“Do you have to leave?” Angeline did not realize how much she reliedon Dan’s presence. Their relationshipremained a very sharp double-edged sword. Neither free to love the other but both unable to deny something existedbetween them. Sometimes the balance wasmaddening but mostly she just liked him being around. Dan packed the rest of his things and zippedthe gym bag shut without looking at her or answering. His jaw tensed once or twice but that wasit. She watched him silently from thewing-backed chair by the window, enjoying the sunlight on her face. >>
Finally, he looked at her. Dan settled on the guest bed he slept infairly regularly since Angeline moved in to Willow Wood Manor. “Angeline, you know I have to go. Storm has returned and she has no idea whatis going on yet. Trin asked Shane and Ito keep it that way for now. You will bewell protected here.”>>
“I know. It is lonely when you leave. That man, Keene, he is wrong.” Angeline frowned. His presence weighed heavily on her mind,especially when he watched Trin as though he could devour her. His mind was blank as well. Other than a handful of maids, gardeners, andthe like, Willow Wood Manor offered little by way of social outlets. Ever since the local papers reported theauthorities were seeking a woman fitting her description in conjunction withVal’s murder Angeline had been restricted to Willow Wood’s grounds. Dan and Shane were working their angle on theforce and close to pinning it on a drug sale gone wrong but somebody keptcoming back to murder – likely a friend of Jaiden’s. Sure there were dirty cops on the force, Danand Shane both knew it, but eventually it would be laid to rest. Good thing Angeline could be patient. >>
“Relax, Ang. We are close to burying Val’s case. Shane found the perfect person to pin it on,a nasty demon we know who nearly exposed our world recently. He is known to deal on campus and everybodyrecognized Val’s erratic behavior in the weeks prior to her death. There are no eye witnesses. Just keep researching with Trin and learn whatyou can for now, alright?” Dan kneltbefore her, touched her hand gently. “Someday fairy girl, someday we will both be free.”>>
Angeline withdrew her hand. “I will never be free, Dan. You know that.” She turned away and looked out the frontwindow. Keene was staring up at her fromthe front drive, a strange expression on his face. “I really do not like that man, Dan. Did you do a background check on him? What is his story?”>>
“He’s clean, Ang. Legally speaking, he is a saint.” Dan stood stiffly, clearly put off by herperceived rejection. “Just be on yourguard. I trust you can handle yourselfsufficiently. Good-bye, Angeline.” >>
“See you soon, Dan. Be careful.” Angeline forced herself to sit still as he grabbed the bag andpractically stalked out the door. Sheremained in the chair until he pulled out of the front gates. Angeline rested her head on the back of thechair and let one tear roll down her cheek before wiping it away with the backof her hand. >>
“Angeline?” Trin walked into the room, dressed in dirtyoveralls and a bright red tank top. “I thought I might find you in here, luv. We are going out tonight so get washed up andmeet me in my room in fifteen minutes.” She took off down the hall before Angeline could respond. >>