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Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be

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Elisa had only just sat down at her desk when Captain Chavez walked up. "Maza. My office."

She jumped back to her feet. "What is it?"

"We'll discuss it in my office," Chavez said, and walked away.

Elisa blinked and glanced over at Matt, who shook his head and shrugged. So he had no idea what this could be about, either.

She followed Chavez into her office and shut the door. "So what is it?"

Chavez opened a file and pushed it across her desk. "Jack Latimer."

Elisa grabbed the file. "Jack Latimer? The Jack Latimer? IYS Consulting? Haven't we been trying to get something on him for years?"

Chaves nodded gravely. "That's the one. We've got a list of suspected charges as long as my leg, but we've never been able to get him on anything solid until now."

Elisa flipped the file closed. "Now? What's happening now?"

"We've received intelligence that Latimer is going to be making a deal at an exclusive charity benefit this Saturday. We'll have people stationed around the event, but we need to get someone on the inside to track when the deal is going down." Chavez pointed at her. "That's where you come in."

Finally, they were doing something to take this bastard down. Elisa grinned. "Going undercover?"

"In a manner of speaking." Chavez gestured to the door. "You'll be posing as the girlfriend of our informant."

Elisa turned. "Who's—"

David Xanatos walked through the door.

Elisa choked on the rest of her sentence. "You?!"

Xanatos grinned that infuriating grin of his. "Detective Maza. Always a pleasure."

She spun back to Chavez. "Captain, you can't be serious."

Chavez sighed and sat back in her chair. "I'm absolutely serious. Mr. Xanatos is the one who brought us the information and he's also the only person with an invitation to this event. It's the only way we can get someone inside with the freedom of movement they'd need."

Elisa shot a glare at him. "He's a criminal."

"And I paid my debt to society," Xanatos replied smoothly.

"One of them," Elisa shot back. "Besides, I'm sure someone like you is already in a serious relationship. Wouldn't people be surprised when you turn up at an event with someone else?"

You're engaged, you asshole, she wanted to shout, but she kept the impulse in check. Barely.

At that, the genial smile flattened a fraction. "I assure you, detective, I can count the number of people who know my actual relationship status on one hand, and only one of them will be in attendance on Saturday. And I trust that he'll keep his mouth shut."

Assuming Xanatos was telling the truth—and that was a hell of an assumption—that meant the only people who knew about his engagement to Fox were Elisa, Goliath, and Owen Burnett. And she was pretty sure Burnett would set himself on fire if Xanatos asked him to. Damn it.

Captain Chavez cleared her throat. "Look, Maza, I know there's bad blood between the two of you, but this is the closest we've come to being able to arrest Jack Latimer in ten years. I need you to put your feelings aside long enough to handle this case."

Elisa would rather chew off her own arm than pretend for even a second to be romantically interested in David Xanatos. "Isn't there anybody else who can do it?"

Chavez shook her head.

Goddammit.

Elisa knew jail had been more of a brief bump in the road for Xanatos than a real deterrent, and his real crimes numbered as many as Latimer's. Unfortunately, she didn't have a shred of evidence to back that up.

And she hated to admit it, but Chavez was right. Latimer was bad news, and if they could do anything to bring him to justice, they should. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they couldn't pass up.

Judging by the smile on Xanatos's face, he knew it, too.

"Fine," Elisa ground out. She could do her damn job. "Just tell me when and where."

***

"You're what?!"

Elisa winced; Goliath's voice was loud enough to shake the rafters in the tower. "I know, I'm not happy about it either—"

"You must pretend to be in a relationship with Xanatos?!" he roared.

"It's not like I want to!" Elisa shouted back, finally giving up on trying to be calming. She probably should've waited to have this conversation, but they only had a few days before the party and the gargoyles needed to know what was going on. "But it's the only way we can get Latimer. He's just as bad as Xanatos, probably worse. And we've been trying to take him down a lot longer. They need someone on the inside. My job is to be that person on the inside."

Goliath paced the floor, his serious features etched into an even darker glower. "I don't like it. I don't trust him."

"You're not the only one," Elisa reminded him. "I don't trust him, either. I'm sure Xanatos has an ulterior motive for helping the police. I've just got to figure out what it is."

Goliath stopped his pacing right in front of her. "We will not let you go into this event alone, Elisa."

She'd known that, but it was still a relief to hear it, to know that Goliath and the clan had her back. "I know. I'm counting on you guys."

Goliath took her hands in his. "We will be watching. And if Xanatos turns on you, we will take care of it."

Elisa managed a smile at that. "If he turns on me, you'll have to wait until I'm finished with him first."

***

The next morning, a package showed up at Elisa's apartment from a clothing store she'd never heard of, but which sounded like the kind of place you only went if your income was more than six figures a year. She opened it to find the slinkiest, most revealing, most expensive black dress she'd ever seen in her entire life.

Elisa gaped. This had to be some kind of mix-up.

She dug through the tissue paper until she found the receipt with the store's number on it and dialed. A cheerful voice belonging to someone named Emily answered on the first ring.

"I think there's been a mistake. I got a package from your store, addressed to me, but I didn't order anything," Elisa explained.

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry." A faint click-click-click sounded, probably Emily looking stuff up on the computer. "What's your name?"

"Elisa Maza."

More clicking, and then, "Oh! No, no ma'am, that's not a mistake. A Mr. David Xanatos ordered the dress for you."

The phone's plastic case creaked under Elisa's fingers. "I'm sorry, what."

"Mr. David Xanatos ordered the dress to be delivered to your address," Emily repeated. "He also left a number for you to call with any questions."

Elisa grabbed a pencil and a notepad. "I would love that phone number."

Emily rattled it off, and Elisa confirmed it before thanking her for her time. Then she had to walk twice around her apartment before she calmed down enough to call.

"Xanatos Enterprises."

Elisa recognized that voice, and it was a miracle she was able to keep her own even. "Mr. Burnett. This is Detective Maza. I'd like to speak to Mr. Xanatos, please."

"Ah. I take it you received Mr. Xanatos's package," Burnett said. "He wanted to ensure you had a suitable dress for this weekend."

Even over the phone, he wasn't going to let her get to Xanatos. Elisa had to remind herself to unclench her jaw. "I have plenty of dresses, and I'm not wearing that."

"It's extremely unlikely you have a dress that will be appropriate for an event like this. This is part of your cover story, is it not?" Burnett sounded vaguely bored. "Please try it on and let us know if any alterations need to be made."

Elisa's eye was starting to twitch. "I don't think you heard me the first time. I'm. Not. Wearing. It."

"And I don't think you heard me, detective. You don't have a choice."

The next time Elisa saw that man, she was going to punch him.

Before she could make another retort, there was a muffled conversation on the other end of the line, and then Xanatos picked up. "Detective, my apologies. I assumed I'd need to provide your clothing for the event. Have the police already given you an appropriate dress?"

"As I was just telling your assistant, I have plenty of dresses," Elisa repeated. "I don't need this one and I won't wear this one."

"Do you have any dresses appropriate for a black-tie event where the dinner is a thousand dollars a plate?"

Elisa gaped at her phone. "A thousand dollars a plate?"

"It's an exclusive charity benefit. What did you expect?" Xanatos said, as if he hadn't just named a price that was more than she spent on food for a month, let alone a night.

What the hell could she even say to that? Of course she didn't have anything that would be appropriate for that; she couldn't afford anything appropriate for that.

"If you do have a dress that works, you're welcome to wear it," Xanatos said. "If not, then please, try that one on and call Owen at this number if you need it altered. He'll take care of it."

"Do I need to be on the lookout for any other surprise packages?" Elisa snapped.

"Just the shoes. They should be arriving later today. We'll bring the jewelry when we come to pick you up," Xanatos said. "I'm sure you understand why I'd rather not courier diamonds halfway across the city."

"Diamonds?!"

"You're supposed to be my date. You need to look the part."

Elisa closed her eyes and counted to ten. She was doing this for work. This would help them catch a criminal they'd been chasing for years. It was worth a little of her own personal discomfort for that.

She considered the dress. All right, more than a little. "Fine. Tell me, what does your fiancée think of you sending dresses and jewelry to another woman?"

"Good question. Let's ask her." Xanatos must have turned away from the phone, because his voice was distant. "Hey, Fox, I'm going on a fake date with Detective Maza on Saturday night, so I sent her a dress and some shoes. Does that bother you?"

The response was the loudest peal of laughter Elisa had ever heard.

It went on for about thirty seconds before Xanatos asked, "Does that answer your question?"

She could still hear Fox cackling in the background. Elisa ground her teeth. "Yes, I suppose it does."

"Excellent. I'll see you in two days, then. We'll pick you up at six-thirty sharp. Please remember to try on the dress as soon as you get a chance."

Elisa slammed her phone back down on the cradle as an answer.

***

The next two days passed in a blur. Elisa wanted nothing more than to skip to Sunday and be done with this farce, but there was no way out but through.

Xanatos tried to schedule an appointment to have her hair and makeup done the day of the party, but she put a stop to that. The dress and shoes, she'd allow. The rest of it she could handle herself. Or, well, by herself and with her usual stylist.

The dress fit perfectly, as did the shoes, which Elisa found maddening for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that it meant David Xanatos had somehow gotten her actual measurements. Plus, it looked good on her, and some very tiny, shallow part of her wished she was going on a real date like this. As it was, it would be wasted.

Well, she thought at the knock on her window, not entirely wasted.

"Elisa?" Goliath called.

Elisa put the finishing touches on her lipstick. "I'm in the bathroom! I'll be right out."

She fixed a lock of hair that had fallen out of her updo and then strode into the living room. Goliath had climbed in through the window and was now standing by the couch, wings wrapped around him like a cloak. Even so, he seemed to fill the whole space. Elisa wasn't sure if it was just because he was physically huge, or if it was because of the way he carried himself. Possibly both.

She cleared her throat, suddenly nervous. "So. How do I look?"

Goliath turned to her and his eyes went wide.

Elisa held out her hands and turned slowly. Sure, Goliath had seen her in a dress before, but there was a difference between a Halloween costume and a dress like this.

He was still staring when she completed her circle. All right, maybe she was a little smug about that. "Goliath?"

He jerked like she'd shocked him. "You. Hm. You look very nice."

She curtsied. "Thank you."

Goliath fixed his gaze on a point just over her head. "When is Xanatos arriving for you?"

Elisa checked the clock on the wall. "In just a few minutes. It'll take us twenty to get to the party, and then the exchange with Latimer is happening at eight-thirty. If everything goes to plan, I'll be home and out of these heels before ten."

Goliath nodded solemnly. "Brooklyn and I will be close by, but we will not intervene unless you signal us."

"Thank you," Elisa said. "I think we'll be able to handle it, but it's always good to have backup."

Just then, her phone rang. Elisa cursed under her breath and went to answer it. "Hello?"

"Detective," Xanatos's smooth voice said. "Your chariot awaits. Or would you prefer me to come up?"

"Absolutely not," Elisa snapped. "I'll be right down."

When she hung up and turned back to the living room, Goliath was gone and her window was shut.

Elisa grabbed her clutch and told herself she wasn't hurt he didn't say good-bye.

***

There was a limo waiting for her downstairs, because of course there was. Elisa did a double-take when she saw who was standing beside the open rear door.

She scowled at Burnett. "What the hell are you doing here?"

He regarded her with the same passive disinterest he did everything. "I'm driving. How did you think you'd be getting there?"

Elisa could punch him right now. He was close enough.

"Please don't kill each other," Xanatos said from inside the limo. "It would really put a damper on the evening."

Not having to deal with Burnett anymore would certainly make Elisa's evening better, but she resisted the urge to snap I'd rather walk and slid into the limo.

Xanatos was wearing a tuxedo that probably cost at least as much as her dress, and he had a bottle of champagne and two glasses sitting out. "A drink, Detective Maza?"

"I'm working," Elisa said. "I'll have one at the party."

Xanatos shrugged and poured himself a glass. "Fair enough. Oh, that reminds me." He set the champagne aside, picked up a black velvet box from the seat, and handed it to her. "Your jewelry. I'd offer to help you put it on, but—"

Elisa took the box. "I can handle that myself, thank you."

The diamond necklace inside was...well, Elisa didn't want to think about how much it was worth. Enough that she could see why Xanatos would prefer to deliver it personally.

She put the matching earrings on first. "This thing isn't going to turn me into a werewolf, is it?"

"Not unless Tiffany's has started sourcing their diamonds from some very suspect archaeological digs," Xanatos said. "I know you don't believe me, but I'd prefer that this night go as smoothly as possible, Elisa."

She narrowed her eyes at him. "Is there anyone else in this car aside from you and Burnett?"

He blinked. "No...?"

"Then you can call me Detective Maza until we get there."

He inclined his head and raised the champagne glass to her. "All right, detective. You know you will have to call me David, right?"

Ugh, she didn't need the reminder. "A bridge I'll cross when I come to it."

She fastened the necklace and sat back in the seat so she could focus on quelling the spike of anger that rose every time Xanatos opened his mouth. She was his date for the evening; she had to pretend that she actually liked him.

"So what are you getting out of this?" she asked.

"What am I getting out of what?"

Elisa gave Xanatos the most supremely unimpressed look she could muster. "The captain believes your reformed citizen routine, but I don't buy it for a second. You have an ulterior motive for helping the police. What is it?"

He shrugged and focused on the glass in his hand. "You and Goliath helped me out of a...situation this past week. I'm simply returning the favor."

Elisa snorted. She didn't really believe that, either. "Sure, pull the other one."

He rolled his eyes. "Fine. Latimer's a business rival and I'd be thrilled to see him out of the picture for a while. Are you happy now?"

She wasn't, but that sounded closer to the truth. She moved on to her next question. "Tell me about Fox. How did you two end up together?"

Xanatos took a sip of his drink. "She's beautiful and it pissed her father off. Not everything's that deep, detective."

Elisa couldn't fathom what anybody would see in him. "You're getting married to her, and I'm about to spend two hours as your date. I'd like to know a little about the kind of woman you're into."

He drummed his fingers against the armrest and pressed his mouth into a thin line. "Just don't pretend to be a simpering fool, and you'll be fine." He shot her a look. "I have no patience for fools or people who only tell me what they think I want to hear."

Elisa matched his sharp tone. "Well, that'll be easy enough to manage. I'll never tell you what you want to hear."

"I notice you said nothing about being a fool," Xanatos pointed out.

She shrugged. "You already think all the rest of us are fools. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to change your mind tonight."

Xanatos had no response to that, or at least, didn't speak one aloud. He just drank his champagne and stared out the window, the set of his shoulders indicating that the conversation was over.

Well, that was one thing they could agree on.

***

The party was like a who's who of New York's business elite, and Elisa was reasonably sure the NYPD was investigating at least half of them.

"It's like Criminals 'R' Us in here," she muttered.

Xanatos's mouth twitched up at the corner. "Be careful who hears you say that."

Elisa rested her hand on his arm. "Don't worry, David darling, I know when to keep my mouth shut."

Xanatos scowled for a half-second before he managed to smooth his face out. "If you'll excuse me for a moment, Elisa pumpkin, I have to go take care of something. I'll be back in a moment." He gestured to the ballroom. "Why don't you get a drink?"

Like hell she was letting that man out of her sight for even a moment. Elisa waited until he was a few paces away, and then followed him.

Xanatos didn't go far, just to a dim hallway off to the side from the main flow of people, where Burnett was apparently waiting for him. Elisa stationed herself near a pillar and a plant, where she could eavesdrop while pretending to touch up her lipstick. She took a mirror out of her clutch and angled it so she could see them both as well.

She missed the first bit of their exchange, but caught the "...need to be careful, Mr. Xanatos," at the end of whatever Burnett was saying.

"I'm always careful," Xanatos said.

Burnett gave him a very flat look that said exactly what he thought of that declaration. "Detective Maza has it out for you. If it won't jeopardize the current investigation, she won't hesitate to take you down as well."

"Owen," Xanatos's voice went unusually soft, "I'll be fine."

Elisa couldn't have said what it was. Something in his voice, something in Burnett's face, something about the way they stood with each other. But it suddenly clicked with her what she was seeing, and she snapped her mirror shut and shoved it back in her clutch.

Holy shit. Was Xanatos in love with Burnett?

Elisa slipped back into the crowd of people heading into the ballroom and went looking for the bar. She had a feeling she was going to need that drink for more than her cover story.

***

Elisa had just gotten a glass of wine when Xanatos materialized at her side, as if out of nowhere, and held out his arm for her again.

Elisa took it and smiled sweetly. "Did you take care of whatever needed taking care of?"

"I did." Xanatos nodded to the crowd. "Shall we make the rounds, then?"

They mingled with the other guests, making small talk, which made it easy for Elisa to scan the room every few minutes to see who was there and where all the potential exits were. She spotted Latimer quickly: white male, about six feet tall and probably close to 250 pounds, mid-fifties, gray hair, bad mustache. He had a smarmy, condescending smile that made Elisa itch to punch it off his face.

Well, she would by the end of the night. In a manner of speaking.

On her fifth scan, Tony Dracon walked into the room and Elisa nearly dropped her wine glass. Shit.

She shifted her stance so she could better hide her face behind Xanatos. This was the last thing they needed.

"If you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I need to get another drink," Xanatos said, and then he led her away and asked under his breath, "What's wrong?"

Elisa didn't think she'd said or done anything that might have tipped him off, but oh well. For whatever it was worth, they were in this together right now. "Tony Dracon at four o'clock. He knows who I am."

Xanatos looked right where she'd said, his eyes narrowing. "I see. Would you like to dance, Elisa?"

She blinked at the non sequitur. "Would I—"

But Xanatos was already leading her to the ballroom. He took her glass and set it on a table, and then found Burnett. That unnerved her; she'd scanned the room multiple times and never spotted him.

He touched Burnett's arm. "Take care of Tony Dracon, will you, Owen?"

Burnett nodded and then disappeared back into the crowd.

Elisa gaped. "Wait, take care of him?"

Xanatos continued pulling her toward the dance floor, where dozens of other couples were dancing. "Relax, he's just going to make sure Dracon's too busy to be worried about you. I'm a responsible, upstanding citizen tonight, remember?"

Elisa almost rolled her eyes and caught herself just in time, and gave a besotted smile instead. "Right. And I'm the Easter Bunny."

He swept her into a dance so casually it was like he'd been born to it. "You know, I'm really not as bad as you're making me out to be."

Elisa looked him right in the eye and somehow managed to keep her voice quiet and even. "Oh, please, spare me the act. I know what you're really like. All you care about is yourself and your plans, and you don't give a crap who gets caught up in the collateral damage." She nodded across the room, where Burnett had vanished. "You'll even get engaged to Fox while you're in love with someone else."

Xanatos choked. "What?"

Elisa didn't think she'd ever seen him lose his composure, and some small part of her brain was gleeful she'd managed it. "You heard me. That's low, even for you."

He scoffed. "You have no idea what you're talking about."

"I've had the misfortune of being in close contact with you and Burnett for the better part of the evening," Elisa snapped back, her smile still in place. "I know exactly what I'm talking about."

Xanatos looked like he was debating whether he could strangle her in the middle of the dance floor and get away with it. "My personal life is none of your business."

Really, Elisa deserved an Oscar for having this conversation without shouting. "Look, I might not like Fox, but nobody deserves to be jerked around like that. Especially since she, for reasons I can't begin to understand, actually seems to love you."

His eyes widened—was he surprised at that?—before his expression shut down into something flat and unreadable. "You're jumping to a number of conclusions."

Elisa couldn't stop her incredulous expression, and she schooled it back into a smile as fast as she could. "About what, your fiancée being in love with you? I promise you, I'm not."

His hand tightened on hers, not hard enough to be too painful but hard enough that it got her attention. "Of all people, you should know not to make assumptions when you don't have all the facts."

There was a note of warning in his voice, but Elisa ignored it and kept pushing. "And you should know that sometimes you have to follow your gut. And mine is telling me that maybe you shouldn't be getting married to Fox just to piss off her dad when you and Burnett are clearly more interested in each other."

If looks could kill, Elisa was pretty sure the one Xanatos was leveling at her would have done it. "It doesn't work like that," he said, his voice almost a growl.

"And why not?"

"Because sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control." Xanatos's voice was back to normal, but there was something under it that raised the hair on the back of Elisa's neck. "I would assume you'd know something about that."

A chill ran down her spine. "What do you mean?"

"Tell me, where are your gargoyle friends tonight?" His smile was sharp. "Where's Goliath?"

Her instinct was to pull away, but she couldn't right now without attracting attention. "How the hell should I know?"

"Oh, don't be coy, Elisa. I'd bet every company I own that he's outside this building, keeping an eye on things. Keeping an eye on you."

Elisa had the sudden feeling she'd pushed too far. "We're friends." She tried to deflect. "That's what friends do. They look out for each other."

"Mm. But that's not all you want to be." His dark eyes pierced right through her. "Human and gargoyle, how would that even work? Would it even be possible? Or is it doomed to failure just because of what you both are?"

They were the same questions she'd been asking herself a dozen times over for more than a month now, but hearing it from Xanatos made her feel like she'd been stripped bare right there on the dance floor. "Shut up." It was a miracle she kept her voice steady. "You don't have a clue—"

"Oh, I have some idea." His voice was so bitter it made Elisa's throat clench. "There are some things none of us can change." He laughed, but there was no humor in it. "Foolish, isn't it, to fall anyway?"

For once, she couldn't think of a response.

The pager strapped to her thigh buzzed, and Elisa had never been more grateful for a distraction. She glanced around for a clock. "The exchange is happening soon." She cleared her throat. "We need to get into position."

Xanatos led her off the dance floor without another word, his entire bearing as cold and implacable as ice.

***

An hour later, three ambulances, a half dozen police cars, and two fire trucks were on the scene. Matt was reading Latimer and several of his goons their Miranda rights while a few uniforms cuffed them. Half the party's guests were loudly complaining to anybody who would listen, while the other half had wisely decided to make a break for it when the second police car had arrived.

Elisa leaned against a metal railing to take off her shoes. The broken heel on the right one dangled sadly. "This is why I usually wear boots."

"Boots really wouldn't have gone with the dress," Xanatos said.

She tried to muster a glare in his direction, but it was hard when he was sitting on the back of an ambulance with a paramedic stitching up his forehead. Burnett stood beside him, hands clasped behind his back. His expression was the same faintly irritated one that it usually was, but Elisa noticed now the way his entire body was tensed, like it was taking all his self-control not to smack the paramedic away and handle the stitches himself.

Captain Chavez walked over. "Good work, Maza. And Mr. Xanatos, thank you again for your help. You didn't have to put yourself in danger like that."

Xanatos waved the concern away. "Just doing my civic duty, Captain Chavez. And it's only a scratch."

"You're getting stitches, sir," Burnett said tightly.

Xanatos hooked his thumb at the paramedic. "And they're doing a great job with them."

Elisa rolled her eyes.

Captain Chavez gave her a not now look. "Maza, I'll see you back at the precinct for debriefing. Mr. Xanatos, have a good night."

"Good night," Xanatos said as Chavez walked away.

Elisa looked up at the sky. A few seconds later, two familiar silhouettes took off from the roof of the building, gliding through the dark.

She let out a sigh of relief. She knew Goliath and Brooklyn hadn't been hurt, but she never breathed easy until they were on their way back to the clock tower.

"I have a favor to ask."

Elisa nearly jumped out of her skin; she hadn't realized that Xanatos had come to stand beside her. "And why should I do you a favor?"

He pointed at the stitches on his forehead. "Because I just did one for you."

"Hey, I didn't ask you to jump in front of that knife."

"And yet, for some reason, I felt compelled to make sure you didn't get stabbed," Xanatos said. "It's just a message."

She raised her eyebrows. "Just a message?"

"Tell Goliath I'd like to speak with him tomorrow night." Xanatos held out his hands. "Surely that's not too much to ask."

It really wasn't, but Elisa had no desire to do Xanatos any favors, even small ones. "And why should I tell him that? You probably want to set a trap."

"I just want to talk to him." Xanatos sounded exasperated. "That's it."

She didn't believe him, but she also knew Goliath could take him. And she would make sure he was prepared for it. "Fine."

"Thank you." Xanatos adjusted his cufflinks. "Can we give you a ride home?"

"Oh, no." Elisa shook her head. "We're done with this. I've got plenty of rides back to the precinct."

Xanatos shrugged. "Have a good night, then, Detective Maza."

He walked back over to Burnett, and Elisa caught the "Are you all right, sir?" as soon as Xanatos was close enough.

"I'm fine, Owen," Xanatos said, and then they vanished into the crowd side-by-side. Not quite touching, but leaning slightly into each other nevertheless.

Elisa watched them as long as she could, half-hoping her instinct was wrong. But Xanatos's reaction earlier told her it hadn't been.

Now you know my weakness, he'd said a few nights ago, when she and Goliath had helped him save Fox.

But that wasn't the whole truth, was it? It wasn't just Fox. It never had been.

It was Burnett, too.

Now Elisa really did know his weakness, the only two people David Xanatos might actually care about more than himself.

The only problem was that he knew hers as well.

Elisa picked up her shoes and set her jaw. Xanatos had already taken her brother from her.

She'd be damned if she let him take Goliath, too.