“Nothing, darling, I’ll tell you later,” he said with a sigh. When she hesitated, he said, “I promise.”
“I’ll be in the library,” she said before going back downstairs.
The chatter started up again almost immediately, though was much quieter now. She could hear Robert say something but couldn’t work out what it was.
“Bullshit!” one of the male voices called out.
There was a sudden thud and Beth found herself smiling; clearly Robert had one of them up against the wall. There was the sound of at least a dozen sets of feet moving forward in unison. After a few whispered words, a quieter thud sounded as Robert dropped whoever it was back to the floor.
“I want Hollywood brought in on this,” Robert said, addressing all of them. “I don’t care where he is, what he’s doing, I want him brought up to speed as soon as anyone can find him.”
“I know a few places he might be,” Onyx said.
The rest of the words fell from Beth’s ears as she shut the library door behind her. So that’s the Brotherhood, Beth thought. Whatever it was they were talking about was evidently private business but Beth had the sinking feeling that they’d been talking about her. She shook her head to clear the thoughts as she found the copy of Pride and Prejudice she’d been reading the previous weekend.
She picked up the book on the shelf and settled in the armchair in the corner. She began to read, simply to try and take her mind of what was going on upstairs.
After another half hour, Robert came through the door, sighing heavily.
“What’s going on?” Beth asked, putting the book down.
“We, uh, we had another contract offer today,” he said quietly, running his hands through his hair.
After a slight pause, he said, “It was on you.”
“I thought so,” Beth nodded. “I just had a feeling.”
All he did was nod, to Beth’s surprise. He sighed again and came into the room. He took her hands and pulled her up. His arms encircled her, holding her close.
“Just... don’t think about that right now. Let’s forget about it for tonight. I’ve got people working on it and we’ll get him.”
“Might it have been Rosalyn?” she suggested.
He shook his head. “She knows how important you are to me. There’d be no point.”
“Okay. Anyway, we’re forgetting about that for tonight. So, how are you feeling?”
“Much better,” he said, releasing her but taking her hands again. “The scars are beginning to heal already.”
“I’ll be the judge of that,” she muttered before beginning to unbutton his shirt. He didn’t stop her.
When the wrinkled fabric was open, exposing his chest, Beth realised just how much operating they’d had to do. There was a long scar that ran all the way down his chest and two at either end, at right angles to the first. They’d had to cut him right open. There were other scars coming off the first all along his stomach. He’d been cut open several times.