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Where the Heart Chooses

by Tinnean

A linguistic genius, Portia Sebring is recruited to decipher Russian codes for the Venona Project. While at Arlington Hall, she meets Nigel Mann, a CIA officer known as Mr. Freeze. Portia’s father is behind the meeting. Rumor has it she’s a lesbian, and in the late ’50s, her sexuality could negate any veracity to the codes she deciphers. A match with an equally cold man who won’t distract her from her work seems the ideal solution.

But Portia and Nigel develop strong feelings for each other and marry to start a family. However, the lifetime together they anticipate is cut short when Nigel’s jet crashes. Devastated, but with a young son depending on her, Portia has no choice but to go on after Nigel’s death.

Her son Quinton joins the US Equestrian Team for the 1980 Summer Olympics, but doesn’t compete due to the government’s boycott of the Games. To distract him, Portia takes him to France, and it’s there that Quinton first feels an attraction for someone of his own sex. Since Portia herself had a same-sex affair in her early twenties, she’s very accepting of this.

Along with her trusted bodyguard Gregor, she watches as Quinton finds a career in the intelligence community, following in her footsteps, and also finds a partner worthy of his love. She’s happy for her son, but sure that she won’t love again, since Sebrings have their “one” and she's lost hers. But is she right?

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When I was finally able to straighten, I knew I’d left strands of pale hair tangled in the branches of the maze. I groaned.

“Poor pet,” Folana murmured against my neck.

“No. Your turn, pet.” I spun her around and pushed her back, then raised my skirts and dropped to my knees before her.

She stiffened when she felt my hands on the flesh above her stockings. “Don’t!”

I looked into her blue eyes. “I’m not a man, Folana; I won’t hurt you.”

She shivered and remained tense. “I can’t…” but she didn’t push me away. I moved her gown out of my way, and then tugged down her panties, and touched my tongue to her for the first time.

Folana hadn’t been excited by what she had done to me, even though she had given a good impression of it. Perhaps a bit of nonsense would relax her?


“I’m from the South, but you knew that, didn’t you, Folana? Have you ever seen those hoop skirts the women used to wear? Yards and yards of material…. If you wore something like that, I’d wager I could hide underneath, and do this to you.” I licked at her, and was rewarded by the first taste of her honey. “And no one would even know.”

She moaned and parted her legs, giving me better access.

“That’s my sweet girl.”

Her fingers kneaded my scalp restlessly. I circled her opening with my thumb, then slid it into her sheath at the same time I pressed my forefinger against her anus and sucked on her clit, flicking it with my tongue. She shuddered and gave a shrill cry, taken by surprise by her orgasm.

I rested my head on the curls that covered her groin and breathed in the scent of her climax. Finally I pressed a kiss to her mound, righted her clothes, and pushed myself to my feet.

“You were sent to seduce me, weren’t you?”

She met my eyes. “Yes. I’m sorry.” She raised a hand to touch my hair, which was in disarray, but let it drop down.

“I don’t understand why.” I pulled the bodice of my gown over my breasts and secured it, then bent to retrieve the pins which had held my hair in place. “I’m just an ordinary woman.”

“A woman, yes, but ordinary?” She made a soft, scoffing sound. “Hardly. In certain, select circles, it is known that Sebrings will go to any lengths for their country, even going to bed with a member of their own sex. You’re a Sebring. Sir Joseph worked with your father during the War. He warned his superiors that if Anthony Sebring ever found out what they were up to, allied status or not, he would go after them.” She looked puzzled.

Having been more or less on her own since approximately the age of six, Folana would not know the dynamics of a family, much less the Sebring family. Father might accept his little girl having to do certain things for the good of the Country. But I was still the only girl and the baby of the family. If he deemed the actions of the men for whom Sir Joseph worked capricious, then as clichéd as it might sound, those men would find themselves regretting the day their fathers had ever met their mothers.

“So all this was in aid of learning if I would have a problem with being seduced by a woman?” I kept my tone light, amused. I was disgusted with myself, although I refused to let her see that. In spite of my brothers’ warnings, I had been taken in by a pretty face and eyes filled with uncertainty. It wouldn’t happen again, but I needed to find a way to make this work to my advantage.



This is the story of Quinton Mann's mother and father, and while not part of Spy vs. Spook per se, in the time line it would fit after Forever.

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.