Complications

The Continuing Adventures of Mark Vincent and Quinton Mann

by Tinnean

In 2002, Mark Vincent, onetime senior special agent, ran into John, a troubled little boy, at a local McDonald’s. Concerned, although it wasn’t his business, he gave the kid his business card and left.
Three years later, Mark is director of his department at the WBIS and married to Quinton Mann, the former CIA spook who now writes spy novels. They’ve settled into a life of quiet domesticity and are even considering adopting a cat.
All this changes when John, now using another name, barrels into Mark’s life with a secret no one expects and on the run from an organization that wants him despite the collateral damage.
What will Mark, the man known as “the best” in the intelligence community, do when he learns what this secret is? Will it affect his relationship with Quinn? And how complicated are things going to get when they decide to get involved?

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Excerpt:

HAVING DINNER WITH Alyona’s family took the taste of my publisher out of my mouth. In spite of how boisterous it became at times, it was a relaxing meal spent with enjoyable company, and afterward we played a rousing game of Monopoly.
By ten o’clock, I was back in my hotel room, after having checked my doorframe to make sure the thin thread of gum I’d placed there wasn’t broken. I was pleased to see no one had paid me a visit. And since I had no doubt Mark would still be awake, I called him.
“Hi, babe. You caught me on my way out the door.”
“Oh? Should I prepare to challenge someone to meet me with pistols at dawn?”
“Ass. Didn’t you get my message? The Boss sent me out to Phoenix. It’s 7 PM here.”
“I see.” Dammit. I knew I’d be calling Mark, so I hadn’t thought to check for messages. “So you won’t be able to join me tomorrow.”
“No, I’m sorry. I have to schmooze. Economists. I’m taking them to dinner.

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Tomorrow we’ll be—”
“That’s too bad. I was going to ask what you were wearing and how soon you could get out of it.”
The sound of choking came over the phone, and I couldn’t help smiling, in spite of my disappointment.
“Too late, I’ve changed my mind. What were you about to say you’ll be doing tomorrow?”
“Hitting the golf course. And I’m gonna make you pay for that, Mann.”
“For you having to go golfing?”
He was silent, and for a second I wondered if I’d pushed him too far. I should have known better. He started laughing. “What time does your shindig finish tomorrow night?”
“I would think about midnight. Why?”
“Hmm. It’ll only be about nine, Phoenix time. I’ll give you a call then, and we can discuss what I’m wearing.”
It was my turn to choke.
“Listen, babe. I should be home on Monday, but I’m not sure if it will be in time to pick you up.”
“That’s all right. I’m a big boy. I can manage my own transportation.”
“True, but we’re supposed to have dinner with Portia.”
“Let’s see how it goes. You know Mother won’t be too upset if we have to cancel. And we can always reschedule.”
“I might have to cancel. You can still go.”
“As I said, let’s see how it goes.”
“Were you able to see Alyona’s family?”
“I was.” I knew if he was unable to have dinner with Mother, he’d insist I go without him. I decided not to press it just then, and instead I launched into the details of the hours I’d spent with Lara and Lída and all the other members of the Novotny clan.
He listened and made appropriate comments, but before I could congratulate myself on avoiding the inevitable, he asked, “Are you okay?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Dammit. I’d tried to keep my voice light so he wouldn’t suspect I had something disturbing my usual equanimity.
“Quinn.”
“All right. I’ve been wondering about something all afternoon.”
“Tell me.” His voice sounded tense.
“What do you want me to bring you from Manhattan?”
“You’re gonna get me a present? Cool.”
“I’m serious, Mark.” This seemed to be distracting him, but I kept my fingers crossed.
“Buy me the meanest-looking T-Rex you can find.”

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Tinnean has been writing since the 3rd grade, where she was inspired to try her hand at epic poetry. Fortunately, that epic poem didn't survive the passage of time; however, her love of writing not only survived but thrived, and in high school she became a member of the magazine staff, where she contributed a number of stories.

 

 

While involved in fandom, she was nominated for both Rerun and Light My Fire Awards. Now she concentrates on her original characters and has been published by Nazca Plains, Dreamspinner, JMS Books, and Wilde City, as well as being self-published. Recent novels have received honorable mention in the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Rainbow Awards, and two of the 2014 submissions were finalists.

 

A New Yorker at heart, she resides in SW Florida with her husband, two computers, and a Surface 3.


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