“Without pleasure, there’s little point in work.” She trailed a fingertip playfully down his arm. “Won’t you sit? Ah, here’s the tea.”
Malory recognized the servant from her first visit. She brought the tea cart in silently, and left the same way.
“What business are you in?” Flynn asked.
“Oh, we do a bit of this and that, and some of the other. Milk?” she asked Malory as she poured. “Honey, lemon?”
“A little lemon, thank you. I have a lot of questions.”
“I’m sure you do, as does your very attractive companion. How do you like your tea, Flynn?”
“So American. And what is your business, Flynn?”
He took the delicate cup she offered. His gaze was direct, and suddenly very cool. “I’m sure you already know. You didn’t pick my sister’s name out of a hat. You know everything you need to know about her, and that would include me.”
“Yes.” Rowena added both milk and honey to her own tea. Rather than looking insulted or chagrined, she looked pleased. “The newspaper business must be very interesting. So much information to be gathered, and dispersed. I imagine it takes a clever mind to know how to do both well. And here is Pitte.”
He entered a room, Flynn thought, like a general. Measuring the field, gauging his ground, outlining his approach. However genial his smile, Flynn was certain there was a steely soldier behind it.
“Miss Price. What a pleasure to see you again.” He took her hand, brought it to within an inch of his lips in a gesture that seemed too fluid not to be natural.
“Thanks for seeing us. This is Flynn—”
“Yes. Mr. Hennessy.” He inclined his head. “How do you do?”
“Our friends have questions and concerns,” Rowena told him as she passed the cup of tea she’d already prepared.
“Naturally.” Pitte took a seat. “You’re wondering, I imagine, if we’re . . .” He turned that mildly curious look to Rowena.
“Lunatics,” she supplied, then lifted a plate. “Scones?”
“Ah, yes, lunatics.” Pitte helped himself to a scone and a generous dollop of clotted cream. “I can assure you we’re not, but then again, so would I if we were. So that’s very little help to you. Tell me, Miss Price, are you having second thoughts about our arrangement?”
“I took your money and gave you my word.”
His expression softened, very slightly. “Yes. To some that would make little difference.”
“It makes all the difference to me.”
“That could change,” Flynn put in. “Depending on where the money comes from.”
“Are you implying we could be criminals?” Now temper showed in the flush that swept Rowena’s ice-edged cheekbones. “It shows considerable lack of courtesy to come into our home and accuse us of being thieves.”
“Reporters aren’t known for their courtesy, and neither are brothers when they’re looking out for their sisters.”
Pitte murmured something quiet and foreign, skimmed his long fingers over the back of Rowena’s hand, the way a man might soothe a cat who was about to spit and claw. “Understood. It happens I’ve some skill in monetary matters. The money comes to us through perfectly legal means. We’re neither lunatics nor criminals.”
“Who are you?” Malory demanded before Flynn could speak again. “Where do you come from?”
“What do you think?” Pitte challenged softly.
“I don’t know. But I think you believe you represent the teacher and the warrior who failed to protect the Daughters of Glass.”
An eyebrow arched slightly. “You’ve learned more since you were here last. Will you learn more yet?”