Chapter 14

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They bring me to the sixth floor before travelling down to the lobby.

I go into the bathroom and wait a few minutes before exiting and walking to the door that Randall said was a staircase to the seventh floor. The door opens and Matchmaker Taylor exits wearing a cordovan suit. "Mrs. Clark, what an unexpected surprise. What are you doing here alone?"

"Oh, I'm sorry," I say. "I just came from the bathroom and was about to rejoin Henry downstairs with my sister's Match, Mr. Adams."

She looks a bit skeptical but nods. "I'll be happy to escort you back down, Mrs. Clark."

Knowing I have lost my chance at and any hope of exploring the seventh floor, I nod. "Yes, thank you for offering." I turn and start walking to the elevator, hearing her footsteps behind me. I will myself to not look back and succeed. Even when I turn around in the compartment, I make sure to keep my expression blank.

"In the future," she begins, "please always have a chaperone in the building. There are certain chemicals and substances that may be dangerous in their experimental states."

"Of course, Matchmaker Taylor." I nod my goodbye right as the door opens. I walk briskly through the lobby to where Henry and Geoff are waiting for me.

Henry notices my subdued attitude immediately.

"Are you okay?" he asks me.

I paste on a smile for Geoff's sake. "Yes, of course."

"Was that Matchmaker Taylor with you?" my brother-in-law asks.

I nod.

"I didn't know she was in the building," he says, clearly put off by not having been privy to that information.

"Shall we go?" Henry asks, holding his arm out to me.

I take it and we say goodbye to Geoff before leaving and stepping into our car.

*

"How was your visit?" Helen asks, greeting us in the foyer as we hand our jackets to the butler.

"Good," Henry answers. "I have a call right now." He leans forward and kisses his mother's cheek. He turns to me. "I'll see you both later."

As he reaches his father's office, the President emerges and looks directly at me. "May I have a word?" he says, his tone indicating he is not asking, but rather demanding my obedience.

I follow him into the office.

Mr. Clark turns to Henry, who is waiting on the other side of the threshold, and says, "May I suggest you use your room for the call? I need to speak with your Match for a moment."

Henry's gaze darts quickly to me before he looks back at his father and nods.

He turns and walks up the staircase to our room.

"Please take a seat, Rosemary."

I follow my father-in-law's 'suggestion' and sit in one of the chairs on the other side of his desk.

He settles across from me and laces his fingers together on the desk as he regards me with a steely gaze. I sit up straighter and wait for him to speak first.

"I've just received a call from Matchmaker Taylor. She tells me she found you on the sixth floor next to the stairway leading to the seventh floor of Dragoste Laboratories."

I keep my tone calm and level as I say, "She did, but as I told her, my Match, and now you, I was using the bathroom which is located right next to it and we were both exiting at the same time."

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