Elizabeth watched with trepidation as Rupert’s expression hardened. He’d grown into a handsome man with a stiff manner at odds with the angry youth she knew, yet a touch of his old temper flared under the surface. She remembered the expression. She’d hurt him.
“People change, Rupert,” she answered. “You should know this more than most.”
“What would you have done if you thought Rupert was against you?” Jenny asked. The look in her dark eyes was hard.
“I would have called with the information,” Elizabeth answered. “You needn’t have known I was in town.” She stood, feeling antsy under the dual glares, and strode to the fireplace. “My husband and I would have gone to another watcher friend for the information we need.”
“Who?” Rupert asked. “And who is your husband anyway?”
Elizabeth set her glass on the mantel before turning back to face her former pupil. His jaw was still tight, but his expression had softened. She wondered if he was thinking of how they’d parted ways. Did he remember when he felt he couldn’t trust her?
“We would have asked Joe Dawson,” she answered. “As for my husband, well, let’s just call him Adam.”
“Was…Adam…another Immortal hidden in the watchers council?” Jenny asked.
“He was a researcher for a splinter group of theirs,” she answered. “Where the council handles the training of slayers, he was part of a group who records the lives and deaths of Immortals.”
“It seems I remember a fellow named Adam,” said Rupert. “He rang a few months back to request one of the Egyptian journals from the Ptolemy era.” He paused, brows knitting together in concentration. “Pierson, I believe. Adam Pierson.”
Rupert looked up then, and their eyes met. She knew what he was asking. The lie was in her mind begging to be released, but she couldn’t bring herself to voice it. Seeing his eyes widen, she knew it was pointless now anyway.
“Good lord!” He slumped back in his chair and removed his glasses, needlessly polishing them.
“He was researching Methos in an effort to find him,” she said. “He found mention of a slayer and her watcher in one of the chronicles, and thought perhaps there had been some communication between the two, if I remember correctly.”
“Fun as catching up has been,” Jenny began, “maybe we should discuss the crisis heading our way?”
Rupert seemed to come to himself then, recovering his professional persona as he squared his shoulders and replaced his glasses. “Yes, quite,” he agreed. “You had some information for us?”
“There are rumors out of Prague the youngest half of the Scourge of Europe is headed for the hellmouth.”
“Scourge of Europe?” Rupert murmured to himself. He rose from his chair and paced across the room. The move was almost absent, as if he was moving toward something out of habit. She had the odd feeling he’d now be standing in front of a bookshelf if they were seated in his study instead of her empty home.
“That’s what they said,” she answered. “Mac found Darius’ body that afternoon. I didn’t have a chance to find more. I’m sorry.”
“No,” Rupert said. “No, it’s quite alright. I’ll research it tomorrow.” He ran a hand through his hair and scratched at the back of his head. “Though I have a feeling I should recognize the name.”
“I’ll help,” Jenny offered.
“You’ll have my help as well,” Elizabeth said.
Rupert and Jenny both considered her before Rupert nodded. He thanked her for the warning and offer of help before asking about her cover.
“The papers Adam sent said Elise Andrews,” she answered. She gathered the forgotten glasses and started toward the sink to have something to do. “He managed to hack into the school board’s database and had me set up as the substitute for the French teacher.” She returned to find her guests standing in preparation to leave.
“He didn’t send word as to his identity yet. He just asked me to keep an eye out for openings a college student or recent graduate could obtain.”