About an hour had passed since Sophia had finally claimed defeat and left his study. The night was young and the nightlife had merely skipped a beat with the rolling thunderstorm. Daske already had his phone at hand by the time he received Artemis’ message:
A*: Headed to NY. Will try to rendezvous.
Unknown: I will find you.
Daske would have to be at his top game tonight. There were too many variables that could go wrong in a split second, especially since anger, to say the least, still lingered from the loss of his men just three hours ago. Daske stood in front of a mirror making final adjustments to his suit as another reflection joined his.
“Everything is set. As always, he requested an entire floor, yet this time he will be sharing it with, Artemis, his beta, and the leopard”. Adele only broke eye contact from Daske’s reflection to fix his tie. As always, no exchange of words regarding how she should behave had to be made. Daske was quite aware of her… unique personality, having always accepted her for who she was. However, when it came down to business like it always did, he also knew that no other could put a better front than her. In fact, majority of their staff thought she was a cold hatred bitch, void of feelings.
Daske interrupted Adele’s hands from their current task and took them within his own, closing the gap by softly placing a soft kiss on one of them. “You know I trust you like I trust no other. No one from the organization is to engage in conversation with them; those who know of what has occurred tonight must stir clear. Due to James reckless actions, I unfortunately cannot trust anyone to be emotionally stable around Ambrose”.
Adele simply nodded, and remained in place watching the man she cared for so deeply leave the room. She could not remember the last time his eyes were free of torment; in fact, Adele could not recall ever seeing Daske legitimately happy.
Preparing for salvation felt more like a curse that had been casted by the devil himself…
The flight was most definitely a memorable experience, especially when the city of lights became evident through the plane’s window. Artemis initiated some conversation, mainly about clothes, and what she should consider to wear in case she choose to fit in with the fashion forward crowd, yet it quickly died as they approached their destination. She could feel the tension in the small environment, but most of all, she could feel Ambrose’s gaze upon her. Such did not make her uncomfortable, but she was not quite used to having someone’s attention for long periods of time.
Another equally fancy car as the first one was waiting for them at the airport. Once again, Ambrose took the wheel, just as Artemis and herself assumed their previous seats. Their trip concluded at what seemed to be a rather important building, which she quickly learned after asking Artemis that it was a five star hotel. Isabella did not know what ‘five star’ meant, but she figured, once Ambrose gave way at the door to let her go first, that it was some sort of rank. A glamorous and breath taking rank… just like everything else Ambrose surrounded himself with.
The lobby had already experienced its busy hours now that it was close to midnight. Daske stood at the center of the lobby in direct line of the front entrance. Standing tall with his hands behind his back, Adele stood a step behind to his right with her hands in front.
Nothing in his entire existence or past lives could have prepared Daske for this very moment. He recognized the leopard not because Ambrose immediately followed behind her, but simply because she was the spitting image of their mother. Before Ambrose made eye contact with Daske, he managed to regain control of his facial expression, but his mind would not stop bombarding his being. After years and years of failed attempts to retrieve her from the tribe, all hope was lost the day he could no longer find the clan at all. He knew it was a strong magic spell that kept outsiders away… but how had she managed to escape? And then… out of all people… she fell at the hands of the one man he could not yet kill.
He quickly contemplated the weight if his actions, but was placed back on course when he saw Artemis’ shocked expression behind Ambrose. No, he could not jeopardize everything that had been bestowed upon him… but he would eventually get answers.
Daske forcefully plastered a charming smile on his face, as he met Ambrose half way through the lobby and shook his hand. “Mr. Stone, we are glad to have you back in New York. I hope your flight was a pleasant one”. Daske did not dare to look at Isabella, afraid he would loose his composure. He did, however, feel her being with every inch of his body, as her presence strangely managed to sooth the demon within him.