"It's an ancient device," Irons' wickedly seductive voice sounded from the doorway and the trio glanced up at him, watching as he slowly crossed the room. He had discarded his dinner jacket and his white shirt glimmered in the soft lightning. As he reached Ian's side, he stopped and stared down at her, curiosity in his gaze. "Are you certain you have never encountered it before?"

"Look, I don't know what you're talking about," Alexa protested, drawing her arms across her chest and staring at him. She ignored the little voice that insisted that the Witchblade was important. "But it's late Mr Irons and I should be going," She reached for her sandals and began to pull them on, eager to escape Irons' house and the madness that had engulfed her. "Thank you very much for the hospitality but I should be making my way home," It was a measure of just how rattled she was, that she failed to use such a prime opportunity to get close enough to Irons for her job.

"But aren't you curious?" Irons' stepped closer, staring at her with his deep green eyes. "You've had quite a night of it and I'm sure you would want to know why." Alexa swallowed nervously, seeing in Irons eyes, the shadows of someone else.

"No," Her fingers fumbled with the straps on her shoes as she hurried to tie them. "I really should be going," She finished buckling on her shoes and stood. "Thank you very much for your kindness, but I can't stay,"

"Alexa," Kenneth stepped closer to her and his eyes caught hers "I really rather think that you should stay,"

"Listen to her Mr Irons, she wants to get out of here," Sara's voice cracked across the space like a whip. "and I don't blame her, who'd want to be cooped up in this mausoleum?" The cop moved to stand beside Alexa and she stared at Irons with distaste.

"Sara," Nottingham snapped from the other side of the room. Through his connection to the blade, he could feel the barely concealed tumult of emotions that were running through his father. Now was definitely not the time for the wielder to upset Irons. Ian couldn't understand it, but he knew that Alexa had seized hold of his father's thoughts and captured them in a way that he had never seen before. For some reason he could not fathom, Irons was desperate for Alexa to stay.

"No Nottingham, if she wants to go home, she should," Sara turned to face the dark haired woman. "I'll accompany you if you want,"

"Thank you," Alexa murmured, turning to retrieve her stole from a nearby chair. She turned back to face Irons and she managed a polite smile. "It was a lovely evening, Mr Irons and I'm sorry I was a bother," She spoke the words mechanically, falling back on routine as she battled the side of her that was screaming at her to stay. Her assassin side was appalled at her decision to leave and some deep secret part of herself wanted to remain in his company. Yet things were spiralling out of her control and she needed to a peaceful place to work out what had happened. No she could not complete her task tonight.

"No bother at all," Irons finally dragged his emotions under control and he held out a hand, "I hope to see you again," He caught her fingers and kissed them lightly, the action sending shudders of familiar sensation through both.

"I'm certain you will," Alexa managed, with no trace of irony as she followed Sara out of the room. As she crossed the landing, she resisted the urge to run back and throw herself into his arms. IInstead she focused on the layout, the ways in and out, something she would be using at some point in the future. In no time at all, they had reached the hall and were heading for the front door.

"Sara," Pez turned as Irons' voice rapped out from behind them. "Come back when you're done, we need to discuss things further."