“Where is your ring?” Owen insisted, grabbing Emma by the shoulders.
“Your ring—your ring! Emma, please tell me you know where your ring is!”
“I have no idea what in the world you are talking about,” Emma tried to step out of Owen’s grasp, but he didn’t let go.
“Oh, oh, Emma. I hope you’ll forgive me for this.” Owen reared back and slapped Emma rather sharply across the face. “Emma! Where is your ring?”
Emma gave herself a little shake. She ripped out of Owen’s grasp, and practically dove under her bed. She reemerged with a square box, six inches by six inches by six inches. She rummaged around inside that box until she held out a silver ring with a dark purple stone. “This ring?”
Owen looked like she had just provided the antidote to a fatally poisoned man. “Yes! Yes, oh thank all the good things in the world, yes! Middle finger, right hand, put it on.”
Emma followed Owen’s instructions, and then her knees buckled and she fell backwards back onto her own bed. It was like she had an instant migraine, and she shut her eyes to block out the lights in a hope to dull some of the pain. But then as soon as it came, the pain faded away. And now, she remembered everything.
“Ow!” She brought her hand up to her cheek, where Owen’s handprint was still slightly pink and slightly warm from the contact. “You smacked me!”
“I know, I know, I’m sorry.”
“Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to hit a girl?”
“She did, yes, but an Agent Violet once told me that if I ever treated her differently than any other agent because she was a girl, then she’d teach me how to sing soprano.” Owen grinned toothily.
Emma smiled wide. “A smart girl, that Agent Violet. Come on, let’s go see what in the world it is you woke me up for.”