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Chapter Four

Later the next day, after a morning of soft caresses, long kisses, tender hugs, and breathtaking passion, Robert and Angeline relaxed in the den of the apartment. They recounted major events in their lives, each with more truth and candor than they would have revealed to anyone else. Robert related the sad circumstances of Kathy's death and his divorce with Kay, and the final few missions he coordinated and participated in before he was able to separate himself from the Company. Angeline listened with a sympathetic frown, holding his hand and stroking his face when Robert's emotions threatened to overcome him. Then Angeline shared how her father, brothers, and young husband had been killed, fighting in various battles, and how alone and bereft of care that she felt in the last year before coming to the states. She said she had felt like a commodity to be bought and sold during that time, her knowledge of and skill with bomb-making as the only thing that made her of value. Robert held her tightly as she spoke, hoping that his physical closeness would relay the sympathy and sadness he felt for her as she relived these terrible events. Then, feeling emotionally exhausted, Robert suggested they take a walk in the park and clear their minds. Angeline agreed heartily and they left to spend an hour strolling in the bright sunshine of the autumn day, amid gamboling children and watchful parents.

Evening approached quickly and they returned to the apartment to ready for the evening. For the first time, Angeline's wound was sufficiently healed to be able to shower and Robert pulled her into the warm spray eagerly, running his hands up and down her body and loving the thrill of her hands on him. They dressed quickly and departed for O'Phelan's restaurant.

Pete O'Phelan welcomed Robert and Angeline personally when they arrived and led them to Robert's reserved table. Pete was impressed with the grace and beauty of this new interest of Robert's and hoped it would turn out to be a lasting, fulfilling relationship for him. She watched with satisfaction as Robert and his lovely guest smiled and chatted, obviously enjoying each other as much as the evening's fare. When it came time for them to leave, Pete bid them goodbye and felt, herself, as though it had been a wonderful evening already. It does my heart good, she thought to herself, to see Robert so happy and content. I believe this relationship will be what he needs.

As Robert returned the car to the garage, and as he and Angeline walked hand in hand back to the apartment, Robert felt as if they were being watched. He looked surreptitiously back and forth, straining his senses to spot whomever was lurking in the shadows, but he saw no one. Thankfully, they were inside quickly and behind the bolted door in a very few minutes. Robert pulled the shades on the windows in the living room and den, and after removing his jacket and tie, he invited Angeline to sit with him on the couch. If she felt any concern over his actions, she didn't show it, especially as they settled together, her hand moved immediately to caress his groin. One thing led to another and before long, they were both undressed and Angeline was facing him, sitting astride his lap, and posting deliciously up and down on his cock. Robert grasped each cheek of her butt and watched in growing lust as her breath quickened and her movements became erratic. Angeline plunged into an orgasm, shuddering and gasping, calling out his name.

Suddenly the entryway door flew open, splintering the frame holding the locks. Two men burst inside, looking quickly around the room before moving. Robert thrust Angeline aside and leaped to his feet, reaching for the pistol he kept hidden under the couch. As he tore the gun loose from the tape that held it, he realized that the men were reaching for Angeline, who appeared to be somewhat successful in fighting them off. Robert got the pistol turned around correctly in his hands and assumed a shooting stance, demanding they stop their pursuit.

Control entered through the door and assessing the situation quickly, leaped in between McCall and the men attempting to apprehend Angeline.

"No, Robert," Control shouted, putting his hands on Robert's arms, shoving the gun away from its intended targets just as the gun went off. He turned to look at the fight taking place behind him and wrenching the gun from a stunned McCall's hand, strode forward. As Angeline kicked one man away from her, Control struck her across the back of the head with the butt of the gun. It was a measured blow, intended to stun, rather than render her unconscious. She slumped momentarily and one of her attackers quickly pinned her arms behind her back, pulling her against him to keep her off balance.

"Damn you, Control, what is the meaning of this?" McCall thundered, his hand latching iron hard to Control's shoulder and pulling the man around to face him.

"McCall, why don't you get dressed and calm down?" Control said with amusement, glancing pointedly down at Robert's groin. McCall's erection was still sturdy, bobbing rigidly to his movements. McCall angrily turned away from Control and stalked to the bedroom to dress. Control turned back to Quinn, who had regained her alertness and was struggling against her captor. I knew McCall enjoyed danger, Control mused silently, but I didn't realize it was a sexual high. He shook his head and approached the captive.

"There will be no more pussy whipping," he growled, moving closer and reaching, ran his hand across her smooth mons and down her bare pussy, "going on here in order to turn McCall to your cause." My God, velvety soft! How does McCall manage to get these incredible women? Why don't I ever have this luck? Control tore his eyes from Quinn's face and gazed at her groin, caressing her once again. Tearing his eyes away from her, Control nodded to the man standing nearby. The assistant had prepared a syringe and with a wicked smile, he jabbed it viciously into her arm. Angeline spit in his face as the needle pierced her arm, but as the sedative began to work, she relaxed visibly and soon sagged against her captor.

McCall returned to the room just as the man had cruelly administered the sedative and watched her retaliation with satisfaction. He felt his heart pound sickly as she lost consciousness.

"Control, you have a lot of explaining to do. You are making a huge mistake!" McCall growled as he crossed the room to confront Control. Control saw with unease that McCall was dressed in what Control thought of as his 'mission' clothing, black and fashioned after military issue utility uniforms. He's making a statement, Control thought. I have to be careful.

"Come with us, old son, and find out for yourself." Control picked up a folded blanket that had been lying nearby and tossed it to the man who had rendered Angeline unconscious. "Cover her and let's go." McCall watched angrily as one man wrapped Angeline's limp body in the blanket and helped the other hoist her onto his shoulder. Control pointed to the one who was not carrying Quinn.

"You stay here and guard this apartment. No one is to be allowed inside." Control turned to McCall. "I'll have this fixed for you immediately." Then Control led the way down the stairs, followed by the man carrying Quinn, and finally by McCall. When they reached the street, McCall informed Control he would follow in his own car, so that 'when you finally realize you're wrong, and you release her back to me, I won't have to depend on you for a ride home.' Control realized sadly that he was still spitting with anger. He hoped McCall would soon realize he was only trying to protect him.

Control and his assistant reached the Company facility a few minutes before McCall and hurried their captive into an interrogation room. Control instructed the man to use the belts attached to the table to restrain her. Control left for a few minutes to use the phone. When he returned, McCall stood at the head of the table with his hands on Angeline's shoulders, trying to convey all the support he could, but Angeline glared at him with rage equal to her regard for Control.

"Where does it go from here, Control?" McCall demanded, hoping to assuage some of Angeline's anger toward himself. As he spoke, a medical technician entered the room. Control nodded at the technician, who approached Quinn's side and uncovered her arm. The technician tore open an alcohol swab and gently rubbed it on Angeline's forearm where he intended to insert the needle. He had seen the angry wound on Quinn's arm where the sedative had been previously administered. As he had hoped, his gentle touch got Angeline's attention and she peered intently into his eyes. Seeing only sadness and pain in him, Angeline relaxed, understanding from the technician's gentle motions, that he didn't want to hurt her. He only wanted to do his job with as little pain to her as possible. Within seconds, the sodium pentothal was delivered into her system and Quinn appeared to have relaxed completely. The technician picked up his equipment and stood back, waiting for Control's next instruction.

"Quinn, do you hear me?" Control asked, walking up alongside the table and grasping her shoulder. McCall continued standing at her head, looking down at her now relaxed face. Her eyes were heavily lidded and she slowly turned her head back and forth, seemingly fighting against the drug. "Quinn!"

"What?" Quinn mumbled, letting her eyes close. Control was outraged.

"You fool!" he bellowed at the technician. "You gave her too much!"

"I gave her what you told me for her weight," the technician stammered. Control had a sudden thought. He backhanded Quinn across the face. Her eyes opened immediately and she mustered as much anger as the drug's increasing effects would allow her to curse at him. Shouting his outrage, McCall leaped to Control's side and grabbed his arm to forestall another blow.

"Smart," Control commented, shrugging McCall off his arm and filing the tactic in his mind for later thought. He looked back at his captive. The truth serum must have reached its full effect by this time because Quinn's expression was back to what he had expected it to be and when prompted, she started talking easily. Control's questions, however, were met with confusion and a definite lack of knowledge. As much as he hated to admit it, Quinn really had been too long away from the organization to have any usable knowledge. He could have sworn she was meeting with IRA contacts. Surveillance had proved it. He asked her again.

"Who are these people you have been meeting with over the last few months?" Control demanded.

"Recruiters, trying to get me to go back to Northern Ireland. I always said no. That's why I moved to New York, to get away from the ones who were constantly after me in Buffalo."

"Tell me, then, about your last bombing." McCall looked warily at Control, realizing where he was going with this. Although Angeline had become a US citizen, she could still be extradited with some 'creative' evidence being manufactured.

"I designed and constructed the charge for the department store in Ulster. But I knew there were children in the store and I refused to detonate it. Seamus McClain slugged me and detonated it himself. I heard some years ago that he was eventually imprisoned and executed." Quinn's words were getting more and more slurred and McCall realized she was totally exhausted.

"Don't you think you have heard enough to realize you don't have anything to use against her?" he grated, stroking the hair from Angeline's forehead.

"You know as well as I do that the authorities in Northern Ireland would be happy to have a legend such as Angeline Quinn back in their jurisdiction. They wouldn't even care if they didn't have any direct evidence." Control turned away from McCall and nodded toward the medical technician. "Williams, go ahead and bring her out of this."

The technician drew another syringe of medicine and as gently as before, inserted the needle into Angeline's arm and emptied the contents into her. McCall groaned in sympathy. The antidote had terrible side effects, one of which was usually a debilitating headache. He watched Angeline carefully. As he expected, Angeline jerked into sudden awareness and then attempted to raise her hand to her head as the pain hit her. McCall loosened the restraining straps, freeing her hands so Angeline could massage her aching temples. Control took this opportunity to present his solution to the situation.

"Quinn, you realize that I could have you extradited, don't you. They wouldn't even have to have a current warrant. They could invent something and eventually find real evidence that would send you to prison for life." He saw Quinn nod. "Good, then, I have a solution. I will pay you a salary from the Company to keep you always available for consultation and information on IRA activities and contacts. You may even have to take a few trips over there to become familiar with the current politics and get to know the players. But with this arrangement, I will keep you from ever being extradited back. Agreed?"

"This is outrageous blackmail! I would have never believed you would stoop to this in order to recruit an operative!" McCall hissed.

"I'll even be generous with her for your sake, old son. Fifty thousand should be about right. Quinn?" Control crossed his arms in front of him and stood back, waiting for her answer. He saw McCall hover over her, concerned about the pain she was experiencing and waiting, as well, for her answer.

"I don't have much choice, do I, Control. Blackmail is right. You have ruined any other life I could have." She closed her eyes for a moment. Then, opening them to glare at Control, she said, "What the hell; why not? You've got a deal. Now, can I finally get out of here?" Quinn attempted to sit up, but McCall held her back.

"You get up and that headache will put you back down in a heartbeat, trust me," he said softly, knowing from experience how quick movements would aggravate the headache. "Let me help you in a moment when we're done here." Angeline gave him the angriest glare she could muster.

"Where was your help before?" she grated. "Why didn't you do more to stop this? Control claims to be your friend. Why couldn't you intervene before it got this far?"

McCall opened his mouth to answer, but Control beat him to it. Control had studied McCall while Quinn was speaking, realizing that his words from this point on would either ensure the success of McCall and Quinn's relationship, or ruin it.

"He didn't have a choice, Quinn. I wouldn't have let him. And you remember, when I call you in to talk to you or to have you consult on an investigation, I have that much power. There's not much that I can't have done when I say so, even in Northern Ireland. Whatever Robert may have tried to do to help you, I could have stopped it in an instant." McCall peered curiously at Control, knowing he was not as omnipotent as he claimed. Was Control trying to save his relationship with Angeline?

"Go ahead and take her home, Robert. You and I will talk again later." Control looked pointedly at McCall, turned abruptly, and left the room. The medical technician followed meekly. Robert bent to lift Angeline's shoulders and neck, assisting her to sit on the side of the table. He adjusted the blanket around her and helped her slide off the table to her feet. Robert hoped Angeline would lean against him for balance, or maybe for comfort, but she didn't. Although she wobbled a bit, Angeline was doing her best to maintain an independent and erect posture. His heart sank. He knew Angeline would have a lot of anger to get over.

Chapter 5