Chapter 13: Comeuppance – part 3
Even as she helped hold her husband back, Addison seethed inside. Of course Daniel played chess with most everyone at Triptych. She played her part, but surely she’d have known if Daniel was well and truly manipulating her. But she hadn’t. For years, and that’s what stung. Daniel had bested her at a game she’d thought she’d mastered.
He’ll get his.
That knowledge helped Addison lock her anger away in a dark corner of her mind. She’d deal with it later. Now, with Shane ready to tear Daniel’s head off, was not the time.
As the peak of Shane’s anger passed, Ashlynn and Jake let go and stepped back, exchanging a relieved look. Addison twined her fingers with Shane’s, hoping her mental and physical closeness would keep him grounded. She felt him trying to keep hold of his cool alien side, but his roiling emotions kept surging back. I can help, Addison suggested.
Shane shook his head. No. I’m good.
Stubborn prat. She softened the retort with a grin. Her smile widened when he didn’t argue.
Ashlynn looked between the two of them with her hands on her hips. “I’m glad to see that we’re not rushing in headlong.”
“Yeah,” her brother agreed. Jake leveled a serious look on his father, then Addison. “What are we gonna do now?”
“Nothing,” Addison stated.
“Go about our business,” Lynn added. “For now.”
The men of the family frowned. “This sucks,” they muttered, which made Addison smile and Lynn giggle. That earned them a scowl from father and son.
Addison chuckled. “It most definitely sucks, but we need time to plan.”
“I know,” Shane sighed, sliding one arm around her waist and pulling her to his side. His emotions had leveled off to a frustration, weariness, and a touch of chagrin. He silently added, Thanks.
You’re welcome, love. To her kids she said, “Please tell me that was why you called us down here. No more surprises?”
Jake’s and Ashlynn’s heads bobbed. “That’s it.”
“Thank god,” Shane said. Addison couldn’t agree more.
After all the excitement teleporting back to Shane’s quarters seemed anticlimatic. The kids had elected to remain in their lab–Addison remained blissfully ignorant of their current mischief–giving her and her husband some private time. Normally she’d have him half undressed by now, but between the emotional roller coaster and 80 hour work weeks Addison yawned. “I’m knackered,” she admitted.
Shane blinked at her with surprise. “You can sleep after that?”
Addison shrugged. “Denial has its advantages. I refuse to think about it until tomorrow.”
Her husband’s hands curled into fists. “That son of a bitch is all I can–”
The hairs on the back of Addison’s neck stood up. A teleporter was about to arrive, and it wasn’t Ashlynn. “Wait!” she whispered, stepping in front of Shane while shoring up her mental shields.
The burst of light materialized into Teague. Seeing the uniformed Scot in Shane’s living room was disconcerting.
Shane tried to step around Addison, but she blocked his way. “How dare you come in here without my permission!” he snarled.
“Triptych doesn’t need your permission,” Teague replied, carefully watching them both. He had some sense; his usual sidearm was missing.
Shane’s anger pierced through Addison’s shields, and he dodged around her to advance on their uninvited guest. After one step he froze in his tracks.
“That’s far enough,” Teague said, unperturbed.
Addison lashed at Teague’s shields, smirking as they bent beneath her fury. “Let go of him!”
Teague winced, but maintained his grip on her husband. “I’m here to talk. Nothing more.” His eyes flicked to Shane. “Keep him under control and I’ll let go. I’ll lower my shields so you can see that I’m telling the truth.”
Addison probed with her mind. The Scot may have reported to Daniel, but he was being honest. Reassured for now, she turned to Shane, who was grinding his teeth. He’s being truthful. We need to see what he wants. Can you calm down?
The pulse of ire from her husband suggested otherwise. After a slew of mental curses Shane managed, Alien side. Make me.
Addison’s eyes widened. She never imagined he’d consent to a mental compulsion. Right, she said, and ordered him to take hold of his other half. Shane’s anger melted into inhuman calm. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Teague shiver.
Shane moved beside Addison, standing straight but relaxed. “What do you want?”
Teague smiled uncertainly. Your help.
“What?” Addison blurted.
I’ve been keeping an eye on you both. Gibson’s orders.
Addison flinched, but Shane didn’t react. And? he prompted.
I’d suspected you’re together. You’ve hidden it well. But now I’m sure.
There wasn’t much point in denying it. So? Addison said with as much bravado as she could muster.
I’m supposed to report any unusual behavior, Teague said, folding his hands in front of him. You two discreetly playing house counts. But I won’t report it.
Addison frowned at him. What was he playing at? Why not?
Because it’s none of Gibson’s damned business. Then his lips curled into a sly smile. And I think I can get away with it now.
Shane crossed his arms. Stop being coy. You said you want our help. For what?
Teague’s expression turned serious. To take down Gibson and the Chairmen.
Addison’s jaw dropped.