Chapter 4

"You know, I still don't understand." Phileas complained to Blayne in the carriage.

"Of course you don't. That's okay. Who knows, maybe one day you will. Or not. It doesn't really matter."

"Who were those men?"

"Part of an evil conspiracy."

"Is Her Highness in danger from this conspiracy?"

"No." Blayne shook her head firmly. "If she ever is, you'll be the first I notify."

"Thank you." Phileas sighed. "I still don't understand why Her Highness was particularly interested in this case. Does she know about the conspiracy?"

She nodded. "But that's not why she sent you. I'm afraid the reason is rather... prosaic."


She nodded. "You see, her son is very ill. There's quite a good spa near Nantes that she plans on taking him to. She was worried for his safety because of the disappearances."

Phileas fought down an urge to say 'Is that all?'. Instead, he smiled at Blayne. "Thank you, Brenna, for riding with me to Paris."

She smiled and nodded. "My Charge is safe. I deserve a day off. Besides, I've a report to file." She hesitated. "Um, speaking of which... if, when you deliver your report you could fail to mention me..."

"But, Brenna," Phileas protested. "You are the hero in all of this. It's only right that I give credit where it is due."

She sighed and shook her head. "Phileas Fogg, I appreciate the sentiment. I do, but..."


"You risk blowing my cover. That could get me killed."

"I see. I hadn't considered that. Of course, I'll censor my report appropriately."

"Thank you, Fogg." She smiled. "I hope we work together again."

"As do I. Indeed, I look forward to it." He grinned at him.

"Don't ever change, Phileas."

He blinked. "Um... okay." He smiled as the carriage rolled to a stop.

"Looks like your stop." Blayne said softly.

"Yes. A shame." Phileas took her hand and held it to his mouth. He gently kissed it. "I look forward to our next meeting."

She flushed and nodded hastily. "Yeah. Maybe even free of physical abuse this time?"

He laughed. "If you insist... You know, it's funny, I never thought I would shrink from fighting a woman before, if it were necessary, but... having matched you, I must say, I don't think I ever want to do it again..."

She laughed. "That's healthy."

"Good-bye." Phileas kissed her hand again before opening the carriage door. He hesitated. "This 'special boy' of yours. His name wouldn't be Jules?"

"It might be." she said warily.

"I got this from him. I thought you might wish to keep it. You seem fond of the lad." Phileas handed her the fossil.

She smiled and bowed her head. "Thanks."


"I hate that word." Blayne told him. "How about 'until next time'?"

He smiled. "You're right. That's better. Until next time, then."

"Adieu." Blayne waved before pulling the carriage shut. She peered out the window at Phileas as he hurried to the platform. "So, he's the one, huh? Bloody shame, really. I could get used to a face like that one. Have to do something about those ridiculous side-burns, of course..." Smiling, she leaned back in the carriage, putting her legs up. Smiling, she muttered, "Can't wait to meet that cousin of his..."

The End