White lies (Epilogue)

"Is Piggot really dead?"

"He's really dead." Lucas watched her face carefully across the breakfast table. He had gone out and bought the necessary groceries, and they had both eaten as if they were starved, which they had been. He hadn't been interested in food before, either. Finding Jay and getting her back where she belonged had been far more important. "I finished the job.'' The truth wasn't pretty, but she had a right to know that about the man she was going to marry.

She sipped at the hot coffee, then lifted those incredible dark blue eyes to his. "I'm glad he's dead," she said fiercely. "He tried to kill you."

"And came damn close to succeeding."

She shuddered, thinking of the days when his life had hung in the balance, and he reached for her hand. "Hey, sweetheart. It's over. That part is really over. This part–" he squeezed her hand "–is just getting started–if you're sure you can stand looking at this face over the breakfast table."

The smile broke over her face like sunshine. "Well, you're not good-looking, but you sure are sexy."

With a growl he grabbed for her, dragging her around the table and onto his lap. Her arms went around him even as he tilted her face up for his kiss. "By the way, I'm not an agent."

She jerked back, startled. "What?"

"Not any longer. I'm officially retired, as of yesterday. Sabin took me out of it. Once my cover was blown, there was no way I could go back without endangering my family. I've really been out of it since the explosion, but Sabin didn't make it official until Piggot was caught."

"Then I guess we'll both have to hunt for a job." He was retired! She felt like chanting hosannas. She wouldn't have to worry every time he walked out the door that she'd never see him again.

He rubbed his thumb over her bottom lip. "I already have a job, baby. I'm a businessman, in partnership with my brother in an engineering firm. I traveled all over the world. It was a good cover for the work I was doing for Sabin. Speaking of my brother, by now Sabin will have gotten the news to them that a mistake was made in identifying the victims of the explosion and I'm still alive. This is going to be a bad shock to them, especially my parents."

"You mean a good shock."

"It'll be a shock, of whatever nature. Given the changes in my face and voice, they may have trouble adjusting."

"And you're bringing a strange woman into the family," she said, concern darkening her eyes.

"Oh, that. Don't worry about that. Mom has been after me for years to settle down. It wasn't an option I had before, but that's changed." He gave her a raffish grin. "I'd already decided to retire, anyway, so I could spend my time keeping you satisfied."

He certainly did that. Jay put her head on his shoulder, absorbing his warmth and nearness. His arms tightened. "I love you," he said steadily.

"I love you, Lucas Stone." She would never tire of saying it, and he would never tire of hearing it. He stood up with her in his arms. "Let's go make a phone call. I want to talk to my folks and let them know they're getting a daughter-in-law."

They did make the phone call, but not right away. First he kissed her, and when he lifted his head the expression in his eyes had intensified. He carried her into the bedroom, and then the mirror on the wall reflected the true image of two people entwined as they loved each other.