Their Final Mission

INTRODUCTION

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1980.

When she saw him her heart nearly stopped.

It was at a popular shopping mall in down town Los Angeles, of all places. She had walked from Caroline's, trendy aqua bag in hand, and made a quick turn. She looked up just in time to see Rollin Hand walking, with a slight limp, in her direction.

They made eye contact and she watched him slow, the recognition as awkward for him as it was for herself. Cinnamon thought for a moment he might pass her by, pretend he hadn't noticed her. She averted her eyes, almost hoping he would, but then she heard him clear his throat.

"How are you?" he asked softly, now standing tentatively by her side.

She tried to smile and looked up at him. Rollin was still tall and handsome. Tanned and lean, his dark hair was tinged ever so slightly with gray. He wore a blue shirt with a gray ribbing. "Fine." she managed and, unaware, reached with her free hand to the back of her collar.

"It's been a long time." Rollin's eyes followed her reaction, her slender fingers massaging both neck and shoulders. She was still lovely, her blond hair slightly longer than he remembered, falling in soft waves around her fair face. She wore an elegant floral dress and it suited her, he thought.

Cinnamon nodded and dropped her hand. She hadn't realized what she was doing until she saw him watching her closely. "Yes, fancy meeting you here." she chuckled, uncomfortably. "Here with the wife?" she asked, having read something in the L.A. Times about he and an heiress a few years ago, and quickly realized how silly she sounded.

"No wife. Haven't had one for quite awhile." he replied, his tone thick with an unstated irony. "Just buying a new sport jacket. Looking a little shabby they tell me."

There was silence as they gazed at one another, neither sure how to continue. Their eyes betrayed them. A yearning was present that neither, for the moment, was willing to voice.

"Cinnamon, I …"

"I have to go." she suddenly said.

A pause.

"Yeah, me too." He reached forward and took her hand, "But I would like to talk with you. We need ..."

Cinnamon stood still, his warmth both tantalizing and terrifying her. "Goodbye, Rollin."

She pulled away and moved past him, not giving her former colleague the chance to continue. Their encounter had brought back so many memories, some profoundly good but most terrifying. Cinnamon had buried her days as a special agent deep inside. The memory of danger and fear would remain there, locked away, for all time. It was the way she wanted it. It was how she survived.

With purpose, Cinnamon willfully breathed in and out as she walked. She was a strong woman but right now she wanted nothing more than to go home, to her fortress, and climb into bed.

Sleep always helped when she started to recall the past; the horror of that last mission with Rollin Hand ... and the Impossible Missions Force.

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(Just the introduction but what do you think? Want to read more?)