In this scene, Luc is arriving home after shopping for clothes with Senthys, the young boy he rescued earlier. He had taken the child to Toy Planet as a reward for good behavior. When they arrive home, Luc discovers the trip has made the tabloids, where he is a constant source of attention. Luc is a fashion maven in the Tarthian Empire, and his shopping habits have spilled over into his trip.
Set up: Luc had joked that he would fire his liaison, Shohn. Not long after, he mentioned that he planned to send flowers to the manager of the children's clothing store.
Toy Planet and the Media Darling
When Luc walked in the front door with Senthys, he found Andel and Brinn moving big boxes from the foyer to the living area.
Senthys released Luc's hand and ran to them. "I got a new bear! See?" He held up a bear a hundred years junior to his current model.
"Cute!" Brinn tousled the boy's hair.
"This guy has fur and everything." Andel sat on the floor and gathered Senthys onto his lap. "What's his name?"
While the two chatted, Luc examined the boxes. "What's in these?"
"This?" Brinn indicated the chest-high stacks. "I think this is what 'a few things to wear' looks like to Luc Saint-Cyr."
Walking around the boxes, Luc checked out the labels. "Kelthian Kids delivered already."
Brinn braced a hand on one box. "There was a note on this one. It was meant for your eyes only, but I unsealed it, thinking it was a packing slip." He handed Luc the handwritten note. "Sorry."
"No problem." He skimmed it, then re-read the words written by the Kelthian Kids manager. "Thank you for the flowers. Roses are my favorite. Yes, I'd love to meet for dinner." She'd signed it with her name and mobile contact.
Apparently, Shohn had decided to play matchmaker. Depending on how dinner went, she might be fired after all. "Or promoted."
"Nothing. Now you know one reason why I bought out the store."
"After seeing this, I half expected a truck from Toy Planet to back into the driveway. Guess their manager wasn't as cute." Brinn tapped the box.
"Imagine how entertaining I find that."
Brinn bit his lips too late to hide a smile.
Luc tucked the note into a pocket. "I'm curious, however, how you knew I took the boy to Toy Planet. The manager told me those bears are sold everywhere. Easy to replace if damaged." Although, considering the boy's attachment to his other bear, wear made no difference.
"I saw you guys on the news." Brinn pulled out his mobile device and scrolled. "Here."
Two tabloid media celebrities from Idle Time Ezine were chatting. His name scrolled across a banner at the bottom. They'd made their fortune exploiting him for news. "Luc Saint-Cyr, the 'retired'," the woman made air quotes, "Grand Master of the Thieves' Guild has sold name rights to the Bank of Tarth. The banking conglomerate, which controls branches throughout the empire, will feature the Harbinger's likeness in advertising, showing he backs the company as a solid investment."
"Does that mean," the male asked, "that he'll never rob it?"
"Robbery? Of a bank?" Luc stopped the video. "Honestly, do these people research nothing? Bank robbery! As if I'd remain at that level. That is so far beneath my skill. Brinn," he turned to him, "what does this have to do with Toy Planet?"
Brinn gave him a cryptic smile. "Keep watching."
With an aggravated sigh, he tapped play.
"What do you suppose he'll do with all that money?" the male asked.
With a snide smile, the woman responded, "It might buy one of his less expensive suits." The two laughed at their own joke.
"Trust me. It's coming."
"Apparently, though," she continued, "he might need some of that money for toys." An amateur shot of him stooping beside Senthys at Toy Planet popped up. "Saint-Cyr's support of Kin businesses is well documented. Perhaps this HalfKin child is a by-product of that 'support.'" Again, she made air quotes and the two exchanged a knowing look.
Luc jabbed the stop icon. "I will kill them both."
"If I didn't know you better, I'd say you were serious."
Luc slid his unsmiling gaze in the young man's direction.
"Umm... Okay, then." Brinn tucked away the mobile. "I'll finish here while you... uh... Whatever."
Luc tried counting to force down his anger. "Not enough numbers."
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Would you like to review A Stolen Heart?
The story is complete, and when published, will include a bonus book, Behind the Scenes of A Stolen Heart. In it, I'll share secrets with you about the characters -- things that aren't revealed in the book.
I'm hoping to find reviews and reviewers. Is that you? I have advanced pre-edited copies in epub, mobi, and pdf waiting for you to download on Story Origin and BookSprout.
This version is self-edited and will be sent out for its final edit next week. I'd be happy to get questions if you have any, or if you were confused by anything. An early review would be a great help. Thank you!
You'll find Luc and Senth mentioned in many books in my story universe.
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