Chapter 16

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A/N: Hey, gang! Thanks for waiting for this chapter. We're moved into our new house, but are nowhere near unpacked. Eh, I've got time to do that I suppose. Well, I won't keep you. On you go. Huge thanks to my beta for being so awesome!

The week passed by quickly, and Dr. Dubois had proven to be quite the asset. I'd been worried about him constantly being underfoot, but he'd kept out of our way and had offered his own knowledge regarding the Sirene as well as his knowledge on the artifacts that we had found.

Monday morning there would be no diving as a storm had arisen during the night, so we were all stuck inside. To be honest, I didn't mind having a day off from diving to just focus on the artifacts that we had brought up.

Dr. Tanner, Dr. Dubois, and I spent several hours, going over all the various pottery and dishes we had discovered, and it was only after my stomach let out a loud rumble that I realized we had been working for five hours straight.

We all agreed to take a break, and while I was eating lunch in the wheelhouse with Edward, a phone call came through for me from Jasper.

"How's Maria?" I asked him as soon as I answered.

"She's in critical condition, but she's stable," he told me, his voice sounding tired.

"Do they know what happened?"

He told me that while she and Peter had been investigating my father's murder case, someone had opened fire on them. They had been looking into Caius' friends and contacts, and Jasper figured they must have stumbled upon something.

"Is Agent Charlotte okay?" I asked him.

"He'll live. He was hit in the shoulder twice, but he's demanding that they release him. His boss is trying to talk him into staying."

Having met Agent Charlotte, I wished his boss the best of luck because I had a feeling that man did what he wanted, orders be damned.

"Listen, I'm calling because I've been in contact with Aro. He stopped by the hospital last night to talk to me."

I held back a curse at Jasper's words. It was just like Aro to ignore the fact that Jasper was dealing with a family emergency and show up at the hospital to have a meeting.

"What did he want?" I asked as I put the phone on speaker so that Edward could hear as well.

"He wanted to discuss bringing the Treasured Heart back here. He wanted my opinion on who should accompany the brooch back to the states, and I told him that I'd prefer you do it."


"I know you want to stay and finish excavating the ship, but I don't trust anyone more than I trust you to handle the care and delivery of the brooch."

"Okay," I said with a sigh. "But, I'm coming back here as soon as we have confirmation that the brooch is the Treasured Heart."

"Of course," Jasper replied before Edward broke in.

"Jasper, I'm not comfortable with Bella traveling alone with the brooch," he said, a concerned look in his eyes.

"Neither am I," Jasper told him. "Which is why I was going to ask you to go with."

"You can't ask him to do that!" I spluttered. "He's the captain! He needs to be here in case something happens."

As if I hadn't spoken at all, Edward told Jasper that he was on board, and I stared at him.

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