Back in Shine Clan territory and Deacon Scott’s embrace, Fiddlestix feels more at home than she has in a long time.
Deacon nodded slowly, placing the tips of his fingers together, a pose he took when he was thinking. He looked ready for a long discussion.
“General Scott,” Blacksmith yawned loudly. “My partner and me are pretty whooped. I imagine Fiddlestix is tired too, we haven’t slept a lot.”
“Dozing in flight don’t count for much,” Buzzard added, stifling a yawn. “I could sure use some uninterrupted sleep.”
After apologizing expansively, Deacon arranged for the two men to be taken to rooms deeper in the compound. He rose, leading Fiddlestix in the opposite direction, pausing only long enough to set the wheels in motion to get the message to Scarlet Varin.
The door to Deacon’s quarters slid open as they approached. He ushered her in, locking the door behind them.
“I figure you won’t mind sharing with me.” He took her in his arms, leaning down to kiss her. “God, I’ve missed you, Hannah.”
“I’ve missed you too, Deacon.”
She yawned as he tried to kiss her again. He laughed, snuggling against her neck.
“I’d better let you sleep, much as I don’t want to.” He kissed her again, playfully full of promises.
“They’ll start to wonder if the boss disappears at this time of day.”
“Who gives a damn what anyone thinks? Why won’t you marry me, Hannah? I’m crazy in love with you.”
“We’ve had this conversation before.”
“I know, but this time, you have to say yes.”
He led her to the edge of the bed, pushed her to a sitting position, and leaned over to take off her boots.
“Because I’m a persistent hillbilly. Besides, you’re running out of reasons not to, and I keep thinking of more reasons why you should.”
“Deacon, I’m not the marrying kind. I can’t be second to any man, not even you.”
“Second hell! I want you by my side, working with me. I couldn’t put you in second place. You’d put a knife in my groin!”
“I’ll sleep on it, Deac. Sometimes,” she yawned deeply, stretching aching muscles. “I wonder what settling down would be like. I don’t know if it’s in the cards for someone like me.”
“Sure it is, Hannah-Belle. You just need the right man.”
He kissed her again, dragging a soft, down filled comforter over her. Dimming the lights, he set the privacy light outside and left her alone.