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Claire cracked open her front door to see her friend smiling brilliantly at her. “Morning,” Claire yawned, opening the door wide to admit Geillis.

“I see yer still no’ much of a mornin’ person, Beauchamp,” Geillis quipped, sidling past her. “Help me w’ my bags?” 

Claire shook her head and reached out to pull Geillis’s suitcase in from the hall. “It’s a bloody Saturday morning, what do you think?” Claire closed the door and turned to face Geillis, who hugged her and pinched her on the butt cheek, making Claire yelp. 

“What was that for?” Claire asked, slapping Geillis away and rubbing the spot where Geillis had pinched her. 

“Tae remind ye I’m more o’ a sister than a best mate, aye?” Geillis said in a stern tone as she made her way to the kitchen counter to deposit the brown bag and coffee carrier she’d been holding. 

Claire smiled, feeling grateful for her friend. “ Aye, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. What did you bring me?” 

Geillis opened the bag and dumped the contents out on the counter. “Breakfast sandwiches and croissants. I didna want tae be on the receiving end o’ yer grumpy arse, ken?”

Claire shrugged he shoulders as she helped herself to a warm croissant. “I’m fine, Geillis. Obviously.” 

Geillis grabbed her coffee and leaned up against the counter to look Claire up and down.  “Yer still thinkin’ about yer man,” Geillis said, her sharp, green eyes boring into Claire, making her feel like she was under a microscope. 

“Stop acting like I’m a hostile witness in your courtroom,” Claire said coolly. “Jamie isn’t my man.” 

“Oooo, so defensive, Beauchamp,” Geillis said, arching an eyebrow at Claire. “I’m no’ judging ye. I just…think maybe ye should reach out tae him now, ken? It’s been a month, and he’s still on yer mind, sae…” 

Claire put her croissant down went to the fridge, steadily avoiding Geillis’s stare as as she made a production out of searching for the cream. She finally pulled the carton out and turned to carry it back to the counter, sighing as she did so. 

“I know, Geillis. You aren’t wrong, and I know you’re trying to help, but I’d rather just work on moving on, you know?” Claire stirred in the cream and looked up at Geillis, waiting for her to answer. 

Geillis huffed a sigh in return. “If that’s how ye feel, ye ken I’ll be here for ye, but for the record, I think it’s a shit excuse, Claire.” 

Claire shrugged, affecting a nonchalant attitude. “Fine. Believe it or not, I can live with that, Duncan. You can always go stay at a hotel on your firm’s dime.” Claire raised her eyebrows expectably. 

Geillis smiled broadly. “Absolutely not, Beauchamp.” I’ll be staying HERE all week while I work at the London office, ken? Maybe we can go out tonight and find ye someone tae meet up with fer coffee during the week?” 

“Maybe,” Claire said in a doubtful tone. “Let’s just have fun together this weekend while you’re here and I’m not at the hospital.” 

Geillis smirked at her friend. “Aye, and we can discuss yer job applications to other hospitals, ken? Maybe even one in Edinburgh, hmmm?”

Claire rolled her eyes, but couldn’t help smiling. She relaxed her shoulders, which she hadn’t realized were so tense. She took a deep breath, willing her body to relax further. “Yes,” she said, nodding enthusiastically. “I’ve been waiting to tell you, but yes, hospitals in Edinburgh and Inverness have invited me out for interviews within the next month.” 

Geillis clapped her hands together. “That’s wonderful! I’m so thrilled for you!” Geillis cried, reaching over to hug her friend tightly. “I’m sae proud. There’s nae way I’m letting the States have ye,” Geillis said, releasing Claire from the hug. 

“We’ll see,” Claire said with a smile. “Let’s get ready to go enjoy London for the day.” 

Minerva Grey sat at her desk, rubbing her temples. It was Monday morning – no, a quick glance at the clock confirmed that it was almost Monday after noon – and she was getting nowhere. She’d been quick to tease John on Friday when he texted her the name of Jamie’s mystery New York woman, but now she was getting irritated. Why couldn’t she find this woman? Elizabeth Henry, a surgeon in London. E-L-I-Z-A-B-E-T-H … H-E-N-R-Y. She read it to herself again. There were only so many ways you could spell this name, right? 

Minerva, known affectionately to Hal and her family as "Minnie," sat back in her chair and sighed. She’d been in private consulting – which, in her world, was just another fancy word for investigating  – for most of her life. She adored her work; it was in her blood, after all: Her father, Raphael Wattiswade, started his own company when she was a child, and she’d learned everything she knew from him. And now, at this point in her career, she was better than even he had been, something Raphael had been quick to point out to her. She looked over at the framed photo of her with her father and smiled fondly at the twin pairs of blue eyes staring back at her. The photo had been taken a few years ago at John and Hector's wedding. Minnie loved that she looked so much like her father: Same blue eyes, same hair -- well, not anymore -- his hair had long since gone white, but at one time they’d both had hair her stylist called, "the color of wheat."

Her father had finally retired, and she missed working with him. She stood up and stretched, frowning. Minnie felt frustrated that she’d wasted so much time over finding this mystery woman. "Maybe he'll want to help me out with this one," Minnie said aloud, shaking her head at her lack of progress.

She’d checked every paid subscription service she had at her disposal and exhausted social media sites, Google, and every other free site she could possibly use. There were plenty of women named Elizabeth Henry out there, of course, but none of these people were surgeons in London. Maybe Jamie was wrong about what she did for work, Minnie mused. 

Minnie’s office was in a large, sleek building in London. She and her father had leased offices in a building that housed several large legal firms, which made up the majority of her business outside of her highly specialized government contracts. 

She twirled in her chair, spinning around as she thought where she’d search for Elizabeth next. 

“Knock, knock,” a woman said from the door. Minnie stopped spinning and rotated her chair toward the door, standing when she saw who was standing there.

“Geillis Duncan! Darling, how are you? I didn’t know you’d be in the London office this week!” 

“Aye, I came tae work in London and spend some time wi’ my friend, but she’s at the hospital today, sae here I am,” Geillis said.

M innie perked up, practically vibrating with excitement. “Hospital? Is your friend a doctor then?” Minnie asked, striving for a casual tone. She was mentally trying to stop herself from forcing Geillis into the chair until she agreed to give her more information. 

“Yes, well, she’s a surgeon, actually. Anyway, I wanted to see if our firm could engage you on this case that -” Geillis trailed off, noticing Minnie’s excitement. “What is it?” 

Minnie resumed her seat and gestured to the seat in front of her desk. “Can you sit for a moment? I’m trying to find a surgeon in London and having the worst time of it.” 

Geillis smiled again. “You? Having trouble finding someone? Impossible.” 

Minnie shrugged impatiently. “Okay, I’m looking for an ‘Elizabeth Henry.’ That’s spelled E-l-i –” She stopped mid-sentence and gasped when she saw Geillis’s green eyes flash in recognition and surprise.

“You know her!” Minnie exclaimed, clapping her hands together in an exaggerated motion. “Is she your friend? This is just perfect.” 

Geillis gave her a level look. “And who is looking for Elizabeth, exactly?” 

Minnie tapped her pen against the desk, impatient for Geillis to answer her question. She took a deep breath and cleared her throat, deciding to be honest. “Fine, it’s a favor for John, my brother-in-law. Our friend and John’s best mate, Jamie –” 

Minnie threw her pen down. “You just did it again. Your eyes. Your expression. You KNOW this woman, don’t you?” 

Geillis put her files to the side and leaned toward Minnie’s desk conspiratorially. “What do you know about Jamie? Do ye know him? ” 

Minnie nodded. “Yes, our families have been close friends for years, but –” 

Geillis threw her head back and laughed loudly “This is ridiculous!” 

“Geillis!” Minnie exclaimed. “You sound insane.” 

Geillis laughed and shook her head. “Oh, aye, ‘tis insane. Minnie Grey, I do know Elizabeth Henry, except that’s not really her name. Tell me what’s to do and perhaps I’ll tell you her real name,” Geillis said, grinning mischievously at Minnie.

Minnie was practically salivating to know details, and Geillis's wild-eyed expression told her that she was dying to spill what she knew. Abandoning the pretense that she was going to do any actual work for her actual job, she opened her bottom drawer and produced a small bottle of whisky and two glasses.

“Close the door. Tell me everything. Now.” 

An hour later, Geillis opened the door to leave, looking over her shoulder to wave and smile at Minnie as she exited. Both women were ecstatic with themselves. They had a plan, and it was a bloody good plan at that.