Jo was standing close beside James, mainly because the music was playing so loud that she couldn't hear him otherwise, but also because the place he had brought her to was, in a word, bizarre.
She had been perfectly content to stand back and let James and his team do their jobs. After all, they were the professionals and this was their 'territory,' so to speak. But when she heard the man mention 'girls' in plural, the protective mother in her took control.
"There are other girls missing?" she said incredulously. Without caring that the man sitting at the table in front of her could possibly be dangerous, she stepped forward, elbowing one of his scantily clad women aside. "So, what, there's some sort of conspiracy thing going on here? Kidnapping little girls? I'm sure the press would have a field day with that story!" She poked a finger into Azule's chest. "Young man, you tell Mr. Burke everything you know about these missing girls!" Poke. "Right!" Poke. "This!" Poke. "Instant!"
Azule's eyes widened and he started to say something, but Jo cut him off. "And, no, I don't particularly care how inferior you think I am, or how common my A-positive blood makes me, and, yes, it was actually my idea to tag along with Mr. Burke and come to this dreadfully decorated place. But everyone in the world knows that regardless of species, you never, ever mess with an angry mum!"
Her eyes narrowed as Azule stared at her with utter surprise. "Now, I know you have better things to do," she continued, "so the sooner you spill the beans, the sooner 'supernanny' will get out of your face, and I won't even have to show you my sharpened, yellow, but slightly gnawed at one end, Staedtler HB."
She crossed her arms over her chest and her foot began to tap the floor, but it wasn't in tune to the music. No, it was 'mom rhythm' as she waited impatiently for his response.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)