Isabelle's tone was painful to have to endure. John's fixed expression didn't waver as he shook Scott's hand, immediately dismissing him from his mind like the empty sphere he probably was.
"Isabelle," he said, bowing his head to her. "I hope you are well." His tone was as carefully neutral as his face. He wanted to be able to remove that flinty stare with a kiss, but didn't dare make any move that might be interpreted wrongly.
"John has been just a peach on this case, honey. He's donated so much of his time and expertise. It was a near thing, wasn't it?" Marissa laughed, oblivious to the tension between them. "But I knew he'd never let us down!"