It had been the weekend of Annie and Auggie- he'd crashed at hers on Friday, brunch at his on Saturday, moonlit drive on Sunday. They'd agreed to stay and arrive separately on Monday, "so as not to arouse suspicion," Auggie had explained as they made out in the backseat of the 'vette like a couple of teenagers. "After all, you don't want the agency sleeping in the middle, do you?"

Annie had grabbed a fistful of his collar and pulled him closer. "I like our proximity just fine."

They were spies, they were supposed to be good at this sort of thing, but Annie found herself constantly looking over at the tech cave, distracted from the mile-high stack of paperwork left in her inbox from Amsterdam.


"Dude," Barber said, leaning on Auggie's desk. "I think Annie Walker has a thing for me."

Auggie chewed the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing in his face. "Is that so?"

"She keeps looking over here, man. I don't know."

"Got a lot of work to do, Barber," Auggie said, putting on his headphones. "I am a busy man."

"Sorry," Eric said, backtracking. "I was just wondering if, uh... Okay so... I know it's short notice, but tonight, there's this... social thing, and I was wondering if-"

"What sort of social thing?" Auggie asked, narrowing his eyes. The last "social thing" Barber had dragged him to had been a disaster.

"Speed dating," Barber mumbled. "But before you say no, I could really use a wingman! And I figured, I'm single, you're single..."

"Are you asking me to be your speed date?" Auggie chuckled.

"Come on, man," his voice was pleading.

"Why can't you take Stu?" Auggie asked. He leaned back so his voice carried out the door. "Hey, Stu?"

"Stu's in Puerto Rico," Barber said quietly.

"Geez, really?"

"He doesn't get back till a week from Tuesday."

Auggie groaned. "Fine, it's a date."

Eric slapped Auggie on the back. "Thanks, man. I owe you one."

"You owe me two," Auggie groused.

So Annie had been looking over all morning. Unless something had radically changed in the last twelve hours, he suspected her gaze wasn't directed at Eric Barber. Nor Stu, who apparently snuck out the back door to paradise when no one was looking. Or listening.

He knew how Annie felt. He was distracted by her, too, and had been since the day he met her. Luckily, he was a spy, and distraction wasn't that big a deal in conjunction with his work. Once his headphones were on, he was in the zone.

But she'd really been looking over all morning? He could still feel the cotton of her blouse, the chilly leather seats of the Corvette, the slight chapping at the center of her lower lip...

"Hey, Barber, could you cover for me? I'm going to grab an early lunch."


Annie found him in the gym, terrorizing a suspended punching bag. She just liked watching him- he moved with incredible grace and balance, black T-shirt straining against him as he threw one punch after another. After a few minutes, he stopped, turned and frowned into middle distance.


"Hey," she blushed, feeling weird about spying on him.

"You just observing, or would you like to join in the fun?" a patented little-boy grin lifted his mouth at the corners. "I could use a sparring partner."

Two blocked punches later, Auggie had her in a headlock.

"Barber's making me go speed dating tonight," he said, dropping her to her knees.

Annie frowned. "What for?"

As he was about to open his mouth, she shifted her center of gravity, flipping him over her shoulder. He landed on his back with a thud.

"Maybe I just have a thing for Barber," he said with a breathless chuckle. He put a hand on his chest. "Have you been working out?"


"You just tapped me out," he sat up, shot a wrinkly-eyed smile in her direction. "You juicing?"

"Maybe all our little lessons are finally paying off." She scooted around so they were back to back. "So Barber doesn't know we're together?"

"No idea," Auggie turned slightly so she could see him in profile. His face was suddenly serious. "Are you okay with this?"

"Yeah!" Annie said in a voice that sounded too okay with it, much more than she felt. "I mean, we agreed to keep this low-key."

"It's not like tonight is going to mean anything," Auggie reassured her. "I'm just Barber's wingman."

"No, go, have a couple drinks, have some fun," Annie leaned her head against his back. "Have some fun."

"You wanna go another round?" Auggie asked.

"You know, I just remembered... I have to make a phone call. It's pretty time-sensitive. I'll catch you later? Tomorrow maybe."

Before Auggie could answer, she was gone, flying out the door and into the locker room, where she could hopefully change into something that was a little more comfortable with Auggie Anderson seeing other people.