Jacob wakes up to a text from Mark, asking if he can talk to Zara before she goes through her Ripcord process, a plan she had in place to get her out of her current government job. She’s decided she wants to stay with Jacob, and so her current plan is to pull her Ripcord and get free of her current obligations.
Mark mentions in the texts that anytime today is good for him, as all he’s doing is moving. Jacob tries to get some more info on the moving bit, but Mark plays dumb, knowing that Jacob’s curiosity will get the better of him.
Jacob and Zara show up at Mark’s with donuts, and they notice Shelly’s Volkswagen Bug outside. Mark answers the door, and asks Zara if she can put together a meeting between him and Agent Moore. He knows it’s probably the only way he’ll be able to get the file on Nicholas Gaines decrypted, and with such fresh leads he’s in a rush to follow up – he’s feeling closer to Gaines than he ever has before.
Zara agrees to talk to Moore while she’s setting up preperations to pull her Ripcord, and leaves in Jacob’s vehicle. Shelly breezes by and grabs a donut, and as the guys follow her Jacob learns that she’s moving in with Mark and his family.
They spend the rest of the morning moving things from Shelly’s rundown, ratty apartment to Mark’s house, the one entertaining moment being when a bag of Shelly’s dancing stuff falling on Jacob, covering him in a cloud of glitter.
Mark and Jacob are downstairs relaxing after having finished when they hear some arrive outside. Mark is a little surprised when Jen walks in with both Antony and Ashley, having pulled them out of school early. She has them sit and brings Mark into the kitchen with her.
Jen puts a manila envelope on the table in front of them, and apologizes for the fact that with everything going on, everyone forgot about Mark’s birthday two days ago. She wishes him a happy birthday, then brings up the conversation they had last night about Shelly. She said she spent the day at the library, going over all the relevant laws and all, and she’s realized that while she can start the fight to make it legal for them to marry Shelly, it would take time. She’d either have to start a grass-roots campaign or run for office, and that’s just the beginning.
So she looked into alternate solutions for the problem of getting her in the family. She opens the envelope and pulls out papers for adoption. She explains that she’s already talked to Judge Stevens – a former client of Mark’s. Mark and Shelly had rescued his children from a rogue troll, and since he owes Mark and there are no real obstacles for an adult adoption, he’ll push through the paperwork immediately if they get it all signed.
Mark and Jen talk about it, Mark a little worried it will get in the way if things do change later and they can marry her, and also about the various legalities. Jen says they’ll cross that bridge when they get to it, and as far as the legalities, since they’re not blood related it’s not considered incest by Massachusetts law. After talking it over, he agrees with her and they decide to go through with it, as long as Shelly and the kids have no problems.
Jen calls Shelly down, and they hand her the paperwork and go over their decision. She’s shocked and unbelieving that something like this could happen, but also thrilled at the idea and willing to do it.
The three of them go into the living room, where awkwardness abounds between Jacob and the kids. They go over everything, Jen explaining things to everyone. There are a few questions – including a few from a stunned Jacob – but the kids are happy and excited and agree with doing it.
Jen and Mark call Ivy and Eddie Sr. over to be witnesses, and the celebration begins. Jacob pulls Mark aside and asks some questions about everything, worried about whether it’s safe considering Shelly’s current condition. Jacob is also a little worried that this might be the effect of the bonds on Mark from the succubus, but Mark tells him those bonds have been broken, though he will not explain how. He even offers for them to go talk to Murphy so that Jacob can have confirmation of the fact. Jacob ends up trusting in him, and congratulates him.
Zara calls Jacob. She set up the meet with Mark and Moore for 7 at Nighthawks. Something else happened, but it’s something she refuses to talk about over the phone. She asks him to meet her at his place.
With Mark and everyone else getting ready to go to the courthouse, slips out and calls a YouGo to get back home. There he finds Zara sitting out on the doorstep waiting for him. She tells him that when she went home to prep some of her assets, Madison showed up. She offered Zara her job back – with a raise – saying that Gideon took it upon himself to fire her and she didn’t agree with it. She hinted that she knew everything about Zara – both her government job and the fact that she was working with the group – but bygones could be bygones. Zara said she’d think it over, refusing to give an answer at the moment. She tells Jacob he aught to talk to Mark about it.
Zara leaves in her car to go finish her preperations, and Jacob realizes he didn’t tell Mark about the meet. He calls him and lets him know, both stating that they’d be up there around 6:30 or so.
Heading inside to shower and change, he is flattened when a voice calls out from the bedroom. Genevieve Theroux walks out, she’s his ex-partner and ex-lover. A grifter, and one that he parted ways with rather badly after she screwed him over for the last time.
She messes with him about the apartment and Zara and a few other things, leaving him pretty flustered. He gets out of her that a common friend – Alphonse Hudson – has her working a job here in the city. She hints that she could use some help, asks Jacob to dinner, and eventually leaves when Jacob insults her a few times.
Mark meets Jacob at Nighthawks. Jacob has been here a while, and is several drinks in. Mark gets him some coffee, and tries to get to the bottom of things. Jacob protests it’s ‘girl problems,’ and that he can handle things. He does mention about Zara’s news that Madison wants her to return to her job.
They talk and argue for a bit until Agent Moore shows up. She’s alone, and sits with them. Mark calls over Sheila, and Moore gets coffee and a bearclaw.
Mark asks for her help with decrypting the file, and she pressures him into not only telling her what it is, but gets some details on why. She eventually agrees, pulling out a laptop and getting ready to hack it. She lets slip a lot of details about things that she shouldn’t know regarding Mark and Jacob, and they realize she’s looked into a great deal of their lives and put together a lot of information.
It takes her less than ten minutes to hack into the file. Mark realizes that she’s not just a hacker, but a warlock, somehow mixing the two in order to do her job as she speaks a combination of daedric and modem. She has the address of Nicholas Gaines, in a penthouse that Madison put him up in. She has full security specs, information on the wards, codes to get in, everything. She passes it over to Mark along with a card with an email address on it. Mark and Jacob order her a steak sandwich, cheese fries and a milkshake to go, and leave. Moore tells them both congratulations, and adds to Jacob “I’ll make sure no one finds her.”
They head straight to Mark’s, so he can tell Jen something is up and pick up a few prepared items. On the way Mark calls Cross, but she doesn’t answer. He leaves her a message saying they found the guy who cursed Shelly, and he can use her help. Once there, they find the celebration is still going on, and Jen is disappointed when Mark says he’s headed out. Jacob talks him into letting him go do the surveillance, and Mark stays home.
Jacob drives over to the hotel and spends the rest of the night watching the building.