Chapter 15

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A/N: Sorry, for the delay! Thanks so much for reading/reviewing last week. I love hearing from you all. And a huge thanks to my beta, Heather!

Now, there will be no chapter next week. We're moving into our new home, and I'll be busy moving and unpacking and probably won't have internet right away (although, I can't go without it for long, so I'm going to do my best to get installed asap).

A little after ten the next morning, the crew had been called into the conference room so that we could have a meeting with Aro.

Jasper had told him of our findings and that we'd found the Treasured Heart, so I'd been surprised when Jasper had told us all the previous evening that Aro wanted to have a meeting with our team.

As soon as we were all seated, Jasper connected the conference call and Aro's voice came over the speaker in the room.

"Is everyone there, Dr. Whitlock?" Aro asked, not bothering with pleasantries, and I rolled my eyes. That was Aro for you. Always down to business.

"Yes," Jasper replied.

"Good. I spent most of the evening and several hours on the phone this morning with the French government."

"Why?" Jasper asked, a frown on his face.

Aro let out an irritated sigh at Jasper's question.

"Because I'm not ready to hand over our findings just yet."

Jasper opened his mouth to speak, but Aro must have known that Jasper would interrupt him once more because he spoke harshly a few seconds later.

"I have my reasons for not handing over everything right away," Aro barked over the phone. "I want to make sure that we did really find the Treasured Heart before we give it to the French government, and they have agreed with me. We will keep it in our possession until we have it tested."

"And the French agreed to this?" Emmett asked, sounding disbelieving, and I was right there with him. The Poseidon Group had signed a contract with the French government stating that we would hand over any and all findings, so what was Aro playing at?

"It took some convincing, but yes, Dr. McCarty, they have agreed to wait until we have the brooch authenticated as best as possible. Dr. Leo Dubois will still be arriving this afternoon to look over the artifacts that you've found, and he will be staying on the ship for the next week before going back to France and reporting his findings. I expect you all to treat him with the upmost respect."

I rolled my eyes at Aro's request. Like we would act anything less around a representative of the French government. We weren't amateurs. Sure, we joked around a lot, but we knew how to act like the professionals that we were. Well, most of us did.

"I'm making arrangements for the Treasured Heart to be brought back to our lab here by the beginning of next week. I'll let you know once I have everything ready."

Moments later, the call ended, and we were all left sitting there, more than a little confused.

"What's he playing at?" I asked, voicing my thoughts and breaking the silence that had fallen around us. "Is he trying to ruin Poseidon's reputation? If word gets out that we're breaking contracts with governments, we'll be ruined."

"I don't know, Bella. It seems as if he has worked things out with the French, so I think we'll be okay, but this certainly can't become a habit."

"We've never kept something from the company or government that's hired us before," Emmett stated. "So, why are we doing it now? You don't think he wants to keep the Treasured Heart, do you?"

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