Harry Dresden and Michael Carpenter are sitting on the diamond's bleachers, where Carpenter is coaching his daughter's softball team, discussing a number of pictures that Dresden received, depicting Carpenter in his day-to-day activity. Dresden feels his friend is in danger, Carpenter minimizes it all, stating he's not going to live in fear, and that Amoracchius has passed out of his his hands. However, Dresden decides to keep watch, since he's convinced the pictures indicate danger for his friend.
When softball practice is over, Dresden 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 Dresden notices him before he manages to do so; the intruder flees and Dresden 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, Dresden and Carpenter drive at the latest building site of Carpenter's, and Dresden deals Chuck, an employee of Carpenter's, drunk on the job.
The intruder follows Dresden home to retrieve the swords, and he and Dresden engage in a fight. Mouse manages to ends it, though not before Dresden 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 Carpenter. Kelly interrupts them, informing that Alicia has been kidnapped; Carpenter and Dresden 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, Dresden and Father Douglas broker the exchange, which rapidly turns into a fight, Father Douglas gets the Swords, and Dresden frees Alicia, before tracking Douglas; Molly had tied some of her own hair on the Swords's hilt. Dresden reaches Douglas and they engage again into a fight; Carpenter joins them, beating the living hell out of Douglas. Dresden manages to prevent Carpenter from killing the priest.
Dresden leaves Carpenter 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.