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Just the Thought of You

The Continuing Adventures of Mark Vincent and Quinton Mann

by Tinnean

With the death of Quinton Mann’s cousin, Mann Manor becomes his, and in spite of assurances that the Manor isn’t in bad shape, Quinn and his lover, Mark Vincent, discover otherwise when they arrive to inspect it. They find the floors have been torn up, some more recently than the last time his cousin had been here. They also learn that the neighborhood teens are using the Manor as a hangout. Quinn agrees that their best option at this time is to have the house wired for security.

Grey Rayne, an agent of Mark’s, is working on this until the floorboard gives way under her, and she’s injured. In extricating herself, she finds a letter and a map that might reveal the reasons behind the damage done to the Manor.

Will Quinn and Mark be able to get to the bottom of this? And what will happen if it comes out at the Company that Quinn is friends with the deadliest agent the WBIS has ever produced?

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Publisher: Tinnean
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Pairings: MM
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Alpha Character, Badass Hero, Class Differences
Word Count: 67000
Setting: Washington, DC, Savannah, GA, LA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:

Chapter 1

 

Saturday morning might not have been the best day weather-wise—it was damp and overcast, with the hint of rain—but I was spending it with the two people I cared most about in the world—Quinton Mann and his mother, Portia.

And okay, so Gregor Novotny, Portia’s chef, chauffeur, and bodyguard, was coming along. I could put up with him for Portia’s sake.

The plan was to tour the house Quinn had inherited, but first we were going to Charmaine for brunch. I’d never been, but Quinn raved about the quality of the food, and Portia agreed with him.

She also mentioned how the wrought iron tables and chairs in the courtyard off the street looked so quaint, but because of the weather, they weren’t an option.

We entered the restaurant, where Quinn had made reservations—good thing, because even though it was Saturday, the place was already filling up.

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“Okay,” I said as I set aside the cane I’d been using for the past few days and sat down beside Quinn.

I’d had to use a crutch after I took a bullet to the thigh a couple of weeks ago, but I was a fast healer—it often surprised people how fast my broken bones or bullet wounds mended. Although my leg did tend to ache at the most inconvenient times.

As for the carved ebony cane, it was more than it appeared to be. Romero, head of R&D at the WBIS, had supplied me with it. A twist to the handle, and it turned into a sword that was tipped with the venom of the species of fer-de-lance that lived on a small, abandoned island off the coast of Brazil. One of its names was Ilha da Queimada Grande, but it was also called Snake Island, due to the humongous number of reptiles that inhabited it.

I glanced at the waiter to find he was staring at Quinn as if Quinn was his last hope of heaven. If he started drooling… “What’s good?” I kept my tone cool, but I wanted to tear his head off and shove it up his ass.

The waiter proceeded to rattle off the specials while he handed us menus, but his gaze was fastened on Quinn and he never once took it off him.

**

“I’m not taking you back to Charmaine. Ever,” I snarled as I hobbled to the car. Novotny was driving, since Quinn’s Jag was too snug for four adults and my Dodge was in its garage at Aspen Reach. Besides, no one drove the Dodge but me.

“Mark, he’s harmless,” Quinn said patiently.

Yeah, well, we’d talk about that tonight.

“That waiter was coming on to you.” He’d brought my lover a Bloody Mary, which Quinn hadn’t ordered and which I’d taken from the waiter. What pissed me off was it wasn’t half-bad. “In front of me.”

“See? I told you.” Novotny had to butt in. “This is your fault.”

“Mine?” It was a good thing he hadn’t poked me, or I’d have knocked him down. “How do you figure that?”

“Before Quinn started hanging around with you, nobody made passes at him.”

“Which was very disheartening, Gregor.” Quinn’s expression was mournful. “I felt so… unloved.”

“Well, they were idiots,” I said. “And their loss is my gain.” And tonight I’d make him feel loved.

“Chris is a sweet boy,” Portia assured me, and I stared at her, at a loss. How could she— But then she continued, “He’s not right for Quinton, but I’m sure he’ll find someone someday.”

I blew out a relieved breath. It was still hard to believe a lady like Portia Mann would have no objections to a guy like me being involved with her son.

Quinn opened the back passenger door of the Town Car. Just as I was about to angle myself in, a strident female voice called out.

“Quinton!”

Quinn went very still. “Damn,” he muttered under his breath. He turned and said in his cool Ice Man voice, “Hello, Susan. How are you?”

“I’m fine, no thanks to you. Mitchell and Barbara McVeigh told me about running into you after Christmas, and you were with a man.” She glared at Mark. “Is this the faggot you dumped me for? Were you gay all the time we were seeing each other? Do I need to have myself and my fiancé tested?”

“The correct term is bisexual, and you needn’t get tested on my account. We never had sex, if you’ll recall.”

She turned an ugly shade of red and drew back her hand to slap him. Quinn, being a gentleman, would have allowed it.

On the other hand, I was no gentleman. I caught her wrist and closed my fingers around it. Her eyes widened, and she whimpered and tugged futilely.

“Mark.”

I let her go, and she stumbled backward and would have lost her balance, if Novotny hadn’t caught her. She jerked herself away, glared at him over her shoulder, then turned her glare on me.

Which didn’t faze me in the least.

“Listen to me, woman. Whether Quinn went with me or anyone else, you and he wouldn’t have worked out. You’ve got someone, so leave Quinn alone. And just remember this—I have friends all over town. If it gets back to me that you’re bad-mouthing him, I’ll come after you.”

“You’re—you’re threatening me? I’ll… I’ll report you to the authorities!”

“Y’know something? You’re boring me. Go away. Portia, do you want to sit in the back with me or in the front with Novotny?”

“In the front, Mark.”

Novotny bounded forward and opened the door for her. I was surprised he didn’t insist she sit in the backseat because it would have been safer.

Quinn was speaking to Susan Burkhart in such a quiet voice I couldn’t make out what he was saying.

“Quinn, get in the car, would you? We’ve got stuff to do.”

“Of course, Mark. Susan, I won’t say it was nice seeing you again, but I do wish you every happiness.”

She gave a breathless little shriek, and Quinn turned his back on her. She saw I was watching, and she changed her mind about whatever she’d planned to do. Instead, she bolted down the sidewalk.

First smart move she’d made since she’d accosted Quinn.

He waited until I settled myself in the backseat, then went around to the other side and got in.

“I’ll say one thing about having you around,” Novotny muttered as he shoved the key into the ignition and started the engine with an annoyed twist. “Things are never dull.”

 

I wasn’t sure if I should be insulted or not.

COLLAPSE

Mann of My Dreams is a continuation of the Spy vs. Spook series. The name changed since Mark and Quinn are no longer in an adversarial relationship. I also began to self-publish these books.

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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