Chapter 7: Deliverance – part 9

An almost deja vu washed over Addison as she entered the brightly lit foyer of Daniel’s quarters. A few months ago she’d all but lived there. Now, with her baby boy asleep in his sling, the elegant decor felt austere, and the beginning of an old poem echoed in her mind: “‘Will you walk into my parlor?’ said the Spider to the Fly.”

Her lips formed a mirthless half-smile. Addison knew about the Faraday cage built into the walls of Daniel’s quarters. It made sense. A man of his importance needed protection from the Homo superiors who could teleport. Never before had Daniel’s protection felt like the Spider’s parlor.

“Addison,” Daniel called from the entryway to living room. “So glad you could come.” His smile was perfectly appropriate, as was his tailored but casual shirt and trousers. The occasion was two parts social call, one part business. She knew that’s what he wanted her to believe.

Addison volleyed the smile back. “Thank you for the invitation.” Daniel stepped back, ushering her into the softer atmosphere of the living room. Hand-painted murals of Mediterranean vistas made the room feel spacious. Thick carpet muffled her footfalls. Addison was surprised that she hardly missed the luxurious surroundings at all.

Daniel strode over to the bar. “Can I get you something?”

“Iced tea?”

Daniel’s gaze shifted to the baby sling. “Of course. Please, have a seat.”

Addison settled on to the loveseat as Daniel poured their drinks. Again she wondered the cause for this summons. He’d asked her not to bring Ashlynn, but hadn’t mentioned Jacob. Although Daniel’s quarters no longer felt like a second home, Addison didn’t feel that she was putting her son in harm’s way. And if she were, God help anyone who tried to hurt him.

Daniel returned with Addison’s iced tea and scotch for himself. He sat on the side of the sofa nearest Addison, well outside of her personal space. He wants something, Addison supposed, suppressing a shiver from the cold glass in her free hand.

“How are you and Jacob? I hardly see you these days.”

“We’re well, thank you.” She brushed her mind against Daniel’s, but got nothing. Not surprising; she’d taught him how to shield himself. With practice even non-psionics could block surface scans. He couldn’t keep her out, and they both knew it. But it was bad form to rummage around your superior’s head, so Addison went with the direct approach. “Daniel, why am I here?”

His green eyes briefly narrowed, and a flicker of annoyance escaped Daniel’s shields. “Do you not like my company?” His hand brushed against her knee, so lightly that it could have been an accident. Addison knew better.

Addison crossed her legs, moving her knee out of reach and shifting her son closer. “Jake’s too young for the show, Daniel. I’m on a ’round the clock nursing schedule and raising a four year-old, so pardon me for lacking the energy for the charade.” She stroked Jake’s head, primarily to distract herself from mounting annoyance. She needed to stay calm for her son’s sake.

Daniel dropped the gracious host act. “You have a nanny. You could have a wet nurse.”

“I don’t want a wet nurse. I’ll feed my son.”

Daniel studied Jacob as he sipped his scotch. Addison fought the urge to cradle her son closer. “I just want what’s best for Jacob, like I do for Ashlynn. She’s becoming a remarkable young lady.”

Addison felt the sincerity of his words. He cared for Ashlynn in his own way, and Ashlynn returned it. Addison wished she knew how much of Ashlynn’s affection for her “father” was genuine and how much was from the psychic bond she’d foolishly allowed.

“She is,” Addison replied. “And she loves her brother.”

A cool smile spread across Daniel’s face. “What does she think of his father?”

Addison’s stomach lurched. She knew this would be coming, but didn’t think it would be so soon. “She’s not sure yet. Sh– Dr. Myers doesn’t have much experience with children.”

Daniel leaned back into the sofa cushions. The prat was enjoying her discomfort. “More now, I presume?”

Addison bit back a retort. “Yes.”

“Are you going domestic on me, Addison?” Daniel smirked.

Addison’s frustration boiled over. “None of your bloody bus–” Jacob stirred in the sling and wailed. Addison glared at the wanker sitting across from her as she shushed her son. “Now look what you’ve done!”

Daniel stood, frowning down at Addison. “You disobeyed a direct order from me. Twice.”

Although she knew she could defend herself and her son, the man was intimidating. Addison refused to acknowledge it. “You may run this facility, but you don’t run my life.” She stood, gently bouncing her fussing son as she met Daniel’s eyes.

They held each other’s gaze for a long, tense moment. “You’re part of this facility,” Daniel stated. “And you’re dismissed.” He turned on his heel and strode down the hall.

Jacob’s cries redoubled as Addison fumed at the wanker’s retreating back. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of another outburst, though. She walked–not ran–out of the spider’s lair.

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20 Responses to “Chapter 7: Deliverance – part 9”

  1. Elisabeth August 25, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    oh that man can not resist testing the waters can he? up to no good.

    • nancy August 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

      Daniel is a big fan of the scientific method… of evil. 😉

  2. anna August 25, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    I keep thinking Daniel needs to be taught a lesson. Then I remember his scary superiors and just think Triptych in general needs to be taught a lesson!!

    • nancy August 26, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

      I couldn’t agree more!

  3. Eonknight August 25, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    First thoughts:

    Funny… That seems a little tame for Daniel. Either he’s scared to take her head on, or he was trying to see whether there was a chance that Addison could be “nudged” gently back to the “corporate” way of thinking. The former is implausible given his attitude in the face of chairman Carlyle, and the latter would indicate that the man has a lenient, benevolent attitude towards his employees (!) or possibly that he has a soft spot for Addison and tries to protect her… Now THAT would seriously put him in harm’s way!

    • nancy August 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

      I’m not saying either way, but I will tell you that I was rushed to have this post written in time. Not my best effort. Sorry, guys. :(

  4. ISIS August 25, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    Wow youre part of this facility? My are we reaching back to the days of slavery on that one.

    • nancy August 26, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

      Pretty much. Daniel = wanker.

  5. Isabel August 25, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    In the last paragraph – shouldn’t it be “Jacob’s cries redoubled as Addison fumed . . .”
    Great story, I’m loving it. This Daniel dude has me puzzled though . . .

    • nancy August 26, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

      Daniel has *me* puzzled! LOL

      Thanks muchly for catching the typo. Fixed now. Vanessa and I are glad you’re enjoying our twisted little world!

  6. daymon August 26, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Well now looks like Daniel is really asking for trouble. Addison or Shane could squash him if they had a reason to, though I don’t know how long they would be around after that.

    Going against a corperation of that type wouldn’t get good. They have all kinds of ways to cause trouble for a person. And we still don’t know what the witches are upto.

    • nancy August 28, 2009 at 9:41 am #

      Yeah, if Addison and Shane try to openly defy Triptych, they’re in for a fight. Won’t be pretty.

  7. Soph August 26, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    *lol* I know this isn’t how it’s meant and I’m sure Addison would take it as intended, but in the UK “you’re dismissed” very often = “you’re fired”.. though usage is changing :)

    • Mujaki August 26, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

      I can see that phrase that way as well, if it was out of context. But if he meant it as “you’re fired,” he would be directly contradicting the first part of his statement, that she’s part of the facility he runs and thus under his command, his power.

      • nancy August 28, 2009 at 9:45 am #

        Perzactly, Mujaki.

    • nancy August 28, 2009 at 9:42 am #

      It occurred to me that “dismissed” could be interpreted as “fired” or “sacked.” I decided to chance it since the odds of Triptych letting go of Addison are about nil. :)

  8. Ziggy August 26, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    I want to play Shane for just ten paragraphs and see what happens. I have a feeling nothing at Triptych would be standing but it would be fun all the same.

    • nancy August 28, 2009 at 9:43 am #

      LOL! Maybe in a month or two. Right now the Creative Commons license doesn’t allow fanfic. Vanessa and I may loosen that up after we create forums. So hold that thought. :)

  9. Alexandra August 27, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    Ruh-roh…

    Nancy, your writing seemed pretty “on” to me. :)

    • nancy August 28, 2009 at 9:44 am #

      Whew! Thanks, Lexie. I was worried about the last half of this post. The first half is Vanessa’s with some of my edits.

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