"I don't see why you want back in when you have everything you need right here in Miami! Why can't you just settle down?" Fiona snapped.

"Not a good time, Fi…" Michael gritted.

"It's never a good time! You've got a good job helping people, family, friends, me…"

"Not the time, Fi."

"Don't give me that, Michael!"

He straightened up and pushed the drawer he just searched in with his foot. "We are in the middle of searching and bugging the house of a local human trafficker and drug dealer and he could be back any minute."


He took a deep breath. "Fi…"

She glared at him as she ripped the label off of the sticky strip on the back of their homemade bug.

When you're a spy, bugging is a good part of how you get your information. Information that tells you everything you need to know. How to move, if you should move, and when you should move. However, most decent bugs are hard to come by on short notice and for someone with my salary, hard to afford. Using some everyday items and a few things picked up from your local pharmacy or Home Depot, you can create a reliable, affordable, easy to plant, bug.

She planted it while Michael continued the search. He noticed that part of the ugly Cuban rug was folded back near the corner. He followed it to a painting of some foreign city on the beach. He carefully lifted it off of the wall. A small smile crossed his face.

"A wall safe. How…cliché."



"Digital keypad?"


"Do we have time to crack it?"

"I'm not sure. Sam said that he was still at the party. That was twenty minutes ago."

"We should crack it."

"You think?"

"That, or blow it up" she pulled a small block of C4 out of her purse.


"What? I like to be prepared!"

"C4? Really?"

"Yes, it goes right next to my compact."

His phone buzzed, pulling his attention away from Fi and the explosives and to the text message Sam just sent him.

"It's Sam. He says that they're on the move. Five minutes out."

"Time to go."

She put the C4 back into her purse while he put the painting back on the wall.

They slipped out of the room into the hallway. So far, they had eluded the small staff of security. Fiona fidgeted with her cell phone for a moment before putting it up to her ear.

"The bug is transmitting. Clear as a bell."


They heard the gates open and several cars pull into the driveway. He checked his watch.

"Five minutes? That was two! I'm getting Sam a watch that works," he muttered angrily.

"He can just convince his lady friend to buy him a new one. Maybe a Rolex."



"No as in they had a fight and he's sleeping on my couch again and drinking all of my beer."

"He isn't going after the yogurt, is he?"

He peered out towards the oncoming men. "They're coming in really soon. Back door is too far away."

"How about the balcony?"

"Sounds good."

They walked down the hallway stealthily towards the French doors that led to the balcony. He opened them calmly, motioning to her to go first.

"Thank you."

He half smiled, closing the doors silently behind them.

"It's a big drop," he whispered. The ground was a little too far away.

"They're coming, Michael."

He jumped, luckily avoiding anything more than a scrape or two. Fiona stood gracefully over him, offering a hand to help him up.

"How'd you-"

"There was a ladder, so I just climbed down."

He scowled as he stood. "You could have mentioned that."

"I like to see you do dangerous things. I find it-"

They heard a rustling coming from the garden and saw a beam of light heading their way. It was the night security patrolling the area.

When you're somewhere you shouldn't be and someone is about to catch you there are a few things that you can do. You can outrun them if you wanted to. This technique is usually the best if you can pull it off. When you're in a closed estate by the beach with someone six feet away, running isn't going to be easy and the probability of being shot is rather high. You could try to take them on, but again the probability of being harmed is greater than getting away. The best thing to do is to usually come up with a cover and run with it.

"We need a cover now," he murmured.

"I've got one. Follow my lead. Make it believable. Add in some tongue."

Before he could ask, she had grabbed him and kissed him with force. They stumbled back against the side of the estate, engaged in a heated and passionate…cover ID?

The light was shined in their eyes and a gun was pointed at them both.

"What are you doing here?" the security detail asked.

"What do you mean 'what are we doing here'? This is our hotel! What are you doing here?" Fiona asked, playing her part perfectly.

"Hotel?" the security detail asked.

"Yeah! This is the Beach Paradise Hotel, isn't it?" she asked.

"No! This is a private estate!"

"Wha…it is? Whoa, sorry. We were just walking along on the beach and must have taken a wrong turn. We'll just go. Which way is the Beach Paradise Hotel? Do you know?" Michael asked.

"There is no way you could have come from the beach. The back gate has been locked and guarded all night by me personally. Besides, we installed alarms and cameras to prevent this!"

Of course, covers don't always work. They have a tendency to fall apart into tiny little pieces. When that happens, you have no other choice but to fight or run.

Fiona kicked him in the shin while Michael grabbed the gun. He hit the security in the head with the stock of the firearm.

"Let's go!" he exclaimed.

They ran for the gate only to run right into the rest of the security team. Apparently he had hit a button while they were talking and the rest of his crew came running.

"Backyard, backyard, backyard…" he muttered as he pulled her around the other way.

"There's no way out in the backyard."

"We'll find a way. Or would you rather take on the ten armed guys trying to kill us?"

She grinned.

"Wait, don't answer that. We'll find a way out."

"You can't make an offer like that just to take it off of the table! That's rude!"

He rolled his eyes. The gate was tall, but one of them might be able to get over it with help. The doors in and out were guarded.

"I have an idea," Fiona announced.

"If it involves blowing something up or killing someone-"

"You have to at least hear me out."

"Fi! We can't blow anything up!"

"Yes we can! We're trying to get him arrested for human trafficking and if he thinks that someone is trying to kill him he'll become paranoid! We can work that to our advantage!"

He sighed. There wasn't much of any other choice. "Fine. What's your idea?"

"The tool shed."

"Tool shed?"

They ran for it and locked it from the inside. The security saw them go inside.

"They saw us," he commented.

"I don't need too long. You know that our cover was going perfectly until you spoke up? I had it under control," she said calmly as she prepared some sort of contraption.

The doors started shaking as the people on the other side started ramming it. Michael held the doors shut.

"Can you hurry?" he snapped.

"I was very disappointed in your performance. I think that you could have made the kiss more believable. It isn't like that was the first time we've kissed! I was expecting more passion and fire."

"I can't hold this shut forever!"

"You're such a big baby, Michael. Relax. I'll be done when I'm done. Just put your back into it."

He grunted and put more weight into his stance.

"Okay. Open the door," she instructed after she finished her gizmo.

He backed away and the door flew open. Everyone on the other side basically toppled over and they easily escaped. Fiona flipped a switch and the tool shed blew up.

"That's a message for your boss!" she called. They ran around the other side and escaped unhindered.

An hour later, they wandered into Michael's loft. Sam was sitting in Michael's favorite green chair with a beer.

"There you two are! I've been calling and you haven't answered! How'd it go?"

"The bug is working, but we got caught outside. Our tactic just changed," Michael informed him with an annoyed glance in Fiona's direction.

"I told you that I liked to be prepared. That C4 came in handy."

"C4? Mikey, surely you didn't-"

"Oh yeah, Sam. We blew up his tool shed and some of his security."

Sam's mouth dropped.

"I told them it was for their boss," Fiona grinned as she took a bite of a strawberry yogurt. "Hopefully someone lived and he'll get the message."

"Why is it that every time you two go out together something gets blown up?" Sam asked.

"Not every time," Michael replied as he took a bite of Fiona's yogurt.

"Sometimes the cops are called or we end up in a shootout," Fiona offered.

"Hang on, I'm lost here. Where'd you get C4?"

"I carry some in my purse."

"You carry some…in your purse?" Sam gaped.

"I like to have my C4," she shrugged. "Like you like your beer and he likes his yogurt."

She offered Michael a spoonful. He smirked and accepted it.

"You two can do all of that unhealthy flirty danger makes me horny thing after I leave," Sam sighed as he headed for the door.

"Where are you going?" Michael asked.

"Anywhere but here. When he finds out what you did, you'll be running as his drug mules or you'll be sold to someone in Aruba as sex slave!" he paused, considering the latter and then shook his head and continued on his way. The door slammed behind him.

"So," Fiona asked mischievously. "What do we do now that we've got the place to ourselves?"

"What do you mean, 'ourselves'? Don't you have somewhere to be?"

"You're no fun."

"I have work to do. You should go home and get some sleep."

"I don't need to be home to get sleep, Michael."

She passed him and sprawled out on his bed, propping her chin on her folded hands.

"Not that I want to sleep."

One of the hardest arts to master in the spy business is time management. The second you get some free time, you often want to waste it relaxing. But when you have things to do, you have to budget accordingly. Another one of the arts that is difficult to master is resisting the charms of your trigger happy ex-girlfriend that just so happens to be turned on by explosions. I'm still working on mastering that one…