"I'm not going to stay around and watch you work yourself to death. I won't do it, Liam. I've been working eighty-hour weeks for Phillips because of that stupid contract, but as soon as the six months are up, things are going to change. I need a life outside of my computer."
He nodded, but neither one said another word until they were back in her apartment. His silence was making her extremely anxious.
"What do you think?" she finally asked.
"I need a life, too."
Tears came into her eyes. "You do?"
"Know what else I need?"
"What?" she whispered.
"I need you." He put his arms around her waist and pulled her close. "I love you." He paused for a second and then said, "I quit my job."
"What . . . You what?"
"I've been giving it a lot of thought the last couple of weeks. It took some hard-nosed soul-searching, but I finally figured out what I want. I told the bureau I was going to hand in my resignation Monday."
Flabbergasted, she stepped back so she could poke him in the chest. "But you love your job. And you quit? What is wrong with you? Don't you know how to do anything in moderation? Does it always have to be all or nothing with you? Stop grinning at me. I'm trying to make you think about your future."
"I am thinking about my future," he insisted.
She let him kiss her before she asked, "When you told them you were quitting, what was the reaction?"
"I got promoted."
"Promoted?" she repeated. "You got promoted?"
He shrugged. "Go figure."
"What does that mean?"
"Hell if I know."
He took her hand and led her into the bedroom. "I won't be traveling much with my new position. I've really grown to dislike it, anyway, and I've trained enough agents who can get the job done."
Astonished by what he was telling her, she turned to him, speechless.
"Sweetheart, if you don't take your clothes off, I can't ravish you."
He was desperate to touch her, but he let her wash off the makeup first. When she returned to the bedroom, they set a new record for disrobing. He wanted to go slow, but the passion was too strong. All the feelings he had been holding inside for so long exploded in a glorious moment of ecstasy.
Later, when she was lying next to him, Allison started laughing for no other reason than she was deliriously happy.
"Next time we'll take it slow, I promise," he said, and then he laughed because he knew with Allison, that wasn't possible.
He leaned up and took her hand in his. "I've been thinking. . . ."
She waited, and when he didn't continue, she said, "Yes?"
He looked pensive. What was going on in his mind? "You said you've been thinking."
"That's right. I've been thinking you'll want me to come home to you every night."
She smiled. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do expect you to come home to me."
He was searching for the right words, feeling awkward and unsure, which was completely foreign to him. But he wanted it to be right, and he had to get it said now.
"And I'm thinking you'll want to sleep in my bed every night, so it should probably be our bed."
"You're right again. Liam, what are you trying to say?"
He shrugged. "I'm thinking we should probably get married."
"Yes, we should."
He grinned. "Okay, since you asked, I'll marry you."
"I did not ask you-"
"Sure, you did. Just now."
"I should warn you, it's not going to be normal."
"Sex or our marriage?"
"I didn't expect it would be."
"I'm not normal," she whispered. "You need to know that."
"Sweetheart, I figured that out five minutes after I met you. You're far superior to normal."
Her eyes filled with tears. "That's the sweetest thing you could have said to me. What's the matter with you?"
"I love you. That's what's the matter."
She cuddled up against him and closed her eyes.
He gently stroked her hair with his fingertips. "I guess we should start looking for a town house somewhere in Silicon Valley."
"About that . . ."
"I'm thinking we should live here in Boston."
"Yeah? With the new job, living here would be perfect for me," he admitted.
"I'll still take on the boys," she said. "As soon as I'm finished with my newest weapon, they'll all want it. The FBI gets it first, though."