Disclaimer: I don't own any of this, except for the stuff that's mine. The rest is the property of Sony Pictures, and the brainchild of Angela Robinson.
Further Disclaimer: This story is the sequel to my previous story, Old Habits Die hard while it's not vital to the understanding of this story that you read that one, it's probably not a bad idea to have read both of them.
My eyes fluttered opened and my hand automatically reached over to Amy's side of the bed, gently tracing the indent her head had made in the pillow next to mine. It was still warm. She hadn't been up long. I leaned a little forward, letting the Amy-smell fill my nostrils. The sun was just streaming in through the sheer curtains of our bedroom. I didn't want to roll over to look at the alarm clock, but it was probably around eight-ish in the morning.
"Sit still, will you?" I looked groggily down at the foot of the bed where Amy sat, a single bedsheet wrapped around her, and a sketch book balancing on her knee. She sat in a little square of sunlight, a charcoal pencil balanced loosely in her blackened fingers. The white sheet she wore, and her pale skin (along with, let's be honest, my tired, bleary eyes) made her look positively radiant.
"You've finished art school, sweetie," I muttered sleepily, "you don't need to fill up a sketch book every week."
"I gotta stay sharp somehow," Amy quickly rubbed the paper with the tip of her right middle finger, smudging it.
"Ah," I replied, a slight grin appearing on my face, "so you'd rather be sitting there drawing than in bed with me?"
Amy gave me a one-sided smile, "hey, I'm wanton enough to admit I love being in bed with you; but preferably when both of us are awake, rather than when you're sleeping like the dead." She put down the pencil and looked at me, "besides, you looked so beautiful sleeping, someone had to draw it."
"Beautiful?" I sat up, rubbing my eyes and running my fingers through my short, tangled, I-just-woke-up-hair. It still hadn't grown out all the way from that little episode with Ronnie, but to be honest, I kinda liked it short. "Guess they're right about that whole eye-of-the-beholder thing." I modestly adjusted the sheet over my body, almost laughing at the pointlessness of it. It's not like I was in possession of any, um, endowments that Amy hadn't seen before.
Amy smiled, almost as if she was sharing my thoughts. Maybe she was. Sometimes it's hard to tell.
"What time is it?" I asked.
"Eight thirty," Amy replied, her eyes dropping back to her sketch pad.
"That's way too early for either of us to be out of bed on a Saturday morning," I told her.
"I'm not tired," Amy replied idly, her attention still on the sketchbook in front of her.
"Not what I said, lover," I offered a slightly mischievous smile.
Amy looked up to meet my gaze, "what about the sailboats?" She asked as she put down her notepad and came around to sit on the edge of the bed.
I smiled as I gripped the knot in the front of the sheet she'd wrapped around herself and pulled her closer to me. "Turns out I know the owner," I replied, running my fingertips through her still-short blond hair, "I think she'll understand if I call in sick."
The sun was no longer shining through the bedroom window when I finally emerged from the bedroom. It had long-since drifted past the top edge of the window, and now only projected a thin shaft of light onto the floor right next to the wall.
I pulled my robe around me, carefully tying the sash. Wearing nothing but a terrycloth robe around the house is one of the most underrated pleasures of the universe.
I stopped at the doorway for a moment and looked back into the room. Maybe there was something to this whole beautiful-when-she's-asleep thing. Her tangled hair lay splayed out on the pillow, and the thin satin sheets clung tightly to her lithe figure as she lay curled up on her right side. I smiled as I watched her, right after terrycloth robes, or maybe just before them, was spending the entire day in bed with someone you loved. John and Yoko were onto something.
I could almost hear Scud's voice in the back of my head: you sure can pick 'em, he'd said while he was still trying to convince me not to go see her that first night, perfect spy; straight; on the rebound from her last relationship; a member of an organization dedicated to putting you in jail; and oh yeah, she was trying to shoot you less than an hour ago. He'd looked at me intensely at that point, out of curiosity, in how many different languages does this have to have "disaster" written all over it before you'll actually be able to understand it?
I watched for a moment, mesmerized by the gentle, almost imperceptible rise and fall of her chest. If this had "disaster" written all over it, give me tragedies every day. I winced as I actually realized what I was thinking. Some criminal mastermind I was. Mass-murdering psychopath finds love and turns into hopeless mush-ball, I thought. Sounded like the kind of headline you'd find in the National Enquirer. I smiled wryly. How the mighty have fallen.
I silently backed out of the bedroom and stalked over to the tiny kitchen. I turned on one of the burners and put the kettle on the stove, letting it heat up. Amy could sleep through every alarm clock we'd ever put on the bedside, but if you started up a pot of coffee, she would be awake and at your side by the time you had spooned out the coffee grounds.
I looked out the window, gazing at the glass-like surface of the Mediterranean and smiled. The tiny village of Campi Salentina, Italy was the perfect place to disappear. Or more precisely, it was the perfect place for us to disappear. In the heel of the boot, it was primo Mafia territory. I hadn't had a huge amount of contact with the Mafia during my Criminal Mastermind days; and what contact I had had I was pretty sure wasn't in the DEBS database; but a few movers and shakers in la familia owed me a favor or two. Frankly, I think they were just happy that I was getting out of their competition pool, and were eager to help with my retirement.
'Course, it wasn't a coincidence that the Star of Antarctica, in spite of its name, was actually cut and crafted in Italy. The mob hadn't been pleased when the diamond was sold and sent on tour; and an "unofficial" reward was up for anyone who returned the diamond to Italy. I'd nixed the reward in return for a safe haven. It had been a worthwhile trade on both sides. They lost one of their major competitors, they got the diamond, and we got a place to stay. Plus, since we were going to be here for a long time, I figured cultivating a little good will with the local Mafia was probably a good idea.
I lifted the coffee press out of the cabinet under the kitchen counter and started pouring coffee grounds into it. I'd turned into such a coffee snob while I was here in Italy. I guess if you're gonna be a coffee snob, Italy's the place to turn into one. I'd given up on your standard drip coffee maker, coffee press was the only way to go for me. I guess I'd picked up a few quirks in my old age.
I felt a thin arm snake its way around my abdomen.
"Hey," I said as I twisted around in her embrace, "I didn't hear you get up."
"Yeah, you know," Amy whispered in my ear, "it's a spy thing."
"So that's your secret plan, huh? Seduce a criminal mastermind and talk her into retirement?" I grinned. "'Cause if that's the DEBS master plan, I gotta say that you're gonna run short of spies in short order."
Amy mirrored my grin, "well, let's just say that this wasn't exactly by the book. Besides which, I think you were the one doing the seducing."
"That's debatable," I replied. "That sweet, innocent 'I'm totally not up for dying today' routine? I can't think of any lesbian criminal mastermind that wouldn't have worked on."
Amy frowned, "and you know a lot of lesbian criminal masterminds, do you?"
"A handful," Amy looked at me and I reformulated, "a few," her frown deepened, "okay, one," I admitted, "but my point still stands," I insisted.
"I'm just understanding why you keep losing at poker; you can't bluff to save your life," Amy told me.
I grinned, "coffee?"
I turned around and poured her a cup of coffee; I added cream and a spoonful of sugar, then turned to hand it to her.
Amy walked over to the kitchen table taking a seat. She lifted the cup to her nose, smiling as she took in its bitter aroma. "So, what's happening in the world today?"
"Your guess is as good as mine," I told her as I fixed my own cup of coffee. "I've seen about as much of the world today as you have," I said, offering a grin over my shoulder.
I opened the front door and recovered the newspaper. I admit that I only read Italian at a snail's pace, but a small article in the bottom right corner of the front page drew my attention.
Amy, of course, immediately realized that something was up. "What is it?" She asked.
I shook my head, "and I was having such a good day up until now."
I laid the newspaper on the table and pointed at the article.
The headline read Ronald Cockburn fuoriesce dalla prigione.
Ronald Cockburn escapes from prison.