“Uncle Robert?” the young girl asked slowly and sweetly.
“Can I stay at yours tonight?” she asked; the image of the perfect child.
“You’ll have to ask your dad about that,” he said.
“Daddy...?” she asked, turning to Onyx.
“Oh, I suppose so,” Onyx said. “Mummy won’t mind. Just behave, okay?”
She nodded enthusiastically, a huge grin on her face. She turned around and practically jumped into the chair beside Robert.
Mark checked his watch and suddenly grabbed the hand of the man sat beside him..
“Shit. Thorn, we’re late for that meeting with the Marquis,” he said.
“What? Oh, right, let’s go then,” the man, Thorn, said but didn’t move.
Mark stood up and dragged him out of the room.
As the door swung shut, Isabella said, “I told them they’d be late for that.”
“So did I,” Onyx said.
“Yes, well, you two can see the future,” Robert mumbled. “Oh, Ibby, are you able to get what we asked for?”
Isabella crossed her arms defensively. “Of course I can. Just because I can, however, doesn’t mean I will. You are so presumptuous.”
“Only because I know that you’re going to.”
Isabella narrowed her eyes. “Fine. God, the extended family is a nightmare,” she murmured, dropping into a chair beside Onyx.
Jack stopped his pacing when he saw Isabella. Her trench coat had opened as she’d flopped into the chair, putting what little she was wearing on full display. The basque was made of tighter leather and she had a leather choker around her neck with metal studs on it. With her outfit and red hair, she looked like someone right out of a teenage boy’s fantasy. Jack was clearly thinking the same thing.
“Jack,” Beth said to get his attention. “Where’s Dad?”
“They checked him over and they wanted him to stay overnight so he’s in the ward below,” he replied.
Beth raised her eyebrows slightly and glanced over at Isabella to tell him she knew he’d been staring. He blushed slightly and turned away, sitting down in a chair at the opposite end of the room.
Isabella’s phone went off and she pulled it out quickly. She glanced at the caller ID and frowned.
“What?” she snapped. There was a pause as the other person spoke. “No. Why? Don’t beg me, Aaron, otherwise I will come home and it won’t be nice for you. That’s more like it. Now, why do you want me to come home? Yes, I give permission, just this once.” There was another pause. “Don’t be foolish, that’s impossible. No buts. Now, go back to bed and stay there. Do not call me again otherwise I’ll think of something special for you.”
She hung up, her fingers twitchy with irritation as she put the phone back in her pocket.
“This one’s pissing me off already,” she said.
“Why?” Onyx asked.
“Far too needy. He doesn’t understand the concept of our relationship. He rarely remembers to ask permission to go out, or to speak out of turn. Thank God I made get-out clauses for both of us.”