"i, uh, i was going to see if i could pick up my last check today, and to turn in my uniform.  as i was walking out of the garage.  i saw nora getting into the limo, she wasn't alone.  i was going to talk to her and tell her good luck, but they put her in the limo-"

"wait," d.j. said, "her phone's up."

we both looked closely at the screen.  "it's at home," i said.

"yeah," danny said over the phone, "he didn't put it in the limo with her."

"who?" d.j. asked.

that's when it hit me.  "peter."

* * *

- d.j.'s pov -

"shawn!" charlie called from as we flew into the main part of the senate house's situation room.

i'd never seen my brother like this.  in crisis, he usually hid, acting like he didn't care, but now, he was taking full charge, and it was terrifying.

"yo!" shawn hollered.

"keys," charlie said, holding out his hand.

"what?" arabella asked, chuckling in utter surprise.

"you, too," i said, sternly to my sister.

"we took a limo-"

"keys." charlie and i said in harmony.  shawn and arabella had no idea that anyone knew they were planning on taking motorcycles up to calabasas for the weekend after the senate hearing.

arabella and shawn rolled their eyes and fished their keys from shawn's pockets.

shawn sighed.  "they're out back."

arabella shifted her weight from one foot from the other.  "wait, you guys aren't going to-"

"you bet your ass we are," i said as charlie threw on his blazer, while i rolled up my sleeves.

"uh-uh, no way," my mother said, standing from her chair.  "we're supposed to be removed from the situation.  you're not doing this."

"mom," i said, staring my mother squarely in the eye, "it's nora."

"exactly," she said, "as your queen, the highest power in the country at the moment, and as your mother, i forbid you to do this."

charlie and i looked to one another.  without a word, we pushed passed isabel, who stood there, speechless, as we walked out the door.

as we bounded down the marble stairs of the senate house, chad brinkman sat on a bench ahead of us.  he stood and gave a solemn smirk.  we ran passed him, but charlie turned.

"brinkman," he said, "jacket."

"excuse me, sir?" chad asked.

"i need your jacket.  i've gotta get out of here unrecognized and every media outlet has pictures of what i'm wearing."

chad's eyes lit up.  "how much of a hurry are you in?"


chad hustled us out back to the royal news daily van.  he threw open the back door to expose a rack of clothing.  charlie and i threw on a wind breaker and leather jacket.  chad threw us each a pair of jeans.

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