That means I can eat until midnight, she argued slowly. Can I help you?

For all I know, he went on, they could wipe my brain all over again. Lock me back in some tiny, airtight bunker for God knows how long.

He needed distance, that was it. Distance. If he stayed away from Miranda, he couldn't be tempted, and she'd eventually forget about their illicit encounter and find herself some nice jolly fellow to wed. The image of her in another man's arms was unexpectedly distasteful, but Turner decided that was because it was early in the morning, and he was tired, and he'd kissed her only six or so hours earlier, and-And there could be a hundred different reasons, none of them important enough to examine further.

In the meantime, he'd have to avoid her. Maybe he should leave town. Get away. He could go to the country. He hadn't really meant to remain in London very long, anyway.He opened his eyes and groaned. Had he no self-control? Miranda was an inexperienced chit of twenty. She wasn't like Leticia, wise to all of her womanly skills, and willing to use them to her advantage.Miranda would be tempting, but resistible. Turner was man enough to keep his head around her. All the same, he probably ought not to be living in the same house. And while he was making changes, perhaps it was time to inspect the women of the ton this year. There were many discreet young widows. He'd been far too long without female company.

If anything could help him forget one woman, it was another.* * *
"Turner is moving out."

"What?" Miranda had been arranging flowers in a porcelain vase. It was only through agile hands and tremendous good luck that the precious antique did not go crashing to the ground.

"He's already gone," Olivia said with a shrug. "His valet is packing his things right now."I wasn’t sure what to say or what to suggest. Knowing that the hunters could show up and jeopardize one of our missions, as they’d done this one, and get away with it… it was extremely unnerving. Nothing of this magnitude had ever happened before. Yes, they had reached locations before us—obviously on purpose—but they’d never jeopardized a mission that we were clearly in the middle of. It was like they were sending us a message…

Derek took a seat in the armchair opposite me and leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees. He was silent for a while, rubbing his face in his hands, before looking up, a spark of resolution in his eyes.I want a look into Thornton’s headquarters.

I bit my lower lip. We both knew that was illegal. No spies or trespassers were allowed to go anywhere near IBSI headquarters for any reason whatsoever. If we got caught… it would certainly heighten the tension. And more than likely, we would lose the support of the authorities. If presented with a choice, they would pick the hunters over us every time.Still, I nodded. Something had shifted with these hunters and until we knew what it was, we couldn’t go out on another mission again without fearing for both our lives and the lives of the humans we were trying to rescue.