Picture Perfect

by Spice

DISCLAIMERS: The characters of The Magnificent Seven belong to CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp. Original characters belong to me.

NOTES: I much appreciate the wonderful notes from everyone! Thanks to K. Poffenberger and S. Berry for creating the Little Britches AU. I forgot to thank Mog for the ATF universe in the last story; my sincerest apologies. I wondered about calling this BB for Big Britches or TB for Teen Britches, but that sounds too much like tuberculosis, and that's just bad, ya know? Thanks to Kristen for the name of Ezra's horse. Not beta'd, but spell check run. If anyone would like to volunteer for the job on the next one, I'd be delighted to have them. Follows His Choice.

As promised, Vin called Anne after his chores and before she went to work. He told her he would pick her up at seven so they could go to dinner and then go to a movie. Chris wandered by and overheard the conversation, grinning to himself.

"What are you going to see?" He pulled out the ingredients for a sandwich, planning on making them lunch.

JD wandered into the kitchen and caught the end of Chris' question. "See what?"

Vin grimaced slightly, hoping to keep the date as low key as possible. "Anne and I are gonna see a movie tonight, get some dinner."

The young man grinned. "Cool. Maybe Casey wants to go." He turned and headed out of the kitchen.


Turning back, the 15-year-old looked at his brother. "Yeah?"

"This ain't a double date."

JD frowned for a moment. "But why? It's not like you've never been out before or don't know anything about her."

Vin sighed as he sank into a chair. "No, but I've never been out with her alone. I'd kinda like to be able to talk to her without anyone else buttin' in. Before, we've mostly talked about school and stuff."

The younger teen continued to frown, but one look at Chris made him rethink his continued protests. He sighed heavily. "Well, I hope you have a good time."

Vin nodded and smiled. "Thanks, JD."

The three of them continued with lunch plans since Buck had gone out for the day with a lady friend. They talked about the baseball team's chances in the city playoffs. They talked about some of their favorite professional teams as well. By the time lunch was over, JD had pretty much forgotten his disappointment at not being able to go out with his brother and made plans for Casey to come over to watch movies and play video games later.


They went out for pizza, and Vin discovered he wasn't as nervous as he expected to be. Hours of talking to her at school over the intricacies of trigonometry had helped. They talked more about what they wanted to do with their lives, her plans making for an easy segue in to ranch life and all of the animals that shared that life. He told stories about growing up with various pets, and the many strays JD brought home with him over the years. Anne laughed a lot, and it pleased him to make her smile like she did.

They headed for the movie theater and easily picked a movie they both wanted to see. Vin had been afraid she would ask to go some weepy girl movie, and he was thankful not to have to sit through one. The action comedy had them both laughing, and they walked out of the movie talking about their favorite parts. It seemed only natural for their hands to join and fingers entwine as they walked across the parking lot to his car.

He opened the door for her, a little surprised when she brushed her fingers over his knuckles, but he enjoyed the brief touch. After climbing into the car, he started the engine and drove back towards her house. As they approached a strip mall, Anne looked over at him.

"We still have a few minutes. Can we get some ice cream?" Her eyes were hopeful, and he couldn't resist.

They stopped at the ice cream shop, each ordering a cone before making their way outside to sit on the bench. Anne moved closer to him because the evenings were still a little cool, and Vin wrapped an arm around her shoulders as they sat there.

It was a good night, Vin decided. The quiet murmur of happy voices, the sound of crickets and frogs, and the deep blanket of darkness lit by stars. Before he met Chris, he could only remember a few times of deep contentment in his life. After finding JD and being adopted by the two ATF agents, his memories of happy times had expanded by leaps and bounds until the sorrow of life just after his mother died had faded to the very back of his mind.

Now, his life had taken another happy turn with the introduction of Anne into his life. He looked at other couples, wondering about the feelings that would be involved, but had never let himself really dwell on them. Now, sitting here, he wondered if he might just have the chance to find out.

Anne sighed in pleasure, delighted to be sitting so close to Vin. She had never been one to spend much time longing for what other people had, but she did daydream about finding someone who would like her just for her. One of the first things she noticed about Vin was that he never expected her to be more than she was. He liked that she knew how to do trig, making it easy for him to understand. Now, as she sat next to him, she wondered if she was going to find out just what made those other girls always smile when they saw their boyfriends.

Vin looked at his watch and grimaced. "It's almost 11:30. I need to get you back to your house before your dad comes out looking for us."

Anne just laughed, but stood up with him. "Dad wouldn't do that. He trusts you. Besides, he has your dad's number."

Vin couldn't help laughing, too. They threw away their napkins and walked out to the car. It didn't take more than ten minutes before they were parked in her driveway. They got out, and Vin took Anne's hand as they strolled up the drive. The front porch was lit, but there were no shifting curtains to indicate anyone was watching.

"Thank you for asking me to the movies and for pizza. I really liked it." She tightened her grip slightly.

He nodded. "Me, too."

They were silent for a few moments. Vin looked at Anne before asking his question. "Do you need a ride to school on Monday? I usually pick up Casey, too."

Surprised, but pleased, Anne nodded. "That'd be great. Thanks."

They were silent again. She was just about ready to turn and walk into the house when he stepped close. Breath caught in her throat as he leaned towards her and pressed a soft kiss against her lips. She pressed back for a few seconds before he slowly pulled away.

"I'll call ya tomorrow." He smiled.

"Okay." She fumbled for the door before finally getting it open and stepping inside. She waved at him before closing the door.

Vin turned and walked back towards the car, an overwhelming desire to whistle coming to him.

Anne watched through the door window until he pulled away and then she headed upstairs to her room, her fingers resting against her mouth.


JD, much to his own surprise, managed not to say anything when they pulled into Anne's driveway on Monday morning to pick her up for school. She was sitting on a rocker on the front porch and immediately headed for the car. Slipping into the front passenger seat, she smiled at JD and Casey in the back before looking at Vin.


He nodded back and grinned. "Morning."

They talked a little about various school activities or their classes as they made their way to the high school. There, the foursome broke up to head to their homerooms. Vin and Anne didn't see each other until their math class, and the two of them grabbed their usual seats. They split up again after that math, agreeing to meet under the trees for lunch.

When their lunch period rolled around, Anne made it to the trees first, dropping her backpack on the grass. Vin showed up a couple of minutes later, levering himself to the ground and sighing.

"English bad?" She commiserated as she opened her pack to pull out her lunch.

"Chaucer again. Only Chaucer I knew before gettin' to high school was Ezra's horse. Don't know that I care for that stuff." He frowned as he pulled out his sandwich.

"Maybe if you think of it like a song, it would be better. That's what helps me get through it." Anne pulled out a plastic bag and handed it to him.

He looked down at the cookies then back up at her. She grinned and shrugged. "Mom made cookies and asked if you liked 'em. I told her I thought you did."

"Thanks!" He pulled one and sank his teeth into it. When he finished, he smiled broadly. "Tell your mom thanks. They're great."

"I will. Now, you ready to get back to trig? Even I'm not quite sure about this."

The two teens worked on their math for the rest of the lunch period, interspersing discussions about coefficients with comments on their weekend or the upcoming week. It seemed like lunch was too short before the bell rang and they had to go back to class. The couple walked back to the building holding hands before tossing their garbage into the trash cans. A quick squeeze of fingers was their goodbye.

When the bell rang for the end of the day, the four teens headed out to the parking lot. The ride to Anne's house was filled with the discussion on the upcoming baseball game. When they pulled into her driveway, Anne smiled at Vin before getting out of the car. She waved to everyone then turned and headed into the house. Vin waited until she was inside before pulling out and heading off to the Welles' house. Once Casey got out of the car, JD followed and moved to the front passenger seat. He called out and told his girlfriend he would call her later before Vin pulled out of the driveway to head home. Both young men were happy as they pulled into the gravel road that led to the ranch. Even the prospect of chores and homework didn't dampen their spirits.


Thursday evening found the whole group at the school's ball field as the Timberwolves took on their archrivals, the Wildcats. Chris had stopped by the Johnson's business and picked Anne up for the game, while Buck brought JD, Casey, and Nettie. The rest of the ATF team was also there to cheer on Vin as his team competed.

Vin wasn't sure he could find the words to express how good it felt to see all of his family there, along with Anne. The warm feeling deep in his chest was pure happiness-he easily recognized that feeling now since he had felt it several times after coming to live with Chris. Pushing the thoughts down, he settled into the game.

When all was said and done, the Timberwolves won by two runs at the bottom of the ninth. One of those runs was Vin, who had hit a double into left field and made it to second. There had been a couple of nailbiting moments when the next two batters struck out, but another teammate hit a homerun to bring both boys in for the win.

Vin's cheering section was waiting outside the locker room, where they cheered him when he came out. Chris laughed at the slight blush covering his son's face before draping an arm over the young man's shoulders.

"Great game, Vin."

"Thanks, Dad." Blue eyes twinkled before looking over at Anne. "Hey."

"Hey." She smiled at him. "You played a great game."

The two teens moved towards each other, chatting softly. Josiah smiled at Chris, patting him on the back.

"Such is the course of young love."

The two men laughed before urging everyone towards cars and a pizza dinner to celebrate.


At lunch on Friday, Vin made his way to the tree he and Anne usually sat under to eat their lunch and talk. He found her already there, long auburn strands escaping from her braid as she leaned over a book and read.

"Hey." His voice was soft so as not to disturb her.

She looked up at him and smiled, her eyes twinkling behind her glasses. She still wore her glasses more than contacts, but he thought she looked pretty either way.

"Hey. Mom sent some more cookies, but she said you had to eat some carrots first."

Vin frowned at the prospect, wondering how Mrs. Johnson knew he hated vegetables. "What kinda cookies?" He hoped they wouldn't be a favorite and he could easily turn them down.

"Chocolate chip with walnuts and caramel." Anne just smiled, knowing he couldn't be able to say no.

He took a carrot stick and stared at it. "She say how many?"


Munching, he quickly ate the raw vegetable and then held out his hand for the cookies. She just laughed as she handed him the bag. Then she dug into her backpack and pulled out a plastic bag.

"This is your set."

"My set of what?" He mumbled around a cookie bite, wiping his hand on his jeans as he reached for the package.

Turning it over, he saw the picture they had taken at the dance. He had to admit they looked good together. Her apricot gown against his black tux was striking, and the smiles on their faces lit up the picture. He saw the 5x7 and the five wallet-size pictures and wondered what he would do with them.

"We look good."

Anne leaned against his shoulder and looked down at the pictures in his hand. "Yeah, we do."

He winked at her, enjoying the press of her body against his. Sighing a little, he leaned over and pressed a quick kiss against her hair before she straightened. Her smile did funny things to his insides, and he filed that feeling away in his secret heart to be taken out and enjoyed later.

"You doing anything Sunday after church?" Anne finished off the carrot sticks her mother had sent in her lunch.

"Don't think so. Miz Nettie's going out of town tomorrow, so we won't be there. Why?"

"Mom wanted you and JD and Mr. Larabee and Mr. Wilmington to come for lunch. Can you make it?"

Vin shrugged. "I don't see why not. I'll ask Dad tonight. Mike Adams is having a party tomorrow night; basically it's for the team to celebrate the fact we made it to the playoffs. Ya wanna go?"

"Sure. But I still have a midnight curfew." Anne took one of the cookies he offered and broke it in half before nibbling on it.

"That's pretty much what Dad has set for me, too. Cool, I'll pick you up at seven."

She nodded and gathered her stuff together as the bell rang to signal the end of their lunch period. When they had replaced books in the backpacks, the two teens strolled back to the school.

That night, as JD and Vin prepared dinner, one of their usual chores for week, the older teen caught sight of his father.

"Hey, Dad, my permission slip for going to the game next week is in my backpack. Can you go ahead and sign it and put it back in? Oh, and Coach Williams wants to know if you can ride on the bus since it's a 2-hour trip."

"I should be able to." Chris headed for Vin's backpack, lifting it off the floor next to the computer desk in the office next to the kitchen.

As he rifled through the assortment of books and notebooks, he found the pictures from the dance in front of the permission slip. He quickly read over the form and signed it before returning it to the backpack. He carried the pack of pictures back into the kitchen.

"When did you get these?" He waved the pack in front of his son.

Vin looked up from cooking the pasta. "Oh. Anne gave them to me today." He went back to checking the pasta to see if it was properly cooked.

"Well, can I have one?" Green eyes were full of laughter.

"Yeah, sure. I got the 5x7 and five wallets. Don't know what to do with all of 'em. And Anne wants to know if we can come to lunch on Sunday after church. Her mom invited us. I told her I'd ask you."

Chris had an idea, and he noticed that there were only four wallets left. He also nodded at the invitation. "I'll call Mrs. Johnson later to confirm."

Vin just smiled as he poured pasta into the colander to drain it. The four men sat down a few minutes later to a spaghetti dinner.


Chris did call and accept the lunch invitation after checking with Buck to make sure he didn't have any plans. Then he rummaged around in the closet in the spare room.

"Ah ha!" He pulled out the box where he stored all of the frames that had been given to him over the years. Finding a simple gold frame, he slipped the paper out and slid the 5x7 picture of Vin and Anne into it. Holding it away, he studied the picture and then smiled. Looking into the box, his eyes lit up when he saw several small wallet frames that had been included in a pack. Taking out four, he slid the wallet pictures into them and put them with his so that he could pass them out on Monday.


Saturday was spent in its usual manner-lots of chores, with some fun mixed in to keep things lively. The four men hurried through the house chores so that they could get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

As evening drew close, JD watched as Vin headed upstairs, mumbling to himself about shirts. Curious, he followed his brother to the second floor and watched as he headed into the bathroom. Surprised to hear the shower, he moved to Vin's room to wait.

The older teen appeared twenty minutes later, one towel wrapped around his hips and another one being used to dry his hair.

"What's up?" JD leaned back on Vin's bed.

"Going to Mike's house." Vin slipped on a pair of boxer briefs before tossing his towel at his little brother.

"You guys doing something?"

"He's having a party. Anne and I are going." Answering questions as he dug through his closet, Vin missed JD's expression.

He looked up a few moments later when the door closed, frowning when he realized JD had not said anything. Shrugging, he continued getting dressed. Vin finally stood in front of the mirror and looked at himself. Shaking his head, he chuckled at how much time he spent getting ready. Geez, no wonder everyone's been smiling at me if I keep actin' like I'm gonna see the Queen or somethin'. Anne doesn't care what I'm wearing.

Shaking his head, he still made sure his long-sleeved white tee shirt was tucked into his black jeans. He rubbed the tops of his boots on the back of his legs to make sure they weren't dusty before tucking his wallet into his back pocket. He tossed his keys in his hand as he jogged downstairs. Chris stopped him before he got to the front door.

"You know the rules."

Vin rolled his eyes. "No drinking and no driving. Call if there's a problem. Don't get in the car with anyone who's been drinking."

"Have a good time." Smiling at his son, Chris made sure Vin had a fully charged cell phone before he left.

Minutes later, it was just Chris and JD in the house since Buck had a date with a pretty redhead he had meet in the grocery store. It took a little while before the blond noticed that were no sounds from the den, and it concerned him. As he moved through the house, looking for JD, he realized that the young man had been quiet for a while.

He finally located the teen out on the back porch, staring off at the mountains. Sitting down in a chair, he just watched JD for a while. He didn't have to wait too long.

"I miss Vin."

Chris thought on that statement for a little bit, finally realizing exactly what JD meant. "I miss both of you."

Turning hazel eyes on the older man, the teen was confused. "But I haven't gone anywhere."

The blond chuckled. "Sure you have. It's been ten years, and I still miss that little boy who talked a mile a minute and moved even faster. I miss the 9-year-old who used to ask me questions about the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. I miss the 12-year-old who spent four weeks building a geographic replica of the Rockies for his science class."

JD grinned at the last statement, remembering how Chris had loaded the sculpture into the back of his truck to take it to school. He let out a sigh before turning back to look at the horizon.

"I've had his attention for so long, I got used to it. Now that he's hanging with Anne, I feel like I've lost something. I know he's not really gone, but it kinda hurts that I'm not the focus anymore."

Chris stood and moved over to the swing, sitting down and wrapping an arm around the teen's shoulders. They just sat and glided for a few minutes, JD moving closer until he rested his head on the older man's shoulders. They didn't do this much anymore; now that the boys had grown into teenagers, these moments of simple affection were few and far between. Chris knew the boys loved both he and Buck, but he still enjoyed the quiet moments where that love was demonstrated physically.

"He will always love you and be your big brother, JD. But Vin is gonna be gone to college in another year and then going on to do whatever he wants to do in life. It's just the way things go. You grow up, you change directions, but you never stop loving family. He may not be here all the time, but he will always love you."

The dark head nodded as the teen moved just a little closer. They continued to sit in silence.


At noon on Sunday, the four men climbed into Chris' SUV and headed for the Johnson's home. Vin was alternately excited and nervous at the prospect of spending so much time with Anne's family. He knew her parents liked him, just as his family liked Anne, but it felt like he was the prize butterfly under a microscope. He gently tugged at the collar of his button-down shirt.

The quiet snort from his right told him JD caught his movement. Vin turned and glared playfully at his little brother. The younger teen had been quiet for the past week, and it had worried him that there might something wrong. Surprisingly, that morning JD had been cheerful and inquired about the party the young couple had attended without acting as if he had been left out of some big event. It had relieved Vin that JD seemed to be settling down since he wasn't sure what to do or say about the other teen's problem.

Then, any thoughts about JD left his head as they pulled into the driveway and he saw Anne waiting for them the porch. The young man practically leaped out of the vehicle, and the two men chuckled as they remembered being that excited to see a girlfriend. They climbed out of the SUV and followed Vin up to the porch, where he stood with his fingers entwined with Anne's.

"Mr. Larabee, Mr. Wilmington." Anne nodded at both men before smiling at JD. "Hi, JD."

"Hey, Anne." JD smiled at her, finally realizing how glad he was that his brother had picked Anne. Most of Vin's teammates and the other popular people didn't really like him. If Vin had chosen one of the "pretty" ones, he felt he would have seen a lot less of his brother and certainly wouldn't have been welcomed by the new girlfriend.

Mr. Johnson shook hands with his guests, inviting them out onto the back porch for something to drink while he began to grill the chicken. Anne disappeared inside to help her mother finish preparing the side dishes. Thirty minutes later they sat down to eat, conversation filled with jobs and kids and animals.

Buck leaned back in his chair when he finished, smiling at Mrs. Johnson. "Ma'am, that has to be just about the best meal I've had in a long time. You're an angel to invite us over." He winked at the woman, his innate charm spilling over like it normally did.

Mrs. Johnson blushed slightly, waving away his compliment. "It was nothing, Buck. I'm thankful you all could join us this afternoon."

Chris added his thanks, too. "We do appreciate the invitation, Marie. You and Phillip didn't have to do this, but we very much enjoyed it."

"Thank you, ma'am, sir." Vin nodded at Anne's parents as JD echoed his words.

The young men insisted on helping Anne clear the table, and the adults retired to the living room with cups of coffee. The four of them smiled as they listened to their children laugh and cut up in the kitchen.

Before they left later in the afternoon, Vin pulled Anne aside and chatted with her for a minute before kissing her quickly and jogging towards the SUV. Chris elbowed Buck, who planned on commenting on the caress. The ladies man just frowned at his friend before turning back to face the windshield.

When they got home, Buck waited until the teens had disappeared into their rooms before questioning his friend.

"What the hell was that all about?"

"Don't tease him, Buck." Chris pinned his friend with a glare.

"Aw, c'mon, Stud. It wouldn't hurt him none." Buck sank into a recliner and stared at the other man.

"Vin's been nervous enough, what with liking Anne and trying to get up the nerve to ask her out. It's still too new for him. Don't push it." Green eyes bored into blue, trying to impress the words on his friend.

The sound of Vin and JD laughing as they returned ended the conversation; the two teens passing through on their way to the barn to check on the horses. The conversation did not continue.


Monday afternoon, Vin dropped JD and Casey off at her house so they could work on their science project. He watched them walk up to the house before turning to Anne.

"Sure your mom won't mind me coming over?" He pulled out of the driveway and headed for her house.

"No, she won't. Besides, she made cookies last night."

Vin's stomach rumbled, and Anne laughed.

After pulling up in front of the house, the cell phone Vin kept for emergencies began to ring. "Hello? Yeah, I'm at Anne's. We've got a test this week." Blue eyes looked over at the girl. "Yeah, I can. I'll be there in about 45. Bye."

He clicked the phone off, putting it back in the console. "I've got to run home and pick up an envelope for Dad and take it to his office. Probably won't be back before dinner. I guess we'll have to make due with tomorrow at lunch."

She studied him for a minute. "Can I come with you?"

Vin looked surprised. "Uh, well, sure. Need to call your mom?" He handed her the phone.

Anne called the shop and spoke to her father, who gave his permission. She clicked off the phone and put it back just as they pulled up to the ranch. Vin ran into the house and retrieved the envelope, handing it to Anne to hold. Then they made the 30-minute trek into downtown Denver. It was a familiar route for Vin, and the ride passed by quickly as he and Anne talked. Once they parked in the garage next to the Federal Building, he motioned for her to bring her purse.

"They're gonna want to see your ID before they'll let you up."

She nodded and draped the purse strap over her shoulder. He took her hand, swinging their hands between them as they walked into the front of the building. It took a few minutes to get through security, mainly because Anne had never been there. Once through, they caught an elevator up to the 11th floor.

Anne had never been in any type of Federal Building, so she watched the entire proceedings of going through security with interest. She had always wondered what the ATF offices looked like, having listened to Vin's stories of his father's job. When they entered the office, she was a little disappointed to see how plain it looked.

"Hey, Vin, whatcha doin' here?" Buck smiled at the couple, looking at Vin for an answer.

"Dad forgot this." Vin handed the envelope to Buck.

The mustached man took it before looking over at Anne. "Well, hello, Anne. Welcome to our little corner of the government."

She giggled, moving closer to Vin. "Hi, Mr. Wilmington."

"And who do we have here?" The warm voice drew both teens' attention.

Vin smiled. "Hey, Josiah. This is Anne Johnson. Anne, this is Josiah Sanchez."

A large hand engulfed hers. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Anne."

She grinned up at him, feeling very comfortable in the big man's presence. "Me, too, Mr. Sanchez. Vin's told me about you.especially about your chili."

The agent laughed before looking back and forth between the two teenagers. "Next time I make some for this crew, I'll make sure Vin invites you over."

Anne nodded and looked over as two men approached. Vin nodded his welcome to them. "This is Nathan Jackson and Ezra Standish. Guys, this is Anne Johnson."

Ezra shook her hand and smiled. "I'm delighted to make your acquaintance, Anne. You have definitely graced us with your loveliness on a day that has seemed dreary in all other aspects."

Blushing, Anne moved closer to Vin as he laughed. She smacked him gently on the stomach before turning towards Nathan.

"Hi, Anne. I must say you look even prettier than in your picture."

As Anne shook hands with Nathan, Vin frowned. "Picture?"

All four agents moved to their desks and held up the small frames that held a wallet-sized picture from the dance.

"Aw, hell." He closed his eyes and shook his head.

"Everyone's been real thrilled to see your picture, Junior. Half the secretaries want to fix you up with their daughters."

Anne tightened her grip around Vin's waist as he dropped his arm across her shoulder. "You'll just have to tell them I'm taken, Buck."

She couldn't stop the smile that spread across her face. Buck just laughed. Chris walked out of his office and held out his hand for the envelope the ladies man still held.

"Still going to study at Anne's?" The blond looked at his son, grinning inwardly at the way the teens were holding on to each other.

"For a little while; least till Mrs. J gets home. You gonna be late? I can pick up JD when I'm done." Vin looked over at his father, tilting his head in question.

"We'll be home by 8:00, I think. Make sure JD gets his chores done. If we're going to be later, I'll call."

The teenager nodded then nodded to the others before walking out of the office. The five men stared after the couple.

"She seems nice." Josiah smiled.

"Lovely disposition that suits our young Vin well." Ezra nodded approvingly before heading back to his desk.

"Sorry about the picture, Chris. I thought he knew." Nathan shrugged.

Buck laughed at Chris's confused expression. "Junior didn't know you had passed out the pictures. He looked a mite embarrassed." He studied his friend for a moment. "Now why is it I can't tease him?"

"You can about the little things, Buck, just not about the kissing." Chris rolled his eyes. "You guys get back to work. The sooner we get done, the sooner we can get the hell out of here."


Vin ended up spending an hour and a half at Anne's, turning down Mrs. Johnson's invitation to dinner.

"Thank you, ma'am, but I've got to pick up JD and get some chores done. Maybe next time."

The woman gave Vin some cookies and pie to take with him, and he grinned as he walked out the door. Anne followed him to the car, leaning in the driver's side window to say goodbye.

He smiled up at her. "I'll see you in the morning."

"I enjoyed meeting the other agents. They're a lot like I pictured them after you've talked about them so much."

Vin chuckled. "They liked you."

"Really?" She was very pleased that Vin's extended family approved of her. Looking down at him, she grinned. "Be careful."

"I will."

Anne leaned forward a little farther, cupping Vin's cheek as she kissed him. A soft little moan drifted up from her throat as the touch lingered. When she pulled away, she liked the slightly dazed look in his eyes.


It took him a moment to form the word. "Bye."

Anne watched until he disappeared around a corner. Walking back to the house, she felt like dancing around on the lawn as she remembered him saying that he was taken and how she enjoyed his kiss. Life was definitely good.


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