The Hellewell-Fyres' House, Oasis Springs, 2027
God save the king! God save the king! the radio muffled in the background. The new king, a teenage boy called Alexander, had just been crowned in Windenburg.
Across the room, Caleb barked down the phone to his sibling: "I don't care how you do it, Paris, I want our sisters out of the police station...
"You're trying? What have you done so far? Huh? I'll tell you what you've not been doing and that's applying yourself fully."
Henry winced at his father's tone. It had been like this for days. Caleb would phone Paris. Paris would refuse to use any 'special' abilities to free Edith and Lauren from police custody. Caleb would get angry, which resulted in him threatening that Paris would have to re-join the Sweglords. Finally, Paris would remind Caleb who was the more powerful; a Grandmaster Vampire, like Paris, or a human Sweglord, like Caleb?
"Fine," snapped Caleb. "Don't save your sisters, one of whom, might I remind you, is under your care. And, as you adopted Lauren when our parents died, it will be your fault if she spills..."
"Spills what?" Henry's head shot up from his homework.
"Henry, go to your room," growled his father.
Henry closed his homework book and skulked off to his room. As he walked, his ears soaked up as much of his father's conversation with Paris as possible, but his father was now talking in an undertone.
This piqued Henry's interest more and he strained to hear.
He paused outside his bedroom door and kept very still.
"Look, Paris, we had one job. One. And what happened? We didn't finish it. So what are we going to do?... You're absolutely right. We're going to finish it."
Caleb turned his head in Henry's direction. But Henry wasn't there. He was safe in his room with the door shut.
Finish what? he pondered. And what did aunt Lauren have to spill? Everybody knows she was innocent. Didn't kill the king and queen, at least that's what dad said. If only his friends knew she was innocent too.
Speaking of friends, he decided to check his messages as a distraction from his thoughts. He lifted his phone out of his pocket, but he put it away almost immediately. Don't be an idiot Henry. None of your friends are stupid enough to message you by phone. You never know who else might be snooping.
So he checked for messages in the most likely place, which was at the window beside his desk. Nothing there. Of course there wasn't. What descendant of the Evil Geniuses would want to spend time with the son of a Sweglord now?