Harry Dresden and Michael Carpenter are sitting on the diamond's bleachers, where Michael is coaching his daughter's softball team, discussing a number of pictures that Harry received, depicting Michael in his day-to-day activity. Harry feels his friend is in danger, Michael minimizes it all, stating he's not going to live in fear, and that Amoracchius has passed out of his his hands. However, Harry decides to keep watch, since he's convinced the pictures indicate danger for his friend.
When softball practice is over, Harry follows the Carpenter's home, stopping to save a child from being run over by a car, and reporting to Charity why he's there; she offers him the guest's room - her sewing room otherwise long since unused. An intruder tries to break in the house, but Harry notices him before he manages to do so; the intruder flees and Harry chases him, engaging him in a short fight, from which the intruder disengages quickly. It is clear that the intruder was about to steal Amoracchius, but only managed to get a decoy, which he promptly dumps, but not without another couple of photos attached. Discussing the pictures, Harry and Michael drive at the latest building site of Michael's, and Harry deals Chuck, an employee of Michael's, drunk on the job.
The intruder follows Harry home to retrieve the swords, and he and Harry engage in a fight. Mouse manages to ends it, though not before Harry is wounded and forced to call Waldo Butters to get patched up. Dresden realizes that the intruder has found about the swords through the Church and pays a visit to Father Forthill, who points out that even priests have a life outside helping him in his difficulties, to the extent of occasionally saying Mass. When informed about the situation and asked a few pungent questions, Father Forthill states he's bound to keep a few secrets.
Getting back from this discussion, Dresden manages to comfort Kelly, before reporting to Michael. Kelly interrupts them, informing that Alicia has been kidnapped; Michael and Harry are back to Father Forthill's. This time, the Father yields, and informs them about the Father Douglas and his training and handling by the Ordo Malleus, and how he went frustrated about the Swords of the Cross being out of commission.
Later, Harry and Father Douglas broker the exchange, which rapidly turns into a fight, Father Douglas gets the Swords, and Harry frees Alicia, before tracking Douglas; Molly had tied some of her own hair on the Swords's hilt. Harry reaches Douglas and they engage again into a fight; Michael joins them, beating the living hell out of Douglas. Harry manages to prevent Michael from killing the priest.
Harry leaves Michael and Father Forthill dealing with Father Roarke, and retires to one of St. Mary's chapels. Uriel joins him, and starts a philosophical exposition about free will and how it manages to affect people, including Chuck's family, Courtney's family and Kelly.