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Aria checked her phone after work and frowned.
“Bad news?” Freya asked.
“No news. I was hoping somebody might have called about the necklace, by now.”
“It’s been one day,” Freya pointed out. “It was unlikely we’d find it the first day we put up flyers, isn’t it?”
“I suppose.” She knew Freya was right, but she couldn’t help being disappointed, nonetheless.
They headed out of the room, together and were walking through the empty aquarium when someone called, “Frigg!”
Freya smiled, but quickly forced herself to look annoyed as she turned to Frederick. “Seriously? My name has only two syllables and five letters. It’s not that difficult.”
“Frigg also has five letters,” he pointed out as he smiled.
“You’re not as charming as you seem to think.”
“I’m sure I’m much less charming than you think,” he admitted.
“I’m going to head on out,” Aria said, sensing they may be at it for a few minutes.
“Wait,” he told her, reaching into his pocket. “I, actually, wanted to talk to both of you. I was on the beach the other night when something caught my eye…” He went through one pocket after another until finally, “Ah, here it is.” He pulled out a fin-shaped pendant on a rope. The glow could hardly be seen in the light of the aquarium, but there was no doubt that it was the one they’d been seeking.
Freya grabbed the necklace, scarcely daring to believe it was real. “How long have you had this?”
“Just a few days,” he replied. “I found the stone interesting. I haven’t seen anything like that before. Where did you get it?”
“It actually belongs to a girl I know,” Aria explained as she took the pendant from her friend. “It’s kind of a family heirloom. You wouldn’t believe the amount of stress this thing has caused.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t return it, sooner,” he told them. “I intended to seek out the owner, but I was curious about the stone and thought I might research it a bit, first. I would appreciate it if you could get her to tell you what kind it is.”
“I’ll do my best,” Aria promised.
Freya could only stare at the scientist for a moment before she broke out into a smile. “Oh, Frederick, you beautiful, brilliant man!” She kissed his cheek in her excitement, feeling like the world had been lifted from her shoulders. She grabbed Aria’s hand. “We have to go home and make some plans, now!”
She rushed out of the aquarium and didn’t see him touch his cheek. She didn’t see him standing there, staring at her as she rushed out. She didn’t know he stayed like that for several minutes after she was gone. All Freya could think about was returning the necklace and she hardly gave Frederick Grey a thought past that.
“You alright?” Adam asked when he found his boss, staring at the door.
“I’m…brilliant,” Grey mumbled as he walked away.
Eric came out and the pair watched him head out of the aquarium, as if in a trance.
“What happened to him?” Eric wondered.
Adam shrugged. “It’s impossible to say with him.” He looked at the intern. “Want to get a drink?”
“Not a chance.”
“But it worked out well for you, last time,” Adam pointed out. “You met that flying girl.”
Eric nearly laughed as he resisted the urge to tell Adam the truth about her. “All the same, I’ll pass. We have an early start in the morning, after all.”
“Why do you always have to be so responsible?” Adam complained as they headed out of the aquarium together.
Aria laughed as Freya dragged her to the car and they drove home. “Can you believe Dr. Grey had this?” She was so relieved, she felt she might never stop laughing. “Honestly, I feel like we shouldn’t even be surprised, at this point.”
“It is Frederick Grey, after all,” Freya agreed. “At any rate, this is good news. We have the necklace and we can make a battle plan.”
“I thought we were trying to avoid fighting.”
“Figure of speech,” Freya assured her. “I just meant that we can figure out how best to approach the Glemoran king and queen with our accusations.”
“Right.” Aria looked at the necklace, the glow easier to see in the dark car. “I still can’t believe we really found this.”
“Believe it,” Freya told her. “It’s almost over.”