I don't like it when this kind of thing happens. And Sean didn't like it either. It was written all over his face. The brass had a way of unexpectedly dropping ten ton bricks on us marshals out of the clear, blue sky. I had a feeling this one had more to do with Kieran Fox than me, but I wasn't going to voice that.
"Nicholas, why won't they tell you how long you'll be gone?" Sean insisted, sitting cross-legged on the bed, a bed we'd just finished messing up real fine.
"I guess because they don't know," I replied, walking over and kissing the tip of his nose. He was on the brink of giving me that pouty face. It made him look very young. I laughed whenever he did it. I suspected he enjoyed my reaction.
He waved a hand at me. "You're treating me like a child."
"Yes." I nodded. "You're doing that pouty face." I grinned.
He threw a pillow at me and missed. "Why you? I'd understand more if it was just Kieran."
There, he'd gone and said it. "We're Canadians. You can't have Americans investigating Mounties. It's politically incorrect."
"Technically you are an American," he pointed out. "And Kieran has an American dad. I say you should be disqualified."
"Do you now?" I grinned at him as I put on my wrist watch. "Kieran was born in Canada and I grew up there from age zero. I think that qualifies us as Canadians."
Sean sighed. "I can't argue your point if you keep picking my argument apart. Stop playing counselor-at-law."
"So, it's like the Canadian Government went looking for Canadians who had joined the US Marshals Service or something?"
I shrugged. "Sean, I have to go." I met his gaze. "I was asked to do this. I'm doing this as much for my country as for the US Marshals Service. There's definitely something wrong in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or as we call it, RCMP. It needs to be rooted out."
"Nigel Fox is not Canadian," Sean grumbled.
I laughed out loud. "Kieran's dad has dual citizenship now that he's the liaison in Canada."
"Maybe we should live in Canada," Sean announced.
I lifted an eyebrow. "You're a Southern boy. Why would you want to live in Canada?"
"I like polar bears and beavers... maple syrup... ah... let's see, Simple Plan and Rush and... gay marriage?"
I laughed at Sean's depiction of Canada. "You forgot Celine Dion and the invention of the skidoo."
"Forgive me," he mocked.
"You're not proposing, are you, Sean? You have to get on one knee for that."
He didn't laugh. He just shrugged and picked at the bedspread.
I walked over and perched on the edge of the bed. I took his chin in my hand and looked into his eyes. "There are no polar bears in Ottawa, sweetie. And I'd marry you in a heartbeat if that's what you wanted."
Sean threw his arms around me. "What I want"--he squeezed me tight--"is for you not to leave me."
"You won't be alone. Marco is here."
He released me, his expression sour. "Right. About that. Nicholas," he said, as I got off the bed, "please find a place for that kid. He drives me nuts. He won't want to stay here without you anyway and we--"
"I want you to do me a favor," I interrupted, "promise me you'll protect Marco from his father while I'm gone. Take some time to talk with him, find out what his interests are and--"
"I already know his interests." Sean scowled. "Main one is right there"--he pointed--"between your legs. And I'm not discussing your cock with him!"
"I should hope not. Listen, Sean, he latched onto me at that game you sent us all to for revenge because your target shot herself in the foot. He's scared and I really think he wants to do the right thing. He needs direction."
"He needs a good, swift kick in the rubber parts!"
"I think he's been kicked around quite enough," I told him.
Sean sighed, giving me a silent nod. Then he slid off the bed and gave me a slap on the butt. "I wish to hell you guys would forget about that woman shooting herself. It was an accident!"
I smiled. "We'll forget about it--in a few years."
I chuckled. "Look, the rubber foot with the ketchup was a great joke."
"Um, Jubilee missed his calling."
"You got revenge."
"My vengeance backfired. I never thought some delinquent would latch onto you as your groupie at a soccer match for bad boys. Now he's living with us!"
"It's only temporary."
Sean sighed and nodded glumly.
I gave him another kiss. "Look into the correspondence program for upgrading. He told me he's got his high school diploma but it may not be enough to get him into college."
"Then what?" Sean was following me to the living. "He upgrades, he gets into college then a job... a place of his own and... shit. He's going to be here until we retire, Nicholas!"
"I can be a big help to you in your old age, Sean!" a voice called out from the sofa. The laugh track of some mindless comedy blared right after he said that.
"I'll give you bed baths and make you warm milk!"
Sean gave me a look that said it all.
"He's got a quirky sense of humor." I hugged Sean before he could contradict that.
Marco got up and came out from the living room. He was young still, barely eighteen but already he was showing signs of being extremely good looking. He had an aura around him that I knew bothered Sean. It was seductive and very sexual. Of course Sean had nothing to worry about where I was concerned. My heart and body belonged to only one. Now, if I could only make Marco accept that.
"I'm going to miss you," Marco said. "I'll be very nervous without you being here." He threw his arms around me and hugged me. I disentangled myself and glanced over to see Sean's arms akimbo. He was ready to do damage. "Just a hug." I gave Sean a half-hearted smile.
Marco glared at Sean, and Sean took my arm and we walked outside.
"Don't say it," I cautioned, as Sean clutched my bag.
"Not saying anything."