Quinton Mann is CIA through and through. Mark Vincent is WBIS for life. There is no way they could end up as anything other than adversaries -- and yet, Quinn takes Mark out to dinner on his birthday -- the one no one is supposed to know about -- and gives him one hell of a present in the restaurant's restroom. Mark, not to be outdone, has decided to escalate this game, because it has to be a game, right? There's no way it can be anything else.
But as the game continues, as Quinn shows up to a WBIS funeral, as a friend of Mark’s penetrates the CIA computer network to get information on Quinn, as Mark breaks into Quinn's house and gives Quinn a very interesting encounter, both Quinn and Mark realize that this is becoming the most real thing in their lives.
Can they find a way to do their jobs and keep this surprising, intriguing connection?
The glass in my hand slipped from suddenly boneless fingers, and I stared at the spreading stain as beer soaked into the tablecloth. “You’re ... you’re sure, DB?” My chest felt as if an elephant was sitting on it, and I wondered if I was having a heart attack.
“As sure as my contact can be without an autopsy, and they’ll be doing that first thing in the morning. April.”
Our waitress hurried over. “I’ve brought more napkins. Is everything all right?”
“Everything’s fine. Thank you.” DB put them over the spill. “Are you okay, Quinn?”
“I ... I can’t believe it.” Somehow I managed to keep my voice from revealing my emotions. I shoved my chair back and got to my feet. “I have to see for myself.”
“Sure, Quinn. I understand. The guy’s caused nothing but grief. You’ll want to make sure the bastard is dead. I’ll come with you.”
“No. Uh ... no. You don’t have to miss your meal because of this. The District morgue, you said?” I was pulling bills from my wallet and dropping them on the table.
“It’s on Massachusetts Avenue.” DB’s expression was concerned as he jotted down the directions. “Quinn?”
“I’ll talk to you, DB.” I walked out of the restaurant without looking back. The night air was cold, but I barely notice it. I was chilled from the inside out.
He couldn’t be dead. A man like Mark Vincent didn’t die because he unlocked his fucking door the wrong way.
I remembered how he wouldn’t let me touch the door until he’d unlocked it himself. “Goddamn you. Don’t be dead. Don’t you dare be dead.” If he was, I’d --
I’d what? Kill him myself? I drew in a deep breath, then let myself into my car. It took three tries before I could get the key in the ignition. My right hand clenched, and I beat it on the steering wheel.
A sudden tapping on the window caused me to jump. It was DB, and I rolled down the window.
“What is it?”
“Quinn, you forgot your jacket. Are you all right?”
“Yes, I’m --”
“Bullshit. Unlock the door and shove over. I’ll drive.”
I did as he said, maneuvering over the console, and he got in and handed me my jacket. “I really am all right,” I insisted as I put it on.
“Sure. Pull my other leg. Listen, Quinn, you can’t fool me. Buckle up. I can see what’s going on.”
If he was aware of what was going on, why was he here?
He nodded as he put the car in gear and pulled out into the street. “You two have been adversaries for a while. It has to be a shock to know you’ll never butt heads with the son of a bitch again.”
I squeezed the bridge of my nose and struggled to make my mind stay blank, but I kept seeing Mark the way he had been the night before, so alive, his skin so hot under my fingers, his kisses so hot on my lips.
Adversaries. Yes, I guessed it could be seen in that manner. I looked out the window and let my friend ramble on.
Jesus. And I had thought this was going to be a good day.