, but anticipation counteracted the worst of her anxiety. At last, she was doing something concrete to help with Seamus’s case.

After a brief tap on her door, Gary ushered the woman inside. Although she accepted the seat he offered, the woman perched on the edge, as if she’d bolt at any second. Her smart black suit bore splotches of mud and her pale shirt showed through a rip on the right sleeve near her elbow. Pansy-colored shadows under her eyes indicated a lack of sleep and fine stress lines bracketed her lips.

Determined to put the woman at ease, Aislyn stepped around the corner of her desk and stretched out her hand in greeting. “Hello, I’m Aislyn O’Sullivan.”

The woman hesitated. “Gina. Gina Wilkins. I wanted to see Mr. Gallagher.”

“I’m his assistant,” Aislyn said, giving herself a large promotion without blinking an eye. She stepped back until her butt leaned against the desk. “His second-in-command.”

“Someone is trying to kill me,” the woman blurted.

“Kill you?”

Gina glanced over her shoulder as if she feared someone would overhear her confession. She swallowed. “Yesterday when I was waiting at the traffic lights to cross from one side of Queen Street to the other, someone shoved me off the footpath into the path of an oncoming bus.” The woman shuddered. “Somehow the driver managed to stop.”

“Are you sure? Could it have been an accident?”

“That’s what I thought at first, but a woman saw the man push me off the sidewalk. Tonight, when I was boarding the ferry to cross the harbor to Devonport, a man shoved me over the side of the wharf just as the ferry moved.” The little color remaining in Gina’s face bled away when she spoke of the incident. “I grabbed the railing and glimpsed a man wearing a hat before the crew came to my aid.”

Caught up in the drama of Gina’s story, Aislyn’s heartbeat raced. “Did you see his face? Did you recognize him?”

“It was getting dark. And he wore a baseball cap pulled low over his face. He looked familiar, but I can’t place where I’ve seen the man before.”

“Can you think of anyone who has a grudge against you?”

Gina shook her head.

“Who do you work for?”

“I’m not meant to tell anyone.” She chewed on her bottom lip, her blue eyes surveying Aislyn with doubt. “I signed a confidentiality clause. It was a condition of my employment—I can’t say who I’m working for or talk to anyone about my duties.”

“Didn’t that strike you as strange?” Aislyn demanded.

Gina’s eyes narrowed. “I do nothing illegal.” Her back straightened, her fearful demeanor replaced by indignation.

“Why the secrecy?” Something in the woman’s expression suggested illegalities were part of the equation, even if she didn’t take part.

“I don’t know.”

“I can’t help if you won’t tell me anything.”

“Seamus will help me,” the woman said.

This time Aislyn’s eyes narrowed. “How do you know Seamus?”

“He’s friends with my sister. I’ve met him twice.”

“Seamus is away for the rest of the week.” Jealousy clawed at Aislyn. “You can wait until he returns.”

“I need help now.” Gina closed her eyes and opened them to stare at Aislyn. “Do you promise not to repeat this to anyone, if I tell you about my job?”

“Just Seamus.”

“Fine. It’s not as if I’ll keep the job for much longer. My boss is less than impressed with my results.” She paused. “He’s an Englishman called John Watson. He’s a collector, and my job is to help him add to his artifacts while he’s visiting New Zealand.”

“What sort of things does he collect?”

“The list is a weird assortment of things ranging from jewelry to clothes to birds and animals. Endangered animals,” she said, color coursing along her pale cheeks.

Gary burst into the office carrying a tray with three cups. “Did you say endangered animals? Carry on,” he said taking a chair right next to Aislyn. “I’m all ears.”

“And mouth as well,” Aislyn said drily. “What do you think this man is up to?”

“I know what he’s up to,” Gary said. “It must tie into Seamus’s latest case. We should contact Seamus and Gill and stash Gina somewhere safe until they can talk to her.”

“Seamus told me I couldn’t contact him.” Aislyn turned back to Gina. “Where is John Watson staying?”

“He has a suite at Metropolis.”

“What does he look like?”

“He’s not tall, maybe a little taller than me. Say around five-eight or nine, he dresses in Italian suits. He has short-cropped gray hair and a scar down one side of his face. His eyes are pale blue and shaking his hand is like touching a wet fish.”

“He should be easy enough to find him if he’s at Metropolis. Do you have somewhere you can stay, Gina?”

“I can stay with my friend, Lucy.”

Gary stood. “I’ll go to find some clothes for you—a disguise. Hopefully, we can fool anyone who is watching for you.” He hurried from the office.

“What are you going to do?” Gina asked.

“We’ll report to Seamus as soon as he returns.” Aislyn hoped like heck she didn’t look as though she was lying through her teeth.

“I’ve found clothes for you,” Gary said, holding up a pair of jeans, an ugly gray jacket and a navy-blue hat. “The jeans will be too big, but Seamus has a tie in his drawer for formal occasions. You can borrow it as a belt to hold up the jeans.”

Five minutes later, Aislyn ushered Gina out a side door of the police station.

“Do you see anyone familiar?” she asked. “What about that man standing over by the Post Office?”

“I’ve never seen him before.”

“Let’s walk up to the corner and catch the Link bus. We can get off opposite TwoDoubleSeven in Newmarket.”

Gina gave a wan smile. “Lucy’s flat is five minutes walk from there.”

“Good,” Aislyn said, grabbing Gina by the arm. “If we hurry, you’ll arrive at your friend’s house in no time. No one is taking any notice of us.” The words sounded sincere or at least she hoped they did. Aislyn hated the way the spot right in the middle of her back prickled. Once they exited the bus, Aislyn hastened her pace, dragging Gina after her. “Which street? This one?”

Gina glanced over her shoulder. “Is someone following?”

Aislyn didn’t answer, instead picking up her speed even more. She couldn’t see anyone behind them either, but her gut told her otherwise.

Come back on Monday to read the next chapter.

2 comments to “The Adventures of Aislyn O’Sullivan – Chapter 11”

  1. I find it fun that people freak out over the cat. I thought for sure something really menacing was going to be in her bag.


  2. Ah, but a cat is menacing to female fairies.