“I’d like to hope that you won’t be having to recuperate quite so often that you’ll need a place specially dedicated to it.”

“I’d like to hope that too. But I also live in reality.” Her digital fiddling with my softening cock is causing it to find its strength again. “Besides,” I say, “given the amount of shit we’re going to break while we’re here, it’s probably just as cost-effective to own it as it is to keep replacing the goddamn antiquities.”

She laughs a tiny laugh, then her eyes narrow and she tilts her head.

“What?” I ask.

She lets out a small sigh and says, “Christine.”

“What about her?”

“Last night. In your sleep. You said her name.”

“Did I?”

She nods.

“OK. And?”

“How long do you think you’ll stay here?”

“Here in this house?”

She shrugs. “The house. England. With me. Whatever. Don’t you think, at some point, you’ll need to go back to her?”

“Not sure. The last time I saw Christine, she didn’t seem all that happy with me.”

“Alec,” she says, dropping her foot and sitting up straight, “that’s entirely because of me. Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

“What I am doing,” I say, stepping toward her, “is protecting everyone.”

She takes on a skeptical, amused, smoldering smile. “Are you now?”

I nod. “I am.”

“And how do you see yourself doing that?”

“As Graham Greene once said, ‘You cannot conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.’”

She laughs, “So you’re God now?”

I glance down at my re-inflated cock, come back to life as I have. Over, and over, and over. Thought dead and resurrected. Lazarus. Indestructible. Undeniable. Eternal. I smile at her in response and say, “No. I’m not God.”

And as I crawl onto the edge of the bed, looming over top of her, and lower myself slowly to enter her properly, looking into her awe-struck face as my full girth slides into her still-throbbing opening, I add, “God works for me.”


She’s been reckless.

I’ve seen her like this before. It’s a type of mania, I think. That all-powerful, no-one-can-touch me feeling of strength that comes with a plan. Or no. A purpose. A plan implies you know what you’re doing. And hey, maybe she does. But I don’t think so.

When she found me in the yacht that day she came back, I was ready to leave. Ready to just take my fuckin’ medicine and accept my future. It was a bleak future. I realize that now that I’ve had a month to separate from the depression.

I had a purpose too. Kill Brasil. But I didn’t have a plan either.

So I’m not gonna judge Christine. Hell, I haven’t even asked her what the fuck we’re actually doing. Why bother? We’re on the other side of the world from the hellfire that’s coming and we’ve morphed into ocean time.

I like that about yachts. The way they slow the world down and break it up into things like sunrises, and sunsets, and, Hey, look at the dolphins! I bet a train is like a yacht. That rick-rack back-and-forth motion is nice too.

Next time we run away I think we should do it by train.

So I’m OK with the whole purpose-over-plan thing.

But like I said, she’s been reckless.

We did a minor arms deal in Suva, Fiji and there was a… a hardness to her I don’t think I’ve seen before. Course, I’ve missed her last four years and even though she hasn’t talked about what happened during our separation yet, I get the feeling it was a whole lot more than just killing people.

Which is bad enough, I get that.

But that’s just business—the way a small arms deal is just business—but this interaction we had with Nikhil for the guns in Suva felt very personal. We’re definitely not gonna do any more deals with Nikhil again.

Which is unfortunate because I always liked Nikhil. He’s not quite honest—who is in this business?—but he never ripped us off too bad and he wasn’t being unreasonable this time either.

Christine didn’t see it that way and by the time the deal was over one of his guys was dead.

Nope. Not gonna buy any more guns from Nikhil.

If it was just that I’d write it off. She is an assassin.

But it’s more than how aggressive she got in Fiji. It’s the way she stands on the deck in a storm, daring the lightning to strike her down. Or the way she studies the map, leaning over it at night under a soft beam of light jotting down notes while I cook us dinner. Notes that say shit like, Stop here to see Jin, and pick up supplies from Matthew North. And one that has a little circle around Hilo, Hawaii, that says, Make phone call.

We’re not there yet so I’m not worried about it. We did see Jin. Stayed on land that night too. But whatever went down I had no part in it. Never saw the actual exchange, never had anything more than casual conversation with Jin, and the next morning we were up with the sun and back on our way.

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