Cuff Lynx

Free Cuff Lynx by Fiona Quinn

Book: Cuff Lynx by Fiona Quinn Read Free Book Online
Authors: Fiona Quinn
    “Is he in the hospital?”
    “No, he’s in a private clinic called Gildencrest in Bethesda.”
    “Why? What’s wrong?” My brows pulled tightly together. General Elliot was our Papa Bear. He had conceived of Iniquus and shaped it into being. I couldn’t imagine an Iniquus without General Elliot at the helm. I couldn’t imagine the US without Iniquus fighting against the bad guys, either.
    “No one knows. Mrs. Eliott says the doctors can’t explain what’s going on. He’s in what they call a semi-comatose or stuperous state.”
    “So not on a ventilator, just not really conscious. Can he open his eyes? Does he try to speak?” I shifted around so I could see Striker’s face. I draped my legs over his stomach, and he reflexively massaged my calves.
    “Mrs. Elliot says sometimes she can get him to come around a little, but it’s not for long, and he’s just squeezed her hand to answer her questions about pain levels and comfort.”
    “Is Mrs. Elliot okay with visitors?”
    “She seems to appreciate it when we stop by.”
    “Good, then I’ll do that today.” I plumped a pillow under my head. “Changing directions. Iniquus has a new Secret Service contract. You’re heading into the field with Vine.”
    Striker was blank-faced. Hmmm Classified.
    “So why would Secret Service sign a new contract if Iniquus is experiencing a high fail rate?” I asked.
    Still nothing from Striker.
    “The only reason I can figure is that Vine insisted on working the case with you. She must have a lot of pull. Does Command know about your relationship with Vine?”
    “Yes, they do. Command decided Vine and me already knowing each other made assuming our undercover roles quicker and more believable.”
    My expression turned decidedly sour. Yeah, I just bet it was Command’s decision.
    “They don’t know we’re engaged, Lynx. For right now I think it’s better that way, don’t you?”
    “Absolutely.” No one, outside of Strike Force and Command, knew about Striker’s and my relationship, and no one knew we had decided to get married. Well, Spyder knew now. I wasn’t sure why we kept it a secret from everyone. We never discussed keeping things to ourselves – our feelings just seemed precious, and personal, and not available for public consumption. Our dedication to each other was ours and ours alone.
    “How long will this mission continue?” I asked.
    Okay, so he won’t talk mission – let’s try personal . “How long has it been since you two were in a romantic relationship?”
    “Romantic? I wouldn’t label it that way. We dated. That ended a long time ago.” Striker’s voice sounded cautious. “Almost a year before I knew you.”
    “Who ended it?” I asked.
    “I did.”
    Well, this conversation was getting me nowhere fast. Fine. I’d have to take it one step at a time. “Why did you end it?” It seemed cheap, and nosey, and probably a little juvenile, but I knew if I had at least the basics, I’d feel more comfortable. My gaze drifted toward the window and the autumn-colored trees in the distance. I could still see Striker in my peripheral view as he scratched his thumb over his chin, weighing his words.
    “Continuing to date Vine would have been leading her on. Chica, look at me.” His finger brushed my cheek. “I love you. You are the only woman I have ever said that to because you are the only woman I have ever come close to feeling this way about. And certainly the only woman I could imagine loving for the rest of my life. Please understand that.”
    I nodded my acceptance. “When I saw Vine at the hospital she felt to me like your ex, Felicia, did when we were down in Miami visiting your niece. Like she’s still claiming you as hers. You need to be aware of that going in to the mission. It could shift her perceptions, and her decision making. That could be dangerous.”
    “You love me. And we do mission work together.”
    Wasn’t that and interesting

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