Chapter 8

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A/N: Good morning, folks! I've got a busy day of movie watching ahead of me (Belko Experiment and Beauty and the Beast), so I'm getting this out to you as soon as I could.

Thank you all so much for the reviews last chapter! They warm my little heart, and I love seeing all of your theories.

As always, a huge thanks to my beta, Heather, for her awesomeness!

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It had been three weeks since Jasper and Alice had left for France, and they were finally on their way back after flying down to Cape Verde to talk to the government and discuss maritime salvaging laws with them.

Jasper was thoroughly convinced that the Sirène had never made it to Barbados and that it had sunk just off the coast of Cape Verde. I hoped he was right, but I wasn't going to hold my breath. In this line of work, there was a lot of guessing going on, and I didn't want him to be disappointed if this turned out to be another false lead.

In the meantime, while we waited for them to return, Rose had been digging up everything she could on Jane Alec, the young woman who'd interviewed me. Rose quickly learned that there was no one named Jane Alec who went to the University of Florida. I'd given Rose a description of the young woman, and Rose had found a few credit card transactions in the woman's name, but there was no Florida driver's license or state I.D. for a twenty-something year-old with light brown hair, dark eyes, and a birthmark below her right eye.

Rose was now searching nationally, and I wasn't sure what she was doing was completely legal, but I didn't ask because I had a feeling I was better off not knowing.

"Huh," Rose said, and I looked up from the eBook I was reading on my phone.

"What's up?" I asked her, but she didn't answer. Her fingers flew across her keyboard at lightning speed as she muttered quietly to herself.

She was killing me, but I knew better than to interrupt her. I'd made that mistake in the past. She would let me know what she found when she was ready, so I left her office and went to the breakroom for a fresh cup of coffee.

I let out a barely audible groan when I noticed Jacob sitting at the small table in the center of the room.

"So, did you miss me?" he asked, and I shook my head. He'd been out of town for the past week and a half, and I hadn't missed the annoying man in the slightest. You'd think he'd learn to take a hint, but it seemed as though my not being interested in him only spurred him on. It was fucking annoying.

"I didn't even notice you were gone," I told him.

"Sure," he said with a wink, and I took a deep breath before turning to face him.

"You know what, Dr. Black? I'm tired of the flirting and constant running into me. I've made it very clear that I'm not interested in you, and yet you still persist. I'm done. I'm not playing whatever game this is, so here's the deal, leave me alone or else I'll be paying a visit to HR."

"You need to lighten up," he said.

"You need to give up because this," I said, gesturing between the two of us, "will never happen. Ever. I mean it, Dr. Black. Leave me alone."

Done saying what I had to say, I took my mug of coffee and left the room, almost knocking Emmett over as I turned the corner.

"Whoa, Little B," he said, reaching out to steady me before I fell or spilled my coffee all over the floor.

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