TSoA: Chapter 48: Back to Stephanie
When we last left Stephanie, she was berating Michael Murphy at the grave of his “friend,” Hank Baines.
Now, she is enjoying a romantic evening with her boyfriend, Shane Barrington.
When she’d first agreed to become Barrington’s mistress…
Oh yeah. She’s his mistress. Even though she’s single.
How soon I forget.
We wouldn’t want to use words like boyfriend and girlfriend. They might remind us that Shane and Stephanie are people, not Evil Pre-Saved Lying Liars Who Lie.
…each took a mouthful of the vintage champagne.
I have to hand it to Phillips: he has the ability to make drinking an awesome drink sound really unappetizing.
Shane has gone all romantic on Stephanie—decorating the entire top floor of his building with flowers. And he gives her a special treat: the right to ask any questions of him.
I’d like to think Shane is doing this because he is coming to love and respect Stephanie more and more, and now considers her an equal partner—in his schemes, in his life.
I’d like to think so, anyway. I am so rooting for these two.
Stephanie thinks that Barrington has been doing EEEEVIL things, and asks him some very important questions.
About Michael Murphy.
Because if there is one important subject in the world, it’s Our Hero.
Shane actually tells Stephanie the truth. And, to his credit, he starts at the real beginning: not Michael Murphy, but The Seven (they’ll stop at nothing!). He fills in Stephanie on the events of the previous book (interesting, he leaves out the part about impliedly-gay Arthur), and then reveals how Murphy fits into this:
“You see, these people I work for, these people who own me, are hell-bent on establishing a one-world government. A one-world religion, too. And people like Murphy, they see it all coming, in the Bible. So they have to be stopped. Before they can persuade people to resist.”
Yeah, because Murphy is doing such a great job with that. I mean, I guess he and Bob dragooned Sherri into preaching to a random teenager, and childfree Murphy preached some parenting advice to Hank, but is that really persuading people to resist a one-world government and one-world religion?
Stephanie starts to panic at these revelations (EVIL!), then starts plotting her escape:
…she started to hear a voice at the back of her mind. A voice of hope. A little voice telling her that maybe this was her chance at redemption. Her chance to prove that she wasn’t all bad…
WAIT A SECOND
Two pages ago, we are told that Stephanie had done multiple investigative reports on “rapists and serial killers.” And now she thinks she is “all bad.” Poor Stephanie…
…maybe she could make a difference after all.
Because hard-hitting reports on rapists and serial killers make no difference at all.
So sad. My dreams of an Unholy Matrimony between Shane and Stephanie are being destroyed!