After one year, eight months, and five days -- after both being shot, after Mark Vincent rescuing Quinton Mann from kidnappers and Quinn rescuing Mark from a rival anti-terrorist organization, after dealing with deaths in the family and betrayal in the workplace, the CIA spook and the WBIS spy are going to get married.
“I hope you feel deeply loved, for you are. I have no greater gift to offer you than my heart, and I give it to you freely. I promise I shall always do my best. I feel honored to be your husband, and I ... I’m happy to call you mine.”
Those are Quinn’s marriage vows to Mark. Mark’s vows remind Quinn he’d promised forever.
Their story hasn’t reached its end yet -- there are questions that still need answering. What will happen to the spy and the spook and the people they love when those answers are finally uncovered?
After we’d finished with dinner, Quinn and I cleared off the table so Novotny could catch his breath -- everyone could use a vacation from their vacation once they got home. Not me, but then I didn’t go on vacation.
Unless it was with Quinn. I couldn’t help smiling for a minute, thinking about the week I’d spent with him on my Island of Sheer Delight off the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica.
Hmm. It might be a good idea to return there to give him a break. We could fish, screw, swim, screw. Screw ...
“What are you grinning about?” Quinn asked.
“I was just thinking about taking you back to my island.”
“I’d like that, but can you get away?”
“Hey, HR is always looking for excuses for me to use up all the time I have banked.”
“How much time do you have?”
“About a year.” And each year it increased.
“Mark?” He looked cute when he wore a stunned expression.
I shrugged. “That’s not including sick time.” The WBIS was generous when it came to sick time and let us roll it over, so each year, in spite of the time I took off to be with Quinn, it multiplied.
“Yes, but ...”
“I’m healthy --”
“Unless you’re getting shot.”
“That wasn’t my fault, Mann.”
“Of course not.”
“Well, it wasn’t,” I groused.
“How long will we be away?”
“As long as you want.”
He gave it some consideration. “A week?”
“A week, two, three, the rest of our lives.”
He brushed a kiss across the corner of my mouth. “Thank you.”
I caught him before he could move away, pulled him into my arms, and tipped his chin up.
“Mark?” My name came out a husky whisper. God, I loved the way it sounded when he said it.
I licked my lips and lowered my head so I could drop sipping kisses on his mouth.
He hummed his pleasure, and I did a little humming myself when he closed his fingers over a handful of my ass. Then he grazed his fingertips along my ass crack, and I groaned into his mouth.
He ran the fingers of his other hand through my hair. “We’d better get the kitchen straightened out.”
“If you insist.”
“The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can check out the floorplans for the Manor.”
“You’re that anxious?”
“What I’m anxious to do is go home and spend the night making love.”
One last kiss, and I set him away from me. “You drive a hard bargain, Mann.”
“Hard being the operative word?” He danced away before I could pull him back into my arms, and I couldn’t help chuckling.
While I dealt with the dishes, Quinn made coffee and set up a couple of trays, one with cups, saucers, and silverware, and the other with sugar and cream and the baklava Theo had made.
“I haven’t had much contact with Theo, but he’s an amazing cook,” Quinn said.
I looked over my shoulder in time to catch him stealing a piece of baklava, and I swallowed a grin. “Yeah. He’s a good friend too.”
This was only the third time Quinn and Theo had been in the same vicinity. Mostly Portia took care of the details about the house.
I angled the last pot on the lower rack of the dishwasher.
“Did you ever ...” Quinn abruptly looked uncomfortable. He worried his lower lip. “Never mind. It’s not my business.”
“Sure it is. What did you want to know, babe? Did I ever have sex with Theo? No.” I wasn’t surprised Quinn had never asked before. He was a classy guy who probably figured my past relationships were just that -- in the past. I’d have told him if he’d wanted to know, but the thing was, I hadn’t done relationships, not until him. “Paul, though ...”
“He’s the one you went out to Los Angeles to help.”
“Yeah. I owed him.” I shoved the rack in place and closed the dishwasher door.
He cocked his head to one side. He was interested, that was obvious, but it was equally obvious he wouldn’t press for details, so I gave him the bare bones.
“It was in ’93.”
“Ah. It had to do with the loss of your partner.”
God, he was so smart. “Yeah, but more than that ...” I drew in a breath. This was the first time I’d ever mentioned it to anyone. “Something happened down there. It’s ... I don’t know ... kind of like a physical memory my body has, although my mind is completely out to lunch about what it could have been. If that makes any kind of sense?”
“Does this have anything to do with the fact you always want an unopened bottle of club soda? And if that’s unavailable, you get your drink yourself?”