When Con bought the agency from her, he continued the sort of detective work that Quick was justifiably known for, but he also delighted in returning to the investigation of otherworldly phenomena, going beyond Olivia's field of fraudulent mediums and their séances to reports of hauntings and mythical beasts and even,
as in his newest case, a quasi-religious group proclaiming the end of the world.
"That is where I'm going," Con told him.
"I don't think you're apt to blend in very well in that costume."
"Ah, but you see—" Con wiggled his eyebrows "—I've found that looking outlandish is an excellent way to go unrecognized. All people will remember is this ridiculous mustache and obnoxious suit. When I get rid of them, no one will recognize me."
"How did you make yourself look so thick?" Alex poked his finger into his twin's chest and found it pillowy soft.
"Padded vest," Con told him proudly. "I have lifts in my shoes, as well. I would have liked to make myself shorter, but that's a trifle difficult."
"I daresay. I hope you realize you look like an utter fool."
"I know." Con grinned. "Watch this." He picked up his cane and, giving a sharp twist to the head, pulled the gold knob from the cane, revealing a slender knife extending from it.
"A hidden stiletto." Alex's eyes lit up. Alex might be somewhat more staid than Con, but he was not immune to the lure of secret daggers.
"Cunning, isn't it?" Con handed the weapon to his brother. "And though you wouldn't think so, it provides a good grip. I found it in the attic a couple of months ago."
"At Broughton House?" Alex turned it over in his hand, examining it.
"Yes, I was up there with the Littles."
Alex knew he referred to their sister Kyria's twins, Allison and Jason, who, since Constantine and Alexander had been given the nickname the Greats, were often referred to as the Littles.
"It was Jason who found it, but Allie discovered the secret to opening it—she's a bloodthirsty little thing, have you noticed? I had a devil of a time persuading her she couldn't keep it."
"Well, you know her father." Alex shrugged. "Next she'll be brandishing a pistol."
"Do you expect trouble at this place you're going? Will you need a dagger?"
"Not really." Con sighed. "I'm relatively sure he's swindling his believers—easy to persuade someone to hand over all their worldly goods when they think they'll be transported up to heaven in a few months. But I haven't seen any sign that he's gotten physical. Still, I like to be prepared."
Alex grinned as he handed back the knife. "Especially if it involves a clever trick."
"Of course." Con fitted the weapon back into its slot. "Care to come with me?"
Alex felt a twinge of longing. He and Con had shared many an adventure. It was only the past few years, when Alex had been studying at the Architectural Association and then practicing in his field, that Alex had stayed behind more and more, helping out only now and then with Con's investigations.
"No," he said reluctantly. "Better not. I have work to do on the plans for Blackburn's country house. And I have... I don't know, I just have a feeling I should be here."
"What do you mean?" Con set aside the cane and fixed his searching gaze on his twin. "Is something wrong?"
"No... Maybe. I don't know." Alex grimaced.
"You had a premonition?"
"Not exactly. I'm not like Anna. I don't see what's going to happen." Alex folded his arms. He never liked talking about his "gift," as Con saw it—or his "curse," as Alex was more likely to consider it. "I've been very out of sorts since I woke up. Restless. It's probably nothing, just some residue from a dream."
"You had another nightmare." Con was the only one whom Alex had ever told about his bad dreams.
"I suppose. I don't really remember it. I just woke up feeling..." He shrugged. Even with his twin, Alex hated to reveal the bone-deep fear that invaded him in these dreams, the paralyzing sensation of powerlessness. It was a form of weakness he hated in himself. "The thing was...it was something like the way you and I feel when the other is in trouble. But different somehow. I'm positive it wasn't about you. But I've never had that feeling about any of our other siblings."
"Do you think your ability is growing? Improving?" Con asked almost eagerly.
"I sincerely hope not," Alex retorted. "I'll go mad if I receive signals every time a Moreland gets into trouble."
"True. Theo's girls alone would be enough to keep you busy night and day."
Alex grinned but quickly turned serious again. "I wanted to ask if you had ever felt that way. If you sensed things about the others."
"No." Con looked vaguely wistful. "You know me—I haven't a smidgen of talent. I mean, other than twin speak." He looked thoughtful. "If you think something's wrong, perhaps I should postpone my trip."