All but One
"Oh Heather, I have no idea what to do!" worried Curlly. They were both in Curllyís apartment. Heather had artfully draped herself on the cream settee: Curlly was pacing around the fountain.
"It is slight problem, suppose it has to do with where we live," conceded Heather. "Besides, if you have a nekkid wedding, you wonít have to worry about a dress or bridesmaid dresses!"
"Sorry toots, itís to late I already bought a dress. Youíll just have to come clothed and covered." Heather just laughed. "Now enough laughing, Iíve got a serious problem here! Itís not like I can have twenty some bridesmaids. And I donít even want to think about a maid of honor! Itís like a nightmare, only not." A dopey kind of expression filled her face. It was an expression that could often be seen on Curlly face these days.
"Okay, imagine your going to get married on a wittle island and you can only take three people with you. Who would you pick?"
"That doesnít help!"
"Well how many people does Sinjn want to stand up with him?"
"Heís asking Roarke to be his best man or was it Jack or... oh I forget who! He said heíll get however many guys I need to match how many bridesmaids I want. So typically male."
"How far away is the wedding?"
"Itís set for May 11th."
"I think you have a problem."
"Come in Curlly, what can I do for you?" inquired Madeline when Curlly showed up at her office and asked her if she had a minute to talk. "I heard you were married to a Section operative. I figured you probably got married after you became an operative?" Madeline smiled and inclined her head slightly indicating in the affirmative. "Was it a big wedding?"
"No. It was nothing like your wedding will be. It was just Charles, a witness, and myself."
"Are our performance records okay?"
"Yes. Both your numbers are stable. Isnít it a little early to be having wedding jitters?"
"Oh, itís not that. Itís just I have no idea what to do about the whole bridesmaid thing! Iíd like nothing more than to every single one of those wonderful ladies by my side. And the maid of honor, forget it! I guess I was just in search of advice of those who had gone before me in this."
"I think whatever you decided Curlly, will be most appropriate and everyone will enjoy themselves immensely. Was there anything else?"
"No," said Curlly raising, "thank you for taking the time to let me babble."
Curlly was at the door, which was starting to open, when Madeline said, "We are very pleased with your, as a couple, realizing Section comes first. Aside from that, just remember yours and Sinjnís promises are the important piece in all this. Everything else is just trimming. By the way, what flavor will the wedding cake be?"
"Cheesecake, what else is there?"
"Hey Walter, you got a minute?" asked Curlly approaching munitions.
"Sure Gigi, what wouldnít I do for you?" grinned Walter.
"Come take me to a dark, secluded spot where no one can over hear us!" said Curlly slyly.
"Youíre so bad!" They went back into inventory and Curlly said, "Walter I have a favor of the non-section variety."
"Whew! I was getting kinda tired of those!"
"Well see, I was kinda wondering if a... ifin you would mind escorting me down the isle."
"Aw sugar," said the weapons expert, his voice a tad more gravely than normal. He pulled Curlly into his arms for a hug, "You know I will!"
Curlly hugged him back and then placed kiss on his cheek, "You can keep the bandana but youíll have to wear a tux! Non negotiable! Deal?"
"Nice of you to throw that in after I agree."
"What other way to do it is there?"
"Curlly I think there is one thing we havenít discussed that we should," announced Sinjn. They were both in Curllyís library up in the tower. Both had brought some work home with them. Cinky was sitting on the chair a end table away from Sinjn emitting growls and bestowing evil eyes. Curlly was at the desk plugging away at the laptop.
"What on earth is that?" asked Curlly puzzled. She couldnít think of a single thing they hadnít gone over. Their whole wedding and married life was being planned out like a mission for contingencies and so forth.
"Where are we going to live?"
"I thought we were going to live here."
"No offense, but we are just a little to accessible here. Iíd rather you came to live with me or we find a new house together."
"We are just as accessible here as we would be anyplace else!"
"To section, mayhaps, but you girls here do tend to run in packs. And every time games or pranks start, the goal seems to be to involve getting as many of CLHQ to participate as possible."
"But then you would get to join in the fun too."
"Iíd rather have you to myself."
"Oh, well, when you put it that way, but I think you should use some sort of persuasion to get me to agree. Iíve founds bribes of a variety of natures most amusing."
"Have ya now?"
Curlly nodded, "Convince me Sinjn."
"Not with the cat in the room."
Curlly pushed back her plate and sighed in contentment. "That cheesecake was awesome."
"Are you sure you donít want another piece?" asked Roarke.
"Of course I do, but unfortunately Iím stuffed."
"If you get fat darling, I might have to reconsider marring you," said Sinjn sipping his wine. Rita had her margarita, Roarke had some brandy, and Curlly was sipping her water with lemon.
Curlly leaned over to Rita who said, "His mind seems to be shrinking, so you think it will affect other parts of him?"
"If that happens, you we probably wonít stay married long," commented Rita.
After dinner they decide to drive up to see this very old church, know for itís beautiful cross, at the top of a mountain peek. Sense they were already in mountains, it only took them twenty some minutes to get there. When they arrived the found that they had just shut the gate and were not letting anyone in.
"How can you close a church?" demanded Curlly irritated. Both Rita and Curlly tried to get the gate keeper to let them in but to no avail.
Sinjn and Roarke where leaning against the care looking mildly amused as the women walked back to them. Roarke held open the door for the ladies to get in when Rita asked, "Do you want to walk down the hill Curlly?"
"It is a rather long way down," said Sinjn looking at the women in their fitted dresses and high heels.
"Why yes, it is such a beautiful evening. Now you boys run along we shall meet you at the bottom." Linking arms at the elbows, Curlly and Rita skipped off down the hill. Soon the grade of the slop was too much for them and the ended up careening into a wall padded with a thick, lush, leafy vine when trying to take a particularly sharp corner. They were laughing so hard that every time they started to get themselves under control, one would start to giggle. Sinjn and Roarke tooled slowly behind them in the car.
Resting her head against the wall behind her Curlly said, "Donít make me laugh after Iíve eaten that much."
"Sure, but when donít you eat that much?"
"Hey Rita, does that car look familiar?" She pointed to a car that looked just like Northstarís.
Rita looked over her shoulder and nodded. Together they crossed the street and saw one of Northyís evening bags in the passengerís side. They were in front of a large house, painted in Curllyís opinion an ugly burnt apricot. But it was nicely located, overlooking the mountains and over the bay. They could hear soft voices floating over the high fence.
Back in the car Roarke broke Sinjn off mid sentence with a slight curse and said, "What on earth do they think they are doing?" Sinjn noticed his friend was looking in the rearview mirror and turned around. Rita was helping boost Curlly up on top of a 4 foot high block of cement that anchored a street sign. The men had stopped the car several hundred yards down the hill till they could just see the wall those two hand run into, waiting for them to catch up. Shaking his head, both Sinjn and Roarke got out of the car and started up the hill.
"What do you see Curlly?"
"Oh glory!" squealed Curlly smothering a giggle, "Itís Operations and North! Heís on one knee, reciting Shakespeare! Quick, hand me your camera!" Rita had brought her camera to take pictures of the church. It was dangling from Ritaís wrist. Curlly took it and leaned over the shards of glass imbedded in the top of the wall surrounding the house trying to zoom in for a good shot at the couple. Northy looked so pleased with herself. Curlly was sure all that was missing in the premier momís mind was a disco ball. "Youíd think heíd have a better appreciation for his own dignity or something," muttered Curlly. She had just snapped the shot when she heard metallic bang below her.
She almost lost her balance when she looked down. A maid and come out of the house to get rid of some trash. Curlly put her finger to her lips telling Rita and the two men coming up behind her to stay quiet. After the maid had left Curlly took a few more pics and handed the camera back to Rita.
"What are you doing up there Curlly?" demanded Sinjn in a whisper.
"Iíll tell you in a minute," Curlly whispered back. Curlly looked down at them and realized she was in a bit of trouble. Her dress was rather tight around her legs and the fabric rather delicate for sliding down the concrete block. The skirt too tight to swing down one leg then the other. And if she jumped sheíd be likely to twist her ankle in the heels she was wearing.
"Your stuck, arenít you dearie?" smiled Sinjn.
"Not really. Youíre going to help me down."
"Now why would I want to do that?"
"Because you think I look absolutely fabulous in this dress and wouldnít want to see anything happen to it."
"Donít you have five or six other black dresses similar to it? Not that I wouldnít help you out of it mind."
"This is Dior, help me down, please? Common, be a big strong manly man and help me down."
"Curlly," he warned darkly.
She sat careful down on the edge off the block and held out her arms. He thought she looked like a little girl, holding her arms out like that. Yet there was nothing remotely childish about the way her dress stretched and clung to her figure. Sighing, he reached up, his hand around her waist, her hands braced against his shoulders as he carefully lifted her up and off the block.
Wrapping her arms around his neck she kissed him quickly and said warmly, "My hero!"
"Thatís all I get?"
"Yup. That and the promise not to try and cook you breakfast again!"
"Now that is worth something!" A few days ago Curlly had come over to make him breakfast. He was due home from a mission. It was a rather unrecognizable meal (which got thrown away) for the sole reason Curlly had been talking on the phone with Aries while cooking. Maybe they should have saved some of the substance as a bio weapon. Heavens, it had destroyed one of his favorite saucepans.
Curlly spent her next shift in the lab with the children. It was so hard to believe these children were soldiers. Genetically engineered with the best from many operatives. They were so sweet. Heck, they looked down right cute even when taking out terrorists. The children were just finishing decoding a transmission sheíd sent to each of their terminals when an operative brought in a package for Curlly.
After typing in her code the case open to reveal a small jewelry box, nestled in the soft tissue paper. One by one the children finished their task and came over to see what she had. "Why do you need that?" asked one little girl.
"This isnít mine. Itís for Sinjn," explained Curlly. It was Sinjnís wedding band. She held it up to examine the etchings on the platinum ring.
"Isnít the ring a symbol of slavery and of buying a woman?" asked a boy belligerently.
"Very much so. Iím buying Sinjn," teased Curlly. Then she explained the symbolism of the rings and the kids asked her more about wedding. "Does this have something to do with that Valentineís Day last month?" asked one boy. Curlly laughed. There were some fairly amusing things that had happened in February. Vivian always gossiped around the kids, so thatís probably how they always knew what was happening around CLHQ.
After explaining the story of St. Valentine and the purpose of Valentineís Day to the children one of the older boys said, "Gross! So thatís what a Valentine Op does!"
Curlly walked into her apartment later that day and just "knew" something was off. She removed the knife strapped to her back and started to go around her rooms. Nothing was out of place, but the remote for the entertainment system was moved. Her cat could have done that, but she doubted it. She went around the fountain and up the spiral staircase to her study. Nothing. She headed back down, starting to feel concerned. Her cat usually greeted her when she came in.
She cautiously opened the door to her dim bedroom. Sinjn was sprawled across her bed on his stomach. He mumbled something to her. She thought it was about the light she was letting into the room. "Well, itís nice to know Iím not the only one who is slight grumpy upon awakening."
He turned to face her, "Grumpy doesnít even begin to described you." Curlly went over and sat indian-style on the bed next to him. "Long day Sinjn?" He just grunted. She smiled at that, "Do you suppose I might be rubbing off on you?"
Curlly padded around the bed and slid her hand between the bed and Sinjn along his waistband. She felt his stomach muscles tighten. "Donít start something you wonít finish Curlly," warned Sinjn. Her hand slipped under his waistband to encircle the handle of his gun, which she pulled out before rising to her knees to straddle over Sinjn.
She started to give him a massage; he let out a breath of bliss as her fingers started to gently work out the kinks in his back. "So what nefarious thing have you done with my cat?"
"I trapped her in the kitchen. I wanted a whole room between me and the spawn from the underworld."
"My poor pupsy!" exclaimed Curlly who started to get up to release Cinky from imprisonment. Sinjnís arm shot out from under his head to come back and grab hold of his fiancéeís calf, anchoring her leg to the mattress.
"Forget the blasted cat!" Curllyís fingers continued working their magic until- "Ouch! That isnít helping Curlly! What are you using, your elbow on that knot?"
"Well your grip on my leg isnít precisely gentle."
"My deepest apology," drawled Sinjn releasing her leg.
"Iím sorry too," said Curlly bending over to kiss the spot where she had used her elbow. Deciding his shirt wasnít near as appealing as his skin, she placed her hand on either side of his waist. She hooked her thumbs under his shirt, trailing her fingers behind as she pulled his shirt up. Curlly was pretty content was the physical side of Sinjn. Glory, what woman wouldnít admire such a well-toned body? She also figured that a kiss she go on each vertebra as it was uncovered would be appropriate penance.
Curlly paused two thirds of the way to the base of his neck. "You know this isnít a reward for bad behavior?"
"And which example of bad behavior would you be referring to?"
"Locking my beautiful little booboo away in the kitchen."
"Aye," he replied for lack of anything else. He felt a wee bit of teeth scraping lightly along his skin following her last statement. She had reached his neck and he decided to accommodate her by moving his arms up over his head so she could take his shirt off. "I think Iíll employ your services in undressing more often."
"Yah, I think Iíll be available around, oh, the l1th of May." Curlly lay down on his back, "But Iím warning you, I command a very step pay."
Sinjn rolled so she was now face to face with him. "Iíll just bet you do." Curlly decided she really liked Sinjn slightly rumpled. Such rumpledness deserved something, so she kissed the hollow of his throat. Almost absently she said, "At this point, I think all bets are off."
"So do we feel all better now?" she inquired. She had felt him stiffen a bit beneath her.
He tucked her head under his so that her cheek rested above his heart. "You look tired." Her chuckle vibrated through him. "No more than usual." She sighed and started to get up, "I better to let Cinky out."
Sinjn tightened his grip, "Let me hold you awhile longer. You smell rather nice." His hand started playing with her hair. He knew it was a particular weakness of hers. He felt her settle against him and tried hard not to sigh. It would be hard. He still had a difficult time believing that he was being transferred back to his previous section only two weeks after their wedding. And Curlly would not be given the choice of coming with him. How on earth was he going to tell her?
This story ©Curlly, March 2001
Illusions 2001 Index