Friday, June 22, 2018

The Power of Two-A Cindy and Quinn Story

The grinding of the landing gear broke the grip her concentration had had on her since take off from Mumbai several hours ago.  Neatly reassembling and straightening the papers she closed the file, slipped it into her soft sided briefcase, fastened her seatbelt and glanced out the window as water gave way to land and the plane arrived. 

‘Enjoy your stay in Macau’, the woman smiled and handed back her passport, receiving a smile in return. 

Half way down the escalator she scanned and spotted the welcoming sign. With the driver and luggage in tow, she departed the arriving terminal, and soon after was safely in her sedan on her way to the heart of the city, overlooking the very same water she has just flown over

‘It’s come a long way from a Portuguese trading and fishing colony,’ the man said as he noticed in his rear view mirror her head craning about at the skyscrapers.  ‘Of course some of the old ways are still with us, only more modernized.  Macau is still a mecca for gambling, kind of the Las Vegas of the Orient, if you will,’ the cabbie said as he waved both his hands about either side of the car, sometimes both at the same time much to her alarm as the car steered into traffic and pedestrians.  ‘That is acceptable as it brings in mostly respectable and classy people such as you, as does the Macau Hotel and Convention Centre.  Yes the city has made great strides but still a long way to go and unfortunately we are entering one of those long ways to go areas right now.  I apologise for this Madam but it is the fastest way to the Centre.’

‘I appreciate your warning and thank you for your honesty,’ she smiled at him so he could see her face in the mirror.

‘This will be next, in fact its slated for later this year until then everyone will just have to put up with the seedy bars and gentlemen’s clubs as they call them, but soon enough all this will be more high rises and shops and parks, but as they say there’s light at the end of the tunnel and here we are,’ he said as the cab swung onto the crescent shaped archipelago at the far point, open ocean on one side, the enclosed circular bay on the other before a wall of towers cut off the ocean. 

As the cab sped toward the centre of the shore her destination loomed up and began to dominate the horizon.  In the middle a tower, something like the Space Needle in Seattle merged with the CN Tower in Toronto arose before them.

‘Rotating restaurant and nightclub, very exclusive, the hotel and convention centre are on the left and right respectively, you see they kind of form a massive sail with the tower as the mast, a reference to the maritime heritage of Macau,’ he said as the car swung around a corner and up the main drive to the hotel.    ‘Here you are Miss,’ he said and dove out the door to get the door for her and then her luggage.

‘Thank you for a very pleasant ride and explanation’ she said and tipped him very well.

The porter took her bags as she made her way inside to the front desk.

‘Welcome to Macau, how may I be of service?’ a small well groomed and polished middle aged man said with a perfect professional smile.

‘Cindy Krutzler, I have a reservation.’

        *          *          * 

The balcony provided an excellent view of the man-made circular harbour and out beyond that a pristine vista of the blue twinkling waves of the Pacific.  The late day was still warm enough to enjoy the sea air even at the penthouse level.  The wind gently rustled her silk robe alternately clinging to and flowing free of her body, both accentuating her deadly figure and exposing parts of it, as she enjoyed her gin and tonic.  Cindy regarded this lifestyle as a small perk for all the danger she faced, but she also knew DOOM did it to keep her and her fellow agents happy. It was a cynical arrangement to say the least but one she could more than stand and took full advantage of whenever possible. 

The tranquil moment was interrupted by a not unexpected knock at her door.  Cindy came inside, closed the glass doors to the balcony moved across the room, past the dining room table and towards the door which she opened without hesitation.

‘Come on in,’ she said with a smile.

The pictures in her briefing notes did not do justice the agent that walked past her and into the living room that Cindy had indicated with a sweep of her arm. As she glided by Cindy took her in, front and back.  An exquisite ensemble, pale pink skirt cut just a shade above the knee and with the perfect touch of underpinning to draw the eye up from a pair of eye catching pink pumps with just the perfect heel size and shape that were tucked into a set of legs that Cindy despite all her experience had never seen the equal of.  The impossibly thin ankles contoured out to just the precise mixture of tone and silky smooth seduction. Her legs alone could capture and hold the desire of her target without the need for other feminine arts to be spent.  They invited touching and running up and down of hands, the sheer feel of them enough to drive the person to madness for the rest of her and allowing her to finish her target. .  The movement of them was sheer hypnotism as she passed the onlooker, who only wished to see above the line of the skirt. 

Her bone white silk blouse was tailored to fit her shape, accentuating her thin waist from behind and delicate shoulders while amply displaying her symmetrical perfect orbs from the front.  The short sleeves revealed her long thin sexy arms again like her legs they drew in the person, mesmerizing her admirers while stimulating the imagination with the idea of just how magnificent it would be to have her arms twinned about you.  Her black hair was mid shoulder length if let loose, but again she had refused the convention and pinned it up just enough so that her luscious neck was exposed. 

As she turned to a single chair, a perfect elegant turn, her heel doing its job and catching the eye as she made the revolution, a hand casually and naturally guided the back of her skirt into place as she sat and crossed her legs. Cindy felt a flood of warmth about her body and a sudden loss of air in her lungs. 

Stunningly high cheeks bones and deep black eyes caught Cindy’s gaze as well as the perfect skin,  the best the plus sized spy had ever seen, led her to muse in her sexually charged mind  ’to kiss it would almost be criminal, but the temptation would most certainly out weight any consequences.’  The front of the blouse only served to tease more; the buttons she’d left undone only frustrated the voyeur with the smallest of hints as to what glories lay just out of sight below the silky covering.  Her jewellery was sparse, a pearl necklace and matching single earrings and a plane white bracelet about an inch across, sparse in accoutrements, but as with all well put together women, the parts added up to a greater sum. 

‘Well they certainly sent the right agent. It’s good to meet you Ling, I’ve been reading the dossier, it is most impressive so far,’ Cindy smiled as she sat down opposite her fellow DOOM agent. 

‘Thank you and it’s a thrill and pleasure and if you don’t mind me saying a relief to be working with you on this mission. I hope you don’t mind lending assistance,’ Ling Tam answered in a cool beautiful voice.

Cindy knew what she meant by that and showed no irritation at the mention.  The mission was for her to be the background agent in case things went wrong and not the primary agent as she was usually, but this assignment was different.

‘The COIL presence for this mission might be very strong and a known agent such as myself might attract too much of that attention and ruin the chances for success.  That’s what we want here, total victory.  You’re a relatively new agent, the unsuspected and from what as I’ve said I’ve read of your exploits the perfect girl for this situation, deadly in all facets should it come to that,’ Cindy offered.

Ling was relieved to her this and she was more excited to be working with one of DOOM’s best agents.

‘How would you like to proceed with the mission?’ Ling asked knowing they could now go forward with a clean slate.

‘I have no idea,’ Cindy smiled and watched Ling react to her answer with a small shocked look that disappeared almost but not quite as fast as it had appeared.  The plus spy continued.  ‘You need to work on that; never show surprise at a situation unless it adds to your advantage, otherwise you risk being found out.  This is your mission and before you protest and say, but you’re the agent with all the experience’ the answer is that’s how I got it: by doing.  Once I asked the same question when this situation happened to me, and in turn received the same answer I just gave.  It’s not meant to be cruel or flippant but it’s the way we operate in the field, sort of an unwritten code among female agents in spite of what our superiors tell us,’ Cindy stated,  but  as she saw that her point wasn’t  sinking in, she began  again.  ‘Look it’s simple, you learn by doing, we all do, this is no different from me telling you which seduction techniques work and which don’t. I’m me and you’re you and what works for one does not always, and in fact most always does not work for the other.  Just like the training and the missions, you use what works for you, and here’s my one and only piece of advice, tailor your approach specifically  to what your target likes and play with that, use it on them to maximum effect.  This is your mission Ling Tam, I’m here for you but I can’t do it for you and from the picture in front of me, you don’t need any help.’ Cindy smiled.

‘Well to be honest I’ve already made contact, earlier today.  The two convention halls are across from one another and well you’d be surprised at what a  hurrying  woman with her head down  carrying  a box of promotional material can accomplish when she accidentally bumps  into a man ,’ Ling smiled sexily knowing that she and Cindy were totally in sync with each other.

‘You’re going to make me ask aren’t you, well ok, what happened?’ Cindy inquired.

‘I made sure I fell over in just a manner that he knew I hadn’t hurt myself but in just such a manner as my assets were fully displayed for him.   While I apologised, and as he offered me his hand, I noted what his preference was from the display; my legs seemed to be his pick.  As I said he helped me up and well a girl can’t help it if she just stumbles into him a bit and one of those legs brushes against his.’

Cindy smiled at this, she loved a good seduction and a good agent and Ling was both.

‘Of course I apologised profusely for what had happened. He ever the gentleman assured me it was his fault, asked if I was alright, and then started to pick up the spilled pamphlets. The tips of my fingers lightly touched his hand as I indicated that it was ok, and since I’d caused the mess I would clean it up, but that he was a gentleman for offering.’

‘Not the least bit concerned that he would leave seeing that you had the situation well in hand?’ Cindy asked arching a well-lined eyebrow.

‘Have you ever had that concern with the male of the species, Cindy?’ Ling asked and noticed the bemused look on her partners face and continued the conversation. 

‘Let’s just call it a slight wavering of the upper pants leg and leave it at that.  With that piece of evidence in hand I went on the attack to increase the wavering.  I turned my back and bent over from the waist as I moved about picking up the scattered pamphlets.  I drew the requisite stares as people walked by but the only gaze I cared about stayed fixed on my gams, just as I suspected.  A quick glance, as the last piece of paper was picked up, told me that he was more than a little interested. I pretended not to notice as we made small talk.  I initiated it by asking what he was here for and we went back and forth on that until he calmed down enough to remove his briefcase from in front of his area of discomfort.  My cover is that of a marketing rep for the Province of British Columbia, here to remind people that post Olympics the province is still a great place to visit. Being born and raised there merely helps the cover along.  I flirted just enough to encourage him in the conversation and draw him into my web just enough that he wanted to explore it further as soon as possible, which just happens to start with tomorrow’s breakfast, followed by dinner, and then my first sessions to extract the Intel.  I left him with a visual of my legs dancing as I walked away, I could feel his pants re-bulging even without looking,’ Ling smiled as she finished.

‘You sure don’t need any advice from me. I do suspect that my services will be required in some way on this mission, COIL is sure to be here in some numbers and a decoy can lead them away from the prime mission,’ Cindy said.

‘A deadly decoy!’ Ling added.

‘Only if need be, my ability to draw and keep the COIL operatives focused on me is predicated on them believing the story I sell to them, namely I’m just here for vacation.  If I can string that along long enough you can complete your mission.’

‘And if you can’t?’ Ling questioned.

‘I don’t want to reveal all my tricks, but let’s just say I have ladies-in-waiting should I need assistance and well if need arises I’m always ready to spring into action,’ Cindy smiled coyly.

The two DOOM divas talked a while longer before hugging and wishing each other good luck, not that either of them felt the other needed it.  Both slept very well that evening.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

‘I’m not going to pretend I understand one word of what you are trying to explain, physics was never a strong suit of mine in school, that’s why I chose business,’ Ling smiled at Layton Manners.  ‘Which is not hard, as he is a rather handsome man, which just makes things so much the easier,’ she mused as they talked back and forth.

‘Cal Tech, MIT and here you are with girl who only has a Bachelors, I feel kind of like I’m stealing you from all the other people at your conference who would love to be spending time with you right now,’ Ling said with a properly guilty sounding voice.

‘None of them is as interesting as you, they all just want my time to run some idea of theirs by me or for me to look at some idea they have as if me giving it approval means something, whereas you just want to spent time with me and we’ve not talked once about work, just about things we like to do outside of that time and besides, none of them is as good looking as you are,’ Layton said with a somewhat sheepish smile.

‘Professor, I believe you are trying to pick me up?’ she smiled a sexy smile giving him a green light of approval.

‘I was hoping you’d agree to have dinner and perhaps after some dancing with me this evening,’ he smiled more comfortably this time.

‘A man of math and science relying on an abstract notion like hope, sorry that will never do. I’m afraid I’m not that interested in dinner and dancing with you Layton,’ Ling said and watched his face to judge  the moment right where it began to register his disappointment before she quickly picked up the conversation.  ‘I will only consent to an evening like that if it has and after to the dinner and dancing part, as  those are very nice but very public events,’ she demurred, and let her eyes finish the rest of what she was thinking for him and his sudden flush and shifting in the chair told her he’d understood her perfectly.

The two chatted some more until Ling broke it off reminding him he hand a conference to attend.

‘Before you go I got this for you,’ she said, pulling out a small red rose.  ‘I was thinking about this since we met, the people in your conference all seem to dress with a certain bland sameness, a little splash of colour, I hope you don’t mind?’ she asked.

If Layton did have any objections to the rose they quickly vanished as Ling, not waiting for a response had stood up, and circled behind him with her one hand sliding the rose into his button hole while the other encircled in front of his neck and secure the rose in place with the pin.  The DOOM agent slid her cheek close to his as she worked a little longer than necessary, but just long enough for him to smell her perfume and feel the soft freshness of her skin. As she pulled away, she let her cheek just graze his as if by accident.

‘There, you’ll be the envy of physicists everywhere, but remember you are my date today and no one else’s,’ she smiled.

‘I will pick you up at seven,’ he said as he left reluctantly. 

As soon as he left so did Ling, she went out in the hotels garden and made a call.

‘Successful mission under way, a dinner date tonight and dancing and well after that well I don’t think I need to explain.  I think the combination of my dress at dinner, the sensation of holding that dress and me after dinner then me without the dress should be more than enough to loosen his tongue.  But just to be on the safe side I gave him a present: a flower for his lapel. Yes, from the DOOM floral collection.  As I pinned it on him an unseen turn of the top end of the pin activated the drug hidden inside.  It’s delicious deceptive delirium fragrance will work on him all day allowing me to work on him all night.  He also had a brush with my cheek which deposited microscopic granules of Persuasive Powder, another secret freeing drug which builds slowly in the system.’

Cindy ended the call with a smile, Ling was impressive and to give her time space to do the job right they needed to know the lay of the land and that was her job.

‘And what better way to find out then from the inside,’ the DOOM agent smiled as she slipped from her room in a hotel maid’s outfit, complete with wig and extra padding to change her shape.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

The cab driver thought it a bit strange that she wanted out in this part of town, but then again, he knew what people who worked where she did earned, so perhaps it was not so strange, at the rent was definitely cheap in this part of town.  She paid him with a few scrunched bills and coins, mostly all she had and disappeared from the sunlight down a dark alley that he on his best day would never have ventured. 

‘These are the times that try my soul,’ Cindy thought as she stepped around and over spilled garbage and some other things she couldn’t identify, things even the scurrying rats avoided touching.  ‘This is charming and well it gets no better from here on,’ she exasperated stopping in front of a steel door and kicking it hard a few times with the side of her shoe.  ‘Hurry the ‘f’ up!’ she caught herself saying and checked that behaviour right away.  ‘No need to sink down Cindy, behave,’ she told herself as the door opened and a painted face with over processed hair flopped out.  Cindy smiled as best she could manage and flashed something from inside her purse which the woman took and disappeared with the door slamming shut with a hard metallic thud. 

The door swung open a minute later and she was inside being lead along a narrow hallway with dingy lighting and old stained wallpaper of a velvet floral print design that the DOOM spy did her best not to touch at all.  She and her escort turned a corner and then a door was opened and she was inside a large dressing room with lighted mirror dressing tables up and down each wall, about 30 in total, the harsh light, the stale air and smell of cheap makeup all competing to annoy her senses at the same time.  She however pushed that aside and took a seat at a dressing table space offered to her.  Cindy was thankful she still had on the maid’s outfit, if it got ruined because of what she might be sitting on, who cared, but a dress of hers would have been too much to control.

‘Zat is either an excellent disguise or DOOM is scraping the bottom of zee barrel for agents zees days,’ a distinctly Russian accented voice as she sat down next to Cindy.

Cindy merely smiled and pulled out a memory card from her purse and handed it to the woman, a bottled blonde whose tits were too big, mouth too wide, body to elongated and hair to dishevelled to be anything but a stripper.  Cindy knew however that was merely her cover; she was in fact a member of an elite and shadowy organisation of assassins known as The Strippers Guild.  Deadly women who used a variety of exotic weapons of their trade to very effective means,  Cindy was aware of a number of them, but she knew that was just a small number, no one at DOOM or COIL for that had a complete listing.

She watched as the woman took a hand mirror and inserted the card into the top and placed it down on the table.  Pictures of whom Cindy suspected were COIL agents Cindy had taken on her rounds as a maid flashed on the screen along with room numbers.

‘Zat is quite a list, the elimination of all zees COIL agents will not go unnoticed my dear,’ the woman said.

‘That is precisely why they will not be eliminated, just derailed from doing their duty for three of four days,’ the DOOM agent answered.

‘Highly unusual for DOOM?’ she said an eyebrow rising.

‘I’m sure you have the resources and the talents to accomplish this task, after all the money has been deposited into your account already,’ the spy answered. 

‘Of course, it zis simple thing to accomplish, I was merely curious,’ the woman answered.

Cindy levelled her eyes with that of the woman and said nothing; her attempt at fishing for more information would not find a willing angler in the spy. 

‘We sat begin as was agreed to by your organisation and mine, zee COIL agents will appear to be working as normal but zay will in fact be under a mild hypnosis from us for the time specified.’

`Excellent,’ was all Cindy said as she got up and was escorted out of the building thankful to be free of the place.  For the life of her the DOOM spy could never understand the male fascination with strippers.  `I mean girls dressed up in school uniforms, as cops, nurses or whatever, it’s just creepy, they lack class, style and well just about any quality you need for being in public.  Still I must admit, they are excellent assassins and highly skilled in a variety of means.  Be that as it may I have never liked dealing with them or being around them, they are money driven and loyalty changes with a pay check, bottom line I just don`t trust them, never have never will.’  Cindy hailed a cab as she reached the street and welcome light.  `I need a bath’ she thought as the cab sped off.

‘A very good pay check this week I see Tanya,’ another stripper said leaning over the computer screen. 

‘Zat is true but zat is exwackly wat is so interesting.  Sometimes Rayne, zee money appears too good to be true and zen there are zees times, where perhaps the money is not as good as it could be.  Tell me what is happening at the hotel zis week?  Conventions as usual, one travel, one kind of an egghead thing on physics, a couple of them were in her last night, car show one I think, maybe a few others, why?’ Rayne asked in her hard Bronx accent.

‘Physics, do you think zees gentlemen will be back tonight, if so I think they should get a private show on zee house.  Who knows what zis could lead to, but I think our DOOM agent is not telling us zee entire intention of this operation and it may just pay us to find out zees things, whose knows we could end up much farther ahead zan we ever thought possible?’ Tanya smiled.

‘What if the DOOM board catches on?’ Rayne asked.

‘Zen we will have to eliminate her, after all being a spy is a deadly game and accidents do happen.  I like the cash more zan I like or trust DOOM and that woman in particular I do not trust,’ Tanya added.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

‘It’s time another vixen entered the hen house,’ Cindy smiled as she looked in the mirror.  Her survey of the landscape that afternoon had revealed the presence of more than enough COIL agents, male and female, to ensure her more active participation.  The plus spy twirled in front of the three full length mirrors to ensure satisfaction with her look.  ‘Much better than this afternoon, but that was necessary to avoid detection and I don’t think and COIL agents were too interested in a dumpy hotel maid. Perhaps this outfit will peak some interest,’ she thought, a knowing smile forming on her frosted pink lips.

Cindy walked away, as she grabbed her clutch; she left her image seared into the mirror.  A full length black evening gown complete with a dangerously revealing slit than ran a full eight inches above the right knee, the material of the dress a slight pleat from the slit down to the end that acted as tantalising cover for her exposed gam before it flashed into view, her toned tanned leg striking against the black and then back behind its curtain for a few moments before accepting another curtain call.  Where the top of the pleat jointed the dress the material ran together in a series of lines that looked like half of a spider’s web and joined just where the material ended and Cindy’s skin began.  A trifecta of cross straps spaced about an inch apart held the two sides of the dress together as it rose up  while parting as it lapped over her breasts just managing to contain them as they strained the material to its limit.    The left strap of the dress widened out but only slightly then then cut back again as it looped behind her neck and emerged on the other side then split into six strands that descended and connected to the material once again covering her orbs.  Her back was fully exposed from the small circular strap to mid waist level her sexy shoulders and well-toned back were on full display for all to marvel.  Cindy finished the package with her hair swept up in tresses to expose her neck and augmented herself with a set of dangling fan shaped diamond earrings, each spine of the fan dazzling in brilliant fire from the many encrusted jewels, a white platinum twelve-pointed diamond encrusted star about three inches in diameter placed in the middle of the straps and finally two white gold diamond band bracelets on the left wrist.  Elegantly simple two strap gold and diamond shoes with three inch thin tapered heels finished the outfit. 

The elevator doors opened and she walked across the spacious lobby. Its design imitating that of a renaissance court in Portugal: stark white walls and columns contrasted by gold painted trim about the tops and bottoms of the columns, the inlayed cherubs and fruit pieces scattered about the walls at various heights.  It was a pleasant if slightly over the top space that seemed somehow to meld perfectly to the various destinations that connected to it, one of which the DOOM spy walked toward.
A giant red and black wall rose up in front of her as the fa├žade of a Pagoda, the entrance to the casino, grew sharper.  Decorated superbly with dragons, peacocks, lions and snakes and other signs from the Chinese Zodiac it made a stunning entrance to the gambling den, nearly as stunning as the woman who passed through the doors. 

‘Welcome Miss Krutzler,’ the manager said as he opened a door inside the foyer of the casino letting the woman inside.  ‘All is in order as you requested I hope you enjoy your evening and if you need anything please just ask and it will be provided, my name is Mr. Shim should you require my services,’ he said.

‘I’m sure I shall enjoy myself immensely,’ she answered as they moved into the casino drawing looks as they made her way along the main avenue of the casino toward the far end where two large men, one on each side guarded a double oak door.

‘Again enjoy your evening and thank you for your patronage,’ he said and nodded as the doors opened and then closed behind her.

Like most high end casinos throughout the world the casino contained a smaller wing within the larger area, a VIP area for the very rich and the very exclusive. Cindy fit both categories with ease as she milled about making sure eyes fell upon her as she pondered what games she wanted to play while watching others.  The room was magnificent: four arches rose up from equidistant points to create a dome, decorated in shimmering green, red, yellow and black tiles as the arches swept up and inward until they met at the centre of the room. Each arch was finished at the top with a dragon’s head whose eyes gazed down upon their kingdom below.  The centre of the room contained a dance floor of stunning marble, inlaid with a mosaic of peacocks, cranes, tigers and other creatures.

Surrounding the dance floor the actual gambling area was situated on various levels complete with the all the usual games minus the slots.  This entire ring was richly appointed as well and extremely well served by attentive staff.  After all, this was a VIP casino where the patrons spent and tipped very well.   Cindy decided to take a spin at Roulette, but as she moved toward the table a pair of hands ran down her arms and pressed against her hips, and she felt the decidedly male body, pressed against her back, usher her onto the dance floor.

‘Give me a minute, this all seems very familiar,’ Cindy purred as she danced with him her firm ass churning into his mound in time to the music.

‘Quinn, I knew it, I never forget a…face!’ she smiled and churned a gentle stroke.  ‘Come to finish what we started in Tangiers, come being the operative word,’ she soothed.  ‘Still smarting from my escape I see,’ she cooed as he stopped dancing.  ‘Even I don’t win them all Quinn but you don’t see me pouting about it or leaving my partner on the dance floor while the music is still playing.  Come now, the music’s so wonderful, lets call a truce till the end of the song and then well let’s just worry about that when it happens. I promise no tricks from me, besides the room is far too crowded with people and I’m sure associates,’ Cindy honeyed and he started to dance again.

‘I think I like the current arrangement,’ Quinn said softly into her ear, as the DOOM agent tried to move her hands, his warm breath feeling delightful on her neck.

‘I thought we had a truce,’ Cindy pouted, ‘Well so much for that, may I suggest a compromise, you move my arms, it’s not like you don’t know your way around the real estate,’ Cindy offered in a wispy voice.

Quinn swayed her about as they moved in a slow circle then slowly his hands guided hers about her hips in slow circular motions that Cindy’s body matched in motion, then carefully behind her back for lingering caresses up and down her immaculate ass that she again changed motion with her torso snaking up and down.  Cindy’s hands managed or were managed into catching a hold of his stem, her soft hands stroking lightly as they moved.

‘Just as I remember, oh yes, exactly,’ she gasped.

Quinn left one hand there and moved the other along her hips and to the slit in her evening gown where there the tips of his fingers meet her firm sexy thigh for a soft caress.

‘There’s more of me down there if you wish,’ Cindy whispered.

‘Exploration has its risks with you Cindy,’ he stated flatly.

‘Oh now I’m hurt again, you don’t trust me, we’ve been over this ground, truce remember?  I see I have to be the initiator, well so be it.  I’m here on vacation, that’s all, just a working girl in need of a rest and in both our interests, at least for the present, I’m not wearing anything company issue right now, but why take a chance with a DOOM gal, we all lie to get what we want, like the good girls and boys of COIL,’ Cindy said.

They moved about the dance floor until the music came to an end and as he released her, he spun her so they were face-to-face.

‘I think it best we part company with just the dance for your own good and on that note I suggest you leave as soon as possible,’ he said flatly.

Cindy studied him for a second, then smiled sexily. ’You don’t want that, instead you want just the opposite, you want me to stay so you can have another chance to kill me, well here I am,’ she offered as her arms pushed against his chest and she closed in and he pushed her away.

‘Fine, so be it, you can deny all you want, but you want me, so I propose an alternate approach, not quite as good as sex, but close,’ she purred and walked away turning her head back after a few steps.  ‘Are you coming?’

Cindy led him over to a gaming table and took a seat, crossing her legs as did. The sexy spy nearly knocked the breath from Quinn’s lungs, and the thoughts from his mind. Caught reliving the sight of her gorgeous calves and thighs, he seemed in a happy day dream until he was reminded to pick up his cards by the dealer. 

The rest of the table soon found the money the two were bandying about too rich for them, and one-by- one the table emptied as Quinn and Cindy took the lion’s share of the pots. Finally only the two were left with Quinn the bigger winner so far on the night.

‘I would like a drink,’ Cindy said and the dealer motioned quickly for a waiter who was there instantly.  ‘Vodka tonic please and for my opponent, a tumbler of Sodium Pentothal,’ the spy femme smiled a devilish grin. 

‘Islay Mist, the 24, straight, no ice,’ Quinn answered not acknowledging the joke.

‘Wow, I think I’m giving up and calling it a night, I can’t remember when I’ve been so, what shall I say in polite company, ‘put up with’ I think best covers it,’ Cindy snapped as she gathered her clutch and prepared to stand.

Quinn motioned the dealer away and the dealer immediately hastened a retreat not wanting to be in the middle of anything involving either of these two strong personalities who had both been such good customers.

‘Sit down!’ he instructed, and surprisingly Cindy did, looking slightly shocked that she actually had.  ‘Or are you running out on our little game before the conclusion, just like you ran away in Tangiers because you couldn’t defeat me then either? Seems you’re making a habit of this Cindy.’ he smiled.

‘That’s the first time tonight you’ve said my name. I had almost come to believe you’d forgotten it.  As for Tangiers, you had the chance to kill me, I think it was something like four hours of chance and you couldn’t do it or dare I say didn’t want to.  I will admit I think it was the latter and you let me escape I mean after all what was the harm, neither of us got the prize, one of those trampy Strippers Guild bimbo’s made off with it and you got to experience me up close and personal until I think we both came to the conclusion that we’d both been played all along,’ Cindy offered as she motioned back the dealer.

‘What game do you want to play now?’ he asked.

‘I’m happy playing the game we’ve been at since I came in,’ the spy femme smiled.  ‘I like my odds of a winning evening.’

‘Odds have a way of changing,’ Quinn said as he dealt the cards from the shoe.

The two waged a back and forth battle, Cindy was a good player but she had to admit to herself that he was better and slowly the winnings started to reflect that. Although Cindy did win, it was only through guile rather than card skill. Her use of her dress as she shifted positions, her facial expressions, the way she pursed her lips, even the way she held her cards in her perfectly manicured hands was a distraction that won a few rounds here and there when she needed them.  However as the evening wore on she was clearly running out of chips, as those skills could only compete for so long with Quinn’s superior card skills. Finally, Cindy’s stack had vanished and she was left with not enough chips to cover Quinn’s raise.

‘I assume you’ll let me cover this final bet with a personal cheque,’ she said opening her clutch and making out the amount.

‘DOOM only lets you have a fixed amount of pin money to play with?’ he answered smartly.
She didn’t answer; she merely placed the cheque on the pile and showed her cards.  Cindy knew mostly likely she had lost, but that was not the point of the evening, the money was inconsequential, but to her and DOOM, some things have a longer term payoff, and she and DOOM were quite prepared to lose this battle in order to win the war, after all money could easily be replenished, but agents were quite another matter.

‘The odds seemed not to have shifted, the game is mine, do you want to go another round or have you had enough?’ Quinn smiled as he pulled in his winnings.

‘I’m always ready for more, but perhaps another night,’ Cindy smiled as she elegantly exited her chair, took her clutch and crossed over to his side of the table.  ‘Should you wish to cash this the Bank of Cindy is open late for your convenience,’ she purred as she picked up her cheque and placed it inside his jacket pocket, her face moving in very close to his. As she spoke, the scent of her exhilarating perfume and the aroma of her lipstick sent his senses racing. 

As Quinn watched her disappear, memories of their previous encounter flooded his mind and other regions. He was thankful when a few players rejoined the table, as their arrival snapped him out of his delirium and back into the much welcomed reality of a new game. 

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

‘The view from this side of the hotel of the bay is much better than the one from my suite; it almost makes a girl want to switch sides if this is how your COIL agents live all the time.  Oh don’t look so surprised Quinn, it’s the new economy and if the client won’t come to the bank then the bank has to come to the client, surely you didn’t think you’d seen the last of me?’ Cindy said walking toward him her burgundy silk nightgown swaying under her motion. 

Quinn took notice of the sexy garment.  Understated to say the least for the kind of games they both played.  He knew she had much more daring outfits, ones that showed off her curves and incredible legs to the point of distraction which this one did not.  ‘No,’ he thought.  ‘This one is pure elegance and style, a classic nightgown worn by a confident woman that showed off just the right amount, from the ample breasts outlined in black lace to the embroidered black rose semi translucent piping than ran down each side of her hips to full length of the legs allowing just an flash now and then of their sweet symmetry.

‘I made you a martini, I hope its ok I’m not much a martini woman, I usually drink G and T’s,’ she said passing him a glass.

‘No thanks I’d like to wake up in the morning,’ he said putting down the glass on a nearby table.

‘I’m insulted that you’d think I poison you and besides that would be too obvious,’ she smiled girlishly. 
***

There was a reason Ling liked little black dresses and that was because men really liked them.  She could see it in his eyes from across the dining room as she made her way toward their table, she fashionably late for just that reason.  Of course it didn’t hurt that she was a stunner to begin with, but this dress amped even that up several notches.  Cut deliciously high that it was so close to showing parts of her which were best kept for more private settings.  Her three inch tapered heels turn an already sizzling pair of legs into something beyond comprehension as eyes followed and heads turned all about the room.  She danced slowly across the room tormenting and delighting as she went males who weren’t wishing for a chance to run their hands up and down her gams were engaged in fanciful dreams of what such a set of pins would feel like as they brushed against them under the covers of their private fantasies.  From there the dress did not stop giving thrills, the dual plunging neck and back lines.  Ling’s small but wonderfully formed and firm breasts gave oncoming traffic just enough of a view to want more and to wonder what it would be like to kiss them as they hung above you while the people she left in her wake got moving portrait of her back, all sinuous feminine muscle that could hold you effortlessly. 

 Ling complimented the outfit with a pearl choker and matching bracelet and earrings.  Her shoulder length hair was swept up at the back and managed into place by two crossed black hairpins exposing her white neck to add even more damaging allure to her.  The DOOM agent walked past them all and right into Layton’s path as he stood to hold out her chair.  Ling seemed to glide up to him, his own thoughts occupying him a split second longer than he would have liked as she slipped one arm around his neck and softly but passionately kissed him, her lips moving about his for several seconds before he managed to respond and kiss back.

 ‘Another kiss like that and we may have to skip dinner altogether,’ she smiled and said as their lips parted.  But I think we should sit down I can feel eyes watching us,’ she added.

‘Watching you I think would be more accurate, you are stunning,’ he said as they took their seats. 

 ‘Thank you, but let’s split it down the middle and just say it’s us they are watching, you an eminent scientist and me the lucky date for the evening,’ Ling finished while sliding her hand across the table and in his. 

 All compliments were greatly received by both parties, Ling was used to hearing them from various sources during her career, after all its how she made her living and why DOOM used her, but she still liked hearing them.  They also accomplished the early phase of the mission, getting close to him to allow more than her attractiveness to come into play.  The kisses had sowed the seed of her hypnosis drug; just enough for now was working in his blood stream to begin probing for Intel, later she would introduce more.  As they smiled and chatted, her perfumed wrist placed perfectly under his chin began to waft its tongue loosing scent into him.  While she made conversation the practiced seductress watched for the tell-tale signs of his will being bent to her.

 ‘That’s fascinating Layton, please tell me more not that I think I’ll understand much of it, but I really want to hear it, please,’ she smiled sweetly.

 Ling watched his reaction and then casually with her free hand she feigned to touch up her hair by her ear as a rouse to turn on the recording device hidden in her earring.  She’d loosened his mind just enough to gently steer the conversation toward the information she wanted. Over dinner and dessert but she needed to be closer to him and she had just the plan.

 ‘Dinner was wonderful Layton, thank you so much and I think it only fair that I treat you so that you won’t think I’m taking advantage of you.  How about a little dancing and some fun in the casino, Ling said, as she took his arm and led him on. 

 ‘You know statistically the odds of winning are vastly against the gambler, its throwing your money away,’ he said as he stopped them.

 Ling feigned disappointment and a slight pouty face as she slipped her arms around his neck, her perfumed wrist perfectly placed by his cheeks as she pout turned into a knowing smile.

 ‘It’s not the gambling is it?  Sure I know I’ll most likely loose, but it’s a small amount, I know my limit and besides I’ll just expense it.  You don’t want to dance, is that it?’ she asked not waiting for an answer but continuing on.  ‘Not to worry, I’m wearing steel toed pumps,’ she smiled.  Besides you just hold me tight and we’ll work it out together,’ she seductively said as her mouth closed around his and he pulled her tight for a long kiss.

 ‘Umm, you’re a fast leaner,’ she said as they broke apart and moved into the casino.

 Ling handed him some money to buy chips with and excused herself to the Ladies Room to freshen up. A roll of her specialised perfume to her neck and wrists and a fresh coat of lipstick rearmed her arsenal for now.  She joined him at the bar for a drink before enjoying a few games of blackjack and a few other games to which she surprising won beating the house.

‘I suppose you’ll tell me I should quit while I’m ahead that the odds are against me,’ she said putting her arms about his waist and pulling close to him as she gave him a soft peck that left the mark of promising more.

 ‘Actually I was going to say you have a very good chance of winning the next several hands, perhaps you should play more, the odds are in your favour,’ he smiled.

 Ling sat right back down at the table looking up at him for help and just as her look intended he bent over and she snaked an arm about his head holding him close to her sweet scented face
as she played.  She asked for advice and he was only too willing to offer. Ling used her seductive arts to maximum effect as she coaxed more of his theory from him over the hands until he leaned in close and told her she not play again which she promptly did. 

 ‘Can you send me chips to the cashier for me?’ she asked the dealer who nodded and handed her a claim card.  ‘That was so much fun and I couldn’t, wouldn’t have been able to do it without you, you really are a genius, thanks so much,’ she said giving him a long wonderful kiss.  ‘Wow, all those smarts and a wonderful kisser to boot, tell me how are you on the dance floor?’ she coyly asked.
 ‘I’m afraid you’ve just found my kryptonite,’ he said looking not happy.

 Ling could feel his body pulling just enough away from the dance floor that she knew he was serious and uncomfortable with the idea, she needed to act. 

 ‘You trust me don’t you, all you have to do is follow my lead, and don’t worry no one will know, women have been doing this for hundreds of years, just hold me close,’ she explained as she pulled him onto the floor and into a slow sway.

 He did indeed hold her close and after a few missteps he caught the geometry of the motion and she let him take the lead without him even being aware he was doing, such are the arts of a woman.  The closeness of them helped introduce more of her mind freeing perfume into him although that was top of mind to the spy at the present she was just enjoying her evening, all her training told her to be impassive and impersonal on the inside and passionate and personal on the outside, but she was the latter both inside and out with Layton.  He was sweet and gentlemanly, considerate and vulnerable; she pulled a little closer to him with those thoughts.  She could also feel that he was in very good shape and he was excited.  She pretended not to notice as her sex had forever.  It was gratifying to think that she could have that effect, why ruin it by drawing attention to it, no instead she pressed against it in such a way that she was somehow able to tell him she knew and that he should not be embarrassed by it. Her action did as it’s always done in this situation, he relaxed and they were fine for the rest of the dance and several others after that.

 They capped of the evening with a final drink and left the casino crossing the gigantic mall entrance toward the elevator and the hotel suites when Ling veered away toward the concierge, Layton was left a few steps behind but quickly caught up with several long hurried steps, his head swivelling around to make sure nobody else saw their breakup.

 ‘I would like to order The Emperor’s Breakfast,’ he heard her saying as he came up beside her; he also noticed the raised eyebrows on the front desk man.

 ‘Yes of course madam,’ he said quickly recovering.  ‘I must point out that this requires an advanced remuneration in the full amount,’ he added looking at her with the knowledge she was not one of the hotels more exclusive guests. 

 This did not phase Ling she could have had it every day of her stay and DOOM would have paid for it and said nothing, but having her be questioned about her ability to pay only made the next part all the more sweet.

 ‘I trust this will be sufficient to cover the matter,’ she toned putting a stack of counted and banded bills on the desk with self-satisfaction. 

 Once again surprise ruled his face, but the money ruled more and he quickly counted it then asked for her room number and pushed toward her the remainder of the money, still a sizable pile.

 ‘You misunderstand, I’m ordering for two and don’t come before 10AM,’ she smiled as she looked at Layton.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          * 
      
‘I see,’ said Quinn taking the drink and putting it down immediately.  ‘So some other means of death then?’ he added coldly.

‘Nothing of the sort, I was just hoping to spent the night with you, no strings attached, just you and me, surely you can see I’m very attracted to you and I hope the feelings on that side of the room are the same, how much more obvious do I need to be, because if I do, just tell me what to say and I will,’ she said the words streaming out of her in emotionally charged tones.

Cindy smiled and put down her drink and moved toward him intent upon an embrace which he had no intention of and backed away as she advanced. 

‘Playing hard get to only makes me try harder,’ she said at first thinking this was all foreplay and just part of the game, then after several more steps and seconds the reality hit her, he didn’t want her and wasn’t interested, she stopped her pursuit in dejection.  Seizing the moment Quinn advanced and took her by the forearm and began marching her to the door, she offered no resistance, just resigned rejection.

  ‘The one man I want and he doesn’t want me, I must look like a fool, perhaps it was all business in Tangiers and I just imagined it all.’  Buried deep inside Cindy a dam burst, she felt it break, felt the waters of rejection, despair, ridicule and a thousand other names from her past surge into her, the force nearing caused her to fall, if Quinn hadn’t had such a tight grip on her arm she surely would have, as it was she stumbled, which only seemed to irritate him as he gave her a hard pull up and a double step along.  ‘Don’t cry, don’t cry, that was all a long time ago, in another life’ she told herself.

Finally Quinn pulled her the last few steps to the door and swung her around to face him.  She just wanted to leave and reached for the handle, not even bothering to look up at him.  His free hand took hers on the same place as his other as he steadied hers.

‘Please,’ was all she said weakly, her voice aspirating as her hand fumbled for the doorknob.

She felt a small light tender kiss to the top of her head and as her head raised up a little another to the top of her forehead as his hands released from her arms and cupped her cheeks slowly tilting up her head so theirs eyes met.

‘You are a beautiful desirable woman, an excellent spy with all that entails, including acting, but nobody is that good, these come from deep inside,’ he said, brushing away tears from her eyes with the softest of touches which only made more come.  ‘I’m sorry I had to do it, but I couldn’t be sure you felt the same about me as I do about you,’ he said kissing each cheek and her tears that had started again. ‘No matter how many tears you shed I will kiss them all away,’ he promised as his lips moved from cheek to cheek as her head swayed silently each kiss rebuilt the burst dam and she filled up again, her lips returning the kisses she got, his cheek flush and warm and welcoming.

Cindy’s arms trembled fumbling about his waist for an embrace, to draw closer to him, the sensations of his closeness and his kisses married with the dangerous reality of what they were doing and what it could cost them left her completely awkward where she was normally supremely confident.  For what seemed forever she froze, then a slight head turn from Quinn and a touch to the edge of her lips from his and she was herself again, Cindy’s head followed his and soon the kiss became joined fully, her arms worked quickly up his flat hard chest and around his neck in and ever tightening embrace as they became lost in each other. 

Quinn’s arms slipped around her waist and up her back, his fingers feeling every curve and feminine firmness he had longed to hold again.  The two kissed, their lips moving and sliding about, never breaking and never missing each other’s turns, tongues moving about darting and touching and working into corners, lighting more passion the either could stand, but that each other wanted more of. 

She felt so delectable in his arms, they roamed everywhere about her back, sliding down around her gorgeous firm ass and squeezing and caressing it much to his and her delight then crept back up and secured around her waist firm enough to pick her up and carry her to the bedroom, their lips never parting.  Cindy kicked off her shoes and let them fall on the way the soft pads of her feet running up and down the fabric of his suit until he gently lowered her from heaven back to earth.
Their lips broke apart, their eyes meet and each knew the other for what they really were.  Cindy pulled the lapels of his jacket outward and removed it carefully placing it perfectly on the clothes rack behind Quinn before snaking her arms around his waist and undoing his belt, his body twitching from her touch as she went.  Cindy pulled the belt languidly free of its loops with her right hand while her left loving turned him around to her awaiting lips for a kiss that removed his tie then a kiss for each button as she undid his shirt and finally the touch of his skin to hers the electricity shooting through both of them with contact.  The DOOM spy removed the tie and shirt, treating them with the same care as before then turned back smiled and looked at his waist.  One hand swirled about his strong abs and chest while the other deftly undid and unzipped him her other hand plunging downward in a snaking motion and inside his underwear and pull it down free so it fell to his ankles her hands finding his manhood in a warm caressing embrace that induced a deep inhale from Quinn and a moan of ecstasy much to her delight. 

He wasn’t hard but he wasn’t totally soft either Cindy noted from initial touch before that was gone in a second.  He swelled fully in her cuddle as she moved her hands about, they continuing to kiss, although Quinn found it harder to do with the jolts of energy shooting through him from her embrace. 

Releasing her touch her hands moved up and unto his shoulders where just the most imperceptible pressure triggered him to sit on the edge of the bed.  Cindy removed his pants, folded them just so and placed them with the others, he did the rest and when she turned around he was naked.  The sight made heart skip and her breath come up short, it was not the vision of the male, she’d seen that so many times before, no it was his hand outstretched to wait for hers and the desire on his face that matched hers.  She floated over and into his arms and felt her nightgown being slowly removed and then silkily shifted off her shoulder and slowly off her body.

‘Oh yes, just as I had hoped, wanted, imagined.  Perfect,’ she said softly as fingers ran through his hair.

Quinn knew her body from before, it had filled him with desire then and this time the vessel wasn’t big enough to contain his passion for her.  It spilled over the sides in kisses to her neck and small nibbles that ignited Cindy like no man ever had and then beyond that.  The COIL agent kissed down her chest, circled her orbs, covering them in wet passion before his hot tongue moistened a trail up and over one of her magnificently pink nipples.  Cindy nearly buckled from the sensation of that soft fiery heat, she gasped found her head resting on his shoulder the smell of her driving him equally mad.  A slow rolling audible moan grew and filled his ears as his fingers and soft palms succulently toyed with the other breast.  Cindy kissed and nuzzled his neck as she was stimulated, she wanted to do something to him but could not focus enough to do it and somehow she knew Quinn wanted her not to, he was showing himself to her, all the passion and desire for her now outpouring.  He switched about and she collapsed onto him, he holding her and rolling them fully onto the bed he on top and still stroking her was she clung to him, his one arm under her shoulder blades for support.  Quinn finished and gave her a small kiss before his lips continue about her neck and then down the incredible valley between her pendulous tits and into her flat hard stomach and then down again as Cindy tensed and squirmed.

‘What are you doing?’ she asked in near breathless tones.

You can never be too thorough, I’m checking you for concealed weapons,’ he said between kisses to her muff.

‘I told you before I was unarmmm!!!’ she tried to say but lost her voice as Quinn’s tongue parted her lips.

‘Ohhh, you better, ahh search me totally, I...I...I... may have been lying, oh yes!!’ Cindy gasped as his tongue found her clitoris and his hands closed on her nipples.

Her hips twirled about and her head rocked as Quinn reached deep inside her, Cindy’s hands teasing with his hair until they fell away and she stilled for several seconds before her body arched back and she began to convulse, her hips gyrating madly and her head shaking side to side as a low rumble came to her and then grew into a series and exclamations while her body pulled up and down on the bed.  Quinn turned his hands and thrust his tongue about, increasing her pleasure as she writhed and moaned until slowly she calmed and Quinn attacked.  His tongue fired in and out and she was in heaven again thrashing about as he released and kissed up her body turning her over onto her stomach. 

Quinn started at her ankles and kissed up, her firm calves and even firmer thighs, her legs so long and beautiful.  Onto her incredible ass, he nipped and kissed her eliciting bounces from her body as he hit zones.  His hands swept underneath around her waist as he kissed up about her back and shoulders before working about her neck and ear, the sensation arousing Cindy as she turned her head to his lips her mouth hungrily devouring him, her tongue inside his mouth and working him into her spell her body twisted and he shifted on top of her.  They kissed for a few minutes, both were ready but neither wanted to break the spell as they adjusted about each other until the moment both had wanted for a long time arrived. 

He gave a small push and his tip was surrounded in delicious warmth, Cindy’s lips parting to encompass him in welcoming sweetness.  Their arms enfolded each other as they pushed and pulled working themselves together as they kissed slowly, their lips never parting.  A slow wonderful rhythmatic dance began just as Cindy had imagined and hoped it would turn out and Quinn as well.  They both knew this was not the only time this night and there was time for frenetic love making, this was all about each other and expression. 

Softly and quietly they moved back and forth, his granite probe magic inside her and her firm walls a caress and delight to his shaft.  Cindy could feel he was close; she shortened her motion and added a small swirl of her hips that brought him to climax.  Quinn exploded inside her, his body pumping frantically to expel his fluid as she did everything to prolong his pleasure, holding him tight and driving her hips back and forth and up and down at a fevered pitch he was jackhammering his hips in joy, air gasping from him as he pumped away madly and until slowly the joy drained from his body.

Quinn shifted his arms, one around her shoulder the other cupping her ass and moved for her, his motion, deep pushes into her and a rapidly increasing pace left her breathless at the pace and intensity.  It bubbled to the surface then took hold of her and would not let go.  The magnitude of the orgasm over took her, her body reactively tried to pry free of his arms and it was all Quinn could be to hold her as he thrust.

‘Oh darling yes!’ she screamed as she wormed about trying wriggle loose from him.

Quinn pulled them both up off the mattress and held her tight as his hips pistoned back and forth into her she screaming in joy as she clung to him until finally she was released from joy.  Quinn gently laid her back on the bed and pumped giving her wonderful aftershocks that filled her with desire.  He stroked her hair and looked at her kissing on the cheek and lips as she looked up at him.

He rolled onto his side and she went with him, keeping his prong tight inside her as a leg crossed over his ass. He was still hard, so hard, inside her and she was still firm and wonderful about him. They built a rhythm steadily each perfectly exciting the other to orgasm their bodies quaking in simultaneous rapture.  They finished and he pulled out just as she had wanted and she took his root between her thighs and held it.

‘You’re wonderful,’ the both started to say then stopped and smiled and kissed.

‘I can’t believe we’re actually here, I dreamed about this, never thought it would happen and never thought it would be this amazing,’ Cindy said as she stroked his arm.

‘The minute I touched you on the dance floor I wanted this to happen, hoped it would happen and more than hoped you felt the same, two people with a desire for one another,’ he whispered in her ear.

Quinn ran his hand down her thigh and calf around her ankle and bowed the leg inward to him his warm hands sliding up and down her gam as she closed her eyes and enjoyed his stroking caress. 

You’re still so hard!’ she said as she released his man from between her thighs and cuddled close.

‘I’m planning on an active night and you know what they say no rest for the wicked,’ he smiled.

‘You certainly are that,’ she purred as she rolled on top of him and pulled him up at the waist.

Neither needed any guidance from the other, they both seemed to know what the other had in mind.  Cindy raised her hips up and swayed about as her yoni searched for his tip and found it.  A few tilts and swings of her hips took him in a little more; her heated embrace and firm walls causing his cock to throb inside her.  Cindy stilled and clung to him letting his massive size pry her open so she could surround him slowly.

‘Wonderful,’ was all she said in between kisses.

The Lotus Position gave her the control she wanted and gave them both incredible sensual touch of the other. Cindy loved the fact that Quinn never tried to push into her; he gave her total control of the position as the Kama Sutra suggested.  She opened and slid down enveloping him in her pleasure cone and him in desire.  They held still until Cindy was fully engorged on his ram then they closed around her each and held. 

The Tantric Sex position worked its magic; Cindy was being built to climax by Quinn’s pulsating stem against her fully covered clitoris while Quinn’s shaft was being rubbed by the contracting and retracting of her walls.  They both reached glory at the same time, just as the book said they should, the sign of compatible lovers.  Neither orgasm was frenzied, but slow, rolling and beautiful; they shook in each other arms. 

He pushed the hair out of her face and kissed those wonderful lips.  Cindy moved her tongue about, snaking into recesses and about his neck and ears, the DOOM spy kissed faster and harder clearly aroused and not yet satiated and neither was he.  She broke the embrace pushed his shoulders away and him to the bed where she sat over him, his prong entrenched inside her.  Her driving hips buffeted back and forth at an unbelievable pace adding twists and turns Quinn had never experienced with another woman.

‘She’s amazing!’ he said and he vocalized it to her which drove Cindy into hyper drive.

Quinn reached up and took her orbs in his hands and fondled her nipples eliciting yes’s from Cindy as she slid in and out.

He burst a minute later, a mind bending; body twisting, quaking, moaning, thrusting exclamation of juice came out and out of him.  Quinn cupped and sexy spy’s ass and pull her in as he drove frenetically into her and tried to pulled her down to him.  Cindy held him down, and pummelled her hips into him, she knew that he wanted her close but she knew this gave the most pleasure. 

On and on his climax went, he was spilling into her more than she thought possible.  Cindy turned her hips in magical ways; tilted up and pushed down to give him all the glory her body was capable of delivering.  Quinn’s moans filled the room and then small low hums as she wrung the last of his ghism from him.  She leaned down to kiss him but lost her train of though as his granite pole began to work inside her.

‘He’s still hard and virile as ever, incredible, oh my,’ she exclaimed.

His hips proved every equal to hers. His strong form lifting her into the air as he turned and parried inside her.  Cupping her ass he moved her about finding the motion to deliver her to maximum joy.  She climaxed quickly after that but Quinn was equal in returning the favour of pleasure with a few tricks of his own and deep curling thrusts sent Cindy on a ride that reduced her to rag doll status, his arms supporting her as he relentlessly bobbed inside her until she thought she was done and then his cock delivered a series of aftershocks that shook her about in an overture of delight.  Maddened by her, he sat up he circled his legs about her ass and pulled her up and thrust inside her as she clung to his warm body, so delicious to the touch as his hands moved.  She came again in minutes, her clitoris on fire as she shook in his arms, her firm tits giggling joyously, he kissed them sending her further into heaven as she undulated her paradise magically until he felt release and a long body shake told Cindy to keep moving, she moved elegantly and sexily at the end to prolong his joy, her arts on full display for him.

It was a few minutes of listening to each others hammering hearts and breathing before they parted and gazed at each other.

‘Why did we wait so long,’ Quinn said with a bit of sadness in his voice.

Cindy put a soft hand to his lips, then a kiss and smiled.

‘The nights still young and I intend to make up for lost time.’

***

 ‘Zis woman is incredible, such stamina and technique, she has kept him hard and active for hours, spilling him and his formula with a most intoxicating mix of feminine arts and toxins.  Vat has she used so far on him?’ she asked one of the girls monitoring the screen and volume levels of the camera and microphone The Stripper’s Guild had installed in her room and throughout the hotel.

‘She started with a lipstick, then perfume, when they went to her room she applied a body lotion that seems to have been most effective.  Their combined body heat and her choice coupling positions have allowed his skin to absorb her serum.  At the present she is holding him in a Pressed Flower Mating position, maximum skin cover as she works on him,’ her fellow assassin answered.

Ling clung to him as her hips churned up and down in a slow enticing motion her grind changing after several minutes to a slow circle as she nibbled his ear and asked questions.  She drained more of the equation from him and then him as he climaxed.

They watched as the slip of a woman became a hive of activity on him.  Ling moved in a frenzy her stimulation of him designed to pull the final piece of the puzzle from him.  The seduction spy could feel him being pushed out of her, he was limp.  She kissed him as she raised her hips and pulled free sliding her tongue down his body she captured him prong in her mouth. 

A long moan filled the room as he twitched and turned to her touch.  Her tongue moved slowly about probing him for a motion to excite him.  She turned her body toward him and stretched out giving him her legs and hips to touch as she settled him her arms snaking around his hips and holding him firm as she coddled him in soothing strokes.  His hands coursed her lovely legs before he turned her hips and began kissing her muff and coursing her wet pussy with his tongue.  Ling opened her legs and let his head come into her paradise her legs softly holding him as she continued.

Ling nuzzled his soft tip against her cheeks as hands pulled gently in his shaft and cool lips kissed about his man before she sucked him back into her mouth and to finish the job.  He swelled to his full hardness, she swaddled and held as she lay her head on the sheets and let him bring her to joy.  Layton provided release a short time later, her body quivering as he darted in and out with his tongue tip sending her into gyrating hip turns as he held her the orgasm going and going as his probe treated her to constant sexual jousting.  She arched back on herself opening her paradise in invitation and he continued driving her to another climax in minutes her body twisting in madness to escape his wonderful touch. 

His tongue found her again, he swept one leg over his body to expose her more, she  stilled and had a wonderful roller coaster ride to joy her womanly arts snaking herself free and worming herself into place, his hard man substituted from one honey cave to another as she worked her yoni around his granite pole.  Swollen from his ministrations she had to work hard to surround him the friction ensuring her compete domination as his body jerked in response to her firm enclosing walls. 
Ling worked him to joy several times the last of the equation falling to her questions.  She relaxed and rested her job complete; the rest of the night was for pleasure.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

‘Zat was worth zee price of admission as zay say.  My god zat woman has endurance and technique.  She certainly knows how to loosen tongues fortunately for us.  I take it vee have all zee equation?  How long before vee can proceed?’ she asked one of her girls monitoring the surveillance equipment.

‘I have just transmitted the last of the data to out two test sites, Las Vegas and Monaco, where our girls are standing by along with several experts they have retained for certain services rendered, to decipher and apply the equation so we can beta test it,’ she answered.

‘Do vee have an idea when zay will be ready to try,’ Tanya asked impatiently.

‘I am assured it will be only several hours, once they understand the basics it’s is just a matter of plugging in the data, so they said when we approached them,’ she answered.

‘Call me zee minute they are ready to try and make sure zay understand the limits of the test, vee don’t want to tip our hand,’ Tanya ordered as she left the control/dressing room. 

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Ling made love with Layton several more times, she was pleased with how the assignment had gone and more pleased with the skill of her lover, that had been the biggest surprise, he was very good and she thoroughly enjoyed herself, the assignment has been wonderful.  As she settled her head on his chest snuggled close she was also glad this was not a termination mission, she kind of liked him.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *
       
‘A small rap on her door, a crack of an opening and familiar head inside the opening brought a smile to Tanya’s face as the words ‘We are ready,’ filled her ears.

A brisk walk to the control booth showed her girls had been busy.  A tap into the two house cameras above the tables in Las Vegas and Monaco gave her a perfect picture of the unfolding operation.  Normally the odds on certain games were higher than others, Black Jack for instance gave the individual and better chance one on one with the dealer, however those odds always tilted to the house when more players entered the fray as they increased odds of losing through card distribute and number of times a person takes a hit.  The key was to play the both the house and the other players against you at the same time.  Part of the equation covered this game, however buried inside this were other formula’s for other games, craps and even one for slot machines that used a highly sophisticated algorithm to predict payouts based on the results of just 5 games, others formula’s covered other games of chance.  As predicted it had not taken the’ math nerds’ long to understand it once they had it in front of them.  Even better the systems were simply to teach as Tanya was seeing, it was her girls playing the games and winning against the odds.

‘Zat will do for now, tell zem to stop, cash in a leave, vee have won enough not to arouse suspicion, any more and wee will start drawing attention, for now it’s just a simply statistical anomaly,’ she said.  ‘My congratulations to our players, tell zee girls to keep zee money and lose zee help and to stand by for further orders,’ Tanya smiled. ‘Prepare the call, I vill take it in my room.’

The girl did just that, the ‘math nerds’ had been invaluable but everything and everyone has a shelf life.

Tanya flipped open her laptop and began, she had just finished when the screen of the large TV screen on fall side wall came on the screen was split in two allowing her to see both of them.  My greeting to zee both of you and thank you for accepting on such short notice and to show my appreciation I am sending an email right know, an email that vill change all our fortunes together and allow us to achieve vat vee have talked about before,’  Tanya said as she hit the send button. 

‘I don’t understand, a mathematical formula of some kind, interesting, but how does it help us?’ one said.

‘It doesn’t it helps us all, but only if vee vork together and with complete precision, let me explain,’ Tanya said and then gave her two listeners all the background to the story including how the formula worked and the results they had achieved with it so far.

‘This is the answer to the dream we have talked about over the years,’ the other answered.

‘Yes I see but we must act as one unified group, strike simultaneously and ruthlessly for it to work,’ the first one said again.

‘I see vee are on the same page, here is a list of all the locations vee need to be and the time to start the strike,’ Tanya said sending another email.

Both of the parties scanned the list then checked their own data to confirm that they could have the people and in place at the agreed upon time.

‘It is very tight but I understand the need to act fast.  Tell me what will happen if we delay even a day,’ the first party asked.

‘DOOM has not yet received the formula, it will at least another 8 before they do, zen zay vill need at analyse it, giving us another day perhaps, after zat zay vill put it to work for zar ends and vee vill be left out,’ Tanya added.

‘I am in and will dispatch people, this is our chance, they one we have talked about so many times in the past, our musings from those talks lead us to create a plan, more I suspected for our own amusement that anything we thought could be achieved, but now it appears we have the means at hand to secure of goals, I for one cannot let this opportunity pass, my people are there way.’

‘As are mine,’ the other added.  I suggest we keep this lone open so we can follow our march to success,’ the other added.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Cindy turned slowly in the bed her body squirming underneath the sheets in a delicious snakelike motion as she searched for her lover.  The smile on face at the expected contact turned to a curious frown as the motion turned up not a trace; she opened her eyes to discover she was alone.  The shock causing her to sit bolt upright in the bed her gaze fixed on a cart with breakfast on it. 

The beauty slipped out of bed and walked toward the cart picked up the robe that had been placed over a chair and pulled it on the silk feeling cool and welcoming against her skin. 

‘Sorry but duty calls, I didn’t know what you wanted for breakfast so I hope this selection is ok.  I arranged to have clothes brought down from your room, Quinn. No love, no you were wonderful, no meet me later, no love Quinn, just Quinn.  Well Cindy welcome to Dumpsville, population you.'

She crumpled the note, tossed it away and left to dress, duty called for her to.      

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Ling and Layton enjoyed their breakfast together, but as for the others duty called for them as well, Layton had a speech to give and Ling had to meet with Cindy, but that didn’t prevent them from one final joining.  She had barely dressed, kissed him goodbye and sent the data when Cindy showed up.

‘I take it your night was a complete success,’ Cindy smiled. ‘So much so he didn’t want to leave?’

‘Yes to the success and a bit of both to the other, he’s quite an excellent lover.  DOOM has the data and my part in this play is over.  How goes it with the remaining players?’

COIL has been kept busy running in circles by the Strippers Guild, nothing fatal, just chasing their tails, so I think this mission has been a total success.  All that’s left to do is for me to run around a little, look like I’m up to something to distract them a little more and then leave myself,’ Cindy said.

‘Do you think it would be alright if I kept in touch with Layton, I mean it’s always good to have someone of his talents closer to our side than there’s’ Ling asked.

‘I think that would be an excellent idea for all concerned, ‘Cindy smiled, kissed Ling goodbye and left to do her duty.

First order was a trip to The Stripper’s Guild to tell them the contract was completed.  She tried not to touch anything for fear of sticking to it when she arrived at their place.  Greeted coldly as she expected was one thing but having to wait for Tanya was another, a little like the tail wagging the dog to Cindy’s mind. 

‘I see you finally decided to grant me audience, I suppose I should be grateful,’ Cindy said disdainfully.

Tanya ignored the comment, she wasn’t interested in banter with this woman, she had bigger irons in the fire, no she would be polite and be rid of her. 

Cindy could sense the urgency in the polite rushed tones, no more remarks about her, just quick agreement and move on, it raised her alarms and then a few other things raised more.  She kept the conversion going, hoping its annoyance would spark further intel, but Tanya was a cool customer, she let nothing slip.

‘Zat woman suspects something, have her eliminated,’ Tanya decreed to one of her girls after the meeting.

Cindy reported her suspicions to her superiors who to her mind didn’t seem too concerned about them.  She comforted herself in the idea she’d done her duty then she ran into Quinn.  She quickly scanned the room looking for a place out of the way, she found it and moved toward her confident he would pick up her lead and follow which he did. 

You’re going to hate me for this and I’ll hate myself if I don’t say it, but please believe me I had no idea you would be here and our wonderful night together was just for me and you, not part of the bigger plan.  You can hate me if you want, but I’m telling you the truth at the expense of everything,’ she said holding him tight.

Quinn listened to the tale, he knew who to believe and why, it was just that all his training told him not to do it.  He didn’t listen and reported it anyway making up a convincing lie as to how he knew.  He saw her back to her room and stopped at the door and looked at her.

‘I want you more than anything, but we both know it can never work and I love you too much to see anything bad happen to you Cindy and if I kiss you right now I know we’ll both be lost, I can live with lots of things, but not that, not for you,’ he said as he kissed her cheek, burning passion reducing her to tears as she went inside her room.

She managed to calm down somewhat, she was a mess, not her usual well put together self.  She decided a nice soak in the tub would help her. The soak did a little good, she comforted herself in the fact that at least she was taking care of her body. 

Droplets of water fell from her form, a lucky few hanging on as she grabbed a towel and began padding herself dry, the towel substituting for Quinn as she hugged it to her body.  The illusion lasted only a few seconds before she discarded the dream and moved into her dressing room and a seat at her vanity picked up her powder puff and began sliding it about her delicious legs.

The puff exploded covering the DOOM agent’s nude body in Glitter Powder; she stumbled to her feet desperately searching for an atomizer on her vanity which was missing.  Cindy leaned on the chair for support the trap already working on her.  The Glitter Powder sparkled in the light as the spy weakened from its skin suffocating coat of her.  She wobbled and fell to her knees the motion dazzling in the room as the light hit the powder.  In desperation the plus spy tried her nails without success the thin membrane refused her edge no matter the angle as she knew it would.    
The Strippers Guild powder was a most deadly execution device no matter the size of the female agent.  The powder completely covered the victim in the initial explosion sealing instantly to their skin blocking it from breathing, then as a secondary measure to ensure death, the sparkles worked just into the skin releasing a muscle relaxant toxin that immobilized the victim. 

Her now alabaster body pushed off from the chair in direction from of the bathroom; she managed two steps and fell unable to move further.  The last furtive pushes of her legs got her nowhere, Cindy dug her nails into the carpet and desperately tried to pull herself along as the warm light of sun through the window heated her up and she began to drift of, her eyes closing and a smile forming on her lips.

A bright warm light filled her senses, her body felt free and floating; she opened her eyes and saw an angel hovering over her, its wings even now moving to fold themselves around her.

‘I love you from here till the end.’

‘Daring,’ she said.
***
‘That’s the last call for my plane.’

‘I know, these stolen moments go by so fast,’ she said her face nuzzling his neck as she squeezed him tighter for just a second then released.

He kissed her lightly on the lips and walked out of the section of lockers and into the terminal proper she turning and eye just beyond the edge of the locker to watch him fade into the crowd like so many times before.  This time it was her turn to wait as her plane was later than his.  She used the time to straighten her outfit gather her composure and touch up her face then it was her turn to fade into the crowd.

When or if they would ever see each other again was not a situation totally under their control and both hated it more than they could say.  Stolen moments for quite solace in each other’s arms, the very odd time they actually dared to spend a night or an afternoon together; they lived for these moments and knew they could die for them to.  They had discussed it, as if they needed to, both were fully aware of what they were doing, yet both had said it would not stop them and for six months it hadn’t.

‘But how much longer can we conceal our charade,’ she thought as she boarded her plane.

He caught a glimpse of her plane heading away from his; he turned in his seat reflecting on the metaphor. 

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             
The repetitive task of moving the weight, the challenge it gave and the satisfaction of pushing yourself beyond it helped to easy his mind that is until the light smack of a towel against his leg ended that tranquillity.

‘No need wasting your time doing that Quinn, after all there are no rewards for the best fit desk jockey in COIL,’ Martin said with a laugh meant to and did indeed bring guffaws from the rest of the workout room of male agents. 

‘Thanks for that Martin, I’d forgotten since the last time you mentioned it, you should try coming up with a new line, that one’s run its course,’ Quinn answered.

‘Just like the person who just said it, is more like it Quinn.  I mean what’s it been, six months since you stopped being a field agent and took that paper shuffling position upstairs.  What’s the matter get to tough for you out there or did you just lose your edge?,’ Martin said that end of the statement deliberately designed to start something as Martin wanted, but just as it appeared it might he changed the subject.  ‘And speaking of edge, did you see the new crop of female agents, I can hardly wait!’ he voiced to smiles all around.

‘Here we go again, your second favourite topic,’ Quinn said as he came up from under the weight machines arms to a sitting position.  ‘You know I should take you down to the lab and have them insert a pull string in your back with those two phrases on it, at least then if we wanted to hear from on the topic of how many female agents you’ve slept with, we could just pull it or even better not pull it at all and not hear from you.‘

‘Well, that’s one voice for no, any others for yes,’ Martin said turning to the other half dozen agents who Quinn knew would side with Martin.

‘I have a better idea and perhaps something that will make this shorter for everyone.  Let’s list the agents you haven’t slept with, not because you haven’t had the chance, but because they turned you down.  Oh no, please let me start.  Charlotte Thorne, Alex Chase and if memory serves me right her sister Dara and oh yes, Claire Baxter, care to add any of the others yourself Martin or should I continue?’ Quinn said with a menacing smile.

He expected things to get testy at any second, but his smartphone went off, however he couldn’t help adding as he looked at the message.  ‘Saved by the bell this time Martin, I have one of those paper pushing meetings to attend, high level, need to know nonsense stuff, maybe we’ll pick this up again,’ Quinn said and left for the showers.

He reflected on the time he asked to be transferred inside, six months it hand been.  They didn’t like losing one of their best male agents, but he was a resource that could and had been put to very effective use on the inside as well, training, intelligence gathering, teaching, he could and did do it all, but it was for other reasons he did it.  He got to travel and that got him to see her, if only just to hold for a few seconds in an airport, although there had been that one time they’d shared a flight and had become members of the Mile High Club, but that was the only time.  Truth was his heart really wasn’t much in it anymore, but he could find no way out, he knew she was same, her missions reflected it as she told him.  He thought about it more as he exited the elevators, his face betraying nothing and as he nodded to his Section Heads Admin and went into the meeting, his mind snapped back fully into the present as he took his seat.

‘Here are your orders, fly out tomorrow you’ll be met there and taken to a special location for a meeting, Quinn we need you to go back into the field.’

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *                        
‘The Section Head has called an emergency meeting for tomorrow at nine sharp with you a car will be sent for you!’ the speaker on her answering service blared in a tone that left no uncertainty that she better show up.  She had dropped her suitcase and for the first time in her life Cindy Krutzler, DOOM agent was scared.  Everything went through her mind at once, except running, she knew that would be useless, they would find her eventually, they still hadn’t given up on Nancy Prud’homme, only now they were using outside organisations to kill her after she and Mrs. Hawthorne had proved a formidable pair costing DOOM agent after agent.  She went over in her mind how they could have been caught, they’d been so careful, she could not see how, but she concluded that they had been why else would she be summoned in this way and to an address she knew or thought she knew was not a DOOM front.

She didn’t dare warn Quinn, her place was most likely bugged and being monitored.  She calmed herself, her training and her demeanour coming up to take command of the situation.  Cindy picked up her suitcase and strode into the bedroom to unpack having resolved to face her fate full on her terms and looking her best she really had no other choice.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             
‘While they’ll be a long time finding me out here,’ she said to herself as the car spend her along a winding industrial road of totally abandoned factory and office storefronts in a long forgotten backwater exurbia of London before turning into a large complex, then down an alley around and corner down another laneway and finally coming to a stop in front of a door.  Cindy saw several other cars including one with a style, a 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 about and without waiting to be told anything she got out and made for the door.

Inside was a large deserted room, dusty with a few abandoned chairs flung about, the walls a combination of that depressing grey office paint and dust and on the far side a lit hallway that she crossed and went down expecting any second to be killed until she reached the end opened the door and saw her Section Head, another person from Intelligence she knew vaguely and another man she did not know at all.  All three were talking most seriously as she entered and stopped just as soon, never a good sign. 

‘Have a seat Miss Krutzler,’ her Section Head said, also never a good sign.

‘About six months ago you oversaw an assignment in Macao with another agent.  The assignment went perfectly or so we thought, but time has a way of changing things and that appears now not to be the case,’ she added.

Cindy never let on anything except a look that wanted more data, as neutral as she could be under the mounting pressure.

‘You used The Strippers Guild on this mission as a decoy.’

‘As per orders,’ Cindy added feeling this was going to left out.

‘Yes, well it appears they seem to have taken a somewhat keener interest in the mission or someone took a much keener interest in them being part of the mission.  There was a long pause during which Cindy’s heart nearly stopped.  ‘We know it was not you, that leaves only your partner or they acted alone, we have yet to determine which, but we will,’ that was ominous, Cindy knew Ling was in danger.

‘At any rate the damage has been done, if you can call what’s happened damage,’ the woman from intelligence picked up the conversation.  ‘It seems they got hold of the equation and used it, but not in isolation,’ she said.

‘But even if they used it in several locations it would not be that serious a matter would it?’ Cindy said.

‘No, but they didn’t, they used it in conjunction with the Poison Geisha and The Silkworms all over the world.  The financial windfall was astounding, crippling in most places, in fact they own almost all the establishments they played in.  Further to that they pooled the money; bought into companies and governments they coveted to spread their influence.  Over the past six months we have watched them grow into a creditable threat and seen it happen.  That single action appears to have been just the tip of the spear for the three as they have merged into a new cartel they call Trident and they want to be the only players in the game.  They have come after us and COIL with equal ferocity.’

Cindy didn’t know what to say, except she knew she was off the hook with her superiors, this was about something bigger, but just yet she couldn’t quite figure out.

Her Section Head picked up the talk.  ‘As someone once said extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, so we have come up with this solution,’ she turned to the man Cindy didn’t know.

‘I’m from COIL Miss Krutzler and the solution is simply 4 teams of a man and woman, one from COIL and one from DOOM will in effect become partners and their talents will be directed, by both our intelligence groups into solely fighting Trident. ‘

‘Don’t I get a say in this!’ Cindy’s voiced said hardly disguising her annoyance.

‘No!’ said her Section Head and the tone meant that was the end of it, she would so as she was told.

‘And I can assure you the same was conveyed to the COIL agent,’ she added.

‘I think this would be a good time to introduce them to each other,’ the COIL man added as he moved to the door behind them.

Cindy stood up, straightened herself and did her best to please her bosses, at least on the outside inside she was furious, mostly why her thoughts ran in her mind.  ‘Sure the mission screwed up, but blame those trampy Strippers, don’t punish her.’

The door opened and in he walked and if possible the mood and the tension got worse.  The COIL agent whirled half around in all the manner as if he’d just missed a two foot tap in on the 18th green his face screwed up in disgust.  What followed was a mumbled yet at times very audible conversation with his superior in far corner? 

Cindy sat back down, the pasted on smile disappearing into a frown has her head turned down at the stream of words she could pick up.  ‘You hate me that much, come on, a plus, look at her, you said a top agent not a fat one, how am I supposed to pretend with that and a host of other things she almost shut out.  ‘Yes, I know, fine, whatever, duty and all,’ he added in a curt voice and grabbed the manila envelope with the mission details.  ‘Come on,’ he said striding past her, try and keep up.’

Cindy barely had time to get her mission dossier and quick pace to catch up with him.  The triumburant did not look happy at the outcome and this was only the first pairing.

He marched into the sunlight over to the driver side of the Lancia opened the door as she walked by headed to the passenger side.  She barely had time to get in before the car was off and at a high speed back through the industrial area, onto the highway and in toward London.

They said nothing, didn’t look at each other all the way as he drove into Chelsea, pulled the car onto Cale St. and then up an alley and then into a parking space.

‘First off all I want to say all of that back there was…’ he started to say.

‘Just kiss me darling, I know, I can’t believe it, she said her lips meeting Quinn’s.

They kissed for several minutes then parted.

‘As I was saying it was all a lie, a minute I saw you my heart nearly exploded, but I had to make it look like the unhappy shotgun marriage to maintain the reality the three expected to see, you played your part just as well I see.  But there is something strange in this arrangement, 4 couples, ok sure, but why you, you’re one of DOOM’s best and I’ve been a desk jockey for 6 months it doesn’t add up I think we need more answers and that is why we’re here, come with me my love,’ he said as he ran around and opened the car door and helped her out.

‘Before we go anywhere I need to send a secure message to a friend, she’s in danger and I need to get her to a safe house,’ Cindy said.

‘Tell her a make her way here from wherever she is, there’s no safer place,’ Quinn said and Cindy did taking the information from Quinn on wat to do once she got to London.

They entered the rear of the building and turned down a hallway moving towards a door at the far end Cindy assumed until Quinn stopped and pushed at a wooden panel about 3 feet wide and six high, it gave way on a spring, he offered her his hand and they stepped inside.  Cindy knew this was something important and something she should never have seen, but that life, her DOOM life was gone as of an hour ago, it was Quinn and her and whatever happened, she trusted him fully.

They two moved along the passageway, very old she could tell by the brick work, but dry and well lit down for a while then flat with many turns and a few side tunnels running off here and there before an incline meant a soon surfacing.    Quinn came to a halt at a door and fingered a keypad, the door opened and they stepped in to be greeted by a beautiful blonde stylishly attire women. 

‘Welcome Quinn,’ she said warmly looking at Cindy.

‘Countess Hamilton, a great pleasure as always, may I introduce my new partner as of this morning Cindy Krutzler, we are in need of some assistance and hope you can help,’ he said.

‘You know better than that, Alice, please,’ the Countess said.

‘Well, come this way we’re just about to have tea, we can discuss it in the Library,’ she said with a smile and motioned them to follow her.

Alice led them down the oak paneled hallway, under the arch of the great central staircase and opened the two pocket doors.  Cindy was just about to step in when she saw the person looking up at her.  She clutched Quinn’s arm and started to back away.

‘It might be better if I waited some other place,’ she answered quickly her head swivelling about in search of a quick exit point.

Before she could take another step a hand seized her and pulled her into the room.

‘Nonsense, sit down.’

Cindy did as she was told and Quinn joined her, a smile on his face.

‘Well no need for a second round of introductions, I take it you two know each other,’ Quinn said with a laugh.

‘Miss Krutzler and I have had a few contretemps in the past, yes, but that as they say is the past, at least as far as this morning goes,’ Claire said holding out her hand which Cindy much relieved shook.

‘How did you know about that?’ Cindy asked.

Quinn looked at Claire then at the Countess got the approval he was looking for and began.

For some time now Claire, Countess Hamilton and others I’m not at liberty to mention at this time have been running a splinter cell of COIL, without their knowledge.  Then tend to have a rather far reaching knowledge of things, which is why we are here.   Since you know about us I was wondering if you could tell me about the other 3 couples and more importantly why did they pick us,’ Quinn asked.

‘That is something of a mystery to us as well,’ Claire said. ‘We don’t know who the other couples are as of yet, we’ll have that by tomorrow, but if you two are anything to go on, they will be top notch, which speaks to the genuine threat Trident offers.  Quinn you’re an excellent agent, top marks in all areas and well Miss Krutzler, let’s say you rank right at the top as well, seems you two would be more of a plus separate than together, but who’s to say, this may be a case of the sum being greater than the parts.

They had tea and cakes nobody saying much until Alice put down her cup and saucer.

‘How long do you think you have to play this,’ she said to Cindy.

‘What do you mean?’ Quinn said in astonishment.

‘No need to answer but you two are very obviously very much in love with one another, I’ve seen those looks many times in my life to mistake them for anything else,’ the Countess said, as she looked at Cindy, the clear double meaning registering with Cindy.

‘I think 3 to 5 years before we’re cut loose,’ Cindy added.  ‘It’s that obvious.’

‘Yes and I think that is about the right time frame,’ Claire added.

‘Someone want to include me in the conversation,’ Quinn said his voice exasperated that it had gone over him.

‘One refers to you two and you’re personal life, the other refers to this,’ Claire said then continued.

‘You’re both very useful tools, but that’s it, tools have a life, a purpose, once that purpose has been repurposed or declared obsolete there’s no more need for those tools, they’re cast aside.  Do you really think COIL or DOOM are going to want you back after that time?  You’ll have formed deep attachments to each other, probably all be in love, even if not, you’ll know too much about the other side, neither will want you.  So instead what’s going to happen is since each side is so opposed to the other you’ll get scant intelligence, oh just enough to understand the mission but nothing else, for fear once side will be giving the other a glean of intel them can extrapolate and use.  As for new weapons, you’ll see none of that.  Gradually you’ll be forced out of the inner circle until all the knowledge you do have is so old and useless it won’t matter if you tell the other, most likely they’ll have obtained that long ago.  You two and the other six have been put in separate boats at pushed away from the shore.  I honestly hope you survive, the odds are not good at present, but as Cindy says in three to five years you’ll be free of the shackles,’ Claire said to stony resigned silence.

‘However, this time the house does not have everything in its favour,’ Alice smiled.

‘What do you think Claire?’ Alice asked after they had left and she’d joined her again in the library.

‘Who knows, I hope it works out for them on every level, she a top notch agent as is he so they have that going for them.  And either way we just gained eight more agents for our little cell,’ Claire smiled as did Alice.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             
‘Well in the face of one day we’ve gone from being traded to a new organisation to being double agents against our former employers,’ Quinn said.  ‘Well at least they let us use my home in the Bangaram Atoll, Lakshadweep, India, I think you’ll like it, is isolated but a paradise.’

‘Isolated sounds find to me so long as were alone for a while, I have plans,’ she smiled and kissed him.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *

‘A Swift Boat, what is this a Mark 3?’ Cindy said as Quinn popped on board.

‘You know your boats, I bought it and a PBR from a guy a Thailand, fixed them up myself.  Use the Swifty to get to the atoll and the PBR to run about between the islands out there, the draft is so shallow on those things, much safer than anything else.  Come on board,’ he said holding out his hand.

Down the dock came a retinue of men and containers, one after the other, they came on board and neatly began stowing away their charges below deck and then above, strapping everything down as Quinn watched in silence, only his eyes moved.

‘Tell me again exactly how many clothes do you own?’ Quinn said as he watched.

‘It’s not like we don’t have the space, or so you told me, besides I told you I was something of a clothes horse, when it’s all away this afternoon everything will be fine, you’ll see,’ she smiled as the last trunk came on.

 He paid the men and a little extra for all their work, they cast off the lines and he guided the Swifty out of the Marina and into the open water toward their new home.

‘Mangalore Marina Control this is Downdraft outbound for Bangaram Atoll Islands group time 08:30,’ Quinn said into the mic.

‘Roger Downdraft, safe journey,’ crackled the radio back.

‘Only about 100 nautical miles to go, a little over 2 and half hours at a nice cruising speed, are you familiar with boating at all,’ Quinn asked as Cindy slipped on sunglasses in the morning light.

‘Yes, mostly smaller one person stuff, you know the drill, stealth ashore kind of craft, she said and Quinn nodded.

‘Here take the wheel,’ he said pulling her gently in front of him so he looked over her shoulder.  ‘When we clear the break wall ease it open a little, carefully, the engines are not the original, these are about 50 horse more each, she really kicks in fast what with the gun mounts out and all the other weight gone.  Speed, tact, radar, 12 mile range, compass or if you want GPS, just flick it on here and she will self-steer, you just watch for waves, the rest of the gauges are self-explanatory.  That’s our course,’ he motioned to the set on the compass as Cindy eased open the throttle and the Swift’s bow came up fast as the engines roared to life. 

He let her steer while he checked the cargo, fixed a few straps and when below for a few minutes.  Cindy loved having him behind her, but she loved this more and him, he trusted her enough to leave her alone.  He had confidence in her, they were equals, she knew that of course and knew he knew it as well, but it was nice to have it demonstrated.  It was also nice when her returned tea for both of them, English Breakfast, her favourite.

The trip went by fast, crossing paths with a freighter the only other vessel they saw.

‘Ok ease it back to 5 knots and aim for the middle of those two islands, that’s our home,’ Quinn said as they boat came down in the water.

Cindy picked up the binoculars had a look and adjusted the craft eased down the throttle a little more and guided the boat into the dock that jutted out from a sandbar that joined the two islands, Quinn having flipped the bumpers over the side and grabbed the bow and stern lines ready to jump out and secure the Swift.  Cindy reversed just enough to still the boat; she killed the engine and switched off all the electronics as he finished tying her up.

‘Come and see our home,’ he said holding out his hand, excitement registered on his face. 

Up she came into his arms for a long wonderful kiss.  She caught her breath as they parted then promptly lost it again as she looked about.  The azure sea surrounded the cove, clear to the white sand bottom.  Palm trees crossed over the cove covering it dappled sunlight, as the leaves moved in the light wind the sunlight danced like diamonds on the water.  As far out as she could see the water was cobalt blue, it just getting darker as it got deeper.  Cindy swept around following the dock up to the white sandbar that connected the two islands, the bar about 10 feet across and 30 feet long, before it dropped back into the blue sea again.  She walked up and stood on the sand, removing her sandals to feel the warm fine granules between her toes as she turned about.

‘They’re both ours, kind of looks like a dumbbell from the sky as both islands are almost perfectly circular, like atolls only more fully formed,; he said joining her.  ‘The house is this way,’ he said taking her hand in his.  They walked up the sand and moss path, the warm and cool of the sand and moss giving her a thrill with each step as was her hand in his.

They brushed aside a soft fern and there it was.  Cindy was not normally a fan of the cubist house building school, a series of squares joined together at various points to make a structure, but this worked so well, you had to look hard to discern the cubist reality.  A stone frame surrounded a large bamboo door, on either side of the stone were ground to top screened windows for light and breeze to get in.  From that initial cube, succeeding cubes on either side branched out, three apiece as far as she could tell the space between each added cube about 6 feet.  Each of those side panels had large windows and except for the third cube back on each side, it had a door.  The path diverged around the sides of the house and disappeared at the last cube corner on each side. 

Quinn came onto the stone landing in front of the door stood still for a second before Cindy an audible click released the door and he opened it and turned to her to enter with a wave of his hand.  She started to walk by when his one arm caught her about the waist and the other swung her legs out from under her and across she went in his arms then down in a graceful motion to her feet, she turned on a well formed ankle and they continued a smile from both of them.

He let her take the lead while he hung back.  ‘She doesn’t need my constant hovering, Cindy needs to feel, know that this is her place as well,’ he thought.

Cindy turned right a little down the teak floored hallway, granite cubes of various rose colour dotting the floor to give it a lighter look than the just the dark teak would have allowed, and into the kitchen.  Sun drained in from above and the side covering the terrazzo floor in brilliant glows.  A large, truly incredible island took up the middle with a double sink and sink burner gas top and cupboards all around.  The one inside wall was a floor to ceiling pantry with top double ovens, while other inside wall was a double door hidden front sub-zero fridge with a marching freezer next to it.  Sliding glass doors on the outside wall led to a stunning stone and bamboo deck overlooking the white sand beach on turquoise ocean 50 feet away, palms providing just enough shade, or if it rained and inside breakfast table at the far end of the room with a pass through to the formal dining room into which she passed in amazement.  This room was done all in stone, except the floor, which was Indonesia beach.  Soft gauze curtains covered the bank of windows on the outside wall giving the room a softer look more suiting its formal appearance.  Dishes and cutlery lined the inside walls all enclosed inside custom lit display cases.   A Ceylon Satinwood table adorned the centre with 12 matching chairs.  An opening on the inside wall led back to the hallway and directly across the living room that was flood with light from above and the far wall of tall wide windows.  This room had grouped seating arrangements for small gatherings of people to talk at but Cindy could quickly see they could be instantly rearranged to create on large grouping.  Again exquisite taste in furnishing and floors and accessories made this room classic yet welcoming.

Cindy headed back up the hall toward the front, passed a door and then right into what as quite obviously Quinn’s office.  Books shelves lines three walls, his desk faced out toward the ocean on this side.  Cindy could see this was a man’s room; most of the decorations were decidedly male, sports pictures of great events, framed memorabilia and some very nice art.  The room was larger than other cubes she noticed.

‘We can change this around somewhat if you like so we can share the study together or if you want we can change one of the spare bedrooms into a study for you,’ he said from the door.

She didn’t know what to say, so she just smiled and made her way to him and into the hall to the next door, the main floor bathroom, again more than wonderful in teak and marble and spacious. 

Quinn took her hand and led her up the stairs that ran up from the main entrance.  Upstairs were three bedrooms, a master and two smaller ones, each having their own balcony.  The master its own en suite the two other shared a main bath. 

Back downstairs in his hand to the back of the house, Cindy knew what was coming, each step brought her closer to something she was not sure how to face or handle, their bedroom.  It occupied the entire back of the house, huge would be an understatement.  The entire inside wall, more than 40 feet across was closet space, the door to the bedroom breaking it up into his and hers.  On one side was the bathroom, complete the spa tub, double sinks, showers the rotating adjustable jets at all levels and a soaker head above and everything else.  Cindy had never seen such a relaxing wonderful space, warm and inviting.  On the left and right of the room windows and doors to the outside, the left led to a covered workout area, compete with weights machines and mats.  On the right, a private garden and gazebo with a Hot Tub, barbeque, dining and bar area.

The bed was a spectacular Mahogany creation of carved inspiration.  Four pillars, a canopy and sheer insect netting tied to each post.  Behind the bed was a three quarter wall of granite that supported the windows above, more light and air.  Various pieces of drawers, side tables and as Cindy turned and saw it, a vanity finished the room. 

It was beautiful, very old, colonial English rule of India and perfect, she burst into tears.

At first Quinn thought they were tears of happiness, but after a few seconds he was by her side, his arms around her waist as he tried to turn her into his arms to face her.

‘What is it Cyn?’ he said.

‘I don’t think this will last, I mean how can it, look at me, look at what I’ve done for DOOM, what I’ve done to your colleagues and maybe even to people you cared about.  How can you love me, and how can I let myself be loved.  I don’t deserve this outcome, this joy, nor do I deserve you,’ she burst out in tears.

‘It’s a good thing that makeup appears to be waterproof,’ he joked then got very serious as he forcibly turned her about, no small feat given her strength. 

Cindy felt his strength as he held her still, then kissed her forehead, then her cheek, then chin before he gently with his cheek to hers pulled her head up so their eyes met.

‘This will never do Cindy Krutzler, you can stop it right now.  I don’t care what you did in your past, no better or worse than me, I’m no saint and I know you’re not either, but that does not matter to me.  This is what does, I love you, I love the way you look, smell, taste, laugh, toss your head and yes even cry among all the other things I love about you, I think you know that.  This is our start, this is where we both begin anew, where are paths come together and we go on together to whatever happens to us, together,’ he said and kissed the few remaining tears on her cheek.

‘You’re making a habit out that,’ she smiled.

‘Let’s make a habit out of something else,’ he said taking her hand and walking towards the bed. 

 Cindy leaned against Quinn as the delicious warm water cascaded down covering the couple.  Their reunion was everything she had hoped it would be and more.  She clung to Quinn totally trusting and loving his support of her tired body.  Slow brushes of her hands around his waist and back and soft sighs briefly interrupted the rhythm of the falling water.  The spy brushed her calve and thighs against his, not a signal for more joining but as a reassurance of her happiness at being home with her love.

Quinn’s arms enfolded her totally, caressed her back and found the inward curve of her hips, a feeling he loved to repeat, her body was wonderful, then gentle sweeps of her full amazing rear her light tenses delightful in their firmness.  He had missed her just as much as she had missed him and they both knew the future for either one or both of them was much less certain than for most couples, these moments were precious and never hurried or refused.  It didn’t need to lead to sex, but if it did, it was always intense and nurturing, but just holding each other, as now brought solace to each. 

They could stay like this for hours, but both somehow seemed to know when to separate or come together fully, Cindy called it The Magic.  A rustling of her head found her lips kissing across his chest, soft bites from the corner of her mouth penetrating into his being, she started a low purr as she settled then softly, very tenderly she started.

Stars shining bright above you, night breezes seem to whisper, ‘I love you’.
Birds singing in the sycamore tree, ‘Dream a little dream of me’.
Say ‘nighty-night’ and kiss me. Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me.
While I'm alone and blue as can be, dream a little dream of me.
Stars fading, but I linger on, dear.
Still craving your kiss, I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear.
Just saying this: Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you.
But in your dreams whatever they be, dream a little dream of me.
Stars fading, but I linger on, dear.
Still craving your kiss, I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear.
Just saying this: Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you.
But in your dreams whatever they be, dream a little dream of me.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             
They spent the rest of the day in the hammock together, reading or just lost in thought, the slow swing of the fabric and the gentle warm sea breeze there only companions.  Quinn was elated to have Cindy back, 3 months was a long absence, but he could see the results in many ways.  She had lost about 10 pounds, not that she needed to, it was just a consequence of the training at the Ashram.  She was stronger, more flexible, if that was possible and full of new talents, some of which she had shown him, he smiled at the recollection.  As deadly as she was before, she was even more so now, perhaps even at Sharon Sharpe level, maybe even past it.

He turned his head and gave her a kiss on her head smelling the sweetness of her, she made a throaty approval of thanks as he picked up his book again and she put hers down, her phone had gone off.
‘Oh boy,’ she said in not a good way and turned to Quinn tilting her body up on her side as he rolled to face her.

‘My parents are coming here for a vacation, of course they want to meet us,’ she said in not an excited voice.

‘Great, now your past will be fully exposed.  I foresee embarrassing stories ahead,’ he smiled.  ‘Honestly, I can’t wait to meet them and by your face that makes exactly one of us,’ he said.

‘You don’t understand I haven’t seen them  in over two years and maybe in total 8 times since my freshman year at Cornell.’

‘And whose fault is that, you made that choice.  I know, the line of work and all and not wanting to take a chance of them finding out about it or exposing them to danger, but if you didn’t want to see them, why did you Skype with them, those many times since we’ve known each other?’

‘Because I started to feel better about myself, I met you, I was happy,’ she explained.

‘Then be happy about it, I know I am and I’m sure your parents are to, most likely thrilled, else they would not be coming and truth be told you want to see them and I suspect to show me off, to which I’m flattered and promise to behave even down to wearing clean clothes,’ he smiled.  ‘Besides, if you didn’t hope they’d come, why did you tell them were we lived, you in truth want to see them, only natural, no matter how good or bad a person is they still love their parents in most cases and this is one of those cases.’

‘They’ve booked a week at the hotel on the main island; they’ll be here in two days.  By the way I hate you for knowing me so well,’ she teased and gave him a peck.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             
Quinn wisely stayed out of Cindy’s way for the next several days as she fretted and fussed over what outfit to wear, what he was going to wear, what time they had to leave to get to the main island, even though she knew exactly how long it was having made the trip several times.  He’d never seen her like this, he didn’t have parents of his own, having grown up a ward of the state, so he could not relate, he could only love her, but at present that love seemed best given from a distance and with carefully chosen words.  Somehow he managed the minefield, even the, which dress do you like on me, part.

She’d chosen khaki pants nice soft yellow golf shirt for him on with Top Siders for shoes and for herself after much hesitating and trying on of outfits she settled on a white halter sundress with an open front and plunging back, cut just at the top of the knee, a pair of white open toed mid heeled sandals completed the outfit which she completed with a double pearl bracelet with matching earrings and necklace, she looked smashing as Quinn told her.

The boat ride was uneventful except for Quinn stealing looks at her, which she didn’t notice and he knew was not at all like her, given her training.  They docked as he took her hand as attendants tied up the Swift Boat and helped her out, he noticed a little extra pressure then a lot more as they rounded the path of the garden that led into the bar and accompanying dining lounge.  Two people smiled wide smiles and got up from their stools.  Quinn would not have needed the clues of the smiles to spot Cindy’s mom, she clearly got her looks from her.

‘Mom, Dad this is Quinn Alexander Montgomery. Quinn my mom and dad, Gwen and Harry Krutzler,’ she said in a nervous voice.

‘Pleasure to meet the both of you and in spite of the formal introduction, please just call me Quinn,’ he said shaking Harry’s hand and kissing Gwen on the cheek.  Cindy squeezed his had even harder.

‘Pleasure to meet you Quinn and I’m very grateful to you I think if it hadn’t been for you we may have gone another two or three years without seeing our child,’ he said in a grateful voice and Quinn taking advantage of the lock Cindy had on him pushed her toward her dad in a manner that seemed to everyone to be Cindy’s initiative.  He knew what would happen, she just needed that little push, long hugs with mom and dad as he snapped a few pictures with his phone.

‘Well how about a drink to celebrate the return of the prodigal daughter,’ Quinn asked as he looked about and saw approval all around.  They gave their orders and sat down at a table.

‘You’ve lost weight dear,’ Gwen said.

‘Mom!’ came the embarrassed reply.

‘Just got back from India, where she was doing a job on a hotel complex, seems things went really well as they often do when Cindy’s in charge and she found herself with lots of free time, so she wandered into a Yoga Ashram and well 4 weeks later, here she is,’ Quinn answered, compressing the time frames somewhat and the truth a lot more.

‘Is that where you two met, in India.  All we got from Cindy was she met this really great guy.’ Harry said before Gwen interrupted him as married couples often do.

‘No Cindy said special dear, there is a huge difference.’

‘So let me understand, all those Skype calls and emails back and forth and she told you nothing about me?’ he said to the small shake of both their heads and decided it was time to have some fun.  ‘Well let’s fix that right now.’

‘We first met in Tangiers about 10 months ago, you see we worked for rival organisations at the time,’ he started and felt Cindy give him a small tap with her foot under the table.  Both our firms are in the same field, here he paused for just the briefest of seconds the torment his love just a little, then continued.  ‘Engineering consultation and Project Management as specifically regards Casino and Hotel complex development.  Well I was there on a mission to land a big client,’ he said as Cindy placed her hand on his on the table, she clearly not enjoying all the near references to their true lives.  ‘Anyway, I think I’ve got the assignment when who shows up, your daughter and proceeds to try and steal the prize from me.  Well I’m having none of that and the rivalry begins.  We both started to focus on each other so much that someone else came in and scooped the prize right from under the two us.  Well needless to say Cindy was not my favourite person in the world at that time. I blamed her, but decided to let it go, knowing if things had played out naturally I’d have been victorious.’

‘The way you describe it, it sounds like a life and death struggle,’ Gwen laughed.

‘Story teller’s embellishment,’ Quinn answered.

‘Anyway, you win some you lose some, I  moved on to other projects, but something strange was happening, it started with just faint flickering pictures of this woman in a green silk top, white jacket and skirt, then it was gone and then it came back again, same woman, same outfit, now with more detail, blonde hair, white pumps, then it was gone and back again until finally I realised it was Cindy, she was invading my mind, occupying my thoughts a little more each day.  Did I have so much unresolved anger over losing out in Tangiers that my subconscious mind was forcing this upon me and where would it end.  Well it turns out in Macau.  We met again, this time on the dance floor where I`m sorry to report, your daughter tried to seduce me,’ Quinn said with a laugh that everyone joined in on, even Cindy, but hers was more a nervous one.

‘Seduce you, my that doesn’t sound like our Cindy,’ Gwen said. ’But please continue.’

Quinn thought that if only she knew the truth, but decided to press on. 

‘The dance when on far longer than the music and she was holding me from behind, wouldn’t let me see her face and when she finally did it was only to challenge me at cards in the casino.  I think she had some crazy idea about taking all my money and then forcing me to be her love slave,’ he added and everyone laugh again, Cindy played along, she was not angry just nervous, mostly because she had no control over the situation.

‘Well needless to say I emerged victorious, she even had to issue me a personal cheque to cover the last pot.  Rest assured I did not cash it, I torn it up, but before I did and this is where I’ll stop being flippant and get serious.’

Cindy was relieved he didn’t bring up cashing the cheque at the Bank of Cindy later that evening; she knew he was too much a gentleman for that.

The reason I didn’t turn around during the dance was because I knew I’d fall in love with her if I did.  I’d come to the realisation over our time apart that those subconscious visions invading my mind were not about dislike or such they were in fact that I was already in love with your daughter and these thoughts were pushing me to act and the more I resisted that conclusion the more intense they became.  When I turned around that was indeed the case, but being a man I fought it even then.  I stayed on at the table hoping that the concentration on the game and a raft of new players would refocus me, fortunately I did not listen and pulled the cheque from my pocket.  Cindy’s perfume was evident and then I looked up and saw her walking away, that did it.  I saw the best thing that had happened to me in a long time walking out of my life and for what, a job, there are other jobs, there are no other special people like your daughter,’ he said and Cindy kissed him.

‘I chased him until he caught me,’ Cindy added with a laugh.

‘So who gave up their career?’ Harry asked.

‘No one did dad, it turns out I was a hot commodity, Quinn’s firm actively recruited me once then knew he was going to quit, so we both work for the same firm, sometimes even together,’ Cindy smiled.

‘Well it’s got to be working I’ve never seen you happier honey, you never used to smile that much before you met Quinn,’ Gwen said and Harry agreed.  ‘You are however still so secretive, we had to ask Quinn how you’d met and well pardon the prying Quinn, but she’s also said nothing about you on a personal level.

‘What do you want mom, a CIA report, satellite images, bank account records,’ Cindy said,

‘No need to be like that dear, we just want to,,’

Quinn decided he needed to come into the conversation and put out a fire that could engulf and sour the evening, if things went any further.

‘It’s okay honey,’ he said looking at Cindy.  ‘Your mom and dad just want to be sure, you’re their daughter, that never goes away, I’m not offended in the least, in fact I’d be worried if they didn’t want to know more about me,’ he said his hand moving on top of Cindy’s as he spoke.  Quinn took a sip of his drink and began.

‘I have no family, I’m an orphan, I was raised in a series of foster homes in Pennsylvania, mostly rural areas with hard tough people.  I realised very early on that if I wanted something better it was all on me, fortunately I was bright and athletic, both provided an outlet and as I got older I realised a way out and up. I earned a full academic scholarship to Lehigh and a part athletic one. Sports was the bonus as it gave me the money so I could devote myself to my studies in Mechanical Engineering.

‘Sorry to interrupt,’ Harry said, ‘But was sports did you play?’

‘Football, I was a cornerback and somehow I also made to swim team, I think because they need someone to swim the 5000 and I could go forever.’

‘I’ll say,’ Cindy thought to herself and warmed on the inside at the thought.

Quinn noticed Harry’s eyes widen at the mention of sports and in particular football, he made a mental note to bring that up. 

‘I worked summers in the Yukon for gold miners, mom and pop operations doing just about everything from mechanic and heavy equipment operator to amateur prospector.  The base pay was minimal but when you hit, you really made good money.  I saved enough to finance my Masters Degrees from Caltech, one in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA; from there I was recruited by WRC, World Resort Consortium.’

All of this was true and Quinn could see they were impressed and more at ease, in the background a band had started playing and other guests were testing the dance floor, Quinn decided to as well, but not with Cindy.

‘Would you like to dance Gwen,’ he said and offered his hand. 

‘Wouldn’t you rather dance with Cindy?’ she said somewhat surprised.

‘She already knows what a bad dancer I am, you however do not and I need a second opinion, before Arthur Murray gets a call,’ he said.

‘She smiled, laughed and took his hand.

‘A very deft move on your part, leaving those two to talk,’ she said when they were out of earshot.  ‘Can they still see us?’ she asked her back to them.

‘Yes, but we can fix that,’ Quinn said as he led her around so a screen blocked the view.

‘I want to say, that I like you, Harry likes you but most important, Cindy loves you and I can tell you love her.  I was always afraid for her and always worried; Gwen said a touch of relief in her voice.

‘Why so?’ Quinn asked this was a part of Cindy he did not know and she never talked about.

‘I’m afraid Cindy got some of the worst of both of Harry and me.’

‘I wouldn’t sell myself short like that, Cindy certainly got her looks from you, that is plain, I won’t argue that she got some of her height and physique from Harry, but you contributed as well.  She does share some of your curves and I suspect, without making a scene or creating an awkward moment.  I know you work out and I suspect Harry does as well, Cindy must have inherited that,’ Quinn said.

‘You are very sharp eyed, not much escapes you Quinn, but tell me how did you come to those conclusions?’ Gwen asked.

‘Two things really, an engineer’s eye for detail and two, the clothes your wearing, your dress in particular.  Sleeveless and scoop back to show off a little and yes you show and you should be proud and since no husband likes to be left at the curb, so to speak and Harry was a former athlete, he is still competitive.’

‘I see you’re as bright and smart and charming as Cindy said I wouldn’t want it any other way for our child.  I really think this is her first serious, very serious relationship. I know she had none in High School and I suspect none in college, at least at Cornell, I don’t know about Stanford, that was when she started to transform,’ Gwen said.

‘What do you mean if I may pry, Cindy never talks about those days and I never bring them up?’

‘Being 5’11’ and well let’s say looking nothing like she does now, she was not exactly an in demand girl on campus.  Couple that with being incredibly bright and well the path was non-existent to our and her door.  She never said but she took that to heart, I could tell it hurt and very deeply, but she shut me and everything out, but I could see the resentment.  It was after her first year at Stanford, we came out to see her, Harry had some business and we worked in a vacation.  Physically she was transforming, she’d lost a great deal of weight, was using make up and was dressing so much better.  When we asked her about it all we got was it was just time for a change and that was the end of it, refused to discuss it any more.  We saw her one more time at graduation, she looked even better, from then on until today it’s just been emails and the odd Skype.  Whatever you’ve done to change that I can’t thank you enough,’ Gwen said and smiled.

‘I think we’ve given them just about enough time, we should be getting back,’ Quinn said.

As they made their way back Gwen told Quinn to ask Harry how he met her.  He agreed and as they came back into view Cindy was wiping her face a little and Harry was shifting his weight in the chair.  Gwen smiled she knew things had gone well.

Menu’s arrived and as each looked it over.

‘So Harry since you know so much about my background and how I met your daughter I was wondering how did you manage to snag Gwen,’ he said smiling as he put down the menu.

‘Someone’s been talking out of turn I see.  Oh well I suppose turnabout is fair play.  I was in my second year at Alfred studying Finance and a member of the football team.  One Saturday in late October we made the trek to play Utica.  They had a small stadium, not unlike ours with a main stand very close to the sidelines; the players were on the other side.  While we were warming up I looked out over the stands and my eyes just focused on this beautiful chestnut haired girl in a Utica sweatshirt that hugged her wonderfully.  After the warm up and walked backwards across the field just so I could stare at her.  Like you Quinn I couldn’t get her out of my mind, even with a game to play.  I was a starting DB and substitute wide out, but I was playing on the opposite side of the field so I couldn’t see her much during the first half.  Second half when the scrimmage line was near her in the stands I was in heaven, I watched her more than I watched to game, so much so, I missed three reads and was responsible for 3 TD’s for them, much to the fans delight.  Coach pulled me and asked what was going on, so I told him the truth.  Big test Monday coach.  Oh, well that’s important, take a seat.’

Everyone laughed including Cindy even though she’d heard it before.

‘That was one of advantages of a small school; academics always came first, even before football.  Anyway with my brilliant contribution from the sidelines we crawled our way back into the game, not that I noticed my eyes were occupied elsewhere,’ Harry said as he took Gwen’s hand in his.

‘The suddenly I heard Krutzler, get in there for Davis.  Time was running out we had the ball and momentum.  It was a classic scene, we’re driving for field position to win the game with time winding down, you know the scenario, last play of the game a field goal and we walk off victorious.  Now I’m in at wide out, first two plays go opposite of the field, then he calls my number and this part I’ll never forget were in the huddle and Jordan Conrad the QB says.  21 Hudson, double wide right roll left, stagger 2 on 3 ready break.  Overload on the far side, leaving me on the weak side and the pass was coming to me, my chance for glory.  I run the pattern perfectly, slant to the sidelines and look for the ball, unfortunately for Alfred I also glanced at the stand and saw Gwen again, my eyes locked on her only to be rattled and returned to focus as I felt the ball bounce of my helmet and into the cornerbacks hands.  I watched him race down the side lines and win the game for Utica.  Way to keep your eye on the ball and other such remarks filled the air. I didn’t care, all I saw was this girl turning and going up the aisle.  I grabbed the railing and pulled myself up an over, a few of the fans thought I was going into the stands to fight and grabbed me.  ‘You can have the game I just want to me that girl, don’t let her get away please.’  They left me go and I raced up the isle yelling to get her attention. Suddenly she stopped and so did everyone around her and those around them and then silence as all watched me.  I remember thinking you can just chicken out now and run away, you’ll most likely never see these people again and that will be that, just embarrassment that will disappear after a few days.  I’ll tell you that temptation was pretty strong, it’s hard enough for a guy to express his feelings for a girl at that or sometimes any age, but add in all those people and it adds multiples to the situation.  Then like you Quinn I decided, if this person has had such a hold on me I don’t want to go the rest of my life wondering what if, rejection goes away, what if doesn’t.  So in front of all those people I introduced myself, told her the whole story of the afternoon, her girlfriends thought it was romantic fate by the way they looked at her and me and the guys said nothing because of those looks.  That was the first time I’d lost and didn’t care.  I called her the next day and saw her the next Sunday, borrowing a friend’s car to get there.  I worked two jobs that summer to afford school and a beater so I could she Gwen every chance I got.’

Quinn and Cindy saw Gwen smile and kiss him on the cheek; they were obviously very much in love.

‘Oh but it doesn’t end there,’ Gwen said.  ‘Harry was a year ahead, when he graduated he got a job on Wall Street, lived with three other guys in a, well lets be nice and call it a dump.  Meanwhile Harry was working like a fiend as I finished my Economics degree.  I didn’t see as much of him as before, I never worried, I knew he loved me by his phone calls and love letters, but it was still hard.  I wanted to be a lawyer, but finances didn’t not allow for it to happen after Utica, still a degree in economics with high marks meant I could get a position on Wall St with a major bank or investment house and maybe someday go to law school, Harry even made me take the LSAT in my last year on the pretense that it was good for 3 years and as he said a lot could change in that time, always better to be ahead of the curve.   Anyway after graduation Harry got a new place and I joined him, it was not much better than the old place but it was ours, what I didn’t know was that he had taken my mailed transcript and my LSAT score and applied to Columbia Law School paying for my first year with a bonus he earned and his savings.  I had my first year and books and all other costs covered, he said we would manage the other two years as he planned on moving up the ladder and getting bigger bonuses.  I think I cried for a couple of days, here we were, not married, no real life living experiences to really lay claim to and we were off on this great adventure and all this time later it’s still a great adventure.  I’m glad that ball hit his head otherwise he may have just caught it and in the euphoria of scoring the winning touchdown run right out of my life,’ Gwen said as she leaned into Harry and he to her and they kissed.  The drinks and dinner went well; Quinn rectified his earlier dance with Gwen with a wonderful turn with Cindy. 

`How long are staying here?’ Quinn asked.

‘We have booked the place for a week,’ Harry answered.

‘If you can stay longer Cindy and I would love for you to stay with us, we have more than enough room.  If you could get out of staying here, even better,’ Quinn said.

Harry and Gwen looked at each other then back at Quinn and Cindy.

‘I think we could extend our stay another week, but we like and have paid for this place so next week would be fine if it’s not putting you out.

‘I want you to come mom and dad, I’ve really missed you and I don’t want that to continue,’ Cindy said and that settled the matter.

The remains of the evening past by in a warm wonderful blur until at the dock Cindy kissed and hugged her mom and dad goodbye.  Quinn hugged and kissed Gwen and held out his hand to Harry.

‘We hug in this family Quinn and I suspect you’ll be part of for a long time,’ he said holding his arms open.

‘Welcome to my family darling,’ Cindy said as the boat pulled away from the dock the sun half set ahead of them.
***
‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen the water so calm or the moon as bright as it rises, it’s like a perfect picture,’ Cindy said.

Quinn throttled down and stopped the boat and soon there was nothing but silence as they two watched the moon sit halfway at the edge of the horizon, the yellow white light beams shooting across the still glass waters to envelop them.  Quinn left her for a second and returned with one of the many camera’s they always kept on the boat and handed it to her.

‘This is one of those moments you always wished you had a picture of, make a wish come true.’

‘There one of those will be perfect.  What, what what are you doing?’ Cindy said, her breath catching between each word even as she stumbled over them.

‘Cynthia Grace Krutzler I’ve never been as happy as I’ve been these last six months and the only thing that would make me happier is if you’d become my wife,’ Quinn said as he looked up at her from one knee his hands holding open a ring box that held a platinum band with an eternity setting of one main diamond, then a channel setting of alternating diamonds and rubies.

‘Yes, Yes forever yes,’ she said tears of joy and happiness at the corners of her eyes.

Quinn rose, a wide smile on his face and as he looked into her eyes he placed the ring on her finger the moonlight streaming about them as they kissed. 

***
The moment, as so many moments changed in a flash with the satellite phone went off.  Quinn switched it to audio and he and Cindy listened as Claire and Alice explained the situation. 

‘We’re sending you all details on the mission, but I wanted to tell you this before you made a decision.  We government cannot go officially into the area, they have been denied permission as it lies within sovereign territory of another nation that relations are not good with.  The controlled re-entry of the satellite got screwed up and it ended up on this island, needless to say the data on the recorders is highly sensitive to a great many nations and of course very valuable to others who would profit from its recovery.  If we cannot get it back within a certain time an F-22 is going to burn the island clean to ensure one gets it.  The time lines are in the details, but they are very tight, overly so.  You two are the closest to it and your boat because of its size with not so up on radar, still it’s a long journey.

‘With the extra fuel tank space the Swift Boat can make it there and back, just,’ Quinn said. ‘But we’d have to leave tonight.’

‘I don’t like this mission, I don’t want you two to do it, I think it has no chance of success and every chance of me losing two of my best agents as well as best friends,’ Claire said.

‘We don’t get to pick and choose in this business, else there wouldn’t be a need for us,’ Cindy said as she looked at Quinn and he nodded.  We’re twenty minutes from home, we’ll be underway in an hour, we’ll study the details on route,’ she added.

Quinn throttled up the PBR to full and they were home in no time, Cindy studied the mission details on her tablet and Quinn on his as they communicated on what gear they needed and stocked the boat, they were underway within the hour.

‘It’s a long run, 18 hours, the weather looks excellent, seas calm, she we can let the GPS run the boat while we sleep ,’ Cindy said as she packed their respective packs for the trip in once they arrived.

‘It’s a long swim in and only one entry point, here,’ Quinn said pointing to the navigation chart.  The coral reef around the island goes out a mile in all direction, the only break is here and the channel is too narrow and shallow even for her, ‘he added touching the boat.

‘I make it just over a mile and half hope you can keep up,’ Cindy smiled as she plugged in the two motorized driver torpedoes that would help them along. 

‘Here’s our position once we land, here’s the location of the hard drive, of course it’s as far away from our LZ as could be, Cindy said.

‘What is the location of the aircraft carrier vis a vis the island and do we have a topographical map of it?’ Quinn added as he switched on the GPS and he and Cindy went below deck. 

Cindy retrieved the information and she and Quinn studied it minutely.  They augmented the plan, went over the details and then went to sleep each noting in their mind that just a few hours ago it had been one of happiest moments of their lives and they were both looking forward to celebrating that once they got home, not each hoped but didn’t say to other they just hoped to survive.

***

Each took over running the boat rather than let the GPS do it, it afforded each something to do until they got there, one spelling the other off for some extra sleep as the unchanging horizon, blue sky and sea seemed unending.  They got there just ahead of schedule, Quinn had run the Swift harder when he was sure Cindy was asleep, extra time, he reasoned was needed, besides rescue at sea was a better option than death on dry land, not that much better though he had to admit.

The island came into site, covered in vegetation as far as they both tell from a small beach of about 10 feet in.  Cindy gave a nod to Quinn and he began tossing cylinders overboard as measured intervals as she circled the island, the coral reef always present at points even coming out of the gently rolling blue green waters. 

She stopped at the mouth of the channel, barely 4 feet across as it meandered into the island.  They anchored and already in their wetsuits, they helped each other on with the gear and entered the warm water for the trip inland. 

One head popped out of the water and adjusted the built in binoculars on the dive mask carefully sweeping the shoreline for unwelcome company the built in infrared confirming no one was present, a tap on the shoulder of the partner and they moved quickly onto the beach and into the cover of the vegetation. 

They sorted their gear, Cindy took a bearing and pointed to where they needed to go and headed out taking point.  They were on headset but used hand signals as they moved thru the thick under growth up a gentle slope and then down into a small depression which both new must have been the vent of the dormant volcano that formed the island.  They came to the far edge of the depression and both stopped, Quinn moved along the bottom of the ridge while Cindy watched for movement and unusual sounds.

‘Right here honey,’ he said and reached behind, popped open the straps and pulled out his shovel.  He popped up the pick in case he needed it and began digging, he was thankful for the soft dirt sand combination as things went fast.  He stored there swim gear and few things they didn’t need and soon the two headed out in search of the satellite storage device which both were tracking as it emitted a very low frequency signal.  After an hour they had it on the edge of their LED screens, about thirty yards apart they moved in a line toward it.

‘Stop!’ Cindy said in the mic.  ‘I saw movement ahead.

‘Bad news, I just spotted movement behind us, infrared confirms two behind us,’ Quinn said back.
‘Copy, I count two more in front, get low,’ Cindy responded.

Both agents quickly realised their four opposite numbers had found the device before they did and were heading for the beach that encircled the island, unfortunately one of them was heading directly toward them and Cindy specifically.

‘He’s coming right at you,’ he whispered into his mic. ‘Take care of him, we have no other choice, just make it quick and move into cover again, they’ll be on us in seconds.’

The sexy spy slipped her hands around her Ruger LCP 380 and pulled it free of its thigh holster.  She already had one in the chamber as she switched off the safety and slowly rolled onto her back, her arms tensed out and ready as she heard the step getting closer.  Quinn had already slipped the safety off his M4 and was ready for the one on his side, the suppressor would at least take away the muzzle flash and not give his position away, at any rate he was on the move after the first shot, he only needed one anyway. 

The tentative footfalls got closer, Cindy silent and still as a snake upon its prey waited until he was right on top of her, his boot landing right next to her shoulder.

‘Phew’ was the only sound. It was over and he collapsed immediately Cindy rolled left as he fell where she had lain avoiding the small shower of blood and grey matter and bone.  She looked up to for a split second and saw the second person fall as Quinn put one into the top of his forehead the air exploding in a shower and red as the body twisted then fell in silence, then the jungle exploded in noise!    

The whizzing of immeasurable bullets filled the air spitting up dirt and cutting vegetation that showered around the two spies, bits of wood from hits trees pinging off them.  Cindy moved behind a tree for cover her eyes catching Quinn who was crouching in a small dispersion.

‘We are seriously out gunned here,’ Cindy said into her mic.  ‘Those guys watched Predator one too many times, they both have Mini Guns,’ she said loudly so Quinn could her about the cacophony and metal churning death. 

‘Sweeping around us to get to the escape route at the beach, unless they show themselves in open we’re pinned down for the duration,’ Quinn answered.

The two unknown assailants were alternating short fire bursts as they moved quickly around and back leaving the two no time to fire back only dodge and hide.  The undergrowth was scythed clean as they retreated exposing the two if they dared moved.  The fire faded off, Quinn his breathing heavy looked up then over at his partner and gave her the sign to crawl forward slowly.  The inched along on their stomachs for till they came to a shot clean part of the jungle.  Cindy flipped on her infrared goggles and had a look, she signalled Quinn and they each moved in a running crouch to cover behind a set of trees, they were still about 20 yards apart and needed to keep it no closer than that. 

‘Down!’ Cindy said as the firing started up again.

Quinn calmly looked at his stopwatch on his wrist, he knew what the game was, they were delaying them to let them fry on the island when it was incinerated by the F-22.  He knew they’d never make it of in time, Cindy looking at her time piece knew the same.

The ordered retreat and advance continued, both could do nothing to stop it.

‘There too close together now, there’s only one of them the other has left, I don’t hear any sound variation, means the guns are fixed and he’s just swiveling them back and forth, the others gone,’ Cindy said.

‘Agreed, he’s basically blind to one of us.  I’m pinned here behind a fallen tree, I’ll draw fire, you move in for kill,’ Quinn said.

He opened fire with force; emptying one magazine then flipping around the cartridge and locking in another he had inversely tapped. Cindy rolled and moved forward her eye pressed to the gun sight as she slithered toward him.  Bullets sprayed about like a waving, back and forth, she time her advance to it, just like kids timing themselves as they ran through a lawn sprinkler trying to avoid getting wet.
He saw her out of the corner of his eye, but by that time the spy had already put three shells into him, one in the forehead and two in the chest.  Quinn was up and beside her in seconds as they dashed for their equipment and towards the water. 

The duo slipped into the water and had just started when there was a fireball out at sea.  They stopped and looked at each other, Cindy grabbed his hand in hers and they frantically swam for shore, stepping out of there swim fins still handing hands they ran back into the jungle.  Several minutes later the tranquil green island ablaze in a sea of orange and red flame as anything that could burn did.  No tree or vine or blade of grass was left, just blackened and burning matter.

One mile out Skyrocket call the ball.’

‘Say again Home Plate picking up a lot of static.’

‘Three quarters of a mile say again call the ball Skyrocket.’

‘Wave off Skyrocket, come round again switch ILR to EMR and contact tower.’

‘Roger that.’

‘Skyrocket to tower picking up an intermittent static on ILR that blocked message, ‘

‘Roger that Skyrocket we confirm, weak but there, hold pattern will advise.’

‘Roger.’

‘Skyrocket advise current fuel situation.’

‘Show half in the main, full in the reserve.’

Roger that Skyrocket, turn 180 make angels 4 and return to target, will advise in a few minutes.’
‘Roger that on my way.’

‘Give me a secure line to NAVCENT we’ll need another asset in the area.’

***
‘Honey our ride is here are you ready?’

Cindy smiled as she picked up their packs and walked towards Quinn at the water’s edge a hand finding the small of his back and her lips his cheek.  He donned his pack and they entered the water making their way out of the channel they’d come into five days ago towards the large back fin half jutting out of the water.  They reached the hull faster than she’d expected, perhaps the elation of being rescued or just the promise of a warm shower made them swim faster, whatever it was she was happy when they climbed up the hull using the inset foot ladder each gratefully taking an offered hand from a sailor before disappearing down the hatch and then the boat disappearing back into the water. 

‘Dive Command make your depth 200, steer 050 all ahead 15 knots,’

There was a repetition of the commands followed by the customary aye sir then the captain turned to his new guests.

‘Welcome aboard the USS Topeka,’ Cmdr. Wayne Suffield said.  ‘Glad we were about to rescue you from your boating accident.’

‘Thanks for rescuing us Captain, but we must speak in private,’ Quinn said lowering his voice for the second part of the response.

‘I’m sure you’re both very hungry and very tired, I’ve arranged for food and we’ve shifted things about to create a cabin for you.  If you’ll both step this way,’ he said giving a small push in the back to Quinn before leaning in close and saying.  ‘I know all about the situation and not to worry everything is fine.’

At this Quinn relaxed and they exited The Con, went down a small flight of stairs and into the passageway, made a few turns.

‘Door on your right sir,’ the captain said and in the three went, the officer last, he locked the door and turn to them.  ‘This isn’t my first rodeo into the world of espionage,’ he smiled, then made to continue before a smart rap on the door interrupted. 

‘Food,’ he said and opened the door, the steward was in and out in a flash and he began again.

Both agents thankful for the food ate a little and listened as the captain sat across from them and began.

‘We have the data recorder from the satellite.  I must say using the GPS from the boat as a Morse Code device was very clever.  What did you use for the interruption of the data stream and how did you get it turned to a military frequency?’

‘A bullet acted as the break, just a matter of using my knife point to scrap away the solder connection then using the bullet to bridge to junction point.  The frequency was simply it was the lockout code to access the frequency that you need and the algorithm to find that code.  If you will allow me to borrow your phrase, this isn’t my first rodeo either, I have friends in the military, gathered from previous adventures, if you will, and well we keep in touch.  I have modified my GPS to clandestinely update the codes.  I simply had to use my access code to send a message and hope the pilot or Flight Control would hear it, faint as it was, a long shot at best, but both of us are used to those odds,’ Quinn explained.

‘Sometimes Hail Mary’s work, lucky for all involved; this was one of those times.  We got our orders within the hour of your signal being heard.  This being somewhat disputed waters and the circumstances a surface rescue was out of the question.  Sorry it took so long but we were the closest sub and we made a stop along the way and a detour,’ Suffield added.

‘Now it’s my turn, how did you get the data recorder?’ Cindy asked.

‘Our detour, we rendezvoused with Weather ship Delta Tango and picked up a DSRV, Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle.  Thanks to the two of you and your deployment of long range sonar buoys we were able to triangulate to locate their sub and plot an intercept course.  Once in range we used a non-active round to sink the sub then sent the DSRV to recover the recorder, then come and get you.   Thanks to the two of you there are a lot of happy people in Washington.  Now for me and I hope this isn’t all classified because I’m really curious to hear your end of the tale,’ the captain added. 

‘Go ahead,’ Cindy said when she saw Quinn was hesitant.  ‘He knows Mee,’ she added referring to Mee Fong, another agent.  Like you said Captain it’s a small world.’

Quinn saw him smile at her name then began talking.

‘When we got within visual of the island we made a circumnavigation of it and saw no other craft, we either concluded we were first or they’d beaten us to the prize, either by being dropped off and the boat being out of our visual range, by air and then contacting for a pickup or by a small sub 2 or 3 person model.  We quickly settled on the sub as it seemed the most direct and efficient use given the nature of the disputed territory, stealth in and out.  So given that, we deployed sonar buoys so that in the event they got the recorder we could track them from our boat and then get it back or given the circumstances that did happen and they torpedoed our boat we could contact the navy and have them track the sub.’

‘Sorry about your boat, what was she?’ Suffield asked.

‘A Swift Boat, retrofitted of course, I’m going to really miss her, but even when destroyed she helped save us.  Some of the debris naturally floated ashore which gave us shelter from the elements and allowed us to collect and save drinking water,’ Quinn explained.

‘Ok hold on and back the truck up a little, you need to explain to me how on earth you survived the Napalming of the island, I looked through the scope, there’s nothing above 3 inches left on it,’ Commander Suffield said incredulously.

‘We both knew the odds were long for success so we decided to play them long, make them stretch out as far as we could and hope eventually they would turn in our favour as they did,’ Cindy said picking up from Quinn.  When we landed we made straight for the small horseshoe ridge that occupied almost the exact centre just in from the beach where we landed.  The island slopes up from that point all the way to the end, not a great deal, maybe twenty feet or so, but enough to make a difference to a bomb run.  You always want to have an explosion go downhill; believe it or not it gathers momentum that way and is actually more destructive.  Anyway the ridge was just tall enough, wide enough and soft enough for us to dig into at the base; in essence we dug two graves.  Then we went looking for the recorder, unfortunately, they found us before we found the recorder,’ she explained.

‘How many were there?’ asked the commander.

Four, we each got one, but they had two much fire power for us, so as they made their escape we were effectively pinned down.  When we could pursue it was too late and at the beach edge we watched our boat being blown to pieces,’ Cindy answered then ran the whole recollection over again only this time in her head.
***
 ‘That’s just great!’ Quinn said out loud as he watched debris shower down from the sky into the foaming sea where seconds before their boat had been anchored. 

She instinctively made a move to comfort him but he was having none of it.

‘Come on, we have no time,’ he said as he took her by the hand and they rushed up the beach to the two holes they’d dug.

‘Get in and lie down,’ he said, handing her a mask with a cylinder affixed to it. 

‘Whose going to do you, I don’t want to..’ she said but he cut her off.

‘You get in there now or I’ll force you in.  We are not going to die here, neither one of us, I love you too much to have just this small a time with you, we will get through this I promise, but speed is important and right now I’m the stronger of the two of us.  I’ll cover you, then myself and when it’s over I’ll be the face you see, I promise.  I love you Cynthia Grace Krutzler,’ he gave her a quick kiss and down see lay. 

See closed her eyes as the dirt covered her, it was terrifying being buried alive, it was even more terrifying known the man see loved would not be was well protected as she would be.

Quinn pounded the earth with the shovel and jumped and walked on the mound, he was wrung with sweat from the operation but he was sure she was well protected.  He sat in his grave and pulled the dirt and sand around his legs and waist pounding it with the shovel head and his hands as frantically as he could.  The spy reclined and used his considerable stomach muscles to lever his body as he covered more.  The mask went on and covered up to his neck keeping his hands on the outside to  pack the earth about his face and press it down before lastly he burrowed his arms into the soil. 

The ground got hot seconds later then came the roar of the explosion, followed by more heat then another roar and finally nothing.  It had all lasted maybe 20 seconds but it seemed like an eternity to Quinn who had started counting when it felt the ground heat up and now continued to count off the seconds in his head.  The canister had 20 minutes of air, he let 12 minutes pass before he began moving his hands and forced them up out of the ground, the air was still warmer than it should have been as he frenetically scooped and bulldozed dirt away his body heaving and pushing to come up.  When his head broke the surface he immediately switched off his air, saving anything left for Cindy if she needed it. 

All around was black and smoke, fires still burning on the trees that had been toppled and at the base on the ones that had beat the odds and remained rooted.  Gray and amber smoke swirled about and rose like a steam vent up into the sky, parts of which he could see, but only still just.  Quinn pushed the earth from his chest and torso, the hot air making his lungs fight for revitalizing oxygen, still he never slowed or panicked, he’d been trained not to, it just wasted time and energy, neither of which he had a lot of.  Still he pushed more than he should and he knew it, this was not some mission, this was the women he loved, cherished and wanted to be with, he made some rushed moves, but he didn’t care he re calibrated and attacked the problem and was soon free.  The shovel was gone.  ‘No doubt blown away in the blast,’ he thought.  His hands worked just as well and even faster.

He’d read accounts of solders in WW2 saying explaining how fast you could dig a 4 foot deep foxhole when under fire.  He soon found out how fast as he scooped and troweled the earth on top of Cindy until he had her head and neck exposed her lovely expressive eyes watching him as he removed the mask.

‘Darling,’ she said before he kissed her.
***
Cindy continued on in her mind with the story while Quinn related it verbally to Cmdr. Suffield.
While Quinn was busy with the GPS she surveyed the scene.  The initial elation of surviving the blast was quickly and instantly deflated by a full scan of the area.  There was nothing left, they were totally exposed to the elements, no shade, no cover and more importantly she knew no food or water.
‘Come on,’ Quinn said as he pulled her from the grave and took her by the hand down to the water’s edge. 

Some of the debris from the Swift Boat had already come ashore.  He picked up a docking bumper, pulled out his knife and cut off the top. 

‘Fill this up and go extinguish the fires on some of the bigger pieces of burning wood so we can use it later.  Drag them next the ridge so they can dry then get some of the smaller stuff create a circle with some rocks and keep a fire going, I’ll be a while,’ he said.   ‘And no you can’t come.  In this case I’m the stronger swimmer, not by much, but I am and we need to divide and conquer here or things will get really bad really fast, you know that as well,’ he added.

She got moving on the water and the fire so much so she never looked out to sea to follow his progress, she knew he’d be fine, they were partners in more ways than one, both highly trained agents who’d been very successful before they’d met each other, that success could only multiply as they combined.  Cindy was assured of that when she had finished with the fire and the wood and came to the beach finding an array of materials, but no Quinn, a quick scan of the water found him out by the wreckage once more.  She grabbed a wooden sheet about 3 by 4 feet and began dragging it up the beach returning for other ones as well as the various things Quinn had gathered.  She just about had it all when he came ashore with several more things in tow. 

They pulled them up the beach and to the fire and they got busy over the fire.  Cindy placed a sheet of light sheet metal that Quinn had retrieved over the rocks while he used an extra stone to bend and shape another piece into a small pot.  Into that went a drinking cup he’d found bobbing on the surface, then sea water was poured into the vessel almost to the top of the cup.  The next step involved shaping a concave covering for the pot out of a final piece of sheet metal.  Several retooling’s were required before the seal with good enough, Cindy pierced the middle over the cup with her knife blade and added rocks around the rim the pressure seal the top to the pot.  They got to work constructing a shelter out of the remaining pieces and sorting out the smaller things Quinn had recovered.

‘We’ll find others things in the morning once the tide pushes them ashore and we’ll have water to drink and I’ll catch some fish and maybe a few crabs for food,’ he said as they slumped down for a rest.

‘I can help with that,’ Cindy offered.

‘I’m sure you can but you won’t be, you need to stay here under the shelter,’ he said shaking his head.
‘I was a fairly competent agent before I met you, you know,’ she said more than a twinge of annoyance in her voice.

‘No, you were an extraordinary agent and still are and I want you to stay that way.  First of all we will only be able to produce so much water per day; two of us working will exceed that amount.  That is the hard scientific fact, but more importantly that sun will rip you apart and please understand this honey, this isn’t macho the weaker sex needs to be protect by the male talk, this is I love you talk.  As unfair as it is much of what we do for a living sometimes depends on how we look, you much more so than me, as unfair as that is, it’s true and you know it to be.  I can always say, oh yeah I got that while I was a pool keeping boy during my High school years and it never really heeled.  You cannot say that, you need to be flawless and perfect, which you are, long exposure to that sun and you and the sun really don’t mix well, we both know that, will damage your skin and may render you useless as a field agent and we both know you love being one.  So yes, is part of this macho male testosterone speaking, of course, but most is my passionate love for you and your happiness.

‘A pool cleaning boy?  Perhaps we should explore this fantasy of yours after we’re rescued.  I love you darling,’ she said, the agreement tacit in the tone.

***
 ‘We survived on crabs and some fish I managed to catch and on the water we distilled,’ Quinn said as Cindy rejoined the here and now of the conversation.

‘Incredible, but then I suppose I should expect that, for as you noted I know Mee and she is, well, exceptional,’ Suffield added.  Maybe later we can pick up more, but I’m sure you want to have a hot shower, rest, the galley is always open and they have orders to fix up anything you may like from our stores.  I took the liberty of taking fish off the menu and there’s this, it came over the VLN several hours after we received your distress call.  I’ll leave you to read it.’

‘Oh my God, my parents, I completely forgot about them!’ Cindy exclaimed as she read the note. 
‘Don’t worry I didn’t,’ Quinn said a smile growing across his face.

‘Apparently our boss, a woman named Claire Baxter phoned my mum and dad and explained that we had been called away on a business emergency and she was so sorry for that so she picked up the entire cost of my parents stay and even arranged for us to meet them at a resort.  A plane is waiting for us when we get to the sub base.   Did you have some other explanation planned for them should we not have made it back. ‘

‘Yes, I told Claire to tell them the truth about us, we owe them at least that, but hopefully that day will never come,’ he said.